In the James Bond films, the character “M” grants Bond a license to kill. For Marvel’s X-Force team, Cyclops has the authority to do the same. And the team has taken advantage of this “license” — repeatedly. Thus far, readers have seen seven issues of “X-Force,” but the body count the team has left behind is much more than even seven times seven.
For a couple of X-Force members, killing is nothing new. It’s never easy or pleasant, but they’ve figured a way to deal with the mental toll lethal force takes. For other members though, well, they’re still learning. In addition to dealing with all the ultra-violence, X-Force is struggling with brainwashed teammates and adding a few potential new members to their highly covert group.
Needless to say, you probably won’t read any future issues of “X-Force” in which the team plays softball together.
To find out what X-Force will be doing, CBR has the book’s writer, Christopher Yost, joining us for this week’s X-POSITION. On top of this, we also managed to sneak in a few questions about the recently solicited “X-Men: Kingbreaker.” Are all of you ready? We hope so, because in the world of covert ops, things tend to get a little messy.
We begin this week with Robert Cummins, who wanted to know more about everyone’s favorite clone.
The X-Men just moved to San Francisco and X-23 used to live there, will her past in Frisco ever be mentioned? Will X-23 ever see her family again?
Hey, Robert. This is unlikely. Craig and I do not like to bring up elements of our past books and issues. I think if you go back and look at everything we've done, you're just not going to see that kind of connective tissue.
If that’s the case, the odds of tigerlili603 getting an answer to the following are pretty low:
Will X-23 being a former prostitute ever be mentioned in “X-Force?”
She was a what?!?
Um, we should probably move on. Maybe you have a reply for Caleb Warren’s family-friendly question about X-23.
The relationship between X-23 and Hellion was left kind-of open-ended at the end of “New X-Men.” Will this be addressed at all? And does Laura even know Julian's alive?
True, yes, yes. Issue #13? Possibly.
Let’s cross our fingers! And on the topic of “significant others,” Marcus Martin wanted to know more about Warpath’s sweetie.
Couldn't James' girlfriend, Hepzibah, be allowed on the team, since she was a part of the Starjammers, has experience in battle, and would give James relief by having someone he could talk to?
The only thing keeping Hepzibah off the team is James. He's purposefully keeping her in the dark, and keeping his emotional distance. Wolverine respects it, and he can't have Warpath all “distracted” by Hepzibah in battle.
Warpath lost Caliban, he's not going to lose her. And when she finds out, she is going to kill him. She would love X-Force.
Murder, mayhem, and mojitos — the perfect date! Zach Padlock now helps us refocus on current events with these two queries:
1) I'm glad that the Stepford Cuckoos finally look different from each other in the current 616 universe. Will they continue to be involved in X-Force operations? Sort of like their own Cerebro?
Esme was my favorite. Now? Celeste. More Cuckoos? Issue #12? Yes!
2) Regarding the events of issue #7, I thought the whole point of Colossus injecting himself with the Legacy Virus was to get rid of it. Now it just feels like his death for the cause meant nothing. Why bring in Vanisher now, and why the Legacy Virus?
So if the Avengers die saving the world, but then years later the world needed saving again… was the first sacrifice all for nothing? No, Colossus saved mutantkind at the time — and humanity, because the virus had mutated. It became a different strain. Did Sinister know that? Could that have something to do with the story? Probably not. Why bring in Vanisher now? We had a very specific, nuts and bolts reason that you'll soon see. Why the Legacy Virus? Because going after Power Pack wasn't an option. We tried.
Anoxir had an interesting theory about recent revelations in “X-Force” that he’d like to share with you.
With the reveal that Archangel's DNA is still tainted by Apocalypse, is there any chance we may start to see hidden effects his blood may have had on the people he healed during that period? Husk seems like a prime candidate for this…
We cannot understand Apocalypse. So just stop trying. He is too advanced. We humans are like flies to him, and trying to understand him is a waste of our time because we only live 24 hours. Or is that fruit flies? I don't know. Good question, though.
Let’s go to Hugo Moran who had a recommendation for the team.
So I know Mike Carey and Daniel Way are doing the “Original Sin” storyline, giving us more clues as to Wolverine's history as it relates to his son Daken. And some of the solicitations for future issues hints at both father and son teaming up.
Have Yost and Kyle considered Daken as a possible member to join X-Force (provided he doesn't return to Romulus' side)? I think I'm not alone when I say that Daken and X-23 meeting up would be a real cool moment for those of us that love the ol' Canucklehead!
Yeah? Well, we've got a cooler moment with an old Wolverine adversary coming up for Laura. So deal with that.
Dealt with! Without a doubt, “X-Force” is the darkest book in the X-Universe, but Blair R. Campbell wants to know if this condition is permanent.
I wonder if there is a chance that you will be adding a touch of humor and levity to the book? I understand that by its nature the book has to be somewhat "dark," but as a reader sometimes it can be too much. It doesn't have to be doom and gloom all of the time, does it? In particular, I hope you are careful with what you do with Warren and Rahne…
The X-Force laughs start in #7, and only get funnier. I mean, it won't be funny for the character. Just me and Craig. But yes, the addition of Domino and the 'outside the box' new member are specifically to diversify the roster and lighten the mood.
An ‘outside the box’ new member to lighten the mood? We vote for Doop!
Let’s get to those “X-Men: Kingbreaker” now, courtesy of Askani's Flame:
1) At the end of “Emperor Vulcan,” we saw that Rachel (along with Lilandra and Korvus) is out of Vulcan's grasp and on the run. Will we see her growing into more of a leader and leading the offensive to rescue the rest of the Starjammers? Also, is there any chance of a rematch between her and Gladiator or a battle with the Death Commandos?
Rachel's sole purpose in life is to rescue Alex and Lorna now, and she's trying it pretty aggressively, you could say. But she's a bit of a hothead, so Lilandra and Korvus have to rein her in a bit. It's three people against an Empire now. Rachel vs. Gladiator round 2? Yes, but not the way you might expect. Much, much worse.
2) Polaris is again captive at the hands of a madman. Will this cause her to lose the sanity she has regained over the past few years?
No. Polaris is too strong for that. The only thing she's going to lose is restraint. Aw, yeah.
3) Will any of the galactic players outside the current ones found in "Emperor Vulcan" have cameo roles in "Kingbreaker" (i.e. Medusa, Nova, etc.)?
You'll see the universal reaction to what Vulcan is doing. He's aggressively expanding his empire, and he steps on a few toes along the way. And by 'stepping on toes,' I mean killing people.
Protect those toes! ThreeDays wrote in with a request that we seem to get from a number of readers.
I was a big fan of Cable's X-Force, and also a big fan of Shatterstar. He was last seen with Domino, who was also part of Cable's team. With her showing up in the book soon, is there any chance of seeing Shatterstar soon too?
How about two new characters, which I will invent right now? Shatteryourhopes and Shatteryourdreams.
Those characters seem to have a recurring role in the lives of many fans (myself included). RickyD410 had a couple of questions about logistics, plus he has a favor to ask:
1) Warpath said he couldn’t speak with the X-Men, but we saw them all together in “Secret Invasion: X-Men,” and we see Angel in “Uncanny X-Men.” Is that just because Angel is the current financial backer of the X-Men? Or will X-Force eventually be allowed to spend time with the X-Men again?
Just because they were together doesn't mean he was unloading all his burdens and confessing his sins to them. Angel's around both teams, and can hide his Archangel form, but wait until you read issue #8…it's all narration by Archangel, and it's pretty revealing.
X-Force can spend time with X-Men, but they wisely choose not to tell Nightcrawler and Storm how they go on missions and kill, kill, kill.
2) I absolutely loved every scene with Elixir in this issue. Can he please stick around? It'll be good for Laura to have someone her own age who she can spend time with — to keep her human. And he seems to be getting more adept at his powers (putting Rahne to sleep was something new). Will we see his powers develop further?
More Elixir? Okay. Heartwarming Elixir and X-23 scenes? Alright. Elixir using his powers in pretty amazing ways? Done, as of issue #8.
3) And since I don’t get the opportunity to speak with artists Mike Choi or Sonia Oback, can you pass on a message for me? Can you tell them that their work is stunning and beautiful and perfect? Thanks!
Whoa, there. We don't want him to get too comfortable, or else he'll go do “Dark Avengers” or something. We'll tell him that RickyD410 said 'Try harder.'
Much like Beetlejuice, say his name three times and he’ll appear: Mike Choi-Mike Choi-Mike Choi and…look! Mike Choi gas written in with a question of his own.
Hi Chris (and Craig)! You guys should totally do a third X-23 series…
Agreed! I like your style, 'Mike Choi,' whoever you may be. In all seriousness, Craig Kyle has a story in mind to continue the solo X-23 tales. Time will tell if it gets told.
As the artist of the “X-23: Target X” miniseries and the recent “X-Force” #7, maybe Mike Choi has an artist recommendation if you do get the story told. We’re sure he knows someone…
And that puts a nice little cherry on top of this week’s X-POSITION sundae. Next week, we’ll be back with a two-fer: writers Mike Carey and Daniel Way will be here to answer your pointed questions about “X-Men: Original Sin.” So write up those queries in an email, put “X-Position” in the subject line, and send it our way as soon as humanly (or mutantly) possible. The better the question, the more likely it is to get included. Think up some good ones and we’ll see you in seven!