The old axiom about those who don't remember the past being condemned to repeat it is weighing heavily on Charles Xavier's mind. The former X-Men leader has embarked upon a quest to use his vast telepathic powers to rebuild the memories that were stolen from him when he was shot in the head at the end of the recent event story, "Messiah CompleX." Xavier's journey is chronicled in the pages of the Marvel Comics series "X-Men: Legacy" by writer Mike Carey and artist Scott Eaton. This September, Xavier comes face-to-face with one of his greatest mistakes when "Dark Deception," a multi-part crossover between "Legacy" and "Wolverine: Origins," begins. CBR News spoke previously with "Origins" writer Daniel Way about the crossover, and Mike Carey joins us now to detail his contribution to "Dark Deception."
"Dark Deception" arose out of separate conversations Mike Carey and Daniel Way were having with their editors, John Barber and Nick Lowe. "We had a situation where, bizarrely, Professor X finds himself facing the same conundrum Wolverine faced for years in that he's having to piece together his past like a jigsaw puzzle using bits of indirect and contradictory information that just don't seem to fit," Carey told CBR News. "I had already made a list of characters I had wanted Xavier to encounter on his journey and Wolverine was on that list. We thought that it would be really cool if we could make that work in the wider context of the X-Men line and include some revelations here that nobody knows about, stuff that relates to the ongoing relationship between Logan and Charles Xavier."
Carey was very pleased when Barber and Lowe arranged it so "Legacy" would crossover with "Wolverine: Origins," of which the writer is a fan. "It's a fascinating ride. I'm reading it and enjoying it," Carey said. "I'm in awe of Daniel's ability to manipulate what's already known and his skill to find new avenues and slants of information within that. In a way it's similar to what we're trying to do on 'Legacy' in that there are stories within stories and 'stories between the steeories' and you shine a light into these little recesses."
"Wolverine: Origins" #29 is a prologue to the "Dark Deception" crossover, and a special one-shot issue co-written by Way and Carey follows. The crossover officially hits "X-Men: Legacy" in October and runs through issues # 217-218.
Carey plans on keeping Xavier very busy in the months leading up to "Dark Deception." The current story arc, "Sins of the Father,' ends with July's "X-Men: Legacy" #214, and will be followed up with a two-part tale co-starring Cyclops. "It will be the first time they've met since Xavier's 'death' in 'Messiah CompleX,'" Carey explained. "The two meet in what in many ways is a surprising place and a surprising way. A lot of #215 is a conversation between Xavier and Cyclops which covers an enormous amount of ground. I've finished writing the issue and I'm very satisfied with it. It's the most emotionally powerful issue of 'Legacy' so far."
Much of that power comes from the strained and fragile relationship Cyclops and Professor X had in the run-up to "Messiah CompleX." The two characters have changed significantly since then with Xavier's memory loss and Cyclops's more proactive stance on mutant affairs but that doesn't mean the tensions between them have gone away. "Xavier's encounter with Cyclops doesn't go as he imagined," Carey teased. "Cyclops says to him at one point, 'You could have seen this coming if you were a different kind of man.' So Xavier gets some food for thought. He gets the information about his past that he came for but it leaves him with a lot to think about and a lot of soul searching to do."
Xavier might not have as long as a history with Wolverine as he does with Cyclops, but his relationship with Logan is just as complicated if not more so. "I think it's fair to say going into 'Dark Deception' that Xavier is looking at Logan as another one of his failures, another thing he needs to feel ashamed of and atone for," Carey stated. "The way Xavier's quest works is that he's picking up pieces of his past, but he's always seeing them through the perspective of other people. So he'll have memories relating to his first meeting with Logan but he's not seeing them as he saw them or Logan saw them but as third parties did. He sees the exterior but not the emotions and motivations. So he's only getting a part of the picture and in some ways that can be worse than not having anything."
In "Dark Deception," Xavier will gain the perspective of Wolverine's memories of him, but Logan is looking to get something from his former mentor as well. "It's not just Xavier coming back into Logan's life and saying I'm sorry about this and I'd like to help you out," Carey said. "Logan has something very specific that he needs and he's looking for somebody to supply it. When the two of them get together their goals may not be entirely compatible."
Wolverine's immediate goal in "Wolverine: Origins," is protecting his son Daken from the conspiracy that brainwashed and turned him into a killer. Carey hinted that when Xavier probes Logan's mind and sees his concern for Daken, it's likely Xavier's thoughts may turn to his own son David Haller, aka Legion.
The man responsible for Daken's transformation is the mysterious Romulus. A little over a century ago, Romulus did the same thing to Logan, so Wolverine's ultimate goal in "Origins" is to get revenge on Romulus for the crimes against him and his son. And as "Dark Deception" will show, Wolverine may not be the only X-Man that Romulus has had dealings with. "It's more than possible that if Romulus and Xavier haven't encountered each other face to face, their paths have crossed in other ways because they've certainly been interested in the same people at different times," Carey said. "So it's likely they've only been at one or two removes from clashing a number of times, a fact which will probably be referenced in the story."
A number of familiar and brand new faces will play supporting roles in "Dark Deception." "You will see some of the cast of both 'Astonishing' and 'Uncanny X-Men' early on but then the story takes off in another direction," Carey said. "There's also a big established X-Men villain moving events forward in the story, alongside a new character, who we will have glimpsed only once."
Carey revealed the title "Dark Deception" refers both to the concept of self deception and also to the way the truth can be buried under layers of seemingly innocuous elements. "There are wheels within wheels," Carey said. "Sometimes it's not what you don't know that can hurt you; it's what you think you know. Xavier has a perspective on the past which leads him to take certain actions. Wolverine also has a perspective on his own past which leads him to have certain expectations as to how things are going to play out between him and Xavier. This story is a study of multiple deceptions and misunderstandings."
"Dark Deception" is a story that will impact Professor X and Logan's relationship as well as the directions each character goes next on their respective quests. It's also going to have some effect on Xavier's larger role and identity in the family of the X-Men. "In 'Legacy' #215, Xavier quotes some lines of poetry by T.S. Elliot., 'We will not cease from traveling and the end of all our journeys will be to arrive back where we started and to see the place for the first time,'" Carey said. "He's learning that although you can't go home again, perhaps you can do something that is as good."
"X-Men: Legacy" is slated to run about a year in its current form and "Dark Deception" occurs just slightly over the series' mid-point. Once the crossover wraps, Xavier will embark on the final leg of his personal journey. "Coming out of this we'll have our big storyline with Rogue which we've been hinting at in cutaways during 'Sins of the Father' and will continue to hint at in the two-parter which follows it," Carey explained.
For Carey, the highlight of working on "Dark Deception" has been the collaborative experience working with "Origins" writer Daniel Way. "It's really fun," Carey said. "It's not something I've done in the X-Men context before. 'Messiah CompleX' was a huge co-written epic but this is going to be more intimate in that it's one story and we're both working on the same page at the same time, so to speak. Daniel is a fantastic collaborator ï¿½" full of ideas, great at story structure, and with a complete grasp of past continuity."
"Dark Deception" is a tale which delves into the long sordid pasts of two of the X-Men and Carey feels has something to offer everybody. ""For longtime X-Men readers there's a lot to discover in this storyline," Carey said. " It's going to be fairly new reader friendly but there's a lot of stuff that goes back to the roots of the relationship between Wolverine and Professor X and the formation of the second genesis team."
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