Writers have different strengths. Some are great at action scenes, while others are excellent with plot twists. It's important for writers to know what their forte is so they can capitalize on it in their works.
While "X-Men: Legacy" writer Mike Carey has several strengths, it becomes fairly clear in talking with him that characterization is at the top of that list. In the emails we receive for him in advance of his appearances here at X-POSITION, comments typically reference how Carey has elevated underused characters into top tier cast members of the X-family, such as Iceman and Rogue. Indeed, the initial purpose of "X-Men: Legacy" was to help rebuild Professor X -- who had lost many of his memories-- from the ground up. Carey has demonstrated that he knows what makes these Marvel characters tick.
For these reasons and many others, we are excited to have him with us today to answer your questions. Ready for some insight? Then prepare X-ray goggles...
CBR: ProfeZZor X is up first, and he has reserved a special refrigerated section of his heart for Iceman.
I give you lots of credit for building up Iceman nicely over the years, and I appreciate the new self-awareness of his powers and the confident direction you've given his personality. Now that you've reached this plateau, do you have any future plans on using Iceman on a team or elsewhere? And how would you feel if another writer came along and "dumbed" Iceman back down again?
Mike Carey: I'd be sad if someone were to use Iceman as a comedy rookie again, ProfeZZor, but there's nobody writing the core X-books who would have any interest in doing that. Do I have plans to use Bobby again? Yes, very definitely. I have this tendency, as you've probably noticed, to keep tight hold of certain characters once I've got my grubby paws on them in the first place. Iceman is a character I'll always take real pleasure in revisiting.
Since their introduction and relatively untimely departure, we fans have always dreamed of the day when the Children of the Vault would make their triumphant return, and make good on their revenge on the X-Men and the world. Have you given any thought to bringing that team back, or maybe a couple of cameos from some of those characters?
Oh yeah, you bet. I've thought about it, and [editor] Nick [Lowe] and I have talked about it on more than one occasion. Actually, the final beat in "Supernovas," of having the surviving Children move into the defunct Master Mold in Ecuador, arose out of something we floated in one of those conversations. I'm glad to hear that the love is out there for our post-human tribe. Expect to see at least some of them again early in 2010.
And on the topic of "fan-love," Krunge is curious about the intense feelings surrounding a certain Cajun.
Whenever I go near an X-forum, there always seems to be a very vocal contingent about how "cool" Gambit is. Personally, I don't get it. I have come to enjoy him a bit more thanks to your writing, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like there's that much depth to him. What do you think readers respond to about his character (besides the headband and the overcoat)? And what makes him an interesting character to you?
I can't really speak for other readers, but rogues and criminals as heroes have a long and illustrious pedigree. I like Gambit because he's a thief with a rigid moral code; because he came into the X-Men from a far-from-obvious direction and retained an ambivalent edge for a long time. I also liked the way his past cut across so many cool moments in X-Men history: it was like he was on a collision course with the X-Men without knowing it. There are still unanswered questions about Gambit - about who he is and where he came from - and they're pretty fascinating.
Mario FernÃ¡ndez Navarro is next, and he keeps hearing "things." Can you help him check his ears?
I've heard that "X-Men: Legacy" is losing its "Legacy" portion, so will the title revert back to the "adjectiveless" X-Men or should we be expecting something else?
We've gone backwards and forward on this. In one way, it would be cool - and appropriate - to change the title to reflect the fact that we've finished Professor X's odyssey and we're taking the book in a new direction. On the other hand, the "Legacy" suffix continues to fit really well, even though the book won't be focused on exploring the X-Men's past any more. Most likely, "Legacy" will stay. If it changes, it will be because we have a sudden inspiration and we find something that works a whole lot better.
You've said several times that would you like to write Psylocke. After her comeback in Fraction's series, do you think you'll be allowed to use her?
It's not really a question of "allowed." In fact, the X-editors are very relaxed right now about allowing the casts of the different books to swap around and inter-penetrate. It's more a question of how Psylocke will fit into what we're doing next in "Legacy." I don't want to drag her in by her heels and have her look and feel out of place in the story. But I do want to bring her in at some point, when it makes sense to do so.
I've enjoyed the spotlight on Professor X a lot. Do you plan on establishing a proper team or are you going to keep focusing just on a few characters?
I don't see X-Men going back to being a "regular" team book any time soon. There's no compelling need for one, given that "Uncanny," "Astonishing," "X-Force," "New Mutants" and "X-Factor" are already out there. What we've got planned is something mid-way between a solo book and a team book. There'll continue to be one central character acting as anchor, but there'll be a supporting cast that will take in - for good and obvious reasons - a lot of characters from the X-verse who don't often get spotlighted in the other team books.
Manolis Vamvounis desires a peek behind the curtain of "X-Men: Legacy." Is there anything there for him to see?
With Xavier's journey coming to a close - and so many disparate threads of his past and his continuity brought together and addressed - was there any part of established history or continuity that you consciously stayed the heck away from? (Gabriel Summers? The living Cerebro? The cackling evil cape Xavier? Astra? Legion?)
There wasn't anything I was consciously avoiding, Manolis. I feel bad that we didn't bring Legion in. I think he gets one panel somewhere, but that really wasn't enough. Sage should have come in too, but the issue where I referenced her most went through a lot of rewrites and she got lost in the shuffle.
I think there are problems with emotional weighting that you don't recognize until you come to the crunch. What I mean by that is that there are characters and situations that, if you're going to reference them at all, need to be given whole issues and arcs to themselves. And I only had so many arcs to work with, given the longer-term plan of bringing Professor X back into current events in the X-verse around about now.
*Also, can you find a way to reclaim Regan from Fraction now that she's back and feature her in some future stories? You did some amazing work on the Mastermind sister and I felt her story was abruptly interrupted by the Messiah Complex without finding out the root of her betrayal...
I wouldn't dream of stealing a character from Matt...unless I could find some way of blaming it on Nick. Regan is another character I'd love to come back to at some point; every team needs an exuberant, sexy sociopath.
Speaking of sexy sociopaths, Taimur O Dar wanted to check on the status of one of their favorites...
Will we be seeing Claudine Renko (a.k.a. Miss Sinister) again in future "Legacy" stories or any other X-titles?
In "X-Men: Legacy," Taimur, it's a virtual certainty. Of course, the last time we saw Ms. Renko, she was bleeding profusely from some very nasty incised wounds, so we've got to give her a little time to recover. But her story is far from over.
Any plans for Rogue and Ms. Marvel to meet again, especially now that her identity is being used by Karla Sofen?
That would be crazy, wouldn't it? DejÃ vu of a very high order, especially if it happened in San Francisco. I couldn't possibly say. And among the words that I couldn't possibly say would be "July."
And as long as we're discussing Rogue, Sean Andres was hoping for a status update.
What will Rogue's role be after you are done reaching inside her head?
That's the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. Did you realize it was that expensive when you asked it?
Rogue is coming home. That's all I'll say.
No, I'll say one thing more. The psycho-drama that Danger puts on for Rogue has a point to it, and we're going to be seeing in #224 how that plays out. It's fair to say that the outcome is very significant.
When Rogue is done dealing with the mess in her mind, J. Neal wanted to know if she could use her fists a bit.
Will Rogue be in the battle royale that will take place in the Dark Avengers/X-Men storyline? Or will she still be messing with Mystique?
Messing with Mystique? That's a very off-hand way of putting it, J. Neal. Actually, #224 sees a final resolution as far as Mystique's presence in Rogue's mind goes. As for the other part of the question, see the cover image for "Legacy" #226, coming your way very soon.
OrionRyking wraps things up for us today, and they're seeking a bit more info on the aforementioned "Darkness" taking place in the Marvel Universe.
Is the future direction of "X-Men: Legacy" and the newly-released teaser image of the "Dark X-Men" connected in any way?
No, not really - or only tangentially. In a way, the events of Dark Reign have knock-on effects for all the X-Men, and "Legacy" gets pulled in towards that center of gravity to some extent. But no, you'll be seeing the Dark X-Men somewhere other than in "Legacy."
Next week, we're filling everyone's Easter baskets with all kinds of treats as the X-editors - led by Nick Lowe - will be swinging by to answer all your emails. So send us (link - firstname.lastname@example.org) your questions with an "X-Position" in the subject line, and we'll pass them along with a cream-filled egg. See you in seven!