After 18 months, 18 issues, two volumes, countless cameos and tons of action, "X-Men '92" is rapidly coming to its cataclysmic finale. Plenty of plots from both the "Secret Wars" launch series and the current ongoing will collide as the X-Men get caught between Apocalypse, the Upstarts and more. On top of that, there's more Cyclops and Jean Grey on the way -- and more of the X-Men 2099!
This week in X-POSITION, "X-Men '92" writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims join us one final time and answer all of your questions about Apocalypse, the '90s X-Men and more.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Chad and Chris! Let's kick things off with a question from Brittany.
I just wanted to say that I love "X-Men '92" and was super pumped when I found out it was continuing. I've always viewed the X-Men as a big family and "X-Men '92" really recreates that feeling for me. My question for Chad and Chris is: what relationship (friendship/romantic/etc.) within the X-Men do they like most or find most interesting?
Chad Bowers: Great question, Brittany! And if you’d asked me this same thing while we were working on the "Secret Wars" mini-series, I would’ve definitely given a different answer (Cyclops and Jean). Probably one of the first things I realized when we dove into the ongoing series, is that I love writing Psylocke and Bishop! Whether together, or apart, they’re both such a joy to dialogue and plot, because of the way they each just cut right to the point on just about everything. Neither has time to mince words, and on a team with a lot of talkers, they bring something a little different to the table. And I realize our take on both characters is a good bit different from their more traditional counterparts, I can’t say I’d be offended if a little of what we’ve done bleeds over into the mainline books.
Chris Sims: Definitely Jubilee and Monet. Jubes was really fun to write in the miniseries, but once we introduced the other kids into the book, they made perfect foils for each other. The bickering that you can see them doing at the start of the “Lilapalooza” arc was some of my favorite stuff to write, and once you get Jubes’ budding relationship with Chamber in there, and the complication of Chamber spending an awful lot of time with Dead Girl after the vampire attack… There’s just so much there for good old fashioned teen drama that I feel like I could’ve written for days -- if we didn’t have, you know, the end of the world to deal with, too!
Beyond those two, Rogue and Gambit were a real surprise to me. That was a relationship that meant a whole lot to me as a kid that I felt like I’d moved past as a fan. Getting the chance to write them again, especially in the miniseries, just rekindled my love of their star-crossed yearning in a big way.
There's still plenty of interest in that star-crossed yearning, too, at least from me. Next, Adam-X had a question about, well, himself.
First, thank you SO much for bringing in Adam-X into the "X-Men '92" book! (And also Random!) You literally gave me everything I wanted. How about more with Adam-X? Especially since Havok is in the book.
Sims: I feel like getting this question from someone named “Adam-X” means there’s definitely a correct answer that you want to hear.
Bowers: I feel like we’ve talked about this before, but in our first draft of the mini-series Adam-X is literally the first character you would’ve seen. Obviously, some things changed, but I still can’t believe it took us seven issues to finally work him into a story.
Sims: Yeah, but I feel like we got to him in the most X-Treme way possible, and teaming him up with the most ‘90s mutants we can think of was really fun, too. I don’t know if it actually made it into the dialogue, but in the script, those guys are called the X-Tremists. Because of course they are!
Well, that has to be canon now for sure. That's a great name! Here's a Q from FlawedCoil82 about what could have been.
I first would like to thank you for bringing the X-Men I know and love back from the dead, at least for a short time. It was a crushing blow for me to learn of this book's cancelation. Is there anything that you wish you could have gotten to story-wise that you now will not be able to?
Bowers: Pretty crushing for us too, but hey… that’s comics! I know I speak for both of us when I say we feel extremely lucky to have gotten the opportunity to do as much as we’ve done. There are a lot of fantastic creators out there who would’ve jumped at the chance to do just a third of what we’ve been allowed to do, and that’s a thing we try to keep in perspective, y’know? This gig’s been a dream! I mean, we wrote the X-Men!
But to answer your question (and to show you how naive I am), when [editor] Jordan D. White told us we’d be getting an ongoing series, within a day or two I sent him an outline for something like 25 issues. Some of it was stuff Chris and I wanted to do in the miniseries but couldn’t due to the nature of "Secret Wars," but most of it was new ideas building off the formula we’d established. I think for us, the biggest thing we wanted to do was tour our own little weird version of this alternate ‘90s Marvel Universe. So the series saw the X-Men opening Xavier’s School to the mutant public, and then immediately taking off for other locales, leaving Beast and Xavier to hold things down at the school. As for what could’ve been, or who the X-Men would’ve found themselves at odds with, I’m not sure I want to give anything away just yet… I mean, who knows what the future holds, right?
Fingers crossed it holds more, somehow, somewhen. Now, YeahX3 wants to know how writing this book differed from others.
I've really loved the book and how accurately it captured the spirit of the '90s X-Men. I have to ask, how has it been different writing a book like this, that's supposed to evoke a specific time and feeling, than another comic where you could create whatever feeling you want?
Sims: It’s interesting that you put it that way, because we’ve always looked at it in a slightly different way. Being in our own weird corner of the Marvel Multiverse has allowed us to pretty much do whatever we wanted without having to worry about how it would affect anyone else’s book, so for good or ill, what y’all have seen on the page is pretty much exactly what we wanted to put there. And, well, if you’ve read other stuff that we’ve written, you know that Chad and I don’t really shy away from going over the top whenever we can.
But like you said, the feeling was definitely a part of it. I don’t know how it was for other people, but whenever I tried to read X-Men comics as a kid in the ‘90s, I always felt overwhelmed by how much they were doing. There were like eight books going on that always seemed to be crossing over and bleeding into each other, making it feel like the X-Men were constantly under pressure and dealing with a past that I had no idea about coming back to bite them. So when we were tasked with recreating the feel of the ‘90s, we wanted it to feel like you weren’t necessarily missing part of the story, but that it was always a little bigger, faster, and more threatening than it might seem at first. You’re definitely going to see that as the series goes into its final issues, and stuff that we’ve been building since the "Secret Wars" mini gets mixed up with the Upstarts, the Darkhold, and all that cosmic weirdness that you’ve seen more recently!
Speaking of the finale, Adam has a question about the future.
Since the series is ending, has Marvel editorial entertained the idea of allowing some one-shots at any point in the future, so you could continue exploring (X-ploring) this nifty alternate universe you've created?
Bowers: That’s a great idea. And I’m not sure if anybody’s thought of that, but you can bet they will after I hit send on this email you’ve just inspired, Adam!
Sims: Like Chad said earlier, hey, it’s comics! Never say never, right?
Next up, Ron wants to know more about Scott and Jean.
Can you please explain the lack of Jean Grey and Cyclops in this series? They were my main reason for buying "X-Men '92" but have only appeared in one out of eight issues.
Bowers: Again, best laid plans and all that…
But look, it’s hard to even talk about this with one without giving too much away. All I’ll say is we’ve still got one issue to go, so don’t write off Cyke and Jean’s contributions to the series just yet.
Admittedly, they were intended to play a much bigger role in the overall story we’d planned, but things don’t always work out the way you’d like them too. But I’m still very happy with how things play out, and I feel like you will be too.
Now, here are some kind words and a few questions from MarvelMaster616.
First and foremost, and I know others have said this already, thank you very much for making "X-Men '92 as awesome as it has been. For those of us who became X-Men fans through the '90s animated series, this series has been very special for us and I thank you for capturing that magic. Is there anything fans can do to support the continuation of this series, if only in spirit?
Sims: Honestly, if you’ve bought the series up to this point, then you’ve already done your part. We’ve been genuinely amazed by the support that we’ve had, and the people who come up to us at cons and tell us stuff like “These are my X-Men!” It’s blown us away. So seriously, thanks for giving us a shot on this. We just hope you’ve liked what we’ve done with them enough to check out our next thing!
With respect to the actual story at hand, what can you tell us about Apocalypse's agenda for the final issue? Is this the same agenda we saw teased at the end of the "Secret Wars" tie-in?
Bowers: Yes, more or less. Naturally with the series ending a little earlier than we’d initially planned some things had to be changed. But our vision for Apocalypse -- which differs quite a bit from what we know of him in other continuities -- is basically intact, and sets the stage for both the end of mutant kind and its new beginning!
Before we close out, MiddlePegasus has a deep cut question.
You guys have put some deep cut characters into play in this book, like X-Treme and Random and the X-Men 2099. Were there any characters that you thought were TOO deep cut to bring back?
Sims: We never did get to do that Tusk solo story in "X-Men ‘92 Annual ‘92/’16," did we, Chad?
Bowers: Guess we’ll never know why he’s working in that garage, will we?
Don't tease me. This is all I want -- a Dark Riders meets "Taxi" sitcom/comic. And we'll close out this week with one question from Carells.
Now that y'all are about to close the chapter on 1992, are there other years you'd like to drop in on and visit? Maybe not even of the X-Men, but of any Marvel series?
Sims: How about 2017?
Thanks to Chad Bowers and Chris Sims for taking on this week's questions!
X-PO will take a week off for Thanksgiving, but we'll be back after that. Keep checking CBR for information on the next X-POSITION!