Tuesday, June 28, 2011

X-Position: Rob Williams

CBR: In addition to having his hands full with Logan's son, Rob Williams also keeps himself occupied with a few other dark characters in "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force" and the new "Ghost Rider" ongoing series. Thankfully, he's not too busy to answer questions for his readers, as he's our guest for today's X-POSITION. Williams is one busy little fish, so let's not waste time and jump right in!

Where'd you get the inspiration to create this rogue faction of Purifiers in "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force?" They seem to mean more hurtful business than past incarnations. How does the new antagonist Jonathan Standish embody their ideals?

Rob Williams: These Purifiers are a splinter group. While the main Purifiers believe mutants are the children of the devil, this group think that it's all superhumans. They see the events of "Fear Itself" and think this is the end of the world -- the stuff of the Book of Revelations -- and they think the super-people have brought the devil to earth for humanity's souls. It's up to them to get as many good human souls to Heaven "before the devil knows they're dead." They're basically very scared people, and fear makes humanity do terrible things.

Their leader, Jonathan Standish, is a neurosurgeon who believes he has been called to "save" as many people as he can. As ever in these instances, he thinks he's the hero here -- the one with the moral high ground. And he's got a mutant kill crew coming after him, so maybe he has a point (albeit a very screwed up one). The storyline was really generated by the moral question of "Should a mutant kill crew exist?" And if they are necessary, as Wolverine and company believe, then what does that say about society (and superhero books) in general? While "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force" has big, summer blockbuster-style action sequences, hopefully it asks a few interesting questions too. And Simone Bianchi's made it look stunning!

Your story ties into the chaos as the Serpent's Armageddon hits, but how else are your themes and story differentiating themselves from the awesome job that Rick Remender has already lain out in the main "Uncanny X-Force" book? Will your story be picking up on small seeds and threads from his title?

Rob Williams: I've tried to stay away from the main plot points in Rick's run (which is terrific and I'm really enjoying each month). But hopefully the character dynamics are the same. I've thrown in some sexual tension between Psylocke and Fantomex, for example; Archangel's in a pretty aggressive state-of-mind, etc. Jody Leheup's my editor on the miniseries and Jody edits the main "Uncanny X-Force" book, so he kept me on the straight and narrow. But, as I said earlier with Daken, I want this to be a self-enclosed story that new readers can pick up and immediately get what's going on. If I came in heavily referencing a bunch of Rick's plot points there'd be little room for our plot.

1 comment:

FSaker said...

Sexual tension between Psylocke and Fantomex... I like that! Good choice, Rob!

BTW, today Marvel released issue #6 of Children's Crusade... and unfortunately, from the comments I read, it looks like Psylocke ISN'T among the X-Men sent to get the Scarlet Witch (someone said the X-Men in the issue are Cyclops, White Queen, Colossus, Rogue, Gambit and Storm - kinda weird that Wolverine wasn't listed).

That sucks. I was expecting to see Betsy since she appeared in the "prelude" (that back-up story in Uncanny X-Men #526). And while Fear Itself is quite boring so far and we still don't know if Schism will live up to its hype, Children's Crusade has been an AWESOME event so far, so having Betsy in it would definitely NOT hurt...