Being an X-Man means fighting to protect a world that fears and hates you, but it also means weathering the massive, metaphorical storms that routinely shake up mutant lives. One of those storms arrives this November as writers Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson and artists Mahmud Asrar, R.B. Silva, Yildiray Cinar and Pere Perez join forces to kick off a brand new volume of Uncanny X-Men. Their initial 10-part weekly epic promises to redefines what it means to be an X-Man. It's titled “X-Men: Disassembled,” an homage to the 2004-2005 “Avengers: Disassembled” story that redefined Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for the modern era.
Kicking off this new era for Marvel’s flagship mutant title means juggling a huge cast of characters as well as dealing with the pressures of coordinating a weekly shipping story arc. CBR spoke with the writing team about those elements, the Avengers story that inspired their Uncanny X-Men collaboration, and the connective tissue between Uncanny and the other X-titles they write.
CBR: With three writers and four artists who have been working on the X-books coming together to tackle a weekly epic with a huge cast of characters, I can't help but be reminded of the recent Avengers story arc, "No Surrender." Is that sort of what's going on with Uncanny X-Men? And what's it like working with a team of co-writers? What do you enjoy most about each other’s styles?
Kelly Thompson: Yeah, I think the success of Avengers: No Surrender was certainly the inspiration for doing this first Uncanny story using that same model. It's an intense model, but it's pretty exciting to get that much story that fast and while there are obvious disadvantages with coordination and schedule stuff, there are advantages too in what you can do when the story comes to the reader that quickly. Process-wise, we came up with the overall story and outline together, and then we take turns outlining individual issues but we each write every issue, together. We've been able to blend our styles well enough I think that divvying up pages in each issue has actually worked very well. All these artists are terrific, but so far what they've done is way beyond what I ever expected.
What I enjoy most about Ed and Matt are the ways that they are like me. HA!
Ed Brisson: I've never worked collaboratively in this way before. I've done longer series where the whole story is broken down by the team of writers and everyone gets their own issues to write, but this is much more collaborative. As Kelly mentioned above, we beat the whole thing out over several weeks (months), both online and in person, and we all work together on each issue, writing our own pages and then revising to make it feel unified.
So far, no one has been murdered, but we still have a few issues to go.
Matthew Rosenberg: I've been having a blast. I was already a big fan and close friends with Kelly and Ed, but it's fun to watch them work up close. One of the big thrills for me is dividing up the issue and seeing what everyone comes back with. I think each person grabs the scenes they like, sort of thinking they will be the most interesting ones. But when each writer is fighting to make their moments really sing, everything comes back much better than I ever expect. So that's nice.