X-POSITION: Gischler on "X-Men" Vampires and Roster Rotation

Since taking on the relaunch of "X-Men" in 2010, Victor Gischler has weathered a number of changes to the mutant creative landscape -- most recently, the Schism between Cyclops and Wolverine tore Marvel Comics' merry mutants apart and changing up rosters across the X-Books. However, a roster rotation hasn't stopped Gischler from continuing to explore the presence of vampires in the Marvel U, hearkening back to the X-Men's long history with the bloodsuckers, expanding the mythology and continuing Jubilee's journey as one of the undead.

In this installment of X-POSITION, Gischler answers pressing questions on the vampire mythos of the X-Men, Jubilee's allegiances following "Schism," the rotating roster of Cyclops' security team and the stability of Storm as team leader.

Our first question comes from Garydub, who hopes to see an amazing friend join the ranks of "X-Men."

Hi Victor, Why don't you make Firestar an X-Man to add a unique perspective or add a member like Jubilee or Domino to a team for a spin-off book?

Garydub, interesting suggestion, but I'm not sure I can get Firestar on the team. The editors might have something to say about that. Also, the team has already changed a few times as the needs of the X-verse have demanded. I would love to do a Domino solo spinoff book. I've always liked her. As for Jubilee, stay tuned. There's more Jube-action coming up in "X-Men" as drawn by the excellent Jorge Molina.

Sounds like a great time to be a Jubilee fan. Speaking of Jubes, why did you choose her to have such a pivotal role in the book when you began your run back in 2010?

The initial idea to turn her vamp came from the big brains in the X-office. I jumped on the idea and ran with it. Jubilee was a big part of the "Curse of the Mutants" arc. Jubilee had been de-powered and it was not only a cool plot point to turn her vamp but also an exciting way to get her more actively in the mix again.

She is certainly back in the mix in a big way -- much of her role in the book involves fighting her vampiric urges. Vampires have a long history with the X-Men -- how do you feel about those past stories and did you look to them as a building block for what you're doing now?

I was sent a huge PDF file of all Marvel vamp lore when I started designing the different vampire sects for "Death of Dracula." I started with ideas that were already there and sort of formalized and expanded them. Dracula, the sects and The Forgiven are now players in the Marvel U and we've already seen them make cool appearances in other books. They'll continue to crop up now and then.

You started off this book with a very different roster than the one you have now -- did the events of "Schism" make it tough on you to rework the book and the relationships on the team?

Maybe not "tough" but yes, it was necessary to reshuffle. Things are always changing and fluid and a writer needs to be flexible -- but in a way it's cool. For example, I was sorry to lose Gambit, but I love having Domino at my disposal now. Really, it's all good. When your ice cream suddenly becomes cake, it's not the worse thing in the world.

Jumping back on the bandwagon with fan questions, Taurean Eason has a few about the ever-changing roster of Storm's team but also about Jubilee's allegiance motivation following the big Cyclops-Wolverine split in "Schism.

Hey Mr. Gischler:

First of all I just want to say that I'm loving "X-Men" right now and I love how hard core they are even though they are not a black ops team like X-Force. Also thank you for utilizing Jubilee as she has been missing for a while in the X-books. I have a couple of questions as well...

Thanks! Yes, vampire Jubilee is kicking butt. You're not the only one glad she's getting face time.

1) Are there plans to add any more characters to this cast as it seems Colossus has become a regular to the book?

Well, not "add" so much as rotate. Sometimes a particular story will demand the talents of a particular hero. It also livens things up to see a fresh face -- but one factor I like to keep stable is Storm as team leader. She smacks of awesome flavor.

2) If Jubilee learns to control her vampire urges from the Forgiven, will she join Wolverine in Westchester since having those urges was the whole reason she stayed on Utopia?

That's up to X-office big wigs to decide, but if that happens it won't be very soon. She has a few journeys of her own to complete first. Being a vampire is not always an easy road to walk.

Victor, speaking of allegiances, there's the question of what the team will do for "Avengers vs. X-Men." I know creators are supposed to be tight-lipped on "AvX," but is there anything you can tell us about your team in "X-Men" and the battles they might be fighting?

Honestly, I'm not really too involved in "AvX." I'm just enjoying it along with the rest of the readers. (Although I'm lucky enough to get a sneak peek.)

Beyond "X-Men," you also have some other projects in the works -- anything you can tell us about?

I'm working with some artists on some creator-owned things. I don't want to take too much time away from "X-Men" by talking about them -- except to say these projects are much different than my other comic book work.

Wrapping up this week's X-POSITION, here's a crazy question for you: In a fight between Count Chocula and Jubilee, who would you put money on to win?

Is there milk? Chocula needs milk to work. Otherwise Jubilee for sure.

Well, X-Fans, that's it for my time here on X-POSITION. A huge thank you to "X-Men" scribe Victor Gischler for shedding some light on the events surrounding Cyclops' security team. Next week, George Tramountanas will be back for a Q&A with "Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha & Omega" writer Brian Wood. So slap "X-POSITION" on the subject line and email those questions or "Welcome Back" cards before Quentin Quire's advanced reality expands to encapsulate George's email. If you're really nice, maybe he'll show you pictures from his vacation.

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