Now that readers have experienced "Death of X's" shocking conclusion and gotten their first glimpse of Emma Frost's new plan in "IvX" #0, the next stage of mutantkind's war for survival is imminent. The explosive events of "Death of X" started a cold war between the rival hero factions, and that rivalry will finally heat up as all-out war breaks out in the fast-approaching "IvX." With ResurrXion just around the corner, things are about to change for the Inhumans and X-Men forever.
This week in X-POSITION, "Death of X" and "Inhumans vs. X-Men" writer Charles Soule joins us and answers all of your questions about everything from Cyclops' legacy to Emma Frost's future.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Charles! Let's kick things off with an overview question from Derek.
The general consensus from what I have seen is that "Death of X" did right by Emma and Scott. However many fans myself including are still confused as to why mutants became so hated after the destruction of the Terrigen Cloud? And why Scott himself was hated by his own teammates? Are we missing something?
Charles Soule: I've gotten this question a lot myself. The key here is in one of Scott's (well, Emma's, really) last lines: "You've got a story, I've got a story. It doesn't matter which one is true. It matters which one is believed." So, here's what we know -- the things that happened in "Death of X" happened as we saw. By the time the various "X" #1s began, public opinion had turned way against Scott. Remember that not every mutant was present, nor every Inhuman. The events were shaped by public opinion and through the viewpoints of people who saw them -- or didn't. In the world we live in today, this seems extremely plausible. People believe things firmly based on a single headline -- they don't even have to read the article. "Death of X" is already a tragedy on many levels -- in part because Emma does so much in Scott's memory that becomes increasingly terrible -- but then when you realize that people end up believing whatever the hell they want to despite what seem to be the available facts… well, it's even sadder.
On the same topic, FlashingSabre wants to know more about the Inhumans' sacrifice in "Death of X."
What losses have the Inhumans suffered aside from the cloud? The "IvX" intro implies that they had multiple losses, but so far all we've seen is the destruction of the cloud. Did something happen off screen?
There's been a fair amount of cold-war-esque conflict off screen, and there have been losses, yes.
Now that we've seen Cyclops' funeral in "Death of X," Sardorim wants to know more about his memorial service.
Will Cable and Rachel Grey play roles in "Inhumans vs. X-Men"? They were both noticeably absent in "Death of X," which is disturbing to say the least. After all, Cyclops is their father yet they weren't even at his funeral.
Things happened very quickly. I agree -- it's very disturbing! Such a sad situation.
For those wanting more of Rachel Grey, we are also revealing in this X-PO that Rachel Grey will appear in the "IvX" tie-in story in "Uncanny X-Men" #17. And of course for more Cable, he's in "Uncanny Avengers."
On the other side of the tragedy, Cmbmool wonders if Black Bolt feels any guilt for his role in Cyclops' death.
Does Black Bolt feel any guilt for his actions and how it is leading to a war with the X-Men, his former allies?
I think it's very, very hard to tell -- Black Bolt doesn't say what he's thinking all that often.
Emma's not the only person who knows the truth about "Death of X." Confuzzled has a question about the Stepford Cuckoos.
As the Cuckoos are aware of Emma's ruse, what is going through their minds with the White Queen still keeping up the act with the video on the tablet?
Well… that's not a good sign, right? I think they're pretty concerned about it, I'd say.
And here's an Inhuman question from Anduinel.
Was it expected that the Inhumans would be perceived as having an equally valid, or even sympathetic, viewpoint after "Death of X," when the stakes ultimately came down to their having to make significant cultural adjustments in a new environment vs. the slow, painful death of an established population?
The Terrigen clouds are not everywhere. There were two, now there's just one. Their path is tracked on weather services -- once the mutants realize they're a problem, they're easily avoidable. As soon as the Inhumans learn what's happening, they immediately (like right that second) leap to help, moving mutants out of the cloud's path. The mutants don't have to touch Terrigen at all, which means the problem is really of a limited scale to them. So, the idea that the Inhumans should destroy their entire (20,000+ years) cultural legacy because mutants have a problem with Terrigen… I think it's understandable that they would take a wait-and-see approach, and try to find another solution.
To explain another way -- there are kids with deadly peanut allergies. We don't implement a worldwide ban on peanut butter or Snickers. We just make sure those particular kids stay away from peanuts. This is that exact situation. Now, we'll see what happens in "IvX"…
Speaking of the Terrigen cloud, N'Dare has a question about the deadly/life-changing mist.
What exactly changed with the Terrigen mist to make it toxic to mutants, since before "Secret Wars" it wasn't? Is there a third party responsible for the mist's toxicity or is the Skyspear angle you were exploring abandoned now?
I'm pretty sure Beast mentions it early in "IvX" #0. In essence, when the Terrigen mixed with the existing compounds in the Earth's atmosphere, it changed slightly. It still does most of what it used to, but it's no longer "pure." So, now it hurts mutants, and characters like The Unspoken, who can get a power boost from pure Terrigen, can't use it.
"IvX" also saw you write a lot more of Emma Frost, a character Diammandis wants to know more about. Here are a couple questions.
You are an Emma fan, so what were some of your favorite parts about writing Emma, and also did you ever feel some sort of bias just because you do favor her a bit?
I really try not to do that, and write characters as the story requires. Emma is a glorious character to work with, and I'd love to do more with her. I like writing her dialogue, obviously -- that ability to skate right on the edge between aloof and outright cruel… it's wonderful.
Emma's mental state was basically shattered due to Scott's death and the T-mists, so going into "IvX," how would you say she's holding up? Will her mental state affect the way she goes into this "war"?
Not well, and absolutely. "IvX" #0 gives you a good look at what she's been up to.
Now that fans have read "IvX" #0, akiresu_ has a question about Magneto's role in it.
Magneto seemed a lot more powerful in "IvX" #0 than pre- and post-"Secret Wars," where he's been suffering from power shortages (due to Phoenix in NOW and potentially a near death experience in ANAD). Are we likely to see this explained in "IvX" or are we just rolling with the idea of a fully repowered Magneto?
Roll with it. "IvX" doesn't spend a lot of time on backstory stuff beyond the #0 issue -- it's all go go go, right from the start.
And we'll now close out with a couple questions from MarvelMaster616.
Emma Frost also paid a visit to the O5 X-Men in "IvX" #0. She even got emotional when she saw Teen Cyclops. Can you tell us a little more about that moment? What role will she have for the O5 X-Men? Specifically Teen Cyclops and Teen Jean?
You will see the specifics once things get going. Emma was emotional because Teen Scott reminds her of Old Dead Scott -- nothing more complex than that. Hope you enjoy the story!
In "IvX" #0, we saw Emma formulating a plan and making new allies, including one from the Hellfire Club who wasn't revealed. What can you tell us about these allies? How will they factor into the conflict?
Wait and see! That's the fun.
Everyone will get to see the events of "IvX" begin to unfold when issue #1 arrives in stores on December 14.
Special thanks to Charles Soule for participating in this week's X-POSITION.
Next week, "Uncanny Avengers" and "Deadpool" writer Gerry Duggan will join us here at X-POSITION! Have a question for Gerry? Go ahead and send 'em in via an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position". But get 'em in quickly, because the deadline's Friday! Make it happen!