In the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe, the future is a giant question mark. As a race, Homo Superiors are on the brink of extinction, as demonstrated by the events playing out across time in "Cable" and the "Messiah War." But it seems some good news is on the horizon for our X-friends: mutants do exist in the future. The question, though, is whichfuture?
In the pages of the "Timestorm 2009/2099" titles, writer Brian Reed has taken the present-day Spider-Man and Wolverine and dropped them into a future that lookslike the Marvel 2099 landscape first seen in a line of 1990s "2099" comics, but is actually quite different....
When Wolverine meets his future self in the pages of "Timestorm 2009/2099: X-Men," he quite naturally has some questions, as do our X-POSITION readers! Brian Reed joins CBR today to tackle these queries as we all head back to the future!
CBR: BadKarma3000 is up first, and he'd would like to know how the 2099 future meshes with events in the present-day X-books.
BadKarma3000: I used to collect the 2099 titles back in the day. Bishop, my favorite X-Man (after Wolverine of course), is said to be from roughly 85 years in the future when he served in the XSE. That would place him around the time of the 2099 universe. Any possibilities of showing what happened to the XSE in his absence, given that there was never a reference about them in "X-Men: 2099?"
BRIAN REED: Nothing about Bishop in this book, but that's because his story is being handled by the X-office in the main books.
BadKarma3000: Also, will you deal with the whole "no more mutants" in the future issue? Given that Beast's and Forge's research has proven that whatever spell cast by the Scarlett Witch against mutants extended to the multiverse, the idea of Marvel 2099 being in an alternative universe doesn't quite tie-up that loose end (unless you reactivate the X-gene between now and 2099).
BRIAN REED: The return of mutantkind is touched upon here, yeah. If I had more time in "2099," it's an idea I'd like to explore more. But the biggest point for me is touched on: mutants came back, and this time humanity went after them hard.
CBR: Aspbros fondly remembers the 2099 tales of old, so he's a bit confused about the current series. Can you help make things a bit more clear?
Aspbros: Maybe this has been covered elsewhere, but I'm a bit confused. I used to read the Marvel 2099 back in the '90s, but it looks like the slate has been wiped clean and you're retelling their stories from scratch. Is this like, "Ultimate 2099 Marvel?"
BRIAN REED: Continuity of 2099 is different...but it's not an Ultimate 2099. Issue #4 gives you a lot of this answer.
CBR: Okay, we're going to hop in here - what do you mean by "different?" Are the "Timestorm" titles supposed to be tied-in to the old 2099 titles? Or are they completely different but borrowing a few 2099 concepts?
BRIAN REED: Issue #4 of the main "Timestorm" book hints at why things are not as we remember them in the year 2099. In fact, we've already seen one hint as to what's going on with the timeline in "Timestorm" #2.
Aspbros: How familiar were you with the original 2099 stories? Did you have a favorite?
BRIAN REED: I read "Spider-Man 2099" back in the day, but I wasn't super-familiar with the other 2099 books until this project came along. I read everything I could get my hands on and then talked with series editor Bill Rosemann about what approach we'd like to take with the new books.
CBR: And what was that approach? Same as the old but different? What did you want to preserve from the old 2099 titles?
BRIAN REED: The feeling was that the 2099 corner of the Marvel Universe was, due simply to when it was created, feeling dated. Company names, pop culture references - a lot of stuff was very early '90s. So the goal was to reboot with a bit of new flair, but keep touchstones from the original series.
Aspbros: Do the stories that you're telling now tie into the 2099 stories Robert Kirkman did a few years back?
BRIAN REED: Nope.
Aspbros: In the story, they keep referring to the Dark Age, but it doesn't sound like anyone knows what took place during this time. Will we find out more about this during your series? Or was this just a way to excuse continuity differences between present and future Marvel?
BRIAN REED: Issue #3 touches on the Dark Ages a bit. Also, we see in these new books that the year 2099 is a possible misnomer. It's more of a date the people of that time have settled on than an accurate count, which, yes, leaves some continuity wiggle room.
CBR: Issue #3 of the main Timestorm title, correct? So does the "Dark Ages" tie-in to the Timestorm they are currently dealing with? Or was the Dark Ages merely a catalyst but remains in the past. You said #3 touches on it "a bit," but will we get the full picture of the Dark Ages before the series is through?
BRIAN REED: Yes, "Timestorm" #3. There's a lot of stuff in this mini that is seeding for future stories in 2099. We only really get hints of the Dark Ages and what caused them in this mini. If the opportunity to tell more stories arises, I've got some more Dark Ages tales to reveal.
Aspbros: Please tell me Ravage will be making an appearance! Come on, a trash-man hero created by Stan Lee? That's gold!
BRIAN REED: You convince Marvel to greenlight an ongoing "Spider-Man 2099" and I will get Ravage in there somehow, some way.
CBR: And we wrap things up today with Ramelito, who seems to be digging for details...
Ramelito: In "Timestorm 2009/2099: X-Men," future Wolverine said he wasn't going to tell present Wolvie about mutant births, yet there is still an X-Men in the future. Doesn't that imply that mutant births did occur?
BRIAN REED: It implies there are mutants in the future. The how's and why's of that are open to discussion.
Ramelito: When writing these 2099 stories, how did you reconcile all the time jumping that's going on with Cable and Bishop presently? Or is that essentially why future Wolverine made a preemptive move to void this topic?
BRIAN REED: A lot of years have passed. Future Logan doesn't want to get into it all right now.
CBR: But we do! In time-traveling stories, we have often seen a character meeting his future-self and that future-self living a horrid existence. However, in many situations, the future-self warns the past-self of dangers to avoid so the future-self's timeline ceases to exist. The future Wolverine looks pretty miserable - why do you feel he wouldn't warn his past-self?
BRIAN REED: Wolverine's an old, old man now and that Future Logan has seen and done a few lifetimes more. He also knows his own comfort isn't as important as the survival of the mutant race. Like he tells Wolverine that his younger self has some hard choices to make in the coming years, and he doesn't want fears of the future to cloud those choices.
Ramelito: Just to be clear, Gallows (the future Punisher) didn't actually send Wolverine and Spider-Man into the future - that was Doom grabbing them just as the laser was about to hit them. Or am I misunderstanding the whole thing?
BRIAN REED: Gallows' gun zapped the boys towards the future. Doom yanked Wolverine out of the timestream.
CBR: Wait. So if Gallows' gun sent both of them into the timestream, and Doom only yanked Wolverine out of there, how did Spidey get out?
BRIAN REED: There's a line of dialogue about this between Logan and Wolverine regarding Spidey sorting out energy originating from the future being what pulled them to the future (i.e. the originating point of the energy). Doom pulls Wolverine to DC while Spidey lands in New York, where Jake came from.
Ramelito: If the Doom we meet in the book is our 2009 Doom (although magically kept alive), does this mean that there won't be a 2099 Doom in this book? Or is he the 2099 Doom, but just a different one that what fans knew from the past?
BRIAN REED: Issue #4.
CBR: Can you even give us a hint of which scenario is close? Is it more like Ramelito's first guess or his second one? Please?
BRIAN REED: Doom 2099 as we knew him does make an appearance...but it's not how you're expecting.
Ramelito: Will there be other 2009 heroes making futuristic appearances in any of the "Timestorm" titles?
BRIAN REED: By the end of the X-Men story, the gang's all here. And, dude, there's barely enough pages to hold the characters we have on hand! If I'd tried to cram even one more character in there, they'd need to develop a new kind of paper to hold all the story.
CBR: Which gang? The entire X-Men gang or the whole Marvel U?
BRIAN REED: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, Wolverine, Ghost Rider 2099, Human Torch 2099, Shakti (Cerebra), the entire Dark Avengers and an army of Hulks.
As we had a couple of conventions last weekend (HeroesCon and Wizard World Philadelphia), this week's X-POSITION is coming your way a tad late. This puts us in a bit of a pinch for questions for next week, but I'm sure you will all be up to the task as writer Matt Fraction ("Uncanny X-Men," "Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia") joins us.
Dream up some fantastic queries, email them my way, and I'll pass them along as quickly as I can. Putting an "X-Position" in the subject line makes my email browser feel warm and fuzzy, so do that as well. See you in seven!