X-POSITION: Marjorie Liu Plays Matchmaker with "X-23"

In the Marvel Universe, people who like to be "loners" ironically have a tendency to attract companions. Individuals like the Hulk or Wolverine have barely had a chance to brood about their difficulties in the past before a bright-eyed Rick Jones or Kitty Pryde appeared. The same could be said for Wolverine's clone-daughter, X-23... except she seems to attract a different kind of cohort.

Whereas the Hulk and Wolverine draw in people who are their polar opposite, X-23 appears to attract like-minded associates -- specifically, people in search of redemption. Both Jubilee and Gambit have grown close to Laura since the launch of her series, as they can relate to having dark aspects of their personalities they are attempting to overcome.

This might make one wonder how X-23's writer relates to such a character, so it's a good thing Marjorie Liu is stopping by for today's X-POSITION! The novelist and comic book scribe has the low-down on upcoming events for our favorite mutant clone; let's cross our fingers that we can pry a secret or two from her with some well-worded inquiries. Come on, go ahead and give it a try...

Hunter is our first reader at bat today, and he dives right in to the question of X-23's relationship to her writer:

1) For you, does the appeal of X-23 have anything to do with your novel-writing tastes? I can't help but wonder if there are some irresistible parallels that have drawn you to her...

X-23 is a fascinating, complex character -- and that's appealing to any writer, regardless of format. You can't tell a story over several years (or four hundred pages, in a novel) without a character who is capable of sustaining the reader's attention (and yours, as the writer). X-23 has that spark.

2) We're now seeing some integration of X-23 into the Marvel Universe at large in your current arc. Any hints about team-ups we can look forward to?

I'm still working out the details, but stay tuned.

That sounds promising! Meanwhile, the Big G has savored the recent "guests" that have appeared in your book:

1) I really enjoyed the scenes with Valeria and Sue in this month's issue. Both of them had a very interesting dynamic with Laura. How do you like writing these two as well as the rest of the FF?

I love it. The FF are my favorite superhero family of all time. I wrote for them just a little in "Dark Wolverine," and getting the chance to tackle their characters again has been a real treat.

2) Somewhere on the Internet (maybe Twitter?), I thought I heard that Laura would be encountering dragons in the near future. What kind of dragons are we talking about here: cute and cuddly like Lockheed, or big, bad world-domination Fing Fang Foom-type of dragons? And if this is happening, when can we look forward to this?

Um, big. And fire-breathing. Check out the next arc, beginning with issue #17 (which brings Hellion back into Laura's life).

Does this mean Hellion gets turned into a dragon? That would be awesome! Either way, Rory is looking forward to this upcoming visit...

1) From your last X-Position, I was really intrigued when you mentioned Hellion's upcoming guest appearance in "X-23." What can we expect from Julian and Laura's reunion, especially considering the fact that when they last met, X-23 skewered him with her claws?

Oh, a little skewering never came between anyone, right? Right?

Seriously though, there's going to be some tension, but not necessarily because Laura stabbed Julian. There's also the unresolved business of certain feelings that might or might not have been developing between them right before she left Utopia.

2) Now that writer Mike Carey is leaving "X-Men Legacy," is there a possibility that you will be introducing a Death-Gambit story in "X-23?" I admit that I'm very interested in seeing X-23 go toe-to-toe with the darker side of Remy LeBeau...

I'm so sorry, but I won't be tackling Remy's darker side. He's in excellent hands, though.

Renaldo is curious about X-23's "darker side" -- more specifically, an activity that relates to the murkiness in her soul...

1) Why did you feel the need to revisit Laura cutting herself, especially as it seems to be such a touchy topic for some (like Gillen's mutant-suicide arc in "Uncanny X-Men")?

I would have been remiss not to address it. Cutting herself is such a huge part of her history, and it's been the way she's handled strong emotions, until now. I'll probably address it again, if only to show Laura's progress.

2) With "Schism" occurring, how was it decided which side Laura would take? It seems that after this week's revelations (with Psylocke and Jubilee on Scott's team), things aren't as clear-cut as fans may have thought. Does X-23's decision make sense to you?

Yes. And that's all I'm saying, for the moment.

Really? Maybe MarvelMaster616 can get you to loosen your lips...

1) X-23 has been off on her own for a while now. How will the events of "Schism" affect her current journey as a character?

X-23 had already made the decision to split with the X-Men so, in some ways, the events of "Schism" won't affect her journey. On the other hand, seeing the split also justifies her original logic -- and maybe sets her free in unexpected ways.

2) In some of the teasers for "X-Men Regenesis," it's been revealed that Jubilee is on Cyclops' team. X-23 developed somewhat of a friendship with Jubilee in the recent arc. Will this complicate things for the two of them moving forward?

No, I don't see why it would.

3) Sinister made an appearance in an earlier arc of "X-23." It's now been revealed that Sinister will be a significant part of Kieron Gillen's "Uncanny X-Men." Will Sinister's reemergence affect X-23?

That, I can't say. We'll see.

Levi has loads to ask about Laura's recent adventures and the direction her life is taking. Can you give him a peek at X-23's compass?

1) I loved the previous arc with X-23 and Jubilee; it made me care about both characters more than I have in years. I have to say that I and a lot of my friends have really enjoyed that particular pair-up. Is there any chance you'll get to do more with Jubes in the future?

That's very kind. I would love to do more with Jubilee and X-23...and who knows? Maybe I'll get the chance.

2) I know it's not realistic, but have you ever thought that X-23 should settle down for a while and just chill? She doesn't seem incredibly invested in the X-Men's goals. Maybe she could settle down and learn to be a chef or become a firefighter? Not to belittle her experiences, but how long can she keep digging up her past?

I agree completely. This latest arc is all about Laura settling down (though it might not seem like it at the moment). Transitioning into a new life isn't easy -- you need to find your footing, make friends... create a reason to want to stay in one spot.

3) On the other hand, if X-23 embraces a more superheroic life, do you think that she'd be able to give up her very "direct" solution to problems and fit in with the rest of the hero community?

Nah. But that might cause her some problems down the line...

4) Lastly, X-23 is a young woman, so how do you think her youth affects her outlook on her current quest?

She is a young woman, a teenager, and her lack of experience certainly does affect her outlook. But I'd like to add that she's experienced things that no adult ever has, and so in some ways she is wise beyond her years.

Marjorie, maybe we can persuade you to share some of your wisdom with today's "Behind the X" get-to-know-you question. As it's back-to-school time for many, can you tell us what your favorite school-related activity was and why?

I really loved the reading assignments for my History and English classes. Big surprise, right? I always felt as though I was at my most engaged, and that what I learned truly stuck, and had meaning -- for me, anyway.

That wraps up this week's fun, but we'll be back in seven days with "Daken: Dark Wolverine" writer Rob Williams! In addition to writing Logan's son, the scribe is also keeping busy with "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force" and "Ghost Rider" -- so if you have questions about either of those books, it's your lucky day!

Please do your research, type up some interesting inquiries, and send them my way as soon as possible. And be sure to throw an "X-Position" in the subject line, otherwise I'll be forced to show up at your door with my latest impulse purchase. Get me those emails, and I'll see you next Tuesday!

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