X-POSITION: Aaron Talks X-Men and Inner Turmoil

When it comes to educating children, there are two primary schools of thought. One says you need to provide a sheltered environment, so kids will feel safe and can learn without worrying about the dangers around them. The other says children need to be exposed to the world to widen their view of things and, hopefully, prepare them for staking their place in society.

For the past few years, Marvel Comics' X-Men have taken the former position. Due to dwindling numbers in the mutant population, Cyclops established a Homo superior safe haven -- Utopia. This island-country protected their race while allowing mutant culture to grow. Over time, questions about this philosophy by certain X-folks created growing concern and other factors are coming to a head in the upcoming X-event, "Schism."

Leading the charge against the idea of isolation is Wolverine. And while I'm sure folks would be curious to see Cyclops and Logan have a healthy debate on a stage, I think it's safe to say that fists will fly (in addition to eye-beams and claws). To find out more about the fun fans can expect, we've grabbed the writer of "X-Men: Schism," Jason Aaron, for today's X-POSITION. He also writes "Wolverine" and "Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine," so he has loads to talk about. Let's get started, shall we?

Taurean is up first and sent in a terrific trio of queries...

I am really excited about "X-Men:Schism!" I liked the fact mutantkind was united for a while, but I've always felt the best stories come when there's conflict; like when Cable had X-Force and they didn't see eye to eye with Professor X's methods. This leads to my questions:

1) I heard this story is about Cyclops and Wolverine, but will we see any of the other strong-willed X-Men putting in their two cents? Storm would be a great choice because she is a queen and ex-leader of the X-Men...

We'll see loads of other X-Men over the course of "Schism," but for the most part, the story will focus on Scott and Logan. In the aftermath of "Schism" though, we will most certainly see the reactions of all the other X-Men to what has happened, as everyone is forced to choose sides.

2) Who else is involved with this event? Will we see Jubilee and maybe some of the New X-Men? If this is going to rock the X-Men's world, I think everybody needs to get a punch in!

No Jubilee, but some of the other young X-Men do play a role. I've always loved Rockslide and Anole, myself.

3) I know this event is hush-hush, but can we get a hint as to what this big bad threat is?!

The X-Men actually face a few different threats over the course of "Schism," but really it's the philosophical divide between Cyclops and Wolverine that proves to be the real problem.

As "philosophy" is a thinking man's game, Marcus wants to know if we'll be seeing a certain thinking man in your story:

1) Will Beast play a decent-sized role in the X-Men "Schism" event? Or will his involvement be limited to minor appearances?

We won't see Beast in "Schism," but I wouldn't be surprised to see him involved in the aftermath.

2) Many X-Men fans may feel that "Schism" is the X-Men version of "Civil War." Is that an accurate statement?

In some sense, yes, I suppose so. One of the main goals with "Schism" is to make sure that there's no easy answer to the debate between Scott and Logan -- that each side has a defensible position. When we first talked this story over at our annual X-retreat, we had pretty heated discussions in the room, with some folks fiercely defending Scott's side, other's Logan's. That's when I knew we were on the right track. Hopefully fans will be just as torn in deciding which side they agree with.

3) This question may be better suited for an editor, but I was wondering if you could tell us how many of the other X-books will be affected by "Schism" and if there will be any one-shots or miniseries spinning out of this event?

During "Schism," I believe the only series that will be directly tying in is "Generation Hope," as Hope and some of her Five Lights all play a huge role in "Schism." It's only after "Schism" that we'll see the effects ripple over into multiple titles, including the arc of "Wolverine" that begins in November.

4) This event has been positioned as something that will change the X-Men status quo again, but I was wondering if these changes will be nullified with the return of the Scarlet Witch over in "Avengers: Children Crusade?"

No, the return of Scarlet Witch will not affect the events or outcome of "Schism" at all.

Marius665 apparently has a magic lamp, and used one of his wishes for the following:

About a year ago on X-POSITION, I suggested a Wolverine Omnibus. It looks like both our dreams have come true! Out of curiosity, how does it feel to have your stories collected in a thick volume like this? Do you have a special place on your bookshelf?

So I have you to thank, Marius665? Thanks a bunch. I'm thrilled that Marvel's collecting all my Wolverine work, just like I was when they collected my Ghost Rider work. My very first comic work was a Wolverine story, all the way back in 2002, and I've been working with Wolvie for most of my career since, so the Canucklehead and I have become quite close. He still won't tell me how he gets his hair to stand up like that though.

I feel like there's a "Something About Mary..." joke in there, but I'll refrain.

Andrew feels bad for all that Logan goes through and thinks that you'll want to get together with the other Wolvie writers for a round of Kumbaya...

1) Wolverine is going through some tough times in his main series, and I was wondering if we'll see the fallout from all he's experiencing in his other titles ("Avengers," "Uncanny X-Force"). Do you coordinate with the other writers who use him?

Yes, we all coordinate as much as possible. Marvel holds retreats two or three times a year where a bunch of us writers get together and bounce ideas off each other. In particular, Rick Remender and I are always talking about ways to tie our stuff together. He recently picked up the threads of the new Deathlok I'd introduced in "Wolverine" and ran with it, and later this year, I'll be picking up a few of his threads, though I can't say exactly where just yet.

2) With "Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine" wrapped up, do you have any other plans for those characters? Maybe another team-up featuring Spider-Girl and X-23?

If you've seen the last page of "Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine" #6, then you know there's definitely going to be a follow-up story to this at some point, probably in the pages of "Wolverine." As for other 'Spider' characters, look for Spider-Woman to show up soon in "Wolverine" as well.

The Big G (not me) gets in the last questions of the day for Jason Aaron... and his beard?

1) Jason, so far you've mostly written Wolverine solo or in a duo a la "Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine" (which is phenomenal by the way). How has it been writing "Schism," which seems to encompass the X-Men as a whole? Have you discovered any new favorite characters? Does this make you want to write a team X-book?

Yeah, I love getting to write so many X-characters I've never written before, plus ones I've tinkered with a few times before. New favorite characters? Idie from Generation Hope, most definitely. What a terrific character. And Iceman. I really love Iceman. A team book, you say? I don't know, but I'll just say I'm looking forward to being a part of the X-universe in some way or another for the foreseeable future.

2) You mentioned at Wonder-Con (if i recall correctly) that you were going to focus on some of the younger X-Men in your upcoming book. I know you've said Hope and her posse would get some time, what about the others? A few of them have shown rather negative opinions of the X-leadership -- mainly Cyclops -- in recent months. So given the nature of "Schism," it would seem like a few of these students might want to express their opinions...

Yes, several of the students will play a key role in the events of "Schism," and again, it's in the aftermath of the story when we'll see everyone express their opinions on the outcome.

3) Concerning "Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine" (I can't wait for the hardcover!), is there any time period in history you wish you could have sent Wolverine and Spider-Man to that you weren't able to fit into your story?

Yeah, my original outline was just insane. In addition to everything that's ended up in the book, I had them going to the Middle Ages, fighting Galactus on an alien planet and being stranded in the 15th century where Spider-Man started the New World Avengers with Sasquatch, Red Wolf and an Aztec Ghost Rider.

4) Who would win in a brawl of the beards: your beard, Brett Keisel's of the Steelers, or Brian Wilson of the SF Giants? All three of you guys have pretty epic beards and they make my goatee feel unmanly...

That battle might destroy the world as we know it.

That would make an awesome event - "X-Men: Split Ends."

And as long as we've moved to a fairly random question, it's time for today's "Behind the X" get-to-know-you query! Jason, as "Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine" deals with the world's craziest reality show, I'm curious if you have a favorite reality TV show? And if you could participate in any reality show, which one would it be?

Historically I've hated most all reality shows, but lately I've become a big fan of a few. I love the cooking competition shows, like "Iron Chef" and "Worst Cooks in America." My wife has me watching "Oddities," because the interior of our house very much resembles that shop -- full of skulls and animal bones and all sorts of weird old stuff. If I could participate on a show, it would have to be "Man vs. Food." I got to hang out and watch when Adam filmed the Kansas City episode. I'd love to chow down at the places he goes, even though I'm not quite sure it would fit with my diet.

Next week, scribe Christopher Yost returns to X-POSITION! He is writing the current "First to Last" over in "X-Men," and he's anxious to hear from you. So please type up those all those ponderings and wonder-ments in your prettiest font and send them my way (george@comicbookresources.com) as soon as you can. Throw an "X-Position" in the subject line and I'll tell you about my role as an extra in "Kung Fu Panda 2." See you in seven!

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