X-POSITION: Aaron Takes "Wolverine & the X-Men" Back To School

Whether it's hiring new staff or getting captured by a nefarious Murder Circus, the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning can always be relied upon for some good fun in the pages of "Wolverine and the X-Men." At the hands of writer Jason Aaron and artists Nick Bradshaw and Ramon Perez, both the students and staff of the Jean Grey School have gotten a shake-up following "Avengers Vs. X-Men" with plenty more adventures to come as the book enters the Marvel NOW! era.

This week, the man, the beard, the legend himself Jason Aaron joins X-POSITION and answers your questions about "Wolverine and the X-Men," the future direction of the series, how the title might tie in to other Marvel NOW! books and reveals his favorite holiday dessert.

To kick things off, MarvelMaster616 wants to know about Quentin Quire, Rachel Grey and crossover potential between the kids and staff at the Jean Grey School and the original five X-Men.

1) First off, I'm really enjoying your run so far, Mr. Aaron. And one of my favorite characters in "Wolverine and the X-Men" right now is Kid Omega. What can we expect from him in the coming months as the events of "All-New X-Men" catch up with your series?

Jason Aaron: We see the first echoes of "All-New X-Men" in "Wolverine and the X-Men" #24, our "date night" issue. But that's certainly not the last time you'll see ripples from one book affecting the other. As for what Quentin's up to that issue, you'll have to wait and see. I'll just say there's some big stuff coming up for Kid Omega. His love life is going to get more complicated. And he may soon find himself in some very unfamiliar territory. There'll be more psychic shotgun action as well.

2. With Professor Xavier dead and Emma Frost on Cyclops's team, what can we expect from Rachel Grey now that she's the top telepath at the Jean Grey Institute? Will this role of hers evolve into something greater over time?

Well, like you said, she's the top telepath at the Jean Grey School. That's already a pretty huge role. Assuming she survives the current Murder Circus craziness, I'd expect to see Rachel getting back to what she was doing in issue #19: namely doing whatever she can to track down the Hellfire Club. For those that want to see more of Rachel unleashed, believe me, it's coming.
3) It's been revealed that Mystique will be playing a major villain role in both "All-New X-Men" and in "Wolverine and the X-Men." Can you talk a bit about her role and her motivations?

I can't say too much about what she's up to without spoiling one of our big arcs for next year. But she's obviously still working with Sabretooth's crew, along with Lord Deathstrike and the new Silver Samurai, who are all currently being contracted by the Hellfire Club to track down some of the new mutants popping up around the globe. As for what happens when they find those mutants... well, I expect we'll have an answer soon enough.

Alejandro has a few questions about old, familiar faces gracing the pages of "Wolverine and the X-Men."

1) Will we see Thor dropping for a lecture or something at the school soon?

At some point, probably. I hope to be on both series for quite a while, so there's no rush.

2) Where's Starblood? Is he still interested in killing Broo now that he's... changed?

Dr. Xanto Starblood is currently a prisoner of S.W.O.R.D., and yes, I would say he's still very much interested in Broo, though not necessarily in killing him. Someone already beat him to that anyway, didn't they?

Agent of X needs to know about Mystique and the possibility of expanding the faculty of the Jean Grey School.

You are one of my all-time favorite comic writers and "Wolverine and the X-Men" is a must read for me every month. I love the characters and the book is just so much fun and unique.

Thanks. Much appreciated. The response to this series has been really overwhelming and I thank all of you for giving it a shot.

1) What role will Mystique be playing in future arcs? Will it be connected to her appearances in "Uncanny X-Force" and "All-New X-Men?" Also you seem to really enjoy using Mystique as a villain. As my favorite character, I love your portrayal of her. I was wondering what it is you like so much about her?

Mystique's a great villain because she works in a lot of different roles. She's a badass fighter, a seasoned general and a sexy master of subterfuge, but usually there's still something you can't help but like about her. And yes, she'll still be rearing her villainous blue head in both "Wolverine and the X-Men" and "All-New X-Men."

2) Any new teachers coming to the Jean Grey School? I think Firestar and Quicksilver would be interesting choices given their connections to mutants, maybe even Guest Teachers like The Vision or Spider-Man, two characters I love seeing interact with X-Characters.

Way back when I first started putting my cast together for this series, Firestar and Quicksilver were both on the list. But ultimately I didn't have room for them. Obviously my cast is already insanely huge as it is. But those are both characters I'd still like to find room for at some point down the road. I'd really love to see them both finally become true X-Men in a big way. I love a lot of Alpha Flight characters too. Someday, maybe. Someday.

Next up, Marcus has a very specific question about Charles Xavier's dream and Wolverine's interpretation of it.

1) Wolverine said in the pages of "Uncanny Avengers" #1 that the X-Men failed in achieving Charles Xavier's dream. Given that you write one of the flagship X-Men titles, do you believe this statement?

Well, right now the X-Men are divided in a huge way and Professor Xavier was just murdered, so no, they definitely haven't achieved his dream. And in some ways, they're probably further away from it than ever before. But Logan still believes in the school, just like Xavier did. The school is the key to the future.
2) Will there be any future students and/or faculty members of the Jean Grey School that would be basically human?

Maybe. Wolverine obviously opened things up somewhat by allowing a couple of aliens into the school. But for now, I think the staff's gonna have their hands full with the new mutants that are popping up.

PhoenixRisingNYC wants to know about crossover potential between the Jean Grey School and "Avengers Academy's" Braddock Academy.

"Avengers Arena" writer Dennis Hopeless has established that several of the characters in his new book are students at the Braddock Academy. Seeing as this school has never been previously referenced before, I have to assume that it is similar to the Jean Grey School and the Avengers Academy where the entire student body consists of super powered teens. Since the Braddocks all have ties to the X-Men, and since I assume that the school was founded by former Excalibur members Brian and Meggan Braddock, is there a chance of a field trip to the Braddock Academy campus or perhaps a visit by Braddock staff and students to the Jean Grey School?

Dennis is a good friend of mine, so I've talked with him about the Braddock Academy, and yeah, it's something I'd like to play off of at some point. But there's nothing scheduled for the immediate future, as my book's dance card is already pretty full. I'm already working on issue #30 at this point, if you can believe it. On a sidenote, "Avengers Arena" #1 is probably my favorite first issue of all the Marvel NOW! comics. It's not a series you want to miss.
Next up is Jon with a Warren Worthington-specific question.

First off, I love "Wolverine and the X-Men." My question is about Iceman and Angel. In issue 4 we saw Iceman get very angry with Wolverine over the state of one of his two best friends and assume responsibility over him but there hasn't really been interaction between them since. Is Bobby still committed to "fixing" Warren or has he decided that it's a lost cause and to just let New Angel be?

Bobby learned back in issue #10 that the Warren he used to know just isn't coming back, because he simply doesn't exist anymore. Since then, Bobby's been doing the best he can to accept this new version of Angel as a whole new person. And as we've seen recently, Angel isn't doing too shabby. He's got Worthington Industries back up and running and now he's out serving as recruiter for the Grey School. Not bad for a guy who just graduated school a few weeks ago.

Anonseed246 has some flattery followed by a query about the format of the book moving forward.

Hi Jason! First of all, I would like to say that I am a very big fan of your work and your beard. Such a cute guy (with-a-beard). Anyway, here are my queries:

Beard flirtation. I love it. Under the beard right now I'm blushing.
1) You've mentioned that you'll be concentrating on a small cast of new students for this book and not so much on the other X-kids (which are all fan favorites). Will these X-kids graduate into real X-Men? When?

Yes, I will continue to focus for the most part on the core cast of students that I've already established, along with a few new additions, but we'll also still be seeing some of the previous generations of X-kids popping up here and there in different roles. Rockslide is currently playing a big role in the Murder Circus arc, and Anole, Armor and some of the other kids recently took control of Worthington Industries. Yes, I would like to start finding roles for some of these kids beyond just being in school forever. That doesn't mean they'll all suddenly become X-Men though. And yes, I understand that every character is someone's favorite, but you also have to recognize the need for each new generation of X-fans to have their own entry-point characters -- the characters who are first experiencing the world of the X-Men at the same time you are. With the overall cast that I've put together for this series I very intentionally chose characters from several different eras of X-Men history, but it wouldn't be complete without a few all-new characters as well. And judging by all the angry e-mails and tweets I got when I shot Broo in the head, people have really responded to some of those new guys, which I greatly appreciate.
2) In your interviews, you mentioned that this book would be interacting with other Marvel U Books (Bendis, Remender, etc.), however, could you shed some more light as to the self-contained future of WATXM?

Rick [Remender] and I are always talking about the continued evolution (no pun intended) of Genesis, as he's a character we've been sharing for a while now. And eventually you'll start to see more crossover between Brian [Michael Bendis] and I as well. I love what both of those guys are doing, so of course that makes it easy.

PS: Oh, and we're excited for Mystique in her "Business Attire." Lovin' that beard, Anonseed246

Ezra has a laundry list of questions about everything from Shark Girl to Mystique.

1) I'm very much a fan of your chosen cast and have grown a quick fondness for Iara Dos Santos, the Shark-Girl.  However, are there any plans to pick up any plot-points left behind from previous students, such as the mystery of "Who The Hell Is Chasing After Cipher" or the thrilling adventures of Bling!'s parents Sexy Mutha and Daddy Libido?  Or perhaps a follow-up to some wayward depowered X-Students like Angel Salvadore, Barnell Bohusk, the Omega Gang's Christian Cord or Sofia Mantega?

Uh, in short... no. But glad you're liking Shark Girl. You can also follow her on twitter now too, (@IaraSurfs) along with most of the rest of the Jean Grey School staff and students.

2) Will Jorge Molina be returning as artist in the near future?  He's an up-and-comer that has held his own against the likes of comic legend Chris Bachalo and the not-too-shabby-himself Nick Bradshaw and I would love to see his style continue to evolve on this title.

Yeah, Jorge did some great issues during the AVX tie-ins. I don't believe he's on the schedule right now, but other than the ever-amazing Nick Bradshaw, king of the madcap background details, we have the beautiful stylings of both David Lopez and Ramon Perez coming up. I am a lucky, lucky man.

3) Do Husk's mental problems and issues with her powers precede this title?  Are there any hints in previous comics that perhaps serve some insight in her recent off-beat shenanigans and will her former teammate and once-close friend Chamber make an appearance to cheer up his high school chum?

No, Husk's problems began in this series, and even though she's recently left the school, that doesn't mean her story is finished. I wouldn't be surprised to see her turn up again sometime soon. As for Chamber, no plans right now, but I do like the guy.

4) Mystique has had a lot of different takes on her throughout the years, which can perhaps be explained by her ever-changing appearance and identity-capturing mutant abilities.  What is your take on her -- is she a bat%^$@ crazy, vengeful villain, a calm and calculated mastermind, or none of the above?

All of the above! And a helluva mom to boot.

Finally, here's this week's Behind-the-X question to wrap things up: What's your favorite holiday dessert?

My wife makes a mean pie. My favorites are cherry and pumpkin. And my mom hand-dips tons of chocolate and caramel candies. Wait, was I supposed to pick just one?

Happy holidays, folks! And thanks as always for reading!

As always, a special thanks to Jason Aaron for being this week's special guest!

Next week, we take a brief break from the mainstream Marvel U and head over to the Ultimate Universe to check in with "Ultimate Comics X-Men" writer Brian Wood! Got some questions for Brian about the new world order following "Divided We Fall?" Send over an e-mail with your burning questions with the subject line "X-Position." As always, if it's a brief -- but pithy -- query, you can always submit via Twitter. Do it to it!

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