X-POSITION: Aaron, "Wolverine & the X-Men" Prepare for the Phoenix

Unless you've been living under a rock (that happens to be situated on Mars), you've most likely heard about the impending "Avengers vs. X-Men" event. As stated in the book's solicitations, a source leading to this conflict is the fact that the Phoenix Force is coming to earth. Gee, I wonder if it's a good time to be attending a school named after the Phoenix Force's greatest host?

As headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning -- and as a member of both the X-Men and Avengers -- Wolverine has loads on his mind as "AvX" approaches. This, in turn, means his primary writer, Jason Aaron, is experiencing a case of busy-brain syndrome as he tries to juggle Logan's various concerns in the pages of "Wolverine and the X-Men," "Wolverine," and "Avengers vs. X-Men" for Marvel Comics. Fortunately, he has a bit of grey matter to spare for us in today's X-POSITION. Let's get to it before his mind runneth over...

Soupernatural is all about the kids and he wants to know more, more, more. But to kick things off, he wisely starts with some kind words:

First, let me say that I am a self-professed filthy mutie lover who buys every title with an X-gene. So I want to thank you -- not only for my favorite comic book on the stands now, but probably my most favorite X-book ever. That's not hyperbole -- I have never been as entertained with these characters as I have been with you at the helm. Please write this book for as long as it runs and thanks for everything!

Thanks, Soupernatural. "Wolverine and the X-Men" is an absolute blast to write, so I plan on sticking around a very long time.

Now on to my questions...

1) The fact that you brought back Quentin Quire is a stroke of genius. At the moment he's not quite a villain, but rather a foil for Wolverine and the entire school itself. With the title going into AvX, will he factor into the core conflict as he has a connection to the Phoenix Force? Or will he just side with The Avengers just out of spite? Does Quentin have it in him to ever be a hero?

The kids at the Jean Grey School won't be allowed to get out and about and get involved in "AvX." Well, most of them won't, at least. But that's not to say they'll go untouched by the events. "AvX" will have some huge ramifications for at least a couple of our students; whether Quentin is one of them remains to be seen.

Quentin's connection to the Phoenix will be referenced, but no, it won't be playing a role in "AvX." The Phoenix Force obviously has a very long and complicated history, and in order to make "AvX" new-reader friendly, we wanted to distill as much of that down as we could. So we focus in on Hope, and the recent history of the Phoenix. That means someone like Rachel Summers won't play a big role in the main series, but she most definitely will have her moments in the "Wolverine & the X-Men" tie-ins.

2) One of the most fascinating characters to join the student body has largely been kept in the background recently, so let me ask: what can we expect for Genesis? While most of the students seem to shun him for his Apocalyptic connections, could we perhaps see him join the "reject clique" of Broo and Idie?

I don't think I'd call Broo and Idie the "reject clique." More just the "new kid clique." Yes, we certainly will be seeing more of Genesis. He gets a bit of quality screentime in the next issue, #8, and then again in #10. And he'll also be returning in a big way to the pages of "Uncanny X-Force" in the coming months. There's a mammoth story there with Genesis that's only just beginning -- a story that Rick Remender and I talk about a lot.

3) Kid Gladiator consistently makes me laugh out loud. But what does he need Warbird to guard him for if he's a chip off his father's block (nigh invulnerable and aggressive)?

As Warbird says in the first issue, she's really here more to protect us from Kid Gladiator, instead of the other way around. I'm not sure she's doing such a great job of it though. And speaking of Gladiator, expect KG's daddy to come calling during the "AvX" tie-ins.

4) What do you think is the worst mischief the Bamfs have ever done? And are they Bamfs or something new?

Like everybody else, I thought they were just Bamfs. But now Professor Starblood tells us otherwise. Guess we'll just have to wait and see...

While we're waiting, how about answering a few queries from the mighty Starleafgirl:

Jason, you have no idea how grateful I am for a more lighthearted, school-oriented X-book like "Wolverine and the X-Men" these days! Thanks for that and for giving Blindfold moments in your series as well. My questions involve getting the former Generation X students to interact more...

1) With Paige's power seemingly turning against her, will Jono -- whose power has often been a curse to him -- take this opportunity to help her through this difficult time?

Husk does seem to need some help, whether she wants it or not. Expect her brother Cannonball to be the one to offer it. As for Chamber, no big plans for him right now, though he is a character I'd love to do something with. He pops up for a moment in issue #10.

2) Is there a set issue for the proposed flag football game between Avengers Academy and the JGSHL kids? And might this be an opportunity to reunite Husk, Chamber, and Hollow?

Considering the events of "AvX," all proposed sporting events have been postponed.

3) We've heard that Jubilee is leaving X-Men; many of us hope this means there are plans for her elsewhere. Could a visit to the JGSHL be in her future?

No plans for Jubilee on my end. But from issue to issue you just never know who might be showing up at the Jean Grey School. First it was Deathlok dropping by, now Captain America and... Cyclops? Uh oh.

I sure hope that school has good insurance. Our next e-mail comes from PO! who also is curious about the JGSHL's diverse student body:

Mr. Aaron, you are the reason I love the X-Men so much! The JG school is by far one of the best things that have ever happened to the X-Universe! I was hoping you could answer the following:

1) Angel is a student now but I was wondering if you could tell us more about his appearance and age? And is there any chance of seeing Warlock's son Tyro as a student? Or maybe Colossus' son Peter?

Angel is still a big mystery, to everyone at the school as well as to himself. Expect some new insights into his condition in "Wolverine & the X-Men" #8 as well as #10. In other words, as with Genesis, there's a story there, one that's just getting started. No plans for Tyro or Kid Colossus. But we might just see a visit from poppa Colossus in the very near future...

2) It seems that Rachel has taken a particular interest in Wolverine. Could this have anything to do with the possibility that he is her real father and not Cyclops?

I guess only Jean knew for sure. Too bad she's dead.

3) I wish we could see more scenes with the old students, like Anole, Mercury, and Hellion. I would love to see more about Anole's personal life and love interests. I thought he had something with Graymalkin but no one seems to mention it anymore. Might you be covering one of these topics in the future?

I feel like most issues of "Wolverine and the X-Men" are packed to the gills with characters and wackiness as is. There's just never room to focus on all the kids we have running around the school. I try to sprinkle in different ones here and there when I can. And of course there's "X-Men Legacy" and "Astonishing X-Men" as well. Still, there's always going to be somebody's favorite character left on the sidelines. That said, I do like Anole and hope to give him some moments when I can.

Our pal Marcus Martin sent in his two cents in the form of two inquiries (one penny for each):

1) Given that Cyclops is visiting the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in the midst of "Avengers vs. X-Men," will we be able to get his reaction to the school, the staff, the students...and the fact that the school is named after his dead wife?

Yes, I expect he will most certainly have something to say about the school being named after his dead wife.

2) Based upon the solicitations of upcoming X-titles, it seems that almost all of Wolverine's staff members will be siding with Cyclops in AvX. Outside Wolverine and Beast, will there be any staff members from the School that will be willing to side with the Avengers during this event?

We'll just have to wait and see. Obviously none of these decisions will be easy. We're looking at a lot of long dark nights of the soul for a lot of our characters.

With AvX pending, I think we had to expect an email or two from our friend Phoenix Egg:

1) In "Wolverine" #8, Logan's mind is cleared of demons by the Phoenix. Was that a hint of things to come in "Avengers vs. X-Men?"

No, that was really its own story. But at the time, I did know of the impending Schism between Scott and Logan, so that may have played into it somewhat.

2) I understand that the Phoenix left Rachel a while back. Do we know what caused it to abandon her? And does she know it's coming back to Earth?

The Phoenix left everyone who still had even a trace of it, not just Rachel. So now the full force of it has coalesced and is heading our way. If Rachel doesn't know that yet, I expect she will soon enough.

3) Idie is one of the greatest X-characters created in recent years. She's in "Wolverine & the X-Men" but doesn't seem to have had any big moments so far. What's ahead for her?

Big moments. Including a few that she herself won't see coming...

And now it's my turn with today's "Behind the X" get-to-know-you question. On the topic of "big moments," can you tell us if you've ever met a celebrity of any sort (actor/filmmaker/writer) where you became totally starstruck?

I was crazy starstruck meeting Grant Morrison, but he was the coolest, most down-to-earth guy. I also got to go backstage at "Saturday Night Live" one time -- thanks to Bill Hader -- and I wandered the halls in awe, starstruck by anyone and everyone I saw. I took a picture of the floor in the bathroom that's back by the dressing rooms. God only knows how many comedy superstars have stood, kneeled or lain unconscious on that floor.

Oh, if that bathroom floor could talk. On second thought... ew. Thanks for your time, Jason!

That concludes today's craziness, but in seven days we'll be back with the writer of "Uncanny X-Men," Kieron Gillen! He's happy to answer all your questions of what it's like to live in a Utopian world, so type them up and send them to me posthaste. Throw an "X-Position" in the subject line, and I'll happily drink like Don Draper during the workday (but there's no way I could emulate his after-hour binges). Come on folks, send them in!

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