The Marvel Universe contains hundreds of heroes, and each one is important and a favorite of some fan out in the reading public. For example, one of them regularly bombards me with emails calling for Shortpack to return (and as I type this, I'm hearing another dozen fans in my head screaming, "Don't you dare mock Shortpack!").
Far be it from me to judge the likes and dislikes of comic readers, but I think we can agree that some heroes are more "universally known and adored" than others. And, as it turns out, a majority of those heroes happen to belong to one of two teams: the X-Men and the Avengers.
So, as these two go head-to-head in the upcoming "Avengers vs. X-Men," readers are going to get enthusiastically vocal. As proof, I received an avalanche of email this past week from fans wanting to know more about this event. Well, we're going straight to the top to get answers from Senior Editor and X-Men Group Editor Nick Lowe. He looks to be in a playful mood today, so let's see what he as to say!
Our first two questions come by way of the sea, as Darrell wrote to us while on naval duty. Let's offer him a salute and a few friendly responses:
1) Are we going to get any details about what happened during the Summers Rebellion or the Six-Second War? And any chance of Ruby Summers being revisited?
2) Bring Vulcan back -- he was such a bad-ass!
Good buddy, Darrell -- so great to hear from you again. Enough small talk!
1) If there's anything I know about Peter David, it's that he has a billion stories in that noggin of his (and trillions of witty retorts). I don't think we've seen the last of the Six Second War, but I don't think we're going to touch on it in the near future. Peter's too busy killing Jamie Madrox.
2) I'll see what I can do about Vulcan.
Wow! Anything for a man in uniform...
MarvelMaster616 is next, and he begins our descent into the world of queries surrounding "Avengers vs. X-Men."
1) I've really been enjoying Jeph Loeb's work on "Avengers: X-Sanction." Can you talk about how the events of this story will fit into what happens in "Avengers vs. X-Men" and the books preceding it?
2) It's already been established that the Phoenix Force will be a big part of "Avengers vs. X-Men." However, there's been no mention whatsoever of Jean Grey. If I recall, Jean Grey supposedly merged fully with the Phoenix Force during the events of "Phoenix -- Endsong," yet she's been utterly divorced from the Phoenix Force as it has interacted with Hope, the Cuckoos, and Rachel Grey. When did the Phoenix Force become completely separate from Jean Grey?
3) In one of the covers to "Avengers vs. X-Men," Wolverine looks torn between fighting alongside the Avengers and the X-Men. What can we expect from him as the conflict unfolds?
Old chum, MarvelMaster616! Have you lost weight? You look terrific! Anyway, let's answer your queries!
1) "Avengers: X-Sanction" will have no effect on the books preceding AvX (as it's one of them and isn't finished yet), but it will have big effects on AvX itself. That will become way more clear when you've seen issues #3 and #4.
2) You are correct that there has been no mention of Jean Grey leading up to AvX. Read into that however you would like. Can't say much more than that, I'm afraid.
3) That's another question I can't say too much about without spoiling things. But the gravitational pull between the A and X will weigh heavily on Wolverine. You'll see this in AvX #1, "Wolverine and the X-Men" #9 and "New Avengers" #24.
They're on the reading list! And now your pal Taurean wanted to know more about Principal Logan's policy on fighting:
1) With Schism dividing the X-Men into two, will this split be overlooked by members of both sides once they have to unite to take on the Avengers? Or will Wolverine's team stay on the sidelines?
2) Can we expect the X-Men who aren't part of the Extinction Team to fight in AvX? I would love to see Jubilee go up against Venom or Black Widow! Or see Idie take on someone from the Avengers Academy!
Well, if it isn't my former roommate Taurean! You still owe me $10 for that pizza! But that won't stop me from answering your questions...
1) Wolverine is certainly going to do what he can to keep his students as far away from AvX fighting. That's the whole point of the Schism. As for the rest of the teachers at the Jean Grey School, that's going to be interesting to see.
2) You'll definitely see non-Extinction Team X-Men fight Avengers. But Jubilee won't be one of them. Check out "X-Men" #24-27!
Renaldo expects fighting in his comics, but is curious if any knuckle-busting took place in the Marvel offices:
1) While AvX is looming, the final resolution of the teams' battle is predetermined, so who gets to pick the winners? How do you guys sort it out between the Avengers Editors wanting their team to win and the X-Editors cheering for their teams?
2) Recently, Scott has been playing by Steve Rogers' game and has even undertaken PR stunts to show that (despite Schism and Logan's exodus) his unit is still the most reliable option and that Utopia is the best haven for mutants. So why endanger this status by gunning for the Avengers?
3) The upcoming event bears several similarities to the X-Men tangling with Avengers in the "Avengers: Children's Crusade" over Wanda. How did this past battle factor into AvX as the two seem to have quite a bit in common?
4) Was it X-Editors or Avengers-Editors that determined the fate of Wanda after "Avengers: Children's Crusade?"
My next door neighbor Renaldo is here for a cup of sugar and answers to questions!
1) Well, Tom Brevoort (you know, the guy who edits the second most awesome team-franchise at Marvel) and I certainly fight about a lot, but this one wasn't really up to us or our fights. It really is all about the story up here. Brian Bendis was nice enough to have Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brubaker, that insane bearded weirdo Jason Aaron, Axel Alonso and me out to his house for a few days to break the story down. (Oh, and I guess Tom Brevoort was there. Didn't notice really.)
Anyway, we had a great couple of days and have since then been refining it with those five terrific writers -- along with other creators and editors -- and it all came from where the story led us. There is definitely a winner and a loser, but it wasn't an editorial choice.
2) First, Cyclops isn't afraid of Steve Rogers or the Avengers. Second, who says that he's the one gunning for a confrontation?
3) "Avengers: The Children's Crusade" is awesome, first of all. Allan, Jimmy, Mark and Justin are ridiculously talented. Second of all, the effects of CC are felt in AvX, in a big way. However, the fight between the two teams gets way bigger in AvX.
4) It was Allan Heinberg (with input from Tom Brevoort) mapping out Wanda's trajectory. Allan had some great ideas on the subject and somehow Tom B. didn't ruin them all.
Neat! Oh, I heard Mr. Brevoort wanted to have a word with you in his office...
That Marcus Martin fella is our last email of the day. Hm, I wonder what event he has questions about:
1) Given his search to find a way to reverse the "No More Mutants" spell, his anger over Cyclops' militaristic ways, and Wolverine's involvement with X-Force, and his membership with the Secret Avengers -- shouldn't Beast be playing a major role in the upcoming "Avengers vs. X-Men" event? Will he finally throw down with Cyclops due to the tension that exists between them?
2) Will there be a "Versus" storyline that has the children over at Avengers Academy going against the children at either Utopia or the Jean Grey School (or even both)?
3) Given that this is a fight between the Avengers and the X-Men, will there be any X-Men-related villains that will take advantage of the fight and use it to their advantage?
4) Given his previous complaints over Hope, will Bishop be making a return in the upcoming "Avengers vs. X-Men" event to finally confirm his predictions about Hope?
Marcus! My mortal enemy! What are you doing here?! Before we engage in a death-duel, I will answer your questions!
1) Beast definitely has a major role in AvX, though it may not be in the way you suspect.
2) Check out the "Avengers Academy" tie-in issues to get your fix, Marcus!
3) What the X and A villains are doing during the fight is not going to be a major focus of AvX itself, but it will play into some of the tie-in books.
4) At this point, there are no plans for Bishop's return. Sorry. Wait, what am I sorry for? You're my mortal enemy -- that is, unless George comes back with one more question...
Um, I guess we're done then...
Nope! I changed my mind. I need a new nemesis anyway, so I'm going forward with our get-to-know-you question that we like to call "Behind the X." Let's try something editor-centric: what is the craziest pitch you've ever heard for a book?
George! My ire will go to you, I suppose. The craziest pitch I ever heard was the pitch for "Nextwave." There have been a few that have challenged it (heck, the "Wolverine and the X-Men" pitch was nutty), but none have taken the crown. Now, shall we death-duel?
You're on! Choose your weapon: water pistols or rubber chickens at ten paces. Till then, we thank you for your time, Nick!
That closes out a bizarre but fun X-chit-chat. Tune in next week as writer Marjorie Liu swings by to answer your numerous inquiries about her conclusion of "X-23" and her upcoming run on "Astonishing X-Men." Think long and hard, and when your brain starts to scream >send me those emails as quickly as possible. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line, and I'll see what kind of odds I can get you on the Super Bowl. See you in six!