X-POSITION: Week Thirteen

"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?"--Mark 8:36

I'm sure that quite is something that's running through the head of Dr. Henry McCoy (aka Beast) since became partnered with one of his worst enemies, in his search for a cure to mutantkind's imminent extinction. This is one of the many dilemmas our furry friend has faced in the "Endangered Species" back-up stories that are running through Marvel Comics' X-Men books at the moment. And if you haven't been following the Beast's journey…what are you waiting for? Start now! You don't want to be behind the curve when "Messiah CompleX" kicks in – trust me.

And now that we've completed this public service announcement, let's continue with our regularly scheduled X-POSITION.

This week, X-editor Nick Lowe joins us for our most wacky and wild edition yet. Your e-mails covered a wide variety of topics, but Lowe stands poised and ready to take on all comers. Apparently, his mutant ability involves nerves of steel and being able to go with the flow. It makes sense Nick's an editor!

"X-Men" #202, page 3

Let's go right to the questions and start things off with CuzLarry, who was curious about long-range plans for the X-books: "How far out do you guys have X-stories planned? For example, do you know what's happening 2-3 months after 'Messiah CompleX'? And while it does sound like titles of books will be changing after 'CompleX,' will all the same writers still be around?"

Hey, CuzLarry! Did you come up with that name because of (the TV show) "Perfect Strangers"? Anywho, we plan things out pretty far. We know, pretty concretely, what's going to happen through the first part of 2008 and have a general sense through most of 2008. All the writers involved in "Messiah CompleX" are going to be around in some capacity, so worry not. That's all you'll get out of me at this point.

See? Nerves of steel . So, when it comes to post-'CompleX,' Teddanson37 was wondering, "Are we going to see some more graves in front of Xavier's after 'Messiah CompleX?'"

We will. There's going to be a few surprises in "Messiah CompleX" and some of those surprises will be deadly (cue the ominous music!).

Eric Scaduto sent in a handful of questions covering some random X-characters and events. Let's see if we can make things a tad less "random" for him…

1) When will we learn the fate of Meggan?

All in good time, Eric. Meggan's too good a character to stay out of the limelight for too long. And she's an alien hottie, so we all want to see her soon. In fact, we wanted to work her into Chris Claremont and Michael Ryan's run on "New Excalibur," but time and space made it impossible. All we were able to do was get a sketch from Michael Ryan that was lovely.

2) Is Dazzler's phantom pregnancy with a now amnesiac Longshot ever going to be explained?

I can't say concretely, but the two will both be in "X-Men: Die By The Sword" (which crosses "New Excalibur" and "Exiles").

3) Is Shatterstar's history with Benjamin Russell – as well as his implied history with Dazzler and Longshot – ever going to be touched upon?

Not in the near future, but never rule anything out. That's my #2 rule.

4) Has the popularity of the Exiles' Morph ever caused the X-office to consider bringing him to the 616 universe or resurrecting/retconning Changeling's death (even though it was a very noble)?

Morph was one of the happy surprises to come about in "Exiles." His popularity in "Age of Apocalypse" certainly carried over to "Exiles." But, we're going to let him be the only Morph (at least for now).

5) I know the X-Verse is big and has lots of popular characters. What are the chances of some of the more popular characters getting their own ongoing besides Wolverine? Some good choices would be Iceman, Beast, Emma Frost, and Cyclops…

One of our goals in the X-Office is to be very careful about new series and limited series. We want to make sure that they are: 1) vital reading for X-Fans, and 2) really honkin' good. So, assuming these characters are alive after "Messiah CompleX," and assuming we can get a good team together working on a sweet idea for them, I wouldn't rule it out.

Speaking of popular mutants, MightyM had a question about a certain heroine who hasn't been seen in awhile, but whose presence has definitely been felt. "Will the X-office ever get Scarlet Witch back as a character to use? As she is the one who has forever altered the mutant landscape, it seems like she's an important individual in your universe."

How about this: you'll see her in September and October in a couple X-Books. No joke. Keep your eyes peeled!

We will – thanks for the tip! A huge list of questions came in from heliosthemuse this week. We couldn't use them all, but here's a dozen. Let's see if we can fill up an egg carton with answers for him.

1) Any chance of Bill Sienkiewicz doing any work on X-titles?

Sorry, Helios, no plans for Bill and the X-folk right now. But we love Bill's work, so hopefully we can arrange something in the future.

2) Will we see a "What If?" of Decimation at some stage showing what things would have been like if all the depowered mutants were powered and vice-versa? I think it would cool because all the big players would be depowered, while Polaris and Professor X would be the only active members or the X-Men to retain their powers.

Are you pitching me, Helios? This isn't a pitch meeting! However, I would say to keep your ear to the ground for news about "What If?"

3) What's the X-Men's opinion of the Avengers and Fantastic Four after the Civil War?

The X-Men stayed neutral during "Civil War" and they're remaining that way afterwards. They are really sad about Captain America, but this isn't their war.

4) Any chance of an origin story for Mystique?

Well, we've seen several looks into Mystique's past and origin, but if you want more, keep your eyes peeled in February!

5) Emma Frost is probably the most successful new addition to the X-Men's line up in the last decade (in my opinion). Why do you think fans accepted Emma into the line up when so many characters entered the X-Men's ranks and quickly left over the years?

There are several factors to it: 1) Awesome writers loved her. When you have Grant Morrison and Joss Whedon really pushing you as a character, chances are you're going to stick. 2) She's such a power-house character from X-Men past. She was hugely important as a villain and as a hero in the past. 3) She's a strong woman and there's a history of those in X-Men. 4) She's a perfect foil for Scott. She's a grey to his black and white. She pushes him and challenges him. 5) You never know 100% if you can trust her, and that's just so interesting.

6) Are the Stepford Cuckoos true clones of Emma? Emma's originally a brunette and if they were cloned from her eggs, wouldn't they share her DNA (and brunette hair?). Do the Cuckoos have a father/donor?

Very good question, Helios. One I can't answer. But we'll get to that sooner or later…

7) Will we see Fixx soon?

No plans for her at this time. Sorry.

8) With the Marauders recent reappearance, will we get to learn more of their individual backstories?

It all depends on space restraints. We'd love to delve into their stories, but there's only so much room in the current "X-Men" arc and in "Messiah CompleX." I do guarantee that you'll see them in "Messiah CompleX." To prove it, here's some sweet Silvestri Marauder art from the one shot!

9) Will Havok ever remember the Mutant X world? It was the only time he was the main character in a title and it's been completely ignored.

As of right now, we don't have plans to bring up Mutant X stuff, but whether or not we do it depends on a story that needs it. If one of our writers wants to tell the story, then it could happen. Anyway, Havok's got plenty of other things on his mind in "X-Men: Emperor Vulcan." Check out some sweet Starjammer action right here…

10) Will Rachel ever remember her time in the Askani timeline?

She's got plenty on her mind already (what with her recent family massacre, her past in the future as a Hound, and her feelings for Korvus).

11) Are Lady Mastermind and the other "lady" Mastermind the same person?

They are actually sisters, if you can believe that…

12) A lot of writers seem to shy away from characters with complicated histories as they seem too intimidating for new readers. What's your take on this?

It all depends on the character. There are a million ways to approach it. I always tend to push my writers toward simplicity, but there's definitely something to be said for character histories. One of the best things about working on characters with such rich histories is that you can either draw on those histories, or just not mention them. And that's not a bad thing, in my book. I don't bring up that Zepplin incident from my childhood in every current situation in my life. There's no reason why characters need to have every moment from their past referenced at every moment.

That's twelve questions and twelve answers – don't say I never did anything for you, Helios. And on the topic of characters with complicated histories, Deadoro asked, "Can you give us any clues about how Gambit will be treated after 'Messiah CompleX' is finished? Hero? Villain? Leader?"

All I know is that Gambit's in league with some pretty bad dudes and dudettes.

Hmm. As long as we're prying for clues, Weponx_2001 was curious about the future membership of his favorite team. "What are the chances of Iceman coming over to 'Astonishing X-Men'?"

It's always a possibility. When all of our ducks are in a row, we'll be making announcements as to who's in 'Astonishing' under Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi.

And we'll be waiting. Clint Theron wraps things up with a solid trifecta of queries for us.

1) Will we be seeing Avalanche anytime in the near future, or possibly a resurrected Pyro?

Dead is dead, Theron. No one is ever resurrected in X-Men comics, Clint!

2) Since Essential Dazzler Vol. 1 sold well, will there be a Vol. 2 anytime soon?

Are you already done with Vol. 1? You read too fast!!!

3) Not necessarily an X-question, but will we see Anaconda guest-star in "Cable & Deadpool" some more? I'm begging for more appearances!

There's a lot of begging in this week's X-POSITION. Where's your pride?!?

That wraps up this week's installment of our little X-coffee klatch. For our guest next week, we've gotten someone who comes from outside of the X-world, but is very busy within it: writer Christos Gage. He is currently one of the writers on the "Endangered Species" back-up stories, he's penned the "World War Hulk: X-Men" miniseries (the final issue ships next week), and he will be writing the "Avengers: House of M" mini which arrives in November.

And a quick request to all "X-POSITIONITES": please keep the aforementioned books in mind when sending in questions next week. Gage will not be able to answer questions about random mutant character X, and he definitely doesn't know when Jean Grey is coming back. Stick with the titles at hand and get me your queries quickly, and I'm likely to include them. As always, be sure to put "X-Position" in the subject line too. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Now discuss this story in CBR's X-Men forum.

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