X-POSITION: Victor Gischler

The largest team in the Marvel Universe at the moment is the X-Men. Over a year ago, Cyclops let all mutants know that they could come to San Francisco as it was a safe haven for their species. Following that, he moved the homo superiors to their own island-nation, Utopia, and made them all X-Men. Granted, there are only (approximately) two hundred mutants, but still, that makes for one powerful team...and one huge challenge for a scribe writing the X-Men books.

How does a writer fit that many characters in one book? It's a task that's downright impossible, so it should have come as no surprise that another X-Men book has appeared to fill this need! As announced at C2E2, Victor Gischler ("Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth," "Deadpool Corps") will be writing a new adjectiveless "X-Men" beginning this July. He joins us today to answer all of your questions about this new book and its initial "vampire-iffic" tale. So grab your stakes and garlic, and prepare for some chills and thrills as Gischler lays down some mutant law...

Zachary Simon begins today with a question all X-writers must answer at some point:

I'm not asking whether Jean will come back or not, but I was just wondering how you feel about Jean Grey as a character? Personally, I preferred the old school 90's version over "Phoenix"...

I really liked Phoenix, to be honest. But I'll take my Grey any way I can get it. Great character.

Speaking of great characters, Joe wants to put a plug in for his favorite:

Given that this book provides an opportunity to give more focus to other characters in the X group, will we be seeing more of Gambit? I couldn't help but notice he wasn't included on the cover of "X-Men" #1, but will be in the first arc. Will he be one of the main characters going forward in the series?

Joe, I think you've been talking to my sister-in-law, Joellen. As soon as she found out I was doing an X-Men book, she started lobbying me hard for lot of Gambit. The fact is that the first arc will be sort of "all hands on deck" as far as the roster goes, and we're sort of still deciding on who the "core team" will be for future stories. I'll admit I do have my eye on Gambit, but nothing's been decided for sure. I'm thinking a nice mix of old faves and underused characters who need a little more face-time.

Malcolm Pickett has just such a character in mind. What can you tell him about the following "face?"

As a Nate Grey fan, I'm thrilled to see that Nate will be showing up in the opening arc of your new "X-Men" book. Back in his solo book days, Nate fought Morbius and was bitten by him. Luckily, Nate's TK fought off the vampire "infection." With this in mind, I was wondering - are mutants with telekinesis (like Psylocke, Exodus, and Hellion) immune to vampirism? Or do you need to have "super-TK" like Nate to fight off the vampire infection?

Whoa, Malcolm! You're venturing into spoiler territory, so I apologize for the lame answer you're about to get. As far as Nate goes, I'll refer you to the answer above. The roster wars continue to rage in my brain and the brains of the editors, and, again, we have some good ideas, but nothing etched in stone yet. Nate presents some interesting possibilities. We'll just have to see how it all plays out. (And as far as the vampire "infection" goes, everyone knows a double-dose of Vitamin C and a good night's sleep will clear that right up.)

Hm. Taurean is curious if that remedy works on homo superiors as well...

1) What kind of vampires are attacking the X-Men? Do they need to be a special breed to affect mutants? Will they affect mutants differently?

Vampires are getting a facelift in the Marvel U, Taurean, so prepare thyself for some stylish bloodsuckers. But, no, these aren't special anti-mutant vamps. The X-Men are already in enough trouble as it is!

2) With the X-Men fighting vampires, I'd assume this is the book that Vamp Jubilee (as seen in promos) appears in. Will she be repowered? And will she finally land a permanent spot on the team?

"Death of Dracula" begins something very big for the Marvel Universe. The one-shot will redefine vamps for the Marvel U. The "Curse of the Mutants" arc beginning in "X-Men" #1 is something else entirely - something I really think X-Men fans will enjoy.

3) With so many X-books out there, how is this new adjectiveless title different from the other books and how does it fit in the Marvel Universe as a whole?

The X-Men have been spending a lot of time fighting for their survival, and fighting for themselves as a people. And I guess we still have a little of that with the vampire threat. But in a broader way, this X-Men team is in keeping with the Heroic Age - a new team who will engage the Marvel U in a way fitting with these new, optimistic times.

Providence wants to know more about the origin of this new book - was it your mission or divine, um, providence?

1) How did this series come about when there are already several other X-related titles? Were you approached to do the series or was it your idea?

I have several compromising photos of the editors and floated the idea that nobody would have to see these photos on my blog if I got in on some of that sweet mutant action. Seriously, Axel Alonso brought the idea to me, and what was I gonna do? Say no? Not likely...

2) You are also writing the "Death of Dracula" one-shot being released in the same month as the new X-Men series. Is this issue connected to your vampire arc?

Yes, I did the "Death of Dracula" one-shot, and if I do say so myself, it kicks ass at light speed. I've seen the art as it rolls in and it's just fantastic.

3) Is there going to a consistent main cast in your book, or are you planning on having a rotating cast?

We've already talked about the roster a little, but to put it simply - a little of both. Yes, a core team that we see every issue, but also a new face every now and then, rotating in and out.

4) Which X-Men character do you enjoy writing the most and why?

I've had the most experience (such as it is) writing Wolverine, so I feel very comfortable with him and I like him. Hey, lots of people like him, and I'm not immune to the coolness. But characters like Pixie and Colossus are rapidly working toward the top of my list. And Jubilee.

Joshua Hetherington wants to know more about your plans. Can you give him a peek at your blueprints?

How far ahead have you planned for this new book? Can you give us any hint as to what we can expect after the opening vampire-themed story arc?

As mentioned before, this is a team more suited for the new Heroic Age - more proactive, not on the defensive so much. (After, as you say, the first arc.)

Chrisss Topher is curious how you and the X-editors were bit by the vampire bug...

1) For the new adjectiveless X-Men book, where did you get the idea for a vampire/X-Men story? Was it inspired by the current obsession in pop culture with vampires?

I think it surely doesn't hurt that Vampires seem hot right now. We're not about to ignore what's going on right under our noses. But "trendy" doesn't really alter the fact that it's a cool-as-hell story.

2) How often do you anticipate Deadpool making an appearance in this book?

So far, Deadpool only appears in 81% of the pages I've scripted so far. NOT. But really, I wouldn't be surprised to see Wade Wilson sooner or later...but more likely later.

MarvelMaster616 is starting to become a regular around here, and we like it! He hoping to see more of a different Deadpool - you know, the Merc with Mammaries...

I've grown fond of Lady Deadpool in "Deadpool Corps" and hope she continues to get the love she deserves. That being said, will we ever see her interact with other characters in the Marvel Universe? Her presence could cause all sorts of awkward moments with the Avengers, the X-Men, and especially Spider-Man!

That's the best idea I've ever heard anyone say ever about anything. There is a Lady Deadpool one-shot on the way and some Dogpool plans as well. I'm looking forward to reading these. Should be a hoot!

Giselle closes out today with a final question on the new series. It seems that she's a bit anxious. Is there anything you can say that might help alleviate this feeling?

I don't think the "We Are The X-Men" teasers for your new "X-Men" book have been thoroughly explained yet. Will Magneto, Psylocke, Gambit, Hope and Nate Grey play a bigger role in your series? Or were they just randomly chosen? And what about Spider-Man, She Hulk, Elektra? When and how will they show up?

I understand wanting some clearer info, Giselle. I really do. But as previously discussed, we are knocking our heads together to make sure we get the roster just right. (Yes, I know that's a lame answer and I am ashamed.)

Well, we're done with reader emails for the day, but before we go, it's time for some "Behind the X" fun. Victor, our "get-to-know-you" question of the week is a strange one, but I hope you'll have some fun with it: what are some of your favorite scents?

Actually, whenever I'm filling up the Gischler-mobile and I get a whiff of unleaded, I sort of like it. Also charcoal. I can't help but get all nostalgic for camping with my dad every time I sniff charcoal.

In seven days, prepare to smell what Mike Carey is cooking as the writer of "X-Men: Legacy" joins us to answer your emails. He's eagerly awaiting some mind-bending questions of intrigue, so please don't let him down. Jot down some quality thoughts and send them my way just a soon as you can. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line, and your life will be exponentially better - guaranteed! I'm waiting...

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