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X-POSITION: Abnett & Lanning “Fear the Future” in “New Mutants”

by  in Comic News Comment

There comes a point where every child must leave the safety of their home and wander out into the world. At this point, they will hopefully use valuable lessons they’ve learned while growing up, or they may make huge errors in judgment (that they’ll also potentially learn from). The New Mutants seem to be at this point in their lives.

As a team, they have been under various “adult” leaders over their many years in existence. Not too long ago, they were Cyclops’ hand-picked team for special missions. This purpose was revised a bit in light of “Schism,” but they still had someone calling the shots in the background.

Now? Well, it seems the New Mutants have found a new home in San Francisco and are ready to spread their wings and decide their own future. This will mean many things to each teammate, so to clarify some of the questions you might have, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA to their fans), join us for today’s X-POSITION to answer your e-mails. The like-minded writing team answer as one below unless otherwise noted. Let’s dive on in!

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Matthew wades into the waters with a few inquiries about powers and paperbacks:

Empath is a cool character and if time and the powers that be allow, we’re sure there’s story potential down the line with him.

4) And lastly, for a guy who can read other people’s reactions and responses, I love it how Cypher is totally oblivious to how annoying his “everything is language” demeanor to every problem that needs solving. He seems more interested in language than emotions. How does he balance the two? By the way, the scene with him coaching Sunspot on how to ‘pick up’ was brilliant.

Thanks. We enjoyed that issue very much. The nature of Doug’s expanded powers and how they affect him and the team is going to matter increasingly. The possible applications of what he can do haven’t been explored yet — he’s potentially amazingly powerful. But the more he understands the “language” of the world, the more things become theory and the more detached he gets. Doug’s one of our faves.

The merry Marcus Martin sees potential events causing a few bumps in the road for the team. Do you agree?

1) Given that some of the members are involved in “Avengers vs. X-Men,” will the New Mutants be changed by the events of AvX when all is said and done?

Unfortunately, that is something we can’t reveal at this stage. You’ll enjoy the stories much more not knowing, believe us!

2) Given that part of AvX is centered around the Phoenix force, I was wondering what your take would be concerning this event, given your previous history of working with Marvel Cosmic?

We love all things Marvel Cosmic and would have loved the opportunity to play with concepts like the Phoenix Force that are so rooted in Marvel lore, but we’re not directly involved in the “AvX” storyline. Maybe sometime in the future we can get our grubby hands on the Phoenix Force and see what fun we can cook up!

Nune sent in a bunch of questions covering a ton of DnA topics. I wanted to hear the answers to these as well, so I’m letting him loose…

Hey Dan & Andy! I am a huge fan of all the books you write, and I’m especially enjoying “New Mutants.” If it’s okay with you, I have questions about a lot of different things you work on:

1) My first question is about the “New Mutants,” of course. When this series first started off, they were getting their marching orders from Cyclops. Now, they seem a bit more self-directed. This team — even more than the X-Men — considers itself a family. Do you ever see them leaving the nest and setting up their own superhero shop, kind of like what X-Factor has done?

Hi there, Nune, and thanks for supporting what we do! The team have kind of cut ties with the main team(s) by setting up shop in San Francisco. They were torn by Schism and decided that even though they were ‘Team Cyclops,’ the time was right to leave home. They are no longer the “X-babies” and are finding their own place in the world and their own role in the X-Men family.

2) I’ve really been enjoying “Resurrection Man” (for the record, I enjoyed it the first time you had a run with it). How exactly was it “resurrected?” I was surprised (and glad) it was given a second chance…

We were very lucky to get a second shot at telling Mitch’s story again. It was [DC Comics editor] Eddie Berganza’s idea; he was our editor the first time around and saw the chance to resurrect the title (pun intended!) and we jumped at the chance to present Mitch to a brand new audience and to take a slightly different approach with his origin and powers. It’s been great fun.

3) Dan, your “New Deadwardians” is awesome! I like the way you are playing around with genres. What were your influences on this series? I feel like I’m seeing a bit of “Downton Abbey,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” and “Sherlock Holmes” all at the same time.

Dan Abnett: Thank you. Yes, it’s definitely a bit of all of those, though I was working on the concept before “Downton Abbey” aired. Basically, I had no particular desire to invent a new vampire-and-zombies story, because I think there are plenty enough of them around right now. But when the idea popped up, I thought it was quite a worthwhile, different take, and the mannered, class-stratified nature of Edwardian society suite fit perfectly.

4) I hope I’m not wrong in assuming that you’ve seen the “Avengers” movie. What did you think of the introduction of the Chitauri? It’s not someone you’ve used in your cosmic adventures, but now that they’ve been introduced to fans, can you see a place for them in Marvel’s cosmic universe? Have you discussed this with Marvel at all?

It’s a great movie. We both loved it. The Chitauri are pretty good cosmic thugs with some great bio-tech, and we can see them popping up in the comics, though we haven’t discussed the idea with Marvel yet.

5) Were you surprised by the epilogue at the end of the movie? Did you know it was coming?

There had been rumors we’d heard about, but when we saw it on the screen, we squeaked with pure childish delight! It was seriously awesome!

6) I know a “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie has been discussed at Marvel? Do you think there’s any chance that you might be brought in to consult, the same way other writers consulted on the other Marvel films? Nobody knows more about Marvel’s cosmic universe than you two guys!

If that happened we would be very, very happy campers indeed. Whether we were involved or not, it would be something we’d love to see happen.

And now, it’s time for our weekly get-to-know-you question that we call “Behind the X.” Let’s try this one out: name a movie that’s loved by many, but you, however, don’t quite see its appeal…

Andy Lanning: “Transformers.” Lot of noise to eyes and ears!

Abnett: For me, it’s often films — including pretty good films — that out-stay their welcome; the new Batman movies, for example, and “Avatar.” There are lots of really great things about those films, and I love the fact that the filmmakers have taken genre seriously, but I’d have loved them if they’d just been a little more briskly paced and less, um, indulgent. I think a film has failed on some pretty basic level if you’re sitting watching the final scenes wishing it had ended twenty or thirty minutes earlier, and you can’t tell why it didn’t.

That puts a pretty little bow on today’s X-POSITION gift! Be sure to return next week though when writer Victor Gischler stops in to answer inquiries about “X-Men.” His run on the book is ending, so if you’re holding any question marks in your head, jot them down in an e-mail and send them to me as quickly as you can. Throw an “X-Position” in the subject line and your life will improve by 15% — guaranteed! See you in seven!