X-POSITION: Zeb Wells-ish

Everyone refers to summer as a carefree, relaxing time of the year - well, everyone's wrong. These past two weeks alone, Marvel Comics' X-writers have been swamped with San Diego Comic-Con International and an X-retreat to discuss Marvel's mutant adventures for the year (hence the two weeks without an X-POSITION).

I mean, let's face it - if you're not a third grade student, summers are full of housekeeping projects, meticulously scheduled trips and a calendar full of barbecues, get-togethers and summer nuptials - which brings us to "New Mutants" writer Zeb Wells. I'll allow X-editor Nick Lowe the opportunity to explain:

Hi everybody! It's your favorite X-Editor! No, not Jeanine Schaefer. Nope, not Daniel Ketchum. Jody Leheup? No. Certainly not that Alonso fellow. It's Nick Lowe!!!

Unfortunately, Zeb wasn't able to make it to the interview this week. Not only does he have way too much work to do (between "New Mutants," "Carnage," and a top secret project that I may get in trouble for even hinting at that will give every fanman some rumblings south of the border), but somehow he convinced an actual human woman to marry him this month. You can actually leave your houses now, women of Earth. Someone took one for the team!

Anyway, since Zeb can't be here to answer your questions, I will impersonate Zeb and give answers to the questions you so graciously asked...

Thanks, Nick - er, Zeb. Wow, this is going to be more confusing than "Inception," but we'll give it a go.

CBR News: The New Mutants were also busy this summer as they were occupied with the X-event "Second Coming." Prodigial had a few questions that arose from his reading of the story. Do you have some answers to spare?

1) I'd like to commend you on your innovative use of Legion during "Second Coming." Is Legion going to be manifesting any more of that 'ownage' in "New Mutants?" Might he join the team officially?

Thanks, Prodigal. I wish I could claim credit for the brilliance of the Legion idea, but like all brilliant things that happen, it was Nick Lowe's idea. What a genius! You can definitely expect some more Legion awesomeness to come.

2) I'm really looking forward to seeing who Cyclops has in mind from the New Mutants to lead the next generation of mutants. Has the team changed in any way shape or form for you (perception-wise) since you began writing them with "New Mutants" #1?

I have to say, I'm usually getting my nails done while I write so I don't really know what I'm writing. But in conversations with my incredible editor, I've often spoke about the most surprising thing in writing this is that some of the characters I expected to be boring to write have actually been the most fun. Like Dani Moonstar.

3) Something that's been really bothering me as of late is the unaddressed issue that Moonstar is Elixir's guardian and, well, so far she's been failing at it. Since Elixir has been MIA since "Necrosha," don't you think Dani would want to investigate the matter?

A lot happens off-panel that wouldn't make sense in the context of the story that we're telling. If Dani turned to Karma and said, "You know what, I'm worried about Josh," anyone who didn't read "New X-Men" would say, "Who the hell is Josh and why isn't Nick Lowe a character in this book!"

To properly explain their relationship and what she is or isn't worried about (and such) would take precious real estate away from the story that is being told. So a lot of this happens in-between panels. You may find - when the story of Elixir is fully told - that Dani did look but didn't find him, or did look and did find him and he didn't want to go where she wanted him to go...or something.

4) I'm looking forward to seeing "Fall of The New Mutants" unfold and it's lead me to re-read the classic "Fall of The Mutants" (1987). Would it be accurate to say that the Ani-mator and the Smile faces that were chucked into Limbo back are back? And if so, would the Ani-mates like Bird-brain not be far behind?

Sadly, you won't be seeing the Ani-mator and the Smileys in this story. But there's another classic X-crossover that will have a lot to do with "Fall of the New Mutants."

5) I enjoyed the first issue of your new arc, however, it feels like you had to put "Fall of the New Mutants" on hold while the crossovers occurred. Therefore, I'm wondering if any of the crossovers helped you come up with ideas that you hadn't initially planned for the team? For example, did you always intend for Karma's leg to be amputated?

Nope, that amputation was a happy accident, much like me finding a woman to marry. I was walking down La Cienega with an engagement ring in my hand and I tripped. All of the sudden the woman I've been stalking for 8.5 years was on the ground too and the ring was on her finger so she had to marry me. Anyway, the crossovers weren't in the initial plan, but things like Karma's leg and what happened to Sam throughout them and Dani and her Valkyrie stuff have been really cool to play with.

Speaking of Karma's leg, PO! has issues - volumes of them, it seems.

1) Could you do something about Karma s horrible leg? With all the tech the X-Men have, they could have done something much better and less grotesque! Pretty please?

I'm with Madison Jefferies. That leg is sexy! I made Leonard Kirk sculpt one for me after he designed it so my Saturday nights would be more enjoyable.

2) Are we going to see a love triangle situation between Magma, Empath and Berto? Magma needs some more of the spotlight - it seems she has done almost nothing since the book started!

Good things come to those that wait, PO!

3) Dani Moonstar and Proudstar used to have some sort of attraction back on their teens - could we please we see more of that?

I've finally got some kissing in the book and now I'm kiss-crazy. I'll see what I can do.

4) Exactly how close are Doug and Warlock? Are they selfbestfriends or there is something going on at a deeper level?

They will be kissing soon! See?!? Kiss-crazy!!!!!

Better be careful then, the next fan that wrote in - Metal Woman - might get rusty if your kisses are too sloppy. Let's just get to her queries:

1) After Warlock purged the lifeglow he absorbed, did he go back to his previous weakened levels? Or is he all healed from "Necrosha" now?

He's definitely weakened now. He's really torn about taking lifeglow at this point. I can relate.

2) Any chance of seeing Cypher's "dialogue-translating boxes" again? It was great getting into the character's head in "New Mutants" #6 with thos

I'll see what I can do, Metal Woman. It depends on if my wise editor agrees.

3) Legion cutting loose in "Second Coming" was great, but what happened to him after the fight? Did he run away or is he still on Utopia?

He's still on Utopia biding his time until someone comes by to kiss him. He's got a special personality that took that weird Pick-Up Artist from that VH-1 show with the strange hats and such. So he's ready for his smooching.

4) Considering how many of the New Mutants were teachers to the New X-Men, is there any chance to see them take the kids on training missions?

I think Sam's too afraid of one of them dying on a mission if the future missions are anything like the ones they've had.

And our final email of the day comes from Christopher Judd, who has Magik on his mind...

1) Is Magik still using Limbo as her halfway 'porting station? Or has she finally mastered things beyond that with regards to her powers?

As you'll see in issue #17, she's definitely still using Limbo. And not just for teleportation.

2) Was the "Second Coming: Hellbound" storyline plotted out in consideration to your "Fall of the New Mutants" story arc? Or was there some adapting required to your script in order to accommodate the "Hellbound" conclusion?

A little bit of both, Mr. Judd. Chris and I worked together (under the watchful eye of Daniel Ketchum and the beautiful icy-blue eyes of dreamy editor Nick Lowe) to make it all fit together nicely.

3) I understand that "Fall of the New Mutants" will wrap up the Illyana-centric story arc you'd planted seeds for in issue one. Any chance we can get a hint as to what is in store for the team after this arc? This title will continue, right?

The title isn't going anywhere as far as I know, Christopher (not that I know much about anything other than the difference between "convex" and "concave"). We just had a sweet X-Men retreat where "New Mutants" came up a lot. One of the characters who makes it out of "Fall of the New Mutants" alive is going to be huge in 2011. And not just in the X-books!

And that's it for today, but before we go, we have our "Behind the X" question where we learn a little something special about our guest. Here's today's query: what is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is prying questions about pet-peeves, George! Well, that and when my fiancee somehow breaks out of her cage and makes me track her down on the mean streets of L.A. That really takes some time. Oh! And I also hate when people besmirch the perfection that is my editor Nick Lowe!

For the record, I would never besmirch Nick Lowe and I doubt next week's guest - Mike Carey - would ever even consider such an action. So let's focus on happier things, like questions for Mr. Carey! He's eagerly awaiting your intriguing inquiries, so type them up and hurl an email my way just a soon as you can. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line and I'll be sure to pass it along with a wink and a smile. See you in seven!

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