Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Cover by: Esad Ribic
Writer: Rick Remender
Pencils: Jerome Opeña
The Story: “The Apocalypse Solution,” Part 2. The X-Force are in deep trouble. Stranded in the Blue Area of the moon at the hands of the Last Horsemen, EVA decimated, the team scattered, diseased and terribly injured, the situation is beyond hopeless. Ozymandias and the Akkaba Society are a step closer to instigating a new age. Apocalypse is ascending. X-Force is down, outmanned and without aid. That’s it – someone’s going feral.
In Stores: November 24, 2010
X-Men Legacy #242
Cover by: Leinil Francis Yu
Writer: Mike Carey
Pencils: Paul Davidson
The Story: “Fables of the Reconstruction” Part 1 (of 2). After suffering heavy damage during Bastion’s attack on mutantkind, the city of San Francisco is rebuilding. Hoping to aid in the reconstruction effort, Cyclops tasks a team of X-Men — including the newly-arrived mutant messiah, Hope — to lend a hand. But when something goes terribly wrong, will the X-Men lose everything they fought for?
In Stores: November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Written by: Rick Remender
Art & Cover by: Esad Ribic
There are innumerable and varying potential futures awaiting mankind. Between them exists only one constant: The rise of the Deathloks! Seeded in our present they grow, a time virus spreading across all possibilities, infiltrating the fate of mankind. One thing stands in their way; a man who shouldn’t exist. They come in waves, an army of time displaced Deathlok troopers made from Earth’s greatest warriors; Captain America, Spider-Man, Elektra, Cyclops, Venom, The Thing, Bullseye--all soldiers in the army of Deathlok. All operating under one directive: Fantomex must die! The hottest book on the stands just gets hotter as fan favorite writer Rick Remender (Punisher, Fear Agent) is joined by superstar artist Esad Ribic (Wolverine, Loki)!
Uncanny X-Men #533
Written by: Matt Fraction & Kieron Gillen
Pencils & Cover by: Greg Land
“Quarantine” Part 4 (of 5).
The public gets what the public wants - and the public wants “X-Men.” The Sublime Corporation is here to provide, at a cost. Both financially and for the safety of the entire world. It's the gala product launch that everyone will be talking about. If only the actual X-Men weren’t dying of the power-sapping flu on Utopia so they could stop this.
X-Men Legacy #245
Written by: Mike Carey
Penciled by: Clay Mann
Cover by: Leinil Yu
Fantastic Four Anniversary Variant by: Paolo Rivera
“Age of X” Part One!
In a world where the X-Men never existed and mutantkind has been hunted to extinction, the few remaining mutants band together to make their last stand. Who are they? And just how far will they go to survive? The AGE OF X starts here!
New Mutants #22
Written by: Mike Carey
Penciled by: Steve Kurth
Cover by: Leinil Yu
“Age of X” Part Two!
The last surviving mutants have banded together, spending each day securing the walls of their stronghold, beating back those who would see them wiped out. But when a conspiracy is discovered within the fortress itself, could it be that mutantkind’s last bastion will crumble from the inside out?
X-Men: To Serve and Protect #4 (of 4)
Written by: Christopher Yost, Jed Mackay & More!
Penciled by: Derec Aucoin, Sheldon Vell & More!
Cover by: Giuseppe Camuncoli
The X-Men continue their tour around the Marvel U in this not-to-be missed anthology. The X-Vigilante duo of Rockslide and Anole take Mr. Negative and the Serpent Society! A New Contest of Champions is held! Friends become lovers! Lovers become enemies! The sky will fall, so do not miss this issue!
Monday, November 15, 2010
The story starts with "Age of X Alpha" in January and runs through "X-Men Legacy" and "New Mutants" for the next several months, Viscardi said.
"It actually had a rather convoluted origin," Carey said of the series, noting that the idea began with consideration of the generations of mutants that have passed through Xavier academy. "I just thought it would be cool to do a story that brought all those generations back into the field." From there, though, he and Kethum became more interested in the stories they were coming up with that would effect this change, rather than the concept itself.
Carey confirmed that "X" stands for "X-Men," but that the story takes place "in a world that has never known the X-Men, in which the X-Men never came together as a team." But "there's also a character, kind of, that's called X. By the time it's over, it will have stood for several things."
Ketchum said the series will explore the original idea of "X-Men being something 'extra,'" and that the characters "will be doing new cool things with their powers" and being configured into new relationships.
Carey said that he and Ketchum discussed early on what brings these characters early, and came up with "isolation." "This is a world in which mutants have never assembled, in which there have never been mutant teams. From the very beginning, their enemies were organized and they were not."
Speaking on design, Ketchum said that artist Clay Mann considered directions characters might have taken, with Storm becoming even more of an aggressive, powerful African goddess.
At the start of the story, "There is a fortress--the whole world has become hostile territory for mutants, but there is this fortress where all the surviving mutants are invited to come," Carey said, but unlike Utopia, "it's surrounded by enemies." The area around the fortress "has been squashed flat by years of conflict." Ketchum added that the fortress emphasizes that "the battle is right at their door."
Carey said there is "a very good reason" why "Age of X" is structured in ongoing X-books, and it's set up as "a mystery thriller" that will explain why it relates to the 616 world. "We're revealing it backwards," Carey said, adding that the end would reveal why it was done this way.
Ketchum likened the structure to "Minority Report," which was "a very finite story." "This isn't an alternate reality story in the sense that 'Age of Apocalypse' was an alternate reality."
Carey said "not every major X-Man" will play a role; "there are a few notable characters who are missing." Though it's a large cast, "everyone's there or isn't there for a reason." Ketchum added that the readers will have their own mystery to solve as to what's happening, while the X-Men solve their own. "Nothing's wasted; everything's another piece of the puzzle," Ketchum said.
"The enemies, to some extent, are faceless," Carey said, noting that anti-mutant activists "have taken power and held power." The main adversaries will be augmented human armies. "It's a military situation, to a large extent."
Asked about Magneto, Carey said "Magneto is in a pivotal role--in many senses, the pivotal role." He added that the "last stand" situation is his doing. "He's the figurehead here, and he's sometimes referred to as the General."
Carey said that "the logic of these characters' personalities remains the same, but they're up against a situation they've never been in before." Ketchum added that this would help "getting back to the core of these characters and seeing what makes them tick," as well as pairing up different sets of characters who don't normally interact.
"Rogue is very much the protagonist and point of view character in the first of the three acts," Carey said, but other characters would take center stage as the situation escalates. "But she is our entry character.'"
Asked whether the blacked-out beam in Gambit's hand would be revealed, Carey laughed, "I think that's just a beam--it's part of the fortress they're building, so it's building material." Ketchum acknowledged that interim forum members had been asking about it and he realized that Clay Mann's final art had still been blacked out.
Hellion has had longer to work with his artificial arms in "Age of X," but Ketchum said that this is less important in the crossover than what this means for the regular X-Men universe.
There will be a tie-in book likely titled "Age of X: Avengers," Ketchum revealed.
Asked about the character X hinted at earlier, "We'd like you to discover X," Carey said, adding "it may be a stretch to call X a character."
Carey said there "are a number of inciting incidents, and one really crucial absence, one person, who seems to have to have not played a role at all," when asked how this anti-mutant world came about. One such incident was Phoenix destroying a town near Albany.
"This is a world without the X-Men," Ketchum added, "there was no one to mitigate all those incidence."
Ketchum said the Phoenix character "is definitely not Hope," and Carey added that Basilisk is Cyclops, wrapping up the call.
"Age of X Alpha" is released in January, with "X-Men Legacy" #245 and "New Mutants" #22 following in February.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Via Facebook, Mike Carey confirmed that Psylocke should appear in the upcoming Age of X storyline: "Psylocke is in the mix."
X-Books main editor, Axel Alonso also talks about Age of X and declares Psylocke as his favorite character:
One of the next big pieces of Marvel that has been hitting hard on this week is the teaser for "Age of X." It's a book where you're keeping some things close to the vest, but from the characters involved, it seems like Mike Carey is running the show here, breaking out some characters and threads that have been building with "Legacy" for a while. Axel, how has this story been an outgrowth of Mike's work, and how will it hook up with the rest of the X-line?
Alonso: This is an instance where a writer – Mike Carey – had an idea big enough that his editor – Daniel Ketchum – thought we should huddle up to discuss it. Upon review, David Gabriel and I realized we were looking at a tight and focused event, more along the lines of "Curse of the Mutants" than, say, "Second Coming." It's a big story, but it doesn't cut across lot of titles and it definitely won't outstay its welcome.
Another standout character from the "Age of X" cast is Hellion, whose inclusion reminded me how more often than almost any other characters, the cast of "New X-Men" get asked after on the boards. They're very popular with some fans, and I wondered, both in this case specifically and in general, how much that groundswell interest affects how you look at bringing back certain characters or ideas and how the writers decide who to play with. Alonso: We pay close attention to the fact that there are people that want to see Hellion in his own series. It means there's passion for the character. That said, we don't want to trot something out there unless we think we can find an audience. I mean, there's a lot of folks out there that clamor for Westerns – myself, included – but that doesn't mean they burn up the sales charts. [Laughter] At the X-Men summits, Gambit, Hellion and my personal favorite Psylocke always come up in discussion. I mean, I love Psylocke and I love Mystique – I would love to do a substantial series featuring them as leads, but before I do, I've got to know I can really deliver the goods.
Another standout character from the "Age of X" cast is Hellion, whose inclusion reminded me how more often than almost any other characters, the cast of "New X-Men" get asked after on the boards. They're very popular with some fans, and I wondered, both in this case specifically and in general, how much that groundswell interest affects how you look at bringing back certain characters or ideas and how the writers decide who to play with.
Alonso: We pay close attention to the fact that there are people that want to see Hellion in his own series. It means there's passion for the character. That said, we don't want to trot something out there unless we think we can find an audience. I mean, there's a lot of folks out there that clamor for Westerns – myself, included – but that doesn't mean they burn up the sales charts. [Laughter] At the X-Men summits, Gambit, Hellion and my personal favorite Psylocke always come up in discussion. I mean, I love Psylocke and I love Mystique – I would love to do a substantial series featuring them as leads, but before I do, I've got to know I can really deliver the goods.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Based on Total Unit Sales of Products Invoiced in October 2010
| QTY |
| DOLLAR |
|1||1||268.09||AUG100524-M||UNCANNY X-FORCE #1||$3.99||MAR|
|2||2||241.09||JUN100157-M||BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #5||$3.99||DC|
|3||7||234.97||AUG100111-M||BRIGHTEST DAY #11||$2.99||DC|
|4||9||230.96||AUG100113-M||BRIGHTEST DAY #12||$2.99||DC|
|5||11||228.81||JUL100114-M||GREEN LANTERN #58||$2.99||DC|
|6||13||224.74||JUN100155-M||BATMAN AND ROBIN #15||$2.99||DC|
|7||4||205.78||AUG100566-M||NEW AVENGERS #5||$3.99||MAR|
|9||6||192.34||AUG100563-M||SECRET AVENGERS #6||$3.99||MAR|
|10||17||182.99||JUN100640-M||KICK-ASS 2 #1 (MR)||$2.99||MAR|
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
In response to their convictions, the duo have decided to form their own top secret unit to take out the targets they feel need to be eliminated for the good of the world. To that end, they have recruited Deadpool, Fantomex and Psylocke to their cause. In the debut issue of writer Rick Remender and artist Jerome Opena's new ongoing series "Uncanny X-Force," in stores now, the new team embarked upon their first mission; to destroy the villainous Apocalypse and his dangerous cult, the Akkaba Society. Throwing a bit of a wrench into their plans, Apocalypse has undergone some dramatic changes since he last crossed paths with Wolverine and Archangel; changes that will make the new X-Force's mission even more morally complex and murky than first expected. CBR News spoke with Remender about his plans for the series.
Fans of Remender's work on "Punisher" and his creator owned series "Fear Agent" know that the writer is fond of telling stories that feature protagonists who must make tough decisions, choices which usually lead to brutal missions with dangerous consequences. "You always want to come up with scenarios that force the characters' decisions to define who they are," Remender told CBR News. "In 'Fear Agent,' we took a good, normal person and put him in a situation where he had to choose between letting Earth be invaded by aliens or killing several trillion of those invaders. The Punisher is a black and white objectivist. If he judges you to be evil, he's going to kill you. We try and throw characters at him that exist in a grey area in-between, villains who are mirror images of Frank himself, to explore the inherent hypocrisies in his war. The mutants in X-Force are going to have to make a touch choice, soon. Either way it goes, they will experience the consequences to any assassination or assassination attempt.
"That's something I explored in most of my arcs on 'Punisher.' In the first issue, he tries to kill Norman Osborn and is basically haunted by that decision for the rest of the series. You've got 21 issues of him dealing with the consequences of trying to kill a guy who was in a prominent position of power. Whether they're successful or not, ramifications should play a big roll in the story when you have characters who kill. There's the age old question of, 'Would you go back and time and kill baby Hitler if you could?' The interesting part of that question is, what worse thing happens without Hitler? If you kill baby Hitler, what person comes in and does something worse? Or succeeds? Or doesn't have a meth addiction that slows them down? You may be doing the right thing, but, in fact, history, as awful as it is may be, just might be the way it is for a reason."
The title of the introductory arc of "Uncanny X-Force" is "The Apocalypse Solution," and in the story, the cast will find themselves in a variation of the young Hitler dilemma. Unbeknownst to them, Apocalypse's followers in the Akkaba Society recently performed a ritual that caused their leader to be reborn as young boy. "That classic moral dilemma was part of the initial appeal of having Apocalypse reborn as a kid. When you've got a band of characters that are resigned to the mission of assassination what are you going to throw in their way, that makes that more interesting than just cutting up an army of people to get to the main boss," Remender remarked. "So while cooking this thing up, that sort of became a more interesting angle. It was something that I discussed with my editors Axel Alonso and Jody Leheup and 'Uncanny X-Men' writer Matt Fraction. We bounced it around and everybody agreed that it was more exciting in terms of the end result, and it was a bigger reveal."
The revelation that Apocalypse is now a young boy came at the end of "Uncanny X-Force" #1, setting up what Remender hopes will be his be-all end-all Apocalypse story. "I think we've come up with a nice device, considering Apocalypse has appeared in a number of different incarnations over the past several years. There are pieces of his consciousness that supposedly remain in Scott Summers's head, his body was off with the Celestials and there's some incarnation of him that had contact with Hope in the future," Remender stated. "What the Akkaba society has done is sort of the last push. This is it. They sacrifice a human, and everything that was Apocalypse is drawn into one form and started from scratch."
Readers only got a quick glimpse of the young Apocalypse at the end of "Uncanny X-Force" #1, and from what they could see, he seemed like a boy who was more concerned with his toys than conquering the world. Remender made it clear, however, that members of the Akkaba Society are giving the reborn Apocalypse "lessons" in history and how they believe the world works.
"By the time we see that kid, he's been programmed. He's with the Akkaba Society, and they've been doing their job, which is to take young Apocalypse and get him up to speed. So that definitely plays a huge part in the story," Remender revealed. "As it progresses, you're stuck with a tough dilemma; a much tougher dilemma than if you were up against regular, giant, evil Apocalypse. It's the old nature versus nurture debate. Can you save this kid? Or is he already too far gone?"
The Akkaba Society's devotion to Apocalypse and the ideas he believed in as an adult are extremely fanatical, because to them, Apocalypse is more than just a messianic figure - he's family. "The Akkaba Society is a secret cult that's been around forever. In one way or another, all of their members are connected to Apocalypse. So they're born into it or they're characters like Chamber who are direct descendants of Apocalypse. As far as I'm concerned, with the members of Akkaba, it's not necessarily a choice they made, it's something they were born into, which makes me feel more comfortable about the heavily cultish angle of it. And it also plays into the story," Remender explained. "When somebody was raised from childhood to believe something and indoctrinated with crazy ideas, I think you wind up with something that's a little more interesting than your average 30 year old going, 'Sure, I'll join your cult! Let's raise that villain from the dead!'"
Thousands of years ago, an ancient Egyptian warlord named Ozymandias was transformed into a being of living stone and Apocalypse made him his personal oracle and scribe, as well as his slave. Their relationship was often contentious, but with Apocalypse reborn as a boy, Ozymandias suddenly finds himself in a very powerful and important position in the Akkaba Society. "
"Anybody who is the number two servant to somebody the size of Apocalypse will consider a power grab, but I think Ozymandias is past that. The Akkaba and Apocalypse are no longer the force that they were. So I think, right now, he's looking to rebuild the empire and it's all on his shoulders," Remender explained. "He was the one charged with awakening the final Four Horsemen. He's been the one charged with potentially dealing with Celestials, getting Apocalypse resurrected and basically pulling the trigger on the Akkaba's final attempt at world domination. So I think Ozymandias is trying to serve Akkaba and serve Apocalypse. There's no double motive with him this time."
Apocalypse's Four Horsemen are powerful super humans that serve his will and operate under the guises of Death, War, Famine and Pestilence. The final Four Horsemen, which Ozymandias has awakened, are proving to be especially dangerous and durable. In "Uncanny X-Force" #1, the team ran afoul of the living stone being known as War, who took control of Wolverine and used his body and abilities to attack Archangel. Fantomex saved them both by using his misdirection powers to make War feel love, which resulted in the Horsemen exploding. Despite that, at the end of the issue it appeared as though War had reconstituted himself as he was seen guarding the young Apocalypse.
"War is made of stone and, like Ozymandias, if you blow him to dust, over time he can recollect himself and put himself back together, which is what's he done by the end of the issue," Remender explained. "He's got other very interesting weaknesses, though, that we saw exploited in the first issue. It's always the challenge of the writer to take the cast of villains and the cast of heroes and find very specific and interesting ways for their powers to interact in battle as opposed to just a lot of fisticuffs."
The other final Four Horsemen will also play a role in "The Apocalypse Solution." "The Four Horsemen that we've seen in Apocalypse's other appearances have always been prominent Marvel Universe and X-Men characters, so you know that there's usually not going to be any enormous change with them," Remender remarked. "That hobbles the story a little bit. It's something that Axel kept pointing out in the initial stages of this arc."
While some of Apocalypse's past horsemen escaped his service relatively unscathed, Warren Worthington, the former Horsemen known as Death and currently the X-Force member known as Archangel, was not so lucky. Indeed, Worthington's Archangel form is a result of the genetic tinkering Apocalypse utilized to transform him into Death.
"The Death persona is a seed. There's obviously more than one of these seeds that Apocalypse plants in people. Some people manage to shed the seed and it doesn't take root and grow. In other people, it lies dormant and then it comes back out at an inopportune moment," Remender explained. "In terms of Warren, he's always been Apocalypse's #1 choice for Death. The Death persona that grew into Archangel is a seed that grew in the soil of Warren's mind. It's informed by Warren and he's able to have some control over it, but it's not entirely a separate entity. It's not something that a telepath like Psylocke could come in and take out of his head. Instead, it's something that's interconnected and interwoven on such a deep level at this point that they're going to have to learn how to cope with one another."
Psylocke may not be able to exorcise the Archangel persona entirely, but she can still use her telepathic powers to help Worthington cope with it. In "Uncanny X-Force" #1 readers saw that she had been doing just that. They also discovered these psychic "counseling" sessions have lead Psylocke and Archangel to rekindle their former romantic relationship.
"They were drawn together because Betsy has been helping Warren to try and get a grip on this thing inside of them, but the love they have for each other and the natural connection they share sort has risen in the midst of all of this. So they're asking each other, 'Are we in love? Or are we dependent on one another?'" Remender said. "Psylocke/Betsy has to stay close to Warren and help him because the Archangel persona is rattling around inside his head and it's something that he needs help with. So he has to ask the question, 'Have I fallen back in love with Betsy? Is this who I'm naturally fated to be with? Or is just it because I need her so much?' That obviously adds a nice layer of drama. You don't want things to be too perfect in any relationship or it doesn't feel real."
In "Uncanny X-Force" #2, hitting stores November 17, the titular team's pursuit of Apocalypse takes them from the Earth to the Moon. "The Akkaba Society have a number of bases. When you're doing something like raising Apocalypse, you want to be able to keep moving should you be located as they were in issue #1. So their next jump is to the moon. After a little sleuthing, the team discover that and have to make a pilgrimage up to the Blue Area, a sort of famous X-Men and Fantastic Four backdrop. There's a whole alien city in the Blue Area that even has its own atmosphere. The Akkaba have set up shop there," Remender revealed. "A lot of stories have happened in the Blue Area, like the Dark Phoenix saga and the X-Factor story where Cyclop's son was sent into the future to become Cable . I like that there's some history to the setting. So it's not just, 'Oh Apocalypse is on the moon again? Want to go there?'"
A good action scene on the moon needs to feel both realistic and fantastic and Remender is confident that his artistic collaborators, artist Jerome Opena and colorist Dean White, can pull it off. "We're shooting from Jerome's pencils so that the purity and the intention in the faces and all other things are all represented. Then it's great to have somebody like Dean come in and take the time to really spot the blacks and pop up the contrast between the planes. I think it's the best team in comic books right now," Remender said. "That's a big statement, but I think Jerome's on his way to be on par with Romita Jr. and Frank Quitely or any of my other top artists. And Dean White comes in and gives the work this spot on and beautiful rendering. I think as far as art team's go this is as good as it gets."
Fans of the Remender/Opena team will recognize the tone of "The Apocalypse Solution" as similar to their previous collaborations on "Fear Agent" and "Punisher." "Our plan is for this story line is to deliver some beautifully beat out, fluid action sequences and hopefully take some unexpected twists and turns, while keeping character development at the forefront," Remender related. "That's something I'm very mindful of. I don't want to rest on the fact that everybody knows who these folks are. It's my job in this first arc, and frankly all of the arcs, to continue to develop them and offer readers 3D-optics on who these people are so they can understand who it is that they're looking at on a human level.
"Also, I've always been a big fan of the family aspect of the X-Books. The original X-Men were such a tight knit family because they were hated and feared and the world was against them. They were all hiding out in this mansion, trying to remain hidden while going out and doing good work," Remender continued. "I feel that X-Force is almost purer in intention to that original mission statement in that they're also a secret group. There's also only five of them, and they're also in a situation where everything they do must absolutely remain a secret. Not another soul can know about it. So the five of them become very tightly knit with these secrets. It creates a family atmosphere between them, which I like quite a bit."
"The Apocalypse Solution" comes to an end early on in 2011, but it's just the first arc in a larger story that Remender has planned for "Uncanny X-Force" "The individual arcs can serve as satisfying self-contained stories, but you'll feel an inter-connectivity between the arcs so that it's more of a grand scale, and when you read them all together, you get one big story out of it," the writer said. "As for where we're going in the New Year, expect the unexpected. It's going to be a little dabbling into some things that have been seeded in other X-books. Also a bit of dabbling into the Marvel Universe. And then the consequences of the first arc will be felt."