|Exclusive first look: “X-Men: Die by the Sword” #1|
If you went to your local comic book shop yesterday, you found “New X-Men” #41 on the shelves. This issue brought a resolution to the “Quest for Magik” arc and answered lots of lingering questions about Belasco and Illyana. As such, it only made sense to have one of the “New X-Men” writers join us for X-POSITION this week – Craig Kyle.
Kyle makes up half of the writing team that brings us the tales of Marvel’s youngest mutants. The other half is Christopher Yost. It’s obvious the pair enjoys working together — so much so, as a matter of fact, that Yost jumped into this week’s column to assist his partner on a few of the questions.
Look at that – two X-writers to answer your emails for the price of one. At X-POSITION, we aim to please, and I think the remarks below will be pleasing to many. So without further ado, let’s get started!
|“New X-Men” #41|
Welcome to X-POSITION, Craig. It seems there are lots of readers enjoying your book, because we received loads of email from appreciative fans. In addition, many of these e-mails contained long lists of questions. We’ve tried to pull the best questions from each mail, but that still left us with some lengthy sets of queries from individuals.
I know Elixir95 would appreciate it if you (and Chris) could answer the following:
1) From the cover of “New X-Men” #43, it looks like Pixie will be joining the team. Can you confirm this? I’m Welsh and am glad to see a Welsh X-character.
CHRISTOPHER YOST: Yep. She’s in, and don’t be surprised if bigger things are coming for Ms. Gwynn.
CRAIG KYLE: Just like Rockslide, Chris and I have loved Pixie from the start. Now that we’ve kicked off the next chapter in her story, she’ll be given more than one chance to prove what a kick-ass X-Man she can be.
2) Will we be seeing Kevin and Selene soon?
KYLE: Yes, but it will take some time. As we explore the lives of these kids, new stories open up to us, which cause the pieces of this massive X-puzzle to shift. So stories we didn’t have in mind when we started end up needing to be resolved sooner, and the ones we planned on from the beginning end up getting pushed back. Bottom line, we put that story in a place for a reason and we’ll be damned if it’s going away unresolved.
3) Will there be any new characters introduced anytime soon?
KYLE: No. We still have a ton of kids to work with, and as anyone who has read our book can tell you, we’ve been in the business of thinning down the roster not fattening it.
|“New X-Men” #41, pages 1 and 3|
As mentioned, yesterday saw the conclusion of the New X-Men’s latest adventure. Cmbmool had a question about that, as well as a few others…
1) Concerning the “Quest for Magik” arc, will this be the last time that we see Magik?
YOST: She’s back. Keep watching.
KYLE: Magik is too awesome to lose again.
2) With the series being involved with the “Messiah CompleX,” should we expect a roster change by the end of that event?
YOST: Everything changes after “Messiah CompleX.”
KYLE: Yeah, you know what sucks? Having to buy lots of books for no reason. The plan from the beginning was to shake up the X-universe and refocus all the titles. That plan began with the editors, and once the writers came on board, everyone worked their asses off to ensure that would be the end result. This event is going to be huge and the changes afterwards will improve all the X-books, in my opinion. That said, if you end up hating the changes, Chris was the one who said you would like them – I was just quoting him .
3) I am also a huge fan of X-23 and I was wondering if we are going to get another miniseries about her, and if so, when will it be coming out?
|“New X-Men” #41, pages 6 and 10|
KYLE: Hey, me too. Chris and I have been incredibly lucky to work with talented people like Billy Tan, Mike Choi, and Sonia Oback on those first two series. Those experiences alone make me want to do another mini, but X-23’s origin has been told and the rest of her life should be expressed in ongoings. People ask me all the time if X-23 will get her own monthly, and I think she could carry a solo title one day, but right now she needs to be around other mutants. Laura is trying to find out what it means to be a person and she can’t do that alone. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been given many moments of normalcy with all the attacks and horrors that the Next X-Men have faced over the last two years. But that’s the life of a Marvel hero, I guess.
While we’re on the topic of X-23, heliosthemuse posed an intriguing question (to kick off his list) about the character’s appearance.
1) This seems like a silly question, but could you have the colorists get X-23’s eyes colored right? She seems to shift between green and brown eyes all the time. Since Wolverine has blue eyes (and X-23 is Wolvie’s clone), there’s no way X-23 could have either green or brown eyes (is there?).
KYLE: Laura’s mother had green eyes, and although she was created by the cloned genetics of Wolverine, there were modifications made to the DNA. She is Logan’s genetic sister, not his exact copy. And although she should have his eye color given the process of her creation, I made the conscious choice to give her the same eyes as her mother. So for the record, X-23’s true eye color is green.
|“New X-Men” #41 art|
2) Will the Grant Morrison students (Stepford Cuckoos, Ernst, Martha) be taking on a greater role in the book?
YOST: Dust is Grant’s character. The Cuckoos have been used throughout the book.
KYLE: We’ve got our hands full with the core New X-Men kids. We’d love to do more with Grant’s other creations, but they need to be in stories for a reason.
3) Which member of the cast did you dislike the most when you were given the book?
YOST: Icarus. Never cared for him. Although I liked Melodie ‘Aero’ Guthrie, for no particular reason.
KYLE: Tag! People can go on all day about how much potential that kid had, but I’ll never buy it. Plus, we needed to make room for Hopscotch.
4) Any chance of seeing any of these random characters soon: Sanctity, Neophyte, Lois London, Threnody, Fontanelle, Kiden Nixon, or Catiana?
YOST: No. No. Who? No. No. Yes. Yes.
KYLE: I’d have to Google most of the names on this list, but I do love Kiden. Her powers make for tough storytelling, but she’s super-sweet.
5) Any chance of Bling or Karma reappearing in the book?
YOST: One of them, at least.
KYLE: What Yost said.
6) The storylines involving the New X-Men have been very dark lately. Will there be any lighter plotlines soon?
YOST: Issues #42-43 are fun. “Messiah CompleX” is heavy.
KYLE: Yeah, the last two issues before the crossover are our “cool down” issues. We’ll let the kids catch their breaths before the mayhem picks up again.
7) How would you describe the relationship between Emma Frost and X-23? Off-panel, she seemed to accept her as a student after what she did to Kimura – or am I reading too much into it?
KYLE: Emma was wrong in the way she handled X-23. She didn’t give her a chance to prove she could fight against her training. When faced with the truth, Emma apologized the best way she could – by mind-@!#$ing that bitch Kimura. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. So yes, you are correct in your observations.
|“New Warriors” #51|
Next up, we have samhalliwell who was curious about several of her favorite mutants.
1) We’ve recently been seeing Sofia Mantega (Wind Dancer) in “New Warriors,” but as she’s important to the past of the “New X-Men” cast, I wondered, is there any possibility we might see or hear from her in the book, even if it’s post-Messiah?
YOST: Man, I don’t know after seeing that latest “New Warriors” cover.
KYLE: Chris and I have no plans for Sofia in “New X-Men,” although I did want to have a scene where she came back to the school after the Purifier attack to check on her friends. It would have gone something like this: when Sofia meets up with Hellion, they have a tender moment that is suddenly interrupted by a sucker punch from X-23. Laura was hit with a flash of jealousy and reacted in the only way she knew how. So Sofia gets a broken nose and X-23 gets a broken heart. But unfortunately, there just wasn’t time to fit this B-story in.
2) It’s been mentioned a lot of times that Hellion will be playing a somewhat important part in the whole story. Is there anything you could say about how is that going to happen?
KYLE: Hellion has been an important part of our stories and hopefully will continue to play an important role in the series. I really like this character.
3) We saw Northstar and Aurora in the “X-Men Annual” back in January, and they haven’t been seen again since, even though they were supposedly going to the mansion after all was done. Is there any possibility you’ll be using them, or even just Northstar, to sort out the issues Anole might have with him after what the Children made them do?
YOST: Anole will talk out his issues with Rockslide.
KYLE: Agreed. Plus, Anole doesn’t need Northstar now that he’s got a big badass monster arm.
Following up on this query, Yana-Fan was wondering, “Will Anole’s sexuality be explored or brought up at all in future ‘New X-Men’ stories?”
YOST: Anole will talk out his issues with Rockslide.
KYLE: I’m sure his sexuality will be explored more in the future, but we have no plans to cover those stories before or during the crossover.
So what’s coming up after the big crossover? Well, that’s what msierra185 wants to know:
1) So after “Messiah CompleX,” what kind of story arcs do you and Chris plan on doing? Got any new characters and/or bad guys that’ll make an appearance? Is the New X-Men team going to go out and see the world and fight some bad guys or are they going to stay close to home?
YOST: We’re planning some low-key stories, with a lot of talking. No villains. And it all takes place in one room. A lot of hugging – that’s the kind of story that interests us.
KYLE: What? You never told me that! I passed on ‘Astonishing’ for this crap?!? Dammit!
|“X-Factor” #23, pages 1 and 3|
2) I know Humberto Ramos is going to do pencils for “New X-Men” during the “Messiah CompleX” crossover, but who will be doing pencils afterwards? I really want to see Skottie Young doing some more “New X-Men” issues.
YOST: Craig and I will be drawing it. You haven’t seen “New X-Men” until you’ve seen it done in stick figures.
KYLE: Humberto and Skottie both kick ass…but yes, Chris and I will blow your minds with our artistic skill. Writing is really just a hobby. Look out Alex Ross, here we come!
A limited edition crayon variant of this issue will be available here on CBR – watch for it! In the meantime, Ice Cold Emma Frost has a question about her namesake.
1) Will we be seeing Emma guide the students more, or have they grown out of the need for an adult considering how well they take care of themselves? By the way, thank you for mentioning that Emma shot her sister Adrienne, since no one else has seemed to bring it up!
KYLE: Love Emma, but sadly, Chris and I have very little planned for her in the near future. But she is awesome! Thank you, Grant Morrison!
|“X-Factor” #23, pages 4 and 5|
2) I love Blindfold – she’s so cute! How do you find her voice since she speaks so…”Yes thank you, oddly, please”? Do you just imagine we’re hearing one side of a conversation she’s having with someone else?
YOST: We imagine she’s talking to Joss Whedon.
KYLE: That’s all Chris. Both of us have characters we channel better than others. I like bitchy telepaths and religious madmen, where Chris, on the other hand, likes rocky morons, blind chicks, and fairies – Chris loves him some fairies.
Intriguing. If you are, indeed, able to channel, I guess SGuthrie would hope you hear the voices of some former X-students:
1) Are there any plans to bring in any former members of Generation X in some sort of advisory or just guest starring role to these kids, considering they’re probably the closest in age to them, and would probably relate even better than the original New Mutants? I know that Husk has been seen in somewhat close proximity, and several of the others are busy elsewhere (or dead), but I thought it would just be cool to show them as a bit more interested in what’s going on with the latest generation of mutants.
YOST: I like the Generation X team, but they’ve had just as hard a time, if not harder, than our kids. Skin – dead. Chamber – depowered then Apocalypse-ified. Jubilee – depowered. M – Madrox-ified. Penance – Loner-ed. Husk – Angel-fied. Pixie could ask Paige for advice on bagging an X-Man, I suppose.
KYLE: Not me.
2) With so many large-scale threats against the kids of “New X-Men,” will we see them, at some point, encountering villains their own age? Wouldn’t one of the major villains, or maybe one we haven’t met, be gathering some of the younger mutants that are not affiliated with the X-Men, like Selene did with Wither?
KYLE: All good questions and not ones we can answer. Thanks for letting Chris and I tackle all these!
Thank you both! Lots of great questions, and tons of terrific answers – that’s what X-POSITION is all about! This week is over, but we’ll be back in seven days with X-editor Nick Lowe. So send those queries my way as soon as you can. Also, please be sure to put “X-Position” in the subject line – I have a very mean spam filter, and I don’t want to lose your emails! Till then, vaya con X-Men.
Now discuss this story in CBR’s X-Men forum.