X-POSITION: Greg Pak Explores "X-Treme X-Men"

Greg Pak is ready to explore the Marvel Multiverse. Alongside series artist Stephen Segovia, "X-Treme X-Men" follows the journey of characters introduced in Pak's "Astonishing X-Men" story arc "Exalted." Pak plans to team up alternate reality versions of Wolverine, Emma Frost and Nightcrawler alongside the Marvel U's Dazzler on a mission to save all realities.

Pak took on all questions in this week's X-POSITION involving everything from bringing Dazzler onto the team, the title "X-Treme X-Men" and his previous work on the Hulk family.

Melvin has a question about the possible appearance of another rag-tag group of reality-hopping mutants:

Since "X-Treme X-Men" sounds like it's kinda gonna be like the Exiles, will we be seeing Morph again? Maybe Blink? Spider-Man 2099? Any non-X characters?

No specific plans for Morph and Blink or Spider-Man 2099 in the next few issues. But yes, non-X-characters will absolutely play a role. If you're a Thor fan, you won't want to miss issue #2. Or wait, maybe you do...

Jose Estrada continues the "Exiles" line of questioning with some deeper questions about alternate realities.

1) I am a big fan of both the original "Exiles" and "X-Treme X-Men" runs, being that this new volume of" X-Treme X-Men" is the spiritual successor of the former, are we going to see some fan favorites like Blink, Nocturne, Morph, T-Bird and notably Sage who was in both titles? Last time we saw here she was left as a omnipresent god-like figure after merging with the Panoptichron, will we see a follow up on her and a rejoining with her fellow 616 X-Man Dazzler?

We're creating a new mission and mythology with new characters. So while favorite characters from previous "Exiles" runs may eventually show up, we're starting off with this crazy new cast -- and Dazzler, baby! That being said, I've always loved Sage in particular (got a big kick out of the way [Grant] Morrison used her), so anything's possible.

2) One of the things I loved about the early days of the Exiles was the constant rotating cast of characters and the uncontrollability of the reality -leaps, as that going to be a theme in your run?

Yes and yes! I love those elements -- and they absolutely relevant to the premise of these new stories. Anything can and should happen in a reality-tripping series, don't you think? And a book called "X-Treme" should feature spectacularly high stakes, natch.

3) Is there by any chance that Ruby Summers or a derivative of her (Scott's and presumably Emma's alternate reality daughter from Bishop's reality), going to join your cast? She was an instant favorite on the boards here and has such a unique character that only alternate reality stories can feature.

We don't have plans for Ruby Summers at the moment, but I agree with what you say about alternative reality stories -- they're the only and best place to explore certain big, risky ideas and themes. We're doing our best to deliver on that promise in spades.

Bamf0928 wants to know about the origins of characters from "Exalted"

Will we get to see exactly where the three alternate reality versions of Wolverine, Emma Frost and Nightcrawler come from?

Yes! We're dropping a few more hints along the way about the nature of their home realities -- eventually we'll see much more.

Steve Morris has some questions about the Marvel U's favorite mutant disco star.

Will Dazzler change her outfit three times every issue, and come out in new costumes each time?

I'm working on it!

Is Dazzler in the MU more famous than: Katy Perry? Lady Gaga? Grace Jones? Daian Vickers?

She's not at the Lady Gaga level. But I had to Google Daian Vickers, so she's more famous than that. As just a musician, I'd say she's around Taylor Dayne/Jennifer Warnes level. The average person might take a second to remember her name, but play her hits and everyone's humming along. But add on her notoriety as a public figure thanks to her mutant and superhero-related dramas and I think we get up to Joan Jett or so. Which is a pretty sweet place to be.

Should Dazzler always wear roller skates?

Only during fist fights.

Is Disco Immortal?

In our hearts, true believers.

DipsyClaw needs some major info on the particulars of Greg's "Astonishing X-Men" run.

Hi Mr. Pak,

I really liked your "Astonishing X-Men" story and I was excited to hear that your characters would be getting their own series. I have a few questions:

1) How do Howlett, Kid Nightcrawler, and Emmaline Frost get from the reality in your "Astonishing" story to wherever they start out in "X-Treme X-Men?"

All will be revealed in issue #1. I'll just say that all those Xavier heads in bottles that we saw at the end of my "Astonishing" story play a key role.

2) I couldn't help but notice your new book has the same title as the old Chris Claremont book. Is there any reason your new X-Men book has the same name?

Because we're extreme, baby. Anything can happen in this book. Seriously. And it's all in-continuity and will eventually turn around to have an impact on our very own Marvel Universe.

3) Why did you decide to include Dazzler on your team?

When the X-Editors and I were brainstorming about the book a while back, I said we definitely need someone from "our" Marvel Universe to anchor the book. And Dazzler kept coming up. And the more I thought about it, the more perfect it seemed. Dazzler's got a great normal-person voice and sense of humor that are perfect for a character thrown into insane circumstances. And she's an insanely powerful mutant with interestingly Cyclops-esque energy projection abilities, which makes her a great pick to be the leader of this band of heroes. Finally and most importantly, she's a classic Marvel character whose insane VH-1 Behind the Scenes pop star past is a perfect set up for an epic hero's journey. We're going to cut Dazzler loose and let her learn and grow and dazzle the heck out of us. And it will be awesome.

Thank you and keep up the good work!

Thank you!

Taimur Dar brings the continuity with a question concerning Dazzler's past and alternate realities.

Given Dazzler's past romance/relationship with Longshot, will the X-Treme X-Men will be visiting the Mojoverse anytime soon?

It's possible. But we're starting our stories off in entirely new worlds. It's an infinite universe, after all -- we're going to poke around a bit and see what else is out there.

I'm curious, do you have any particular favorite alternate reality/dimension comics or stories?

I'll always love "Days of Future Past," which was my introduction to the whole alternate reality/future story concept. And it's not quite the same thing, but I love "What If..." stories. In terms of X-Men-centric "What Ifs," the "What If Storm Had the Power of the Phoenix" had a big impact on me -- because it was absolutely insane.

In a non-X related question, did you ever in your wildest dreams expect to see Skaar Son of Hulk animated?

It always astounds me when I see characters I helped create take off in unexpected ways. But from the beginning, there were some hints that cool things might happen with Skaar. Before our first issue even came out, there were plans to make an action figure, for example. The world appears to require giant Hulking barbarians in multiple forms and media.

Tim Finch wants to know about possible crossover with some iconic characters Greg's worked with before.

Who do you think would win in a fight? The Hulk or General Howlett?

The Hulk. Unless Howlett called for help from the folks who gave him his adamantium-laced skeleton...

Will your X-Men get to fight the Hulk? It would be great to see you write Bruce Banner again, even if it's in an alternate reality.

I'd love to write an alternate-reality Hulk or Banner into the series at some point. But after writing the Hulk for so many years, I've been making a special point of stretching my muscles in other areas. Still, I love me some Hulk, so never say never!

Or Hercules. Will they fight Hercules?

Fight? We're talking about Herc. Why not make sweet, sweet love instead? (And I'm actually seriously mulling this over. So keep your eyes open!)

To wrap things up, here's our "Behind the X" get to know you question inspired by Dazzler's appearance in "X-Treme X-Men." What kind of music did you like to listen to as a teenager and do you still enjoy it as an adult?

I grew up listening to popular music from one to three decades before my timeline. Beatles, Buddy Holly, Motown, Aretha Franklin, Simon and Garfunkel, Doors, Stax, James Brown, Pink Floyd, Led Zep, etcetera, etcetera. And I listen to a ton of that stuff today. But here's a Dazzler-centric confession: I have always loved any song with a spoken word interlude, a la Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." And I'm going to do my best to write something like that for Alison to dig her teeth into during the course of "X-Treme." Dazzler's been through it all -- she's earned it. And we're gonna let her shine, in every way.

We're taking a little break for the next two weeks due to craziness at Comic-Con International at San Diego -- but no worries, X-POSITION will be back on July 20 with our very special guest Rick Remender ready to take your questions on "Uncanny X-Force" and his "Uncanny Avengers" book post-"Avengers Vs. X-Men." Just drop a line my way with one of your head-scratchers, but be sure to put "X-Position" in that subject line or it's likely to get lost in the ethos of my inbox.

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