X-POSITION: Wood Guides Two "X-Men" Teams

Writer Brian Wood has had an interesting history working in Marvel's Mutant Universe. In early 2000, he co-wrote (and then wrote solo) nearly a dozen issues of "Generation X." He then went on to write an assortment of personal and creator-owned projects over the next decade, only to return to the X-Men a dozen years later -- and he's done so in a big way!

Wood began 2012 with the "Wolverine & the X-Men: Alpha and Omega" miniseries, and now takes over two X-books: "X-Men" and "Ultimate Comics X-Men." Of course, he still finds time to work on his own titles ("Northlanders," "The Massive"), but today he joins X-POSITION to answer your e-mails about his plans for our favorite X-characters. Let's hear what's written on his whiteboard...

Dennys starts us off with a rallying cry:

"Welcome to the Danger Room, Mr. Wood!" Sorry, I wanted to say that for a while. Anyway, congrats on your new position and here are my questions...

#13 cover by Kaare Andrews, #14 by Dave Johnson

1) I didn't see Warpath on the solicitations for "X-Men." Please tell me Captain America didn't kill or incapacitate him, and that Jimmy is still on the roster for this title. (For the record, he should have smashed Cap easily...)

He is not on the roster.  I actually don't know where the hell he is, to be honest.

2) Will you tie up any loose story threads that Mr. Gischler left behind (Jubilee, for example)?

I am not.  Ha-ha, that sounds bad -- like it was a willful decision I made.  I dunno, I was asked by Editor Jeanine Schaefer for a pitch on the book and what I gave her wasn't really using any of Victor's material, and everyone seemed cool with that.  I should also note that Jubilee is not on the roster either, but that one wasn't my call.  I would have loved to write Jubilee... again actually, as I first did way back in 2000 or so.

3) What is the "mission statement" of your X-Men? How will they differentiate themselves from the other teams?

The mission statement is to really play up the fact they are a "security team" -- really take that to an elevated level they aren't really at now.  I made them mobile, global, and with a mission mandate that will see them doing less of what Victor was doing and more along the lines of something like "The Authority" or "Planetary" -- investigating weird stuff that has a tendency to go epic and cause a lot of property damage.  And it involves a lot of gray area morality, Storm and the rest of them out in the field having to make decisions on the spot without the benefit of consulting with Scott first.  Well, perhaps it's a blessing to not have to consult with Scott?  

4) Are there other non-mutant heroes you have plans for that might appear with the X-Men?

I created a couple bad guys, but as of right this instant, there are no known, established non-mutants coming into the book.

Taurean brings up the past and wants to know if it's something we might see in the future:

Hi Brian, I am a big fan of "Generation X" and liked your run on the book. Are there any plans for a Generation X reunion in "X-Men?" Or could we see the Ultimate Comics version of this team in the future?

Art by Paco Medina

I've asked after a lot of those characters, but have never really seen an easy or clean way to bring them all together.  I wish I could.  I actually wish I could write "Generation X" again, as it was back then, now that I actually know what I'm doing.  That was my first paid writing job, some might not realize.  I was pretty literally tossed in the deep end without really knowing how to swim.  But... that last story arc I did on "Gen X" called "Four Days," I'm still really proud of and hope to see it collected someday.

Anyway, look for a Gen X-er to join the team in "Ultimate X-Men," by issue #15.

On the topic of expanding your groups, Darkxmen hopes for some hints regarding what to expect...

1) In "X-Men," will you be keeping the roster the same from issue to issue? Or will you be changing members depending on the story arc?

Right now it's the same.  Magik comes in to help out for a bit, I believe in issues #32 and 33, but she isn't staying.  Or, rather, she'll be a recurring visitor, since David Lopez loves drawing her so much.

2) Will we see more of Jean Grey in the Ultimate book?

Absolutely, and in a major, major way.  But not for a while.  This trajectory I've put Kitty and her team on needs to play out a bit, and once we're past the "Divided We Fall" event and are into the next phase of the story, Jean'll be back.  And she'll be coming back to a very different America and a very different Kitty Pryde.

Renaldo is curious to see what you Ultimate-ly do as well:

1) I'm a big fan of your "Wolverine & the X-Men: Alpha and Omega" title (as I love Mark Brooks' art), so I need to ask -- would you consider introducing an Ultimate Quentin Quire as you already have a great handle on him?

Ha, that never occurred to me but it would be a lot of fun.  I can see where that might work, actually -- I'll have to ask about it.  And thanks, I loved writing him and writing that miniseries.

2) Would you be tempted to do an all-out clash between your book and the Hickman/Humphries 'Ultmates' title, like what is currently being done in AvX?

Right now we're working really closely together -- both the characters in our books and Sam [Humphries] and I personally -- coordinating our stories.  I'm still amazed at how tight that Ultimate universe is, and how many Excel spreadsheets and timelines exist to keep it all in sync.  So right now everyone's on the same side, which is probably good since I have a hard time imagining how the X-Men would really be able to hold their own in a toe-to-toe with the Ultimates.

That's not to say Kitty and Co. are always going to be doing what Fury and Cap want them to do.

3) Will you dive into the Xorn twins' origin a bit more in your book?

No plans yet, but the Jean Grey/Tian stuff will be thundering back into my book in eight month's to a year's time or so, so there will be chances then.

4) I love your "Conan" with Becky Cloonan and I'm curious -- would you ever take a stab at writing the barbaric and female-thirsty Hercules at Marvel?

I'd rather write a Viking Thor, to be honest.  Like, real Vikings like I did on "Northlanders."  Hmm, Thor MAX?

Yes, please! Henry is up next with a more cerebral query:

I am a big fan of Professor X, but feel like he has been downplayed lately, with Emma Frost taking on the role of "best telepath" in the Marvel U. I was wondering if you had any major plans for him?

No plans at all.  I'm not even sure he's available to me, in either universe?

Maybe he has a clone? Wait, forget I said that!

Kris gives us our final missive, and he'd like to see Hope and magic in your book:

1) Seeing as Pixie is a cast member in your "X-Men" title, can we expect to see her Generation Hope teammates, including Sebastian Shaw?

Not for these next couple arcs anyway.  I dunno, I don't see a lot of tinkering with the cast of the book, at least not so soon.  I'm still settling into the characters I have now and messing around with the dynamics already present.  I have a lot to play with.

2) Victor Gischler mentioned he had a magic-centric story in which Pixie played a big role that he never got around to. This sounded very promising. Do you have any similar plans for your run?

My stories are going to be much more grounded in reality, so nothing like that, no.  I've said this before in past interviews, but they are operating on the bleeding edge of the human/mutant conflict, so we're talking a lot of real world threats in specific locations, often putting the X-Men at odds with humans and governments more than anything else.  I agree that Victor's idea sounds cool, I might just not be the guy to write it.

3) Will you continue the romance between Velocidad and Pixie?

You know, I just looked him up online to see what the most recent status was with him, and continue to be disappointed that he isn't an actual dad.  Like, pushing a stroller.  I feel like "Velocidad" could be a specialized variation on the hipster dads I see walking around my Brooklyn neighborhood.  I gotta work on that.  Anyway, yeah, I'm not going to ignore that, but it's not going to be a major thing either.

Can anyone say, "Ultimate VelociDad?" That would be awesome!

And now, it's time for our quick get-to-know-you question that we call "Behind the X." Let's try this wonky one out: which Muppet do you most associate with and why?

That is truly bizarre.  Well, I'll start off by saying that I used to date this girl who was, often by her own admission, the Chinese-Canadian version of Janice, from Dr. Teeth's band.  It was eerie.  Anyway, sticking with the band, I think I have the silence and depressed attitude (and the baldness) of Zoot combined with the cynicism and general asshole-ishness of Floyd Pepper.

That concludes today's fun, but be back here next week to hear from a writer who recently had some very X-citing news -- Christos Gage. That's right, the scribe of the newly announced "First X-Men," drawn by the legendary Neal Adams is joining us. Gage will also be happy to answer your questions about his ongoing "X-Men Legacy" as well.

Your mission -- whether you choose to accept it or not -- is to e-mail me your queries ASAP, as I'm sure you have a half dozen (heck, I do). And don't forget to throw an "X-Position" in the subject line. If you forget, I will strike you down with great vengeance and furious anger (that's what Nick Fury said, right?). I'll see you in seven!

Tags: marvel comics, x-position, x-men, dave johnson, reilly brown, paco medina, brian wood, david lopez, kaare andrews, ultimate comics x-men

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