X-POSITION: Week Sixteen

It's a busy time at Marvel. There is a rampaging Hulk, Spider-Man is going through all kids of changes, the X-Men are dealing with a Marauder problem, and there's that tiny Skrull problem that keeps threatening to explode. It's all a wee bit chaotic, and with this chaos comes changes. And in the case of this week's X-POSITION, that means schedule changes.

I know we said Daniel Way would be on hand to answer your questions about "Wolverine: Origins," but chaos ruled and we needed to make a change. Fear not though, as he will be here next week to answer the emails we've received from you. Luckily, Christopher Yost ("Emperor Vulcan," "New X-Men") volunteered to step in and capably fill the void.

Since you, the reader, didn't have a chance to send in questions for this week's column, I took the liberty of reading your minds and made my best guess at what you'd like to know. I rattled off some questions about "Emperor Vulcan" (which arrived in stores yesterday) and "New X-Men." Let's hope my telepathic abilities make Professor X proud.

We've got the premiere of Humberto Ramos' interior artwork on "New X-Men" #44.

Hi Chris, thanks for joining us this week. Let's start things off by talking about "Emperor Vulcan" (light SPOILERS from issue #1 follow). In the first issue, one gets the sense that Lorna is getting a bit sick of Alex's inferiority complex. Is there a confrontation a-brewing?

After the first issue, the series is actually called "Lorna beats up Alex." The Vulcan stuff was just to get people in the door. Is Lorna sick of it? Yes. And so am I. And so are you. Alex Summers is one of the most powerful mutants on the planet, one of the "12," an X-Man, he led X-Factor, he did crazy stuff in "Mutant X," and generally kicks ass. So if we need to slap Alex around a little to get him up to snuff, then we shall.

As we've seen from your "New X-Men," you're a pro at "slapping" mutants into shape. In this book, we also see Alex say that he wants to kill Vulcan. Is Alex a killer? Isn't that a line the X-Men don't cross?

Excellent question. Alex would have killed Vulcan in the last chapter of "Rise and Fall," in the heat of the moment. And as we saw in that chapter, they "quit" being X-Men with their murderous intentions. Who's to say what he'll do, given time to think about it. Oh, wait - we say in issue #5.

Korvus and Marvel Girl's relationship is already done by issue one - or is it? It seemed very sudden to introduce it in "Uncanny" and then have it gone by the first issue of "Emperor Vulcan." Is there more romance coming?

Yes, but it's Korvus/Ch'od.

Um…ew. What would you say Vulcan's ultimate goal is? He killed his mother's killer. Does he really want to be a ruler? It doesn't appear that he enjoys this position too much at the beginning of this series.

Vulcan is not the most mature young man. His motives are decidedly immature. He had a very romantic view of becoming Emperor, in the sense that he saw the power and glory, not the day to day. He also assumed that the Shi'ar would accept him on that legal technicality. The reality didn't sit well with him - the Shi'ar in general are not fans of humans.

Vulcan's immediate goals were: Revenge on the Shi'ar. Kill Xavier. He's one for two, but now finds himself distracted. He isn't interested in being a ruler per se, but the arrival of the Scy'ar Tal changes things. Sometimes we don't care about things until they are threatened.

Any chance we'll learn more about Ch'od or Raza Longknife in this series? They're fun characters and I'd like to learn more about what drives them, especially in light of Corsair's death.

Ch'od and Raza are fun, and we'll get moments here and there with them as well as get their views on the Shi'ar, but the focus is on Havok, Polaris and Marvel Girl dealing with Vulcan.

I suppose that makes sense, given the title of the series. So the Scy'ar Tal that showed up at the end of issue one - are they someone new? Have they been seen somewhere before? And, just out of curiosity, will any of the events of "Annihilation" have any effect on this series (or vice-versa)?

They're new…and old. The Scy'ar Tal have history with the Shi'ar, a history most Shi'ar aren't even aware of. They have a legitimate beef with the feathered aliens. They have not been seen before. And to my understanding, the Conquest is limited to the Kree Empire right now, so no sign of "Annihilation" in "Emperor Vulcan." But who wouldn't like a Havok/Nova team-up?

Sounds like you have your next miniseries right there! Let's move on to current events in "New X-Men." Anole and Pixie are now official members of the team. What do you feel they each bring to the group, and why did you decide it was a good time to add them now?

Anole was a pretty early pick by Craig and me because he's got a decent power set and represents a kind of level-headed, good, normal kid. Pixie, too - she's a great visual. We just had to warp and twist them a little bit, because that's what we do to children. Now was a good time because the team needed some tonal balance. It's possible - and I'm not saying for sure - that things got a little grim.

During "Quest for Magik," Pixie had part of her soul removed - what happened to it? Is it still missing? And if so, what does that mean?

Yep, one-fifth of her soul was taken by Magik and converted into a Bloodstone. Doctor Strange sort of sums up how she's changed in issue #42. But in the bigger picture, if Magik were able to get the rest of her soul, she could summon the Elder Gods to Earth. That's what the Bloodstones are used for, in a general sense. Magik just wanted their power to kill Belasco.

In light of M-Day, would you say that it's the goal of every student to become X-Men? Or is it enough for a student just to learn how to use their powers and reintegrate themselves into society? Is that even an option with their "Endangered Species" status?

I would say the student body is seriously re-evaluating their desire to become X-Men. A lot of this is voiced in the upcoming "Children of X-Men" two-parter, but their lives have been a little on the 'living hell' side since M-Day. But these kids that have remained, they're pretty much stuck at the Institute. And they all know precisely what that means. Emma tells the rest of the 'Astonishing' team what the mindset of the students is, and they are astonished.

Yes, she seems to have an uncanny ability to do that.

The New-X-Men were a decent part of what's taking place in Mike Carey's "X-Men" currently. Did you work with him to coordinate their appearance and what would take place?

Craig and I have talked to Mike a number of times, but most of the coordination comes through editorial.

Between "World War Hulk: X-Men" and the attack on the mansion in "X-Men," the mansion should be pretty thrashed. Are they going to have to find a new place to live?

Much like Krakoa, the mansion is alive and constantly rebuilds itself. Overnight. So they're good. For now…

We'll keep our fingers crossed. The other X-Men seem so busy as well, who will be in charge of their training in the future? Will it still be Emma and Scott?

Look to the last few pages of "New X-Men" #43 for a renewed commitment to teaching. Beast was seen running a training simulation in "WWH: X-Men" and there will be much more teacher-student interaction in issues #42-44. There is a bald-headed man who knows a thing or two about teaching mutants hanging around the mansion lately.

Good point! The upcoming "Messiah CompleX" will be running through all the X-books - what can you tell us about the involvement of New X-Men? Did the story you were telling dovetail into the "Messiah CompleX?" Or did you have to do some rearranging?

So many elements from "New X-Men" show up in "Messiah CompleX,' even Craig and I were kind of surprised. But longtime readers of "New X-Men" (post "House of M") will be rewarded. What we were doing dovetailed in to a frightening degree. We rearranged nothing.

To wrap things up, I feel I should mention the Diamond Retailer Summit in Baltimore. At this event, Marvel released an image of X-Force that had X-23 in it (for details, see "X-POSITION: "X-Force" and "Cable" Special Edition). What does this mean? Is she still with the New X-Men? Are you involved with this new X-Force?

I missed that summit and thus have no idea what you're talking about.

Hm. Well, we'll chalk this up to that chaos we mentioned at the beginning of this X-POSITION. Thanks for talking with us today, Chris!

That's it for this week. As promised earlier, Daniel Way will be here to answer your "Wolverine: Origins" in just seven days. In the meantime, feel free to send me your questions and/or theories about "Endangered Species" or "Messiah CompleX." Like a squirrel getting ready for winter, I'll store your queries up and use them as soon as I'm able. Don't forget to put "X-Position" in your subject line, too. Until next week…


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