Although the forefront of major shifts in the Marvel Universe is contained in the Marvel NOW! publishing initiative, things have been anything but status quo in the Ultimate Universe. Following the "Divided We Fall" Ultimate crossover, the Ultimate X-Men have undergone a decimation as a vast number of mutants have opted to take a cure to eliminate their powers.
Leading the remaining mutants on a reservation of land known as Reservation X is Kitty Pryde. Along with Jimmy Hudson, Iceman, Rogue and others, Kitty forges ahead with creating a new mutant-run nation -- despite opposition for leadership from Nomi Blume.
This week, "Ultimate Comics X-Men" writer Brian Wood joins X-Position to shed some light on the direction of the Ultimate Universe's X-Men and answers reader questions about everything from whether fan-favorite characters will appear to the challenges of writing in the Ultimate U.
Before we get started in the Ultimate U, Pixie wants to know about how you handled the character Pixie in your recently wrapped "X-Men" run.
Mr. Wood, I'm a huge fan of your work (Marvel and non-Marvel). As one of the pre-eminent Pixie fanboys in the world, I was amazed at your portrayal of the pink sprite in your recent "X-Men" run. Beautifully nuanced. Please tell us what ideas you had for the character when writing and where do you see her going?
Brian Wood: She's the next generation of X-Men, and I just wanted to write her without any angst or bitterness or snark, just an open and genuine young person. Which is how I feel most young people are, despite the way we stereotype teens and people in that general age group as sarcastic hipsters. Pixie's a solidly good person and wants to see the good in others. Which might sound boring on paper, but I always feel someone who is direct and honest will always create a stir around them. As a writer, I love Pixie and I look forward to writing her again.
Rixec has a question about "Ultimate Comics X-Men's" reach beyond Utopia.
Will we ever get to see the X-Men's reaction to the All New Ultimate Spider-Man? Will we ever see the Ultimate X-23?
No plans for either. Although I can see no reason why I shouldn't bring X-23 in. But this is the pitfall of the Ultimate U: I like X-23 and would like to write her, but I wouldn't want to create an Ultimate version just to writer her the same as 616. I'd have to come up with a different angle... without losing her X-23-ness.
Renaldo wants to know a bit about Captain America's role as President and your enjoyment of writing female protagonists.
1) With Cap now taking over this new role and the new order setting in, did you see this as sort of paralleled to the 616-mainstream after "AVX?" I ask as all the mutants, well the "law-abiding" ones at least, marching to the beat of Steve's Avengers over in 616!
Not consciously. I think that's a valid interpretation but not what I was going for. Putting aside the Ultimates for a second, what I'm writing now in "UCXM" is what I came on board this series to write. The Reservation X/Natural Resources/X-War trifecta of arcs that you'll get next is basically my pitch. I'm just getting to them now. And that had nothing to do with "AVX" or anything else going on in the 616. But if any reader finds some common ground, that's awesome. It's a cool side effect.
2) You seem to have a knack for the gritty female as seen with Belit and on this title with Rogue and Kitty so I ask what makes these females such pivotal and poignant characters to hinge on and lead with?
I like writing women, I always have. My first comic ever, "Channel Zero" back in 1997, had a female lead and at the time it was not a decision based on anything beyond that I just thought she looked cool! When the book came out, it was cited as a "rare example" of a female led comic, and so I figured the industry needed more of them, if it was in fact a rare thing. Now, I'm known for writing nuanced, multi-faceted female leads and I'm happy and proud to be that guy. And since I am that guy, I get offered the jobs with the female leads already built in. In the case of "UCXM," my editors suggested Kitty lead the book. In "Conan," Belit is really the star of the book I'm adapting, and so on. And as everyone knows, there is no greater population of amazing female character than in the X-Men. They completely outclass the men, in my opinion.
3) Would you ever consider bringing over some other Ultimate characters such as Miles Morales for a bit of a higher profile run in your title?
Not specifically Miles. But I have had Captain American and Tony Stark so far.
4) Storm and Colossus were quite controversial in the Ultimate Universe in past years and these iterations caught some fans by surprise, so do you have any secret storms or teases that you can allude to without divulging too much?
Karen Grant's coming back, and with a pretty serious vengeance. Possibly under a different name?EXCLUSIVE: Art from "Ultimate Comics X-Men" #20 by Carlo Barberi