Thus far in our weekly CBR-Marvel Comics get-togethers here at X-POSITION, many of the "big guns" involved in "Endangered Species" have stopped by to answer our questions and yours. With every passing week, more pieces of this puzzle start to fall into our laps, courtesy of new installment of the "Endangered Species" back-up story. The question has now become, "What's next?"
For those who've been paying attention, the answer is "Messiah CompleX." Written by Ed Brubaker with art by Marc Silvestri, this one-shot will lead into a thirteen-part crossover through the four ma in X-books. As to what this storyline will be about…who knows? But let's see if we can find out.
Ed Brubaker – who currently writes "Uncanny X-Men," in addition to "Daredevil," "Captain America," and "Criminal" – volunteered to swing by and take a stab at your questions. It's probably still a bit early for details on his "Messiah" story, but let's see if we can get him to throw a tease or two our way.
Ed, let's start off with some general questions. I'll let Luis lob you an easy one (along with some kind words!). "Ed, you rock the house to the core! I just wanted to know how it feels to be a part of the X-world, one of the busiest parts of the Marvel Universe?"
Overwhelmed, usually, and sort of humbled. There's a big tradition here to live up to.
Next up, Manoli has some questions about your first arc. "As far as I can recall, the 'Shi'Ar Empire' arc you wrote was your first experience writing a big sci-fi outer space story. How big of a challenge was this for you, and what writing 'tricks' did you utilize to help you get through the experience?"
I'm not sure if it was my first outer-space story or not, but it certainly was my first epic one, and it was a huge challenge that I'm not sure I succeeded at completely. I feel like the pacing was a bit off here or there, but I'm really happy with the last half and the big battle issues. As far as writing tricks, I don't know any. I just try to write each issue as best as I can and let the characters lead the story. With so many characters, that can be a struggle, but it's the only way I know to do it.
Now it sounds like MutantMayhem wants to see some, well, mayhem. "Ed, 'Uncanny X-Men' is different than the other books you write in two respects: 1) it's a team book, and 2) it revolves around individuals with super-powers. Do these factors make writing the book easier or more difficult? Also, 'Uncanny' isn't a street-level book like other ones you've written. Do you ever want to just have Warpath to shiv someone?"
All the time. No, just kidding. I think I'm still figuring "Uncanny" out, to some degree. At first, I was just trying to make it feel like an X-Men comic, and now I'm trying to figure out how to make it feel like an Ed Brubaker comic at the same time. I think I get closer to that in the upcoming crossover, believe it or not. The best X-Men comics have always been about the characters and their relationships, really, not about their powers, and I think that's something that really appeals to my strengths as a writer.
So, Messiah has some questions about the future. Ed, can you pull out your magic 8-ball and give him some answers? "What's coming up on 'Uncanny X-Men' artist-wise? I know Billy Tan is drawing the crossover issues – what will happen to Salvador Larroca? And who's drawing what post-crossover? Also, will you be staying on 'Uncanny' after the 'Messiah CompleX' saga?"
Salva just stepped in for the Morlocks story so Billy could jump ahead to "Messiah CompleX." After that, I can't say who will do what. It's a secret, right now. But, yeah, I should be on "Uncanny" for a while longer.
That's great, because readers are enjoying what you're doing – particularly with Darwin. In fact, so much Darwin-love was sent my way via e-mail, I'm blushing (and I don't even know the guy!).
I'll allow Jose Estrada and KidNewWave the honor of summarizing everyone's feelings: "Darwin is a very interesting character, not only power-wise, but in regards to his perspective on current events such as M-day and the extinction problem due to him being in 'hibernation' for well over a decade. I was saddened that Darwin was nowhere to be seen in 'Uncanny' #487 or 488, and he wasn't alluded to by any of the other characters. Can you give us some info on his status?"
You'll see him again soon, but I can't say where. I was trying to keep the Morlock story more self-contained, and since Darwin wasn't going to be a part of it, I didn't want him in one page, and then never seen again. But he's not gone, and he'll soon be appearing regularly again.
That should make the Darwin fans happy. Next, Asitiswhenitwas foresees tension in the X-Mansion, and asks, "Is there a chance of seeing a Xavier/Cyclops confrontation considering what happened during the Shi'Ar arc?"
Yeah, pretty soon, I think.
And on the topic of your last arc, Stacy had a quick question about the miniseries that's spinning out the Shi'Ar story. "When does the 'Emperor Vulcan' miniseries take place in relation to 'Endangered Species,' the current 'X-Men' arc and 'Messiah CompleX'?"
I don't know. It takes place a few months after the end of the Shi'Ar story, I believe. I don't worry too much about publishing schedules of stories, because there are too many of them to keep straight. Continuity and publishing schedules are not the same thing.
And speaking of publishing schedules, X-editor Nick Lowe is on hand to give us his two cents.
Nick Lowe: Ed's right. "Emperor Vulcan" takes place a couple months after "Rise and Fall of the Shi'Ar Empire." It happens concurrently with the "Endangered Species" story and the rest, but it takes place at such a distance you won't be seeing overlap.
Ed, this next one might be difficult for you to answer at the moment, but I'll give SGuthrie the opportunity to ask anyway because, hey, that's why we're here at X-Position! "I know there are long-range plans involving Havok, Polaris, and Marvel Girl 'Emperor Vulcan,' but are there any plans to bring at least one of them back to the fold during your run, or are you planning on keeping them with the Starjammers in space indefinitely? Or can you not answer this until that limited series is over?
Yeah, I can't really answer that. Ask Chris Yost, since he's writing "Emperor Vulcan."
Chris isn't around, but Nick is still here with two more cents – we almost have a nickel!
Nick Lowe: Keep your eyes peeled for "Emperor Vulcan" to see what happens with those characters. Rest assured, they are some of my favorite characters in the whole world and Chris Yost is doing some awesome things with them.
Sounds good – thanks Nick!
We had several fans write in about the Cable and his "sis" Rachel. To cover our bases, I'm combining jarrod and Ashley Keller's emails to come up with the following query: "I'm just curious if Yost (or anyone) plans on dealing with Rachel's reaction to Cable's recent death. Given that Rachel forged a permanent mindlink with Nathan, she should've actually experienced his death. Will we see her go after those responsible for killing him?"
I don't know. I notice whenever anything happens in any X-book, someone wants to see some specific character react to it, and all I can say is, give it time. Patience is a virtue, supposedly .
We'll take your word on that. Hey, it seems as if rodyega might have a solution to that whole "Endangered Species" problem. "Couldn't Rachel undo M-day since she has been displaying powers she got from her 'Mom'? She has chronokinetic powers, right? Couldn't she just change the past and prevent Wanda from ever saying, 'No more mutants'?"
Hold on, let me write this down...
Aspbros is keeping their eyes to the future – well, at least to the future one-shot you're writing. "In 'Endangered Species' Beast is looking for a solution to the mutants' problem. How does 'Messiah CompleX' spin out of that? Can you tell me if the story is still about the extinction problem? How about the main characters of the story? Anything…please?!?"
Ummm... all I can say is, it features all the X-Men that are on Earth, I believe. Or almost all of them, and a lot of their villains, too. But it's not exactly about the extinction problem. Not exactly.
Okay readers, there's your tease for now. We'll try again in a few weeks to see if we can find out more of the nitty-gritty. Remember, patience is a virtue (why does that sound familiar?).
Ed, it seems that Hi-Fi wants to see you writing some of his favorite characters…and who can blame him? "Is there any chance of you getting to write fan-favorites Rogue, Madrox and M during the crossover? Will the X-Teams mix up enough in 'Messiah CompleX' for this to be possible?"
So far I haven't written Rogue, but I wrote Jamie Madrox in a few scenes already.
Wrapping things up for us, Jediwakko has some green-skinned concerns (and it ain't that little World War Hulk problem). "With the revelation of Electra being a Skrull and Marvel's new catchphrase, 'Who can you trust?' – well, is this Skrull invasion going to affect what's currently happening with the X-community? Are there going to be hints all throughout the books? Have there been? Or is the X-community going to be isolated until at least after 'Messiah CompleX'?
It's too early to tell you, but I can't imagine the Skrull thing not being a big deal, and not touching the X-Men somehow.
Okay, now I'm worried. Going over the various X-team rosters, who would the likely suspects be? Green, malleable…aw, heck! Doop is a skrull!
That's it for this week, X-fans. However, joining us in a mere seven days to answer your questions is "X-Factor" writer Peter David. The latest issue of his book hit stands yesterday. Read it, get your queries together, and e-mail me ( with the subject line "X-Position") ASAP. I'm looking forward to it!