One of the most exciting announcements for X-Men fans at last year's New York Comic Con was Peter David's return to "X-Factor" after the series' conclusion last year. While his saga about the ragtag mutants of X-Factor Investigations may be finished, David and artist Carmine di Giandomenico are starting a new X-Factor story in "All-New X-Factor," as Polaris, Quicksilver, Gambit, Warlock, Cypher and Danger begin work as a superhero team on retainer for Serval Industries.
With the anticipated first issue of the All-New Marvel NOW! series dropping this week, Peter David returned to X-Position to answer your questions about the upcoming first issue, including queries about characters' mental states, the status of X-Factor Investigations, the makeup of the new team and which character will end up being everyone's favorite.
Swashbuckler kicks us off with a question about everyone's favorite robot, Danger.
1) I am eagerly awaiting "All New X-Factor" and am intrigued by the cast. So excited to see Danger get used, but why does she feel the need to wear a uniform all of a sudden when before she was just fine walking around as herself.
I've no idea about that, Swash. I hadn't planned to put her in a uniform. Then the cover showed up and, lo and behold, she was wearing one. I haven't indicated that in the book and to the best of my knowledge she isn't wearing one in the series. But hey, I could be wrong!
Joe is up next with a question about Gambit and his status following the "Gambit" solo series.
James Asmus ended the latest Gambit series with a power upgrade. Will you be touching upon the change in his powers? In addition, will we get to see the underutilized Hypnotic Charm power? That was always a power I wanted to see more writers use and you would think would be helpful for a Corporation to use and exploit.
I will indeed be touching on things that occurred in the "Gambit" series, Joe, from his charms to his connection with the Thieves Guild. I'm not sure exactly how much I'll be using any Hypnotic Charm power, because I think he's pretty charming already.
Polaris fan Dan wants to know more about the character's attitude and mental state going in to the new series.
Throughout her history, from her youth as seen in the brilliant "X-Factor" #243, Polaris has experienced a great number of tragedies, a literal series of events ranging from harrowing genocides and wars, to several possessions and loss/change of powers. This has obviously impacted mental stability and health, yet she has overcome some of these events and consolidated them into her self-identity. Going into "All New X-Factor," how do you view her character development and how it will impact her attitudes and mental state?
There is no question that Polaris has been through a lot, Dan; more than anyone should really have to endure. But my feeling is that she is bound and determined to rise above it rather than sink into some sort of pit of despair. A lot of people thought I was turning her into an alcoholic with issue #260, but nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, she had a bad day, but that was simply an aberration. I believe she is convinced that she has a good deal to prove. That she is determined to show that she can be a leader, and the fact that she has had to endure all manner of difficulties is simply another test that she needs to overcome. Of course the interesting thing is that others in the book -- Gambit, for instance, and Pietro -- are not sure that she has what it takes and are always watching for signs that she's about to have some sort of mental break. So it's definitely not going to be easy for her.
Emerald_616 wants to know more about the "All-New X-Factor" crew's uniforms.
Those glasses worn by the team look quite similar to the ones designed by Sage on Storm's X-Treme X-Men squad in the early 2000s. Is there any connection?
None whatsoever, Emerald. Sorry.
Whichazelnj13 is up next and is hoping for some old familiar faces to show up.
I'm curious if you have any plans to have members of X-Factor Investigations make guest appearances in "All-New X-Factor." I'd be excited to see any of the old team show up. Anyways, I can't wait to read "All-New X-Factor" and hope it will last for hundreds of issues.
A former member of the previous team will indeed be cameoing in issue #3, as it so happens. Hope you like it, Which.
Purplevit is back with questions about Gambit's involvement in the Thieves Guild.
Guilds are such a big part of Gambit as character and I am really excited about Remy as The King of Thieves. Could it be the beginning of Remy building his Witness type Empire? What aspects of Guilds interest you the most?
Well, Purplevit, I'm mostly interested in the characters involved, actually. To me the concept of the Guild itself is less interesting than the people who are actually a part of it, and when I do revisit the Guild -- in issues #3 and #4, as a matter of fact -- it's Gambit's interaction with the members that is going to be drawing most of my attention.
With a query about Polaris and Quicksilver's relationship, here's riteuhereto.
What's the relationship going to be between Polaris and Quicksilver, Is it gonna be more like issue #260 of "X-Factor"?
I would say the relationship is guarded, Rite. The fact of the matter is that Polaris doesn't invite Pietro to be a member; he simply shows up. Her initial reaction is to be suspicious of that, but she has to force herself to accept his presence there because she doesn't want to simply reject a powerful individual such as Quicksilver. She sees her suspicion as something that she has to rise above if she's going to be able to accomplish her goal of leading the new team. The question, of course, is if she's making the right decision or not.
Fictional corporation expert Taimur Dar wants to know more about the other titans of Marvel industry that might show up in the series.
There's been a number of fictional corporations introduced into the Marvel U over the years, will any others be appearing in the book alongside Serval Industries, in particular Damage Control, one of my favorite concepts from Dwayne McDuffie?
There will be other corporations showing up, Taimur. Don't want to give too much away at the moment. No plans, however, to bring in Damage Control. I feel like that was Dwayne's specialty and I don't feel inclined to tread on his territory.
Dabid is hoping for some hints as to the character to watch for "All-New X-Factor."
1) Before the previous volume of "X-Factor" launched, you asserted that Layla Miller would be everyone's favorite character by Issue 6 -- and it turned out to be true for many folks! Is there any specific character you think will be the biggest breakout star of "All-New X-Factor?"
After giving it some thought, Dabid, I would say Danger, as it turns out. I'm having a lot of fun with her. She's turning out to be the ideal individual to have commenting on various things with the group, plus her power set is fantastic.
2) Your prior run on "X-Factor" featured one of the largest superhero team rosters around, but "All-New X-Factor" only features about half the number of characters as far as we've seen. Do you intend to keep the cast small on "All-New X-Factor" to focus more closely on the characters, or is it likely we'll see another larger ensemble cast later on in the development of the book?
I'm pretty happy with the size of the team we have, although honestly, I never understood people complaining about the cast size. "Wolverine and the X-Men" had more cast members, and "X-Men" -- when they were on Utopia -- had literally hundreds of people. I never really comprehended the fixation on the team size of X-Factor. Sometimes it seemed that some fans were simply looking for something to gripe about.
3) When Warlock had his own solo ongoing series, he was able to look and speak like a normal human. But when he showed up in New Mutants a few years ago, he'd gone back to his old alien speech and appearance. Will you be writing a purely classic "alien" Warlock, or will he have some of his more human elements to his his personality again?
Kind of a mix, actually. I was sticking with the old alien speech, but I also have Danger basically saying, "What's with the whole 'self' thing?" and he starts to rethink it.
Next up, Vega is hoping for some more insight into Quicksilver.
As a fan of Quicksilver, I've felt since the whole "Son of M" debacle, he's never had a proper redemption arc. Yes, he had that one shot issue of "X-Factor," "The Quick and the Dead," but it didn't feel enough considering Marvel dedicated 6 issues to tear the character down. He is still estranged from his daughter, and still hides behind the Skrull excuse for his wrong doings. Any chance of seeing some development on those fronts? Like Pietro admitting he stole the Terrigen crystals thereby earning his daughter's respect?
Pietro is in a sort of status place right now. There's only so much I can do with him personality wise, Vega, because of other things that may be coming up later, especially with the advent of his movie persona. So I can't really do anything tremendously drastic with his status quo. That said, I do have some nifty stuff planned for him that I hope you enjoy.
MarieB. is wondering about Polaris and Gambit's connective tissue from the past.
One of the things I find interesting about Polaris and Gambit working together is that they're both former Horsemen of Apocalypse. Will this mutual past be explored eventually?
Honestly, Marie, I feel like their time with Apocalypse is a period of their lives that they would very much like to forget. So I certainly wasn't planning to dwell on it too much.
Finally, Derek wraps up this week's installment with a trio of questions about the previous "X-Factor," Serval and more.
1) Does Polaris still think the other members of X-Factor are dead?
No, Derek. Although we don't actually show a scene where she's brought up to speed, it's implied that Harrison Snow in fact informed her of what the rest of the crew was up to. How would he know, you may wonder. Trust me: Snow makes it his business to know stuff.
2) From a PR point of view will it become clear why Serval choose the team they did? Seems like that line up would have several red flags to the public and potentially harm the company's image.
Honestly, I'm not worried about the public reaction. The public is exceptionally good at forgetting things or accepting them for what they have been rebranded for. So I'm not especially concerned about the public's reaction.
3) One thing that instantly came to mind when I found out you were tackling one of these companies is how public they are but how impossible they are to contact. How accessible will this version of X-Factor be to the general public?
Anyone who wants to get in touch with them can do so through the publicity arm of Serval Industries. And indeed, some people will eventually be endeavoring to do exactly that.
Special thanks to Peter David for taking on this week's questions.
Next week, Si Spurrier returns to X-Position to take on questions about his current "X-Men Legacy" run as well as his upcoming All-New Marvel NOW! series "X-Force." Got questions for Si? Send your questions over via e-mail with the subject line "X-Position or in a 140 character question via Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!