X-POSITION: Matt Fraction

Over the river and through the woods,

To Grandmother's house we go...

Of course, if the mutant "messiah" Hope was singing this holiday tune, the song would go something like this:

Running from Bishop all through the timestream,

To Grandpa Cyclops we go...

Okay, I'm no songwriter - sue me for trying to be festive. But to sum it up for those who are behind on their X-reading: Hope, the future of mutantkind, is coming home in this spring's "Second Coming." But because she's been on the run since infancy, "home" doesn't really hold a lot of sentimental meaning. That's probably a good thing, however, as home has changed from a mansion in New York to an island (which used to be a meteor) sitting in San Francisco Bay.

All manner of change is occurring in the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe, and if you aren't keeping up, you're bound to have questions. Luckily, X-POSITION is here to get you the answers you need by providing a direct line to those creators responsible. Today, we're fortunate to have writer Matt Fraction ("Uncanny X-Men," "Invincible Iron Man") join us for your edification, education, and entertainment! With the upcoming holiday in mind, let's try not to knock the stuffing out of our guest...

Kris starts things off today with a quickie about the quick and the dead:

Will "Uncanny X-Men" be involved with or tie into the "Necrosha" crossover in any way?

Hiyah Kris! Involved with, no doubt; affected by, absolutely (or is that "effected?" - I always mix them up); explicitly crossing over, no. That said...well, "Necrosha" is gonna blow the doors off the joint, and what ripples out of it will be felt for a long time.

Hunter Lambright sent in a trio of queries covering everything from new nations to crossover craziness.

1) Is "Nation X," as a story-arc, more of a continuous story, or is it a mish-mash of plots and subplots that relate more directly to the new setup on the island? Or is "Utopia" simply the backdrop that drives each of these plots?

Hey there, Hunter. I suppose it's...it's a looser arc in some ways, but it's also eight issues long, so you're really only a third of the way through it as of this past Wednesday, really. There's a core throughline that we start with (who those weird dudes are that grab Scalphunter), what comes next (the Predator X raid), and then gets followed up through issue #521. Then #522 is a kind of coda to the arc and ties up some ends. "Utopia" is very much the backdrop, but - without giving too much away - you'll see as the story unfolds that it's really about how the mutants come together and rally as one.

Actually, here's a little X-POSITION X-clusive: issue #522 is huge. Huge. Retailers? Any retailers reading this? Go maybe a little deeper than normal on #522...

2) The Terry Dodson art we saw in a recent X-POSITION revealed a blue-skinned Morlock. Can you confirm or deny that it is, in fact, Loss, as some posters have speculated? If so, kudos for continuity; if not, no worries. Just trying to satiate my curiosity...

Wow, people were speculating about that? That's awesome.

3) If I can sneak in a question about "Invincible Iron Man" - how will your book play out in relation to "Siege," especially with the role Donald Blake has in the upcoming arc?

Much like it played out with "Secret Invasion." All the stories fit together but happen offstage from one another. If, for some reason, you're reading one and not the other, you won't be robbed of anything - any explanations, any events - everything will still make sense and stand on its own. But, if you read them both, you get the larger story. So, the answer: independently, but it both will influence and is influenced by "Siege" (if that makes sense).

Works for me! OrionRyking sent us an email because he needs answers. At least he's got a grin on his face though as he asks his questions...

1) I don't know why, but it makes me smile to see Namor with an X-Symbol on his outfit. That said, is Namor considered an official member of the X-Men, or is he just an on-call ally when the X-Men need additional power?

Hey, thanks for the questions. Um...let's see. I think if you asked the X-Men, they'd say, "Yeah, he's absolutely a member." And I think if you asked him, he'd say, "Hell, no" and do that thing where the eyebrow goes up and he snorts at you.

He's...I mean, he's not exactly what you think of when you think "team player." He's...there. He doesn't do well with orders - which we see in the very near future - and he's got a lot of other concerns. And he has a thing for Emma. The mutants and the Atlanteans are going to get a little intertwined as things move on.

2) Providing he survives the current limited series that he's in, is there any chance Toro (the Torch) will join up with the X-Men since he is a mutant?

Ha! That's a fun idea. Namor, Toro, Dr. Nemesis...we've almost got half a new Invaders team together.

K Herrera has a thought or two about new X-teammates as well. Is it time for a membership drive?

I saw Boom Boom in a recent preview for "Uncanny X-Men" #517. Do you have any plans for her besides cameos? Also - and I'm sure you've gotten this question more than a few times - but are there any plans for Jubilee in 'Uncanny'?

I don't have any super-explicit plans for her. She still has that weird Ellis smell on her. But it was fun to have her pop up and whoop a little ass for a second. We'll see where things are; I'm working out post-"Second Coming" stuff now, so things are in flux.

Do I have plans for Jubilee? No.

See what I did there?

Jeremy N sees what you did, and he'll raise you a headbutt and a second thought...

1) Storm has recently butted heads with Emma Frost, and I wanted to know if there will be more of these roundtable feuds?

Jeremy, I think there's a natural friction there that comes from any two strong-minded and strong-willed people getting in a room together - not helped by Emma's natural coldness in her diamond state and Storm's natural distaste for Emma. But going forward, I think those outbursts might be limited to smoldering glances and catty remarks.

2) Will there be some X-Men members that are going to have second thoughts about Scott's plans during "Nation X"?

Why, yes. Profoundly. A major player on the team quits in disgust, as a matter of fact.

As long as someone is quitting, Ben hopes you'll consider looking for new recruits...in outer space.

I find it weird that the X-Men have done nothing to retrieve their teammates that are lost in space. Cyclops knows his brother and daughter are out there trying to kill his other brother, but it seems like nobody cares. Now with Magneto back on the scene, shouldn't they discuss such matters (especially considering Magneto's daughter Polaris is lost in space too)? Or, at least, acknowledge each other's pain?

Hi Ben...wait. Scott has a brother?!?

I kid, I kid.

Um...well, I dunno what you could do about it, really. Aside from get into a spaceship and go after them, y'know? Not that there's not a story to be told there, but I'm much more interested in the sparks that fly from bombarding the X-Men against the people of Earth.

That said, you've made a wonderfully perceptive and prescient remark in the above; to say more would be telling, but your mind and mine work similarly, it would seem.

Mirage likes the way your mind (and Ben's, I suppose) works and wants to see it keep working. Can you put Mirage's fears to rest?

Will you be sticking around on "Uncanny X-Men" post-"Second Coming"?

As far as I know. Why, what have you heard?

Let's move on. But as long as we're on the topic of "Second Coming," Nelson B had a thought:

With all that is coming up, how will Cyclops react when he see a grown-up Hope, especially since she seems so much like Jean - the love of his life? Will this somehow cause a change in the "leader" of the mutants?

Well, I mean, she's a teenage girl when she comes back. She's a kid - age 16 or 17, something like that. Hardly a grown-up. Unless you're one of those perverted freakazoids that have ruined the internet for everyone, in which case I got nothin' for you.

To me, Emma is the love of Scott's life. Jean was the great love of his youth, but to become a man, he needed to move on and he has. He's not biding time until the next foxy redhead comes along. If Jean were alive, I suspect they'd no longer be romantically connected but still very deep and very sincere friends.

His concerns with Hope, when he sees her, aren't going to be romantic but rather - "Okay, kid, I put it all on the line for you, people have fought and died for you. How about saving our asses right now?"

Joshua Hetherington sent in a few questions along the same line. He's wondering whose asses will need saving, and who they'll need to be saved from?

1) Do these "predators" (which Scalphunter is delivering for this new X-enemy) have a connection to Predator X? You know, the mutant-eating, Messiah-chasing monster that killed everyone's favorite mutant Peepers?


Yes. Yes indeed, these are genetically and cybernetically modified Predator X clones. And they're hungry. And angry. And never flying Southwest again...

2) If Pixie's going to continue playing such a central role in the book, can you please have an issue dedicated to a Magik vs. Pixie smackdown? Pretty please?

Hah. Maybe Zeb (writer of "New Mutants") and I can co-write a four-issue "Pixie/Magik: Foxy Boxing" miniseries.

3) Any word on which characters will be playing a central role in "Second Coming"? And, please, don't say "everyone." The fans (myself included) want details!

Cable, Hope, and Scott. In the biggest, most profound way.

This is it, man - the story that's been building since "Messiah CompleX." Literally, the entire future of the mutant race hangs in the balance. The girl is back. Was Scott right all this time? Does Cable look at her like a mission, or his own daughter? What does she do? What does she mean? And what if someone was just waiting for her return to destroy the future and the present if it means ridding humanity of mutantkind once and for all? What if people start dying? And not the "Peepers" of the X-Men world either, I mean - what if people you know and love start dying on Scott's gamble?

What if Scott was wrong?

What if...what if Hope was just a teenage girl?

That is an excellent question - but we don't want to leave things on a question, right? So now it's my turn for some fun with this week's "Behind the X" question, which lets us learn a little about the man behind the mutants. As you're a writer who has been known to reference music in his works, what was the first music/rock band concert you ever went to, and what is your fondest memory of the experience?

There's two answers to this question. The first time I saw a band playing was at a...like, "River Fest" or something, and the Beach Boys were playing. That said, it was the Mike Love "Kokomo"-era juggernaut, and I wasn't a fan. I do remember watching John Stamos drum and thinking, "Well, there's John Stamos."

My mom liked him on the soap opera he was on, whatever it was. I was...well, bored. And that stupid "Kokomo" song had been in my head, like all of America's head, for like six months at that point, and I couldn't stand it. I think I listened to "Help Me, Rhonda," and went back to the rides.

The first time I paid money for a ticket and all that, was to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Aerosmith on the "Pump" tour. Watching Joan Jett absolutely destroy was amazing. Steven Tyler does that crazy guy shit on stage nonstop - save for sitting during "Dream On" - for three hours straight, and it was astonishing to see an old man move that hard, that long.

I saw what a coke dealer looked like for the first time. That really resonated with me. He was still wearing a blazer like Don Johnson in "Miami Vice" - sleeves rolled up. I watched him zip and zag around the section we were in, dealing to hicks in t-shirts. And he did this thing where, instead of throwing horns, he'd put his hands up in the air, palms out, fingers splayed, hands shaking - like a ref calling a touchdown and doing jazz hands. Every time the stage lights went bright, he'd really rattle 'em. So when I think back to the show, I think of Joan Jett bellowing "Bad Reputation," Steven Tyler spinning upside down on a pole, and this coke dealer's jazz hands three rows in front of me.

Look for the aforementioned scene to be woven into an "Uncanny X-Men" storyline, with Dazzler substituting for Joan Jett, of course.

In seven days, we'll be back with the writer of "X-Men: Legacy," Mike Carey. He's eagerly awaiting some thought-provoking questions, so let's try not to let him down. Think up some quality queries and send them my way just a soon as you can. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line, and you'll give me another reason to be thankful on Thursday. Pace yourself at the dining room table, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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