Once a superhero team has existed for any length of time, they tend to accrue special fields of expertise. For example, if you want to know about villains in the Negative Zone, call the Fantastic Four. If there is something hinky going on in the government, S.H.I.E.L.D. stands ready to battle the bureaucratic baddies. Outer space? No problem - the Guardians of the Galaxy will help you out.
But what about vampires?
Recently, the X-Men have become the Marvel Universe's bloodsucker specialists within the pages of "X-Men," thanks to writer Victor Gischler. Although the team has experienced pain, loss and bloodstains (hey, those are hard to wash out), they've managed to endure. Naturally, readers have questions about all that's taken place, and X-POSITION is here to get you answers directly from the book's writer. So throw on a crucifix and away we go!
Aspbros is first in line, but it appears he's trying to derail us before we even get started with a few questions about the other Gischler-written book, "Deadpool Corps."
1) What's it like writing "Deadpool Corps?" How many voices do you hear in your head at once when writing that many crazy folks?
Keep in mind that, in a way, they are all the "same" Deadpool, so it's like a lot of variations on the same voice. But, yeah, it can get pretty crowded in my head if I'm not careful.
2) Have you ever considered something for "Deadpool Corps" and then found yourself saying, "Nah, that's too crazy - even for Deadpool." If so, what was it?
I have never found myself saying that. Ever. If that happens, I will scare myself.
3) Will we be meeting any more Deadpool variations in the next few issues? I feel like there are still more out there...
I don't think we'll have time for that, Aspbros. Not that we're out of variations. I mean, there are infinite universes out there, right? We have yet to meet Grizzly Bear Deadpool, Android Deadpool, Puddle of Slime Deadpool and Poke-Deadpool. Maybe some other time.
Maybe you could do a tie-in with your X-Men book and give us a vampire Deadpool - Dracpool, perhaps?
Megarust gets us back on X-track by asking about an appearance he's eagerly anticipating in your title:
I saw X-Man (Nate Grey) in some of the early promotional art for your "X-Men" book. Can we expect to see him in this title?
Megarust, I've been asked this a few times, so I'm starting to think there must be some real Nate Grey fans out there. We've got a lot planned for future arcs, and I'm sorry to say that we won't see X-Man - immediately. But his name does come up in conversations and I think we should see him sooner or later. One of the things to consider is that we don't just want to toss him in there randomly. We want to match him with the exact right sort of story. So hang in there.
Justin J. has an idea for "the exact right sort of story." Can you tell him if he's close?
When Nate Grey is next seen, will he have any interaction with Hope? I am curious how it would play out since he is genetically identical to her now-deceased father?
Justin, see the above answer. We want Nate to appear in just the right sort of story, so the points you make are certainly worth considering. But hey! Another Nate Grey question! This is a popular dude, eh?
Trevor Bananacrust wrote in about another well-liked character he's hoping to see more of soon.
I'm enjoying "X-Men," but I thought you were going to use Gambit in a prominent way. Are we going to get a chance to see the raging Cajun blow up some stuff? And will we get to see his Death persona as well?
Trevor, Gambit gets a lot more face time in the second arc. I'm also refining a pitch right now which might even let us see some more of him again. Hey, I'm with you, man. As a resident of South Louisiana, Gambit is like a hometown pick for me. So hang in there - Gambit fun is coming soon. As for the Death persona, well, you don't want to just whip out the Death persona willy-nilly. But at the right time...
Phil will now sing his question a la Justin Timberlake. Ladies and gentlemen, Here is "Mutant in a Box!"
We've seen Box/Madison Jeffries in the opening arc of "X-Men" acting as a computer-wiz (reconfiguring Cerebra, etc.). But is there any chance we'll see him in Box armor involved in battle, akin to his Alpha Flight days? This is a guy that's taken on dinosaurs, the Hulk, and Galactus in his time, and I don't think he's been used to his full potential yet...
Phil, in a general way, your question is like Trevor's. I've been getting a lot of nice feedback from readers along the lines of, "I'm really enjoying this first 'X-Men' arc but why can't we see more of..." And you can insert Iceman, Gambit, Blade and now Box to finish the sentence. The fact is, we simply have an embarrassment of riches with the X-Men, and if we gave every character enough face time to showcase their full potential, each issue would be seventy-five pages long. Having said that, I'd love to see more of Madison doing his thing. I'm actually a big fan of all the X-scientists.
Well, Renaldo appears to be a big fan of yours and wants to hear more about the inspiration behind a brilliant X-moment.
1) I'm really loving your book and I've got to know...where on earth did you come up with the ingenious idea to bless Bobby so that his ice (or 'frozen water') could be used against the vamps? There has been a ton of great moments, but that one is by far the best! (I even sent it into CBR for my favorite X-Moment of 2010.)
Renaldo, the holy water/Iceman idea is a great example of "team effort" when it comes to putting together every issue of this new X-book. When it came time for the big battle issue, all of the X-editors brainstormed big time. What would Cyclops do if an army of vamps was about to invade Utopia? How could he think outside the box? One of the ideas from the editorial team was the one you describe with Iceman. I was immediately jazzed when I read the idea. All of the guys at Marvel HQ continue to help me look good.
2) With regards to the mesmerizing plan of action you've created which had Xarus and company go after the X-Men, were there any plot threads/schemes that you looked at from past Dracula/Vampire stories within the Marvel Universe for inspiration? I ask because I loved Paul Cornell's arc on "Captain Britain and MI:13" and, in the past, I haven't found old Dracula tales all that chilling and eerie when compared to the likes of Doom, Onslaught, Sinister, and Bastion. You, however, have made the vampires a serious threat.
Making them a "serious threat" was one of the primary goals for giving Marvel Universe vamps a facelift in "Death of Dracula." The Captain Britain arc was awesome, and I did mine some good stuff from previous incarnations of vampires in the Marvel U. But we really wanted to move things forward. We wanted to respect continuity but not be trapped by it - a hell of a balancing act. The signal I'm getting from multiple sources is "mission accomplished," and I wouldn't be surprised to see more cool vamp stuff sooner or later.
3) With respect to the Heroic Age, can we expect any team-ups with the various Avengers units, the Thunderbolts, and the like? (I am already eagerly anticipating the Spidey appearance in issue #7!) And, if so, should we expect some ugly conflicts?
There is always the potential for conflicts with such a team-up, but when it might happen is up in the air. Turns out a lot of these heroes are busy in their own books (go figure), so sometimes scheduling is difficult.
4) What made you decide to throw the X-Men back into public light with your next arc, "Serve and Protect?" Is this Scott's way of saying, "It's time for us to be heroes and protect mankind along with our own?" And what inspired you to lead with Storm?
Well, it's not so much "my" decision...although I do think it's pretty cool. Rather, serving and protecting is sort of the Heroic Age mission statement of the book and I was tapped to follow that path. As for Storm, I just felt she was the right pick - another character that could use more face-time and also has good leadership experience. I'll be using Storm as much as the editors will let me and as long as her presence is appropriate for whatever story we're telling.
As long as we're discussing "Serve and Protect," Andre4000 was hoping you could serve up some answers about the following:
1) With your upcoming "Serve and Protect" arc, it sounds like the X-Men are going to become a lot more visible in the public eye. As crime-fighters, how do you feel the X-Men different than cops? How are they different than groups like the Avengers?
That's a question I've also asked myself, Andre4000, and more importantly it's a question the X-Men ask themselves. We see them struggle with this question in the first issue of "Serve and Protect," so you're right on the money to wonder about this. The easy answer is that with their powers they are simply better able to deal with certain threats better than traditional law enforcement. The deeper consideration is ongoing as the X-Men struggle to answer this question for themselves.
2) I was thinking: if the X-Men truly wanted to feel more involved with humanity, they should get mainstream heroes to join the X-Men. Do you think it would work if someone Captain America joined the team?
That's sort of why we have people like Blade and Spidey show up in this X-book. The X-men do want to work with other heroes. We can accomplish that without having Cap or other characters permanently signing on.
3) Which character on the X-Men do you enjoy writing the most, and why? Which one is most challenging?
Emma gave me some trouble at first. She's kind of a bitch, but at the same time I don't want everyone to totally hate her. I think I zero in on her better in the next arc.
4) Can you give us any hints on what to expect from your books in 2011?
Hey, as soon as I know, I'll tell you guys. I have a lot of ideas and characters I want to use, but it takes a lot to coordinate, and I don't want to give hints only to find out next week I have to change directions. But I'm on the phone with uber-honcho Axel Alonso a lot, and if only half the stuff we talk about comes to fruition, then there is much, much coolness on the way.
That concludes all the emails from readers, so now it's my turn with today's "Behind the X" question. Allow me to sprinkle some festive fun around and ask: do you have a favorite holiday story/TV special?
I really like that Heat Miser song (from "The Year Without A Santa Claus"). But I seem to find myself watching that Christmas movie where the kid wants a BB gun multiple times every year. Isn't there a station that plays it twenty-four hours or something? I've seen the film in bits and pieces like five hundred times.
(NOTE: The TV station is TBS, for those of you who aren't afraid to shoot your eye out.)
In seven short days, Rick Remender - the writer of "Uncanny X-Force" - visits to answer any questions you have about his unique team of mutant mercenaries. So type up those emails and get them to me just as soon as you can. Putting an "X-Position" in the subject line guarantees you a Happy Hanukkah miracle, and we could all use one of those, right?
Also, our "Best X-Moments of 2010" column for the end of the year still needs your submissions. This is the column where you, our readers, tell us what events from Marvel's X-Universe made you cheer/laugh/cry over the past 365 days. From today through Christmas, either post your favorite X-Moments of 2010 at the appropriate string in our X-forums or email me directly with your thoughts on the matter.
Be sure to let me know why you picked this moment and which X-issue it came from. Images help us out too, so either post them in the thread or email them to me (not a requirement, but it's appreciated). We'll do a tally of the results between the forum posts and emails, and then expect one heck of a fun X-POSITION at year's end. If you do email me, put "Best X-Moment of 2010" in the subject line...please?
See you in seven!