Earlier this week, Rick answered all manner of questions about “Uncanny X-Force” — but there were so many questions about his and artist John Cassaday’s “Uncanny Avengers,” we had to break it off into its own separate X-POSITION. Rick kindly answered all manner of inquiries about the flagship Marvel NOW! series including questions about the roster, the status of the Scarlet Witch and the challenges of putting a team together that draws both from Marvel’s Merry Mutants and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Rick, our first question comes from Renaldo, who wants to know what goes in to putting together a team drawing from all parts of the Marvel U.
1. With Secret Avengers playing into a great part of AVX, you have toyed with Thor, Vision, Beast and more as well with experience writing the Punisher and X-Force. With “Uncanny Avengers” coming out later this year, how did you go
about selecting your squad? Could you elaborate on it a bit as thus far all we’ve heard was Cap, Thor, Wolverine…and Havok!
There are many factors that go into selecting the cast of a new team, primarily the mandate of that team, what they are trying to accomplish and why they were brought together. In the case of “Uncanny Avengers,” we are always going to keep the team comprised of half Avengers and half X-Men. So that was the place I started from. From there I went through a few options with my editors, all of them characters that I have an affinity for, and also characters that have natural connecting tissue to what “Uncanny Avengers” is all about. Every member of the team is here for a reason and every member will play a big role. When you read the first issue you’ll see there are natural reasons for the selection of each member. As for Havok, Alex is one of my very favorite characters in the Marvel Universe. Not only is he a great character, but he has a number of very significant reasons for leading this team, if he even accepts the offer.
2. You have done covert materials on “Uncanny X-Force” and “Secret Avengers.” Will these black-ops titles still be around in the wake of “AvX?”
Both titles will still be around.
Melvin wants to know about how “Final Execution” over in “Uncanny X-Force” will affect the beginning of “Uncanny Avengers.”
Will the “Final Execution” saga of “Uncanny X-Force” be the finale of the series? How will “Uncanny Avengers” relate to “Uncanny X-Force?”
The events of the “Final Execution” storyline lead directly into the “Uncanny Avengers.” One character in particular, obviously Wolverine, comes out of the storyline very changed. That change leads him into the “Uncanny Avengers” with a new goal in mind. “Uncanny X-Force” is not going to be ending, either.
Joseph wants to know if you have plans for Marvel’s favorite Cajun cardsharp in “Uncanny Avengers.
Thanks for taking our questions!
Rick, can’t wait to start reading Uncanny Avengers! With that said, I have seen many people in state in past X-Positions and on Message Boards that the one character people want to see you write is Gambit (616, not AoA). Any chance we will get to see this happen soon?
I’m sorry to say I’m not a huge fan of the character. He’s never been someone I’m incredibly interested in. That said, if I were given the task I could find a way to invest myself in him. So many terrific writers have done great work on the character; it’s possible that I’ve just never seen what it is at his core the same way they have.
Taimur, a big fan of Havok’s original uniform, has a design question for you.
I always had a fondness for Havok’s original costume, headgear and all, so curious if his new look for “Uncanny Avengers” was something you and/or artist John Cassaday came up with or if it was already designed beforehand?
My editor Tom Brevoort and I both agreed that we would like have it to go back to a version of his original suit. While there have been many interesting outfits for him, Neal Adams original design is always been our favorite. I think the alterations Cassaday made on the suit address some of the function issues and do a great job of modernizing this classic uniform.
mbmcool05 has a number of questions about the relationship between “Uncanny X-Force” and “Uncanny Avengers.”
1. Given the unlikely title of Uncanny Avengers, would it be anything similar to your Uncanny X-Force title?
It will be similar in that all of the arcs add up to big payouts. I try and write self-contained 4 to 6 issue stories that you can read on their own but also builds to a bigger picture, a bigger mega-arc. I spent the last half a year putting together character arcs for each of the members as well, the same as I did in “Uncanny X-Force.” To ensure that the story is as much character driven as it is plot driven and we see real development in the cast.
2. How will the aftermath of “Avengers Vs X-Men” affect “Uncanny X-Force?”
I shouldn’t say.
3. Will more members of both the Avengers and the X-Men join the team as “Uncanny Avengers” continues?
Yes, the cast will grow. It will definitely be a larger task than we had in “Uncanny X-Force.” Though it will grow slowly so that I can spend as much time as needed to develop each one of the cast members and make sure they are given the attention they need and do not become just another crowd of colorful costumed folks.
Philippe, a big fan of a certain southern belle, has a question about Rogue’s role on the new X-Men/Avengers hybrid team.
I’m very happy Rogue will be a member of Uncanny Avengers. Is there any way she can back a base power set of super-strength, flight and durability, like when she had absorbed Ms. Marvel’s powers? That was always my favorite version of the character. Thank you. Looking forward to your run!
I have big plans for Rogue, you’ll start to see them unfold in issue #5 of “Uncanny Avengers.”
Derek has a series of questions about the Scarlet Witch and what her inclusion on the team will do to spark conflict amongst the X-Members.
1) Will there be any tension between Havok and the Scarlet Witch in the Uncanny Avengers? Wanda’s actions during M-Day created a chain reaction of events that greatly negatively affected Havok’s life and those closest to him, such as his longtime paramour and Wanda’s sister Polaris, his friends in the Starjammers, his late father Corsair and empress Lilandra. In the past he’s certainly been the kind of emotional character to hold a grudge — Does he view her as a necessary evil? Emphasis on the evil.
Wanda’s relationship with the other mutants and the team is obviously going to be a big part of the storyline. Some will forgive her, others will not. Alex Summers in particular will be put in a very difficult situation in the second arc. Wanda’s standing in the Avengers and mutant community is something she is going to have to do a great deal to overcome.
2) Where do you see Wanda’s power levels these days and what exactly are her powers? I had understood them very clearly during Kurt Busiek’s fantastic Avengers run but since then I’m truly baffled by her powers and just how strong she’s supposed to be.
Dr. Doom had connected her to a terrible power before M-Day. That power is gone and she is back to the power levels that we saw during Kurt’s terrific run.
3) I was really surprised by Wanda erasing the X-Gene. I never had any inclination whatsoever she had a problem with being a mutant, it appeared a be total non-issue to her. Where do you see Wanda’s current view of the mutant race and being one herself?
We deal with this in the first issue of the series a good bit. Wanda had clearly lost her mind at the loss of her children and the incredible power she had been imbued with. We will define all of these things in the series.
4) One of the reservations I have about the merge of the X-Men and the Avengers is I think they are different franchises for a reason. The Avengers are high action superhero escapism. The X-Men, when they are at their best, are about social issues and have been since Chris Claremont’s run. I’m really not trying to sound rude here, because I’m a big fan of your writing, but how do you intend to marry the two concepts that seem kind of incompatible to me? And why? Also, where do you see this book falling? Is it more a high action superhero book, a book that deals with social issues, somewhere in between or something else entirely?
I cannot answer any of these questions without spoiling the end of “AvX” and the end of the current “Uncanny X-Force” story. You’ll have to trust that we are all intelligent and invested and would not make a decision like this if it were not a natural one. When you get to the first issue, you will understand and hopefully come to agree with the reasons for the formation of the squad. You must trust, in the meantime, that we are all very invested in these characters and make decisions based on natural story evolution.
5) What will the team call themselves inside the book?
They are an Avengers unit, based out of the Avengers Mansion, code-name to be revealed.
Finally, here’s our “Behind the X” question: What is your favorite prose novel of all time and why?
“Illusions” by Richard Bach was the book that motivated me to quit my job at 20th Century Fox Animation and to move into freelance writing and illustration. It is a story about man’s ability to bend reality and fate to his wishing if willing to do the long hard work it takes to see the change happen.
Special thanks to Rick Remender for answering a truly Herculean amount of questions for this week’s two part X-POSITION!
Join us next week when “X-Factor” writer Peter David answers all inquiries on X-Factor Investigations. If you’ve got a question for Peter, go ahead and hit me up with an email (subject line: X-Position) with your question — or if you prefer Twitter, feel free to drop me a 140 character question there! Be quick though, the deadline is today!