Fridays on CBR mean Axel’s In Charge.
Welcome to MARVEL A-I-C: AXEL-IN-CHARGE, CBR’s regular interview feature with Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso!
An editor with years of experience who’s brought out comics to both critical acclaim and best-selling status, Alonso stepped into the chair at the top of Marvel’s Editorial department earlier this year and since then has been working to bring his signature stylings to the entire Marvel U. Anchored by regular question and answer rounds with the denizens of the CBR Message Boards, each week Alonso will shake things up with special guest stars, exclusive art reveals and more!
This week, as a gear up to his panels at New York Comic Con, we present another all-fan Friday where Axel takes YOUR questions on the future of the Marvel Universe. This time out, Alonso tackles the fallout from “AvX” including the makeup of the X-Men franchise moving forward, the fate of the Phoenix Five and Hope Summers, cameos from fan favorite characters and more. Plus, new word from key players in the Ultimate line including Johnny Storm and the West Coast Avengers. Read on!
Kiel Phegley: Getting into an all-fan question round, let’s start with TeddyEatsYourFace who had a long query about the future of the X-Men that ties into a whole lot of what we’ve discussed around AvX and Marvel NOW! recently. He asks, ” I was hoping that maybe someone in the higher ups of Marvel could elaborate on the seemingly ‘Vilification’ of the X-Men and Mutantkind (a minority group) and assimilating them into the wider MU/Avengers (a somewhat non-minority group) to make them “acceptable” to the public while seemingly ignoring the prejudice that they face?
Will any of the X-books actually feature stories that truly deal with mutantkind and prejudice in the Marvel Universe especially after the events of AvX where the Phoenix 5 went on their ill-advised but well intentioned “world healing” mission?
Also, with some of the mutants joining Avengers team and are solely in those titles; does that mean there will be a decrease in X-titles or a decrease in mutant characters for current X-titles? That doesn’t seem like a fair balance for a “shared” universe.
I’m really trying to be optimistic about Marvel NOW! and I’m really excited about Uncanny Avengers, but i’m actually pretty worried about the X-franchise.”
Alonso: Phew that’s a lot of questions! Breath from the diaphragm, TeddyEatsYourFace. Okay… The Avengers aren’t stealing X-Men characters, and “Uncanny Avengers” isn’t the only place you’re going to see Rogue, Wolverine or Havok. It’s a shared universe, after all.
To answer your other major question, we’ll be dealing with the fallout of the Phoenix Five in a big way in several of the X-Men books. Brian Bendis will deeply delve into this in “All-New X-Men.” But remember: What the Phoenix Five did was — no doubt — a big deal and there will be all kinds of consequences, but there are lot of people out there who think what they did — taking out Sentinel factories, getting water to the thirsty, etc. — was a good thing. A yet-to-be-announced title will focus closely on all that.
Keeping on a post-AvX theme, jjk1901 has a couple of queries about Hope: “I have a couple of questions about the end of AvX. Is Hope’s birth ever going to be explained? I thought it was pretty clear there was no new x-gene as a result of “no more mutants”, and yet then came Hope. Are we to just assume the Phoenix was somehow involved in giving her the x-gene at birth, preparing a vessel for itself or something along those lines?”
Alonso: The details of Hope’s birth were touched upon in “AvX” #12 and in the X-Books for the last few years. In a nutshell: Hope’s X-Gene activation — and some of her power set — was caused by the Phoenix in response to Scarlet Witch’s spell. When Wanda said, “No more mutants,” the Phoenix Force said, “Hell yeah, mutants.”
He follows up with: “Related to that, in my opinion Hope got up to bat on the moon during AvX and she choked. Cable spent his time preparing her, and when the Phoenix arrived she decided she wasn’t ready quite yet. I know that might seem unfair since she’s a teenager, but she’s a pretty grown-up teenager given her life experience. Does she feel any responsibility for the events that followed, what happened with the P5? They were never meant to get the Phoenix and wouldn’t have if she (and to be fair Iron Man) hadn’t created that situation.”
Alonso: If there’s one thing that we’ve established about Hope, it’s that she doesn’t shy away from responsibility. She embraced the role of Mutant Messiah and, in the end, the Phoenix. Watch for her in “Cable and X-Force” in Marvel NOW!
And one more: “Lastly, a comment. Don’t let Emma Frost be on the run or missing for too long. With the right writer, like Mr. Gillen, she’s wickedly hilarious, and I enjoyed her growth into co-leader of the mutant race. “
Alonso: Emma isn’t going anywhere. She has quite a big role to play in the X-Men side of the Marvel Universe.
Piggybacking on some recent news, coldwarmyth asks, “Nice to see Morbius getting his own ongoing. Are there any plans for Jack Russell to appear somewhere in Marvel NOW?”
Alonso: Not that I’m aware of, coldwarmyth. Sorry. Maybe he’ll show up in “Morbius” at some point. You can call editor Steve Wacker on his cell at 646-321…
In the “Fan Favorite” category, edj999 wants to know, “Any chance we will see the black knight (Dane Whitman) again soon? It’s been quiet after the cancellation of MI:13.”
Alonso: No plans for that right this second, edj999, apart from one tiny cameo.
Bravo_1 was looking after some recently returned stars: “We were left with a bit of a cliffhanger after Spider Island in regards to Cloak & Dagger, any chance we will see a resolution to that sometime? Maybe in their own (limited) series?”
Alonso: I’m a big fan on the work Nick and Emma did on the book, Bravo_1. Let me talk with editor Steve Wacker and see what we can do. Or you can visit him at his home address and tell him yourself. He’s at 136 East Stegman Drive…
Let’s swing by the Ultimate U as SpiderX asks, “I’m glad to see new characters introduced in Ultimate Comics X-men (especially Generation X characters!) but what’s going on with Johnny?”
Alonso: A clue to Johnny’s fate can be found in “Ultimate Comics X-Men” #18, SpiderX.
He follows up with, “Speaking of characters when will we see Spider-Woman, Falcon and Captain Britain return to the ranks of the Ultimates? Will we find out more about the West Coast Ultimates teams any time soon?”
Alonso: Spider-Woman will have some key moments with Miles Morales in “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” #17 and 18. Do not miss them. Falcon is busy helping S.H.I.E.L.D. during “United We Stand.” Just who will be around to be part of the cast will be revealed in the arc following “United We Stand.” As for the West Coast Ultimates (or “Wackos” as we like to call them), Sam Humphries is chomping at the bit to get back to them. Good chance they’ll be showing up in the not-too-distant future.
On the Marvel NOW! front, Drew Mathieu was one of a few readers nervous about the body count in “Avengers Arena.” He asks: “I’m worried that Avengers Arena is unfair to fans of newer Marvel characters. The series seems to focus on death and with many fan-favorites it seems like a slap to the face of anyone who likes these obscure characters with the possibility of seeing them die. What is the point?”
Alonso: Death is a necessary aspect of this story, Drew. Nothing reveals character like adversity, and the 16 super-powered teens in “Avengers Arena” are going to see plenty of it. Pushed to their breaking points under the most extreme conditions, each character will have to take a good hard look at who they are, what they stand for, and what they are willing to do to survive. There will be sacrifice and betrayal, alliances will form and shatter in the blink of an eye, and, yes, there will be blood. It’s all part of the harrowing emotional journey that [writer] Dennis [Hopeless] and [artist] Kev [Walker] are crafting.
Then there’s TsaiMeLemoni who asks, “It’s exciting to see that Elektra appears to have a place in the MU with Marvel NOW; does this mean she’ll be more of a permanent fixture? It’s torture having to sometimes wait a year just for a handful of appearances! “
Alonso: Elektra is a full-fledged member of the new team that General Thunderbolt Ross — AKA Red Hulk — is assembling in the pages of “Thunderbolts,” a roster that includes Venom, Deadpool and the Punisher. Why Elektra joined this crew of killers, and what is their mission statement, will be revealed in due time, but she’s on board for the long haul.
Finally, following big hubbub stories for the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man the past two years, Ayiteb asks the next logical question with “Dear Mr. Axel: Does Marvel have something big planned for the X-men 50th anniversary? “
Alonso: Of course! But there are still several months before we can announce it!
Have some questions for Marvel’s AXEL-IN-CHARGE? Please visit the CUP O’ Q&A thread in CBR’s Marvel Universe forum. It’s now the dedicated thread for all connections between Board Members and the Marvel Executive staff that CBR will pull questions for next week’s installment of our weekly fan-generated question-and-answer column! Do it to it!