X-POSITION: Week Thirty-OneCraig Kyle and Christopher Yost fill us in on "Messiah CompleX" details and get chatty about "X-Force." Plus, exclusive lettered pages from Friday's "X-Men" #206!
"X-Position: Week Thirty-One"
by George A. Tramountanas
Merry (Day After) Christmas! It appears that Santa visited the X-Men…and left a big lump of coal and misery in their stocking. What am I talking about? Well, if you have to ask, you didn't read last week's chapter of "Messiah CompleX" (in "New X-Men" #45). There was blood, tears, more blood, and a few deaths -- definitely not the way to spend the holidays.
Joining us this week to talk about all the merry mayhem are the writers of the aforementioned chapter, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. They've crawled out from their eggnog-induced haze to answer your questions, and we appreciate it here at X-POSITION. Now brace yourselves, this is going to be bumpier than the Day After Christmas sale at Bloomingdale's.
Plus, we've got an exclusive look at lettered preview pages from "X-Men" #206, out this Friday. Enjoy!
Niels van Eekelen starts us off with a query that shockingly takes place outside of the current crossover, but in the spirit of the holidays, I'll allow it.
"I assume everyone else has already asked about the disturbing lack of 'New X-Men' solicitations [asked and answered in X-POSITION Week 27], so I'll just reach back to before 'Messiah CompleX' for another question – can you give us any clues yet about when and where we'll see a follow-up to the return of Illyana Rasputin?"
KYLE: No… But Chris can.
YOST: She'd better be back. That was a lot of work for her to just disappear again. Last I heard, young Ms. Rasputin was due to show up again summer '08.
It seems Carlos Eduardo Guedes da Silva Manhaes also has a non-MC question. Well, how can I refuse someone with a name longer than my own?
"I know many readers have already asked questions about Cecilia Reyes, but I have to agree and hope that one of the writers finally take care of her story – when will the X-Men finally miss and look for her? When will they finally know about her fate? And when will someone at the institute demonstrate that they really care for her?"
YOST: It's a tough thing for the X-Men – keeping track of everyone – especially when they keep getting attacked or have to chase people into space. I like to think Cecilia is practicing medicine in a small town after she escaped Neverland, glad to be uninvolved in mutant madness. After all, Leech made it out, right?
The honest answer is you'll know when a writer who enjoyed her character comes up with a story she works in and brings her back. It's that simple -- and frustrating for Cecilia Reyes fans.
KYLE: Chris is so sensitive. Why couldn't he have shown Tag some of this compassion?
Ann Nichols is next, and she has strong concerns and opinions, but isn't that what makes America great?
"1) Is there something about Cable's baby-carrier that makes sure the baby doesn't develop shaken baby syndrome or frostbite?"
KYLE: This baby has enormous power and the first mutant ability that it manifested was, in fact, invulnerability towards all forms of shaken baby syndrome. Sadly however, the baby is extremely vulnerable to cold and has lost the entire lower half of it body to frost bite.
YOST: Bad parenting is Cable's Achilles heel.
"2) Are Cyclops and Xavier going to stop acting like territorial dorks and cooperate? Xavier could have questioned Cyclops telepathically without being physically present. He could have also pointed out that he's made terrible mistakes that will haunt him the rest of his life, and he wants Cyclops to be sure he's not going to do the same now.
"As for Cyclops, he's no genius and Xavier is. A good leader takes advantage of his/her resources. Cyclops does not seem to me to be taking the best advantage of Xavier's superior intellect."
KYLE: I know there is a question in here somewhere…I keed, I keed. These are some excellent logic questions/suggestions, but you're placing them over moments driven by extreme emotion. Lots of things that come to a clear-headed person come well after they have already made the bad choices in the heat of the moment. Also, the issues these guys are warring over are deeply personal and cannot easily be put aside.
YOST: And Cyclops is a tactical genius, so your question is invalid. The point here is Cyclops = Awesome and Right, while Xavier = USELESS JERK-O! Viva la Cyclops!
"3) Cyclops' behavior toward the New X-Men in 'X-Factor' #25 really bothers me. He obviously expected his order to be obeyed even after he used his power on Rockslide.
"Is Cyclops ever going to figure out that the reason he and the other original X-Men obeyed Xavier as much as they did was because Xavier had earned their love, respect and trust? And to expect the New X-Men to give him that same obedience – when they feel none of those things for Cyclops – is foolish on his behalf?"
YOST: I love the New X-Men, but honestly? They should have followed his orders, and Surge now understands that. They weren't ready, they didn't know that Cyclops had the Purifiers covered with Rictor's undercover assignment. And this isn't some hippie love fest commune. This is a mutant strikeforce (it is), and if you don't follow orders in wartime (this was), people die.
They may not love Cyclops, but they should respect him as the leader of the X-Men and headmaster. Surge could have gone to Cyclops and talked to him in private, but didn't. She let her emotions get the best of her, and a lot of her team saw that. Dust, Elixir, Prodigy, even Anole weren't down with the revenge thing.
The New X-Men rule. They've done amazing things, but they are still kids. And they don't know everything.
KYLE: I still stand by what Nori did, but she and the other kids deserve to get spanked for not listening to Cyclops. The X-Men have more experience and truly understand how to handle situations like this, where our kids don't. The New X-Men have some skill, a lot of power, and emotions none of them can handle, and that makes for a bad combination.
Unfortunately, none of them have had a chance to grow up before being thrown into the fray. So, ready or not, if they're going to roll with the big boys, they'd better be ready to take it on the chin.
We received the following email from neling4, and they were concerned about "elf" treatment (which is only natural during this time of the year)…
"I would like to know if Nightcrawler is going to be in MC again before it ends as something other than a casualty? And is Wolverine even going to say "thank you" to Kurt for saving Logan's life at the risk of his own? A little appreciation for the Elf would be nice...
YOST: Yes, Nightcrawler will appear again as something other than a casualty -- a casualty of talking to Pixie. And no, Wolverine will never say "thank you" for saving Logan's life at the risk of his own. He doesn't need to. They've saved each other enough times that they just know.
KYLE: As Chris said, "Yes, he will return" – as Cyclops's fourth lost brother.
RickyD410 had a question about someone who relies heavily on claws. Readers, feel free to add your own "Santa Claws" joke here.
"X-23 is moving to 'X-Force.' It's obvious that her experience makes her perfect for this type of team, but what about her development in 'New X-Men?' Wolverine placed her there to learn how to be human, but now she's leaving her new friends and going to do just what she did with the Facility? How will this affect her character development, and will she continue to be in 'New X-Men' (if there is a 'New X-Men') or is 'X-Force' her new full time gig?"
KYLE: Yes, X-Force is her full time gig. And yes, all of the relationships she made (especially one) will be what pushes her into X-Force. She's backsliding into the life and creature she once was. She doesn't know how to deal with real life so she returns to a world she knows and one she doesn't have to question. Only time will tell if she can forget the friends she's made and lives she touched and go back to just being a weapon.
YOST: And Wolverine isn't particularly happy about her being there for many of the reasons you just listed.
And while we're on the subject of X-23, Cayman had a few requests for her writers.
"1) Fans have been clamoring to see X-23 fight Wild Child. Will it finally happen in 'X-Force?'"
YOST: Really? Fans have been clamoring for that? I'd rather have X-23 fight Wildheart. It'd be more satisfying to me, personally.
KYLE: If I could have her fight anyone, it would be the Native. I already pitched a story where the Native is resurrected just so X-23 can kill her again. Who's with me?!
"2) And will we see X-23 meet up with the new Scorpion?"
KYLE: The future is wide open for her, so sure but not in our book. At least, not for the first year or two.
YOST: They've already met, I believe, in "Captain Universe: X-23."
Continuing the X-23 theme, Renaldo had a question about her actions from the most recent MC installment: "Is Lady Deathstryke really dead?"
KYLE: Absolutely…not! (Ha! One of us is lying, who is it?)
As long as we're on the topic of death, Manolinator had a few other grim thoughts.
"1) Rahne killed a Purifier. Is this the first time she's killed?"
KYLE: I don't know for sure, but I don't think so. That said, this is not normal for her character and exactly the kinds of situations she's not prepared for in "X-Force." We've said this before: she should be on the team, and she shouldn't be going down this path. You'll have to see what this journey does to her inside our book. And if you want the best understanding of her actions, buy three to four copies of each issue.
YOST: Knocking that Purifier into that ravine was self-defense – he fired on her at close range and she kicked him. Off a cliff. Bad luck, more than anything. But she's not a killer per se. "New X-Men" #45 gives a hint as to her motivations in "X-Force."
"2) Warpath killed a Purifier, and it was bad and bloody. Although it's understandable why he murdered the guy, Warpath just seems cold-blooded. Did you guys have to debate how ugly you wanted to make that Purifier's death? And will this death haunt Warpath at all? Or is he going to become one of those who kills when he feels it's necessary?"
YOST: It was not debated, if I recall correctly. How pretty can getting killed with a big bowie knife be? Caliban's death will haunt Warpath, not the Reaver's. And Warpath is going to get some more blood on his hands. How he deals with it is the story.
KYLE: Death is ugly. Even when these guys are forced to kill for all the right reasons, it's never pretty – it shouldn't be. His path for the foreseeable future begins here, in this brutal and tragic moment.
"And let's wrap up this week's questions with a lightning round, courtesy of Marcus Martin.
"1) With Surge pointing out that the X-Men have done a poor job with protecting the students, does that mean that they may be forming their own team separate from the X-Men when 'Messiah CompleX' is over?"
KYLE: Stay tuned…
YOST: I think Surge has just realized she has a lot to learn. And always remember that there are answers for all your questions in life in the pages of "X-Force." That's why you need to buy multiples, in case you miss one.
"2) If the X-Men could not control their students, then could Xavier try to lead them (once he gets away from his own pity-party)?"
YOST: Xavier suggested that to Surge, Hellion and Prodigy, but it didn't go over particularly well. But after Surge's bloody epiphany, who knows?
KYLE: Our kids were built by Emma and Cyclops, not Xavier. I think they'd have a tough time listening to words of peace and control when they've had to fight so hard just to survive. I hope they don't listen to him; I think they're better off without him.
"3) Why doesn't Surge join up with X-Force since their first target in the post-'Messiah CompleX' world is the Purifiers ?"
KYLE: Surge wasn't invited to the party and she never will be. Hell, if it were up to Wolverine it would just be him on the team. This group is already too crowed with characters that bring too much personal baggage to the table. So as far as he's concerned, they don't need any more issues added to the heap.
YOST: Her bloodlust pretty much just killed Hellion. She's a mess. Wolverine has no time for that. Surge is where she needs to be right now.
"4) Also, I fear that 'X-Force' will turn into another Wolverine series because it seems like a 'slash 'em up' book. What exactly does 'X-Force' offer that's different than the 'Wolverine' solo title or any other 'X-Men' title?"
KYLE: Yost, (Clayton) Crain, and I – and (X-Men Group Editor) Axel Alonso and (X-Men Editor) Nick Lowe – have specific tone and mission statements for all the X-books, so every title will entertain fans in different ways. This book is a dark and gritty story about heroes who can't save themselves, but are still trying save the lives of others.
It's rich with spiritual, emotional, moral, mental, personal and physical conflict. It's also a book we hope will entertain the fans of today but also speak to the fans that Chris and I grew up with. Oh…and did I mention Crain is drawing the book?
YOST: You'll also get Warpath, X-23 and Wolfsbane, plus a few other members to be named later. Oh, and the villains. With a capital "HOLY $#%!"
"5) Will any of the New X-Men be joining up with any of the X-Men teams (or within the Initiative) in the post-'Messiah CompleX' world?"
YOST: No. Wait! Maybe…
There you fans have it – an undeniable and irrefutable answer!
And that wraps up another exciting session of X-POSITION. Due to the New Year's holiday next week, our column will once again run a day late. To help ease your pain though, Mike Carey ("X-Men") will be on hand to respond to your emails.
Go ahead and send me those questions as soon as you can. Put "X-Position" in the subject line and also include your warmest wishes for a Happy New Year! Hey, don't we all deserve one?