X-POSITION: Abnett & Lanning Straddle the "Schism" in "New Mutants"

The current "Schism" in the X-Universe has -- as its name indicates -- caused a split among many of the X-teams in the Marvel Universe. Still, some groups have managed to present a united front in picking a side, while other teams have been torn in two. Unfortunately, the New Mutants fall into the latter category.

Interestingly enough, while one group has fallen on Cyclops' side, they aren't truly in agreement with him. It's an intriguing situation, handled with all the thought and thoroughness one expects from veteran writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning in the ongoing "New Mutants" series. The two scribes join us to answer your emails and speak in their collective one-mind, known as DnA to fans. Ready for some fun?

Flinkman starts things off for us this Thanksgiving week by giving thanks to you both for the awesome entertainment you give us, month in and month out:

First, I am absolutely loving this book! I really appreciate that it's not merely focusing on 80s New Mutant nostalgia, but it's tossing those who are nostalgic for the 90s a bone by including Nate and Blink too. My questions center on those two in particular:

1) Will we see Blink react to Warlock in any way? After all, the Technarchy and the Phalanx are two sides of the same coin, and the Phalanx (as I'm sure you know) are the reason Blink "died" all those years ago.

First, thank you. Second, she probably accepts Warlock is who he is and separates him from her own past issues, but this theme may underpin things...

2) Speaking of the Phalanx, I know Kieron Gillen has plans for them over in "Uncanny X-Men." Assuming Blink sticks around, do you think she would want to join the fight for payback?


DB wrote in with a couple of queries concerning old teammates with unresolved issues:

1) Doug Ramsey died as a boy with confidence issues and limited combat abilities, and was reborn as a grown man with an evolved power-set and a vastly different personality. Are there any plans to explore how Doug feels about his death and resurrection and the changes he's gone through since he died?

You need to read the story starting in issue #38. Well predicted!

2) We've seen all of the "core nine" New Mutants featured in the series except for Wolfsbane, who hasn't even had a cameo. After her traumatic experiences as part of X-Force, you'd think she'd go to Sam and Dani for comfort, but she hasn't. Also, considering that Cypher was her first love and sacrificed himself trying to save her life, it seems strange that we haven't seen Wolfsbane drop by now that Doug's alive. Is Rahne avoiding her childhood teammates for some reason?

It would certainly make sense for her to turn up, wouldn't it? And it would be interesting to see. So...

The Seventh Light also hopes to see former acquaintances soon. Can you enlighten us on this possibility?

Since this book seems to be geared not only for unfinished business, but also for friendship and family, can we expect to see the team interact with their longtime friends (and current fellow Bluesies) Warpath, Boom Boom, or Blink's former friend Jubilee?

We'd love to see them all (and Wolfsbane, see previous answer), though we also don't want to overload the book with too many characters. We've deliberately gone for a very tight focus, just for now. But we're very keen to interact with the whole X-family, especially particular friends.

Renaldo stops in to see what your plans are and is curious if they include revenge:

1) Due to the "Schism," many found it interesting that Sam couldn't stay and lead on the Summers' side and ended up deferring to Wolverine's branch. Was this always a part of the plan? And will this absence be a key part of Dani and the team's upcoming arcs?

Yes, it was. We want to do some particular things with the team as it is, and there is a valuable sadness in having some team members step down (even for a short time). Sam also has issues and needs a rest, poor guy. Trust us, we're not done with anything. Unfinished business, unfinished business...

2) Nate seems to be a focus for the team, so with Osborn's Dark Avengers popping up, would Nate want to cross swords with Norman after Osborn seemingly defeated him last time around?

We think he will feel the need to revisit that... but Dani may disagree.

3) It angers me to see "Heroes for Hire" (seemingly) languishing in limbo, because I love the title. But since you have a slot at the moment, is there any chance of you guys getting an Avengers title? I love your ensemble books!

Thank you very much indeed. Please feel free to tell Marvel! In the meantime, please enjoy "Villains for Hire," "Annihilators," and "New Mutants" (we love writing ensemble books too)!

Marcus Martin has some questions about two recent resurrections:

1) Given his ties to the team, will there be mention of Cable's return in your title's future?

Stay tuned for further announcements.

2) On a non-X note, were you surprised by Nova's return in the recent Point One Issue?

You can't keep a good man down.

True, but it helps to have a mutant with healing powers on your side. And speaking of, James was thinking...

1) Elixir would fit in well with this team, and his abilities could help with Sam's current condition, Karma's leg, and maybe Face's, um, face. Is there any chance you'll get to use him?

We're asking some questions... 

2) Where are Xi'an's siblings Nga and Leong? I assume they are on Utopia, but they haven't been mentioned in a while. Are they freaked out by Xi'an losing her leg? Do they have powers now? And for that matter, where are Nicole and Claudette St. Croix?

You know what? We're asking some more questions now.

3) Why is Magik still locked up? Magneto is a genocidal megalomaniac, White Queen is a manipulative bitch, Sub-Mariner has waged war on the entire world, and Danger once tried to kill them all. So why is Magik singled out and treated like a prisoner while everyone else gets a free pass?

We're sure that, in the fullness of time, everyone will get past her reckless disregard for the safety of All Reality.

Malcolm gives us our last email of the day and hopes for some info on balancing loyalties and rocking out:

I've been enjoying your run on "New Mutants" a lot. I really got a kick of how you used the power of the 90s to scare off the Draumar. Now to my questions:

1) With Dani moving her team off Utopia, her having a different viewpoint than Cyclops (but still working for him), and with Cannonball and Karma teaching for Wolverine, is it possible that the New Mutants could accept missions from both Cyclops and Wolverine? Will they be playing both sides of the fence?

There's no real reason they can't. Depends how "out on their own" they want to be -- Scott might have issues if they start working both sides. But their remit suits the X-Men as a whole, not one side or the other.

2) Do the New Mutants have the musical prowess to win a rock-off with Diskhord?

Bobby has mad skills on Guitar Hero, and Doug plays the spoons, so...

I hear Warlock is awesome on the kazoo as well.

And now, it's my turn! Per a suggestion from one of our readers (Madroxdupe024), I'm asking all of our guests the following: assume you were a mutant and needed to choose a side in "Schism" -- whose side do you pick and why?

Dani's. Heh.

That brings our time to a close, but we'll be back in a week with "X-Men" writer Victor Gischler. Think long and hard, and when your brain starts to feel tender, send me an email with your questions as quickly as possible. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line and I'll share with you the splendor of Sweet Potato Puff. As the X-Men might say, "Have a Happy ThanXgiving, folks!"

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