X-POSITION: Jason Aaron Tackles "Wolverine," Beards & More

Writer Jason Aaron has "X" on the brain. In between writing "Wolverine," "X-Men: Schism" and the upcoming "Wolverine & the X-Men," it's a wonder he doesn't wake up in the middle of the night screaming "Snikt!" Thankfully Aaron has other, more calming pieces of literature to write in between X-stories, like "Punisher MAX," "Scalped" and his upcoming collaboration with Marc Silvestri: "Incredible Hulk."

Huh. I wonder what he'd do with an X-Babies one-shot under his pen.

Well, the writer was kind enough to take a breather and swing by for our weekly X-gathering. We received an abundance of email for the man, so we shook loose the most promising questions and placed them at the altar of the Beard. Let's see what Mr. Aaron has to say in response.

The Big G sent in a hat-trick of queries, and it appears he's resorted to bribery to get his email chosen. What a wise reader!

Thank you for all your hard work on the X-Men this year. I owe you a beer! Now, here are my questions for the Beard and its pet, Jason Aaron

1) "Wolverine" #14 was superb! But in wake of its awesomeness, I am saddened because I want to see more of the Mongrels (I named my Fantasy Football Team in their honor). Any chance the Hand gets their pesky ninja hands on them? Will they get "brought back" to enact revenge on their older brother Daken? There are so many questions that surround them: why does Cannonfoot look more like Sabretooth? And why does Sawfist wear a luchador mask?

Beer, beards and fantasy football? I declare this the best first question ever! You're right, there are still many questions left about the Mongrels, not all of which will have nice, pat answers. That's just the way I wanted to leave it. As for seeing them brought back by the Hand, that's not in the plans. But I do have other plans for those pesky ninja guys. Look no further than "Wolverine" #20, which is the lead-in to the biggest Wolverine story I've ever done. Something I've been building toward for quite a while now.

2) "X-Men: Schism" has been a pretty fun ride so far! I can't wait for September 21st (which also happens to be my birthday) so I can get issue #4. So, can you confirm that Idie's actions at the museum are the powder keg that ignites the upcoming Wolverine-Cyclops battle? Or is it a combination of things?

It's certainly one of the sparks, as were Quentin Quire's actions in issue #1. The real fire though happens in issue #4 -- as does the first round of the nastiest Cyclops vs. Wolverine battle ever. All drawn by the legendary Alan Davis. I had so much fun writing that one, I wish I could do it every week.

3) I've been a big fan of Greg Pak's run on "Incredible Hulk" these last few years. When I heard that you were going to take over though, I knew the Hulk was in good hands. So, can we now expect a good old fashion epic Hulk/Wolverine showdown in the future (or maybe even an "Astonishing Wolverine & Hulk" miniseries)?

It's been a while since we've seen a big Hulk vs. Wolverine brawl, hasn't it? Yeah, that's certainly something that's in my notebook. I just gotta find the right time and the right story.

From other emails I received, that appears to be highly-requested event. Let's hope the right inspiration hits soon!

Grey is next and he lets loose a barrage of Wolvie-centric inquiries:

1) Jason, what you did to Wolverine was heartbreaking! In light of what happened in his series, will Logan reevaluate his kill-first, question-later policy?

I don't know that Logan exactly has a kill-first, question-later policy. He's a little more restrained than that. But the events of this most recent arc will certainly play a big part in his mindset going forward. I've said all along, anyone reading "Wolverine" right now will have a little extra insight into Logan's thinking in the pages of "Schism." How the two titles connect to one another will become even more obvious in the next two months, and once "Schism" wraps, rest assured that Logan will have to reevaluate pretty much everything about his life as he's forced into a role he's completely unfamiliar with.

2) Why is Daken such a s**t?

Nobody can hate you quite like your own flesh and blood.

3) It appears that the fundamental split in "Schism" comes down to Wolverine seeing mutants as part of humanity and while Cyclops' view is...not so much. Is that accurate?

I'd say that's maybe a part of it. Read "Schism" #4 for the full picture of the argument.

Again, there's no clear-cut bad guy in this situation. Both sides have very defensible positions, and readers will have to decide for themselves where they stand. I think each side makes some very strong points -- in between bouts of fighting giant robots and trying to kill one another.

4) Why do you think Wolverine is ready to lead a high-profile X-Men team now?

All I know is, as a writer, I'm crazy excited about what I'm getting to do with Logan in the pages of "Wolverine & the X-Men." This is not like any X-Men book we've seen in a very long time, and it's not like any Wolverine book we've seen in, well, ever. But at the same time, I feel like the character is still staying true to exactly what he's always been.

The pending split is something that concerns MarvelMaster616. Can you help place the master's mind at ease?

1) It's been mentioned a few times that it's no coincidence "Fear Itself" ends around the same time as "X-Men: Schism." I know you can't get into spoilers, but why is this? Does something happen at the end of "Fear Itself" that leads into "Schism" (or vice-versa)?

No, there's not a literal direct connection between the two like that. Instead, it's more about the ramifications of these two stories. "Fear Itself" has big ramifications for a lot of Marvel U characters. "Schism" has huge ramifications for the X-universe. Going forward into 2012, we still start to see those two threads converge in a very epic way. Can't say more or Axel Alonso will have my tongue cut out. It's true -- I've seen it happen. 

2) How will Wolverine's team operate differently than Cyclops' team?

In a profoundly different way. Trust me. I'm afraid that's all I can say for now.

3) Where will Charles Xavier fit into all of this? It feels like he no longer has control over his vision. Will he play a factor in the schism?

Xavier doesn't appear in the pages of "Schism," but you will certainly see him appearing amid the aftermath and he will most definitely have a very strong opinion on the outcome.

Derek has also been thinking about the split and wants to know how certain details will affect the direction of things to come.

1) In terms of power, Gillen's side has Magik, Magneto, Storm, Nate Grey and Juggernaut. How does your side compete in terms of raw power?

I have Wolverine and Toad. You wanna talk about raw power? Try sharing an elevator with those two guys. Apparently Wolverine's hectic schedule of appearing in eighteen different books doesn't allow much time for showering.

2) Will there be citizens on Utopia that will also be siding with Wolverine?

Yes, Wolvie will have his share of supporters. Or will he? Maybe "Wolverine & The X-Men" is really just a buddy book featuring Wolverine and Toad. Sort of like "Bosom Buddies," but with less bosom. I guess you'll have to wait and see. For the first glimpse of who goes where and why, read Kieron Gillen's "X-Men Regenesis" special in October. See which characters Kieron and I viciously fought each other over. Surprisingly, Toad wasn't one of them. His loss, I suppose.

3) Gillen recently said in an interview that, post-"Schism," both groups will be so far apart philosophically it's more likely they will resort to violence than reconcile. I have a hard time believing that if Gishler's group encountered X-Factor in the field the two groups would come to blows. Is that really the reality of the situation for everyone? Or is that violence something that Wolverine or Cyclops' presence would bring about?

We won't see X-groups actively opposing one another. Not yet, at least. It's more of a, "you go your way, I'll go my way" sort of mentality.

Hunter is thinking about mommies and furry green things -- no joke! Here are his questions:

1) With the recent revelation in "Wolverine" #14 that the Mongrels were all Wolverine's kids, will we find out more about their mothers? I'm morbidly curious to find out if any of them are from relationships we already know Wolverine had in the past...

Again, I've kept things intentionally vague in regard to most of that. There are some connections to Logan's past that I have in my head, but not much has made it onto paper just yet.

2) I've been dying to ask this -- is Hulk's beard just a stylistic choice, or is it part of an in-joke based on your own rather voluminous beard?

Well, Hulk's beard makes sense story-wise, as you'll see if you pick up "Incredible Hulk" #1 in October. But yeah, now I feel like every book I write needs to at some point have someone with a beard. Who's next? Maybe Iceman with an icicle beard. Hmmm.

That's it for our readers, but now it's my turn with our get-to-know-you "Behind the X" question. I've had stars on my mind lately, so let's give this a try: if they were going to make a movie of your life story, who would play you?

Vincent D'Onofrio. So long as he can do a southern accent.

Thus we conclude today's X-chit-chat, but we'll be back in seven days with "X-23" writer Marjorie Liu. Think long and hard, and when your brain starts to scream send me your questions as quickly as possible. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line, and I'll see if I can get the beginning of school delayed...oops! Too late! Get me those emails anyway and I'll see you in seven!

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