X-POSITION: Mike Carey

A perfect hero is a boring hero. Audiences enjoy protagonists who are imperfect because, basically, it enables them to relate.

X-Men member Rogue is just such a character: she's made mistakes. She led a team of X-Men for awhile and bad things happened - lots of bad things. How much of the blame is rightfully hers is a matter of debate, but suffice it to say, she yearns for a second chance.

Thankfully, Rogue will get her shot at redemption in the pages of Marvel Comics' "X-Men: Legacy," courtesy of writer Mike Carey.

CBR readers have many questions about Rogue's new status quo, her leadership position with the X-Men, and her mutant powers. Mike Carey was kind enough to answer those queries and more in today's all-new X-POSITION!

Ready to groove? Let's Rogue n' roll...

Mike, Hunter Lambright is the first to step up to the microphone, and he's hoping you can shed some light about events on the horizon.

You've made no secret of the fact that you enjoy creating new villains (the Children of the Vault, Pandemic, Hecatomb). With Rogue once against leading the charge on this title, will you be revisiting any of these concepts? And are there more new villains on the way?

MIKE CAREY: Yes to both, Hunter. We'll be seeing one of those pre-"Legacy" bad guys again very soon, and I'll always want to preserve a balance between old and new. That's a big part of the fun of writing X-Men - raiding that rich back-story, but also adding new ingredients to the mix.

Now that Rogue has control over her skin, will she continue her on-again, off-again relationship with Gambit? Or will she start shopping around now that she has that luxury?

You'll have to wait and see. She's told Gambit that she needs some time to get her head around her new situation. But time is something that the X-Men don't often have on their side. Something will happen soon that will bring this question into the foreground.

As long as we're talking about her powers, Gavin Devlin wanted to know more about the powers-personality link...

With Rogue's powers now more under control and her taking on a more passive role as a mentor to the next generation, does this mean that she'll be stepping down from the main action? Her uncontrollable powers always defined her as someone angstier and edgier - do you think she's lost this persona now that she has control over her life?

No, I really don't, Gavin. But let's distinguish between two things: Edgy - that's part of who she is. Angsty - that arose from a situation, and it's changed. I think she'll always have that edge, and she'll never submit to a passive role in anything that matters.

Quinn Hopkins sent in a query; however, it was in binary code:

Do you have any plans for Omega Sentinel to return to the forefront in future "Legacy" issues? You're the only writer that seems to make her work. Also, any chance of having her square off with Danger at some point? A fight between the two of them would be "01100101 01110000 01101001 01100011," to say the least.

I love Karima, and I'd definitely like to bring her back into the spotlight. And "Legacy" #225 has the Acolytes breaking up, which leaves her without a home again, so there are good reasons why we might see her soon. Omega Sentinel vs. Danger...wow. That would be something to see, wouldn't it?

Chrissstopher would like to see it, although he has some other ideas about interesting team-ups.

Will Danger be sticking around with Rogue? And if so, why? What is going on with Danger and what is she looking to gain by being with these humans? Wouldn't she want to hook up with Beast and his fringe science X-club? I mean, Madison Jeffries and Danger would make a hot couple!

I can't remember whether this was ever said in the "Salvage" arc, but my take on it is that Danger is looking for a context that makes sense for her to work and exist in. The X-Men are the only thing she knows, and she knows them with an obsessive, encyclopedic intimacy.

However ambivalent her feelings about them and her history with them, there's a sort of gravitational attraction there. In the first instance, she follows it. But she's not sticking with Rogue, per se. She's just coming back into the X-Men's orbit. And she does get to meet Jeffries, pretty early on in that process!

Faded Day is all about family, particularly families with a troubling history.

With her brother rearing his ugly head in the "X-Men: Legacy Annual," will Monet St. Croix herself stop by to give her older sibling, Emplate, a visit?

We won't be seeing M in that arc, Faded Day. Or the twins, although with Emplate back in the picture, I'd say both of those confrontations are bound to happen soon.

Talmerian is wondering if the X-Men will be going down - Down Under, that is...

It was pretty cool seeing the X-Men's Australia base, especially since that was the status quo during the time that I got into the X-Men. Is there any chance we will see a return to that base? There was quite a bit of technology there, and it seems against Cyclops' pragmatism to leave an asset like that sitting around with no one using or protecting it.

I wouldn't rule it out, Talmerian. But it will probably be some ways down the line. You're right that there are some good reasons to go back there.

Caleb Warren had questions about some of the newer faces that will be appearing in the pages of "Legacy."

In the new direction "X-Men: Legacy" is taking, you mentioned some of the X-students would have semi-important roles. Will these be their regular "student" roles, or are they going to be doing something a little more useful?

We're going to be seeing them growing into their adult lives and roles, Caleb - which is always a bumpy and complicated transition.

As this "transition" will be difficult, Alex was curious if Rogue will be receiving any assistance from her pals.

Will Rogue be taking on the responsibilities of looking after the X-kids by herself, or will she receive any kind of help (Cannonball, Iceman, Gambit)?

Cyke gives the commission to her in the first instance, Alex. But as when he made her team leader, she has a certain amount of discretion when she needs help with any aspect of the job. Expect to see a whole lot of other X-Men being drafted in along the way - and Remy, Sam and Bobby would definitely head the list of Rogue's go-to guys.

Kellen Doeden had a pair of questions about Rogue's abilities - both in terms of her leadership and her powers:

On two separate occasions, once to Iceman and once to Rogue, Cyclops has basically said that Rogue is an incompetent leader and she needs to regain his trust. If this is the case, why would he put her in charge of kids, especially when he thought at one point that her leadership skills got his son killed?

I don't think that's what he said either time, Kellen. I know the conversations you're referencing, obviously, but go back and take another look. He said that he felt giving Rogue a team was an experiment that hadn't panned out, and he said that the X-Men's policy of giving people second chances had led to Cable's death.

I don't think he'd deny, even in his most jaundiced mood, that Rogue has skills the X-Men can use; he just doesn't currently see those skills being best used in a team leadership role. The other half of the answer is that this conversation occurs after the events of #227, and it has to be seen in the context of what happens there...

In issue #226 of "X-Men: Legacy," Gambit tells Danger that Rogue cannot handle Ares' powers, although she has handled Thor's powers in the past. This seems a bit strange. If she can contain the life force of eight billion other beings, why can't she contain the powers of a Greek god?

Well, it wasn't the life force - and containing the memories and experiences of those eight billion people almost drove Rogue insane. Also, remember what happened when she touched Ms. Marvel: we know that Rogue's powers operate differently for humans and for other types of being. In this case, absorbing the power of a god is agonizing and traumatic for her.

On the topic of interacting with godly powers, Michael Batson sent in the following inquiry...

Will there be long term consequences of Rogue's close encounter with Ares? Rogue seems to yearn for the old days of super-strength and invulnerability...

They're certainly useful attributes - and I know there are a whole lot of fans who yearn for those days! Wait and see, Michael. There are some aspects of Rogue's now power-set that we haven't fully defined yet.

Jose Estrada wanted to know more about the lasting effects of Rogue's "Legacy."

With your book now focusing on Rogue's saga, it seems that "Legacy" is becoming an X-book that spotlights one X-man/X-woman for a few arcs then switches to the next person - like an alternating solo book for the X-Men. Is this the case? And if so, which characters do you think would benefit from being re-introduced to a new generation in this way? Or is the focus on Rogue the permanent direction for this book?

The formula of solo protagonist plus totally flexible supporting cast seems to give us the best of all possible worlds, Jose: we can borrow X-Men from other teams, set up alliances and confrontations as we choose, and use our solo star as a linking element through a lot of different kinds of story. So I'm not seeing "Legacy" as an alternating solo book. It's more that Professor X's quest reached a natural conclusion, and we let it bridge us into something else.

Also, will "Legacy" be seeing a new regular penciller once Rogue's saga begins? And will any flashbacks continue to utilize different pencillers?

We won't be using flashbacks in the way we did when it was Professor X's book, so that mix-and-match approach, fun though it was, won't be a staple in the Rogue stories. We will have a new regular penciller, who'll be announced shortly.

Our final email of the day comes all the way Argentina, courtesy of Matías Nieto. X-fandom knows no boundaries!

While the first part of your run focused on non-stop action, "Legacy" was completely different (although equally enjoyable) because of its focus on character development and atonement. What can we expect from this new era? Non-stop action? Something like Xavier's trip? A mix of both? Or something completely different?

I'm going to say something completely different, Matías. We've got some wild stories lined up, against really scary adversaries, but they're mostly going to be really character-driven, too - without the exploration of past actions and motives that was such a big part of the Xavier arcs. The overall flavor will be most like the pre-"Legacy" arcs, but with enough important differences to make the new "Legacy" very much its own book.

We spent a lot of time today talking about the X-Men's "Legacy," so it seems appropriate that next week's guest will be answering questions about the next generation of Homo Superiors - Zeb Wells, writer of "New Mutants." Do your homework and send me some thought-provoking emails as soon as you can. Put "X-Position" in the subject line, and I'll pass them along with a wink and a smile!

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