Thursday, October 8, 2015

#tbt: Uncanny X-Men #273

#tbt: Uncanny X-Men #273 – Boom-Boom is chasing Iceman through the makeshift living quarters, hoping for some payback, when Iceman runs into a steely Psylocke. Boom-Boom uses this opportunity to drop a time-bomb down the back of Iceman’s shorts, before Jean Grey tells them both to leave. She showers, while Psylocke explains why she has not called her brother yet. Jean Grey attempts to use Cerebro to try and find some former X-Men, but on the Astral Plane, is attacked by the Shadow King, who revels in her presence. Psylocke is forced to use her psi-knife on Jean to free her, but upon returning to the real world, neither woman is sure who their foe was or what he really wants. Written by Chris Claremont and Art by Jim Lee. Read full summary here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

X-Men '92 #4 Art

X-Men '92 #4 Spoilers

Spoilers: After brainwashing Wolverine, Rogue and Gambit into becoming her New X-Men, Cassandra Nova has launched her attack on Wetchester. Her goal: using the monstrous, ten-headed X-Sentinel to assassinate Baron Kelly before “saving the day” with her team. Pyslocke unleashes Warwolves to attack the X-Sentinel. As Storm leads the united X-Men and X-Force in a struggle to contain the X-Sentinel, Professor X has separated Nova from the Shadow King for a final battle on the Astral Plane. Wolverine, Rogue and Gambit have broken through their conditioning. Jean, Psylocke and Cable help the Professor psychically in his fight against the Shadow King. Cassandra Nova flees while Cyclops and Kelly find out they can destroy the X-Sentinel through a laser beam. At the time Professor X defeats the Shadow King, Jubilee manages to destroy the X-Sentinel with Gambit’s help. In the end, Scott and Jean decide to take a temporary absence from the X-Men, Psylocke and Bishop join the X-Men, and Jubilee becomes a student as Professor X opens a school for mutants.

Epilogue 1: Cassandra Nova meets Joseph (Magneto’s clone).

Epilogue 2: Baron Kelly meets Apocalypse and his horsemen.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Blast from the Past Continues in X-Men '92 Writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers captured the “X-Mania” of that era in their recent Secret Wars series, X-MEN ‘92, which will graduate into its own ongoing title starting next year.

The new series returns these X-Men to their own universe, where they’ve reopened Xavier’s school. The comic will feature a bunch of characters you’ve never heard of—Not! Fans can expect to see even more mutants this time around, including some, like Cassandra Nova, who did not exist in 1992.

“I think that's what we’re really concerned about: not doing the things you’ve seen before,” Sims says. “The main reason we went with Cassandra Nova in the [first series] was that she was the one villain that you've never seen those ‘90’s X-Men fight. Obviously, we’re going to see some familiar faces in the ongoing, but it might not be who—and when—you expect."

Some of those familiar faces might not even be mutants.

“There are so many ‘90’s era characters to look forward to in the ongoing, and not all of them X-Men—but I've said too much already,” Bowers teases. “As for where the X-Men are going, well, they’ll be going everywhere! We’re both big fans of the X-Men in space, so you can look forward to that. And what would the X-Men be without a little time travel weirdness tossed in there? That said, don’t expect us to simply retread old stories that you’ve already seen, because that’s the last thing we want to do. This is All-New X-MEN ’92, and that means all bets are off; if you think you know the ‘90’s X-Men, think again, mister!"

The duo also plan to continue working in references to 1990’s culture, such as the game of laser tag the X-Men played in the first series, which Sims cites as “actually more ‘90’s than playing basketball in cut-off jeans.”

Bowers adds, “Working that stuff in is half the fun of writing this book. In fact, if you thought the first series was full of ‘90’s touchstones, just wait. We got confirmation on something just the other day that has us both freaking out a little bit. I can’t wait for peoples’ reactions to everything we’re planning for the ongoing. I’m confident in saying if you liked what we’ve done already, you’re going to be blown away by what we have coming up.”

While Scott Koblish drew the original story, Alti Firmansyah joins Bowers and Sims for the ongoing.

“Anyone who’s seen her work on STAR-LORD AND KITTY PRYDE knows she brings an enthusiasm and energy to everything she does, and we’re delighted to have her join the team,” Bowers exclaims of Firmansyah. “We’ve tossed some wild stuff at her already, and she never flinched. And by wild, I mean we asked her to draw a giant, killer bear on page one.”

“There’s a scene in STAR-LORD AND KITTY PRYDE where Gambit shows up, and she gives him this beautifully over-the-top reaction,” Sims adds. “I think that’s when we knew she’d be a perfect fit for what we were doing. There’s a sense of humor to it that still leads into this really dynamic action, which is exactly what we’re into in our comics.”

Expect to see more Gambit from Firmansyah, as she says the Cajun mutant’s her favorite from the era.

“You can say I’m a ‘90’s kid, since I was born in 1983, and at that time I knew X-Men from ‘Wizard Magazine’; [I’ve been] a big fan since then,” she explains. “No matter how people say he’s creepy, I just love to see Gambit, and he’s the first action figure I’ve bought.”

Sims and Bowers obviously had fun with the script in the first series; Bowers notes the laser tag opener as a favorite, as well as Storm’s “session” with Cassandra Nova and everything they did with Psylocke. “But if I had to narrow it down to one moment, my absolute favorite is Wolverine’s rescue of the woman in the car,” he reveals. “That scene’s incredibly funny, and has that great punch line, but then there’s also this complicated sadness happening with him, which Scott Koblish just sells so well.”

Sims says the Gambit and Rogue picnic date ranked as his favorite.

“I've said this before, but when I was a kid getting into the X-Men, I loved them as a couple, and then when I grew up, I kind of lost interest,” Sims admits. “Then, when I sat down to write that scene as an adult, I immediately got it again. They’re so fun! So much repression, so many goofy accents.”

And speaking of Gambit, one scene in particular surprised Sims when he saw the final version.

“I had Gambit’s ‘It not you, it Gambit’ letter to Bella Donna in the script, and I could not believe that Scott Koblish actually got it into the art,” he says. “That and the end of that sequence, with Gambit giving Rogue a purity ring, were the things that we were sure were going to get cut out. The thing is, once we started the script, our editors, Jordan D. White and Heather Antos, never once told us we couldn’t do something. It was all wide open.”

As for how they feel about the X-Men now, after revisiting this era, some of the characters surprised the writers the more the duo got into their heads.

“You know what was really surprising? Deadpool is really hard to write,” Sims confesses. “I’d like to think we had a couple of good zingers in there, but man, getting that guy to actually be funny was a whole lot more work than you might think.”

“I make no secret about how much I loved writing Psylocke,” Bowers explains. “Going into this, I was a Cyclops guy, but Betsy’s my new favorite X-Man, and we’ve got big things planned for her and Bishop in the new series.”

Sims adds, “As for the core cast, Gambit and Rogue were about as fun as I figured they’d be, but so was Cyclops. He’s such a huge grump about everything, so don’t worry, Cyclops fans—he might’ve left the team during the original series, but I don’t think it’s too much of a surprise to say that he’ll be back before too long.”

Thursday, September 24, 2015

X-Men '92 Returns as Ongoing Series In 2016

Newsarama: Marvel has announced that the Secret Wars tie-in miniseries X-Men '92 is returning as a new ongoing series in spring 2016. The news was announced as part of Marvel's Thursday evening presentation at the Diamond Retailer Summit in Baltimore. Chris Sims and Chad Bowers are returning to the write the series, joined by interior artist Alti Firmansyah (Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde) and cover artist David Nakayama.

In the ongoing X-Men '92 series, the X-Men will return from Secret Wars' Battleworld to their own universe to re-open Xavier's school. The school will have some new students however, as Cassandra Nova's pupils will be enrolling. And from the looks of #1's cover, the mutants will be dealing with 1990s X-Men villain stalwarts such as Omega Red, Exodus, Apocalypse, Fabian Cortez, Bastion, Mystique, Trevor Fitzroy and the Brood.

Uncanny X-Men Faces a Dangerous World Cullen Bunn and Greg Land talk about the joys of helming UNCANNY X-MEN, getting these characters to work together and the overall status of the X-Men coming out of Secret Wars. What can you tell us about the X-Men’s new status quo post-Secret Wars?

Cullen Bunn: Well, I think the “official” status quo is that t
he X-Men are no more. Something terrible has happened in the eight month gap between Secret Wars and UNCANNY X-MEN. We know it has something to do with the T-Mists and their impact on the mutant population, but there’s more to it than that. The world at large believes the X-Men are no more. We, of course, as readers are in on the secret. The X-Men are still alive and kicking, but they’ve changed in the wake of this hostile environment they’re facing. There will be more than a few mysteries remaining to be solved and that will happen along the way. In the meantime, there are still threats to mutantkind that must be addressed. How does this proactive team fit into that grand scheme?

Cullen Bunn: In times of crisis, different people react in different ways. Some might try to escape. Others might attempt to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm in a safe haven. The members of this group of X-Men, though, are unwilling to sit still. They believe that the enemies of mutants will use this time of trouble as a time of opportunity. Magneto’s group will take a more active role. They are not offering a safe haven. They are not striking from the shadows. Instead, they are making a statement—a warning—to those who might harm mutants. When we first started talking about this team, we landed on the idea that more terrible threats require a more terrible team of X-Men, and I think the stories we have planned represent that philosophy pretty well. Of course, you don’t have a team like this without a few conspiracies within the ranks. Some of the members—maybe all of the members—have differing agendas. How those plots and plans surface will be part of the fun. The team consists of Magneto, Psylocke, Sabretooth, Mystique. and Fantomex; all strong personalities with dark pasts. What keeps them together and on-mission?

Cullen Bunn: I think it’ll be interesting to watch this group of characters come together. Initially, not all of the characters you’ve seen announced are on the team. In fact, some of them may be working at cross purposes to the X-Men. The dynamic is definitely not going to be one of friendliness, and we’ll lean into that from the very beginning. As the team forms, though, we’ll learn a bit about why they are sticking together. Each member has his or her own reasons for siding with—and sticking with—Magneto. Cullen, you really got to focus in on Magneto in his solo book. How is it working with him in more of a team setting?

Cullen Bunn: Writing Magneto as part of a team took a little getting used to. I spent so much time with the character on his own [that] it could have been easy for me to turn this into a Magneto book. When I started this project, I detailed the motivations of each and every character. Some were more difficult than others. Surprisingly, Magneto was the most difficult! I think that is because this type of book is so different in tone and “mission statement” than what I wrote before. In a lot of ways, I went back to the drawing board on Magneto, because I wanted to approach him in the context of a team book.

I think I’ve managed to give each and every character plenty of room to shine. It’s funny. There are some of the characters I didn’t think I’d enjoy writing who have become personal favorites. That said, there are some aspects of the MAGNETO solo book that will carry over into this series, and there are moments with Magneto that I think fans of the solo book’s dark, noir vibe will really enjoy. There are scenes I’ve written that could have fit perfectly in the solo series. Can you talk about some of the threats this incredibly formidable and dangerous group will be going up against?

Cullen Bunn: You mean what threats will they face if they survive each other? I’ll admit, finding threats that can challenge this group can be tough. I don’t want to say too much, but in our first arc we’ll see a group of villains who haven’t gotten a lot of play recently. I love this first batch of villains, because they have such a unique look and an interesting set of powers. We’re updating them a little, making them a little meaner—and they were plenty mean already—and giving them a mission that is strange and insidious and creepy. After the first arc, you'll be seeing some classic villains—some with distinct ties to some of the cast—as well as some new threats. Greg, did you get to play much with these characters' designs?

Greg Land: With the new direction of this team a new visual statement was needed as well. The use of black as the team’s primary color sets a tone that things have changed and by using each character’s traditional colors as accents keeps them connected to their visual heritage. Two team members that have white as their primary color will keep their traditional looks with slight updating of their costumes. You’ve both done a good deal of work involving the X-Men. What keeps bringing you back for more?

Cullen Bunn: It’s pretty simple really: I love the X-Men. They were my favorite heroes when I was a kid. My dad and I collected X-Men comics together, and I know it would have made him proud to see me writing UNCANNY X-MEN. It’s an honor to contribute to the legacy of the Marvel mutants! 

Greg Land: Always fun to work on these characters! I still remember how cool it was to pick up the new issue of UNCANNY X-MEN way back when I was young. Working on this takes me back!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Marvel Solicits for December 2015

Uncanny X-Men #1 & 2
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art & Cover: Greg Land
Variant Cover: Ken Lashley
In a world that’s never hated or feared mutants more, there is only one constant: BIGGER THREATS REQUIRE MORE THREATENING X-MEN. Refusing to accept one more mutant death, the most ruthless mutants on Earth have banded together to proactively mow down their enemies. But with a team populated by relentless killers, one question applies above all others: Can they stay away from each other’s throats long enough to sever their targets?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

#tbt: Uncanny X-Men #271

#tbt: Uncanny X-Men #271 – Wolverine, Psylocke and Jubilee, who had been traveling through south asia, arrive on Genosha and rescue Rictor and Boom-Boom from certain re-capture by the Magistrates. While Jubilee is assigned to watch over the two powerless New Mutants, Logan and Betsy dress up as Magistrates and infiltrate the citadel. Once there, Havok exposes his former teammates and the monstrous Cameron Hodge defeats both X-Men. Written by Chris Claremont and Art by Jim Lee. Read full summary here.

Marvel Heroes: 'House of M' Costume Available

Marvel Heroes: Marvel's mega-event for 2004 lives on today not only in the pages of SECRET WARS: HOUSE OF M, but also in great costumes like this one for Psylocke. What's your favorite alternate costume from House of M? Click on the image below to get a closer look at Psylocke’s newest costume.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

X-Men '92 #3 Art

X-Men '92 #3 Spoilers

Spoilers: While X-Force heads to the Clear Mountain Institute to find the X-Men, Psylocke decides to stay at the mansion and rehabilitate Xavier to follow the psychic traces of his attacker back to its source. Meanwhile Nova has Jean Grey and Cyclops trapped inside a Mind Field and subjected to psychological conditioning. Fortunately, Nova’s therapy session comes to an end thanks to the psychic intervention of Psylocke. Back at the Mansion, Xavier wakes up and warns Betsy that Nova intends to kill the Baron and take over Wetchester via the towering monstrous Ten-Sentinel. Xavier and Psylocke try to warn Baron Kelly, but instead he orders their imprisonment. Elsewhere, as Storm rallies X-Force and some of the X-Men, Nova descends on the X-Museum with a brainwashed Wolverine, Rogue and Gambit.