Spoilers: Cassandra retrieves Psylocke and Phil’s head to the Griffith Observatory, LA, where her revenants awaits her. She orders the Demon Bear to reduce Psylocke’s psychic powers while the Revenants place Phil’s head inside the ring of corruption. The Revenants focus their energies to block their fortress from teleporters, and so the Great Corruption takes place with a giant being rising from the ground. Elsewhere, X-Force tries to protect the civilians while the Revenants are let loose in LA. Back to the Observatory, Psylocke wakes up and Cassandra offers her an alliance: in exchange for Psylocke’s information on how to defeat Wolverine and Cyclops, Cassandra will give her original body back. Cassandra tells Psylocke she can start her life over, leaving her murderous ways behind if she takes her offer. X-Force realizes they’ll have to sacrifice either Psylocke or Ginny to stop the Great Corruption while they head to the vortex. Puck drives Psylocke’s flying Bentley and breaks into the Observatory. Puck rescues Psylocke, who leaves the place with a sad look on her face as she watches her original body. Cassandra prevents them from escaping, and both Psylocke and Puck fall into the vortex right into the Underworld.
CBR News spoke with writers Sam Humphries and Dennis Hopeless about Vendetta and how they plan to wrap up their respective "X-Force" titles.
Dennis and Sam, let's talk about the origins of"Vendetta." When did you guys first start talking about this crossover and how did it evolve over time?
Dennis Hopeless: Sam and I have been friends for a long time and as soon as we knew we were both going to be writing X-Force series, we started thinking about crossing them over. We just wanted to let the two teams find their footing before smashing them together. Once we both had a few arcs under our belt, we started talking seriously about what a crossover might look like.
Sam Humphries: It started as "X-Cutioner's Song 2: A Dubpunk Odyssey." A bunch of roller-skating ravers saving the future from a dystopian future where Apocalypse and Doop rule the planet. But neither X-Force team was in the story, which is kind of important for an X-Force crossover, so it got shot down.
I would have read that. [Laughs I know one of the great appeals of doing crossovers is the chance to play with another creator's toys. Which characters that you don't normally write are you excited to play with in "Vendetta?" What do you find most interesting about these particular characters?
Humphries: I'm excited to write Forge. He's been a lot of things over the years, but Dennis has been able to make him a clean character again, boil him down to the essence of who he is -- a brilliant guy trying to work his way out of mixed karma with technology.
Hopeless: Spiral and Puck. Sam's DJ Spiral is one of my favorite character ideas ever. The woman has six arms. OF COURSE she's going to rock the turntables. As for Puck, I'm really enjoying his shamelessness. He's a ladies man and isn't afraid to flaunt it. Puck and Boom Boom have been my favorite unexpected duo to script so far.
The conflicts in "Vendetta" are very personal for some characters: we have what Cable & Hope went through at the hands of Bishop in the previous "Cable" series and Cable's long standing animosity toward his arch-enemy Stryfe. How personal is "Vendetta" for some of your other characters? How invested are they in the two big rivalries at the heart of this story? What do these conflicts mean to them?
Humphries: Plenty of these characters have had intense histories together. Storm and Forge, Betsy and Peter, Puck and Domino -- but the centerpiece is definitely Cable/Hope/Bishop. That trio has so much bad blood between them, it's like the elevator scene in "The Shining." They've got a lot of scores to settle, and it's not gonna be easy.
Hopeless: Yeah, character relationships and shared history are what tie the whole story together. Tonally our two books are very different. We wanted to tell a story that made sense for both of these teams. The best way to do that was pretty obviously to mine the relationships. When you have Bishop on one team and Hope and Cable on the other, it's not terribly difficult to find the drama. And then, you know, Stryfe is Cable's evil twin. The worst member of Cable's "family" shows up at the worst possible time and screws everybody.
We've talked about story so let's shift gears to the art side of things. Which artists are drawing "Vendetta?" What do they bring to this crossover?
Hopeless: Angel Unzueta is drawing my issues. The work he's done with Sam on "Uncanny X-Force" has been absolutely phenomenal so I was stoked to hear he'd be our artist. This story requires a lot of emotion from two teams worth of characters along with crossover worthy action. Angel brings the perfect mix of both.
Humphries: I'm working with Harvey Tolibao who brings his experience with Psylocke to the table. Plus his action scenes are dynamic as hell. Perfect for pitting the two teams together on the battlefield.
Wrapping things up, we now know that "Vendetta" is the concluding story in both "Uncanny X-Force" and "Cable & X-Force." How does it feel to bring your runs to a close? Were you able to bring all your plot threads to a satisfying conclusion?
Humphries: I am bummed to leave, but Marvel is keeping me busy elsewhere. I can't talk about any of it yet, but it is all very exciting.
(And yes, I am continuing on "Avengers A.I." without interruption.) Si Spurrier and Rock He-Kim's "X-Force" is launching in February. It is going to be awesome. I will be picking it up and so should you."
Special thanks to all the amazing artists, colorists, and letterers who made the book so thrilling and gorgeous. Thanks to [editors] Nick Lowe and Daniel Ketchum for keeping the book from collapsing on itself.
BUT there's still plenty of fight left in "Uncanny X-Force" We've got three incredible issues to go. The end of the Revenant War, then the "Vendetta" crossover with "Cable & X-Force!"
Hopeless: I had an absolute blast writing these characters. It has been an outstanding experience. I'm proud to have been a part of the X-Force family. I can't wait to read what happens to these characters next. And like Sam said, Marvel is keeping me plenty busy going forward. Fans of my work should read "Avengers Undercover" launching in March and keep their eyes out for new project announcements to come.
The four-part "Vendetta" begins in "Cable and X-Force" #18 on January 8, and continues in "Uncanny X-Force" #16 on January 15.
Newsarama: “Vendetta” will take place in January, starting with Cable & X-Force #18 then Uncanny X-Force #16 followed by two more issues of each leading to their finale. And as we count down the days to this double series finale, Newsarama talked with series writers Sam Humphries and Dennis Hopeless to find how out how it all goes down.
Newsarama: Guys, this is like an old school boxing match – so give us the story of each of your team as they come into the “Vendetta” crossover.
Sam Humphries: The Uncanny X-Force team are licking their wounds after the Revenant War with Cassandra Nova, and split in two by a revelation from that story that hits Bishop and Storm the hardest.
Dennis Hopeless: Cable’s X-Force are doing great. They have their cool new underground headquarters up and running, from which they’ve just completed a few missions. Cable has finally accepted Hope as a member of the team and they’re getting along great. Colossus and Domino are a full-fledged item and managing to juggle their work and sexy business. Forge and Nemesis are… Forge and Nemesis. And Boomer is blowing stuff up right and left. This crossover represents the worst thing that could possibly happen to Cable’s X-Force now that things are finally going smoothly.
Nrama: Finally going smoothly, until this “Vendetta” crossover happens. With these two team sharing the same name and featuring some characters that have hunted each other down at one time or another, a showdown was always on the horizon – so what is the catalyst that puts it all into motion?
Humphries: Hope learning that Bishop is alive, and in the present. This is the man who turned her childhood into a war zone. It fills her full of fear...but also bloodlust. If Hope has two fathers, Cable and Bishop, this story will show which father she takes after most.
Hopeless: Yeah, I’d say white-hot rage is the catalyst. First Hope’s when she realizes her own personal boogey man is hanging out in Los Angeles. Then Cable’s when he realizes what Uncanny X-Force allowed to go down by not warning him Bishop was back.
Nrama: Cable, Hope and Bishop have enough venom for one another to be story enough, but you also have Stryfe coming into this. What's Stryfe playing at here?
Hopeless: In case we hadn’t made it perfectly clear, we’ll be dealing with a lot of bad blood in this story. Stryfe versus Cable is just one example.
This is basically Stryfe seeing Cable at his weakest and taking the opportunity to attack. Cable’s power set has changed. He’s no longer the Omega Level telekinetic and telepath he once was and that Stryfe still is. And now that Cable has a daughter for whom he would gladly die, Stryfe can manipulate Cable into all sorts of trouble.
Nrama: Guys, your two books were launched simultaneously, and both shared the team name "X-Force" in their titles – it happen all the time with the X-Men and the Avengers, but for X-Force it seems novel. Can you talk about working on separate books with similar names, then it all falling into place that your two books would now crossover?
Humphries: I dunno, our books were pretty different from the get go, so we were able to just do our own thing and root for each other from the sidelines. It was more difficult to get the teams "in the same room" (metaphorically speaking) for the crossover since they walked such different paths. Fortunately, one team has a member that ruthlessly hunted two members of the other team across a thousand years, so that was our in.
Hopeless: Yeah, the big trick has been finding a story that makes sense for these two very different teams. We were lucky to have the Hope/Cable/Bishop connection. It really helped us find a middle ground without contriving some earth-shattering foe that only these two teams can defeat. I love that our conflict is so personal and character driven.
Nrama: How closely together are you two working to make this crossover mesh?
Humphries: Not at all. I send Dennis' calls to voicemail, ignore his texts, mark his emails as spam, and block him on IM.
Humphries: Just kidding. We talked it over a lot and came up with an outline together. Each part follows the other, so yeah, we have to work very close.
Hopeless: Yeah, it was a close collaboration from the start. We wanted to find just the right story and bounced ideas back and forth for quite a while to get there. I think we drove our editor Daniel Ketchum nuts with all the brainstorming and scrapping half-finished ideas to start over from scratch. But we ended up with a story we can both sink teeth into so it was definitely worth all the phone calls and outline drafts.
Nrama: It all starts in December, so before I let you guys get back to it, answer me this: what's your favorite member of each other's team that you looked forward to writing, and why?
Humphries: Forge! I love him from his earliest appearances in the 80s. A brilliant guy with spotty karma and a bunch of hot stuff technology. Dennis has been able to boil him down to a clean character again.
Hopeless: Probably Puck. That wouldn’t have been my guess going in but he’s been surprisingly fun to write. I love his bluster and total shamelessness. Puck and Boom are particularly great together. I could write an ongoing all about Tabby busting Puck’s balls.
Uncanny X-Force #14Writer: Sam Humphries
Art by: Phil Briones
Cover by: Kris Anka
- The Revenant War kicks into high gear as the Uncanny X-Force must battle their fiercest enemies yet!
- The truth about the revenant Owl Queen is revealed – and she’s even more dangerous than any of our heroes expected!
- Meanwhile, Storm has been keeping her cards close to her chest – but the one she finally plays is out of this world!
Also in stores next week, Uncanny Avengers #14. Rick Remender and Steve McNiven bring Magistrate Braddock back to the fold.
Spoilers: Bogotá, Colombia - Ana Cortes takes over her family business after her father, a wealthy businessman, passes away. Ana purchases Yuriko's consciousness (USB) and with the aid of Reiko, an old friend of Yuriko Oyama, transfers it into herself. Ana and Yuriko are now one.
Jean Grey School - Monet asks to spend some time at the school to rest. At the labs, Beast reveals to Karima that after Arkea possessed her, her sentinel implants were rendered inert and now she's fully organic. At New York, Deathstrike heads to the School, seeking to retrieve the Omega Sentinal tech, unaware that it is no longer functional. On her way, Deathstrike finds Monet and Karima jogging and approach them. Deathstrike's thugs shot Karima on her shoulder and Monet realizes that the woman is Deatrhsike, who flees. Deathstike contacts Reiko and asks her to provide up-to-date information on Omega Sentinal. Back at the school, Monet and Karima update Storm, Psylocke, Rachel and Jubilee on what happened. Storms asks them to work together with the X-Men to figure this out. Reiko informs Deathstrike that there's better tech to retrieve instead of Omega Sentinel: Arkea.
X-Force #1Writer: Si Spurrier
Art & Cover by: Rock-He Kim
Variant Cover by: Phil Noto
Sketch Variant by: Phil Noto
Animal Variant by: Cook
Almost every sovereign state in the Marvel Universe makes use of sanctioned superhumans to protect national interests and pursue a covert agenda. The United States has the Secret Avengers. The United Kingdom has MI13. And mutantkind has X-FORCE. In this dirty, secret, no-holds-barred, deadly game of superhuman black ops, veteran X-Man Cable and his team will spy, torture, and kill to ensure that the mutant race not only has a place in the world…but also a stake in it.
X-Men #10.NOW & 11Writer: Brian Wood
Art by: Kris Anka
Covers by: Terry Dodson
Issue #10.NOW - Variant Cover by: John Cassaday
Issue #10.NOW - Sketch Variant by: John Cassaday
Issue #10.NOW - Animal Variant by: David Lopez
Issue #11 - Variant Cover by: TBA
AN ALL-NEW SISTERHOOD! The X-Men have taken down super villains, aliens and their own future selves…but never all at the same time! Lady Deathstrike has put together an all new Sisterhood, her own illuminati to take down the X-Men and take over the world. Recruiting the likes of Typhoid Mary and Enchantress, her cabal go on a global hunt for the most powerful of them all…an enemy who holds the X-Men responsible for her almost-destruction. Meanwhile, M settles in and Rachel comes to terms with her relationship with Sublime.
A+X #17Writer: Gerry Duggan & Sean Ryan
Art by: David Yardin & Goran Parlov
Cover by: Goran Parlov
• SPIDER-MAN + PSYLOCKE= a heart-breaking story from their past!
• Part 5 of the CAPTAIN AMERICA + CYCLOPS story by Gerry Duggan (DEADPOOL) and David Yardin (X-FACTOR)