[SPOILER WARNING: THIS INTERVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR "AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS" #7," AVAILABLE NOW.]
The core values that define many of the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe have been flipped on their heads thanks to a mystical spell in the pages of the "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS" event series. Noble Avengers and X-Men rage out of control and the villains they frequently clashed with are now making heroic stands against their evil schemes.
The conflicts between these "inverted" heroes and villains started off small, but have been rapidly escalating. It all reached a head in this week's "AXIS" #7 by writer Rick Remender and artist Adam Kubert, in which the inverted heroes and villains engaged in a large scale battle in New York and a mystical clash in Latveria that revealed some shocking information about three of the Marvel Universe's most prominent mutants: Magneto, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
In the latest installment of ALL AXIS PASS, CBR's series of post-game chats about each of the titular event, Marvel Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort joins us for a discussion about the big events of issue #7 and clues about what's coming next.
CBR News: Tom, let's kick off with one of the biggest moments in "AXIS" #7, the reveal that Magneto may not be Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch's father after all.
Tom Brevoort: Yes, there certainly is an indication that something is going on there. What's exactly going on is something that we may learn more about in "AXIS," or possibly after.
Can you talk about the editorial origins of this reveal? Or would that be spoiling what's to come?
I can talk a little bit about that, sure. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch's history has been fairly stable in recent years, but if you go back it hasn't always been that way. They have kind of a confused and byzantine history. We've been told different things about them at different points, and we've believed different things about who and what they were. So we're going to delve into all of that again.
We know Rick Remender will be using Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in his next volume of "Uncanny Avengers" when it kicks off in January. Can readers expect the mysteries surrounding the characters to continue over in that series?
For certain. We've already put out the teaser about "No More Mutants." This is a bit of business that will start in "AXIS," but it will pick up in "Uncanny Avengers" right out of the gate with the new #1. So we'll see more of it in the near future.
Magneto not being related to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will have some readers wondering if he's still related to Polaris. Is that something Peter David will have time to address in the remaining issues of "All-New X-Factor?"
I don't know if Peter will get to address that in "X-Factor," but I don't know if one necessarily discounts the other. Polaris, much like Anya, Magneto's other daughter who is deceased, was conceived and existed apart from Wanda and Pietro. So a change in their status doesn't necessarily imply a change in Polaris' status.
There could be a story there, though, and they might pick it up somewhere in the world of the X-books.
Doctor Doom disappears from the battle where Scarlet Witch strikes down Quicksilver and the questions about their parentage is raised. Does he move over to "Avengers World" #16," the second part of that book's "AXIS" tie-in?
All three parts of the "Avengers World" tie-in take place chronologically before that battle. So Doom moves into the next issue of "AXIS."
Let's move from the battle in Latveria to some of the fighting in New York. In our past discussions about series we've talked about scenes of intense violence, and in "AXIS" #7 we get another one during the fighting in New York but it involves a character who doesn't die after suffering said violence, Deadpool. It feels like Deadpool's decapitation at the hands of his friend Evan, who has become the new Apocalypse, was a dramatic way to emphasize that there's no talking someone down from their inversion.
Well, there's certainly no talking Apocalypse down from his inversion, at least not by Deadpool -- or the Zenpool incarnation of the character that he's become because of his inversion -- and at least not at that moment. That having been said, he does have a real personal connection with Evan and the fact that Apocalypse will go to this length to deal with him kind of indicates what that relationship is worth now that we're dealing with Apocalypse rather than Evan.
It's sort of a cheat to do a scene like this with Deadpoo,l though, because he's virtually a cartoon character. You can step on him, slice him up, and even blow him to pieces, but he keeps ticking.
It was a powerful scene and way to end the book, but it almost felt undercut because I was waiting for the severed head of Deadpool to crack a joke.
[Laughs] Well there is a whole next issue. It's not like we're not going to publish any more Deadpool comics.
Yes, both the next issue of "AXIS" and "Deadpool" will deal with what has become of Deadpool now that he's Headpool. Or Zenhead. Or whatever.
One of the ways I read Deadpool and Apocalypse's confrontation was that the teenage Evan was almost throwing a temper tantrum and saying, "No, I'm not the person you say I am!" Plus it felt like it was influenced by a lot of the emotional fallout from what went on in Rick Remender's "Uncanny X-Force" series.
Yes, there certainly is that. Their relationship stretches back to those early issues of "Uncanny X-Force." So Evan is a character who carries a lot more meaning for Deadpool than most of the other lame human beings walking around. Whether most of those other people live or die is not terribly important to Deadpool's world. Evan, though, is an exception.
Let's rewind to the New York battle scenes that kicked off the issue and one of the combatants in that scene, Rogue. Clearly her main personality has been inverted, but doesn't she have Wonder Man's [AKA Simon Williams] consciousness trapped inside her mind as well?
Yes, she does.
So has Simon's non-violent persona been inverted too?
Presumably so, although we don't really get to see that in "AXIS" largely because in the midst of so many characters and so many things that's a lot to have to explain on the fly. If we had done "Uncanny Avengers" tie-ins we might have been able to get into that a little more thoroughly. We didn't really have the opportunity though to do it cleanly enough.â€¨So you could presume either Simon is inverted and in Rogue's consciousness going, "Yeah, Get 'em!" Or he's not inverted, in which case he's screaming, "No! Don't get them!" It's not having a heck of a lot of an effect on the outcome one way or another though.
We did see some important fights in the New York battle, but it also felt like there were some we did not see. Will some of those clashes be featured elsewhere like in the pages of "AXIS: Revolutions?"
I don't know that we see a whole heck of a lot from this fight in "AXIS: Revolutions."
While the battle in New York was raging the inverted Axis of Evil Avengers were reuniting in San Francisco. Is this the team that Tony Stark and Sam Wilson will pit against the "Mighty Avengers" in that book's "AXIS" tie-in arc? And will there be some dissension in the ranks between the inverted Luke Cage and Sam Wilson over how to handle the Mighty Avengers?
Yes, that is the team, but in "[Captain America & the] Mighty Avengers" Luke and Sam are both of the same mind in they're dealing with the problem that they have at that moment with the Mighty Avengers. So you won't necessarily see Luke and Sam throwing down with one another in that book. You will see them, Superior Iron Man, Thor Odinson, the Scarlet Witch, and the team's other members throwing down with the Mighty Avengers. So there is a big Avengers vs Avengers scrap coming up. It's just not the one you were anticipating.
Artist Adam Kubert returned to "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS" with this issue. To me, his work here felt a little different than his first two issues and more like Terry Dodson's work on issues #5-6. I couldn't put my finger on the reason why until I saw that Edgar Delgado, who colored Terry's issues of "AXIS," colored this issue and Laura Martin provided the colors for Adam's first two issues.
Edgar will end up having done the colors for most of this series, but he won't be doing the entirety of the remaining issues. Edgar will do issue #8 and then Paul Mounts is coloring issue #9. So Edgar and Jesus Aburtov, who has been helping him, will end up doing the lion's share of the color work on "AXIS."
"AXIS" has been blessed with not just having one, but four top flight artists. For all that, it's a little disconcerting to have to rotate from one artist to the next on an issue-by-issue basis, with the quality level that everybody provides being so high it doesn't seem readers for the most part really mind it all that much.
â€¨Adam Kubert stepped back in here and did his usual phenomenal job. What tends to be the case on these things is that as all of the artists involved get to see the pages from everybody as they come in, they all sort of have a sportsman's desire to not be the weak link; to go out there and play as good as the rest of the team if not better. So I think it benefits all of them and it certainly benefits what Adam brings to the table in this issue.
â€¨Certainly, him drawing the X-Men fighting the assorted villains was really a classic sort of Adam Kubert moment. It took me back to the X-Men books of the mid '90s when he was one of the mainstays. Him drawing Apocalypse just looks right because of the history he has. it looks and feels right. He's such a quintessential X-Men artist that I think this X-Men heavy chapter benefits from his presence.
We've moved fairly definitively into the third act with "AXIS" #7, and it seems like people are becoming much more interested in what's going on since we've set up the inversions that were the meat of issues #4-6. Now that we're into the third act with issue #7 the pace will accelerate and we'll start to see more fallout from what's happening similar to the revelation here about Magneto, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch that will affect stories going forward. We'll see some big emotional blowouts. It will be wall to wall pandemonium from this point forward. All of the preamble is done, we are now firmly in the world of the amble.
You just offered up some general hints about the final two issues of "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS." Can you give us a few more specific to issue #8? I assume the bomb countdown at the end of this issue will be quickly resolved?
[Laughs] Yes, there's not a lot of seconds left on that counter at the end. So unless we're going to publish nothing but X-Men comics something is going to have to happen very quickly in "AXIS" #8. Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan will be there to show it to you.
We'll see the return of another character thought lost. The villains and the inverted Axis of Evil Avengers will begin to get into it and we'll also see the return of a much remembered (but not necessarily fondly) bit of Marvel Universe apparatus. We can talk about that after "AXIS" #8. [Laughs] You might be thinking, "Man, they'll never bring that thing back!" But we have. So we've taken something that was perhaps not considered our best moment in the world and hopefully turned it into something that will be kind of cool to see again.
You just reignited the hopes of NFL SuperPro fans everywhere.
[Laughs] We don't have the rights to NFL SuperPro. So it's not him, sorry. You are thinking along the right kinds of lines though.
"AXIS" #8 goes on sale Dec. 17 from Marvel.