CCI: X-Men Panel

Welcome to day 2 of CBR's live coverage from Comic-Con International in San Diego. Marvel held its X-Men panel Friday morning, moderated by Jim McCann and featuring Marjorie Liu, Daniel Way, Jason Aaron, Peter David, Chris Yost, Craig Kyle, Matt Faction, and editor Axel Alonso.

McCann began the panel by singing 'Happy Birthday' to retailer Stephen Meyer.

Fraction began by talking about "Dark Avengers/X-Men," which has "an ending no one will see coming, that's for sure." He said that ending would feature "some of the most incredible Mike Deodato art you've ever seen."

David said that "X-Factor" 50 would wrap up both the present and future storylines and set things up for the next year.

Jason Aaron's next "Wolverine: Weapon X" will take place in a mental institution, with a man named Logan believing he's gone crazy.

Daniel Way then talked a bit about Deadpool running up to issue #900. After proving to himself he's the best mercenary, Deadpool is questioning his purpose. "What happens when the stimulus is taken away? Does he still exist? He doesn't," Way said. Deadpool will try to be a hero and try to join the X-Men, which doesn't go well.

In "Dark Wolverine," Daken will "be taken down a notch," Liu said, "and it will be interesting to see his reaction to that."

McCann then announced that Daniel Acuna will be the new artist on "X-Men Legacy."

Then, Magneto returns in Uncanny in September, with the Nation X storyline. "Magneto is gifted with a sense of timing," Fraction said, and "we're going to see where he's been and what he's been up to."

The next slide showed Wolverine fighting Skaar. "Wolverine has to change his tactics completely," Way said. "Everything he does, Romulus sees coming, so he has to do something entirely off the wall." He also said he has to go to a certain character, and "when he goes to Bruce Banner for a favor, he runs into his pissed-off kid."

"X-Men Legacy," "X-Force," and "New Mutants" crossover in "Necrosha." "We have been building to this since 'New X-Men,' when we took Wither and Destiny away," Craig Kyle said. "This is our chance to bring back some characters that have been lost to us. Some that we killed. Many."

"This is the rise of Selene."

"All of the stuff we've been doing with Black Queen, this is the big payoff," Yost said. A "Necrosha" one shot in October kicks things off, but things will start to build in "X-Force" 18.

After opening the floor to questions, a female fan said the Madrox/Layla kiss was "creepy" because he'd only known her as a child. "Some time has passed," David said of their time together in the future. "For my comfort level, I would have liked it to be two years. But I don't have that kind of time." He described Layla as Madrox's lifeline, and said that without the absorbed baby event, he would not have kissed her. David also said Layla and Madrox did not sleep together and there will be some pullback from that romance--"on Madrox's part, not on Layla's. Because she's lived through those years and has no problem being aggressive."

"We've seen art on the entire first issue" of "X-Force: Sex and Violence," Yost said in response to a question. "It's going to be a fun adventure with a lot of killing."

"It's really an intimate story between Domino and Wolverine," Kyle said. "It's about Domino getting in over her head and Wolverine not wanting to drag the rest of team into it."

It's coming out "in the future," Yost said of its release date. "When Layla is an adult," McCann added.

Will "X-Factor" and "Uncanny" crossover? "Not for lack of wanting, but the dance card's pretty full," Fraction said. David joked that fans on the one hand ask to see that, but when "X-Factor" crosses over many complain. He said if there was a compelling story, they would do it.

A fan thanked the writers and Mike Carey for tying together lingering story threads. He asked about an unresolved story from Chuck Austen's run, a story it seemed only Matt Fraction remembered. He said he had considered picking it up, but thought it would require explaining too much to readers.

Any chance at Deadpool Noir? "There's always a chance," McCann said. Part two: any chance Zombie Deadpool Head will make it into Daniel Way's "Deadpool?" "Yes!" Way said, though he may have again just been agreeing to a chance. "You've just committed to writing Zombie Deadpool Head," McCann laughed.

Fraction and Brubaker have been planning Magneto's return since "at least #500," Fraction said.

The next question was about gay superheroes like Northstar and if there were any challenges in writing them, creatively or editorially. "It wasn't a big deal," David said of writing the Rictor/Shatterstar kiss. "It was panel 5 of a six-panel page." He noted that fans have been asking for Shatterstar to come back and to pick up with Rictor where they left off. "I think we will eventually reach a point where two men being romantically involved in a comic book will be no more surprising than a man and woman being involved." David was roundly applauded for his remarks.

Liu said that Daken will "do anyone and anything" to achieve his goals and he's "past that kind of identification. He's beyond it." Way added that Daken's sexuality will be addressed later on, but it's more about his personality. "He's no more homosexual than he is heterosexual. It's about control."

"For me it was as irrelevant as haircolor or flight," Fraction said of writing Northstar. The character was added because Cyclops, as a tactician, realized that he had no groundspeed on his team.

In response to a question about Apocalypse and the Celestial, David said it won't come up in X-Factor. "We only use guys who look good in a trenchcoat and fedora," he joked. "I only brought back Shatterstar when I figured out how to make him look good in that."

Alonso said that "you will be seeing Dupe pretty soon."

Hulk vs. Wolverine Family Feud? "Wait, 'Survey Says' Family Feud? Because I would do that," McCann said.

Asked about the characters they'd like to work with, Aaron said he would like to see more Fantomex, while David would like Nightcrawler in X-Factor. Kyle said "Deadpool will be coming into the mix" in X-Force. Fraction said "I can't answer, because the person's coming back," but not in Fraction's story so he didn't want to spoil it.

Asked about more screen time for Strong Guy, Peter David said, "We're going to be giving Guido more to do, if nothing else because he's skeeved about Rictor and Shatterstar. Which he finds strange because he considers himself pretty liberal."

Fraction said there's "big stuff coming up for Psylocke. Not to be lascivious, but wait til you see Terry Dodson draw Psylocke."

Return to blue and gold teams for separate books? "God, I hope not, strategically I hated that," Fraction said. He said that lesser-seen characters will get their chance. "It's a balancing act. We love everybody. Would you rather see somebody who makes sense in the story, or someone who's shoehorned in and doesn't do anything because they have nothing to do?"

"Each runs independent, but runs parallel and complements," Alonso said of the X-line, noting that each title has a different feel even if they use similar teams of characters.

Shatterstar as son of Dazzler and Longshot? David is considering addressing this, but is undecided.

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