The cast members of Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico's "All-New X-Factor" are part of a corporate-sponsored super team, which means they never have to worry about funding or making ends meet. Instead, the team is wrestling with some other very large problems, such as, how do its members who are all dealing with issues of their own come together to form a cohesive group? What exactly does it mean to be part of a super team sponsored by the mysterious Serval Industries? What can and can't they get away with, and how will a disastrous mission affect the team, and Serval's bottom line?
Those questions became even more interesting in recent issues of the Marvel Comics title, which saw former New Mutants Cypher (Doug Ramsey) and Warlock join the group just in time for the team to undertake a disastrous mission to rescue a young mutant from the compound of her father, a leading figure in the anti-mutant movement. CBR News spoke with David about Cypher and Warlock, the fallout from X-Factor's rescue of Georgia Dakei, and what lies ahead for the corporate super team.
CBR News: I wanted to start off by talking a little bit about your team's newest members, Cypher and Warlock. When we first see Cypher, he's contemplating suicide. After joining the team, he brings the situation of Georgia Dakei to Quicksilver. The team then launches into a rescue mission that almost gets Doug killed. So I have to wonder -- did Cypher join X-Factor so he could put himself into situations where he might perish?
Peter David: No, I don't think so. I don't think his mind operates that way. He decided he wanted to help Georgia because he was genuinely taken by her situation. There was no personal mission beyond wanting to help someone else. He was suicidal because he was alone and lonely and could only focus on negatives. I think being with a team, being with those whose main goal is to help others, helps elevate his spirits -- at least for the time being. Of course, that could change.
The team's other new member, Warlock, had some suspicions that Cypher might try and harm himself and I suspect that might be part of the reason why he joined the team. Or is he distracted by other things like adventuring again with his friend and Danger who he appears to be smitten with?
I think Warlock is not perpetually concerned about Doug's mental state beyond his perpetual concern over his self mate. I think he does find Danger interesting, but he really doesn't have the faintest idea how to go about pursuing it.
Danger always seems to be ready to speak the truth, whether her teammates are willing to hear it or not. It also seems like she has some feelings toward Gambit, but what's her current sense of X-Factor as a whole? Why is she staying with the team?
I think Danger is drawn to teams because she spent her entire existence, from before she was a sentient creature, being around teams. It's her natural state. Furthermore, she continues to find humanity and mutantkind endlessly fascinating and finds X-Factor interesting to observe because of their interactions.
Serval CEO Harrison Snow helps extricate X-Factor from the situation with the Dakeis, and while we don't see exactly what he says to Scott Dakei, it's suggested that it's something ruthless. Is Snow what he appears to be? Because he seems like he might be a guy who is interested in doing some good, but is not above using intimidation and other not exactly heroic means to do so.
I feel safe in saying that Snow is not what he appears to be. Except we don't know what he appears to be. Sometimes he seems very concerned about the team. Other times we see him screwing around on his wife. We don't know where his priorities are, and I think that's what makes him an interesting character. He would have been the last person you'd expect to come in and save the day, and yet that's exactly what he did. But now, you're left wondering how the hell he did that, and if he was sinister in doing so. Which is precisely what I want you to wonder.
Will Georgia be a supporting character in "All-New X-Factor" moving forward? Does Serval have a training program for young mutants?
Yes to the first, no to the second. But it is entirely possibly for them to develop whatever they need.
Speaking of Serval, the solicits for issues #9-12 suggest that the company and Gambit will both be in the spotlight for the next few issues. What can you tell us about the story that runs through these issues?
We're going to be exploring Georgia's background and introducing a new villain to the series to challenge the team. And then matters will culminate in Serval's first press conference to promote the team, which, of course, will go horribly wrong.
Carmine Di Giandomenico is drawing issues #9-12 after tackling the first eight issues as well, which is a rare thing these days. How does it feel to be given a chance to do a year's worth of issues with a single artist?
I think Carmine's doing a fantastic job. It's so nice to have the same artist doing 12 issues in a row, especially considering the publishing frequency. I especially think he's been doing great with the small character moments upon which this entire series so heavily depends.
The Uncanny Avengers are aware of the team's existence, obviously, but what can you tell us about that plot line moving forward? Will Havok continue to be a supporting player in the book in his role as Quicksilver's "handler?" And when we discussed "Spider-Man 2099," you mentioned we might see some elements from that book pop up in X-Factor and vice versa. Is there a chance Miguel O'Hara and X-Factor will cross paths in the immediate future?
Miguel is going to show up, and something very unexpected will happen that will answer some reader questions. Although that won't occur until after the big "Spider-verse" crossover. As for the Avengers, we will be tying into a major crossover storyline that's coming up the later part of this year. Not sure how much I'm allowed to say about it other than that it's going to shake up the team membership.
"All-New X-Factor" #9 is on sale now; click here to read a complete preview of the issue.