The X-Line is getting a major overhaul this spring with the launch of a whole new line of comics. The initiative, titled ResurrXion, will see the arrival of new flagship series like “X-Men Gold” and “X-Men Blue” as well as team books like “Generation X” and “Weapon X.” Additionally, a trio of characters will get their own ongoings: “Iceman,” “Jean Grey” and “Cable.” On top of all that, “All-New Wolverine” and “Old Man Logan” will continue slashing their way through villains with new stories.
This week in the concluding half of our two-part X-POSITION interview, X-Men editors Mark Paniccia, Daniel Ketchum, Christina Harrington, Mark Basso and Chris Robinson answer your questions about “X-Men Blue,” “Cable,” “Iceman” and “All-New Wolverine”!
CBR News: Welcome back for part two of this X-POSITION, X-Editors! First up this week, we have a question from Factor.
Are there plans to bring more diversity to the two main X-Men books? In the two teams, Storm is the only character of color and there isn’t any confirmed LGBT representation [aside from Iceman], which seems a stark contrast to Marvel’s recent diversity push and the X-Men’s own history of being one of the most inclusive teams in comics.
Daniel Ketchum: When we were brewing “X-Men Blue” and “X-Men Gold,” we were purposefully modeling the teams after the original five X-Men and the All-New, All-Different X-Men. We definitely struggled with the fact that those rosters aren’t representative of Marvel today, so one of the aims was to make sure that we placed extra emphasis on diversity amongst the other team books, as well as finding (also, making) opportunities to fill out the supporting casts of the main titles with diverse characters.
Also, can we talk about how there are maybe more gay characters in the main casts of X-Men titles than ever before? Iceman, Iceman (I count them separately because we are presenting very different gay narratives with each of them), Benjamin Deeds, Bling and a character that we have not yet discussed…
Next up, MarvelMaster616 wants to know if there’s romance in store for the mutants.
Since the end of “Avengers vs. X-Men” and “Death of Wolverine,” there has been a distinct lack of romantic subplots throughout the X-books. Pretty much every iconic X-Men romance has been destroyed, shelved, or otherwise cast aside. Will the current state of romance in the X-Men comics, or lack thereof, change at all in ResurrXion?
Christina Harrington: I love a good love triangle…I think you’ll definitely be seeing more of them in the future.
Ketchum: Yes. Perhaps the most important question I asked each of the incoming writers was, “Who’s kissing who?”
Mark Paniccia: In “X-Men Blue” you will see a familiar geometric shape taking form amongst a familiar trio of characters. Been a while since we’ve watched this kind of rivalry evolve.
Here’s a more big picture question from blinkingblah.
Do a lot of writers ask for a lot of info when approaching a book that has a lot of history like X-Men, or do some feel confident enough that they just wing it? I personally wouldn’t feel right without doing my due diligence to whatever comic I was about to be placed on. I’m sure it varies.
Harrington: In my experience, writers want to know the background and history of the characters they’re writing — for any character they’re writing… but I think that history carries a bit more weight with the X-Men. Since I assist on titles, I’m usually hunting down comics from the ’90s or much earlier — the entire “Uncanny” run from the ’60s is digitized for the sake of reference, for example — to send to writers and artists. Though, honestly, one of the best resources for this sort of thing is usually Daniel Ketchum… I’ll ask him when a certain event happened and he’ll give me the issue number off the top of his head. Dude knows his stuff.
Ketchum: Haha. You’re too kind, Christina!
And this is a great question, blinkingblah. I was actually just talking about this very topic on the phone yesterday with “Generation X” writer Christina Strain.
I think every writer is slightly different when it comes to the amount of research they do when picking up a character or story that already has established continuity, an established voice…and also different in how beholden they feel to it all. So, depending on the writer, they might ask for a lot of info and back issues, or they might just fly right into a pitch. It does indeed vary.
I will say that in this particular batch of writers, we have lots of longtime X-Men fans who have not only grown up living with these characters, but have also done their homework, so there are lots of fun nods to continuity sprinkled throughout their scripts. Longtime readers and newcomers alike are in for a real treat!
Let’s get into a few questions about one of the flagship books, “X-Men Blue.” Here’s one from txgohan.
The original five have been in the present timeline for a good minute now. Will we ever find out what will happen if/when they go back to their proper time? Can they even go home since the original 616 universe was destroyed in “Secret Wars”?
Paniccia: That’s a good question and there are many theories out there about how and if they can return. It’s become one of the great mysteries in modern comics. This is something [writer] Cullen [Bunn] wants to explore and the answer he’s got in mind, if we let him do it, is pretty mind-boggling.
Harrington: I think if we answered this question we wouldn’t need to make comics any more. So, uh, read on, True Believer, and find out?
Ketchum: Ummmm check out “All-New X-Men” #19 for the beginning of the answer to this question. DUN DUN DUN!
That issue arrives later this month, X-Fans! Next up, we have an ask from MarvelMaster616 about Cyclops.
Now that Teen Cyclops knows the truth about what happened to his older self in “Death of X,” what will that mean for him moving forward? How will that affect him, his teammates, and the way the rest of the world sees him?
Paniccia: One thing I want to stress is that these guys are a family and they have all seen a possible path for themselves. This goes beyond Scott. His alternate’s fate is something that deeply disturbs him but he’s in good company as all the members are cast in the shadows of some frightening possibilities. This is something that makes their journey together so fascinating in regards to the team’s current dynamics and what kind of collision course they’re all headed for, be it supportive or adversarial.
Harrington: Cyclops, like the rest of his time-tossed teammates, is going to have to figure out who he really is. And just because he knows the truth about older Scott’s fate doesn’t mean there won’t still be doubts about who he might become. I think we all worry about the person we might become in the indeterminate future…though not all of us can say we’ve met our future selves and hated them. It’s going to be a long road for Cyke, but I think he’ll be okay. Scott Summers is a hero…isn’t he?
Ketchum: Over the course of “All-New X-Men,” Young Cyclops was really dogged by the legacy his older self had left for him. And now that he’s out from under that, he can move forward and forge his own path…
We now have some questions about the upcoming solo books, like this “Iceman” question from cc008.
How do you think the upcoming “Iceman” solo ongoing will stack up against Marvel’s top, heavy-hitting solo books? I’m really hoping for a nice, long run for the book that shows how important Bobby really is to the X-Men.
Paniccia: This is a book I’m really excited to see happen and so glad it’s part of our publishing plan. I have high hopes for it and Daniel put together an amazing creative team. Please add this book to your pull list.
Chris Robinson: Out of the newest wave of X-titles, “Iceman” is going to have the most personal stakes and repercussions for the title character.
Ketchum: Chris really hits the nail on the head. Iceman is pretty comfortable in his own skin when it comes to being a super hero… whereas when it comes to knowing himself as a person, he’s really lacking. This book will have a lot of heart, where the super hero conflicts will illuminate Bobby’s interior life and inform his own journey of self-discovery. And I think many of Marvel’s top, heavy-hitting solo books have that in common.
Also, punching bad guys in the face. “Iceman” and the other solo series all have that in common, too.
We have a few questions about the upcoming “Cable” book, starting with this one from Benji.
Where is Hope Summers? She went from HUGE deal to “Where did she go?” Please tell me she’ll appear in “Cable.” It makes no sense for her not to — he’s her dad!
Paniccia: There are plans for Hope but I’ll let another editor speak for that. But I can’t say that her and pops won’t bump into each other down the line…if “time” permits.
Mark Basso: Just because Cable’s her dad doesn’t mean Hope wants to hang around her old man all the time, does it? When we open the new series, Cable is on a very dangerous solo mission, hunting down a very dangerous criminal through the time stream… not exactly a trip you bring the family along for!
Ketchum: We’ll be answering the, “Where is Hope Summers?” question in “Jean Grey” #2! Because writer Dennis Hopeless and I have both missed her as much as you!
And here’s another “Cable” Q, this time from Psimitar.
How tightly-woven will Cable’s new solo book be into the fabric of other X-Books and the Marvel Universe in general? … It’s been almost 3 years and Cable has yet to even interact with the O5 X-Men and it seems like he of all people would have something to say about his parent(s) being displaced in time as it could jeopardize his very existence.
Basso: That’s very true — no one knows the risks of time-travel and the butterfly effect more than the Askani’son. In fact, that’s exactly what sets him off on his first mission in the new series. Conquest, the mysterious new villain Cable is hunting, is looking to piece together a weapon that, if successful, will have dire consequences on the Marvel Universe. So, in respect to the order of urgency, his time-displaced parents will have to wait. But what will happen when Cable meets his even younger parents, though? Hmmm…
Paniccia: Cable meeting the O5 versions of his parents is a story that’s rich with possibilities both on personal and quantum levels. It’s something worth exploring for sure.
And we close out this week with a question from Coen about a character that’s now a major movie star, the “All-New Wolverine.”
Can you please tell me if the all-new Wolverine will be joining any X-Men teams in ResurrXion?
Paniccia: You may see her guest star but she’ll be involved in a pretty cool and (inter)stellar story that will take her off the table to join a roster right now… but, never say never in comics. And some stuff that’s been brewing amongst the X-writers might bubble to the surface and scratch that itch many of you have to see her operating with allies.
Harrington: I don’t know if you’ve been reading “All-New Wolverine” lately, but Laura’s been going through some stuff. Plus, she has a sister now — a sister who desperately needs some super hero training. So, she’s doing what Wolverine does best — no, not killing stop saying that I can’t hear you — taking a young girl under her wing and turning her into a total badass. But I also don’t think you can keep Laura away from the larger Marvel Universe for long and I really pity the person who stands between her and her friends, so I don’t think this journey of self-discovery is going to take forever. Just sit back, relax, and watch our girl be the hero she is.
Ketchum: Also, please send us letters! We’re hoping to resurrect the tradition of letters pages along with our classic titles and classic line-ups. Mark them “OKAY TO PRINT” and send them to email@example.com!
Special thanks to Mark Paniccia, Daniel Ketchum, Christina Harrington, Mark Basso and Chris Robinson for taking on this week’s questions! Stay tuned to CBR for info on the next X-POSITION.
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