The fat lady hasn't sung yet – but she's warming up. "X-Men" #207, the final chapter of the "Messiah CompleX" crossover, hits stands this Wednesday. Anticipation is high, but if you can keep your head from exploding, we'll try to tide you over with another chat with Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost , co-writers of "New X-Men" and the upcoming "X-Force."
All of you who wrote in this week had lots to say about the end of "New X-Men," the start of "X-Force," and the possibilities of the mysterious "Young X-Men" title. Naturally, there were a few questions about last week's chapter of "Messiah CompleX" as well. With so much to talk about, we'd better get to it.
And as Redbeard would say, "Thar be SPOILERS ahead! Argh!"
Nick Thornley starts off this session of X-POSITION with a question about a certain traitor's motivation.
How is Bishop's current raison d'etre not inconsistent with what we've been shown of his history and motivations?
Right now, we're presented with a man that will turn on the X-Men and kill a baby to prevent his future. The Bishop I know busted his butt to prevent the X-Men from being killed by the 'X-Traitor.' Is there an incredibly well thought-out explanation forthcoming, or just a magic hand-waving? I am enjoying the story immensely, but I'm just bugged by this one bit.
YOST: I believe that each and every one of the X-Men would die to save even a single life. How many times have they risked their lives, even for villains? They've gone up against the Avengers to defend Magneto. So here's Bishop, presented with this baby – this baby that he knows will be responsible for the deaths of a million humans in the future; those same humans that the X-Men have sworn to protect. That baby's actions will cause all of mutant kind to be herded up into camps, and be branded for life. That baby is responsible for making the future – the only future he knows – hell.
Some would say that baby's sacrifice would save millions, and ensure a better future for mutant- and humankind. It's an agonizing choice. Even Bishop hesitated in pulling the trigger – what a horrific choice he's faced with. But he's a man who can make hard choices, even if it makes him look "evil to his teammates and heroes.
And you know what? No matter what Cable says, Bishop could still be right. That baby's future isn't certain. Messiah or devil? That's the question.
KYLE: Imagine being born into slavery, surrounded by only suffering and death. Imagine fighting a war that could not be won and living through a Holocaust that never ended. That was Bishop's life until he came back in time, and now that he's free, it doesn't change the fact that he survived the darkest time mutants have ever faced.
The scars of his past life run deep and still haunt him to this day. Now imagine that you're faced with a choice: Take the life of a single child and prevent the suffering and murdering of every other mutant on the planet.
In this one very dark act, he can prevent the greatest evil that mutantkind has ever faced. It's a miserable choice but how can he not do it?
Stacy is up next. She has her crystal ball in front of her, and she's wondering about the future.
1) Considering the fact that Cable's future was destroyed in the "Twelve" storyline, how can Cable know what impact the baby will have on the future?
YOST: Cable has faith.
KYLE: That's one of the questions that made this story so much fun. Bishop believed without question that this child would seal the fate of mutantkind, and Cable knew she would save it. They both believed with absolute conviction that they were right, but none of us know the truth yet. Only time will tell which of the two was right...
2) If the baby is so crucial to Cable's future, why wouldn't Cyclops know about it? He spent twelve years there – or is that motivating his decisions?
YOST: Cable's future is much, much farther away. That baby's role in his future is ancient history, something Cyclops wouldn't have casually stumbled across. And we don't know the baby's full role yet – it might be something behind the scenes of history, but crucially important. Bottom line, most Americans can't name more than seven or eight of our presidents. It's possible this didn't come up.
KYLE: What he said.
It seems that Ryan Fraser is also curious about the days to come – at least as they pertain to Bishop:
1) Any chance we'll get to see Shard or that she'll return now that Bishop's home-time has been revisited?
YOST: There is absolutely a chance. A better chance now than say, a year ago.
KYLE: Finger's crossed.
2) On the topic of Bishop's home-time, is there any chance we'll get to see whether or not Monet is, in fact, Bishop and Shard's mother? Or how she and her sisters are connected to Gateway who has been confirmed to be Bishop's grandfather? Anything?
YOST: Madrox is Bishop and Shard's father. You heard it here first.
KYLE: As the questions continue, I see that I need to buy more back-issues.
Focusing on the present, Podmark was looking for some clarification on upcoming X-books.
What exactly is "Divided We Stand?" Is it a banner for a new direction (similar to "The Initiative"), or is it a story going through all the X-titles?"
YOST: 'Divided We Stand' is the banner under which the X-Books are operating under for the foreseeable future, a la "The Initiative." It is not a throughline story like "Messiah," more a state of mind. You'll see the ramifications of "MC" throughout the books – especially "X-Force," which you probably need to buy two or three copies per month of to really get.
KYLE: This question is better suited for the editors, but I think that you'll see that the coming X-Books as a whole will be far more defined by their individual teams and storylines. Although they take place in a connected world, their mission statements and tone will be completely different. The only similarity you see in each of the titles on a monthly basis is that Wolverine will be in all of them. But our book will be the best X-book because we have his clone in our series, so it's really like getting two Wolverines in every issue.
Did someone ask for an editor? X-Men Editor Nick Lowe is happy to help!
NICK LOWE: They're spot on (other than the fact that "X-Force" is the best, because they're all equally amazing). "Divided We Stand" is a banner that shows the thematic linking of the books after the crossover, but it is not one unified story anymore (thank God, because that is hard!).
It seems RickyD410 is in mourning. Can either of you help him out?
I'm dying here. My insides feel like they're slowly decaying while I'm still conscious. Please, can we just learn something about "Young X-Men?" Rumors abound, and I don't know what to do.
I still don't agree with the decision to cancel "New X-Men." We were told that "Messiah CompleX" would streamline the X-books, and that each book would have a clear purpose for existing. Well, "New X-Men" already had that purpose: train the future of the X-Men! But it was cut.
And now we're hearing rumors about "Young X-Men" and how it won't relate to "New X-Men" at all, and how it might not even feature the same characters. Please, I'm begging you – can you tell us anything about "Young X-Men?" And will we ever learn what you were planning for "New X-Men?
YOST: 'Young X-Men' has big shoes to fill, as "New X-Men" was probably the best book in the history of comics -- and all of literature, frankly. But I think you'll be pleased. I can tell you this: I am pleased with what I've heard, and you have no idea how close to my heart "NXM" is.
KYLE: Ricky, I'm shocked that you're still reading the title. That's reason enough to keep the book going. In all seriousness, I'm glad you have kept up with the book. Chris and I are very aware that you weren't a fan of the title once we came on.
Look, Chris and I love "New X-Men" and at the last X-summit we were thrilled to hear how many of the other X-writers liked these characters too. The future is bright for these kids in both "Young X-Men" and the other X-titles. And, worse case, if we're not happy with what's being written, we'll just get on the message board and complain about the choices other writers have made.
Oh, wait… no we won't.
NICK LOWE: All will be revealed! Patience is a virtue! I just lied about all being revealed, though. Most will be revealed.
Let's hope that eases Ricky's pain a bit. FDA had a few questions about where certain X-characters might appear next. Can you give them a hint?
1) As we all know, "New X-Men" hasn't be solicited past the end of "Messiah CompleX." We know some students will graduate, but can you reveal how many books the students will spread out to?
YOST: Multiple books. What? Was that a clue? An Uncanny amount of books, given the Legacy that students of the X-Men have. They are a Force to be reckoned with. I really enjoyed people making Deadpools on which kids would survive. There's a few things though that you haven't Factored in, like…eh, that's it.
KYLE: Okay, so far I've figured out that they're in "Amazing Spider-Man." – what other clues can you give us, Mr. Yost?
2) Will Risque, the woman who Warpath often had to restrain from resorting to violence, appear in "X-Force," even if only for a flashback? I'm desperate!
YOST: We can tell. Didn't Risque die off panel in a "New X-Men" (Morrison) annual? So yes, she should be appearing any day now.
KYLE: We only kill characters, we don't resurrect them. Anyone who reads "New X-Men" should know that by now, but I can assure you that if we do start resurrecting characters, Tag will not be one of them.
The Tag Fan Club just let out a collective whimper. Speaking of killing, Binaryan was curious about your upcoming X-Force.
Any chance you could tease us with some hints about possible future additions to the X-Force cast? While the Ferocious Four (Wolvie, Warpath, Wolfsbane and X-23) are cool and all, most X-teams tend to be a bit larger.
YOST: One will be devastatingly brutal, one will be off-the-radar-unexpected, one will be sexy as hell. To me, anyway.
KYLE: You think Mojo is sexy?!? Weird. Anyway, we'd be lucky to have our top picks, but some of the best characters tend to disappear before we can get our hands on them. Fingers crossed we get them all.
Marcus Martin wrote in to ask about the "Mojo Swimwear Special" that Yost will be writing. Oh wait, no he didn't. How about some X-Force questions instead?
1) With X-Force reforming and Cyclops keeping it secret from the X-Men, isn't he repeating the mistakes that Xavier made which cost him the respect of most of his former students?
YOST: Tsk. Cyclops doesn't make mistakes. I think the Danger enslavement, and what he did to the Deadly Genesis kids is pretty different. He's not making any of X-Force do anything against their will. Xavier made an intelligent machine a slave. And X-Force are all highly trained, they're ready for this. Petra, Vulcan, Sway and Darwin were not. Plus, dude, Xavier had a thing for Jean. When Cyclops starts having feelings for Pixie, talk to me again.
KYLE: Can anyone tell that Chris has a thing for Cyclops? I think Scott is treading very closely to making some of the same choices (and mistakes) Xavier has made, but hopefully his decisions will work out better in the end. I think his anger runs so deep towards Xavier because in many ways they are the same person.
2) Since X-Force is taking on threats that would harm mutants, I was wondering if this series might crossover with the other Wolverine titles, like the ongoing series or "Wolverine: Origins," as some missions may carry information on Wolverine's past.
YOST: "X-Force" will change the landscape for all mutants on Earth, I kid you not. By issue three.
KYLE: Not in the first year, and probably not in the second. After that, who knows?
Red Lotus also had some "X-Force queries." I'm getting the sense that folks are interested in your upcoming book!
1) Is there any chance that Blink might be part of the new X-Force?
YOST: Which Blink? Da-da-dum!!!
2) Are you planning to explore the connection between Rahne's past and the Purifiers in the pages of "X-Force?"
YOST: Arc one.
KYLE: This series is all about conflict, and the personal conflicts within the group are a major part of our stories. All of our lead characters will face their pasts in one form or another over the course of our run. It should only get harder from here.
3) Are there any characters that you wanted to use for "X-Force," but weren't allowed?
YOST: Bamf and Lil' Wolvie. Lots of resistance there.
KYLE: We'll tell you in six issues.
Questions and rumors from msierra185. Let's see if we can shine a light on a few of these.
1) Since you guys will be doing "X-Force," does that mean another writer will be writing your unfinished "New X-Men" stories in a different X-book altogether? Or are you going to move the stories you kept saying you will finish to 'X-Force'? It would feel weird to have someone else finish a story you guys started.
YOST: We had three stories that we didn't quite "get" to, but two of them were random. One wasn't. That one we're keeping and you will see it but probably about 1000 times bigger.
KYLE: Yeah, there is only one story we have to tell and we're going to tell it in "X-Force." It will take time but we'll get there; in fact, we're already on our way.
2) I've heard rumors that Matt Fraction is supposed to be the writer for "Young X-Men." If you aren't the writers for "Young X-Men," are you going to contribute your ideas for the book (if it does continue from "New X-Men")? And if Mr. Fraction is the writer, who will be the artist?
YOST: I can't say if Matt Fraction is or is not writing "Young X-Men" (although that information may well have been revealed by the time this interview "airs"), but trust me, Fraction doesn't need our ideas. He's got about a billion of his own – all crazy brilliant.
KYLE: None of the guys taking over the kid's stories need any help or insight from us. Every Marvel character is beautifully unique because of all the wonderful ideas different creators bring to them. These kids are in great hands.
3) Why "Young X-Men" for an X-title? It doesn't roll off the tongue like "Young Avengers" does. Why couldn't Marvel have just used the "New Mutants" title again?
YOST: "New Mutants" pretty much is and always will be Dani, Sam, Rahne, 'Berto, Xi'an, Amara, Doug, Illyana and Warlock. They pretty much took ownership of that name. I suggested Noob Mutants, but no one went for it. "New X-Men," still people think it's Morrison's book. And frankly, there's a lot of value in having "X-Men" in your title. They are X-Men but they're young. It works for me.
KYLE: To continue with what Chris said, by calling the new series "Young X-Men," it gives us a chance to do a "New Mutants" book in the future. We love us some New Mutants!
Next is a request from Jay Bowen, who apparently wants the X-Men editors to die.
These past few months of the X-books have been amazing. My favorite part is getting a weekly dose of X-Men.
Given the success of "MC" and the "Brand New Day" Spidey schedule, what are the chances that something like this could happen in the X-books? A unified, weekly X-book would be amazing – featuring all teams, rotating talent and multiple storylines!
YOST: Are you trying to kill Nick Lowe? Did he kick your dog or something? But I know how you feel – getting a chapter of "MC" each week was pretty sweet.
KYLE: Jay, I'm with you. I love not having to wait a whole month for my next book. That said, I also want the next issue to be just as good as the last, and keeping a weekly schedule can make creating quality books very difficult – it can be done but it's tough. I know I wouldn't be able to manage the workload of a weekly comic and still keep up with my animation duties at Marvel. But if the X-office finds a way to do it, they'll have my money every week!
That wraps up the questions for this week, but before we go, it appears our guests have a special message that they wanted to share with all you X-fans out there.
YOST: I just wanted to take a quick moment and thank everyone who stuck with "New X-Men" after "Decimation," and those who came on board afterwards – our fans have been the best, especially given how much we messed with them. We love these New X-Men kids, and saying goodbye is tough. But hopefully, as they move through the X-Universe, our paths will cross again. So we can kill some more of them. Ha, ha, just kidding. Anytime Warpath says "holy crap," you'll know we're missing Rockslide.
KYLE: And I always thought I was the softy. Yeah, this has been one hell of a ride. We signed on for twelve issues, and here we are almost three years later. When we first started the title, I made Chris use just one name for each of the kids because I had no idea who the hell he was talking about. Moving forward, we did everything we could to make the kids (that survived us) stand up and prove that they are proper X-Men.
I'll miss Rockslide, Pixie, and Anole the most, but all of these characters were fantastic to play with. The guys taking over their lives next have big plans for them and lots of great stories await you.
Please support the other writers and creative teams as much as you did us. (Beast, I'm looking at you.) We all do our best to tell great stories and entertain the toughest fans in the world. It's been a pleasure working hard for you guys. Thanks for making the journey so much fun.
Craig and Chris, from the emails we've received at X-POSITION, I know the fans appreciate your efforts as well. Thank you!
For more on Kyle and Yost's "X-Force," be sure to check out CBR's exclusive preview of "X-Force" #1 and interview with Editor John Barber.
This Wednesday is the moment all of you X-POSITION readers have been waiting for – the final chapter of "Messiah CompleX" appears in "X-Men" #207. I expect cheers and tears, along with screams of joy and bitter recrimination.
"X-Men" writer Mike Carey will be here next week to answer your "Messiah CompleX" questions and discuss the X-Men's future, so send me those emails ASAP! Put "X-Position" in the subject line, and I'll keep an eye out for them. See you then!
Now discuss this story in CBR's X-Men forum.