X-POSITION: Victor Gischler

There are things that naturally go together, like peanut butter and jelly or peas and carrots (according to Forrest Gump, at least). In Victor Gischler's new "X-Men" series, however, the writer has combined two very different things: mutants and vampires. But guess what? According to readers, the combination of these two items makes something wonderful - and that "something" is great comic book reading!

The writer of Marvel Comics' "X-Men" and "Deadpool Corps" offered to be our guest for this week's X-POSITION. We received loads of email about the fanged troublemakers appearing in the scribe's "Curse of the Mutants," so things should get interesting (if not a little bloody). Let's all grab a couple cloves of garlic and prepare for some fangtastic fun!

Taurean starts us off by showing some appreciation for the vampire "jubilee" (both figuratively and literally) that you've given fans.

First of all, I want to thank Mr. Gischler for writing a great X-Men arc that feels epic and simple all at the same time. This storyline is the kind of classic adventure that I miss from the X-Men with some great moments that are huge! At first, I was skeptical about Vamp Jubilee, but after issue #3, I'm in love with her! You took one of my favorite X-women and made her even more awesome! I have some questions though about recent developments:

1) Now that Jubilee feels "brand new" as a vamp, is there a chance her x-gene was rejuvenated and became active again?

There are interesting things to come for Jubilee, but I would not look for her to be restored exactly to her old self. Still, I can say that - along with all the other Jubilee fans - I'm really looking forward to what happens with her after the conclusion of "Curse of the Mutants."

2) And how/where was it decided that people/mutants automatically turn to the dark side when they become vamps? I thought Jubilee and Wolverine would remain the same personality-wise, but would just be a little "thirsty."

Turning vamp isn't like tapping into "the force." There is some inherent darkness involved with becoming a vampire. We've already seen Nemesis and Rao talking about how there is more to vampirism than science can explain. There is something about turning vamp that touches a person's dark side on a basic level. And mutants aren't immune!

3) Also, is there any chance Storm will play a larger role in this story besides the one-shot she had with Gambit?

Storm is pulling her own weight and we get to see even more of her in the next arc. Stay tuned!

Kevin also appears to be a Jubilee fan and sent in a few queries about where her light has gone now that she's joined the dark side.

To begin with, I wanted to say just how much I enjoy your "X-Men" series. It's good to see the X-Men in a more action-centric title. I also showed the first three issues to one of my best friends, who is a pretty picky reader, and he loved them! On to my questions:

1) While I am thrilled to see my favorite comic book hero, Jubilee, back in the spotlight, I am wondering if she will somehow change back from her dark ways and join the good guys once again? It made me sad to see her bite Wolverine just after he told her how much she means to him in issue #3...

Kevin, first thanks for the kind words about the arc. Glad you're enjoying it. Here's the thing about Jubilee: she's in a dark place right now. We've got to feel that this is something serious, or whatever happens in the future will feel cheap. I can't guarantee you that things will come out all happy and sunshine. That would undermine the suspense. There has to be the very real chance for an unhappy ending in order for a happy ending to mean anything. So we're all going to have to sweat it out together. Not even I know fully Jubilee's future.

2) If you continue to utilize Jubilee, do you plan to showcase her often-forgotten gymnastics expertise? It's been stated she was close to Olympic-caliber before her parents were murdered.

Very possible. Especially since her new vampire abilities would only add to these skills.

3) What age would you put Jubilee at? It seems like she is always being de-aged, when several instances point to her being at least 18-21 years of age (running a de-powered mutant clinic, driving cars/vehicles without guidance, field leader of the New Warriors, going to bachelorette parties, etc.).

Young. I understand your question, but we all know time flows kinda "funny" in the Marvel U. But I definitely see her as young enough to remain a daughter-figure to Wolverine.

Renaldo wanted to know about timelines too, but he was more concerned about the evolution of a story idea.

What made you and the X-office decide to move forward with this vampire arc for the X-Men? I'm curious because Paul Cornell did a great vampire and Dracula arc on "Captain Britain and MI:13" as his swansong, yet the sales weren't too appreciable and the book got shelved. So I was surprised Marvel chose to do this vampire arc with X-Men (not that it hasn't been entertaining).

Renaldo, let me start off by saying that I read the Cornell "Captain Britain" arc and it was excellent. Great work by everyone involved. But the fact that it didn't sell well might be one of the reasons Marvel thought it was time to give the Marvel Universe vampires a facelift. This is a guess on my part - the bigwigs know the answer better than I do. But I do know we wanted to make Marvel Universe vamps "players" again, and so we gave them a fresh start in "Death of Dracula" and have kept the ball rolling in "Curse of the Mutants." So far, it's worked out pretty well.

P.S. Paco Medina "pwned" his "Deadpool" arc, but this X-Men work makes me think he is fit to do any X-title - he rocks! I'd love to see him on an Avengers or Marvel Cosmic title someday. And as for you, Mr. Gischler - I'd love to see you do a Dr. Strange book, as I have a gut feeling it would rule!

Paco = awesome. A gifted professional. And if Marvel would let me work on a Dr. Strange book, I could die a happy man. I love Dr. Strange! Renaldo, you are my new favorite human.

Speaking of characters people would like to see you write, Spiderbrother has a suggestion:

Will we ever see the Deadpool Corps interacting with other established cosmic characters?

Spiderbrother, I'm thick in the middle of a story arc right now, so it's not always easy to look ahead. Short answer: I'm open to suggestions and would love to drag some "cosmic characters" into the Deadpool insanity.

MarvelMaster616, on the other hand, would like to the vampire insanity brought to other books. Is there anything you can share regarding this?

1) I've been enjoying the whole Mutants vs. Vampires arc a great deal, and I like how you've made the Marvel Vampires awesome again. But I was wondering...once this story is over, will the end result have further ramifications throughout the Marvel Universe? Dracula's return sounds like something that should definitely cause a few ripples.

The Marvel secret police don't tell me those kinds of secrets, but my gut instinct is that vampires will be around causing more trouble in the Marvel U. The whole point of the "Death of Dracula" one-shot was to juice up Marvel U vamps and make them worthy of our attention again. I can't say where or how (because I don't know), but I really do think you'll see our new vamp pals popping up again sooner or later.

2) It's been well-documented that Dracula has a history with Storm and has shown some interest in Emma Frost as well (and who can blame him?). Will he try using his vampire charm on other women of the X-Men? After all, vampires are all the rage now, and who's to say the X-women aren't susceptible to it?

Dracula is charming and one never knows when or where he'll cast his hypnotic gaze, but he's got his hands a bit too full for hanky-panky at the moment...or does he? Well, yes.

Andre4000 is a detail-oriented type of guy and wants some help putting vamps under the microscope:

1) Wouldn't Wolverine's healing factor keep him from being infected? It seems to keep his blood pure of all other diseases.

Ahhhhhhhhh. Gee, why didn't we think of that? Or did we ?!? Stay tuned, Andre4000, and all questions will be answered. (Unless I'm bluffing.)

2) Should we look at vampirism as a disease? Does it have to be a bite that makes it happen? Or can you just inject vampire blood into someone and turn them into a vampire?

There is a strong biological element to vampirism, but that's not all. As mentioned before, Dr. Nemesis mused to Rao about this previously. There is an intangible "darkness" to vampirism that cannot be explained by science alone. This is necessarily a mystery and adds to the mystique. There are things in heaven and earth that cannot be explained by your philosophy, Horatio.

3) Where and when can we expect She-Hulk, Electra, and Spider-Man to show up? From the teasers promoting this series, we were promised lots of Marvel heroes, and I can't wait to see them "mix things up" with the X-Men...

You'll see at least one of those guys in the next arc. Patience, true believers.

Let's see if that's the same message you'll give to Grey, as he obviously wrote in to ask about his namesake...in addition to some tips for grooming facial hair:

I am really enjoying "X-Men" right now. The tie-in books have been wonderful as well. I have just a few quick questions:

1) Where is Nate Grey? I've been chomping at the bit to see him since issue #1.

That's an understandable question given the promo images, but...uh...well...we might be waiting for him a little more before he shows himself.

2) What inspired Blade's new "Village People" mustache?

Dude, I'm so glad you said that. I thought I was seeing things. To tell the truth, I was shocked for like three seconds and now I love it. Kudos to Paco Medina!

3) Will we see more of the Science Squad in action?

Love the Science Squad, especially the cranky Dr. Nemesis. Don't look for the "League of Extraordinary Eggheads" to take center stage any time soon, but I like to work them in here and there when I can. Fun characters.

4) What's in store for our merry mutants after the vamps are vanquished?

New York City, baby!!!

Oh really? Well, Nathan was wondering just who might be taking this little trip.

Any clues on who will be making up the core team after the "Curse of the Mutants" arc? Please include Gambit!

Nathan, good news and bad news. The bad news is that every time I think I've settled on a "core" team, something comes along to change my mind. Often a story or a situation makes me rethink my most appropriate cast. The good news? More Gambit in the second arc!

And now for some more bad news, that's the last of the fan emails. But before you go, it's time for today's "Behind the X" question. As I'm sure you had to do a lot of research for this X-Men arc, what is your favorite interpretation (in any form of media) of vampires and what do you think is the worst?

Count Chocula is the worst. Not scary at all. (Yes, I'm joking.) The best? I love how vamps are depicted in "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "The Lost Boys," and my wife got me hooked on the series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Very, very different from what we're doing in "Curse of the Mutants," but entertaining as hell.

As was this X-POSITION. Thanks Victor!

Next week, we move from vampires to sex and violence...which seems like a somewhat natural progression. Writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost join us to answer your questions about "X-Force: Sex and Violence," the end of their "X-Force" run, and any other queries ruminating in your head. Just send me your emails as quickly as possible with an "X-Position" in the subject line (if you please). I'm expecting to hear from lots of you, so let the email flood commence...now!

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