The X-Men’s involvement in Marvel Comics’ “Civil War II” event has begun and the state of mutant affairs will never be the same. Magneto now knows of Ulysses’ existence, and he’s really not happy about it. And he’s not the only one, either; in a surprise move, one of Storm’s “Extraordinary” X-Men switched sides — and spoiler alert if you’re a few weeks behind on your X-books — we’ve got insight from writer Cullen Bunn about that X-Man’s major move.
This week in X-POSITION, “Uncanny X-Men” and “Civil War II: X-Men” writer Cullen Bunn answers all of your questions about everything from writing big event tie-ins and his usage of sound effects to Psylocke’s brush with a promotion — and he even offers up the greatest idea for a “What If…?” story ever.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Cullen! Let’s kick things off this week with a question from captain Qball about everyone’s favorite fuzzy elf.
I’m sure we will get to Nightcrawler’s reasoning for joining Magneto later in the series, but can you shed any insight into his headspace? Is Kurt in a darker place after everything he’s been through since his resurrection?
Captain Qball! Thanks for the question about Nightcrawler. He’s always been one of my favorite characters, so I’m happy to be writing him as part of “Civil War II.” Issue #2 will shed a lot more light on Kurt’s motivations. For now, though, suffice it to say that he doesn’t fully trust the Inhumans when it comes to Ulysses, and he definitely doesn’t approve of how everyone is rallying around Ulysses and using this power. He has far too many questions about it, many of which spring from his own religious background.
Speaking of “Civil War II,” Kamose1234 has a question about Magneto’s role in the tie-in.
In the first issue of “Civil War II: X-Men,” Magneto seemed to finally vent his frustrations over the Inhumans, their Terrigen cloud, and how they will use “Ulysses’ power against them when the time comes.” This reminded me a lot of Cyclops’ described attack against the Inhumans, which led to his death. This got me wondering if we’ll see Magneto do something similar given issue #4’s solicitation?
Hey Kamose1234! Hmmm. How do I answer this question without giving away vital secrets? I guess the direct approach is best. In the final issue of this series, you’re going to see Magneto really cut loose in a way that could lead to a great many casualties.
Next up, Ambaryerno wants to know if we’ll see the third X-team in “Civil War II: X-Men.”
So far, most of the attention on the X-Men during “Civil War II” has been about pitting the “Uncanny” and “Extraordinary” X-Men against one another. However there is a third X-Men team out there we’ve heard nothing about, and it’s the one team closest to staying true to Xavier’s Dream. Will Cyclops and the All-New X-Men be playing a role in “Civil War II: X-Men”?
Good question, Ambaryerno. For this series, we decided to leave the All-New X-Men off the board for a couple of reasons. I only have four issues to tell this story. I haven’t convinced the good folks at Marvel to let me have an old-fashioned 12-issue series just yet. And I really wanted to focus on the “Extraordinary” and “Uncanny” teams because they seemed to be the two most likely to come into conflict with one another at some point.
Also, I know some things that the All-New team will be up to in the future. Big things. And I don’t want to step on the toes of that story.
But you will be seeing some X-Men who are not regularly appearing in “Uncanny,” “Extraordinary,” or any other book right now! There are a couple who will be playing big roles.
Oh, now that is intriguing! Now we have a more craft-focused question from Jeanpaul123.
As a writer, do you think events (any in particular) affect the story you want to tell, or do they help you craft the character that you are using in ways that a normal storyline couldn’t?
Hey, Jeanpaul123. I guess it depends on the event and how the individual writer chooses to handle it. I think any event has the potential to derail or elevate a story. Take “Magneto” for example. There were a couple of events that erupted over the course of that series. Either could have ruined what I was doing. And they absolutely did change some of my plans. But I tried to weave the events into the ongoing narrative and use them to further explore the character while staying true to the tone of the series I had already established. Hopefully, I pulled that off!
nx01a also has a craft question, this time about “Uncanny X-Men.”
You use a lot of sound effects in “Uncanny,” something I don’t usually see in comics today. How come?
Bam! Nx01a! Pow! Are you asking why you don’t see so many sound effects any more or why I use them? If it is the former, I think they have definitely fallen out of fashion to some degree. Maybe some writers find them silly or old-fashioned. Me — never being one to shy away from silly, old-fashioned things — I still like them… when they work in the story. For “Uncanny X-Men,” I wanted to use them because I felt they helped get across the idea of a classic superhero comic, especially with a team of “heroes” that was not all that classic. Sometimes, though, I don’t use them or use them much more sparingly if that fits the book I’m working on a little better.
The tough part about that is that after I’ve been writing a book with sound effects, when I shift to a no-SFX book I have to be careful or the occasional THRAKKA-BOOM! slips into the script. And nothing is more glaring in a book than a single THRAKKA-BOOM! in an otherwise effect-less comic. KAPPOW!
When “Apocalypse Wars” wraps up, Christopher wants to know which “Uncanny” stories you’ll have time to tell.
You said there was a chance that the Nasty Boys and Otherworld might get arcs. Seeing how quick editorial is to reboot series, do you think you will be able to squeeze them in? Especially with the “Civil War” tie-in and the “Death of X” events coming into play.
We’ll have to see, Christopher. I’d love to write stories about them, but the last thing I want to do is force them into stories where they don’t really work. That wouldn’t serve the characters or the locale well at all.
We do know that you have a Hellfire Club story coming up in “Uncanny,” and justinian has a question about it.
Hello Mr. Bunn I am excited about your upcoming arc this fall. What do you consider unique and interesting about this new iteration of the Hellfire Club?
Howdy, justinian. This is not an iteration of the Hellfire Club that you have seen before, but there are elements of the group that will seem very familiar. The most interesting thing about the group, to me, is how they interact with the Uncanny X-Men. You’ll see what I mean when we get there!
Here’s a question from the Big G about a story you’ve already told in “Uncanny.”
All hail, The Big G! When I settled on the team for “Uncanny,” one of the first things I wrote in my notebook was “Psylocke and Fantomex fight!” I knew I wanted to see these two lock horns in a no holds bar brawl. It was fun adding the psychic/misdirection beats to the battle. The fight you saw was actually the third version of the battle. Originally, it was much long and much, much bloodier!
And sticking with Psylocke for a bit, Ben has a question about Betsy Braddock’s history.
I’ve been reading Psylocke’s comics from before she joined the X-Men and was surprised at how rich her background is, especially when she was written by Alan Moore. Her time in the “Captain Britain” comics is often forgotten and to me it feels more interesting than the whole ninja stuff. Any plans to revisit some of that considering 2016 marks Psylocke’s big 40th anniversary?
We’ll see, Ben. My original plan was to launch this series with Psylocke holding the mantle of Captain Britain. As much as I loved that idea, though, it wouldn’t have been the right move for a series launch. It would have been way too confusing for new readers if I had added that in with a character’s already confusing backstory. Maybe one day, though.
Closing out our “Uncanny” section, Dazzler has a question about your choice of characters.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about your run so far is the use of characters that no one else has touched in years (Xorn, Dark Riders, Emplate); was setting out to explore forgotten characters and bits of continuity a priority for you?
Hey, Dazzler! I’ve loved the X-Men for a long, long time, and that includes so many of the obscure characters that have popped up over the years. I absolutely want to use as many of them as possible if it makes sense in the story, and I intend to do more of the same as the series continues. And some of those that have appeared so far will have a long lasting presence. Emplate is going to be a problem for a while to come. We haven’t seen the last of Xorn.
And we close out this week with a “what if” scenario from Doctor Diagonal.
If you were offered to write a “What If?” one-parter of your choice with the art team of your choice, what story would you pitch and what art team would you pick?
Dr. Diagonal! Thank you for asking a question that’ll have me thinking. I’m sure my answer would change if you asked me again tomorrow, but today I’ll suggest:
WHAT IF DEADPOOL AND BLACK BOLT SWITCHED BODIES?
Thanks to Cullen Bunn for taking on this week’s questions!
Next week, “X-Men ’92” writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims return to X-POSITION. Have a question for Chad and Chris? Go ahead and send ’em in via an e-mail with the subject line “X-Position”. But get ’em in quickly, because the deadline’s Friday! Make it happen!
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