X-POSITION: Duane Swierczynski

All roads lead home...even if they take you thousands of years into the future or hundreds of years into the past along the way. Cable and the "Messiah child" Hope have been running around the timestream for over fifteen years (in comic book time), all the while trying to stay out of Bishop's crosshairs. While struggling to stay alive during this journey, Hope has learned much from her surrogate father, including how to be a hero.

Hope and Cable have finally made the decision that it's time to head back to the present. If Cable is correct, Hope's return will signal the start of something grand for mutants. On the other hand, if Bishop is right, Hope's reappearance will be the beginning of an unequalled dark period for homo-superiors. Either way, the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe will change this March when "X-Men: Second Coming" begins.

Are Hope and Cable prepared for what's to come? Only the writer of "Cable" - Duane Swierczynski - can say for sure, which is why he's here to answer your questions in today's X-POSITION. Ah, what a perfect time of the year to discuss the coming of a Messiah...

Mauro Di Cosmo kicks things off for the day with a few queries about his favorite old codger...

1)  Does the X-office have any plans to celebrate Cable's 20th Anniversary next year?

Wow, twenty years already and he doesn't seem a day over...uh, 63. Rest assured, the X-office has something special in mind for Cable next year. And not just an X-Jazzy tricked out with Gatling guns...

(Don't pretend like you don't know what a Jazzy is. You've seen the commercial...)

2)  Will you still be writing for the X-office after "X-Men: Second Coming?"

There is an X-related miniseries in the works that I can't talk about just yet...otherwise, stay tuned.

3)  I realize that not much can be said about "Second Coming," but will Cable fans be happy or depressed after the event?  Will he still be around in a monthly?

Like you said, Mauro, not much can be said about "Second Coming" without ruining things. But Cable fans should know that he's absolutely central to the crossover. And for people who aren't reading "Cable" on a regular basis, you should definitely hop onto the new "Homecoming" arc (starting with the recent over-sized "Cable" #21). It's essential for what's to come.

4) Will Cable and Deadpool ever reunite in the present?

They're going to reunite sooner than you think. Check the April previews soon for a hint of the Cable and Deadpool reunion to end all Cable and Deadpool reunions.

Philip A Moore wants to know more about your plans - past and present:

1) Did you have an exact number of issues planned before "X-Men: Second Coming?"  Did you get to tell all the stories you wanted to tell?

When I first started planning "Cable" with Axel Alonso and the rest of the X-office back in the summer of 2007, I had an exact number of issues in mind: 24 - roughly two years' worth of story. And I plotted it the same way I plot my novels: there was an opening situation (mutant soldier and cute baby, on the run through time), complicating factors (Bishop, who would stop at nothing to kill the baby), and finally, an end point in mind (the baby's safe return to the present).

I knew I wanted to tell certain kinds of stories along the way - for example, I'd been dying to tell the Cable and Hope separated-in-time story (what became "Cable" #15 and 16) since the very beginning. But I focused on one arc a time, trying to make sure each one was new-reader-accessible.

Did I tell every story I wanted? No - but then again, you never do.

2) One of my favorite books written by you was "Werewolf By Night" Max.  I'd like to know is there a chance for a sequel (or maybe an ongoing)?  You left the book with a nasty cliff hanger...

Thanks Philip - very glad you enjoyed it. I'd love to write a sequel, but nothing's planned at the moment. However, at the risk of shameless self-promotion, there is a sort of weird Werewolf by Night cameo in my next crime novel, "Expiration Date," which is out next April.

No risk here, Duane, just lots of holiday love! As a matter of fact, BH wants to shower you with some of that right now...

"Messiah War" was a crossover that seemed to divide a lot of readers, but as a Stryfe fan I was nothing but ecstatic at the character's handling by you and your co-writers.  I have two questions about Stryfe for you:

1) A dozen years is a lot of time to spend with someone.  Are they any plans to expand on what exactly  happened between Bishop and Stryfe during this time period?

You know, that would be a great launching point for a miniseries - kind of a post-apocalyptic buddy comedy: "Life With Stryfe."

2) Any comment on the future of Stryfe?  Like the rumor that Cable is possibly going to transfer his psyche over to Stryfe's T-O virus-clean and youthful body?

Who's spreading this rumor about Stryfe's "youthful body?" I do not think Lord Stryfe would like you talking about him in this way.

Taimur Dar was curious about another "youthful body" running around the Marvel Mutant U at the moment. Any comment on this particular X-Man?

1) With Nate Grey/X-Man returning to the Marvel Universe, are there any plans for a "family reunion" with Cable?

A Cable family reunion would quite possibly be the most dysfunctional family reunion ever. How do you even begin to do the seating chart? Do the clones get their own table?

Seriously, though - keep your eyes on "Second Coming."

2) In a non-X related question, now that "Immortal Weapons" has concluded, are there any new Iron Fist projects on the horizon for you that fans should watch out for?

Nothing on the horizon - but I had an absolute blast with Iron Fist for the year and a half I was on board. I'd return to Danny's world in a heartbeat. Hell, I'd love to tell a year's worth of Orson Randall stories.

Joshua Hetherington feels as though Hope and Cable could use some friends to hang around with in the present. Are you able to oblige?

1) With Cable's return to the present, will we be seeing a more "permanent" roster of supporting characters featured hanging around with Hope and Cable?  Maybe Domino?  Cannonball?  Boom Boom?

That's something that will be revealed in "Second Coming," so I can't say anything at the moment.

2) Will Nathan and Hope live on Utopia with the X-Men, or independently?

Hope told Cable she wants to join the X-Men in the present, so that's the goal. But making it to Utopia is another story.

3) Any more interactions between Cable and X-Force planned?  I loved their interaction during "Messiah War," and it seems like Hope wants to join X-Force more than she wants to join X-Men...

If you're reading the current arc, "Homecoming," you'll see that Hope really just wants some semblance of a "normal" life. She's heard all of these things about who she's supposed to be, she had a very fleeting encounter with X-Force...and now that she's a little older, she realizes she's tired of eating fried rat on a dying Earth.

Like most teenagers, she's struggling with the questions of "Who am I?" and "What am I supposed to be doing?" So it's not specifically X-Force she longs to join (though I suspect she digs their costumes and ethos), but the X-Men, who she thinks will help her answer those questions.

4) Any clue what Hope's powers are?  I'm guessing probably telekinesis and telepathy like Stryfe assumed, but that doesn't really explain how she healed Rogue in "Messiah CompleX" - unless a certain fiery bird is involved.  Am I getting warm?

You saw a glimmer of Hope's power in "Cable" #21. She stopped a bullet cold. She dished back what Bishop served. But is that telekinesis...or something else entirely?

Maybe Hope's power lies in her hair...at least, that's what Maroutz is thinking:

I've really enjoyed "Cable," but the whole "is Hope actually Jean Grey" debate frustrates the hell outta me.  If she's not supposed to look like Jean, then the artists are falling down on the job.  If she is supposed to look like her, then why all the secrecy and denials when it all appears obvious to readers?  Even her powers now seem to mimic Jean's.  Please tell me all will be revealed in "X-Men: Second Coming," or I'm gonna get feistier than a feisty redhead...

I'm married to a feisty redhead, so I know firsthand how feisty redheads can get, and sometimes, that's an unbearable level of feistiness. (Say that three times fast.) But you'll learn more in "Second Coming." I mean, the title alone kind of tips you off, if you think about it...

While the readers ponder that nugget of knowledge, it's now my turn to ask this week's "get-to-know-you" question. Ready to go "Behind the X?"

My wife and I were trying to think of some holiday cocktails to make for a party, but all we could come up with is hot buttered rum.  Do you have any holiday cocktails you enjoy?  Care to share the recipe?

My cocktail of choice at the holidays is a big tumbler of good scotch with ice. You adjust the scotch-to-ice ratio by the number of relatives who show up.

But for a proper holiday-ish cocktail, I make these chocolate-peppermint martini things for my wife - it's basically Stirrings Chocolate Peppermintini mixer shaken with vodka - again, the amount of vodka is proportional to the number of relatives at hand. Add some chocolate rimmer to the glass (wow, never though I'd type those words in a "Cable" interview) and pour.

Look at that - not only do we get you answers directly from your favorite X-writers at X-POSITION, but we provide you with lively libations! What can I say? We put the "X" in "X-mas."

And speaking of the holidays, we're giving the X-office a break next week. So while we'll have lots of year-end merriment here at CBR, X-POSITION won't be back till the New Year. That said, we'll be kicking off 2010 in a big way with two big X-POSITION X-travaganzas!

First, we in the X-POSITION office thought it might be fun to take a look back at 2009 with a "Top Ten" list of our very own. We want you, our wise and talented readers, to send in your top moments in the X-Universe for this past year - things that made you proud to be a follower of Marvel's merry mutants!

You can send in one moment or twenty - just type them up along with the reasons you thought they were great, put "2009 Top Ten" in the subject line, and send them to me as soon as you can. Based on the number of times these moments come up and your explanations, I'll compile a list for all X-POSITION-ites to share and enjoy!

Part two of the aforementioned "fun" will be our regularly-scheduled Q&A, but we'll be starting off 2010 in a big way as our guests are none other than the writers of "X-Force" (as well as "X-Men: Necrosha" and "X-Men: Second Coming"), Craig Kyle and Chris Yost. So drink that "Peppermintini," type up some queries for the fellas, and shoot me an email just as soon as you can (put "X-POSITION" in the subject line for this one).

That's two assignments in two weeks - are you fan enough? I'd wager that you are. Happy holidays, and we'll be seeing you in the new decade...

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