There’s a lot going on in Brian Wood‘s “X-Men.” For the latest series arc, “Ghosts,” Wood has assembled a new Sisterhood led by technopath Arkea — sister of John Sublime — who is resurrecting some of the deadliest foes the X-Men have ever faced. Now, the Sisterhood is on a quest to raise Madelyne Prior, the Goblin Queen, even as Storm, Monet, Karima Shapandar and Rachel Summers attempt to stop them.
To get a better bead on Wood’s plans for the future of the “X-Men” squad, the writer once again joined X-Position to answer your questions about “Ghosts” and the all-female X-Squad, including questions about Storm, leadership of the team and more. Plus, he shares his thoughts on a possible “Generation X” reunion and spotlighting the next generation of young X-Men.
Chemicalx kicks off this week’s X-Po with questions about Storm and her role in the “X-Men” squad.
Hi Brian, my questions are related Storm. I have greatly enjoyed your work this and the prior series with her but I would like to know, what your plans are for her longer term?
It seems like she has to deal with more questions to her leadership, more in the prior series with Domino and Colossus, but also now through Rachel can you address why this might be? It seems like with all her years of experience she would have more trust and support from most of the X-Men.
Finally, we haven’t seen her do much with her powers recently in your book will we see any big action with her in the coming issues?
Yeah, well, the way this team formed is what’s behind the uncertainty and trouble regarding the leadership and general mission statement and so on. This team was very ad hoc, just some people coming together to help out a friend, and then continuing to address threats related to that… so they look and act like a team but never sat down, or whatever, and made themselves an official team. So Rachel, for example, questions why everyone is treating Storm like the leader by default, when maybe they should all have a say in things? Maybe Storm is the leader, but you know, let’s all agree on that first. And so on. It’s an element of drama that I felt was realistic in the start of the series but has to resolve soon. And it will, starting in #13.
And the book, this series, is meant to be the big action X-book. I felt like packing so many characters into the Sisterhood arc, especially when my main story space was reduced by 5 pages because of the back-ups, reduced the ability to spend time on big action — I hindered myself. Something else I’m fixing moving forward.
txgohan is up next with a question about Jubilee and her powers.
A lot of the artwork for this title depicts Jubilee with her original powers. Can we see them return soon? Future Jubes did have some plasma claw thingys generating from her hands.
I would personally love to, but it seems like the vampire powers are sticking around for a while. I agree, the original powers are so iconic, which is why they show up on the covers, and also why it’s only logical they’ll return at some point.
cora reef wants to know more about the process of structuring the story of “X-Men” and how it compares to your time on “Ultimate Comics X-Men.”
Dear Mr. Wood, I really enjoyed your run on “Ultimate Comics X-Men,” and what has always struck me is how different in tone “X-Men” is. When developing the stories and direction of “X-Men,” do you ever feel there’s a danger of repeating some of the concepts you’ve used before?
I’ve been especially fascinated by the current dual approach to the book currently — one following Jubilee and the students fighting Sentinels, the other following the rest of the team. When can we expect the entire team come back together?
The Jubilee and the Sentinels was a side mission/backup story, not a permanent partitioning of the team. They’re back again together in #13, but that backup does have some repercussions — basically Jubilee went on that mission, led that mission, kicked all kinds of ass, and now — is back at the JG School, sort of a student, sort of staff, not really either, changing diapers, etc. She’s got a taste for the field, for leadership. She’s ready for more.
And yeah, I had a lot of creative freedom with “Ultimate X-Men,” which I really cherished, but that sort of thing just isn’t possible in the 616 titles. And we all run the risk of repeating concepts — all writers have their pet topics and favorite characters and things we like to write (me, I think I’ve used up my allotment of X-Men jumping out of planes for a good while) so it’s up to us to police ourselves and up to the editors to notice these trends or repeating moments or repetitive stories and help steer us.
Starsmoar is hoping for more coverage of the younger generation of X-Men, as well as a possible “Generation X” reunion.
1) You’ve sort of hit the ground running with this series, catapulting them head first into Arkea and then in the middle of “Battle of the Atom.” Are there any plans for more introspective looks at any of your characters, such as exploring Bling’s zany backstory or delving into Monet’s past with both X-Factor’s shenanigans or the creature formerly known as Penance?
2) Its my name, I have to: the Generation X reunion is brewing, I can feel it. What are the chances of a Chamber guest-spot or cameo?
3) Keep with the Generation X fan-freaking, can we expect some good Monet and Jubilee team-up issues? I’d love to see their rivalry and friendship in full force. They are such an amazing pair.
First off, I love Generation X, I love all those characters. One of my favorite Marvel gigs ever was that Chamber one-shot where he hangs out with the deaf girl in NYC. If there’s a way to use Chamber, I’ll go for it. Same with a Jubilee/Monet team-up. Right now they’ll keep sniping at each other a bit but they do have, as you note, just as much friendship as rivalry, so we’ll see it.
And I’ve mentioned it already, but I always struggle with real estate when writing… 20 pages divided by 8-10 characters, having to write the action and fight scenes, and so on… there’s never enough room for everything and it breaks my heart but side stories and introspective issues aren’t at the top of the priority list. But I think this is what the backup feature is best suited for. In #13-15 we’re putting some of the male students in the spotlight, so maybe after that?
riteuhereto is hoping for more panel time with Storm’s future daughter Kymera.
Hi! Mr. Wood, I’m really enjoying your book it’s by far my favorite X book on the shelves. I’m particularly happy with your use of the students of the Jean Grey School. Do you have plans on further incorporating them into the book? Will Storm’s daughter have any impact on your story?
The regular backup feature seems to be the place for the students and the Young X-Men to have their time. I’ve said it before, but what we’re basically doing is embedding a Young X-Men series into the back of X-Men. And yeah, Kymera has a role to play in the upcoming arc. She’s not on the roster, but she factors in.
mr_infinite closes us out with a couple questions about the new sisterhood and the challenges of resurrection.
1) I’m a big fan of the work you’ve done so far building up the Sisterhood, especially the new Lady Deathstrike. Her role and battle for her psyche in the previous issue was really interesting. If she survives her ordeal, how much trouble will she cause for the X-Men moving forward?
Hard to be specific with #12 still to ship, but Lady Deathstrike and all the Sisterhood will be persistent villains in this series, always out there, coming back from time to time causing trouble. This arc is only the beginning. Seriously, its wayyyy too much star power just for one arc — Selene, Maddie, Amora, Yuriko, etc. These are major characters. We’ll see lots of them.
2) Death hasn’t been permanent in the Marvel U for quite some time, but I’ve enjoyed your approach to it. What was the challenge of focusing a story arc around resurrection of older characters without treading old ground?
The challenge was a lot of logistics, mostly — finding out who I could bring back, what their last known appearances were, the manner of their deaths, and then finding ways within the story to accommodate that. Managing expectations, pay-offs and screen time. Stuff like that. So much of it is setup, dealing with the details of bringing them back, you have to play a long game. You have to use these characters later on as well.
Thanks to Brian Wood for taking on this week’s questions!
Next week, it’s a journey into the mind of the Master of Magnetism as Cullen Bunn returns to X-Position to discuss all things “Magneto” — and maybe even a bit on his upcoming “Deadpool Vs. Carnage” miniseries. Got a question for Cullen? Send your questions over via e-mail with the subject line “X-Position or in a 140 character question via Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!