X-POSITION: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Send the New Mutants to Hell

Sometimes, one little letter can make a world of difference. A single letter can change a person's disposition from "mad" to "sad," or it can turn your dinner from "tasty" to "nasty." For several of the New Mutants, a solitary letter turned a trip to Hel (a realm in Norse mythology) into a trip to Hell (the fire and pitchfork place).

As for the other members of the team, they're busy fighting gods, training new members, and engaging in a little therapy -- it sounds as if they need it! Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (or DnA, the writers behind these adventures) are with us for today's X-POSITION to answer your emails and give you an idea of what's in store for the next generation of Marvel's X-Men. They're ready for your questions and are prepared to raise some Hel -- let's go!

The Big G starts us off with a trio of queries concerning the New Mutants' latest addition, X-Man. And it appears our writers will be answering as the "one-mind entity" DnA. You've been warned!

1) The New Mutants are a pretty tight-knit team who have been through a lot, but it seems that they've accepted Nate into their group without hesitation -- what, no rookie hazing? Nate's been a loner for the majority of his character's history and has usually done his own thing. How does he feel about being a part of a group?

That's something we'll be seeing more of through the next few issues, actually. They let him in pretty quickly to let him feel like he had a "place" with the X-Men and because of the sudden emergency of "Fear Itself," but now he's aboard, so we'll get to explore their reaction to him, how they get to know him, how he gets used to a team and how he deals with his powers being cropped. Don't worry -- we'll see him grow into this after the "sudden" start.

2) Last issue we saw Nate meet his "niece" Hope for the first time. To me, an important aspect of Nate's character is that he's not Cable. Therefore, having Cable's daughter teach him combat seems kind of "off" and feels like they're trying to turn Nate into Cable. I understand with his powers being burnt out that Nate is going to need some combat training not involving his powers, but wouldn't Dani be a better choice as opposed to Hope?

No matter what you think about Nate, his connection to Cable is undeniable and it has to be addressed, if only to prove that they're not the same person. I'm sure Dani is combat training him too, but with Hope training him, it's like Cable's training him. Basically, we feel it's part of the cross-pollination and interaction of the X-books and X-family as a whole.

3) With Sam on IR and Dani off to help Hela, it seems Magma has taken charge of the crew. Do you think Magma has the skills to lead them, or should someone else be Dani's second-in-command?

I think we're about to find out. And Nate's awfully fond of giving orders.

As opposed to his leadership abilities, Arachne is curious about Nate's mutant-centric talents.

1) Do you see Nate Grey's power loss as permanent? Or are you treating it as a temporary condition? And does he still see himself as a shaman in spite of being weakened?

What happens with and to his powers is part of our meta-story, so stay tuned. A shaman? Maybe. Right now, he's concerned with the minutiae of his reduced powers and coming to terms with a much more "mortal" kind of life.

2) Is there any chance of the New Mutants breaking away from the rest of the X-Men and finding their own base of operations?

Anything's possible!

Christopher also wants to know if we should expect to see more X-influenced decisions in light of an upcoming event.

1) Have you been working closely with other X-writers to ensure a more cohesive and title-boundary-crossing sense of 'togetherness' within all the X-titles, especially in light of "Schism?"

Yes, and we get to see all the cool things everyone else is doing. Sebastian (our editor) and Nick (the Head-of-X) are particularly good at this overview, keeping everyone in the loop and even suggesting how we can intermingle.

2) In issue #29, was the brief exchange between Illyana and X-Man potential seeds being sown for romance? I recall a request for "more kissing" by one particular X-Editor a while back!

Mr. Lowe's "more kissing" rule stands. So, who knows?

And on that note, Kris hopes to see a little more canoodling from two of his favorite teammates.

1) Will we, at some point, get to see some resolution between Amara & Roberto and what happened to them during the "Inferno Babies" storyline? Roberto said that he loved her and it hasn't been mentioned since.

Amara's love-life is about to take center stage, so Bobby's will too.

2) The therapy issue seemed to have a lot of victim-blaming going on, most of which was directed at Sam. The psychological aspects of what these mutants go through day in and day out with their missions and their closeness to extinction felt heavy-handed by the therapist. What exactly did he think he was going to achieve by his insensitivity? It's hard to imagine any professional speaking to a trauma victim that way.

Dani wanted to provoke a strong reaction, so she asked Gus to be heavy-handed. There simply wasn't time for a more subtle, developed approach. She needed a raw read so she could get as much of the team as could operational and back on its feet. Gus has more depth than that, as you'll see, and you've got to love his rough-and-ready approach.

3) Any plans for interaction between Hope Summers and Cable's former X-Force proteges?

It's possible.

So many possibilities! Renaldo is enjoying all the directions that you are taking the various members and sent in a request for a few status reports.

1) Dani Moonstar is quite a fan favorite, especially after her current Valkyrie exposure. Are there any plans to embrace more of this post-"Fear Itself?" That's assuming things remain "Norse-y" for her in the future. And are there any upcoming plans you may be concocting with Hela outside of "Fear Itself?"

We can't comment on that yet!

2) When "Fear Itself" concludes (as well as "Schism"), how will the roster of the team be impacted?

It's a slightly altered, slightly smaller line-up now. An interesting mix. More important is the change to the overall remit of the team and how they fit into the world.

3) Magik is quite a "magical" character. Are you planning to go into the more mystical and supernatural aspects of "New Mutants" in the future?

We hope so, but there's been a lot of that recently, and Magik has dominated a major storyline, so we want some space for some of the others to shine. The supernatural, however, will never be far away.

4) From our Facebook group "Comic Book Nerds Are Hot," I have to ask -- are there any upcoming plans for "Guardians of the Galaxy?" And what lays ahead for the Annihilators and the Cosmic Marvel U, as you guys really redefined and reshaped it for us modern fans?

Too early to tell yet, but all things Cosmic remain very popular, the Annihilators is going really well, and we really appreciate the full and passionate support and approval we've had from cosmic fans. We want to do more -- lots more -- if you want us to as well.

We want! And Renaldo, if your Facebook group ever decides to make a calendar, I'm happy to be Mr. December.

Now it's time for our "Behind the X" get-to-know-you question. Let's separate the D from the A and see if you two wouldn't mind answering the following: name a skill you've wanted to learn, but never seem to have the time for.

Dan. Evasive and protective driving. I want to pull a 180-degree reverse turn.

Andy:  The skill I would love to learn but don't have the time (and can't find the effort) for would be the ability to speak a foreign language like a native -- French, Spanish and even Klingon!

Bueno! That wraps things up, but we'll be back in a week with Victor Gischler, writer of "X-Men" and "Fear Itself: Hulk Vs. Dracula." Think long and hard, and when your brain starts to hurt, send me an email with your questions as quickly as possible. Please put an "X-Position" in the subject line, or I'll force you to watch all the Kardashian wedding footage on my sister's Tivo. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

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