It’s almost here — the first issue of “Extraordinary X-Men” and the launch of the all-new, all-different line of X-Men comics! When we meet Storm and her team in the pages of “Extraordinary X-Men” #1, eight months will have passed in-story since we last saw Marvel’s mutants before “Secret Wars.” The Inhuman Terrigen Mists will have run amok over mutantkind, pushing the X-Men back into a corner and forcing them to fight for their existence. The series, which features Jeff Lemire writing and Humberto Ramos on art, will star X-veterans Storm, Iceman, Colossus and Nightcrawler as well as the wildcard Magik, the teenage Jean Grey and the newly displaced Old Man Logan.
This week, “Extraordinary X-Men” writer Jeff Lemire makes his X-POSITION debut — the first installment in a two-part GIANT-SIZE X-PO — and answers your questions about everything from Old Man Logan’s inclusion, Magik’s mood and Iceman’s future.
CBR News: Welcome to X-POSITION, Jeff! Two-part X-POs are rare around here, but the reader response to “Extraordinary X-Men” as too much for one X-PO to hold. Let’s get this two-parter kicked off with a question from Kamose1234.
Will you be exploring issues and relationships from pre-“Secret Wars” with your cast? I’m curious to see how Storm as leader will react with Forge given their slightly renewed friendship in her previous solo series, and Colossus and Magik’s status given how they haven’t interacted except in the unreleased “Uncanny X-Men” #600.
Yes, very much so. The relationships the cast members have had prior too “Secret Wars” will continue to and fuel their actions and inform my story moving forward. The Illyana/Colossus relationship is one of my favorite aspects of the book, as is Storm’s relationship with Forge.
Ben has a question about everyone’s favorite swashbuckling fuzzy elf.
I just have to ask about Nightcrawler! A lot has been revealed about the rest of the cast but nothing about my favorite fuzzy blue elf. Any hint or tease on the journey you’ll be taking Kurt on, Mr. Lemire?
No hints. We have a big story planned for Kurt and we have purposefully been vague about any details. We’d rather save it for the book. But there is a really big Nightcrawler scene in issue #1.
Your team counts Old Man Logan as one of its members, and Xman wants to know where the elderly Wolverine’s head is at.
Old Man Logan… What’s going on in his head? Is he happy to see all his friends alive? Or does seeing them now enhance his guilt? Does it strengthen his resolve to protect them?
Answering all of these questions would mean revealing everything we are going to explore with the character in the series, so I don’t want to give it all away here. But you nailed it — seeing the X-Men, all these people he loves, alive again, and the guilt he feels over “killing” them all… these things weigh very heavily on Logan.
How this will motivate his actions moving forward will be a big part of the series. He is very central to my X-Men plans.
Corther has a question about another classic X-Man, one we haven’t seen on the team in quite a while now.
With the old school, original “All-New, All-Different” X-Men (Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler, plus Old Man Logan) forming a large chunk of your team, is there any chance we may see a “Search for Banshee” type story? When Cyclops was out of the picture in the very early days, Banshee quickly stepped into his shoes to lead the team. He’s one of their oldest friends, and I think it’d be nice to see Banshee interacting with them again. Plus, with his whole Life Seed back from the dead thing, I’m sure there are lots good stories to dig into there! Looking forward to the new book!
I am very fond of Banshee as well, but to be honest, I have no immediate plans for that character. There will be a few other surprise cast members that we have not yet revealed though.
Following up on a question from last week’s X-Position with the X-Editors, MarvelMaster616 has a question about Iceman.
Last week, the X-editors answered questions on X-POSITION and it was hinted that Iceman’s recent coming out as a homosexual would be explored. Could you give us some hints as to what we can expect? What’s your plan for Iceman?
Iceman’s sexuality will indeed be explored in “Extraordinary X-Men” and also in Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley’s “All-New X-Men.” I will have the “adult” Bobby on my team, and Dennis and I are very conscious of treating them both as individual characters, each with their own motivations, and stories. So I will be focusing solely on him.
My hope is that Bobby, and the rest of the cast, will be very complicated and layered characters. So his sexuality will definitely be a big part of who he is in “Extraordinary X-Men,” but again, not the only thing that defines him. It will be a very challenging time for Bobby. Mutantkind is facing incredible challenges, and as our story begins, Bobby has been so busy that his personal life will have taken a back seat. But as the series and new status quo settles in, his sexuality and what it means for his life moving forward will be a storyline. Bobby will not be the only gay character on the team, though.
You’ll also have Magik on your team, and Niels wants to know more about your take on the sword-swinging teleporter.
You’ve mentioned what a complex character Illyana is and I couldn’t agree more, but she’s often been portrayed as an enigma or as glib about her dark side. Will you have her deal seriously with what is basically a giant child-abuse metaphor?
There will be nothing glib about Illyana’s view of her history or to her connection to the darker corners of the supernatural world. I have a major storyline planned that will dive deep into her past and into her connection to magic and mysticism in the Marvel U.
On the romance front, saahir has a question about Ororo Munroe.
Storm and Wolverine were lovers at the time of his death. Any chance we’ll see how that affects old man Logan and Ororo working together?
Yes — but that’s all I’m saying.
There are three X-Men books in the “All-New, All-Different” Marvel lineup, and Colonel Mortimer has a question about how the books relate.
How closely are you working with the other writers of the X-Books, and how aware are you of what they’ll be doing in their books? Do you believe that the X-Men work better as an integrated universe with each book dealing with consequences from other books and crossing over a lot with each other? Or do you think better X-Men stories are told when the writer is just left to do his own thing, not having to worry about what’s going on in any of the other books?
I think you really need to find a balance between both working with the other X-writers and artists and creating a cohesive world for mutants to inhabit, and also in letting each book have its own identity and let each creative team have the freedom to tell their own stories. Now, this isn’t always an easy balance to strike, but I think the main thing here is that Dennis, Cullen [Bunn], Tom [Taylor] and I all respect one another and all want each other to tell the best stories we can. So we are working together to create a cohesive backdrop and have certain story elements, like the Terrigen Mist story, run across the titles, but we are also very much telling our own stories too.
And we’ll close out the first half of this X-PO with a fun question from xhx23x.
Is there any character among the X-Men that you would like to write in this book (as a guest or a mainstay) in the future?
So many! Let me see — here’s a list of X-characters that I love and would like to write at some point in “Extraordinary X-Men.” Some of these I already have plans for, some I don’t yet but hope to, and others are already in the book, but we haven’t revealed them yet. I’ll let you all speculate on which is which…
Jubilee, Glob, Boom Boom, Sunfire, Ernst, Captain Britain, Meggan, Anole, Emma Frost, Jamie Madrox, Cable, Kitty Pryde, Warpath.
Thanks to Jeff Lemire for taking on this week’s questions as well as next week’s questions!
Next week, we conclude Jeff Lemire’s epic X-PO, but before that we’ll be chatting with “All-New X-Men” writer Dennis Hopeless at New York Comic Con. Have a question for Dennis? Go ahead and send ’em in via an e-mail with the subject line “X-Position” or post ’em in the X-PO community thread. But get ’em in quickly, because the deadline’s Thursday. Make it happen!
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