Fans who can’t get enough mutant carnage will be thrilled by Marvel’s announcement Friday at New York Comic Con that writers Chris Yost and Craig Kyle will be penning a three-issue “X-Force: Sex and Violence” miniseries, fully painted by Gabriele dell’Otto. The story finds Wolverine and Domino going off the grid to resolve some sticky situations from the femme fatale’s recent past. CBR News caught up with Kyle and Yost to discuss the miniseries and what it means for the regular “X-Force” cast.
After joking that “X-Force: Sex and Violence” was “a children’s book,” Yost described the series as “a kind of side-story from the regular ‘X-Force’ storyline.” “It’s a chance for us to go in-depth into a couple of the characters. In the story, Domino has a hit put out on her and Wolverine finds out about it. Essentially, it’s the two of them going out to get that hit removed.”
Kyle added that “Domino’s gotten into a lot of trouble, and it’s not X-Force business–but Wolverine makes it his.”
Domino is a recent addition to X-Force, as her path crossed with the team during their desperate search for a stolen sample of the Legacy Virus. “You never knew what she was up to before she came on in the Vanisher story,” Kyle said, referring to the captive villain who is working with X-Force under duress in the current arc. “Now’s our chance to sort of dip into that story much deeper than we could in the ongoing.”
Yost said that, while the “Sex and Violence” miniseries stands alone, it will feed into plans for the second year of the ongoing series. “The relationships you see in this book are going to carry over into the main book. We’re not going to ignore it, it’s not going to be the ugly stepchild,” the writer said. “In fact, it’s going to be the beautiful stepchild. It’s not the big Bastion story arc, but it’s going to be part of continuity.”
Kyle cited Wolverine’s ubiquitous presence in the Marvel universe as an example of characters’ stories going on outside of what’s shown in any one comic. “It just shows you that there’s so much more going on, even within the stories of X-Force, that have to break out of our series and be told other places,” he said. “It’s just great because it means we get to focus on a handful of characters rather than our team and the numerous villains they’re up again. It’s going to be a nice intimate experience.”
While “X-Force” has always had a very distinct visual style, with textured digital art from Clayton Crain and Mike Choi, dell’Otto will bring quite another feel to the book with his fully painted artwork. Kyle told CBR that editor John Barber offered the “X-Force” team a chance to work with dell’Otto, who “wanted to do a short run and really wanted to show off his skills.”
“He had a couple things he was concerned with; one was panel count. So that he could get in there and do great work, he didn’t want to be bogged down by nine-ten panels per page,” Kyle said. “He also wanted to have a reduced cast so again he can really focus on the characters he’s working with. For Chris and myself, the more straightjackets you give us, the better. We jumped at the opportunity, and it’s been nice for us creatively to take a small story and give it space to breathe.”
“It’s really just us giving Gabriele the chance to do what he does so incredibly well,” Yost added. “Whether it’s somebody getting their head blown off, or two people making love–whatever it is, it’s going to be gorgeous. And with us that can happen in the same scene!”
Yost also joked that, to complement the painted art, “we’ll probably use more beautiful words.”
At this point, the writers have only seen the promotional image that has been shown at New York Comic Con, but that was enough to get them even more energized for the finished comic. “When that came in, it was an exciting moment,” Kyle said. “Because we thought, there are going to be so many of these!”
“We’ve 68 other pages left, and every one of them’s going to be mindblowing,” Yost added.
“What we’re shooting for is maximum number of slashes, maximum number of big spreads and really impactful shots and exciting moments,” Kyle said. “We want every one to really count because that was part of the mandate: what we’re really looking for more than anything else is a way to showcase these characters, and dell’Otto’s work, and the sort of fun moments we can do in the most distilled way. It should be a hell of a ride, and though very reflective of the tone of ‘X-Force,’ unlike anything we’ve done in the last year.
With two “X-Force” series, animation projects including “Wolverine and the X-Men,” and assorted other comic book projects, Kyle and Yost will be keeping busy in the next year.
“Sure, we’ll be writing five issues a month,” Yost said. “It goes with the territory.”
“And the quality’s going to drop with every single issue!” Kyle joked. “Just look at the pictures and ignore what’s being said.”
“When you see that one issue of ‘X-Force’ that’s 22 pages of splashes, you’ll know it’s caught up to us,” Yost added.
All kidding aside, both writers showed a lot of enthusiasm for the project. “If you’re reading ‘X-Force’ now, it’s a story you definitely can’t miss; it feeds into the characters in the ongoing series,” Kyle said. “If you aren’t reading it–why?–it’s going to be a hell of a way to get a taste of what we do, with an incredible incentive of dell’Otto pages.
“It’s going to be a hell of a ride. We’re as excited as anybody to see this thing.”