In 2005, Marvel Comics let readers decide what project legendary “Uncanny X-Men” writer Chris Claremont would work on next.
With options ranging from the Uncanny ones operating in Asgard alongside Alpha Flight to a What If?-style tale exploring a team of mutant marvels led by Professor X and Magneto, fans picked a glimpse of what the X-Men would look like had they aged in real-time over the past 45 years.
Flash forward to 2008, and Claremont was teamed with artist Patrick Scherberger on “GeNext.” Set loosely 10 years after the events of “X-Men: The End,” the five-issue miniseries – told “out of the mainstream continuity” – followed a new generation of X-Men. Professor X and Magneto are dead and Cyclops and Emma Frost are running the school.
Friday at New York Comic Con, it was announced that thanks to fan support, the gang is back again for a second series, “GeNext United,” beginning in May. Claremont will be returning as the writer with Jonboy Meyers on board as the artist.
CBR News spoke with Claremont about the series.
CBR News: It was announced that the team lineup from “GeNext” remains intact, but that two fan favorite X-men members are also joining in on the action. Can you share who they are or do we have to wait?
Chris Claremont: On the first page of the first issue, we’ll be welcoming Hank McCoy and Megan Frost-Summers to the ongoing cast. But we reserve the right to pull some hopefully wickedly delightful surprises out of our collective hats down the road a piece.
For those who missed the first series, can you quickly run down the returning lineup?
Olivier Raven [the son of Rogue and Gambit] is a natural leader, determined to look after his friends and build a decent future for himself and his sweetie, Megan Frost-Summers. Megan is a chip off the parental block. She has power and she knows how to use it. And she’s taken to heart the classic rubric about great power and great responsibility and to that ambition she’s dedicated her life. Pavel Rasputin [Colossus’ grandson] is prepared to be a hero, but at heart, he’s truly an artist. No-Name is a lost soul trying to find a home where she can anchor herself and build a life. Becka Munroe [Storm’s daughter] in some ways is surprisingly like No-Name, though she’ll never admit it. She’s someone who’s trying to find her proper way in the world, to build a stable life and a viable future – and to just learn to be happy. And Rico is the young man who has everything – brains, looks, powers – folks look at him and they know who he is and where his life should lead. Trouble is, he has different ideas.
Where do we pick up with the team? Has much time passed since we last saw them in “GeNext”?
We pick up the story for this arc roughly 45 minutes after the end of the first arc. When Megan telepathically spoke to Olivier in the last issue to tell him the rescue team was almost there, she really wasn’t kidding.
Can you please set up what we’re going to see in “GeNext United”?
As the team is trying to decide what future to follow, whether they should return to the school and give up, for the moment, their career as superheroes, or give up the school for a life of adventure, they find themselves caught up in a conflict raging across the Indian subcontinent.
One thing leads to another, and before they quite know it, they’re fighting to save a nation, not to mention themselves. Along the way, one of the team falls in love, another gets a broken heart and a third faces a ‘fateful life choice.’ There are villains, headlined by the Goddess of Evil & Destruction. Kali-Ma is the super-villain – or the real deal – but there are also some surprises in store as we reveal that heroes aren’t the only ones here moving on to succeeding generations.
Do we learn more about No Name’s backstory?
We learn her name and that she loves to dance. But other than that, let’s just say it’s never nice to give away surprises.
Why do you think GeNext works as a team? And what do you love about writing them?
Of course, there are the fundamental answers like they are good characters involved in stories well-told. But what I love about them is that for all their super-powers and heritage, their futures are still in doubt. Yes, they’re caught up in adventures but is this the course they want to follow for the rest of their lives? For some among the team, that issue is still very much in doubt. The other nice thing about the series is that, being out of the mainstream continuity, there’s no limitation on where the road to the future might lead. They can make lasting decisions about their lives. Their choices have both risks and consequences. To me, that makes the potentials far richer, the outcomes more satisfying than ‘regular’ titles.
And finally, what can you say about the work of Jonboy Meyers on the series?
First and foremost, he’s a superb artist. He draws great looking characters and tells a cracking good story; in purely basic terms, what more can a writer ask for?
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