The current cast of characters that Carey has assembled for X-Men includes familiar faces like Rogue and Ice Man; other X-Men related characters like Cable, Cannonball, Mystique and Sabretooth and characters that might not be too familiar to fans like Lady Mastermind and Karima Sharpandar. "Karima is otherwise known as the Omega Sentinel," Carey told CBR News. "She was used in Claremont's 'X-treme X-Men' book, although she was introduced in the 'Zero Tolerance' storyline from a few years back. She was one of the human beings that Bastion seeded with Sentinel technology."
|"X-Men" #195, page 3|
In keeping with their unconventional line-up and role, Carey's "X-Men" also have a leader in Rogue who some readers might see as an unconventional choice. "I'll give the last word to Cyclops on this," Carey said. "When Rogue says, 'Why me?' his reply is, 'Because you're unpredictable and nobody can second guess you in a fight. You improvise in an inspired way and you're so hard to outflank and anticipate. So you're the perfect choice.'
"I loved Rogue when she was first introduced," Carey continued. "She had this dangerous edge and wildness to her. I wanted to put some of those qualities back."
Mystique might have a secret agenda, but that doesn't mean she's not happy to be a member of the X-Men. "I think when Mystique says that it means a lot to her to fight at Rogue's side and share danger with her it is the truth," Carey said. "It's not the whole truth, but it is the truth."
Another member of Rogue's team, Cable, is known for having far reaching agendas. He does have his own reasons for being on the team and they might not be what readers expect. "His original decision to fight with the team – and I'd put it like that, to fight alongside them rather than join – was because he saw the threat of the Children of the Vault [the enemy the team encountered in Carey's first storyline]," Carey explained. "He saw the incredible transfer of energy taking place and realized something of world threatening proportions was happening. That's why he came to the mansion and got involved in the 'Supernovas' story arc. And then there are other reasons why he hangs around for awhile after that.
|"X-Men" #197, pages 1 and 2|
Many of those those responsibilities Cable deals with are depicted in his own book, "Cable & Deadpool," and they've made him very unpopular with forces inside the U.S. government. With Cable fighting alongside former terrorists like Mystique and professional assassins like Sabretooth, readers can expect the U.S. and other governments to be very concerned about Rogue's band of X-men. "This is another reason why they're leaving the X-Mansion," Carey said. "It's not explicitly stated but they're capable of drawing too much heat. So it makes sense for them to operate outside of U.S. soil. They're sort of peripatetic; from #194 onwards their base of operations is the Conquistador, the highly advanced flying tanker which was used by the Children.
|"X-Men" #197, page 6|
At the end of issue #193, which marked the conclusion of Carey's first storyline, "Supernovas," Rogue's team just had their first big success. "They just came out of this huge conflict with the Children of the Vault and they won," Carey said. "They managed to turn a potential disaster into a pretty unequivocal victory. Of all of the X-teams, theirs was the one left standing. So I guess you could say the team is riding a high right now. Rogue must feel she's made the right choices and things are coming together, but she doesn't know what's waiting in the wings."
|"X-Men Annual" #1|
The decisions made in "Primary Infection" have a huge impact on "Critical Condition," the story arc after that, and send the X-Men to one of the nations that Cable leads. "In 'Condition Critical' they go back to Providence," Carey said. "It's the story that will lead into this sort of X-over, the one that will change Cable's status and set up a dilemma for him, which will spill over into 'Cable & Deadpool' and will have far reaching consequences for him for years to come."
|"X-Men Annual" #1, page 1|
"Cable & Deadpool" readers will find the "Condition Critical" arc of "X-Men" a good jumping on point; besides taking place in a familiar locale, Providence, and focusing on Cable, the story also features an appearance by a familiar face. "Irene Merriweather makes an appearance," Carey stated. "I wanted to use both Prestor John and Deadpool, too. But, you know, 'Cable & Deadpool' is such a unique book with such a unique voice and Deadpool in particular is a character with such an indelible set of associations to him. I was afraid he would pull the story too far in a different direction. It's hard to give Deadpool a cameo without everything sort of changing around him. It's like adding chili to a stew: even a little bit changes the flavour a lot. So there might be some sort of sly references to him, but we probably won't see him on-panel."
|"X-Men Annual" #1, page 6|
In recent issues and upcoming arcs, The X-Men have dealt with new menaces but old school X-fans shouldn't worry. Carey has definite plans for some of the more notorious members of the X-Men's rogue's gallery. "We've got a classic villain showing up in the annual." Carey said. "It's Exodus, as people probably know by now – and he's got some other familiar faces in tow. Then we have a whole bunch of classic villains showing up in #200, which I think will be really exciting for long term readers. I always like to keep a mix; to revisit the really iconic villains that the X-Men have faced in the past but also introduce new characters and keep readers guessing."
|"X-Men Annual" #1, page 12|
"And I think 2007 is going to be an amazing year for readers of the X-Men line. From January onwards the pace is going to start hotting up and the stakes will start to be raised. We're accelerating towards something really incredible."
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