While Marvel’s massive “Secret Wars” event is set to bring major changes to the Marvel Universe, there’s still story left to be told before that series debuts next month. One such tale is “The Burning World,” “Ms. Marvel” writer G. Willow Wilson’s four-part arc on “X-Men,” set to conclude later this month with “X-Men” #26. Her story arc — the latest run on the X-title focused on the team’s female characters — has taken Marvel’s mutants to a mystery in the Black Rock Desert, with a finale illustrated by Roland Boschi.
With “X-Men” #26 scheduled for release on April 29, Wilson returns to X-POSITION to answer your questions on her problems with Psylocke’s body-switching, the X-Men franchise’s track record of depicting female superheroes, who she’d like to write in a solo series and what Dazzler will bring to “A-Force,” set to debut in May and co-written by Wilson and Marguerite Bennett.
CBR News: Welcome back, Willow! First up, Ben wants to know about your approach to Psylocke and minority representation.
You’ve expressed in social media your desire to put Psylocke back in her original body. I’ve always felt uncomfortable watching a white woman wearing an Asian body and I’m glad a writer acknowledges it. Can you share your opinions on it and why do you feel it is important minority characters are represented accurately?
I think it’s important to acknowledge that people’s experiences are not interchangeable, especially when it comes to race and ethnicity. If you’re going to drop a white character into an Asian body, I think it behooves you to explore how that character’s life would change — how she would be treated socially, how she would deal with microaggression, how this might alter her perceptions about the world. If you take a story in that direction, you’ve gotta do the work. Otherwise it’s just tokenism. However, since I’m just here for four issues, I didn’t feel I had the space or the prerogative to move things around significantly, so I didn’t really touch on the Psylocke race issue. If I was the ongoing series writer, however, I would seriously consider making a change.
Now that your run on “X-Men” is coming to an end, why do you think the X-Men’s female characters stand out in comic books as opposed to female characters in other franchises who just end up being female derivatives of their male counterparts?
The X Men have always led the field when it comes to the depiction of female superheroes. Maybe because it’s a book about dealing with difference, and also breaking down difference — the characters are united because they are all mutants in a world that hates them, but as individuals, they are profoundly different. That’s fertile ground for great character work. Storm, Rogue, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Rachel Grey — they’ve all historically had both very close friendships and very believable tension. I think that’s why they resonate with so many people in a way that spin-off characters might not.
Starleafgirl has a question about your possible future with the X-Men, if you — or the book — were sticking around beyond “Secret Wars”…
I’ve liked your stay on “X-Men” and wish it could be longer. If you could stick around to write another “X-Men” tale, what would it be?
I would write a Jubilee story in which she goes on a madcap quest to cure herself of vampirism. I might do that anyway. 😀
Sardorim wants to know how you differentiated a trio of X-Women considering their similar mutant abilities.
Was it difficult to write Psylocke, Rachel, and Monet due to their similar power sets? Was it a personal decision to show how different telepathy and telekinesis is based upon the user?
Yes, it was difficult. I really struggled with ways to make them all remain distinctive, power-wise. In the end, though, those similarities are going to help them out significantly — I won’t say how!
jubilees_bf has a question many readers have wondered about, namely how Jubilee is dealing with life after Logan.
Thank you for your marvelous work on “X-Men.” My favorite moments last issue were the exchanges between Monet and Jubilee, as well as Jubes and the Inhumans.
You had previously mentioned that Jubilee would deal with the loss of Wolverine during this arc. Does this still hold true?
Yes, it does, though you’ll have to hang on til the very end to see how!
Darkgreed wants you to open up a can of worms and say which hero from “X-Men” you’d want to take solo.
If you had a chance to write a solo book on any of the X-Women who would you pick?
Storm is hands down my favorite X-Person, if not my favorite superhero, but I think I’d have to say Jubilee. I grew up with ’90s X-Men, so there’s a nostalgia factor. Plus she has an attitude and great hair.
Since “X-Men” was your first team book for Marvel, Doctormo is curious about how it’ll inform your take on “A-Force.”
Have you learned anything from writing “X-Men” that you think will be useful during your run on “A-Force”?
Oh indeed. Whenever you have an all-anything book — all women, all teenagers, all whatever — you have to be very careful not to fall into tropes. You have to find legit, story-driven reasons for the characters to remain together in that particular constellation, above and beyond marketing. It has to feel plausible, not gimmicky. That’s something I am going to keep in mind when writing A Force.
Also interested in your future plans, The Seventh Light wants to know what’s going on in the Battleworld domain of Arcadia during “Secret Wars.”
With the tremendous light you’ve shed on the crass and brassy Monet St. Croix, will she be one of the many female characters you’ll be covering in Arcadia with “A-Force”?
Arcadia is going to be off the hook. I have to credit my stellar co-writer, Marguerite Bennett, with the lion’s share of the work on the Arcadia storyline — she’s doing a lot of innovative stuff with characters from very different parts of the Marvel U. You may indeed see Monet in the mix, though I will not say how…
ohsnapulon5000 wants to know why you put the fan-favorite Dazzler at the core of your run on “X-Men.”
You’ve put Dazzler at the helm of your impeccable cast in “A-Force.” What made you consider her for a lead role and what kind of voice does she bring to the team? The team dynamic? And how do you feel she is uniquely important in the Marvel U?
Dazzler is one of those wonderfully wacky characters with (in my opinion) untapped potential. Wherever there is comedy, tragedy walks hand-in-hand. She’s got a great look and a great power set, and of course, the roller skates — there’s a lot to work with.
Special thanks to G. Willow Wilson for tackling questions this week!
Next week, “Wolverines” writer Charles Soule returns to X-Position. Have a question for Charles? 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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