The roots of “All-New X-Factor” can be traced back ten years to the publication of “Madrox” a hero-noir limited series published in late 2004 that reimagined Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man as a hardboiled and wisecracking detective. With that buzzed about mini, writer Peter David began an X-Factor run (his second) that has gone on to span a decade and encompass approximately 140 issues spread out across a few ongoing series, one-shots and specials. In the latest of those consistently published ongoings, fittingly titled “All-New X-Factor,” David pushed characters both old (Polaris, Quicksilver) and new (Gambit, Danger) to him into the uncharted territory of corporate superheroics. With next month’s “All-New X-Factor” #20, Peter David’s historic run with Marvel’s most oddball mutants reaches its conclusion.
In this week’s X-Position, David returns to answer your questions about everything ranging from the things he wishes he could have done with “X-Factor” to Quicksilver’s mercurial heritage and Gambit’s middle name.
CBR News: Our first question comes from smajlush, who wonders how you’ve enjoyed putting words into a certain merc’s mouth.
How do you like writing about Deadpool? Are there any stories you wish to tell about him after the “Art of War”?
I actually had a great deal of fun writing him — much more so than I expected. He’s kind of like an armed and exceedingly dangerous Ambush Bug. I was frankly a little worried about how much leeway I was going to get from the longtime Deadpool fans, but I learned that you can pretty much do anything with him — even if it makes absolutely no sense — and the fans will love it so long as it’s entertaining. He’s almost like the anti-She-Hulk. She-Hulk fans are obsessed with having her done in a particular way and if she’s not, they won’t support it. They don’t unite. Deadpool fans unite. It’s great to see.
Next, Purplevit wants to know how you came up with Gambit’s middle name.
[The name] Remy Etienne LeBeau is canon now. Why did you choose Etienne as Gambit’s middle name?
That’s a very long and involved story that goes into my deepest past that… nah, I can’t do it. I didn’t choose it. That’s his middle name according to Marvel.com. Here, look for yourself.
Purplevit also has a much larger question to ask.
Would you have done anything [in “All-New X-Factor”] differently?
I would’ve had Wolverine guest star every other issue. Our sales would be through the roof.
Michael P wants to know if any Serval Industries staffers are going to make their way into another Marvel book you’re currently writing.
“Spider-Man 2099” is paying a visit in the final issue. Obviously you don’t want to spoil anything, but might we see plot threads or characters from this book pop up over in his book post-cancellation?
Yes. Absolutely. Also, I think fans will find Miguel’s appearance interesting because every page on which Miguel appears was penciled by [“Spider-Man 2099” artist] Will Sliney. He split the issue with [“All-New X-Factor” artist Carmine [Di Giandomenico] and it came out looking great.
Next, Derek wants to know what you think about Quicksilver’s ever-changing family tree.
You put a lot of effort into developing the Quicksilver and Polaris sibling relationship in this run. It was a highlight for me this year in comics and to date I think it’s the least disturbing, most natural brother/sister dynamic Marvel has ever had. Is it disheartening to get news that they’re now not actually related after putting in all that work?
I should emphasize that I have no inside knowledge of this story, Derek. I will simply say that as a longtime fan I have seen too many instances of things being established and then unestablished to accept current stories as a given. Things are as they are in comics until months or years later when someone else comes along and say, “No, I don’t like that; let’s change it back.”
Michael has a theory about the modern comic book market.
Firstly, thank you for your runs on “X-Factor.” They are the reason I got back into comics — specifically the “Madrox” miniseries. A trend lately seems to be that only event-driven books are selling large numbers. Do you think there is still a strong place for character-driven stories to maintain an ongoing title? Please say yes and you’ll be doing them.
Honestly, Michael? No. I don’t think there’s a place for character-driven stories. Fans complain ceaselessly about how mega-events are taking over comics, and what they really want to see are character-driven stories, but their purchasing habits are the exact opposite. And now fans will say, “Oh, Peter’s just bitching again,” but I’m really just stating facts based on sales. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to write the types of stories I want to write, but the continued resistance to them makes selling them problematic.
Spasticat can help but wonder what might happen in “All-New X-Factor” #21 and beyond.
Mr. David, thank you so much for All New X-Factor! It certainly was the high point of my Marvel year and I will miss it more than I can say. I picked it up initially as a Gambit fan, but you’ve successfully gotten me to fall in love with most of the crew! Had the series continued, what plans did you have in store for Gambit, Georgia, Danger, Warlock and Doug?
I’ll be honest; I didn’t have continued plans because I found out six months ago that the book was being cancelled, and I tend to plot in six-month segments. So once I knew the comic was done, I stopped thinking about things that happened after that. Sorry. But that doesn’t mean I’m done telling stories about them; they will show up in “Spidey 2099” eventually.
Kenny wants to know if this end is really the end.
Would you come back to writing an “X-Factor” book? Or are you completely done telling their adventures? And if you would write “X-Factor” again, are their any characters that you have never used before, or haven’t in a long time that you would love to get your hands on?
I would really love to come back to this group, Kenny, and I still remain hopeful that the opportunity presents itself.
Lastly, Owen has a question that encompasses your entire “X-Factor” run.
If you had to pick your favorite “X-Factor” moment, not just from “All-New,” but including all your issues of “X-Factor,” what would it be?
Madrox absorbing his baby and Layla’s subsequent return.
Special thanks to Peter David for taking on this week’s questions!
Next week we’re doing our second annual New Year’s round-up X-Position, and we want to hear from you — the fine readers of this column! Go ahead and send in a few words answering one, some or all of the questions below and we’ll print the best responses in our final column of 2014. To keep all of your responses a surprise to your fellow X-Po readers, we will only accept those sent in via email. All submissions need to be in by Sunday, December 28.
What was your favorite X-Men moment of the year and why?
Who should win X-Character of the Year and why?
Which series are you most looking forward to in 2015 and why?
Which character are you hoping makes more appearances in 2015?
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