X-POSITION Week 26: Peter David

There is a sense of humor to Peter David's writing that sets him apart from many of his contemporaries, even as he successfully navigates from one era of superhero comics to the next. Who else would have their characters make a "Back To The Future" reference when faced with a life-and-death situation? Or include in their book a superhero who carries a Hello Kitty umbrella? Yet despite the laughs to be found in Marvel Comics' "X-Factor" #25, one never forgets the seriousness of the problem found in the issue -- the possible end of the mutant race.

Last week, X-fans saw Part Three of the 13-part "Messiah CompleX" crossover in Peter David's book, "X-Factor." Quite a bit occurred in the issue, from trips to the future to revelations about new (and improved) threats. Here to illuminate the action and talk about other recent "X-Factor" events is Peter David himself, or PAD to his fans.

Naturally, SPOILERS from "X-Factor" #25 follow.

Gilbert Alvarado starts things off with a rather obvious question that no reader has asked yet: "Why isn't Layla with the rest of the kids (in the New X-Men) at Xavier's?" Gilbert makes a valid point -- how come there hasn't been any attempt by the leaders at Xavier's to scoop her up?

Because they're not entirely sure she's a mutant, and frankly I think she kind of gives them the creeps. Besides, even if they did want her over with the New X-Men, who says that she'd want to go?

Fair enough. And speaking of young mutants, Manolinator was wondering, "Isn't Monet pregnant? Shouldn't she be getting checked out by a doctor? Why haven't we heard more about this?"

Actually, the individual who is pregnant -- and I'm not saying whether it's Monet -- has, in fact, been to a doctor. We just didn't see that scene. We will be revealing who is pregnant, and what she's going to do about it, in issue #28.

Another baby? I wonder if it's a mutant....

Andre4000 had a couple of questions about the new sheriff in X-Factor's town, as this was a storyline brewing before "Messiah CompleX" began.

1) How soon will we see Strong Guy taking on the role of Sheriff? And what does that truly entail? When Bishop was in charge, there were all these mutants hanging around Mutant Town. Now? Not so much. Why is someone like Strong Guy needed to police that area of town?

Maybe he's not. Maybe the O*N*E (Office of National Emergency) wants him involved in law enforcement for an entirely different purpose. Let's just that there's going to be some major shake-ups with both Guido's status, and the status of Mutant Town itself, from "X-Factor" issues #28-32.

2) As the sheriff of the town, who is Strong Guy going to report to? The mayor, S.H.I.E.L.D., or some other agency? And now that I think about it, who is the mayor of mutant town?

Mutant Town is part of New York City, so the Mayor of NYC is the mayor of Mutant Town. However the NYPD works in conjunction with the O*N*E when it comes to law enforcement in Mutant Town.

Thanks for the explanation. Maybe you can help clear some things up for BobbySue as well. "I'm a bit confused. Why did Pietro believe that he had to kill Layla and what did he think that would achieve? Also, will he be popping up in 'Messiah CompleX' at all?"

Because he's come to see Layla as his nemesis, the one person who will always stand between him and whatever his goals are. And no, he's not in "Messiah CompleX."

While many of the X-Factor members have "issues" they are dealing with, Aspbros was concerned about one teammate in particular. "Will we see more how Siryn is dealing with her dad's death? She refuses to believe it. And while she may not be wrong, is it healthy to live in denial like that?"

We are going to be getting back to that, yes. And personally I don't think it's healthy, either.

Sounds like another trip to Doc Samson is in order, and looking at bbinko's question, another of Siryn's teammates may want to make an appointment, too.

"In the last X-Position you participated in, you said that Rahne was only attracted to Rictor because of the Terrigen crystals in his back. Basically, this implies that Rictor manipulated Rahne to like him (albeit unintentionally). Are we going to see any fall out from this? Isn't Rahne going to wonder why she isn't attracted to Rictor anymore?"

Yes to both.

Something like that might give her reason to leave X-Factor and join another team, which is something Atram had questions about.

"Rahne is apparently going to be a member X-Force. Do you see this as a good fit? I know you're not writing the book, but do you see her acting as the conscience for the group? Is she truly a killer? She's always battling with her Catholic upbringing - where do you think she is in terms of a moral compass right now?"

Putting aside that Rahne isn't Catholic, I think that Rahne has been struggling a lot lately with matters of moral certainty, and she probably thinks it's going to do her some good to be in a new environment for a while. Whether she's correct in that belief, of course, remains to be seen.

Moving to recent events in "Messiah CompleX," Jose Andres had a question about the new mutant infant in the X-Universe. "Are the newborn baby and Madrox related in some way, since both of them expressed powers at the moment of their birth (and not in adolescence like all the other mutants)?"

On top of that, since the baby's powers manifested at birth, wouldn't this new baby be considered a "killcrop" like Madrox?

The baby has been identified by Cerebra as being a mutant, not a killcrop, so I think we're going to have to take Cerebra's word for that for the time being.

If you say so, but trusting computers seems to end badly for many heroes. There is a mutant who is good with stubborn machines though, and Berzerker had a query concerning him.

"For Forge's plan to work, Madrox's dupe has to kill himself and its memory is supposed to be transferred to the original. Where was this established? I don't remember where - maybe it was the Madrox miniseries - but wasn't one of Jamie's dupes killed in a story and Jamie had to investigate the death? I didn't think dead dupes transferred memories...."

With the more recently created dupes, there's a memory transference. With the older dupes, there is not. The reason for this will be explored in the future.

As we can see from Cyclops recruiting Madrox and Rictor for his plans, every mutant is needed for the battle taking place in MC. Therefore, Creyes wanted to check the fight card of one of her favorite mutants.

"Why doesn't Cyclops use Monet more on these missions against the Marauders? I know he's not her boss technically, but she's one of the most powerful mutants around and I'm sure she could put the hurt on a bunch of those guys."

Well, Scott didn't consult me when making up the teams.

It appears he should have! And speaking of team memberships, TJ wanted to know what's in store for your particular group of mutants.

1) Can you give us any hints on the new X-Factor teammate? Are we going to meet this person during 'Messiah Complex'?

Who said it's only one new teammate?

2) You had that poll on your blog to see who was readers' favorite X-Factor character. Who won? Was it close?

Believe it or not, I'm still getting votes, so I haven't determined a winner yet.

Closing out this week, PuriT had a question about one of the humorous moments I mentioned at the start of this column. "I loved Layla's Hello Kitty umbrella! Was this your idea, or did the artist throw in that touch? How old is Layla anyway?"

It was actually Layla's idea. And I think Layla is about 14.

Thanks very much, Peter!

That wraps up this week's 'Complex' coffee klatch. In seven days, "New X-Men" writers Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost will be here to discuss their part in the "Messiah CompleX" crossover and let you know what's going on with the youngest mutant team.

However, due to a turkey-eating American holiday on Thursday, our guests needed the X-POSITION questions much earlier than usual. Therefore, I once again had to employ my Xavier-like abilities to scan your minds and figure out what you wanted to know. We'll find out how well my powers worked next week. Be here for the excitement!


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