X-POSITION: Mike Carey's "Legacy"

Tue, March 25th, 2008 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

"X-Men: Legacy" #209 on sale this week

At the conclusion of Marvel's "Messiah CompleX," Professor Xavier, the leader of the X-Men, was shot in the head. But as the members of the X-Men stared down at the body of their fallen mentor, something unexpected happened – Professor X disappeared.

At first, readers thought it might be an artist's mistake -- it wasn't.

Professor's body was taken by the mutant Exodus, who wishes to heal him. The problem is, Xavier isn't cooperating. How is this even possible, and what does it all mean? The book that seeks to answer these questions (and more) is "X-Men: Legacy," written by Mike Carey. Issue #209 of this title can be found at your local comic book store this week, and to help prepare you for its arrival, Mike Carey joins X-POSITION today to answer your questions about the series. And, as always, we have some exclusive art for you to enjoy as well.

Story continues below

Mike, our first question is, hopefully, a simple one. It comes our way from Prpleter, who was seeking some clarification about the end of "Messiah CompleX."

Are we ever going to see what exactly occurred when Professor X's body "disappeared" after he was shot? It was like, the X-Men were there with him at the end of "Messiah CompleX," then his body was gone, and then in the next issue, Cyclops said that Beast is looking for him. What happened?

Pages from "X-Men: Legacy" #209 -- click here for more
The answer we're given in "X-Men: Legacy" #208 is the closest we're ever going to get, Prpleter. Exodus used Tempo's time-altering powers to take Xavier's body from the midst of the grieving X-Men, and their lack of apparent reaction was because they were frozen in time and hadn't yet registered that he was gone. We get their later reactions in 'Uncanny,' but we never see that actual moment except in flashback.

Following up from that, Andre 4000 wanted some help with understanding what occurred in "X-Men: Legacy" #208.

1) What is exactly going on with Xavier health-wise? Wolverine said it was a fatal shot, but Exodus is saying that he's okay except for part of his brain? Could you help me understand this better?

Sure, Andre – Bishop's bullet did massive and far-reaching damage to Xavier's brain. More than enough damage to cause his death – and both Beast and Wolverine effectively give us that verdict at the close of #207, that the Professor has already died.

"X-Men: Legacy" #210
But Exodus stepped in before any degeneration of Xavier's tissues had taken place, and he repaired the organic damage to Prof X's brain telekinetically – intervening at a cellular level. He wasn't able to prevent memory loss, whether because of the physical damage or the psychological trauma or both.

2) Why would Exodus grab Xavier without involving the X-Men, if he wants to save Xavier? After all Exodus has done to the X-Men, it seems strange and somewhat disingenuous that he would try to save their leader now…

I don't think I agree. Exodus blocked the X-Men because he was going along with Sinister's plans for the best way to use the Messiah Child as a tool for the rebirth of the mutant race. But it's that same agenda – the survival and ascendancy of mutantkind – that makes him see Xavier's value and step in to save him. There's a paradox there, from most people's perspective, but it's not disingenuous; it's another example of how narrowly focused Exodus's world view is.

Wjgmianecke wrote in next, and he was concerned with the professor's medical care. Can you assuage his fears, Mike?

I was pleasantly surprised and quite pleased with the first issue of "X-Men: Legacy." However, there was one detail that I just could not understand: Why is Xavier's head wound left unbandaged?

Pages from "X-Men: Legacy" #210
If they're trying to keep the man alive, shouldn't Omega Sentinel have had one of her many mechanical tendrils attending to that (yuck!) oozing wound? Or at least some gauze? It just didn't jive with Exodus' intentions and was really difficult to ignore for me…

Bear in mind that Exodus is one of the most powerful telekinetic mutants alive. With his attention focused on that wound, he can do everything that a bandage can do and a lot more.

Exodus – the world's best band-aid!

Several readers sent in handfuls of questions, and as they were all quality queries, I decided to list them below and let Mike loose on them. First up is Red Lotus….

Pages from "X-Men: Legacy" #210
1) You have said before that the Gambit heritage line from "Blood of Apocalypse" would probably be explored this year. Is that still in the works?

It is, yeah. But I don't know how far we'll move that along in the second arc, which is where Gambit comes back into play. It might have to wait a little longer before you get a clear answer.

2) With Gambit having a role in "Legacy," are there any plans to use Courier, Fontanelle or Belladonna?

Sadly, no. I was thinking at one stage about a plotline that would have brought Fontanelle in, but it opened some cans of worms that I couldn't deal with in the framework I was trying to set up. We will be seeing someone very closely associated with her, though.

Pages from "X-Men: Legacy" #210
3) Are we eventually going to see Shaw's plans for Sunspot?

We see them interacting, and we get some inkling of where the tensions between them are going.

4) In the first issue of "Legacy," we see that there are a lot gray areas when it comes to Xavier and his behavior. Are you planning on showing even more of his dark side in issues to come?

The thrust of the series is Xavier trying to reach a better understanding of his own actions and motivations – coming to them almost as an outsider because of the memories he's lost. He'll be going to some very dark places as a part of that, but it's a process of exploration, really: a psychological journey with a psychological pay-off.

Contestant number two is Marcus Martin, who wanted to know more about what we'll be witnessing in upcoming "Legacy" stories.

1) Are there any other Marvel Heroes, besides the X-Men, that will appear within Legacy's flashbacks or in present time?

No, I don't think so. This is a very mutant-centric book.

"X-Men: Divided We Stand" #1 on sale April 16
2) Will Wolverine be making an appearance within "Legacy"? Will Professor Xavier be seeing any past memories of meeting Logan before he came to the X-Men? Is that even possible?

Wolverine will appear in some of the flashbacks, but there aren't going to be any revelations here about his past relationship with Xavier. That would feel like a digression here, if only because there are other books in the line where Wolverine's backstory is being explored in a lot of depth.

3) Are you guys really going through every moment of X-Men history, even "The Dark Phoenix" saga, the "Onslaught" saga and "Operation Zero Tolerance," within the pages of "Legacy"?

I think that would be pretty near impossible! No, what we're doing is taking biopsies – significant moments are excised from their context and looked at again from a new angle. It's really all about drawing connections between things, illuminating some stuff that's been hinted at in the past, and tracing the path of Professor Xavier's development as a character through all of these events. That's a big enough agenda for me...

That's big enough for any writer to tackle! Lastly, we'll let Gavin J. go through his lengthy list. Brace yourself, Mike!

Pages from "X-Men: Divided We Stand" #1
1) Being a fan of redemption stories, I like the potential of seeing Xavier look over the expanse of his life to date. I'm curious though, what will happen after or when he comes to his proverbial senses and sees the state of mutantkind today? Will Xavier draft his own group of X-Men to deal with mutant problems from his perspective? Or will he and this series continue to operate in a solo capacity? (I ask this because I miss the idea of you writing a team book…)

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Gavin. That's a question that goes to the core of the book's premise, really, because it's really asking whether Xavier will revert to patterns of behavior that have defined him from his very first appearance in the X-verse. Acting through others – and undertaking the protection, education and training of others – has always been Prof X's M.O.

Now he's in a kind of enforced exile for a while, and examining his own past in a way that's almost forensic. I suspect that forging a new team will be something he'll fight shy of for the foreseeable future. Which is not to say that a team might not come into being around him, I guess...

Pages from "X-Men: Divided We Stand" #1
2) Professor Xavier's romantic relationships have always taken a distinct second (or third) place to his dream of human-mutant integration/harmony. It's great to be reminded of the rift this created in his relationship with Amelia Voight (and to some degree Gabrielle Haller).

Yeah, I agree. I find Xavier's emotional life fascinating – particularly with respect to the ways it's intersected with his aspirations for mutants as a whole. You could add Moira to that list, too.

3) Will we be seeing other aspects of Xavier's personal life focused upon, as he sacrificed them for his "dream?" Maybe a bit of focus on his once-deceased (and rather interesting) son Legion? Will there be any romantic interests in the Professor's future?

The whole theme of the second arc is fathers and sons, and Legion will be visited as part of that. Future romances...it's possible, yeah. There's a slight hint coming up, which we may expand on later on.

4) What can you tell us about the Cannonball/Husk one-shot coming up (the more Guthrie sibling action I get, the better)?

It's just a short, written for one of the "Divided We Stand" anthologies. It has Sam coming home to Cumberland in the aftermath of "Messiah CompleX" and trying to work out some of the anger and frustration he feels at how things worked out. And it has Paige giving him a few home truths. It's pure character beats, really. There's a fight scene, but it's a foregone conclusion; we're more concerned with why it happens at all than how it comes out.

5) The "Messiah CompleX" crossover payoffs on the plotlines including Mystique, Rogue and Gambit were some of my favorite moments in the story. Are you generally pleased with the outcome of that aspect of the story? Will Rogue assume the mantle of leadership again in the near future?

I'm pleased that we got such a big stage, as it were, for the climax of those story elements – we'd spent a lot of time and thought in setting them up. I feel bad that Rogue was off the table for such a lot of the big action, because I know a lot of Rogue fans took that hard.

There are some more ramifications to be played out, and I'm weaving them into 'Legacy.' After that, look for Rogue to be in the spotlight again. Yeah, I know, I'm ducking the "leadership" part of that question – it's tied up with some other things that I can't talk about yet..

6) Despite how complicated their relationship is, I'm really fascinated by watching the painful estrangement of Rogue and Mystique. Any chance of them crossing paths in the near future? Will she acknowledge that her mother, despite the methods, saved her life?

I think she has acknowledged that, and it adds another twist of the knife as far as she's concerned – that in a way she was the trigger for many of the things that Mystique did. Will their paths cross again? Not in "Legacy," but I hope and trust that they will soon.

And I hope and trust these terrific answers satisfied all of our X-POSITION readers out there. Thanks Mike!

We're at the end of this week's gathering, but we'll be back again in seven days to celebrate a milestone of sorts – the one-month anniversary of "Divided We Stand!" To commemorate this event, X-Men Group Editor Axel Alonso will be joining us along with fellow X-editors Nick Lowe and John Barber.

Whip up an email, put "X-Position" in the subject line, and send it our way by high noon this Friday. The sooner you get it to me, the more likely it will get included, so hurry – three X-editors are standing by for your questions!

Now discuss this story in CBR's X-Men forum.

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