X-POSITION: Gischler Takes a Bite Out of "X-Men"

Mutants may be feared and distrusted by many of the "average" citizens found in the Marvel Universe, but the X-Men are working to change that! They are trying to reach out and let their good deeds be known, and it doesn't hurt that they've hired a public relations expert to help them on that front.

Recently, the X-Men worked with Spider-Man to help to help locate a missing child in the sewers of New York City, a good deed that helped land them some excellent press. What will they do next on their whirlwind tour of Good Samaratinism? One of the people who knows the answer is "X-Men" writer Victor Gischler. He's here to answer questions on this topic and others, and shares a few "fangtastic" revelations. So without further ado, let's a-do this!

Christine P. starts us off with an email about someone who is both an X-Men and a creature of the night.

I'm a longtime fan of Jubilee, and with the exciting and potential-filled direction her character has now taken in the wake of "Curse of the Mutants," I was wondering what role she'll play in the ranks of the X-Men? And how much of the development she received in Kathryn Immonen's excellent "Wolverine and Jubilee" miniseries will you carry over and follow up on?

Christine, we'll be checking in briefly with Jubilee in "X-Men" #11, but I'm not sure when she'll be front and center again for a story. But don't worry -- we've put too much time into vamping her up just to forget about her, and wheels are already turning for how best to showcase her next. Her development in the great miniseries you mentioned is important. We won't let that go to waste.

That's good, because Kevin appears to have high hopes for this character as well!

Whether she is cured or not, do you foresee Jubilee remaining on the X-teams or staying affiliated with them for the long haul? Will her newfound ability to turn into mist be explored (as well as her other new abilities)? What about her interaction with other characters she is close with -- particularly those around her age?

Kevin, yes, this goes along with what I was telling Christine above. We're Jubilee fans here so she will be affiliated for sure, but to what extent is being decided. Jubilee has been through a lot for someone her age, so it's important to keep her active with the younger and more veteran characters. Specifics such as "mist powers" will be handled on a story-by-story basis.

Scouse Mouse wants to know more about one of the guests that is supposedly scheduled to interact with our X-pals.

Can you give us any hints as to what Elektra will be up to when she teams up with the X-Men? Will she admit to Wolverine that it really was her during "Enemy of the State?" Also will there be any interaction between her and Northstar? He would have some very mixed emotions regarding her; he owes her his life after she arranged his resurrection, but he was brought back as a homicidal maniac!

Yo, S-Mouse! Elektra is still a ways off before appearing in "X-Men" so it's too early to talk (or even think) details yet. But when we do get to her it'll be everything you ever wanted it to be. Specifically you.

I heard. I'm okay with it as long as they don't do anything to Cable...what?

MC helps us get back on topic with a question about the recent story seen in your "X-Men" book:

Emma Frost's interactions with Dark Beast and Spider-Man are hilarious, and I was wondering if you might be able to give us hints about which Marvel characters we can look for as guest stars in the near future? I love seeing your take on them.

MC, thanks. It was fun to write and I had great help from the team, especially Editor Nick Lowe. As for guest stars, we don't want to give too much away too soon. Lots of new faces. Some of those faces might be flaming. Some might be metal and rhyme with Scmoctor Schmoom. Who can say? But I appreciate the vote of confidence.

Froggy also appears to have enjoyed this tale and wants to know more of the nitty-gritty behind it.

1) What's it like writing Spider-Man? How do you find his "voice?"

I just think of the likable smartasses in my life and go with it. It's fun to write Spidey for the simple reason that wisecracks are always fun.

2) In your opinion, how does Spider-Man view the X-Men? Are they his friends? Co-workers?

A strange combination of both. I think "colleagues" is close. They are generally fighting on the same side, but maybe don't always agree on methods. There is always fun friction between him and Logan.

3) I like what you did with the Lizard and Dark Beast. Where did you get the idea to couple these two villains together?

When we started planning the arc, it became clear that we needed to add an extra surprise -- another character to complicate matters just a little extra. Nick Lowe had the great idea to use Dark Beast and I immediately warmed to the suggestion. Dark Beast is fun in a twisted kind of way. I'd love to write him more, give him more lines and really let him cut loose with the evil. I hope I get the chance someday. He's my kind of character.

4) Can we expect to see you writing "X-Men" again after Christopher Yost's arc?

Yes. Yost's arc is going to kick ass. But I'll be back after that.

Our pal Andre4000 has a few questions concerning a few other titles you are keeping yourself busy with.

1) With the recently announced "Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula," it sounds like you should have a good amount of fun. Do vampires even pose a threat to someone like the Hulk? Missiles bounce off his skin; what threat to pointy teeth pose?

You've tapped into one of the most important questions of the entire arc. Here comes Hulk? What will you do? What can you do? It is a tribute to Dracula's cunning that he has to think up answers to these questions.

2) I read "Tomb of Dracula: Throne of Blood" and enjoyed it, but I thought it was supposed to tie into "Fear Itself." The "Throne of Blood: Birth of a Vampire" image that Marvel released (a shadowy figure standing in front of Marvel hero "souvenirs") seems to be something other than what came out this week. Are these two different books?

Glad you enjoyed it, because I sure enjoyed writing it. Yes, the issue was meant to show you the origins of somebody who plays an important role later. Stay tuned, true believer!

3) Will we be seeing more of this samurai vampire soon? Possibly in the "Hulk vs. Dracula" book?

Those are very, very, very good questions and the answer is...here comes the answer...I'm going to right now answer the question and...whoa! Look over there! (Runs away....)

4) Do you think Marvel would ever consider a Dracula series? They had "Tomb of Dracula" many years ago, and with Drac's new position in the Marvel U, I think it could be a lot of fun!

I think now that Dracula has been re-introduced to the Marvel Universe in such a big way that we will see much more of him. But an ongoing series? Sounds fun, but guys with bigger hats than I wear will make those decisions. A new and re-vamped "Tomb of Dracula" would be pretty cool.

Our last email of the week comes from Serge, who appears to follow your many literary accomplishments here and abroad:

1) From visiting your blog, it looks like you have a good following in Italy. What's it like when you see your books released in other countries? Are there any other places outside of the U.S. where you have a big following?

I guess it depends on what you mean by "big." Somehow I seem to have caught on a little bit in Italy and I'm grateful. Very nice people and smart readers over there. Two different festivals are flying me over to sign books and answer questions later this year. It's been a wonderful surprise.

2) You mentioned that you'll be visiting Italy in June. Are you going anywhere else in Europe? How do those kinds of tours work in the publishing world? Does the publisher bring you out there and arrange a schedule? Or are you heading out there anyway and a signing just worked out time-wise?

I generally go where I'm invited. So far it's just been Italy. I'm going in June, as you say, and again in the fall. The publisher arranges for a festival (sort of like a convention) to bring me out. It all works out pretty cool for me, and I'll ride the pony until it bucks me. I'm always surprised and grateful that anyone wants me to show up anywhere.

3) You said "The Deputy" and "Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse" are both out in Italy. Do the publishers there take care of the translations? Do you have any input? Are you curious how certain ideas are translated for different cultures?

I have no input, which is probably good since I wouldn't know how to translate anything. The publishers take care of it, and so far it's all worked out fine.

And this brings us to our get-to-know-you, "Behind the X" question, courtesy of... me! Victor, I know you've had the movie rights to several of your books pursued (and "optioned") by Hollywood, but of all your works, which would you most like to be seen made into a film and why?

Wow. That's like asking which of my children would I like to see be a success. All of them! I'll cheat and say two:

1) "Gun Monkeys," because it has been in the pipe the longest and is very close to clicking into place.

2) "Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse," because I'm so involved and was lucky enough to get to write the screenplay.

Next week, Rick Remender -- writer of "Uncanny X-Force" -- stops by to answer all your inquiries about his unique team of mutant mercenaries (who are less than interested in public relations). I just know you have things you want to ask, so type up all those ponderings and wonder-ments and send them to me as soon as you can. Throw an "X-Position" in the subject line, and I'll share the best place in Seattle to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. See you in seven!

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