X-POSITION: Week Three

At this moment in the Marvel Universe, the Hulk is smashing his way through New York ("World War Hulk" #1), the New Avengers made a discovery that may have serious implications for the safety of the planet ("New Avengers" #31), and all mutants are one day closer to extinction. Needless to say, it's not a great time to be a Marvel hero; however, it's a fantastic time to be a fan!

Along those lines, it's time for our third Q&A with the team behind the X-books. They're here to answer questions sent in by you , the readers. This is all in preparation for big "happenings" in the mutant corner of the Marvel U, which will kick off in the upcoming one-shot, "Endangered Species." This book will then lead into a 17-part back-up story that finds Beast searching for a solution to save the mutant race.

Next week, Mike Carey ("X-Men") – the writer of the one-shot and orchestrator of the back-up story – will be fielding your questions. Have a couple of questions for Mike? Got some doozies? Then simply send them my way ASAP with the subject line "X-Position." And if you don't see your question answered during the week you sent it in, don't worry – it may appear in future installments.

Answering questions this week is X-editor Nick Lowe. He kindly offered to step up to the plate, so let's see if he knocks one out of the park! Batter up…

Nick, nice to have you back again this week. Adjectivelessly Faded had a good question in light of last week's New Warriors #1 hitting the stands. With Hollow appearing in 'Loners' and Wind Dancer and Beak appearing in 'New Warriors,' will these ex-X-Characters be showing up for the 'Endangered Species' event or the crossover that follows?

You won't be seeing them in "Endangered Species" or in the crossover, but don't worry, you'll see plenty of them in the books you mentioned.

Speaking of titles outside of the X-Universe, A.F. had one other interesting query. Will this upcoming event integrate the Mutant Universe further into the Marvel Universe or will it become more isolated than ever? I've always thought it was nice how both superhumans and mutants live in a shared universe, but I feel like they should be on totally different sides or else the mutants wouldn't logically have too much of a problem, with allies forming over fifty different teams for the Fifty State Initiative.

We're all in the same universe, but the mutants have their own problems. They've been through registration before. They've been hunted. They've been feared. They're going to stay focused on their problems which, frankly, are about to get worse.

As long as we're poking around the different corners of the Marvel Universe with our questions, it sounds like Trey is curious about one of his favorite superheroines: After the New Warriors were killed in 'Civil War' #1, Firestar (Angelica Jones) retired as a superhero. Given the strong impact of the Civil War on her, and her strong ties to the White Queen, is there a good chance that we'll be seeing Firestar in one of the X-titles?

Nope! Sorry, Trey.

Darn it. It looks like I'll be the only one yelling, "Spider-Friends, go for it!"

We've had lots more inquiries about the status of various mutants since last week. An email from bcwflash asked, I see the Excalibur characters are on the cover of 'X-men' #200. Will they be a big part of the crossover, and if not the whole team, then what members will we see most?

The Excalibur characters who are on the cover to "X-Men" #200 are the characters who have been members of X-Men teams. The New Excalibur characters won't be playing a role in the upcoming X-storylines. The four books involved in these huge stories are enough. Do you want me to lose my mind, bcwflash?

No one wants that, Nick. Several questions came in concerning a well-known mutant whom fans haven't seen in awhile. I'll allow Henry to pose the question: Will the events in 'Endangered Species' or the fall crossover lead to the discovery or hatching of Jean's Phoenix Egg? If Jean is not returning soon, will she at least appear from her position as White Phoenix in the White Hot Room? Or are there any plans to continue the subplot of her searching for the missing pieces of the Phoenix?

You won't see any Phoenix Eggs or White Hot Rooms in the upcoming storylines. We're trying to stay on Earth now and keep the stories as simple and relatable as possible. You'll have to just make your own White Hot Room, Henry. I recommend Sherman Williams paint. CLEVELAND PRIDE! GO CAVS! TIM DUNCAN SUCKS!

Oh, man. Tonight might be a very sad night for you Nick. Go Cavs!

Hm. I don't know where Sierra is getting her info, but she wrote, From what I read, Xavier is looking for one of the most important mutants ever. Could you give us a hint on who that mutant is?

I'll do more than hint, Sierra. It's Magneto. He's looking for Magneto. And he's not the only one…

Look at that – ask a question, get an answer…and another question!

Brad Ball had some questions about Marvel's overarching plans. When the editors were teasing the big summer crossover for the fall, Joe Quesada said that Hulk was in a trilogy with 'Planet Hulk' as Act I and 'World War Hulk' as Act II. Can you tell us if Act III and the big X-title crossover all part of the same event to come?

Act III is Hulk-centric and has nothing to do with our crossover. But if you want Hulk/X-Men action, look no further than the "World War Hulk/X-Men" awesomeness.

For more on the current and future outlook for the Hulk, check out CBR's recent feature interview with Greg Pak.

A handful of readers have sent emails about the next inquiry, but I'll let Tim Gunn say it for the record: I wanted to know if the 'Endangered Species' back-ups will all be collected in a single trade?

They will be, Tim. So if that's your format of choice, there is hope for you yet, Tim.

Aw, sweet sentiments from an X-editor. You're a lucky guy, Tim. On the other hand, Red Lotus senses a bad moon rising and asked, There have been several hints about how far Beast might be willing to go to find the answers he seeks. Could his methods lead to a conflict with other X-Men?

They certainly could, Red Lotus. They certainly could.

It appears reader John Cruz had the same inklings as Red Lotus in wondering, Will there be any possible interaction between Beast (Hank), Dark Beast, and Mr. Sinister to find a solution to the mutant/M-day problem, given that they are three of Marvel's mutants' well-known experts on the mutant genome? If so, will there be any serious ramifications from this?

My lips are sealed, John. You're just going to have to read the stories.

What an X-tease!

So, when searching for a solution, you've got to look at the source of the problem. Therefore, Rodyega (and a few other readers) wanted to know, Will the story directly feature the Scarlet Witch? I mean, will she be in it? She is the one that started this all! Will the mutants be dealing with her? After Hawkeye left Wanda (in a recent 'New Avengers'), she seemed to change reality. So does she still have her powers? Will she be in the crossover?

Again, no comment. Sorry, Rodyega.

In wars, it's often asked, What about the children? Well, in our case, Hi-Fi is stating that specific question. Are we going to see the Xavier's students fighting directly with the Marauders? And do the kids play a big role in the crossover?

The kids play a huge role in the crossover. They're also featured prominently in the "X-Men" #200-204 arc.

Every reader has their favorite books, and Lanowar wanted to know more about the future of his. How will 'Endangered Species' affect the two more remote satellite titles of the X-universe: 'Wolverine' and 'Cable & Deadpool'? Will we see new spin-offs launch as a result of this crossover?

There will definitely be shake-ups, Lanowar. We're still in the process of planning out what the status quo of the X-corner of the Marvel U is after the crossover, but you will definitely see changes. But remember, change is good.

Change is good. As a matter of fact, I saw panhandler outside my work and he was holding a sign with those exact sentiments.

Bjorn Barnbelly had some deep ponderings and wonderings, and is crossing his fingers for the following: I hope you guys address (via Beast's research, perhaps?) the imbalance inherent in Wanda's demutantization – specifically why a guy like Beak lost his gross physical attributes while Blob got stuck with his; and why millions of nameless mutants around the world were affected but the most combatative mutants were relatively untouched? Yes, I know you can't afford to toss out the main superheroes of profitable books, and certain changes were made for reader impact and plot complexity, but I'm hoping for a decent in-story explanation.

I'll address it right here, Bjorn. Wanda's mutant power, as well as her magic, is all based around Chaos. It isn't perfect and it's far from partial. To answer your specific question, what Wanda's spell did was take away the powers of mutants. In the case of Blob, it took away his attributes that made him immovable and strong. But his stretched skin, remained.

Beak's power, however, made him look like a bird and gave him bird attributes. So when he lost it, the bird attributes disappeared. Make sense? Another example of this is Marrow. Her power was ever-growing bones. So when she lost her powers, the bones stopped growing. It doesn't mean that they'd just fall off. They're her bones! Hope that gives you some clarity.

I'm sure Bjorn will sleep easier at night knowing all of that. Thanks Nick!

With all the X-titles crossing over, there's potential for many interesting character interactions. Jack Morgan was curious about one in particular: I'm a big fan of Sunfire. The news of him coming back as one the Marauders has thrilled me to the brim, but there's one question that's been bugging me for ages - will he and Rogue ever be able to reconcile their past? It's never been touched since the shocking events in her solo series, and the fact that Rogue still has his powers leaves tons of interesting story potential! This is something too gripping to ignore!

That's something we'd love to cover when we get the chance, Jack Morgan.

Jack, I'm with you. Let's hope they get the chance soon!

That's all for this week. Don't forget to send some loving X-questions for Mike Carey. The sooner you get them to me, the better the odds are that it will get included. Send me an email and we'll see you next week!

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

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