CBR Chat Transcript: Nunzio DeFillippis and Christina Weir

On Sunday, July 31st, Comic Book Resources welcomed writers Nunzio DeFillippis and Christina Weir to a scheduled chat with some of our community members. The pair answered all types of questions about their run on "New Mutants," "New X-Men: Academy X" and "New X-Men: Hellions," as well as future projects they're working on.

Thanks to all the CBR Forums community members who stopped by. Become a member today by registering at the CBR Forums. It's free to all. And special thanks to Nunzio and Christina for taking time out of their schedules to take part in this chat.

Brian Cronin: Welcome to Christina and Nunzio's chat!

Silver Knight: I'm interested to know how did you get started writing for a big company like Marvel?

Christina Weir: We started at a little company like Oni.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Well, it was also easier for us because we had a couple years of TV work under our belt. That opened doors for us at Oni.

Brian Cronin: Was there much of a "culture shock" moving from Oni to Marvel?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Culture shock from Oni to Marvel?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Absolutely.

Nunzio DeFilippis: The guys at Oni tend to let us do our thing.

Brian Cronin: Even early on at Oni?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, even at the start, Oni has a "trust the writers" approach.

Brian Cronin: I can understand that when you got "Morrison's name," that the editorial pressure must have been tough, but were you scrutinized even at the beginning, with New Mutants?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Marvel's got a HUGE interest in keeping their X-books 'on message.'

Nunzio DeFilippis: So they edit everything.

Nunzio DeFilippis: We wrote about 10 versions of New Mutants #1.

Nunzio DeFilippis: We also plotted about 6 versions of the first arc.

mari: Wow. How many ways can you introduce one character before you get confused?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Actually, our first draft introduced all 6 new characters and brought back all the returning characters all in the first issue.

Brian Cronin: That is interesting, so even going beyond "being on message," would you say that marvel also had an influence even upon the way you plotted the comic? Like the amount of info in each issue?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Oh, absolutely. Bill Jemas was in charge back then, and he wanted a slower, more detail oriented approach.

Nunzio DeFilippis: And people can complain about decompression, but that first issue REALLY set up Sofia, so he was right.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Now, I still believe we didn't need 1 character per issue for the first 5 issues, but opening like that with Sofia was the right call.

Tenebrae: I recently read the plot outline for the cancelled Victor suicide story from Academy X. In hindsight, are you disappointed that story wasn't played out, or do you think editorial made the right call?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, I was disappointed.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Did they make the right call? Sure. They wanted a young-reader friendly book.

Wane: What other marvel characters would you two like to write?

Nunzio DeFilippis: I personally would like to do a monthly book about Diamondback and Paladin.

Nunzio DeFilippis: And I'd like to write Nightcrawler.

Nunzio DeFilippis: We had a pitch in for Diamondback and Paladin, a new generation of Heroes for Hire. But there are other plans for Paladin, I'm told.

zonzorp: I hope you get to write more Diamondback somewhere...maybe even with Lim art...(hopeful).

Nunzio DeFilippis: I actually see Diamondback as one of the most competent women in the Marvel universe.

Stephane Garrelie: I hope you'll have a new series at Marvel soon. Even though I wasn't a reader of New X-Men, I heard/read only good things about your run. I would probably have given it a try if you two had lasted on the series. I certainly will buy your new series.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Stephane... we'll be doing an issue of Adventures of Superman, if that's more to your taste.

Brian Cronin: Is the DC work any less editorially restrictive? I mean, aren't they all pretty connected as well right now?

Christina Weir: DC is very connected right now, but they're working very hard to tell a tight story and that can be rewarding.

Brian Cronin: So, do they give you, like, a bible to read up on even if you are just doing one issue?

Nunzio DeFilippis: We wrote Adventures and had to reference past issues, Wonder Woman issues, OMAC Project Issues, Day of Vengeance issues, JLA issues, and Identity Crisis issues.

Nunzio DeFilippis: That's a very tightly woven universe right now.

LoneWolf21: Originally, Kevin was supposed to be a one-off character, but you brought him back because he got a positive response, did that surprise you at all?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Kevin's popularity totally caught us off guard. But that was a good thing.

Tenebrae: An extension to LoneWolf's question - are there any characters you expected fans to love that got a lukewarm response?

Christina Weir: I expected people to like Tag more.

Christina Weir: Initial response had people saying our powers were unoriginal, so we got quirky with Tag.

Ravenwing263: They said that?

Christina Weir: Oh sure. Sofia is a Storm knock-off

Christina Weir: Julian is just another telekinetic.

Christina Weir: David is just another telepath.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, before our first issue came out, we were being panned for unoriginal powers, so we definitely threw everyone a curveball with Tag.

mari: I always considered originality of powers by their usage. isn't that what really matters anyway?

Christina Weir: Well, one hopes, Mari. We thought it was cool that Sofia could eavesdrop with the wind.

Shades0077: New X-Men has a pretty varied cast of new and pre-existing characters. Is it more enjoyable to come up with your own characters, or use pre-existing ones?

Nunzio DeFilippis: I like both. I got to write Diamondback, Dani, Superman and Zatanna so far, and there's a thrill in writing my favorites.

Nunzio DeFilippis: But creating our own kids has been so rewarding

Tenebrae: Is it exciting for you to see other writers picking up your toys and taking them somewhere new, or is it hard to let go of them?

Nunzio DeFilippis: It is terrifying to have other writers pick up our toys. It's part of work for hire, but since we created all these kids, it's been harder.

Beast: Did you guys work out the roster for Iceman's Excelsior and Beast's Exemplars, and could give us a rundown of their student teams?

Christina Weir: I have to say, we never got a chance to flesh out their squads.

LoneWolf21: Are you two doing a Wonder Girl story?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, a Wonder Girl story in the Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files. Only 5 pages, though. Fun and quick, with great art by Todd Nauck.

Ravenwing263: Any chance of the Wonder Girl story leading into more work with Cassie? Or more importantly, more work with Todd Nauck?

Ravenwing263: He always did draw the best Cassie.

Christina Weir: Todd's a great guy. We got to meet him in San Diego.

Nunzio DeFilippis: We'd love to do more Cassie. I like her a lot, and I think (correct me if I'm wrong, Christina) she's one of Christina's favorites.

Christina Weir: Cassie rocks!

Silver Knight: So you two have no problems with DC?

Nunzio DeFilippis: DC has been easier to deal with of late than Marvel. But for the longest time, we didn't really register to them, so I think ease of dealing goes in pendulum swings.

RadChipmunk: Did you have any plans to use the other BAD Girls (Black Mamba, & Asp) in your Paladin & Diamondback pitch?

Nunzio DeFilippis: The BAD Girls would have come up if we'd gotten a go ahead to go monthly or get a second mini. I love Black Mamba and Asp, and can't see doing anything with Rachel monthly that didn't feature them.

Nunzio DeFilippis: But since the original mini didn't happen, who knows? We're pushing for more Rachel and may want to focus on the Bad Girls in light of the trio appearing in Cable and Deadpool.

Shades0077: With the two of you working together on an issue, how exactly does the writing get broken down? Does one plot, while the other scripts, or is it a collaborative effort for the entire thing?

Christina Weir: We try to do everything together.

Christina Weir: We certainly plot together

Christina Weir: Since we plot fairly meticulously, one can sit and script if the other isn't in the mood

LoneWolf21: What's Kevin's family situation? Josh was adopted by Dani, but is Kevin still an orphan? Ward of the state or school, or is he old enough to be okay on his own?

Nunzio DeFilippis: We hadn't decided officially, but to our thinking, he was a ward of the school. But since a person needs to sign, it probably would have been Emma.

mari: Since Kevin first came to the school in New Mutants, why would Emma have signed?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Emma wouldn't have signed early on - Dani would have. But then after the events of New X-Men: Academy X #1-6, it would have changed hands.

Nunzio DeFilippis: But it may also have been Xavier, early on.

mari: They can do that? "Change hands"? Okay then.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Not sure how easy it is, but it has to be doable. The thing on Kevin is that with him more than any other character, we adapted as we went. He was never meant to be a regular.

RadChipmunk: For a similar question, is Noriko also a ward of the school due to her situation?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Nori is still technically under the legal care of her parents.

The_15th_Sven: Her father doesn't like her very much, but it seemed to me that her mother was very concerned about her and would have taken her back.

Christina Weir: Nori's mother is concerned about her, but won't stand up to her father

LoneWolf21: So Nori's parents are very traditional then?

Christina Weir: Yes, they're traditional.

Christina Weir: We had a Noriko story planned.

Christina Weir: We fully intended to explore her family.

bedbugjones: Which is better, Wizard or Previews, please?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Wizard and Previews are very different. Previews just collects ads for coming books, while Wizard is a hype machine.

The_15th_Sven: Were you planning on ever having Josh's real parents return in an issue?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Josh's parents would have returned eventually, but more significantly, we had a vague plot in mind about his ex-buddy Duncan coming back all Reavered up and cybernetic.

Beast: In New X-Men #16, is one of the suicide bombers supposed to have been Cameron Hodge?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yes, it is. Stay tuned. More on him next issue.

mari: So, was it fun to take part in writing a House of M story?

Christina Weir: It was a lot of fun. We really got to cut loose.

Christina Weir: Our one regret is that we're going on this story.

mari: What was your favorite change to make in House of M from the regular story?

Christina Weir: Cutting loose with Laurie

Nunzio DeFilippis: For me, there are a couple of favorite changes. One is pairing Sooraya and Jubilee. The other is making Laurie and Cessily friends.

Tenebrae: What advice would you have for aspiring comic book writers?

Nunzio DeFilippis: My advice would be to write. Don't just imagine a story, put it down on paper or type it into your computer. Just do it. Because writing isn't a gift - it's a craft, and the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Silver Knight: If I were to say have an Idea for a new comic (actually a franchise), how would I go about making it just being a writer?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Franchises are hard to launch. I'd say, develop the idea over time, but keep writing other things. Try to get yourself some status in the industry, and then revisit your franchise when you have clout.

Shades0077: Who was your favorite artist to work with on New X-Men?

Christina Weir: There were various artists that I liked for various reasons. Michael Ryan really nailed the look of the characters

Runaway: Nunzio and Christina, if you could pick a team of X-men to write, who would they be?

Christina Weir: My team would have Nightcrawler, Iceman, Kitty, Beast and Emma

Nunzio DeFilippis: My team would be Nightcrawler, Beast, Rogue, Kitty and Cyclops.

Christina Weir: Oh, I forgot Cyclops. I've grown quite fond of him.

Nunzio DeFilippis: I'd then leave Emma and Dani to run the school.

Stephane Garrelie: Which Emma? The original or todays? Claremont's or Morrison's?

Nunzio DeFilippis: To me they are points on the same character arc. I like a good bitchy character who tries to do good. So I like hero Emma.

Runaway: Yeah, but when she starts to care for a student like Hellion (Which I guess she sees herself in.) I like that a lot.

LoneWolf21: Speaking of Hellion, his popularity just skyrocketed. Everyone loves a bad boy.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, Julian was a pleasant surprise. When he first appeared, people seemed to think he was one dimensional, our Draco Malfoy.

Nunzio DeFilippis: But we always planned for him to show his other sides, and very quickly realized it'd be Sofia who saw those sides.

mari: Why Sofia over any of his friends?

Christina Weir: Because he's smitten.

RadChipmunk: My favorite Hellion is Cess.

Christina Weir: I think Nunzio's favorite Hellion is Cessily as well.

Ravenwing263: Was Rahne's departure editorially mandated (because of X-Factor) or did you guys decide to have her take a time off?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Editorially mandated.

Christina Weir: Well, we were having Rahne leave temporarily. That opened the door for editorial to snatch her away.

Brian Cronin: What can you tell us about your upcoming Oni series, Past Lies?

Christina Weir: It's a murder mystery, with the hook being that a guy walks into a PI's office and says find the guy who killed me.

Tenebrae: Who is the artist on that?

Christina Weir: We're working with Chris Mitten who we did THE TOMB with

Brian Cronin: Do you two have a close relationship with Chris Mitten?

Christina Weir: We love Chris!

Nunzio DeFilippis: We are very close with Chris Mitten. I'd call him a friend, in addition to a favorite collaborator

The_15th_Sven: Could someone pleas direct me to a site where I could get a complete list of their Manga?

Nunzio DeFilippis: 15th Sven - we have a manga-esque book from Oni called ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. Volume 1 came out last year. Volume 2 is looking for a new artist.

Nunzio DeFilippis: We also have a manga series from Seven Seas, an OEL Manga company called AMAZING AGENT LUNA. Volume 2 just came out.

Nunzio DeFilippis: And a pirate manga from Seven Seas called DESTINY'S HAND due out late this year.

Nunzio DeFilippis: I'm a HUGE pirate fan. I wanted to do a pirate book forever.

Wane: How come DC's site says your issue of Adventures of Superman (#644) is written by Rucka?

[Once In A Blue Moon]Christina Weir: We filled in for Greg after the book had been solicited.

Cayman: Do you have any interest in writing something for Vertigo?

Christina Weir: Funny you should ask. We have a pitch in with them.

Runaway: Christina & Nunzio, If you each could have a power from the X-men, what would it be?

Christina Weir: Telekinesis! I love that power. Basic but very useful.

Ravenwing263: I could tell you liked that, Christina. Julian has the most bitching telekinesis ever!

Nunzio DeFilippis: If I could pick any power, it'd be an immortality wand. So not only could I live forever, everyone I cared for could do so as well. From X-Men powers, I'd say Sofia's powers, because I could fly AND eavesdrop.

Silver Knight: Compared to the Marvel Universe, what do you think of DC's universe?

Christina Weir: DC's doing some exciting stuff right now. They're really trying to tie the universe together.

Nunzio DeFilippis: I love both universes, but I grew up more a DC fan than a Marvel fan. So if I made a list of characters I wanted to write, the list would be longer at DC (and filled with real obscure ones, too).

Brian Cronin: How obscure, Nunzio? Bomba The Jungle Boy level obscure?

Brian Cronin: Or how about the Green Team? The team of young millionaires!!

Nunzio DeFilippis: Not that obscure, Brian

Vegetarian Goat: If the two of you were to pitch a mini about ONE of the New Mutants (New or old) who would it be?

Christina Weir: Well, we're pitching a mini about one of the New Mutants. So I guess it would be Amara.

Christina Weir: The mini would have other old New Mutants, but the focus is on Amara

RadChipmunk: I'm guessing Empath would appear

Christina Weir: If all goes well, we'll get to tell our Nova Roma story.

Ravenwing263: Doesn't Nova Roma not exist?

Christina Weir: Well, that's the question

Nunzio DeFilippis: Amara claims it exists. Empath claimed it doesn't. Someone is mistaken. That's the thrust of the proposal.

Nunzio DeFilippis: The proposal would untangle the many retcons and confusions.

Tenebrae: Did you guys have any plans for the surviving (or even deceased) original Hellions?

Christina Weir: We didn't really have plans for the original Hellions. Though Empath would have been fun to bring back.

Christina Weir: And Empath would have been part of the miniseries

Runaway: Out of the all of the comic characters out there, who would you like to write???

Nunzio DeFilippis: Okay... who would I want to write...?

Nunzio DeFilippis: DC: Superman and Zatanna were on the list, but I just took care of them. Then it would have included Blue Beetle (sniff), Booster Gold, Blue Devil, Black Canary, Nightwing, Oracle, Phantom Stranger, Huntress, Batman, the list goes on and on...

Nunzio DeFilippis: Marvel: Dani, Rahne, Beast (though barely), Diamondback and Emma I covered. Nightcrawler, Rogue, Captain America, and the real Magik.

Silver Knight: Are you familiar with the Spawn comics by Todd McFarlane?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Haven't read much Spawn.

Stephane Garrelie: What were your favorite books when you were children/teen? Comics or other....

Nunzio DeFilippis: I loved The Chronicles of Narnia, and I loved Of Mice and Men (which I read when I was young, and it really shook me up. But I loved it). I also read the Han Solo books by Brian Daley and considered them favorites.

Ravenwing263: Are you looking forward to the film?

Christina Weir: The film looks like it will be cool.

Stephane Garrelie: Steinbeck is a favorite mine, too. Of Mice and Men is a great book.

Nunzio DeFilippis: I have a copy of Steinbeck's version of the King Arthur legend that I found in my twenties - didn't know such a thing existed. Very cool.

Stephane Garrelie: Me too!!!! Very interesting with stories that are in the French suite vulgate of the Merlin and that Malloy didn't keep for Le Morte Darthur

Nunzio DeFilippis: It was great to find it though, because I love Steinbeck and have always loved the Arthur stories. Though I'm not as well versed in the Arthurian legends as, say, Greg Rucka.

Ravenwing263: Greg Rucka is well-versed in Arthurian legends?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Greg is one of the best-read individuals I've ever met. He's well versed in a LOT of things.

Tenebrae: I very much hope to be buying Magma or Diamondback series soon.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Well, it'd probably be a New Mutants miniseries, but the focus will be on Amara.

Ravenwing263: Fingers crossed for a Wonder Girl series.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Between Greg on Wonder Woman and Geoff on Teen Titans, I'd imagine we won't get a shot at Cassie for a while. But we think long term.

Beast: I recommend a Beast mini-series. Just because.

Nunzio DeFilippis: I'd LOVE to do a Beast mini, actually.

Nunzio DeFilippis: The trick with Marvel right now (and with DC, actually) is pitching something that ties into the bigger picture.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Marvel got burned on a lot of spin-offs and solo books and minis that were pretty good, but sold poorly.

Wane: Have either of you ever wanted to write Green Arrow?

Nunzio DeFilippis: I like Oliver. But I'd love to do more with Connor, actually.

Nunzio DeFilippis: I had a pitch for DC a few years back starring Connor, Huntress, Deadshot, Spoiler, Black Thorne, and Harvey Bullock.

Nunzio DeFilippis: The Black Thorn…is that obscure enough for you, Brian?

Brian Cronin: Hehe…yes.

Ravenwing263: *Hides head* Who is Black Thorn?

Christina Weir: Don't hide your head, she is very obscure.

Brian Cronin: She was a Huntress-esque character from the old Checkmate series.

Ravenwing263: My hero

Nunzio DeFilippis: The idea was called "Gotham Underground," and Pete Woods and I put together a pitch that had killer artwork (Pete's great).

Brian Cronin: His Catwoman looks awesome

Nunzio DeFilippis: It was about Lew Moxon trying to unite all the Gotham gangs using his reconstruction (post No Man's Land) of Gotham's subway.

Nunzio DeFilippis: And Batman (like with the Outsiders) puts together a team of castoffs to stop him, but then he loses control of the team and they become their own thing.

Wane: That sounds good, bad DC for turning you down!

Nunzio DeFilippis: The pitch was right after No Man's Land, so it's very dated now, and a lot of it is unusable - Moxon's dead, for example. By the way, speaking of obscure, I forgot to mention that Mouse and Giz would be on the team as well [NOTE: Mouse and Giz were minor villains during Chuck Dixon's tenure on Robin and Catwoman].

Ravenwing263: And Spoiler is dead, as well.

Nunzio DeFilippis: I loved that Underground pitch. Sometimes it's hard to let go of our babies, but I wish it had happened.

Brian Cronin: Did you read Christos Gage's Deadshot mini?

Nunzio DeFilippis: The first couple of issues, but I want to get the trade. I like Deadshot and I like what I read, and I met Chris at the con - nice guy.

Brian Cronin: So, in your underground pitch, it would be the "disgraced" Harvey bullock of Rucka's 'Tec?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, it was disgraced Bullock. He was going to die in Issue 12 of Underground after murdering Moxon.

Brian Cronin: Poor Bullock. All you writers want to kill him off.

Brian Cronin: First Greg Rucka tried to kill him during no man's land…

Nunzio DeFilippis: Once a cop crosses the line, it's hard to see him come back. So I wanted to give him a big sendoff.

Nunzio DeFilippis: And Greg wanted to kill everyone in No Man's Land!

Brian Cronin: Hehe…fair enough

Nunzio DeFilippis: Hell, he killed ME in the No Man's Land novel.

Ravenwing263: He did what now?

Christina Weir: I got to live though

Nunzio DeFilippis: In the NML novel, Greg invented two cops, DeFilippis & Weir.

Ravenwing263: Haha

Nunzio DeFilippis: Unless I'm totally misremembering I was the one who died and Christina lived, and she had my baby, and Joker tried to kill our baby and Sarah tried to save the baby and tragedy struck.

Wane: That's so mean of Rucka

Christina Weir: That's okay. In our book THREE STRIKES, we made Greg a criminal who skipped bail.

Brian Cronin: Brian Hurtt is unto an art god.

Brian Cronin: Sorry, just thinking of Three Strikes

Christina Weir: Brian Hurtt is my god

Nunzio DeFilippis: Brian is great and we're hoping we can work with him again

Nunzio DeFilippis: He wants to redo SKINWALKER. We can improve the writing and he wants to improve the art (though I'm not sure the art needs improving)

Brian Cronin: I don't remember Rucka in Three Strikes, though

Christina Weir: It's a throwaway line in Three Strikes about a previous case he was working

Nunzio DeFilippis: Speaking of sneaking Greg into comics, we also had a tombstone at Xavier's that read "Greg Van Meter" combining his name and his wife's.

Brian Cronin: I noticed that one

Ravenwing263: That was a pretty big graveyard for a high school to have...

Christina Weir: Life's tough at Xavier's.

Brian Cronin: Xavier's is the place to be! Plenty of parking, and if you die while a student there, they pay for your plot!

Beast: Half of them are probably people who died and came back, and they got tired of removing the headstones.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Plus, if you die, your roommate gets a 4.0.

Brian Cronin: My friend's cousin's girlfriend went there, and he told me that was totally true.

Ravenwing263: I thought that was just of he offs himself?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Well, it's more traumatic if he offs himself, but isn't it traumatic enough if he dies?

Ravenwing263: The only problem there is they'd be giving out a hell of a lot of 4.0's

Christina Weir: Maybe it's part of orientation. Get your headstone first day of freshman year

Ravenwing263: What happens if your roommate comes back to life, is what I want to know

Christina Weir: Your 4.0 gets recalled if your roommate comes back from the dead

Nunzio DeFilippis: Brian, what's your friend's cousin's girlfriend's mutation?

Brian Cronin: Her codename was "Arm-Fall-Off-Girl"

mari: I just looked, but I couldn't find the tombstone

Christina Weir: It's in Issue 8 near the end

Christina Weir: The page where Kim puts on David's goggles

mari: Ah, I was looking at issue 9. Sorry. It's really noticeable.

RadChipmunk: Nunzio & Christina were you ever planning on having the kids do stuff like go to concerts, etc?

RadChipmunk: I know you had Josh & Laurie's "date" at the arcade, and they hang at the Grind Stone a lot.

Nunzio DeFilippis: We are hoping that the Grind Stone sticks around for a while. We like the idea of a coffee shop for the kids.

Brian Cronin: Harry's hideaway could serve coffee!

Brian Cronin: Poor Harry, getting run out of business

Nunzio DeFilippis: Well, Harry's is a bar. So there'd be a problem having all those kids in there.

Ravenwing263: It also had a really stupid name...

Christina Weir: Don't think we ever got to say it in story, but we always intended that Stevie Hunter owned the Grind Stone.

RadChipmunk: Really? Huh, a dance teacher/studio owner/coffee shop owner/ she's really multi-tasking now since she's been off-panel, huh?

Christina Weir: The Grind Stone and the dance studio were supposed to be right next to one another.

Ravenwing263: Was Kim going to come back?

Ravenwing263: I know she's human, but I liked her

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, more Kim in the future. We wanted to do a story where she fell for Josh (who doesn't) and David flips out.

zonzorp: Did you ever plan to have David interact with Sage?

Christina Weir: Yes, but then she left the school to join the Hellfire Club.

Christina Weir: That's why we used her in Too Much Information

Ravenwing263: I think Sage might have been soured on the students by that X-Treme issue.

Ravenwing263: How about Ororo and Sophia?

Ravenwing263: I think the two have more similarities then powers

Nunzio DeFilippis: We had wanted to show Ororo teaching Sofia to master her powers, but then Chris was kind enough to do it in his Christmas issue. We would have gone back to them, though. We also would have had Sofia teaching Ororo - since she can do things Ororo can't (like the Whispers in the Wind power).

mari: Can Ororo learn to do that? Because it's not really associated with weather...

Nunzio DeFilippis: To our thinking, Ororo would not be able to pull it off. But we wanted to put a scene in where Sofia tries to teach her, because it would establish Sofia as having mastery over some things Ororo can't handle.

Beast: What did you two think of Whedon's use and abuse of poor Elixir in Astonishing X-Men #11?

Nunzio DeFilippis: I've loved everything Joss has done with Josh. He's got Josh's voice down and it's nice to see one of our kids in the "big book."

Beast: Likes him enough to have the Astonishing cast just disregard his efforts?

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, but he played the moment for laughs, which means he knew (and we the readers know) they're being rude.

Chris Lang: Nunzio, I'd just like to say that I love your and Christina's work on New X-Men .

Chris Lang: My second favorite X-book after Whedon's Astonishing.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Chris thanks. That's high praise.

Ravenwing263: Is Josh an Omega?

Beast: Omega potential.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Josh is Omega, but that's about his unlimited potential.

Nunzio DeFilippis: His current level of control makes healing very taxing for him.

Chris Lang: I think it's good to establish that Josh DOES have limits

Chris Lang: Otherwise, Josh's healing power would be too much of a deus ex machina.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Chris - exactly.

Ravenwing263: Every power is a deus ex machina.

Ravenwing263: I mean, characters always get injured more when a healer is on the team

Chris Lang: I suppose you can say the same for force field. Ever notice how many times Sue Storm saves the FF from an explosion with a force field?

Chris Lang: If the FF didn't have anyone with a force field generator on the team, they wouldn't be in buildings when they blow up.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Well, Josh as Omega was never meant to REACH his potential and still be viable in a book.

Ravenwing263: Well, Omegas at full potential make some damn boring stories

Chris Lang: I agree with you there.

Nunzio DeFilippis: If Josh ever reached his potential, our plan was to have him become the next major X-baddie.

Nunzio DeFilippis: He would have tried eliminate prejudice by either doing what Magneto tried to do in the first X-Men film - make everyone a mutant, or the opposite, eliminating all mutations.

Chris Lang: Josh? I thought KEVIN was going to be the next major X-baddie.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Kevin was always meant to be the guy with the villain's powers who ended up a hero. And Josh was meant to be the guy with the hero's powers who ended up a villain.

Chris Lang: Ah, irony.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Plans change, over time, and we definitely wanted to show how Kevin's power calls to him in a villainous way. Most likely, Josh would never have reached his potential. We liked him too much to make him a major baddie.

Chris Lang: But the thing is, the books didn't seem to be going that way. Everything Josh did was well-intended.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Well, yeah, and Josh's villainy would be the same - well intentioned.

Chris Lang: Josh's heart seemed to be in the right place, even though his screw-up trashed the infirmary and nearly got him killed.

Ravenwing263: except that time he joined the xenophobic cyborg gang...

Brian Cronin: Yeah, that wasn't exactly well-intentioned, hehe…

Chris Lang: Yes, but he was doing everything he could to make up for the Reaver thing.

Ravenwing263: Like, my only complaint with New Mutants over all that had nothing to do with art was how easily Josh integrated himself into a mutant high school after spending time as an anti-mutant terrorist

Chris Lang: Well, David still had problems with him. It DID take a while for the other characters to warm up to Josh.

Nunzio DeFilippis: We had always intended to show that Josh's transition was a sign that he was never a bigot, but instead someone who did what he needed to in order to be popular.

Brian Cronin: Thanks to Nunzio and Christina for being so awesome.

Chris Lang: I just wanted to say thanks to them for a great run.

Tenebrae: Thank you very much, Nunzio and Christina, this has been great.

RadChipmunk: I'll miss you guys

Nunzio DeFilippis: We won't be gone long. We hope to get something going at Marvel soon, if not the NM project we mentioned then something else - we have a fun idea that would be great to write.

Ravenwing263: I can't wait to read it

Chris Lang: Good luck on those projects. You're great writers. Hope to see more great character-driven work from you.

RadChipmunk: I still wish you could stay on Academy X. I'll give the new writers a fair shot though.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Yeah, please do give Chris and Craig a shot. They may impress us all. I hope they make our kids stars!

Nunzio DeFilippis: Thanks, guys. We had 37 issues, all told between New Mutants, New X-Men: Academy X, and New X-Men: Hellions. It was a good run, and on the whole, we're proud of it.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Thanks for all the support and fun questions. Christina and I are off to dinner.

Nunzio DeFilippis: Have a good night, all.

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