Welcome, everyone, to X-POSITION numero diez! That's right, our little X-perimental column is now two handfuls old. Isn't that X-citing?
Okay, okay, I'll stop. X-cuse me... heh.
Last week was a big one for Marvel Comics fans, as the publisher announced all kinds of upcoming plans at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Of particular interest to us, of course, were the X-Men announcements. To begin with, fans learned of the new team to replace Joss Whedon and John Cassaday when they complete their "Astonishing X-Men" run. To the surprise and pleasure of many, writer Warren Ellis and artist Simone Bianchi will be taking over the title (learn more about their plans here).
Additionally, a panel was held on the topic of "Endangered Species." In attendance were all the X-writers, where they talked about upcoming events in their respective books and answered questions from fans. But, hey, that's what we do in this column every week. With no plane tickets to buy or long lines to wait in, X-fans are definitely getting more bang for their buck here at X-POSITION.
With that said, let's get started! X-editor Nick Lowe volunteered to tackle your questions this week. He's rolled up his sleeves and put on protective body armor, so it looks like he's ready. Let's rumble!
Nick, our first question comes from Shawn, who wants to know a bit more about our reckless Cajun. "Will there ever be any explanation of what made Gambit choose to approach Apocalypse? How did he know to go to him? Will there be any indication that Gambit will re-join the X-Men and/or make peace with Rogue?"
Gambit's motivations were mainly covered in "X-Men" when he joined Apocalypse in the "Blood of the Apocalypse" arc. If you're referring to Sinister, all will be revealed in "X-Men" #204 or in "Messiah CompleX," mon ami.
Since we mentioned Apocalypse, let's go to TonyZapato, who was wondering, "Will we be seeing Apocalypse in 'Endangered Species' or 'Messiah CompleX?'"
Don't plan on seeing him any time soon. He's still floating off into the void.
Mike Jones wrote in with several questions that echoed other emails I received. So I thought I'd let him speak for the group:
1) There was an article that said two of the X-Men who turned into Marauders would become X-Men again. Is this still the plan?
Several of the Marauders aren't what they seem.
2) Now that Gambit is back to normal, what are his power levels?
He is much at the level of the Gambit that we all knew and loved back in the day.
3) With Cable now dead, will Deadpool get his own series?
Deadpool has his own series, true believer.
4) Are there any plans for the Hellfire club?
The Hellfire Club has been around for many, many years and isn't going anywhere. And don't forget Sebastian Shaw's recent appearance in the "Endangered Species" one-shot.
Who could forget that? He and Xavier had a very interesting confrontation in that issue. And speaking of, Valeria Kèmentari was wondering about the former head "X" and asked, "Is Xavier keeping his powers a secret from the government?"
Xavier keeps a lot close to his vest. Any secret knowledge is a weapon – like my secret knowledge of Coke's secret ingredient.
TXGohan sent in a handful of great questions that I sent along to Nick as well. You know, X-POSITION sure is a great deal – they only allow you one question when you're in San Diego!
1) With all of the teams working together, can we expect to see some characters swapping teams? In the same vein, with Excalibur and the Exiles joining forces in October, will these books be canceled and merge to form one title?
"Excalibur" and "Exiles" are going to stand free of "Messiah CompleX." We chose just to utilize the four main X-books. There were enough characters involved there. As far as the character-swapping you're suggesting, who's to say all these books will still be around when it's over?
2) Jubilee has been a major character through the years in the X-Men universe. Now with her new status as a member of New Warriors, will "Messiah CompleX" affect her in any way? Or will we see her join in the action during the crossover?
In time, "Messiah CompleX" will be affecting everything. "New Warriors" doesn't tie in, so Jubilee won't be seen in it. But I wouldn't count out seeing her response.
3) As for "Messiah CompleX," if this crossover brings about the survival of mutantkind and the return of the x-gene, does that mean we could see some select characters regain their powers?
There's no "power on" switch in the people who lost their powers on M-Day. Polaris needed Apocalypse to re-power her. Xavier needed to be thrust into the M'kraan crystal. They can't just suddenly have powers back.
4) And for my last question, Rachel Summers possessed a small fraction of the Phoenix force during her space adventure. A fraction of infinity is infinity, so can we expect Rachel to go Dark Phoenix anytime soon as her connection with the force has been re-established?
I'm not going to discount anything. Rachel is, with or without the Phoenix Force, one of the most powerful characters in the universe. That makes it convenient when she gets in arm-wrestling tournaments.
Next, Hi-Fi wrote in with a request and a question: "Please tell me Mike Carey will still be writing an X-Book after the crossover. I have no idea what's happening after 'Messiah CompleX,' but we keep hearing rumors of books being cancelled and creative team changes. I just wanted to let you know that Mr. Carey has restored my faith in the X-books, and I think a lot of folks feel the same way. I'm actually loving all the five core books right now, something I haven't been able to say for quite some time."
The X-office couldn't agree with you more. Mike isn't going anywhere. In fact, we just had a meeting with Mike discussing his X-Men plans post-"Messiah CompleX." So worry not.
"I'd also like to ask you when are we going to see Sunspot, Karma and Boom-Boom again in the X-books? Now that Warren Ellis was revealed to be the new 'Astonishing X-Men' writer, can he bring his Tabitha over from 'Nextwave'?
More than one of the characters you mention will be back in a very interesting way early in 2008, coming out of the crossover. And don't forget that I edited "Nextwave" and am the #1 fan of Tabby.
That sounds promising for Tabitha fans. SGuthrie sent over two queries. Let's see if we can get some answers.
"Should we expect to see the Marauders butting heads with the X-Men after the two major crossovers finish up? I've enjoyed seeing such classic villains back in a big way. Kudos to Mike Carey for bringing them to the forefront again."
We don't know that the X-Men will be around after "Endangered Species" and "Messiah CompleX." And there are some more classic villains coming.
"Any plans for the obscure character of Vincente (of 'Age of Apocalypse' and Emplate's Hellions fame) cropping up? He'd make a sweet character addition to any title, with a virtually unexplored backstory and awesome powers."
No plans for Vincente right now, but we'll keep him in mind.
And wrapping things up, Andre4000 was wondering about one of the announcements coming out of the con. "You've got Warren Ellis on 'Astonishing' now. Congrats! How come Joss couldn't do it anymore? Will Warren's storyline follow Joss's at all?"
Hey Andre, we're really excited to have Warren on board. He'll be picking up where Joss leaves off. As for why Joss isn't continuing, he and John had only planned to do twelve issues to begin with. They were having so much fun that they wanted to keep going, but it was only to finish out another twelve issues. They just have a certain story to tell and it's coming to an end. But rest assured that Warren has huge plans that will not disappoint.
On that promising note, we close out another X-POSITION. And who's answering all of your questions next week? Well, everyone seems to still be recovering from the con, so we don't have a definitive answer yet. However, rest assured it's an individual with some good X-tidbits for you.
Be sure to e-mail me (with the subject line "X-Position") your questions as soon as you can. The sooner I get them, the more likely they are to be included. See you in seven!