The X-Men are meant to protect a world that fears and hates them, which means they usually have the luxury of fighting in conflicts with clear moral choices and don't often have to wrestle with the repercussions of their actions. Morally murky mutant conflicts are generally the purview of the X-Force team, who have a proactive and lethal approach to problem solving. X-Force was first gathered together by the time-traveling mutant soldier Cable in the early '90s. Since then, there have been a number of different incarnations of the group. The original members, though, are about to reunite for a seemingly clear-cut assignment -- to hunt down the man who murdered their mentor.
Things might not be as black and white as they believe, though, as readers of Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz's Extermination series saw, the person who murdered Cable was a youthful version of himself. This younger Cable has a mysterious agenda, too. Brisson and artist Dylan Burnett will dive into that agenda this December when they kick off a new volume of X-Force that sends the titular team on a mission to hunt down the younger Cable.
CBR spoke with Brisson about his love for X-Force as a concept, his cast of characters and the role the cyborg known as Deathlok plays in the book.
CBR: So Ed, it looks like the story you're telling in X-Force spins naturally out of what you're currently doing in Extermination, since it involves the murder of the older Cable by what appears to be a younger version of himself. So, was this book always going to spin out Extermination? And will your line-up first assemble in that story? Or is your initial X-Force tale a getting the band back together style story?
Ed Brisson: I was offered X-Force when I was about halfway through writing Extermination. So, it wasn't always the plan. However, I had been using X-Force in Extermination and I'm guessing that worked as a bit of a tryout for the book. And, once we knew there was going to be an X-Force book, there was already a very natural place that we could take it coming out of Extermination. There's more I want to do with Kid Cable and there are definitely some unanswered questions that the rest of X-Force are going to try to get answered.
We're going to drop the reader right in the middle of it with Issue #1 and fill them in as we progress through the story. There's no wasted time on getting the team together. They're together and ready to kick ass.
It's clear from your writing that you're a long-time X-Force fan, especially from your work on Cable. What is it about that team that resonates with you? And how would you compare this lineup to other incarnations? Are they more of a proactive group like the original team? A band of assassins like some of the more recent versions? Or are they something completely new?
A band of proactive assassins, maybe?
Within the Marvel U, the X-Men have always been the outsider, the black sheep, and X-Force are the outsiders within the X-Men. They're the team willing to do the things that no one else in the Marvel U will and that's something that appeals to my sensibilities a great deal.
In terms of the team, we're obviously going with the classic line-up (minus a couple characters), but sending them out with a vendetta. In tone, I think it's a happy medium of old school X-Force and more recent incarnations, the Rick Remender and company. Uncanny X-Force being a prime example.