X-POSITION: Week Eight

Another week, another X-POSITION, and Hank McCoy AKA Beast still isn't any closer to solving that pesky mutant extinction problem. It's a true mystery, and who better to solve a mystery than detectives? Better yet, mutant detectives. And since Scooby and Shaggy aren't mutants (at least, I don't think so), better call X-Factor Investigations.

Written by Peter David (or PAD to his fans), "X-Factor" is about the one mutant team in the Marvel Universe that doesn't live in Xavier's mansion. Occupying a building in the place known as Mutant Town, X-Factor run a detective agency whose specialty is mutant-related mysteries. First and foremost, they are a business.

Considering that this team tries to avoid all the craziness of the more superhero-centric, spandex-clad mutants, how their actions tie into all of the upcoming events and crossovers in Marvel Comics' X-Universe is a question on every fan's mind. Only one man knows for sure, and that's why we've got Peter David to join us for this week's X-POSITION. Prepare to be entertained….

"X-Factor" #22

To kick things off, let's start with a question from a previous issue. BobbySue was wondering, "I don't mean to seem dense, but I didn't quite get the ending to 'X-Factor' #20. Did Quicksilver retain his time-hopping power, but lose his mutant power-restoring ability? What exactly happened to him in the alley where you said his present self caught up with his future self? And will we see Quicksilver again soon?"

Quicksilver pretty much lost just about everything – both his time-hopping power and his mutant restoring power – as Rictor blew all the crystals out of his body. What happened in the alley was that he wound up sustaining in "real time" the wound that his future self got during the fight. And yes, I know that previously Quicksilver had only gone forward in time and then ricocheted back, but I didn't see any harm in expanding his abilities; that's something of a great Marvel tradition, going all the way back to Sue Storm saying, "Hey, maybe I can make force fields." Either way, it's moot now. And yes , we will definitely be seeing Pietro again, much sooner than you think. There are definitely further developments in store.

Here's a nice general query from Luis C., who sounds like he wants to make sure you're having fun. "Peter, how do you feel about being back into the X-World?"

X-cited...nay, X-static.

That's X-cellent.

Ahab Johanssen is a fan of the Maple Leafs, apparently. He had a question about some friends from up north. "Have you ever had the desire to write any Alpha Flight characters? Which one – or more – would you include in 'X-Factor' if you had the opportunity?"

I've enjoyed reading many "Alpha Flight" adventures, but never felt any overwhelming drive to write their adventures. I'm not really sure that any of them would fit in with the tone and style of the "X-Factor" series.

Fair enough. Faded from the CBR forums always asks questions that get my head spinning about the X-Universe. Peter, get ready for your turn on Faded's tilt-a-whirl…

1) With Strong Guy being offered a job as sheriff for Mutant Town, will we see Bishop make a cameo in the series now that Guido is taking over his turf? Apart from Clay, will we see any established residents from Mutant Town that appeared in both the "Madrox" mini and "District X?"

No plans for a Bishop cameo at this time (unless you count a picture of him up on a wall somewhere that Guido takes down). As for already established residents of Mutant Town, I have a couple I'm considering bringing in...but I don't want to say who just yet.

2) Blob seemed to kind of disappear during the conclusion of the "X-Cell" arc. Will he be re-appearing down the road? How about Marrow?

He didn't disappear; he was simply secured back at XF headquarters and presumably later turned over to Val Cooper. I don't have further plans for him, but a return of Marrow might happen.

3) Will Rictor's supposed bisexuality become a topic again? Could it come into conflict with his relationship with Rahne, who has a heavy religious background?

I don't subscribe to the notion that just because someone has a heavy religious background, they automatically abominate homosexuality or bisexuality. If Rictor were bi, I don't see Rahne condemning him for that alone. On the other hand, if he suggested a three-way between himself, Rahne and Shatterstar, she might well have something to say about it.

4) Will we ever get the original Sook designed X-Factor costumes back that debuted along with the series? They've appeared on a couple of covers and most recently in "Endangered Species" Chapter 1, but have yet to make it into the interiors. I thought they were really original and distinctive and would love to see them back.

I'll be upfront about this: I very rarely care what the characters are wearing, as long as it's not standard superhero tights, and as long as Madrox is wearing his trenchcoat and multiple t-shirt. I'm perfectly happy to leave that decision to whoever's drawing the book this minute.

5) Is there a reason in particular why Quicksilver wanted to channel his Terrigenic powers through Rictor?

The reasons were exactly what he stated in the book: that Rictor had a connection to the very earth, and since Quicksilver saw the evolution of mutants as part of nature, he believed that he could utilize that connection to accomplish his ends.

6) It's been discussed in the CBR X-Forums that while Monet is absolutely fabulous , her plethora of power borderlines on being "Sage-like" and overpowering. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think she could lose a few tricks off her utility belt, or are her supply of abilities the reason why she's such an asset?

I think they're definitely an asset, and I see absolutely no reason why she needs any sort of depowering. I don't see a call to divest Superman of his multitude of powers. If we ever establish that Monet has super-ventriloquism or icy breath, then maybe the criticism might be valid. As it is, I don't concur.

7) Are killcrops still considered mutants? Will this topic be readdressed during the crossover?

They're precursors of mutants. I developed the concept because I thought it was interesting that in the Marvel Universe, it's established that mutant powers manifest at puberty; except there were some instances where that didn't happen – where they manifested at birth (in Madrox's case, for instance). And I thought, "Wouldn't it be interesting if there was a reason for that? Wouldn't it be interesting if perhaps all such beings once manifested at birth, and that's where the legends of changelings came from. And that nature course-corrected, but every so often, some of the original strain slips through." It just made a lot of sense to me. As for whether it will be addressed… read the crossover .

8) Are you interested in crossing over with "Loners" to reunite Monet with her former teammate, the mutant formerly known as Penance?

We were actually going to have Monet run into Penance in "X-Factor," but then found out Penance wasn't available because of "Loners." If Penance becomes free, then yes, definitely.

9) I like how a large portion of your lineup worked with X-Corporation before becoming members of X-Factor. Could the sneaky girl Risque – who couldn't catch a break with her off-panel death in the 2001 "New X-Men" annual – be a possible candidate for membership?


A brief, straight-to-the-point answer – I like it!

I hope you've caught your breath from rattling off all those answers, because SGuthrie wants a turn too. "Peter, you do a marvelous job of characterization and fleshing out all the diverse people in the 'X-Factor' corner of the X-universe. One character who we haven't seen get quite as much development, in my opinion, is M – Monet St. Croix. Are there any big plans or plots coming up for her? Maybe a reunion with a former Gen X teammate like Husk or Jubilee, or something involving her brother or sisters? She's just a fascinating character, and I'd enjoy seeing more from her."

Well, I think we've been doing quite a bit with Monet, and she's going to be a seriously featured individual in the current storyline involving the twins known as the Purity Singers.

And while we're on the topic of M, we received several emails with theories about her "illness" from last week's issue. I'll allow Michael Richard Boarts' question to summarize the main sentiments sent my way.

"PAD, I really enjoyed this week's issue of 'X-Factor.' It's been revealed already that Madrox, Rictor, and Wolfsbane will be a big part of 'Messiah CompleX,' and the seeds of that really seem to be taking root already. It was heavily hinted though that Monet is the pregnant one, considering her reaction to Rayne's breath and how long ago she and Jamie slept together.

"I've always been interested in the popular theory that M is Bishop's mother, and considering 'Messiah CompleX' is about the birth of a mutant, this revelation made me really perk up. It would be awesome to finally see the birth of this time-traveling mutant. I know you can't spill much, but just let me know this – should Monet be listed as a character to watch in the upcoming crossover?"

I definitely think she's someone to watch purely because I consider her an intriguing and entertaining character. As to where and how or if Bishop will be involved, I won't say anything other than I don't think you'll be disappointed.

If a writer of PAD's caliber makes a statement like that, I think we're in for something special. And speaking of the upcoming crossover, Elixir95 was wondering, "What effect will 'Endangered Species' and 'Messiah Complex' will have on X-Factor Investigations, if any at all?"

Well, I'm hoping it will cause more people to be reading about them.

Okay. That would be a good effect.

Otipep wrote in with a rumor he had heard – don't you just love those? "Recently I read somewhere it's rumored that one member of X-Factor would be leaving the team and a new one would join. So, will the member who is leaving join another X-team or be featured in any other X-comic? And any hints to who the new member will be?"

I never said the member who was leaving was going to be doing so of their own volition or even alive. As for the new member, I'll give you this much: it's a guy.

Is it Shatterstar? Sorry, ever since you mentioned the Rictor-Rahne-Shatterstar three-way, I'm having trouble focusing.

That wraps up this week's Q&A fun. Next week, Christopher Yost – writer of "New X-Men," the "Endangered Species" back-ups, and the upcoming "Emperor Vulcan" – will be answering all your ponderings and queries. Better e-mail me with the subject line "X-Position" ASAP. See you then!


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