X-POSITION: Peter David

Sometimes life hands you lemons, so you're forced to make lemonade. However, some people out there crave lemons and seek them out, and then make a strawberry-lemon-razzle-dazzle drink that blows your taste buds away! This is exactly the kind of thing writer Peter David has been doing with "X-Factor." Allow me to explain...

Layla Miller was a character who first appeared in Marvel's "House of M." While she played an important role, she faded from readers' minds once the series was over. Darwin was another character who came about as a result of an important story - "X-Men: Deadly Genesis" - but then also kind of kept a minimal presence once that title concluded. Longshot was a tremendously popular X-character in the '80s, made a few important appearances in the '90s, and then...poof! He remained unseen for a lengthy period, although fans clamored for his appearance much of that time.

While I hesitate to classify any of these characters as "lemons," the fact remains that no writer could find a home for them. That is, at least until Peter David (PAD to his fans) came a-knocking and pulled these individuals into the band of merry mutant misfits known as X-Factor!

In last week's "X-Factor" #43, PAD pulled another character out of the lemon bin for a surprising final page that left many readers cheering. Naturally, SPOILERS as to that character's identity will be revealed below, as PAD joins us to answer your questions in this week's X-POSITION, exclusively on CBR!

CBR: Grey begins things today, and he has a question about that tree you're picking your lemons from.

Mr. David, you are amazing. I love "X-Factor" and really miss "She-Hulk." That said, I was hoping you could tell me - what is Layla Miller? Will we ever learn of her true origin, and if so, when? And with Beast's science team trying to undo M-Day, will we see them interacting with her?

Peter David: Layla Miller is a young woman in her very early 20s. Her true origin is as follows: this man met this woman, they fell in love, got married, had sex, and nine months later, Layla was born. Then a lot of stuff happened between that and the current issue of "X-Factor." Beyond that, I'd really rather not go into specifics.

I do, in fact, have an answer in mind as to how Layla is able to do what she does. I'm figuring that if I'm going to reveal that, it's either going to be by issue #50 or not at all. So we'll find out together. And no, there's no immediate plans to involve Layla with the Beast.

Lance J. M. pays close attention to each and every X-POSITION, which led him to wonder...

In a previous X-POSITION, you said Damien Tryp would show up around issue #41. What happened? Or did I miss it?

To paraphrase John Lennon, X-Factor is what happens when you're making other plans.

Joshua sent in a few queries, including a couple about the "non-lemony" X-character you are currently writing.

Are you the new permanent writer for "Wolverine: First Class?"

As permanent as it gets.

"Wolverine: First Class" #1-12 were roughly set during "Uncanny X-Men" #138-150 of the X-Men continuity. Do you have a set period during continuity that you are using while writing the title?

That's pretty much where I've been following as well. I would ask the readers' indulgence if there's some continuity hiccups along the way. I've gone back and reread all the issues from that time to make my stories fit in, but I didn't reread every single Marvel title at the time to make sure that my guest appearances line up perfectly. Ultimately, it's all about telling entertaining stories.

Turning to "X-Factor," will we ever see the fate of the X-Cell that existed before "Messiah CompleX?" What happened to Marrow, Domino, Abyss, Fatale and Blob?

We're going to be getting back to them after issue #50.

Will the cast of "X-Factor" have a role to play in the third part of the "Messiah" trilogy?

They'll be there in spirit.

Marcus Martin is wondering what tomorrow might bring...at least in the case of Madrox.

With Madrox in the future and in the midst of the Summers Rebellion, is there any chance that he might meet Bishop in this timeline?

There's always a chance, but I think it becomes a bit cliche if every trip to the future involves Bishop. It's like that period of Marvel continuity during which, whenever anyone would ever get in a cab in NYC, Moon Knight's alter ego was driving. My inclination at this point is to avoid using Bishop, if for no other reason than that everyone is expecting him to show up.

Will Madrox's trip to the future reveal any hints as to what caused all the mutant oppression in Bishop's future?

Yes, including our introduction of a presidential science advisor who was one of the key players.

I might be beating this lemon analogy into a pulp, but I think PAD has found himself a nice orange as far as Ruby Summers is concerned. Many fans wrote in expressing a similar sentiment, including Taimur Dar who asked the following:

I love Ruby Summers, the newest child of Scott Summers from an alternate future, and was curious if there was any chance of her coming to the present? What about meeting Scott and Emma in San Francisco, or even the other Summers children like Cable or Rachel Summers?

As with anything in the Marvel Universe, there's always a chance. Again, though, that's exactly what people are expecting. So I doubt that will happen in the course of the current storyline. At this point, though, we could probably do an entire limited series just with Scott's various offspring. Call it "Endless Summers."

Now that Quicksilver is on the path of redemption in "Mighty Avengers," can we expect a guest appearance in X-Factor in the future and an apology from Pietro regarding his prior actions?

I've been talking with Dan Slott about having some sort of X-Factor/Mighty Avengers interaction. It's an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, we've got X-Factor fans yelling, "No more crossovers!" On the other hand, sales tend to jump when we do stuff like that. So I'm still on the fence.

On the topic of Quicksilver and special appearances, Quinnhop had a request...

Is there any chance we will be seeing other one-shots like the "Layla Miller" and "Quicksilver" ones? Perhaps starring other characters like Monet, Siryn, or Longshot? I think you do a really good job of balancing all of the characters within the regular series, but I think most people would agree with me when I say that, for the most part, it's still Madrox's show. Essentially, this would be my way of getting twice as much X-Factor each month...

I think if you're reading the current issues you'll have to agree that I've been spreading the action out more evenly among all the players besides Madrox. That said, we've no current plans to do any more one-shots. Honestly, in the case of the Quicksilver one-shot, I think it would have worked just as easily as an issue of the series. On the other hand, if I received a call tomorrow from the editors saying, "So what would you think of a Monet one-shot," I'd be up for that.

Kevin wrote in with a question that we received from lots of fans, but as I got his email first, I'll allow him the honor...

In your last X-POSITION Q&A, you had mentioned that you would like to use Jubilee as a character in X-Factor. Has there been any progress on this idea? I feel she would be a great addition to your cast, especially with her connections to Monet and familiarity with everyone else...

I haven't actively been lobbying for it. It's not like I don't have a lot else going on. I don't disagree that she'd be a good addition; on the other hand, we've had quite a few additions lately, so let's see how things shake out with the current cast.

Closing up today's X-POSITION, Kris was curious about the latest "lemon" to appear as of the most recent issue, and was hoping for some inside details. Can you help Kris out?

I'm really glad you decided to bring Shatterstar back, and the new design is amazing. Having Rictor, Longshot, and Siryn around give him a lot of strong ties to the team, and it opens the possibility for a lot of character and plot development. That being said, do you have more plans for him after the Cortex arc? I've waited years to see him reunited with these friends again, and the possibilities in my mind are just endless...

I tend to work from the outside in: introduce a character and then worm my way in to see what makes him tick and whether he's interesting enough to keep around. Currently Shatterstar is only hanging around through issue #50, but if I find him intriguing enough to have stay around - plus if there seems to be increased reader interest - then I could see him hanging out.

I was also curious as to why you decided to bring him back? And why now? What is it you like about the character?

No one else was using him; I wanted to bring in a character who had history with Rictor; and I wanted to see if I could take a character primarily known for big swords and a really bad haircut and see if I could make him work in the series.

That concludes this week's gabfest, but in seven days we'll be back with the writer of the new "New Mutants" title - Zeb Wells! You've had some time to read the first issue and absorb its mutanty goodness, so fire up those computers and send me an inquisitive missive. Remember, X-POSITION is only as good as the questions you provide!

Be sure to put an "X-Position" in the subject line, and I'll be sure to pass it along as quickly as I can. And to all those readers who sent me the "get well" wishes last week - you're my favorites! (Just don't tell the other X-POSITIONites...)

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