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X-POSITION: Peter David on “X-Factor”

by  in Comic News Comment
X-POSITION: Peter David on “X-Factor”
“X-Factor” #29 on sale March 12

Welcome to CBR’s all new and not-so-different X-POSITION. As announced last week, this exclusive feature is no longer on a weekly schedule. However, we do have upcoming opportunities for you to ask questions of the X-Men creative teams and editors, and the next edition is coming up soon.

In this week’s X-POSITION, we look at the world of "X-Factor," which has been turned upside-down and inside out due to the events of Marvel Comics’ “Messiah CompleX" crossover event, which saw major changes in the publisher’s line of X-Men comic books. X-Factor members are missing, leaving, or behaving in wildly erratic ways. Thus, it’s a great time to be an “X-Factor” reader!

Many of you have questions about the new status quo, and writer Peter David (a.k.a. PAD) is here with answers and a clever quip or two. Far be it from us to delay the man’s genius, so let’s get to your emails!

SPOILER WARNING: “Messiah CompleX” and “X-Factor” spoilers follow.

Let’s start things off with an email from Ann Nichols, who had some bloody good concerns:

I absolutely loved the revelation that Madrox was using tranq bullets when he shot the Purifier in issue #28, as well as his belief that he still had compassion. Cyclops’s “kill the Purifiers'” stance disturbs me because history and current events show that blood vengeance begets only further blood vengeance. May I hope that “X-Factor” will be a little light of sanity in the slaughterfest?

I don’t know that “sanity” would ever describe the events or overall mood of “X-Factor.” It just seemed to me that, no matter what had happened, Madrox wouldn’t simply go in there blasting at a bunch of guys who were simply standing around talking. Now if the Purifiers had, for instance, captured Siryn and were about to execute her, that might be a different story….

Page from “X-Factor” #29

Allen Thornton has also been doing some heavy thinking, and he was hoping you might be able to help him out.

There has been one thing that’s bothered me during the “MC” crossover. In the very first arc of “X-Factor,” it was revealed that the team was supposed to solve what happened on M-Day and reverse it (but Layla’s “mission” was to prevent that). Then, in the “Endangered Species” story, it was revealed that it was next-to-impossible for the effects of M-Day to be reversed.

Finally, in “Messiah CompleX,” it was said that there were only two possible futures left with mutants in it. Will all of these possibilities eventually be reconciled?”

The “reconciliation” is that the future is incredibly fluid. It’s like trying to predict which way liquid mercury is going to flow. Those people in the present who perceive the future are only seeing the way things will be from this particular moment in time and this particular status quo. The problem becomes that the present is filled with – dare I say it – x-factors.

Probably the most famous future-gazer in fiction is Scrooge, demanding of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, whether the visions he is seeing are things that will be or might be. My take on it is that Marvel-seers are perceiving that which might be, and are constantly having to act accordingly. So the short answer to your question is that all those futures were true…at that particular time.

Next up, La Fea sent in a handful of questions on topics ranging from team membership to nausea.

1) How would you describe “X-Factor” in the post-“Messiah CompleX” world?

A group of people struggling to find their place in it.

Page from “X-Factor” #29

2) In an earlier X-POSITION, departing “New X-Men” writers Chris Yost and Craig Kyle teased that some of the students will be seen in “X-Factor.” Will any of the students fill upcoming vacancies X-Factor Investigations may have?


3) What issue will Darwin be joining the team?

A future one.

4) Now that we know Siryn is pregnant, is there anything more to Monet’s suspicious vomiting than simple big, bad wolf breath?

As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Monet’s nausea was exactly what she said it was. I can’t help it if the timing of it caused fans to interpret it otherwise. I am shocked – shocked – that fans were misled.

CortherX was also wondering about the membership of the group, and how X-Factor got some of its more intriguing team members.

By now I think we’ve all heard Darwin would be joining your cast. This is the second time where you’ve picked up a new character from a major event (Layla from “House of M;” Darwin from “Deadly Genesis”) and made them a regular character in your book. Do you just read these new characters and think, “Shoot, I could do a lot with so and so,” or was it planned right from their creations that you’d eventually end up penning them?

Actually, Darwin’s joining the team was decided at the big X-book meeting in which we were discussing swapping around characters.

Mike Diaz has his favorite of the team, and he’s hoping to see more of her. Can you assist him in his wishes?

Page from “X-Factor” #29

Is there any possible way of getting an arc spotlighting Monet? She’s pretty much the reason I picked up this book in the first place when it debuted (and stuck around for the fantastic story-telling). She’s one of my favorite characters and I’d love to see some good stuff involving her!

Well, we have two fewer characters in the book, and even with Darwin’s eventual joining, that’s going to put more spotlight on Monet. And yes, we have some nifty stuff coming up with her.

As we’ve now talked about Monet, Marcus Martin was curious some of her teammates, as well as the book’s setting.

1) It was nice to see Rahne in this issue trying to convince the rest of the team to accept her current departure, but what bugs me is the vision of the future still in her mind. After all the events of “Messiah CompleX,” don’t all the X-people know that the future isn’t set in stone yet?

Of course they know that, but that doesn’t mean they can’t strive to avoid it. Besides, truth to tell, that vision was not and is not Rahne’s sole reason for departing the team. But it was the one that she was at liberty to discuss with Madrox.

2) Also, I never knew Layla’s departure would affect the team so much. I mean, they always were annoyed by her presence, so what changed their minds?

It’s often said that love and hate are two sides of the same coin. The bottom line is that Layla came to them because she knew they needed her, even if they didn’t know it themselves. They are just now coming to realize that which Layla knew back in issue one.

Page from “X-Factor” #29

3) Has Siryn made any progress in accepting her father’s death?


4) Why does “Mutant Town” still exist if there are so few mutants in it?

Excellent question, and one that is central to the current story arc.

It’s time for some questions about time, courtesy of iceman06.

1) If Siryn’s pregnancy comes to term, will she be pregnant until 2010 due to the pace of “Marvel time?”


2) Since Madrox spent time in Bishop’s timeline going through the torture of having his face marked, being treated like an animal in a concentration camp, and learning of the horrors which occurred in that timeline, will he at all sympathize with Bishop who experienced this as a small child for a much longer period?

Nooo, because in his mind Bishop betrayed his teammates and endangered them. I don’t think he gives a damn what the reasons are for it.

Finally, Andre4000 closes out this week’s X-POSITION for us with a subject that’s a little off-topic, but one that inspires much passion in many.

PAD, over on your blog (Hyperlink – you’ve talked about the WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike and how you walked the picket lines. I had a few questions about this:

1) When did you join the WGA?

Not sure. Fifteen years ago, I think.

Page from “X-Factor” #29

2) What did you think about the deal the writers ultimately got?

I think it could have been a lot better if the WGA had formed a genuine alliance with the DGA and SAG, agreed on ironclad terms with what we all wanted, as a group, and gone to the producers with solidarity that would have shut down the entire entertainment industry. Ultimately we’re still talking about chump change… and if it’s chump change, what does that make us?

3) Would it be worthwhile for comic writers (and artists) to ever attempt to unionize?

I was part of a group some twenty years ago that attempted to form an organization of comic writers and artists. It wasn’t even about forming a labor union so much as it was trying to get a sizable enough group together that would get affordable health care. We couldn’t even manage to get enough writers and artists together to attain that simple goal; we were greeted with either suspicion or indifference from the creative base. It was like trying to herd cats, but less fulfilling. If someone else ever wanted to take a whack at it, I’d join, but the experience soured me on the notion.

Thus ends our all new and not-so-different X-POSITION. In two weeks’ time (on March 4), writer Mike Carey will be here to talk about “X-Men: Legacy” #208, which hits shelves next Wednesday. Also joining him will be the X-editors Axel Alonso, Nick Lowe, and John Barber to answer your queries about the first month of “Divided We Stand.”

To participate in the fun (and you know you want to), shoot me an email by February 29 with “X-Position” in the subject line. With so many people available to respond, you’ll want to think of questions that are true brain-scratchers.

And one last X-POSITION bonus for all of my favorite readers out there (that’s you!), come back to visit CBR tomorrow and get a first look at lettered pages from Mike Carey’s “X-Men: Legacy.” Ain’t life grand?

Now discuss this story in CBR’s X-Men forum.

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