The mutant race, under the protection of Scott Summers and the X-Men, might be fighting for its very survival just off the coast of San Francisco, but the members of X-Factor Investigations have their hands full with adventures and disasters all their own. In addition to fending off the machinations of Bastion and Trask as part of the "Second Coming" arc, Jamie Madrox and company find themselves contending with Baron Mordo draining Monet's life, the increasingly grim "stuff" Layla Miller knows, the sheer unpredictability that Shatterstar and Longshot bring to the group and, of course, the usual hazards of serving as the Marvel Universe's private eyes to superheroes and supervillains alike. To top it off, writer Peter David has promised a shock in July's issue #207 to rival that time Madrox ate his baby.
Welcome once again to X-POSITION, where your favorite X-verse creators answer your questions about mutants past, present, and future. Today we have Peter David, aka PAD, who has written every issue of "X-Factor" in its current incarnation as well as reigning over an extended tenure during the series' original run. This column, originally scheduled to run last week, was delayed due to Mr. David's recent surgery to remove a ruptured disc from his lower back and the recovery that followed, a harrowing experience detailed on his blog. We are very happy to hear that PAD is well on the road to recovery, and are pleased to present his responses to your questions!
Also: check back later this week for another X-POSITION, this time with Chris Claremont!
This week's readers had a wish-list of guest stars and potential new X-Factorians, beginning with Valeria Kementari.
Mr David, since you've taken the role of fulfilling the fans' desires in ways no other writer ever has... will you consider bringing Adam X to "X-Factor" for an issue or two and revealing he is the fourth Summers brother?? After all Sinister, said "brothers" not "three Summers..."
Although I'm not averse to doing something with Adam X (although I've no immediate plans to do so), if I were to make use of him, I very much doubt that I would do a reveal that he's a Summers brother. Certainly I wouldn't do it unilaterally. I'm just not convinced that we need yet another Summers Brother.
Next up we have Taimur Dar, who would like to see an old friend return to the fold:
A while back you mentioned briefly talking with Dan Slott about a possible "Mighty Avengers"/"X-Factor" crossover. Now that MA has ended, any chance of seeing Chris Gage's "Avengers Academy" cast appear in "X-Factor" or even just a Quicksilver/X-Factor reunion?
I'd love to borrow Quicksilver for an issue or two, but there are no plans afoot for the moment.
On the subject of characters who will be appearing though, Steve McSheffrey dreams of the possibilities for Rahne (Wolfsbane) Sinclair's return.
With your track record for coming up with novel applications to power sets, I'd like to see what you'd do with a mutant who's been mutated into a quasi-Asgardian...
Especially considering that she's not necessarily going to be forthcoming about what's happened to her.
Marcus Martin continues, noting connections between Ms. Rahne and an upcoming X-Factor investigation.
1. Given that Wolfsbane is coming back to team in the future, will the team finally know of what happened to her since they last saw her and vice versa ?
They're going to know in a vague manner that she was involved with some pretty rough stuff, but they're not going to learn the details of what she was up to. But yes, she is most definitely going to find out what X-Factor's been up to.
2. Related to my previous questions, will the two stories of Wolfsbane's pregnancy and the team's job for Hela connect in some way, given Hela's previous encounter with Wolfsbane's former lover ?
Let's just say that there is indeed going to be some degree of connection between the two, although the manner in which it happens may not be what you were expecting.
But will she stay or will she go now? Joshua Hetherington wants to know:
1. Will Wolfsbane's reappearance be a permanent return? Or will it be a guest appearance?
Hey, I'll keep her around for as long as they let me.
2. I'm so excited for X-Cell to return! Any chance on some details about Fatale, Abyss, Callisto and Marrow's own personal second coming!?!?
They will return eventually, but not for at least another six months.
Airy Maher has a few questions about old friends, new tech, and black sheep.
1. Banshee and Shatterstar had established a good friendship back in their X-Force days. Will their friendship be re-established in X-Factor?
Banshee is still somewhat wary of the new incarnation of Shatterstar. So she's going to be approaching him a bit cautiously.
2. Now that the series is reaching into the wider Marvel Universe, who is one Marvel character that would *never* darken X-Factor Investigations' doorstep?
I've learned in my time to never say never. I mean, I've been thinking about your question and I keep coming up with possibilities, but every time I do I then think, "But, hey, you know what would be interesting if this person showed up...?" So I don't want to single anyone out because, hey, you never know.
3. Rictor has been through a lot over the years. How has his attitude changed since X-Factor relocated back to New York? Is Shatterstar aware he once tried to take a long walk off a short building ledge?
No, Shatterstar is unaware at this point of Rictor's mini-mental breakdown back in issue #1. Over time, Rictor has become more and more convinced that he can be of use to his team without his powers. He's learned not to allow himself to be defined by his mutant abilities, or lack thereof. That's why the new dynamic between himself and Shatterstar is so interesting. He feels like he's finally learned who he is, and he's not sure he can be what Shatterstar wants/needs him to be.
4. With the recent debate over digital distribution, how would you feel if "X-Factor" were ever available on the Marvel iTunes app?
Well, if it were okay with Marvel, I really wouldn't have much of anything to say about it. They're the copyright holders, and if it's okay with them, it's fine by me.
Digressing from "X-Factor" for a moment, J. J. Meylar has a question about Mr. David's work as a novelist.
Hey, Mr. David:
I've been loving how much "X-Factor" has been seeming to be getting more and more into the mainstream Marvel Universe. I mean: I've been reading the solicits each month and am REALLY looking forward to Hela being a client. But, that's neither here nor there. I have a question that I'd like to ask:
Do you have any plans for writing a sequel novel to "Wolverine: Election Day?" I mean: you DID, kind of, set up for one...
I did indeed lay trackwork for a sequel, but that was mostly in the event that Pocket [Star Books] came back and asked me to DO a sequel. That hasn't happened thus far; I'm not sure of what Pocket's overall plans for Marvel novels are.
White Phoenix goes straight to the source to resolve a friendly debate about "X-Factor" history.
I've been a huge fan of yours since you wrote "X-Factor" in the early '90s. Your recent work with tying up loose-ends in the current run of "X-Factor" was, I thought, some of the best writing the X-Universe has seen in quite some time. But now, I've got a question for you.
I was debating with a friend of mine the classification of The Isolationist/ Josef Huber. My friend said he was a mutant, I said he wasn't due to what you were quoted saying in an interview. So we tried to settle this by searching the internet, which rendered an interesting result. It said Josef Huber was a Mutate. Now, my question is this: Is Josef Huber the Mutate that was never fully revealed in your original run on "X-Factor" (issue #89)?
That was my intention, yes.
Can't get much more straightforward than that! The answer to Harostar's question about the particulars of Shatterstar's powers, however, requires a bit more finessing, as we'll see.
In #201, we were given a vague explanation for how Shatterstar's teleportation works. It was mentioned that he needs an anchor, someone he shares a connection with -- namely, boyfriend Rictor and potential father Longshot. But in the most recent issue, he seems to be able to use Layla as an anchor as well. While it's clear the two have done some bonding while stuck in Latveria, it seems odd after he'd previously stated it couldn't be just anyone. Care to enlighten us on what's up with that?
That's actually a good question, and one that Rictor is going to be trying to get to the bottom of. Just exactly what happened with Layla and Shatterstar while in Latveria? We're going to start touching on it in #207 and it is going to be explored further, and eventually we will be revealing just how "much" of a connection Shatterstar needs to have with his anchor in order for the relationship to function.
Thanks to all the readers who sent questions and of course to Peter David for taking the time to talk about "X-Factor." We'll wrap up this edition of X-POSITION with a "Behind the X" question, a bit of getting-to-know-you stretching beyond the world of mutants.
So, Peter David, what is your favorite summer holiday/getaway and why?
We like to head off to Disney World whenever possible; we just feel really comfortable there. Plus, now that Disney's bought Marvel, there are additional perks which we can't wait to make use of.
It's good to be the mouse.
Many thanks again to Peter David for taking time to join us for X-POSITION, and to you readers for tuning in. I'd like to remind you again that we still have legendary X-Men Chris Claremont coming up later this week, but we'll start taking questions now for next week's column with the X-Editors! Just drop me a line with X-POSITION in the subject line, and I will pass along your questions on "Second Coming," "Death of Dracula," and any other mutant-related topics you can think of to our esteemed panel of editors.