Bye bye Battleworld, hello ’92niverse! What started as a digital-first tie-in to last summer’s massive “Secret Wars” event has now taken on a life of its own, and “X-Men ’92” is ready to come back for more. The new series from co-writers Chad Bowers & Chris Sims and artist Alti Firmansyah picks up where the previous miniseries left off, but — as you’ll learn in this week’s X-POSITION — with a slight tweak. The x-cellent X-Men of 1992 are still as awesome as ever, except now their adventures take place in a new, wide open world!
This week, “X-Men ’92” co-writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims return to X-POSITION and answer your questions about everything from the Generation X kids’ role in the book to Cyclops and Jean Grey’s retirement.
CBR News: Hello Chad and Chris, and welcome back to X-POSITION! Our first question about the new “X-Men ’92” era comes from Brian.
Hi, I was wondering how will the “Secret Wars” “X-Men ’92” series be treated? Will it be like the main Marvel Universe where people don’t remember what happened or will the “X-Men ’92” characters remember being on Battleworld and confronting Cassandra Nova?
Chris Sims: Believe it or not, this is something that we’ve thought about a lot. The short version is that the stuff that we did in “Secret Wars” still happened, just not quite the way that you read it in the miniseries. Cassandra Nova, Clear Mountain, the plot to kill Robert Kelly, that’s all stuff that the X-Men just went through right before we pick up on the ongoing. The difference is, of course, that it just happened on their Earth, not on Battleworld. It’s a lot like the way that we approached building the miniseries and the idea of the “Westchester Wars,” so that we could have X-Men who went through all those classic stories, just compressed into a shorter, five-year time frame. Fortunately, since we were one of the books that didn’t tie too closely into the core “Secret Wars” series, it’s an easy fix — you just have to call him “President Kelly” instead of “Baron Kelly” and maybe take away that flying chariot pulled by Warwolves.
Chad Bowers: Not having our story set in the core Marvel U — Prime Earth — allows us some leeway in what we get to keep from “Secret Wars” and what we can jettison. But unlike most other Marvel books that tied into “Secret Wars,” we don’t have a definitive before and after point — at least not one we can really talk about or reference — so not pulling from the miniseries that got us here would’ve felt just a little bit disloyal, I think.
Next up, FlawedCoil82 is curious about what led to this new ongoing series.
Was Marvel planning on making “X-Men ’92” an ongoing title from the start or were they genuinely impressed by how well the mini did and that was what made this series possible?
Sims: It was definitely planned as a miniseries from the start. I think they mentioned the possibility of doing more with it if it went well, but we didn’t know we were going to come back until well after the book had started coming out.
Patrick has a question about his favorite X-Man’s role in this ongoing, especially considering how the previous miniseries ended.
Gentlemen, I loved the original “X-Men ’92” run and was very excited to hear that it was going to return. My only question/concern is whether or not my boy Cyclops will be appearing as “’92” volume 1 seemed to end with his retirement.
Sims: C’mon, you didn’t really think we were getting rid of Cyclops and Jean permanently, did you? They’re “on vacation” for the first arc, but, well, you’ll have to read #5, right Chad?
Bowers: Yeah, Patrick, in our fifth issue you’ll see what happens when two of the unluckiest mutants alive attempt a little bit of R&R. And you read the miniseries correctly; Cyclops has every intention of putting the X-Men behind him and settling down. Then there’s Jean, who’s deeply in love and wants to see Scott happy, but she’s maybe not convinced her time as an X-Man is over. And before either can make a decision about their future together, they’re swept away on an adventure that defines their role across the entire series!
That’s good to know, as maxenoughcolt wants to see more of Jean Grey.
I absolutely love the work that you two did in “Secret Wars,” and am loving the prospect of a new “’92” series. Just a quick question — are we going to see any development of Jean Grey/Phoenix in the new series? Thanks in advance.
Bowers: Just a quick answer — YES!
MarvelMaster616 wants to know more about Scott and Jean’s replacements on the X-Men roster.
What can we expect to see from Psylocke and Bishop now that they’ve taken over for Cyclops and Jean? They’re going from roles in X-Force to a role with the regular X-men. Will there be a transition or a learning period of sorts?
Sims: The scene in the miniseries where Cassandra Nova refers to Psylocke and the rest of X-Force as “incurably violent” was one of my favorite parts to write, so I’m really glad that we got to pull them in for the ongoing. As for the learning period, I think you’ll see in the first arc that they’re a little more… direct at dealing with their problems than the other X-Men are, and they don’t really trust anyone outside of the inner circle.
Bowers: And basically, to Psylocke and Bishop “inner circle” means each other, exclusively. They have their reasons for joining the X-Men, and they genuinely want to do good and protect both mutants and humans, but Storm’s going to discover pretty quickly you can take them out of X-Force, but you can’t take X-Force out of them.
Beyond the core X-cast, Old Owl wonders if we can get a hint about more Marvel Universe guest stars.
Can we expect to see other characters from the ’90s Marvel animated universe crossing over such as F4, Spider-Man, or the Avengers?
Bowers: With the ongoing series, Marvel’s given us the chance to explore just about every corner of what we’re calling the “92niverse,” and that means guest-stars galore! So yeah, don’t be surprised if a certain wall crawler shows up sooner or later — and that’s us just getting started. Make a list of everyone you’d love to see crossover with the ’90s X-Men, and I guarantee they’re somewhere on our list. Yes, even Sleepwalker.
The book will also feature an expanded cast at the X-Mansion, and Uncanny Gaysian has a question about the new mutant class.
Now that school is in session not only for my personal favorite X-Men junior squad Generation X, but for the amazing X-Statix kids as well, is there going to be a divide between Xavier’s freakiest children of the atom and TMZ’s would-be media darlings? I know these characters aren’t the main focus of the series, but will you delve into how those two groups took extraordinarily different paths?
Sims: That’s something that’s really fun about our take. Just like in the miniseries, the X-Men are themselves the world’s most famous mutants. They’ve got toys, video games, a TV show, the X-Museum, lunch boxes, canned pasta — all that stuff that we had in the real world back in the ’90s. Even though they’re focused on being super heroes, all the stuff they’ve done has made them world-famous celebrities, too. I think that’s what led us to the idea of bringing in the X-Statix as teenagers, with the idea that they’re going to gravitate to that aspect of being X-Men a little more than, say, Chamber. Well, that and the fact that we wanted to have Teen Doop in there.
Bowers: Our take on the X-Statix kids is, essentially, what were they like before they were celebrities? How would they have evolved differently if they’d had the guidance and influence of the X-Men? We’ve said before how we don’t want “’92” to just be a retread of all your favorite X-Men stories, because who wants to read that? That’s what back issues are for. Having the X-Statix present throws a wrench into the Generation X dynamic we’re all used to, and now you’ll see friendships and rivalries form that you’re not expecting. We’re definitely going to keep you on your toes.
And speaking of those interactions, here’s a question from Starleafgirl:
Have there been any particular teen interactions [between the students] that were unexpectedly fun to write?
Sims: Monet is amazingly fun to write. She’s the super-strong, bulletproof Veronica Lodge of the Xavier School. Plus, not to get too deep into spoilers, but while we definitely started out exploring Jubilee and Chamber as a couple, there’s something that happens in the story that really made me want to turn that into a love triangle.
Bowers: Dead Girl and Husk. Because Paige is completely weirded out by DG, but also connects with her on that “we both have weird, gross powers” level. Yeah, they’re a lot of fun together.
Corther also has a question about the Gen X cast, including quite possibly the most confusing one of all.
Jubilee is my favorite character, and Generation X was my favorite book as a kid. Seeing most of the original Gen X kids (and Blink!) showing up really gets me excited… Seeing M in the preview pages, I can’t help but wonder… is this the M twins, or the original Monet? If the original, will the twins be popping up? And how about Penance? Will she be a deaf/mute girl from Yugoslavia, as originally intended?
Bowers: Jubilee’s our favorite, too! And I’m so glad you’re happy about the Gen X kids — it’s a dream come true to be writing those guys. For simplicities sake, we’re going with the original Monet. No plans for the twins at this point, but that’s not to say it’s not something we won’t get to. As for Penance, again, no real plans on delving into her history at the moment. She’s quiet, and a little shy, but that’s where we’re leaving things.
I will say, as much as we love the students, the X-Men are the main focus of the series. We really want to make sure we keep them front and center, and tell their story first. And right now, part of that story is them running the school and being mentors to these kids, so naturally, you’ll see a lot of X characters, but if we’re doing our job right, it’s always through the eyes of the X-Men, and always in that context, if that makes any sense.
And lastly this week, Jeanpaul123 has an important question about Charles Xavier.
This might be a silly question, but here: Can we expect Professor Xavier to scream a lot on panels? That was basically his thing in the show where he would try to help, fail, and then scream “AAAAAAAAAAGH!”
Sims: Literally every time we write a scene with Professor X, it’s like thirty seconds before one of us just goes “NYAAAAAAHHHH!” Out loud.
Special thanks to Chad Bowers and Chris Sims for taking on this week’s questions!
X-POSITION is taking next week off, but we’ll be back on March 29 with a very special guest. Stay tuned to CBR News for more info on when and where to submit questions.