X-POSITION: Marc Guggenheim Gets Back To Basics With X-Men Gold

X-Men Gold 7 feature

ResurrXion is upon us, and readers have now experienced the debut issues of the X-Men line's new flagship titles. With its release last week, "X-Men Gold" #1 featured a return to form for Marvel's mutants as the new lineup, led by Kitty Pryde, took on Terrax and proved to the world that the X-Men are still in the business of saving the day. Thanks to the book's twice-a-month shipping schedule, readers will get to see where Marc Guggenheim takes the team next in a fast fashion.

RELATED: X-Men Gold: The New Brotherhood X-Plained

This week in X-POSITION, "X-Men Gold" writer Marc Guggenheim returns and answers all of your questions about the new team, the potential for an Excalibur reunion and more. This interview was also conducted prior to the recent controversy surrounding "X-Men Gold" artist Ardian Syaf.

CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Marc! Let's start with a big picture question from Anduinel.

On a project like this, where the theme is explicitly "back to basics," how do you judge which elements of the franchise should be considered classic enough to bring back to the forefront intact, which ones to update, and which ones perhaps haven't aged so well over the decades?

Terrific question. For me, the most important element of the franchise to bring back is the notion that the X-Men are heroes working to protect a world that hates and fears them. That conceit is my north star and it drives all the other creative choices. Admittedly, some of those creative choices are driven by my own sense of what’s “classic,” my own sense of nostalgia. The team lineup is probably the best example of that. The first issue of "X-Men" that I ever read was "Uncanny" #139. With the exception of Rachel (and, if one wants to quibble, Old Man Logan), the lineup I chose for "Gold" is drawn from what, for me, was a seminal read.

That said, I think there’s a reason why a lot of elements of the franchise have endured and even thrived for decades. I see my job mainly as presenting those elements as best I can, in the most interesting ways I can. That’s the other piece of the “back to the basics approach” -- reducing the X-Men back down to their core conceits -- returning to “first principles,” as it were -- then building up from there.

There's another classic team that your lineup resembles, and Askanipsion has a question about it.

Thank you for having Kitty, Kurt and Rachel on the team. Any chance we will get a reunion with Brian Braddock & Meggan?

Totally a possibility. I love "Excalibur." I thought it was such an interesting premise for an X-book. And I’d love the opportunity to revisit the history that Kitty, Kurt and Rachel have with Brian and Meggan.

It’s a real testament to the strength of the X-Men franchise that there are so many beloved characters. I feel like I could write the book for as long as Chris Claremont did and never get to them all.

With the X-Men now acting as public heroes, Valamist has a question about the role "X-Men Gold" plays in the Marvel Universe.

Given how a part of Kitty's plan as leader seems to be making the X-Men into more recognizable heroes to the world, is there any plans to see the "Gold" team interact with the wider MU? Such as the Avengers, Defenders etc?

Absolutely. Kitty moved the X-Men to Central Park so they wouldn’t be segregated off from the rest of society, and that includes the various other heroes of the Marvel Universe. The first example of this will be in Issue #6.

Next up, Maestroneto wants to know more about one of the book's potential romantic subplots.

How are we supposed to feel about Colossus' feelings over Kitty? He's moved into her room when she left to get married and now he's hanging around her. Is this supposed to be romantic or creepy?

Oh, boy.

Thanks to my work on "Arrow," I’ve got a little familiarity with how everyone’s mileage varies when it comes to romantic subplots. For some fans -- not all, but some -- relationship storylines are these Rorschach tests where people see what they want to see in the story. I can absolutely see where some people might find Peter’s behavior creepy, while others find him extremely romantic. And I’m sure that there are other people who would place his behavior somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. I will say that my intention isn’t to turn Peter into “creepy stalker guy.” Make of that what you will -- so long as my Twitter isn’t full of “Guggenheim thinks creepy behavior is romantic” mentions...

Don't "@" him! Moving on, we have a question from Purplevit about a certain Ragin' Cajun.

Will Gambit join the Gold team or just appear as guest star? Did you like to write him?

For the moment, he’s just a guest star -- albeit a pivotal one -- in our second arc. But I love Gambit and he’s enormously fun to write. He’s got buckets of charisma and a devil-may-care attitude that defies you not to like him.

"X-Men: Gold" #4 cover
"X-Men: Gold" #4 cover by Ardian Syaf

Since "X-Men Gold" is set at the school, ţh€ €жţяą-๏яďɨɲąя¥ Tycon wants to know if we'll see one student in particular.

Considering some of the X-Men graduated, most of them seem to be heading out with other teams or ending up back at the school. One glaring problem is the missing members of the New X-Men -- especially Dust, who we haven't seen have an important role since "Schism." I know you loved using Dust in "Young X-Men," so is there a chance we may see her soon in "X-Men Gold"?

You’re right, I love Dust. And I think given the current political climate, it’s more important than ever to include a Muslim in the X-Men’s ranks. My hope is to get her into the book for our "Secret Empire" tie-in.

Here's a question from Steroid about a character you did use in "X-Men Gold" #1 -- although not in the way people expected.

Loved the first issue. My question is what made you go with the decision to create a new Pyro instead of resurrecting the classic old one?

First, thank you. Glad you enjoyed the first issue.

Second, great question. The answer lies in the fact that Daniel Ketchum and I share a great affection for Pyro and Avalanche. Both of us wanted to see them represented in some way on the roster of the New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants? (Or is that New New New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants? It’s hard to keep track.) But Pyro and Avalanche both being dead presented something of a problem, as you might imagine. It made more sense to me to create new iterations of them rather than have dual resurrections. Also, when the truth comes out about the New Brotherhood, I think you’ll see why it made more sense to have new iterations of Pyro and Avalanche.

Our next question comes from Scott. (EDITOR'S NOTE: This X-POSITION interview was conducted before recent news broke about "X-Men Gold" artist Ardian Syaf.)

You've got an aggressive release schedule for "X-Men Gold," coming out every two weeks. How are the art duties being split up? Will Ardian Syaf be just churning out a book a fortnight? Seems unlikely. Rotating artists? One arc each? I know it's a little "inside baseball" but I haven't seen anything about any other artists being involved.

Well, lemme tell ya! We have a murderer’s row of rotating artists. RB Silva is drawing our second arc and Ken Lashley is drawing our third arc.

X-Men Gold 7 cover Ken Lashley
"X-Men Gold" #7 cover by Ken Lashley

Here's a question from Kamose1234 about the franchise's central metaphor.

In issue #1 we saw the Gold team express some anger over the renewed racism against them, but will they have to deal with it more forcefully given Ms. Nance's organization? As a person of color, I've always appreciated the X-Men's fight against intolerance and I feel we need to see more of this given today's real world condition.

I absolutely agree with you. I think the X-Men franchise is at its best when it holds a mirror up to real world events. That’s absolutely what I’m trying to do with "Gold," albeit without turning the book into a polemic. You guys will tell me if I’ve struck the right balance.

As to your question, I think what makes the X-Men so heroic is that they don’t get angry in the face of prejudice and bigotry. Rather, they respond with greater resolve. You’ll see a confrontation between the X-Men and Lydia Nance sooner than you might expect. It might be my favorite moment of my run thus far.

And we'll close out this week with a question from Chad about one character fans want to see more of.

Will Magik be making an appearance? During the "Prime" issue, Kitty tells her she has a job for her to do....was it to bring the X-Mansion back? Will she still serve with the team? I need you to say "yes"!

The “job” was certainly to move the X-Mansion from Limbo to Central Park, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of Illyana. At the moment, I have her in the script I’m writing presently. We have so many great characters to play with, things can and do change as this stage of the writing, but I promise you haven’t seen the last of Magik.

Special thanks to Marc Guggenheim for taking on this week's questions!

Keep checking CBR for information about the next X-POSITION!

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