X-POSITION: Paul Cornell

Dracula is one of those public domain characters that writers like to play with. He has appeared in everything from "Scooby Doo" to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Finding new and interesting ways to use the king of vampires is tricky, but writer Paul Cornell seems to have managed nicely. In his Marvel Comics book "Captain Britain and MI13," he's had Dracula take over Britain.

As Scooby might say, "Ruh-roh!"

The writer joins X-POSITION today to answer your questions about vampires, the unfortunate cancellation of "Captain Britain" as of issue #15, and the fun he's having in "Dark Reign: Young Avengers." And with so much coming up in this month's issue #14, we can show you only the cover and but one page!

Hold onto your hats, things are bound to get a bit bloody...

CBR: Our first question is about bloody messes, but surprisingly has nothing to do with vamps. Andre4000 was wondering about the gory good times you're having with the Young Avengers.

I really enjoyed "Dark Reign: Young Avengers," although I was a bit disturbed by its contents (in a good way, if that's possible). But I had a few questions:

Are we supposed to recognize any of these characters?


Using "Melter" as a superhero name? Were all the good names taken? And is he actually burning people or does his power involve a different kind of melting?

He's melting people. There's no heat released. He melts without heat.

Have we seen this Enchantress before? And does she really have a lisp, or does she just talk that way "just because?"

No, we have not. She doesn't really have a lisp. We hear her talking in an entirely different way in issue three.

Is Big Zero just a bigot? Or is she a white supremacist?

Is there a difference?

These characters are pretty violent. Are they appearing "as written" or did you need to tone it down?

No, we're all on the same page here vis-a-vis the violence.

And on the topic of young heroes, Morgan has a query for you:

If you could've added another young hero/villain to "Captain Britain and MI:13," who would you have picked?

Originally, I had a big list that we pared down to a reasonably sized team. I think we'd have got round to including Dark Angel or Tangerine. Obscure British characters I can do new things with, that's what I'm after!

Aspbros wants to know what vampires want and how they work (in the Marvel Universe, at least).

What is it about Britain that Dracula craves so badly? Why didn't he just use his plan on Canada and save himself all the trouble?

I assume that Canada's got just as many superheroes as the UK has.

Britain's an island, for one thing, so you don't get loads of bordering countries worried about vampires wandering into their land. And there's its status as the home of magic in the Marvel Universe. And I'm not writing Alpha Flight.

What are the rules about becoming a vampire in the Marvel Universe? Do they only have to be bitten? Or do they have to drink vampire blood too? And was Faiza hoping to reach her Dad in time to kill him? Or can she use her powers to somehow heal him and save him?

You only have to be bitten. Faiza might not have formed her options so neatly. With the Marvel Universe being full of magic and high tech solutions, I think one might assume there could be some chance of saving him.

What do you like about using Dracula as a villain? And what's the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is to make him new - to do something nobody's done before. And him as general is that thing and what I like most - finding something new that's true for the character - which makes him a different sort of villain.

You used Blade to great effect, when other writers seem to struggle with him. What do you feel is the key to Blade's character?

That's very kind of you. I just think of him as a person first, and a mission second. So he has a sense of humor, especially about himself, and a personality when he's relaxing, when he's not killing vampires.

Why wouldn't Norman Osborn want to help MI13? He can't really see Dracula as an ally, can he?

He's allied to Doom, and Doom has made a deal with Dracula. This is just alliances clicking into place.

You've said you've gotten the series to a place you wanted before it was cancelled. This is great, but I get the feeling that Meggan was meant to come back (especially in light of her earlier appearance). Any chance of this still happening before you go?

See the Annual! That was indeed on my list.

Rookie is sad to see the book ending. Can you give him some hope?

Is there any chance of continuing "Captain Britain and MI13" through a miniseries or could it get relaunched under a different title? And any chance of Psylocke showing up before the series ends to say "hello" to her brother?

I'd love to have had Psylocke appearing. I'd like to think we could get a mini together some day. We're talking about it, and we'll keep trying.

Our last email comes from RickyD410, who wraps things up with the not-so-simple question of "why?"

Do you have any opinion about why "Captain Britain and MI13" didn't do as well as other books? As an American living in the UK, I loved seeing British heroes and learning more about the Marvel UK.

Well, Marvel put loads of effort behind it, and I got all the support I could wish for. I just think that, in the end, there are certain characters that won't sell well enough in the States. In the UK we were doing very well, but those numbers don't get added into the Diamond sales figures.

What are your next plans in comics?

I'm really enjoying "Dark Reign: Young Avengers," and it's also a pleasure to get more involved with the X-Men characters through "Dark X-Men." Beyond that, I can't reveal!

In seven days, expect more fun than a swimming pool full of Koosh balls as writers Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost join us to answer your emails. So read up on "Messiah War" and "X-Force," think up some thought-provoking queries and send them my way as quickly as possible. An "X-Position" in the subject line will get your email a scratch-and-sniff sticker stating, "You're grape!" See you next week!

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