X-POSITION: Jason Aaron on Wolverine, Quentin Quire and Hellfire Kids

Being a super hero comes with its challenges -- "With great power comes great responsibility," a wise man once said -- but it also has its fair share of rewards. Another job description which many would argue is even more challenging -- yet has the potential to also be more rewarding -- is that of a teacher. Between his work in "Wolverine" and "Wolverine & the X-Men," it will be interesting to see which of these jobs cause Marvel's most popular mutant to sprout the first gray hairs of his very long life.

If Wolverine is "the best he is at what he does," does that extend to running a school? And how does he juggle both jobs? The person who can best answer these queries and others about Logan's daily schedule is the one who maintains it: writer Jason Aaron. Between writing the two aforementioned titles (in addition to "Incredible Hulk," "Scalped" and his just-announced role in "Avengers Vs. X-Men"), he has a busy to-do list himself. All of you sent in lots of email for Mr. Aaron, so we better get to it straightaway!

The Big G jumps right into those teaching challenges mentioned earlier with the first question of the day:

1) "Wolverine & the X-Men" has been a blast so far! Being the Headmaster is no doubt going to drive Logan nuts, but I'm curious on how he plans on dealing with the combined egos and attitudes of Hellion, Kid Omega and Kid Gladiator? This trio seems like it would be a teacher's worst nightmare! What kind of disciplining can we look forward to?

Good question, Big G, and for an answer, look no further than our next arc, which kicks off in "Wolverine & the X-Men" #5. In that story -- featuring ridiculously awesome art by Nick Bradshaw -- look for Kid Gladiator to get himself into some pretty crazy trouble in a very unusual location. And also, Kid Omega gets to spend some real quality time with Headmaster Logan...if you consider going to an alien casino planet to count cards and win a bunch of money to keep the school open to be "quality time."

Logan definitely has his hands full with those guys. Though issue #4 also offers a rather surprising glimpse of what their futures may hold. Needless to say, there are big plans.

2) In the letters page of issue #2, Kitty told the readers that the students are forbidden to participate in X-Men battles. But with the school getting attacked by Karoka, the Frankenstein Marine Corp, and a Sauron and Wendigo clone, it seems that Logan might want to rethink this idea. Does Wolverine believe his faculty has enough power to handle any threat to the school? Or does he feel training students is more of a Cyclops' move?

Logan is certainly going to train the kids to protect themselves -- he just isn't going to bring them along when the takes the X-Men off to save the world. If these kids want to eventually grow up to be super heroes, that's okay. But he also wants to give them the chance to be something else.

As far as power at the school, we've already seen Iceman step up in a big way, and issue #3 features an incredibly powerful new ally for the X-Men. After that, the next few issues will see both Kitty Pryde and Beast pushed to their limits. Then there are the new faces who show up in issue #4, and there's still the question of just what exactly is Kid Omega even capable of. So yeah, I think Logan's got plenty of firepower on his side. Perhaps more than he even understands.

Speaking of firepower, Renaldo wants to know more about a particularly powerful individual that many X-fans will most likely be discussing in the new year:

1) Jason, with this big divide occurring, what gave you or the editors the urge to make Quentin Quire such a focal point? What makes QQ such an intriguing character to focus on -- especially as he and Logan have their own little side book with Brian Wood?

I've always been a huge fan of Grant Morrison's run on "X-Men," in particular, the character of Quentin Quire. Quentin's most memorable arc, "Riot At Xavier's," remains one of my all-time favorite X-stories. "Schism" gave me a great opportunity to bring Quentin back on the table in a big way and to set him up for "Wolverine & the X-Men."

If you'll notice, the staff and students at the Jean Grey School together represent pretty much the entire history of the X-Men, from the original Lee/Kirby team all the way to the most recent Fraction/Gillen era -- something I was particularly interested in putting together. I love watching those different characters bounce off each other. Hopefully, you guys do, too.

2) You're writing both "Wolverine" and "Wolverine and the X-Men." How do you differentiate between the two "Logans" as the solo title Logan seems more brutal since he doesn't have to account for the presence of school kids?

Yeah, "Wolverine" is a very different title, but my run has also varied in tone -- from the very dark to the more outrageous, like the just finished kung fu tale "Goodbye Chinatown," which I had an absolute blast working on. The next arc of "Wolverine" will be quite simply the biggest Logan solo story I've ever done. Look for the return of some old villains and the debut of an exciting new one, as Logan goes back to Japan and gets embroiled in a big way between the Hand and the Yakuza. And don't be surprised if some of the characters from that arc also find their way into "Wolverine & the X-Men."

Time to Zap has been thinking about one of his favorite students at the school and has a couple of questions, but first...

I want to start by saying while I missed the first issue, I recently picked up "Wolverine and the X-Men" #2...and I am hooked!

1) Idie left Utopia because she was really in a bad mental state. What efforts will Logan and the staff be taking to help her cope with now being a "murderer" and to change her self-image of a monster?

Good question. The Jean Grey School exists in large part because of Idie, so helping her would certainly be one of the school's main missions. Unfortunately, it might be easier said than done. Just stay tuned.

2) Does Broo have powers besides being a Brood? Will Idie and Broo go on a date or kiss?

We'll see a good bit of Broo in action in the arc that kicks off in issue #5, as the X-Men are forced to deal with yet another Brood invasion, though one that hits them in a very unusual way. As for Broo and Idie becoming an item, I wouldn't be certain of that just yet. Broo might have a little competition for her hand.

Ooh! A mutant-alien-mystery love triangle -- I like it! Next, Joshua needs a little help defining terms. What do you say?

What does the term "Adjunct Staff" mean? And is it really smart to have Frenzy as part of the staff at this school?

Adjunct Staff are just the more secondary staff members. Wolverine and Kitty run the show, and right below them is a core group of senior staff members. Below that are the more non-essential personnel (sorry, Toad). As for how smart it was to bring Frenzy along, only time will tell. I'd suggest you keep an eye on Chris Gage's "X-Men: Legacy."

Derek wrote in to inquire about school field trips -- does he need to bring a sack lunch?

1) In the first issue, you listed a number of special events. Are any of these going to be part of future storylines? I was particularly interested in the expedition to the Genoshan ruins. Magneto, Polaris, and Emma Frost all survived the destruction of the island -- could they be brought in to act as guest speakers? Kitty's father died on Genosha; would that be addressed?

I think it's safe to say we'll be visiting at least some of those locations. It wouldn't be an X-Men series without at least one trip to the Savage Land, now, would it?

2) I'm excited to see Rachel as a prominent member of the cast. At this point, however, no one has made it clear why she chose Wolverine's side over her father, Scott's. What was her reasoning?

Good question. For now, I'll just say that Rachel's time in the spotlight is coming, soon enough.

The spotlight you've given another character was the cause of much email this week. I'll allow ProfeZZor X to speak for the masses.

Mr. Aaron, I unfortunately didn't have the opportunity to read your work prior to "Wolverine and the X-Men," but I have to say that I love what you've done in the two issues you've written so far. Being an immense Iceman fan, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you for making him one of Wolverine's closest right-hand men. What you've done with his powers in issue #2 was simply incredible, and most importantly, it was way overdue. All of us Iceman fans are truly happy to call you one of the greatest Iceman writers in history.

Thanks so much ProfeZZor X. I'm a big Iceman fan as well. What he did in issue #2 won't be a one-shot thing either. Look for Iceman to continue bringing the amazing in coming issues.

I was just wondering...since Wolverine bore witness to the immense power the "Age of Apocalypse" Iceman had in the current "X-Force" book, did that factor into his higher expectations for Bobby?

Maybe. My conversations with "Uncanny X-Force" writer Rick Remender certainly played into it. Rick and I both wanted to show what Bobby could do. And speaking of the influence of "Uncanny X-Force," I suggest you pick up "Wolverine & the X-Men" #4.

X-fan April will be picking that up and more, it appears. Until that issue hits the stands though, she has a few fun queries:

First of all, I'd like to say that I have been enjoying your run on "Wolverine," and "Wolverine and the X-Men" is a great new take on the "school for mutant youth." My questions are:

1) Since Mike Carey brought back Ariel over in "X-Men: Legacy," would you consider scooping her up for Wolverine's side? So far Cyclops has three teleporters, but Wolverine only has "Age of Apocalypse" Nightcrawler (whose existence is a secret from everyone). Ariel would make a good addition both power and staff-wise. Logan also appears to be short on psychics...

Logan needs more teleporters? Are you serious? He's got a whole school full of Bamfs!!! As for psychics, Rachel Grey and Quentin Quire happen to be two of the most powerful around. Sorry, no plans for Ariel right now. Not on my part, at least.

2) Will the "types" of students vary at the Jean Grey school (e.g. mutants, humans, other species, etc.), or will JGSHL be "segregated" from normal humans like its predecessor, Xavier's School for Higher Learning?

The type will continue to vary. We've already got two alien students in Broo and Kid Gladiator, and we may eventually see a human or two, as well. I had initially wanted to include a de-powered mutant in the main cast, but ultimately didn't have room for them. Maybe a bit further down the line.

Marcus Martin sends in many mutant-centric questions every week. This week, he changed things up on us with an inquiry on the challenges of being green:

I have a question about your current "Incredible Hulk" run: why is Bruce Banner trying so hard to regain the Hulk after all it has put them through?

That's really one of the main questions of the book right now. Bruce is obviously a bit lost. Without the Hulk, he should be happy, freed forever from the monster that ruined his life so many times. Instead, he seems to find himself obsessed with recreating what was ultimately his most significant scientific accomplishment. Creating the Hulk was in some sense the most important thing Banner has ever done, even if it was by accident. At present, for whatever reason, he's just not able to move past that.

MarvelMaster616 needs to know more about kids and lovers -- uh, but not kids from lovers. Here's what he's thinking:

1) First off, I'm loving the new direction of "Wolverine and the X-Men." However, one part that I haven't been able to make sense of is the Hellfire kids. They really seemed to come out of nowhere. When are we going to learn more about them? Are they really just kids or is there something more sinister about them?

The Hellfire Club kids first appeared in "X-Men: Schism," where we got just a little bit of background on each of them. And yes, we will certainly be learning more about them as we go forward. I love writing these kids.

I know some readers seemed to have drawn their personal line of believability at a group of dangerous children, even in a book that features blue-skinned, teleporting gremlins and an island that walks like a man. I would ask them to be patient with these brats. We will continue to see these kids grow and develop over the coming months and work to become one of the most imposing threats the X-Men have ever faced. No, really.

2) Now that Wolverine is running the Jean Grey Institute, what will that mean for his relationship with Melita?

As we saw in the most recent issue of "Wolverine," Logan's girlfriend Melita has relocated to the East Coast as well and is now working at the Daily Bugle. As for what the future holds, keep reading "Wolverine." It's possible that Logan's love life may be getting much more complicated in the coming months.

That's it from the fans. Now it's my turn with a little "Behind the X" get-to-know-you question -- and it's holiday themed! What is one of your favorite holiday traditions from when you were a child?

This only makes me feel old, but I was just thinking the other days about how excited I used to get when the new Sears catalog would be delivered in the fall. I would pore over the toy section of that catalog again and again before ultimately picking the things that would go on my Christmas list. I got lots and lots of Star Wars figures from that catalog. Figures that my son still plays with today.

Happy holidays, everybody. And thanks as always for reading.

On that cheery note, we wrap up another X-citing X-POSITION. But in seven days, we'll be back with a Greg Pak attack! That's right, the current writer of "Astonishing X-Men" stops by to respond to your emails about his latest and greatest with artist Mike McKone. As Aerosmith sings, "It starts with a little kiss, like this."

And don't forget -- I'm hard at work preparing our "Best X-Moments of 2011" column for the end of the year. This is the column where you, our readers, tell us what events from Marvel's X-Universe made you jump with joy over the past 365 days. From today through Christmas, either or email me directly with your thoughts on the matter.

Let me know why you picked this moment and which X-issue it came from. Images help us out too, so either post them in the thread or send them to me in your email (not a requirement, but it's appreciated). We'll do a tally of the results between the forum posts and emails, and then expect one heck of a fun X-POSITION at year's end. If you do email me, put "Best X-Moment of 2010" in the subject line...pretty please?

Okay, you've all got your assignments -- be careful out there!

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