Things are pretty tough for Magneto at the moment. Not only is the entire world in peril, but he’s also experiencing a less than ideal family reunion with his estranged daughter Polaris. Sure, the two have banded together to keep the Ultimate Earth from colliding into their home Earth, but that’s hardly a desirable setting for a real father/daughter heart to heart. As dire as things may be in the pages of “Magneto,” writer Cullen Bunn is getting to cut loose and have some fun in “Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars” — a series that features the titular Merc with a Mouth plopped into the middle of the classic 1984 event series.
This week, Cullen Bunn returns to X-POSITION to answer your questions about everything from Magneto and Polaris’ dynamic to “Deadpool’s” sprawling cast and his surprise addition to the creative team of “House of M.”
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Cullen! Let’s get things started this week with a question from Kamose1234 regarding how Magneto sees himself.
One of the things your series has frequently used is Magneto’s philosophy on heroes, villains and the thin line between the two. Now that the series is ending for “Secret Wars,” would you say Magneto has new perspectives on which one he is, or which role others apply to him? It seems that after all that’s happened, not just in his solo series, that he’s no longer either but more along the lines of an anti-hero.
Hey Kamose1234! Your question is a great one, because it touches on something we’re trying to get across in the next couple of issues. In the “Last Days” arc, Magneto deals the legacy he will leave behind and how people will remember him. After all the terrible things he’s done, can he even be redeemed by saving the world?
Big things are on the way for supporting player Briar Raleigh, and Justinian has a Q about how she relates to Magneto’s daughter, Polaris.
Mr. Bunn, how do you compare Briar and Lorna’s worldview?
I gotta tell you, Justinian, I don’t see the two of them in a similar light at all. I think a pretty good comparison of the two comes to light in issue #20. Before that comes out, I don’t want to reveal too much about Briar’s worldview. I’ll say it has some kind of unsettling aspects that we’ve hinted at in previous issues. You will get to see Briar and Polaris interacting a bit, though.
Next up, RobinFan4880 asks the question that’s been on every Magneto fan’s mind over the past few months.
How do you think the sudden revelation that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are not his children will affect Magneto’s character in the long term?
Hey, RobinFan4880! Assuming Magneto survives the “Last Days” story (and that’s a big assumption) I’d say there is definitely a void that would be left behind after the discovery. For a guy like Magneto, a void like that might be filled with a sense of anger and betrayal. It’s the kind of thing that could lead to an even angrier Magneto!
Speaking of “Last Days,” MiddlePegasus wants to know how the current “Magneto” storyline came about.
It’s been said a lot that, with “Secret Wars” coming up, writers were offered the chance to either bring their series to a close or choose to do a “Last Days” story. Is that what happened with “Magneto,” and if so, what made you decide to do a “Last Days” tale?
Where do you get your information, MiddlePegasus? Do you have spies working for you in the Land of Flying Horses? That’s “sort of” what happened, actually. My editor [Daniel Ketchum] and I discussed number of options for issues #19 through #21. In this case, I felt like doing a story of Magneto at the end of the world would fit well with the overall tone of the series and give me the chance to wrap up some of the story points that we’ve been playing with all along.
Readers have been eagerly awaiting Polaris’ introduction into the book. Now that she’s there, Rivka has a question about her dynamic with Magneto.
One question I have regarding “Magneto” #19 is, why is Lorna so grumpy and hostile to her father? It’s the end of the world, he’s trying to save the entire planet and she knows it. He’s burning up from the inside, he’s hardly able to keep his thoughts together he’s using so much power. Why would she be so hostile when he answers her, “So save them”?
I remember many times when my dad was doing something for the benefit of others — giving his all in pretty stressful times — and I, being stressed out as well, lashed out a bit. Kids are jerks that way. I mean, my dad wasn’t even a super villain! Lorna and Erik have a complicated relationship to say the least. With the world coming down around their ears, I forgive Lorna’s “grumpiness” a little. Believe it or not, she’s also pretty worried about her dad, as you’ll see next issue. Thanks, Rivka!
With “Magneto” coming to a close, TheM0dernAg3 has a more retrospective query.
You got to tear through a lot of Magneto’s history in this series, everything from his childhood all the way to Utopia-era stuff, and you got to write the characters that have defined him over the years, like Rogue, the Maximoffs and Polaris. Looking back at all you’ve touched on, is there anything from Magnus’ history that you wish you had time to revisit?
Howdy, TheM0dernAg3! There are probably a few eras of Magneto’s life I would have liked to spend a little more time on. His time with the New Mutants and Hellfire Club jump to mind right away. His time with Magda and Anya in the Ukraine. I would have also liked to do a little bit with Magneto: CIA Nazi Hunter. Exploring Magneto’s history has been something I’ve really loved with this series. I get to do a little more of it in issue #21.
Switching things up a bit, Anna_Marie has a question about your other “Secret Wars” title.
Hello! I really liked the first issue of “Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars.” You get to write so many characters in that book, are there any that you’re particularly enjoying to write or hope to write again, in less zany circumstances?
You surprised me! With a name like Anna_Marie, I expected a Magneto and Rogue question! There are so many great characters in that book. The problem (for me) is that I don’t get to spend enough time with any one of them. I want more! If I’m naming a couple that are fun for me and that I’d love to write again, I’d say Thor and Kang are both pretty great. I also loved writing the brief interaction between the Enchantress (a long-time favorite of mine), She-Hulk and Deadpool.
Gaveedra-84 wants to know a little bit more about your working relationship with your artists.
You’re working with two different artists on “DPSSW,” Matteo Lolli and Jacopo Camagni. What’s it like working with two different artists on one massive story with dozens of different characters? Do you cater your scripts to each artist, and is it hard to keep it all straight?
Well, Gaveedra-84, it is a little misleading in this book. I only worked with Jacopo on the “Contest of Champions” backup story in issue #1, so it wasn’t a concern with this book. I have worked with two artists on a big, sprawling book with lots of characters, though. One of my earlier projects, “Fear Itself: The Fearless” featured two artists and lots of characters. With that, I tried to break a script up evenly between the artists as much as possible. I didn’t change my writing style for those scenes, but it did mean paying attention to natural scene and tonal breaks so the book worked seamlessly.
In a similar vein, Polar Ame is curious about how you juggle tone between projects.
Reading your Deadpool work and Magneto work at the same time always surprises me because the tones are so different. “Magneto” is sometimes the darkest book Marvel publishes! How do you keep those tones separate? Deadpool can definitely go dark, but do you have to resist the urge to put straightforward jokes in “Magneto”?
Hi, Polar Ame! I don’t usually have a hard time switching gears between different stories or genres or tones. At most, if I need a palate cleanser, I’ll read a book or watch a TV show or movie that has a similar tone to what I’m going to work on next. That usually gets me ready to go!
Next, eagle-eyed NewHeart spotted that you’re also working on a third “Secret Wars” series.
I saw in the September solicitations that you’re co-writing “House of M” #3 with Dennis Hopeless. Is that true? How did that come about, and what’s your process like when working with a writing partner?
That is correct, NewHeart! Dennis and I have worked together on projects before, and he asked if I’d be interested in helping him tell his “House of M” story. Every co-writing experience is different. With Dennis, it’s very collaborative, lots of phone calls and e-mails going back and forth. This is definitely his story. He had a great tale in mind before I came onto the book. I’m putting my own spin on a few things, though. And it is great to write about Magneto and Lorna (and all those other characters) in such a different setting!
And lastly, Bl00dwerK is gonna try to get some post-“Secret Wars” info out of you.
What can you tell us, if anything, about your writing duties post-“Secret Wars”? More Magneto? Maybe an X-Men ongoing (we can only hope!)?
Unfortunately, Bl00dwerK, I’m sworn to secrecy on that stuff. If I revealed anything, the answer would definitely be “none”! Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!
And thanks to Cullen Bunn for taking on this week’s questions!
Next week, “E Is For Extinction” creative team Chris Burnham, Dennis Culver and Ramon Villalobos will make their X-POSITION debut. Have a question for these writers and artist? Go ahead and send ’em in via an e-mail with the subject line “X-Position” or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. But get ’em in quickly, because the deadline’s Friday. Make it happen!
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