With the launch of "Death of X," X-Men fans are finally getting a glimpse of just what happened during the mutants' lost eight-month gap. And as that's a gap that concluded with Cyclops dead, the mutant race rocked by a deadly pox and tensions between mutants and Inhumans at an all-time high, the fast-moving "Death of X" is definitely something to watch. Co-written by Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule with art by Aaron Kuder, the mutant event series is also setting the stage for this winter's big "Inhumans vs. X-Men" event.
This week in X-POSITION, "Death of X" co-writer Charles Soule answers your questions about everything from his opinion of Gambit to the futures of Cyclops and Emma Frost to the real firepower lurking within the Inhumans' ranks.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Charles! Let's kick things off this week with Patrick asking the question everyone wants answered after "Death of X" #1.
First of all, thank you thank you for bringing back Ms. Frost. She was missed, and she hasn't sounded this fabulous in a while. But my question concerns one poor Jamie Madrox. What made you guys decide to pull the poor man out of retirement... only to do that? It certainly had the desired effect, but man such a brutal, sad, tragic way to go, particularly in light of where Peter David left him at the end of "X-Factor."
Charles Soule: Saw this one coming. Before I get into the Madrox of it all, thank you for the kind words on the Emma Frost stuff! I love writing her -- she's been a favorite of mine ever since Grant Morrison's run on "New X-Men" back in the day. She has many more fab moments to come.
Now, about poor Jamie. To put it simply, the X-Men needed to understand the scope of the problem quickly and directly. They needed to see the apocalypse to come, and Jamie Madrox gave us that -- through one character's death, they (and you, the reader) could see the death of many. It was really hard to decide on that plot point -- I loved Peter David's "X-Factor" run, and I used a Madrox dupe in my "She-Hulk" run (Matt Rocks, LA entertainment attorney extraordinaire). I hope he'll be back some day.
Yeah, Multiple Man has been one of my absolute favorite X-characters for over 20 years now -- so "Death of X" really had an impact! Next up, Alucard2099 asks the first of a few questions we have this week about Cyclops.
I feel like Cyclops has been on the receiving end of a lot of hate for fighting for his cause. After his death, people still consider him a terrorist -- even young Cyclops isn't too keen on carrying on that legacy. So my question is, will the things from Cyclops' point of view be shown so the readers can sympathize with him, or is he still going to be demonized?
Cyclops is extremely complex. We'll see things from his point of view, certainly, but this is a big story, with many moving pieces and perspectives on both sides of the conflict. Storm doesn't see it the same way as Medusa, for example. We want to serve all those characters. However, this is primarily a Cyclops/Emma story, and so they're the focus.
And here's a Scott Q from Lee.
While I'm happy to pick up this series, things look grim for Mr. Summers. Are there plans to use the "Walter White" of the X-Men post "Death of X"... or are we stuck with Teen Scott for the foreseeable future?
"Death of X" #2 is out this Wednesday, y'all! And here's a Cyclops question from Kamose1234.
In "Death of X" #1, Cyclops declared that "the Inhumans lied to us [mutants]" and "put their own species before ours" -- but is this statement he made true? Did the Inhumans really know about the Terrigen mist's affect on mutants when they released it? I always assumed they didn't know and that it was an unforeseen side effect, which is why mutants like Beast were working with them in your series.
As I said above, many perspectives. The Terrigen Mist was released into the atmosphere by Black Bolt and Maximus all the way back in the "Infinity" event some years ago. Black Bolt doesn't talk, as we know, and Maximus is unpredictable at best and evil at worst. You could see how someone might think they did this on purpose -- but certainly not everyone believes that. Medusa doesn't, nor does Beast. It's a complex, roiling cloud of opposing motivations, distrust and fear -- great for drama!
And here's another question from Kamose1234 about the cast of your unfolding and upcoming events.
Are there any characters' battles in either "Death of X" or "IvX" that you and Jeff Lemire had an especially fun time writing or that you're particularly excited for readers to see?
Yes, but I don't want to spoil them, because part of the fun here revolves around unexpected matchups. One thing I have enjoyed is putting less seasoned characters up against veterans, to see how they'll react to each other. "IvX" #1 has a ton of that, and it just continues as the series goes on.
Shifting gears to Emma for a sec, here's a quick ask from drew@616.
Are there any plans for Emma Frost after "Death of X"? Will she play a huge role in the x-men´s future?
If I have anything to say about it! I'd write Emma all day long.
Based on the preview pages from "Death of X" #2, ţh€ €жţяą-๏яďɨɲąя¥ Tycon has a continuity Q for you.
I've read "Death of X" #1 and the preview for "Death of X" #2 and they were great. Though, it seems there were a bit of inconsistency. Isn't Strong Guy, who was seen mourning in "DoX" #2, supposed to be in Hell as the "Supreme Hell Lord"? How could he be back on Earth?
If I may, I'd like to refer you to "Thunderbolts" #22, written by (ahem) me, with art from Carlo Barberi. In that issue, we saw Strong Guy abdicate his Supreme Hell Lord title, giving the throne back to Mephisto, in an effort to wander the underworld in search of his missing soul. Did he ever find it? I don't know -- that might be a story for another writer. What I do know is that he was free to leave Hell if he wanted to, and attending Madrox's funeral seems like the sort of thing that would get him back to the regular world, even if only just temporarily.
As "Death of X" readers are already aware, this series fills in some of the gap in-between the end of "Secret Wars" and the launch of "Extraordinary X-Men." Ambaryerno wants to know a little more about that gap.
There were a number of status quo changes in the months between "Uncanny X-Men" #600 and the resumption of the books after "Secret Wars" beyond Cyclops' death and the beginning of the tensions between the X-Men and Inhumans. Some of them have been touched on (IE the school moving to Limbo, how Old Man Logan wound up in the main Marvel Universe) to a small extent, but others have not (X-23's decision to take the Wolverine name). Are some of these events going to be expanded on further as part of "Death of X? Are there any faces we've yet to see since the time skip you can tease will have a role in the series?
Some, but not all -- it's a four-issue mini, and we're mostly concerned with the specifics of Cyclops' story. Doing that justice means we don't have tons of room for backstory -- but if there's an organic way to slip things in, we're doing it. As far as X-23's decision to take on the Wolverine mantle, I know I'm sending you guys to my own work a bunch today, but the "Wolverines" series I did with the wonderful Ray Fawkes and a rotating crew of killer artists addressed this question more specifically.
And now we have a question from Purplevit about the ol' Ragin' Cajun.
Are there any plans for Gambit to appear in "IvX"? Always was interested to know how you would write him, and what you think about Gambit as character in general.
I like Gambit, but in my opinion he tends to bring a very specific tone to the books he's in -- a spicy, Cajun flavor, natch. I haven't seen a good spot to use that tone in my stories, but I'm sure I will someday. "IvX" is very much an all hands on deck sort of story, too, so if there was ever a spot for Gambit and other mutants we might not have seen in a while, it's there.
Maestroneto has a question about another fan-favorite mutant.
Hey Mr Soule. Since both you and Jeff Lemire have admitted you're fond of Kitty Pryde and with her back on Earth, will we see her answer the X-Men's call when they go to war with the Inhumans?
Could be! She's awesome -- one of my favorite characters to use in "Death of Wolverine," for sure.
And we've reached the end of this week's X-PO. To close out this week, nx01a wants to know if the Inhumans can really bring it.
Some posters have said that the raw firepower the X-Men have at their disposal far exceeds that of the Inhumans, especially with characters like Magik, Magneto, and numerous high order telepaths in play. Apart from the Terrigen clouds, who/what would you say are the most powerful assets the Inhumans have?
Oh man -- Black Bolt. He can take down just about anyone or anything, all by himself. Reader is incredibly powerful, although he can be hard to pin down, and he has many limitations. Lockjaw. Karnak. Grid is quite strong and versatile with his ability to see and influence electromagnetic fields. Let's not forget the Human Torch, either. I think the Inhumans will do just fine. We are spending a lot of time on the tactical element of all this, though -- we've been asking ourselves questions like this from the start, which is really fun.
Special thanks to Charles Soule for answering this week's questions!
Next week, "All-New X-Men" writer Dennis Hopeless will join us here at X-POSITION! Have a question for Dennis? Go ahead and send 'em in via an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position". But get 'em in quickly, because the deadline's Friday! Make it happen!