“Uncanny Avengers” writer Rick Remender keeps upping the ante when it comes to cataclysmic events in the Marvel Universe. Whether it’s the Red Skull getting his hands on the brain of the recently-deceased Charles Xavier or the twin offspring of Archangel and Ichisumi, the Pestilence of the Four Horsemen, Remender keeps readers on their toes. Recent issues have teased a possible return to the “Days of Future Past” as well as adding new members to the team’s roster.
In this week’s X-Position, Remender tackles all the issues from more reactions to Charles Xavier’s death, the powers of Emin and Uriel — the Apocalypse Twins, plans for the upcoming “Infinity” event and more.
â€¨Ivan kicks things off with a request for Charles Xavier’s brother and sometimes-villain, Juggernaut.
Any plans to include villains as members? I am a big fan of Juggernaut and I really think he could be a Uncanny Avenger, think about it, he was an X-Men and the stepbrother of Charles Xavier. He has been struggling between being a hero or villain, not to mention that is a heavy hitter. I really think you should give him a chance, nothing better than a team in honor of his stepbrother and his dream, you maybe could deepen his relationship with Xavier. Marvel’s not using him and I do not like see him being the minor villain being defeated again and again.
Rick Remender: We have a big story coming up that will involve Magneto, Juggernaut and Cyclops’ reaction to what’s been going on with the Red Skull. This will obviously be a very important story for Havok, Wolverine and Scarlet Witch as well. I can’t tell you how it ends, obviously, or who ends up where, but it’s going to be Earth shattering in terms of consequences for all involved. I’m right there with you; the first thing I do when I’m putting stories together is figure out how the events will affect family members tied to the character at the center of it all. Juggernaut was the first name on my list.â€¨â€¨
Dudebro McTypo chimes in with a question about the Apocalypse Twins and their powers.
â€¨â€¨1) Loving the Apocalypse Twins Arc so far. Both you and Daniel Acuna are killing it! Â First question is in regards to Uriel and Eimin’s powers. Naturally they both can fly, but are Eimin’s acid power and Uriel time blasts unique to them or did they acquire them from Kang? Also besides Death and Life seeds, are there War, Famine and Pestilence Seeds too?
How the twins acquired their time powers, and how they work, will be revealed in an upcoming issue. Uriel shoots energy razors as well as being able to speed up time in a limited area. Eimin emits gobs of acid, which have been augmented to also freeze their victim and burn them alive slowly in false time pockets, should she desire. She also can use music to glimpse into the future. Keep reading for more details on how it all works.
Yes, in my mind there are seeds for the Pestilence, Famine and War personas as well.â€¨â€¨
2) Shiro really stole the show last issue. What made you decide to have Shiro and Thor take the Buddy Cop path?
This is a giant cast, many of whom have never worked together before, I’ll be mixing and matching them in various ways as we move forward to establish different relationships between them and allow them to bounce off of one another. These various interactions will have a payout at the end of the current epic.â€¨â€¨
Derek has a few questions, both about Easter Eggs and the M-Word debate.â€¨â€¨
1) Was the female horseman and her stead’s appearance in “Uncanny Avengers” #6 supposed to look like Dani Moonstar and the Demon Bear?
It was a Native American girl, a mutant, who had been taken by Apocalypse to serve for him. If that was the Demon Bear she rode, I’ll leave that up to your imagination.â€¨â€¨
2) Something that I didn’t understand was how Rogue killed the Grim Reaper. Didn’t he mention he couldn’t die while Wanda lived? Plot point?
Rogue took Wonder Man’s ionic power to kill Grim Reaper. I like the idea that while mutant brother and sister’s powers don’t always work on one another that whatever magic Wanda used to bring back Simon and Eric enabled them to kill one another.â€¨â€¨
3) The M-Word was easily one of the most controversial moments in comics this year. Given how massive the fan reaction was to Havok’s phrasing in that speech, will it become a bigger plot point going forward? When I read it, I read the self-hating and assimilationist message too, but I actually thought that was something worth exploring, reflection of some voices in minorities and consistent with Alex from the Claremont days. I was only disappointed after reading interviews it seemed that these negative connotations were just accidental.
I’mÂ still moving forward with the original plans I have for Havok and we will build on his POV in coming issues. He is a man who has his own version of what Charles Xavier was teaching. A man who wants to be judged by how he uses his powers, not how he acquired them.
I disagree with your assessment that he is a self-hating assimilation. What is he assimilating into? What is the difference between human culture and mutant culture? Assimilating implies that all mutants share some sort of common way of life, some shared beliefs or faith and they do not. Mutants come from all walks of life, all races, all nationalities, all sexual orientations, and all religions. The only thing they share is a delivery system through which they acquire superpowers.
And again, let me be very clear, I’m writing a story about a variety of mutated superhumans in a fantasy world. The various metaphors that we draw from the mutants are myriad, but to extrapolate from what I am writing and apply it to any one real world group is a mistake. It is not the place I am writing this from. The mutants are metaphor for many things, to many people, each one of us seeing them as something different, through our own spectrum we each see something that represents our beliefs, our clan and our struggles in life.
I am writing about a guy who can drink in cosmic rays and dispel them. A guy who doesn’t understand why the world hates and fears him but is okay with Reed Richards or Thor. Â That is a very, very different notion then somebody being ashamed or “self-hating” of their ethnicity, orientation or religion. Those are not parallels I am intending in my writing.
Love them or hate them this is the point of view I have given Alex. It obviously will not be a POV all mutants agree, or disagree, with. Keep reading to see where it all leads to.
4) I’m a little confused by Eimin’s synthesia ability. Is she basically a pre cog with the ability to see the future through music?
Yes. But something has stopped her from being able to use this power in our era.
5) Did the Apocalypse twins come across Rachel Summers when they were hounds?
We’ll be revealing the details of their time in the camps in an upcoming issue.â€¨â€¨
Taimur Dar is up next with questions about characters and their relationships in “Uncanny Avengers.”
â€¨â€¨I’m curious if there’s a backstory involving how Thor lost his axe Jarnbjorn and the events that led to it being in Baron Mordo’s tomb in Brazil. Do you plan on revealing it to the readers or leaving it to our imagination?
In my collaborations with [“Thor: God of Thunder” writer] Jason Aaron it was decided that he would tell that story in the pages of “Thor.” When Thor lost the axe, how he lost the axe, and the consequences to him are Jason’s story to tell. But from what I know of his plans, it’s going to be epic when he gets to it.
â€¨â€¨Will you be continuing some of the storylines/plots from your “Secret Avengers” run in “Uncanny Avengers” — specifically Parvez and the Descendants or the return of Eric O’Grady/Black Ant?
I have more plans for Black Ant, Father and The Descendents. When I’ll have time to circle back around, who knows.
â€¨â€¨Considering Joss Whedon’s recent confirmation of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in “The Avengers 2,” will we be seeing a Maximoff sibling reunion in Uncanny Avengers soon?
â€¨Batnerd888 continues with questions about how “Uncanny Avengers” will tie-in to “Infinity.”
â€¨â€¨Hey Rick, loving the current arc on “Uncanny Avengers” right now. A couple questions:
â€¨â€¨Will the consequences of the Apocalypse Twins Saga have an effect on the rest of the Marvel U? I know Uncanny Avengers and Red Skull have already been seen or will be seen in quite a few other books.
The way we are building the story in “Uncanny Avengers” is so grand and epic the ramifications won’t be felt until the end of the story. I think about our structure on the series being very similar to what Joss did on “Astonishing X-Men,” a big self-contained grand epic that will have giant ramifications that will take affect after the story has been told.â€¨â€¨
Are you coordinating your plots with Hickman or Bendis at all since “Uncanny Avengers” kind of bridges the two franchises? Any tie-ins to “Infinity?” That Jim Cheung FCBD cover seemed to hint at that.
We’re all kept up to date with what one another is planning. At the last retreat, I offered up my cast to whatever fun [“Avengers” and “New Avengers” writer Jonathan] Hickman has planned for the event, I have no idea if he plans on using any of my cast though. I’ve also done my due diligence coordinating some of the plans we have for the Scott and Alex Summers/Magneto and Scarlet Witch reunion fun as well. Everyone has been very accommodating.
Swashbuckler brings up a question about the Wasp’s clothing line.â€¨â€¨
Will we ever get to see any of Wasp’s fashion designs that are in support of Mutant Equality? Â Are they designed with mutants in mind (tails, wings, strange proportions) or is she only making outfits that normal looking humans/mutants like Havok could wear?
Janet has made an entire line of clothing designed with all mutants in mind, reflecting the many various styles of the many various X-Men as well as other none X mutants. We won’t get to see all of these fashions anytime soon, but there will be ramifications for what she has done.
â€¨Christopher wraps up with a throwback question to “The Dark Angel Saga.”
â€¨â€¨I feel like at its core, “The Dark Angel Saga” was Psylocke’s journey to take. Between Archangel’s twins running around and the Avengers finding out about X-Force’s involvement with it, will we see the lovely miss Braddock giving her input anytime soon?
The Twins’ focus is on hating Wolverine, the person who led X-Force to kill the child Apocalypse as well as Archangel, their father. They see him as the number 1 target and the man who has to pay for these crimes. So at this stage there will be no Betsy in the story. But that could change moving forward, who knows?â€¨â€¨
And here’s our Behind-the-X question: What was your favorite subject in high school and does it currently help your writing process in comics?
Art and creative writing. I spent all of high school writing and drawing in my sketchbook. It was pretty clear to me by the time I was out of high school it was the only thing I was drawn to and what I wanted to do with my life.
Very special thanks to Rick Remender for his answers to this week’s X-Position questions!
Next week, X-Position kicks off a whole month of Wolverine, starting with first-time guest Jason Starr, writer of “Wolverine MAX.” Got a MAX-centric question for Jason about the best there is at what he does? Send over an e-mail with the subject line “X-Position” or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!