X-POSITION: Marjorie Liu and Daniel Way

They're mutants and they're scary,

The guys are fairly hairy,

The clone should make you wary,

The Wolvie Family.

(Sung to the tune of "The Addams Family")

Over the past few years, Marvel's Wolverine has transformed from a mutant loner (and reluctant X-Men member) to a mainstream team player ("New Avengers"), a group leader ("X-Force") and, most interestingly, a father figure (of sorts) to two mutants with special ties to him - his son Daken and his clone Laura (a.k.a. X-23). Whether they want to admit it or not, these two "kids" have lots in common with their father: sharp claws, a fantastic healing factor and a tremendous following among Marvel readers.

Due to the enthusiasm fans have exhibited for Wolvie's progeny, the House of Ideas has given both characters their own ongoing series, both set to debut this fall: "Daken: Dark Wolverine" and "X-23." The former will be written by the same team that handled Daken during "Dark Reign" - Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu - while Liu will tackle the latter on her own. Way also busies himself writing "Deadpool" every month, so, as you might surmise, these two writers have mutant mayhem on their minds on a regular basis.

Luckily for CBR's X-Fans, Way and Liu were willing to step away from their keyboards for awhile to participate in today's X-POSITION. They've got their game-faces on and are ready to answer all your emails. The gloves are off and their claws are unsheathed, so let's get to it.

Kaitlyn Kudara has heard that a rose by another name might smell just as sweet, but she was curious if the same applied to mangy mutts. Can you clear things up for her?

Is Daken's full name really Daken Akihiro? Because both Brian Bendis and Jason Aaron (and Wikipedia!) refer to him as such, but neither of you have. If so, it seems strange that he took his adopted first name to use as a last name. And is this what he goes by out of costume? Wouldn't it be strange for him to travel around Japan and have everyone call him "mongrel?"

Daniel Way: Daken's name, given to him by his adopted father, is Akihito. "Daken" is what the jealous children of the village called him and that is the name he later took for himself. "Akihiro" is Daken's adopted (dead) father's name.

Chrissstopher has been thinking about Daken and associates and sent in a handful of questions. Do you have any answers lying around that you can spare?

1) Daken still intrigues me as a character and I am curious to see where he will go now that his stint as an Avenger is over and his connection to Romulus has been severed. He is literally a blank slate. What now? What does he want for his life? His contempt for Wolverine can't still be his sole motivation, can it?

Marjorie Liu: I hope not! I think Daken has seen that focusing on his father hasn't exactly been fruitful. And while he can't help but try and get his digs in one last time in this first arc, you see that it's secondary to his larger plan.

2) Way's Deadpool series is the only one I read and I thank you for all the entertainment you've provided. With all the other Deadpool books and appearances at the moment, how do you feel your book is different from the rest?

Way: It's the only one that I write?

3) As Deadpool will be involved in the new X-Force series, will he reference this at all in his solo series? And would you consider bringing any of his X-Force comrades over to join him for a cameo or two?

Way: Funny you should ask, since Rick and I were just talking about that at the last X-Summit.

4) X-23 is easily one of my favorite characters. Now that she's no longer one of the X-Men, will she cut off all communication with them or will there still be some kind of contact? I worry that she will be lost in the wind without the connection to her huge family in San Francisco. It was one of the best things for her (being around other young people with powers) and I'd had to see her revert to the loner who cuts herself off even more from her emotions.

Liu: There will definitely be contact with the X-Men. She's leaving Utopia, but she'll have company (whether she wants it or not). There are a few responsible adults left amongst the X-Men who don't think it's cool to let a kid - even a kid as capable as X-23 - hit the road on her own.

But will X-23 truly be "on her own?" That's what Katja S. was wondering, at lea.

1) Marjorie, you've said in the past that you didn't want Laura's story to solely focus on her romantic relationship with Hellion. Being a huge fan of these two characters, I was curious how you plan on dealing with this, or if you plan on mentioning this relationship at all?

Liu: Oh, yes. The first arc deals, in part, with Laura's relationship with Hellion. I've stated in the past that I'm not interested in exploring her role as a girlfriend - and that's still the case - but their ties to one another will be examined within these first three issues. After that, they part ways - at least for a little while. It won't be forced, I promise you. It should feel like a very natural result of what happens in issue #3.

2) Throughout "New X-Men" and "X-Force," it seems Wolverine has paid more attention to Daken, trying to save him and help him, while Laura was on her own, lonely and in pain. Wolverine has never even had a heart-to-heart conversation with her. It seems he has also been very rude to Laura without any good reason. It was almost like she made him nervous and angry just by existing. Will this change? And if so, will Logan form a real bond with her?

Liu: Well, I suspect there's a part of Wolverine that might feel a bit violated at having his DNA cloned into a brand new person, but I don't think he blames Laura or harbors ill-will toward her. He's not exactly Mr. Manners, either. As for whether or not their relationship will change, I think so, yes. Although, in this first arc, Wolverine is in hell. So I wouldn't expect any heart-to-heart conversations for a little while yet.

While Logan will be indisposed, there are several folks available that might help X-23 open up. As for the identity of these "folks," Kevin Nilson is hoping you might toss out a hint or two.

Marjorie, you mentioned that you will be utilizing one or two favorite X-Men characters in your "X-23" series, which I am very excited about. Can you give us any hints as to which individuals may appear?

Liu: I'm excited, too, which is why I'm keeping my mouth shut for now! You'll get a big hint at the major player on an upcoming cover, though!

Nathan has a suggestion for two folks he'd like to see "hang out." What are the odds of his dream coming true?

I've always been interested to see how Deadpool and Gambit would react to each other. Any chance for a team-up?

Way: Yes, but only if I can call it "Wildcards" and we can get a 90's-era superstar artist!

Please don't joke about something that awesome. And speaking of cool ideas, Jon Anderson wants to make sure one of yours doesn't disappear:

Daniel, I recall you mentioning several times that you had a Silver Fox story planned. Is there any chance it's still coming?

Way: Good memory! Yeah, there was a Silver Fox story that I wanted to do in "Wolverine: Origins," but there just wasn't enough room in the schedule. Maybe someday?

Going back to my earlier notion of the "Wolvie family," Malcolm Pickett had a thought about another tight-knit group in the Marvel U:

1) Marjorie, members of 'Clan Wolverine' have a long and rich history with the 'Hulk Family.' Bruce and Logan have fought each other more time than I can count and Daken and Skaar have had a couple of rumbles. So, during Laura's journey of self-discovery in "X-23," is there any chance of her throwing down with one of the She-Hulks? For some reason, I think she and Lyra the Savage She-Hulk could become good friends.

Liu: I won't rule out the possibility!

2) Regarding Daken, have you guys ever thought about him come across Erista, Wolverine's son in the Savage Land? I can only imagine the chaos that would happen if Daken met his younger half-brother...

Way: There was mention of the Savage Land during a recent story conference and the thought did cross my mind.

Aspbros closes out today's fun with a set of questions about all that's new in your new titles.

1) Will either Daken or X-23 be doing any dating in their upcoming series?

Liu: Daken always has it going on with the ladies (and men), but I don't know if that counts as dating; although, he's going to come very close in issue #2. As for X-23, she'll be forming some deep and lasting bonds - but again, I don't think that's the same thing as going out on a date.

2) When Wolverine goes to hell, will it affect Daken and X-23 on an emotional level? Will they know about it (and will they care)?

Liu: Yes, to X-23. It's going to affect her in more ways than one.

3) In X-23 and Daken's new series, can we expect the two to go up against villains we've seen before? Or are you creating brand new baddies for these books?

Liu: You'll see Laura going up against an established female villain in her second arc (hint: it's not Kimura). I don't plan on creating any new characters, to be honest. I think the Marvel universe already has tons of great villains without adding another one to the mix.

4) Laura has never really had any formal education. How does this impact her in her life? Do you think she'd even be capable of sitting through any kind of class? And how old is she - would she be in high school or college?

Liu: That's a good question. Laura is a highly intelligent young woman with a wealth of life experience that very few could ever hope to match. That, in itself, has been an incredible education. Is she book smart? Well, she could be. She was raised in a lab, after all - meant to be a weapon - and as such, one would assume that she was taught strategy, languages, history and culture - all the things a good living weapon would need to know in order to assess a situation, adapt, blend in, etc.

I never felt that X-23 was meant to be a blunt force object. On the other hand, I don't see her ever sitting down in a formal high school setting. That doesn't mean, however, that she won't try to educate herself. The two are very different things - and an interesting side of her to explore.

As long as we're on the topic of education - and since it's "back to school" time for many - I've got a special "Behind the X" question for you both before you depart: what was your favorite grade in elementary school and why?

Liu: I can tell you what my least favorite grade was - the fourth. That was a rough year. My teacher, if I remember correctly, liked to scream and throw things and was pretty mean to the boys (who got hit by the principal, sometimes, when they were sent to the office). Almost all my friends were having problems with their families (the kinds of problems that involve murder, abuse, neglect). A lot of times I felt as though I'd be learning more at home and that I'd be safer there, too. That was my last year at that school.

Way: Fourth grade. I won the school spelling bee and got my first girlfriend. She was the principal's daughter.

One grade, two very different experiences - thanks for sharing!

Thus concludes today's X-citing X-capade, but we'll be back next week to talk about mysterious mutants - served with a side of noir - with "X-Factor" writer Peter David. Read up, write up and send me those questions just as soon as you can. Extra credit goes to those who put an "X-Position" in the subject line - and couldn't we all use a little extra? So hurry and send those emails now!

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