Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Williams Purifies "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force"

CBR: This July, in the three issue miniseries "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force" by writer Rob Williams and artist Simone Bianchi, X-Force will hunt a new target, one that seeks to exploit the chaos of Marvel's summer event storyline. In order to achieve their objective, the team will have to confront a horde of heavily armed foes as well as tough questions and fears about the team's bloody nature. CBR News spoke with Williams about the project.

CBR News: Rob, in the past we've talked about how much you enjoy writing heroes and how much you enjoy darker and more gray-hued characters. With "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force." you seem to have landed an assignment that let's you do both.

Rob Williams: Right -- the whole hook with X-Force is that they're a kill crew. That's a definite line and you have to honor that or otherwise it's just another super hero book. I think writer Rick Remender has done a brilliant job of doing that in the regular series. The first arc in particular was great, and the ending really took you aback. It was bold, it was brave and it set a very, very high standard.

The culminations of Rick's stories have felt very organic. They haven't felt forced. The stories weren't daring simply because they involved super heroes killing people. The stories all felt true to the characters. There's a real trick to that, which we had to try and do with this miniseries as well. We don't want to do something sensationalist for the sake of it.

Is that tough to do on a project like this, an event tie-in miniseries featuring characters from an ongoing title that you don't write?

It's intimidating to do. Especially here because the standard of the "X-Force" book is incredibly high. Plus, it's a high profile book and it sells very well. Rick, the artists and the editorial team have been doing stellar work on "Uncanny X-Force." I think it's one of the best books Marvel is currently putting out. I trust editorial to tell me if I'm veering the characters away from their voices. I'm not too concerned about that. My concern is making sure this book doesn't feel like a let down compared to the regular series. [Laughs] The bar is set pretty high and we want to maintain that. So there's a certain amount of pressure.

I imagine it helps to have some experience writing the team's co-leader, Wolverine. Your first work for Marvel was a special Christmas themed "Wolverine" issue with Laurence Campbell, and you recently wrote the character again in the one-shot "What If? Wolverine: Father." What's it like coming back to the character?

Wolverine is a character I've read a lot of over the years, and his voice is easy to get because we all know it. So it's fun to write him, but the thing that I like about him is that's he got this great sort of moral grounding. He's a berserker at times and is one of the best killers on the planet, but there is a wisdom to him as well.

I think his choices are informed by a grim sort of realization that some things are necessary. That's why he and Archangel made the very pragmatic choice to form their own version of X-Force. Wolverine understands that Cyclops won't necessarily go this far, but he and the characters in X-Force feel like they're doing necessary work they believe in. Wolverine understands the responsibilities he has with this team. X-Force isn't something he jumped to on a whim or established after a burst of anger. He's taken a look at the world and believes in these hard choices. For him, this is an ethical decision. That's really attractive. It makes him far more interesting than just being a psycho with claws.

What about the other members of X-Force? What do you find most interesting about them?

They're all gray area characters, aren't they? They're all compromised in one way or another, but I also think -- and this is something that Rick nicely worked in -- they have all made the choice to be there. No one is there because they've been blackmailed into it. No one has got a chip in their head which is forcing them to play along or anything like that. They've made a political decision and one that they feel is necessary, for the greater good. That makes them heroic, even though a lot of people would take issue with what they're doing.

Plus, they're all just really cool characters. From a dialogue and writing point of view, Deadpool and Fantomex are just great to write. They spark off the page. Visually, Psylocke is one very cool character. She looks terrific on the page. All of these characters have been written so well that you feel they're three dimensional characters. It's a nice, tight group and they all get their page time. It's not diluted. You won't get one or two of them for just a panel a book. As a result, they've been given a great amount of depth. That's part of why the book has been so well written.

The cast of "Uncanny X-Force" is currently embroiled in a story arc titled "The Dark Angel Saga." Will that storyline affect "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force?" Or is this more of a story that happens in between the "continuity raindrops?"

Our mini is a three-issue story, and we wanted to keep it tight, contained and accessible. You don't have to have read an issue of "Uncanny X-Force" to pick up this series, but it still fits in. My intention is that it feels like three issues of the regular series. The team is basically coming into the events of "Fear itself," which are having great effect on the wider world.

This is your second "Fear Itself" tie-in. Your "Ghost Rider" ongoing, which launches in June, also ties into the event. What's the appeal of telling stories against a back drop like "Fear Itself?"

The stakes couldn't be any higher. The whole world is under threat here. This isn't a small localized event. With "Fear itself," it does look like to all concerned that the world is ending. That just sort of naturally leads to high drama. The stakes couldn't get any higher. It's just a great environment to tell stories in because everything is heightened. Everyone is right on the edge. It makes every story you tell feel naturally important.

How exactly does your X-Force mini tie-into the larger tapestry of "Fear Itself?"

The general populace of the Marvel Universe is unaware that the evil fear god, The Serpent, is behind everything. All they know is that it looks like the end of the world. It looks like Armageddon. That's causing a lot of people to freak out in different ways.

A splinter faction of the extreme anti-mutant religious group, the Purifiers, believes that it's not just mutants that are responsible for things. This is a group that's visually and technologically different from the main branch of the Purifiers. They have their own belief system. They feel all super-powered people are at fault for the world coming to an end, not just mutants. They think society has come to its end and people are morally bankrupt.

So the question we're asking through our story is, when you have a super hero team that's a kill crew, do these guys have a point? Maybe society's morals have gone down the toilet. X-Force will be forced to look at themselves and go, "As nutty as these super terrorists are, maybe they're right. Maybe we've brought on the end of the world." There's a line where Wolverine says, "We've all saved the world so many times, it stands to reason that sooner or later we'd fail." We're really looking at the ethics inherent in them being X-Force in the first place.

It's interesting that you're writing a story involving a religious sect's belief that the world is coming to an end right around the time some religious figures in America were predicting the end of the world. Did the predictions about the Rapture figure into or influence your story at all?

It wasn't something I was aware of at the time. I was putting the finishing touches on the series last week and then I read about all the Rapture stuff. So it wasn't something that was on my mind when I wrote this, but it's exactly the type of thing we're exploring in this story. Thankfully, the predicted Rapture wasn't quite on the same scale as "Fear Itself." [Laughs]

What type of scale is the conflict you're featuring in "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force?" How dangerous is this splinter group of the Purifiers? I've seen some covers, and it looks like they're armed with high tech and cybernetic weaponry.

Simone had the chance to design some cool looking battle suits and the Purifiers will be employing some high-powered weaponry. We're going to have some intense fight scenes. You need to create villains who are a threat. When you're dealing with incredibly powerful heroes, they need to go up against people who are a challenge.

Our villains aren't just interested in physical assaults, either. They're also after people's minds and spirits. Initially, they use the internet. In our first issue they broadcast a message to the world that says, "The end of the world is here and the devil is coming." So they're trying persuade people to die now, before the devil arrives to take them. They call out to people via the internet to commit suicide. That's a challenge you can't just punch.

Interesting. So a team of assassins is being put into a position where they'll have to stop suicides?

Yes. We talked about that. My editor and I talked about how X-Force is not just a kill crew. They operate that way for a reason, and the reason is to save lives. They believe that's what they're doing. They're not out there just to murder. It's all for the greater good. So again, we're trying to come up with a thematic ,emotional core to a book where it's not just about battles. It's something that's going to make the characters look at themselves and question themselves, where they'll wonder if they took the correct positions in the first place

What can you tell us about the man in charge of the Purifiers sect in this story? What's his background? Why does he feel the way he does?

He's a new character named Jonathan Standish. He's an ex-neurosurgeon. Basically, he has an epiphany and believes he's the chosen one, he's given the message from God to give to humanity. So he's out to save as many people as he can. He has an unshakeable faith and believes he's doing the right thing. The most interesting villains usually believe they are doing the right thing, and in his own warped way, he does have a point. Maybe if the super heroes hadn't existed then villains like The Serpent wouldn't have come along.

It's the "did Batman create the Joker" thing. Standish thinks the world would have been a far better place without super heroes and maybe he's got a point.

Where will Standish try and prove his point? What are some of the important settings in this story?

It's all set in America, and not just the cities. It hits the small towns, too. An internet suicide call goes out worldwide, too. A message on the internet can kill more people than any number of super villains.

From what you've described, "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force" really does seem like a story full of characters, conflicts and other elements Simone Bianchi could really sink his teeth into.

Yes, with Simone drawing the book it's going to look absolutely beautiful regardless of what I do. [Laughs] His take on the characters are great.

That's another thing that was important to us. Artists like Jerome Opena and Esad Ribic have been doing fantastic work on "Uncanny X-Force," and now Simone is providing some stunning pages here. It's a story with a great emotional core and socially relevant themes with the ideas of faith and terrorism and things like that. It's also got really, really big action set pieces. It's kind of a pseudo religious Hollywood blockbuster.

Sounds intense. I imagine with characters like Fantomex and Deadpool there will be moments of levity and humor in "Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force" as well.

Oh, yeah. That was part of the appeal of the assignment, especially with those two. Like I said earlier, they're so much fun to write. I really enjoy writing sarcastic characters. Plus, Deadpool's perspective gives the story a surreal bent. You need a bit of comedy in these stories because otherwise, with all the themes were talking about and the fact that we're dealing with a mutant kill crew, things would get dangerously dark and not particularly entertaining. These guys help keep the pace and levity up and put a few laughs in what would otherwise be some very dark material.

So it's got a sort of heavy aspect to it, but there's a lot of laughs in it, which I'm not entirely sure is appropriate. [Laughs] These are the types of books I like, though. You deal with a serious subject but you do so in a way that entertains as well. Hopefully it will provide something for everyone and fits in with the tone of the overall series.

Monday, May 30, 2011

X-Men #12 Preview

X-Men #12
Written by: Chris Yost
Pencils by: Paco Medina (now) & Dalibor Talajic (then)
Cover by: Ed McGuinness

The Story: First To Last Who are the Evolutionaries and why doesn’t anyone remember when they fought Xavier and his original five X-Men? Cyclops and his crew on Utopia better figure out quick or the Evolutionaries are going to wipe out every human on the planet. That’s right, every human. Two issues of this huge story this month both showing X-Men/Evolutionary actionin the past and in the present. And it’s all thanks to Christopher Yost (X-Force), amazing regular artist Paco Medina and the always classic Dalibor Talijic (Hitmonkey)!

In Stores: June 1, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #11 Preview

Uncanny X-Force #11
Written by: Rick Remender
Pencils by: Mark Brooks
Cover by: Esad Ribic

The Story: Dark Angel Saga Part 1. Apocalypse is dead. His heir, Archangel, has picked up where his predecessor left off, amassing an army of En Sabah Nur’s greatest servants! The only hope X-Force have of saving Warren Worthington from the dark entity that inhabits his soul, rests in a dimension where Apocalypse, and his technology, took over the world, the solution lies in—The Age of Apocalypse! However, before X-Force can obtain the thing capable of saving their friend, they must defeat The Amazing X-Men!

In Stores: June 1, 2011



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Uncanny X-Force vs. Armageddon

IGN: In Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force by Rob Williams and Simone Bianchi, the team tackles an increasing threat from a group of extremists -- the Purifiers -- that believe Armageddon is impending, and they're holding superhumans responsible. We talked with Williams about the correlation between his story and the recent "rapture" theories, the book's ties to Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force series, and more. Marvel also gave us an exclusive first look at some pages from issue #1, hitting stores July 6, 2011.




IGN Comics: Fear Itself is a pretty topical event, and it looks like your Uncanny X-Force tie-in mini is keeping that tradition with its theme of Armageddon. With all of the rapture hoopla that just passed, was there any influence from those real-life predictions on this story?

Rob Williams: There wasn't, but the timing's become rather pertinent. I guess this is exactly the type of thing that Matt Fraction and company were feeding off with the core concept of Fear Itself. There's hard economic times for a lot of people, there's always some form of apocalyptic tomorrow just beyond the horizon, whether it was the millennium bug in 2000, the recent predicted rapture, the Mayan 2012 thing. Whether you believe in any of these things or not we certainly live in a world where extreme religious groups are driven to terrible actions by their beliefs. That's where our mini-series is coming from.

IGN: In Uncanny X-Force proper, we're about to undertake a journey that points to the downfall of Angel. Will those story beats be reflected in Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force?

Williams: Not really. We wanted to make this a self-enclosed storyline that will be accessible to new readers and which will, hopefully, appeal to regular readers of the core book. So we have three issues and a definite beginning-middle and end here. Rick Remender's planted plot threads in the main X-Force series - which I'm loving, by the way - and they're his to complete. I was pretty thrilled to be asked to have these characters for three issues. But the core X-Force story is Rick's.

IGN: X-Force typically operates behind the curtain, unseen. Is their mission throughout Fear itself going to be more overt or still on the down low?

Willaims: They're, by their very nature, a black-ops, covert team. The world, and the majority of the X-family, don't know they exist. That will continue here. Our finale takes place very much out in the open. But in a world where superheroes are commonplace, no-one's going to be able to identify X-Force as a definable team from their actions here.

IGN: Can you tell us what connection, if any, the "Purifiers" have to the God of Fear and The Worthy?

Williams: They're their little thematic children, even though the God Of fear doesn't have a clue about that. But that is enough to cause widespread loss of life, as you'll see in the story. The wider events of Fear Itself cause a lot of people to think that this is the end of the world. That's going to send this particular splinter group off the deep end. They believe that it's not just mutants who are the children of the devil, it's all super-people. And they think that the devil is here and about to take humanity to hell. So it's up to them to save as many souls as they can right now. The God of Fear would be very proud of their actions, I'm sure.

IGN: This tie-in sounds like it has more of a philosophical bent to it than some of the other minis that are coming. Is this something brought about by the nature of the characters?

Williams: It's about the power of belief. We wanted to write a story which dealt with the themes of Fear Itself. To ask what a mutant kill crew are afraid of. The Purifiers believe that the superhumans have brought the end of days down on humanity, that mankind's morality has sunk to the point where we've reached a tipping point to annihilation. And despite how crazy that might sound, X-Force are going to look at themselves, with all the blood on their hands, and wonder if, amidst the crazy, there's a kernel of a point there. There's a meta aspect to the story too - should superheroes, as a concept, really be a kill crew in the first place?

Plus a lot of widescreen action sequences. I kind of wanted this to be a big Hollywood action movie with a theological edge.

IGN: What does Simone Bianchi bring to the table for this book?

Williams: Unbelievable visuals and a ton of energy on the page. Everyone knows how good Simone is - and when I was told he was on this project the whole nature of it lifted. It's a treat to work with an A-list talent. As a writer you always want to play to people's strengths so giving Simone some killer action sequences was the plan. And I certainly think we've done that. There's two sequences in particular which would cost umpteen millions to put on a movie screen. I'm not sure how much Marvel are paying Simone but he's made this book look like a blockbuster.

Monday, May 23, 2011

X-Men: Schism Teaser


CBR: New Schism teaser released by Marvel :)

X-Men Giant Size #1



Psylocke cameos in X-Men Giant-Size #1 in the battle against the Neo. No lines though!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #10 Spoilers

Spoilers: The Shadow King, as Amahl Farouk, visits a newspaper office where he gives a reporter evidence of Warren Worthington and Wolverine killing anyone who is a threat to their agenda. The reporter sees the video of Archangel killing the employer at the nuclear facility and calls his editor, telling him of the evidence he's got. The editor decides to call Warren, as he is the owner of the newspaper. Psylocke warns Wolverine that Warren might be in trouble, so Logan decides to go after him. Archangel meets the editor and kills him, then he collects the confidential files. Archangel then goes to the reporter's house, aiming to kill him too. Wolverine arrives and stops Archangel. They keep on fighting each other, until Psylocke arrives and puts Archangel to sleep, using her psy-knife. Betsy also uses her telepathy to makes the reporter forget everything that has happened. Back in Cavern-X, X-Force decides to seek an Apocalypse servant, in hopes it can be explained how to get rid of the Archangel persona, so the team decides to rescue Dark Beast out of prison. Dark Beast explains that Warren is in ascension into becoming the Heir of Apocalypse, since Apocalypse is dead. The only way to reverse the "ascension" is by cleaning the Death seed in Warren using a Life see. The problem is the Life Seed can only be found at The Age of Apocalypse...

X-Force News From Twitter

Rick Remender just revealed a new Uncanny X-Force cover via Twitter. The art by Esad Ribic features the return of the Final Horsemen from X-Force's first arc. I suspect it's the cover for issue #14, which will be penciled by Jerome Opeña and hit the stores in August.

Remender also told his followers that he and his editors are already working on stories for X-Force second year. It looks like X-Force editor, Jody LeHeup, got approval for bringing in a character they wanted for the role of main villain in Year 2. Remender also talked about locking down a tremendous crossover, but it's not clear if said crossover is planned for X-Force or Venom. In time, X-Force Year 1 will wrap up with issue #18, the conclusion for The Dark Angel Saga.

Meanwhile, Mark Brooks also teased his followers by posting two new panels from The Dark Angel Saga. One with Wolverine, and another one with what looks like MODOK.


Carey Extends His "Legacy" to Space & Beyond

CBR News spoke with Mike Carey about his plans for X-Men Legacy.

Issue #250 hits stores in just a couple of months. What can you tell us about the milestone issue?

Our main story in the issue kicks off a new arc that runs until issue #253. It's a story about Legion and some of the things that happen to him as a result of "Age of X" and the restoration of the X-Men's normal reality.

Issue #250 also has a back-up story that sets up the arc that begins in issue #254. It also explains some of the lingering mysteries from "Age of X." Specifically those relating to Revenant; her identity and how she came to be among the X-Men.

I understand this back-up also shines some light on another lingering mystery; the whereabouts of Havok, Polaris and Marvel Girl.

Oh yeah, we see them. Not just in glimpses, they're in the thick of the action. All three of those characters are very cool and fun to write and I've missed having them around -- which is the main reason why I floated the idea of bringing them back in like this.

Since we last saw those three characters, they were in space. Will the arc that begins in #254 take your team to the cosmic corner of the Marvel U?

Yes. The last we heard from them I believe was in "Realm of Kings" and they were on their way home. Obviously they never got there.

So in the story that begins in #254, four of our six protagonists end up in a very remote section of space. They're dealing with a crisis that arose in the aftermath of the "War of Kings" -- the war that was fought between the Kree (led by the Inhumans) and the Shi'Ar. But you don't have to know anything about the "War of Kings" to know what's going on. We're focusing on the destruction wrought in the conflict on some of the remoter parts of the Shi'ar empire. We'll be looking at what that meant for a strategically unimportant but narratively interesting part of the galaxy.

During "War of Kings," Professor X's ex-wife and former Shi'Ar empress Lilandra Neramani was murdered. Refresh my memory -- have we seen Xavier react to that news yet? Does he even know of Lilandra's death and will his feelings about her murder be part of this story?

As far as we know, he has no idea this has happened. And he doesn't find out in this story, although some of the other members of the team do. That means Professor X will find out very soon.

Earlier, you commented on just how powerful the new team in "X-Men: Legacy" is. I'd imagine the space arc will test their mettle with some pretty powerful adversaries. What can you tell us about the dangers they'll face?

We have, effectively, a running firefight going on between two alien groups. One if the Shi'ar, the other is a new and very scary race called the Grad Nan Holt. But we also have a not-very-natural disaster going on around them, which will probably end up destroying both sides. The X-Men are trying to avert this disaster and drawing fire from both sides in the process.

It's fast-paced, action-oriented sci-fi story. The setting is a planet-sized space station which has become a battlefield and is falling apart: imagine someone trying to write Larry Niven's Ringworld in 80 pages -- that's kind of what this is.

Finally, what can you tell us about your plans for "Legacy" following the space arc? We're only a few months away from "Schism," the event story line destined to tear the X-Men apart. Will "X-Men: Legacy" tie-into "Schism"?

Yes, the team will be drawn into the events of "Schism" and we'll see how they respond to things. "Schism" will be a supremely important storyline for "X-Men: Legacy." Everybody on that team is going to have a very powerful response, and Magneto and Professor X in particular are going to have to define their position. The result of that may redefine our status quo a bit.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

X-Solicits for August 2011

Uncanny X-Force #13 & #14
Written by: Rick Remender
Penciled by: Mark Brooks (#13) & Jerome Opeña (#14)
Covers by: Esad Ribic
Variant Cover by: Chris Bachalo
The Dark Angel Saga: Part 3
Years ago, Wolverine helplessly watched as Jean Grey, the love of his life, died before his eyes. Years later, he would lose his best-friend Nightcrawler to a similar fate. In order to save our world, can he allow them to die again? X-Force team up with The Amazing X-Men for the final push against the heir of Apocalypse, in a battle Royale that will force Wolverine to make the hardest choice of his life. One world must die!

Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #2 (of 3)
Written by: Rob Williams
Pencils & Cover by: Simone Bianchi
Fear Itself Tie-In
With the events of Fear Itself causing worldwide panic, Jonathan Standish and his cell of rogue Purifiers look to take their murderous mission to the next level. Believing superheroes have brought about the end of the world, just how many innocents can these Purifiers kill? How many 'souls' can they save from the devil? And where will they strike next? If ever there was a group worthy of X-Force's lethal talents, this is it. But is there a grain of truth hidden in Standish's askew thinking?

X-Men: Schism #3 (of 5)
Written by: Jason Aaron
Pencils & Cover by: Daniel Acuña
Variant Cover by: Frank Cho
The events of Schism #1 have launched the world into turmoil, and the all-new Hellfire Club is ready to take advantage of the chaos. But when the survival of the mutant race is on the line, just how far will the X-Men go? Once a line is crossed, there’s no going back. The event that promises to tear the X-Men apart at their very core continues, by writer and Marvel Architect Jason Aaron, and superstar artist Daniel Acuña (Wolverine, Avengers)!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Adam Kubert Variant Covers "X-Force" #12

Marvel is proud to unveil superstar artist Adam Kubert’s, scorching variant cover to the second installment of the Dark Angel Saga coming this July in Uncanny X-Force #12! The red-hot creative team of Rick Remender and Mark Brooks send Wolverine’s black ops band of deadly mutants to take on the whole Age of Apocalypse! If they fail, Warren Worthington will be no more and the Dark Angel inside him will raze the Earth! Get in on the action packed return to the Age of Apocalypse, with a variant cover from one of the artists who started it all in Uncanny X-Force #12 Kubert Variant!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Mutants #25



Psylocke cameos in New Mutants #25. Outback girls all grouped together!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #10 Preview

Uncanny X-Force #10
Written by: Rick Remender
Pencils by: Billy Tan & Rich Elson
Cover by: Esad Ribic

The Story: A reporter prepares to release photographs of X-Force killing military personnel leaving the squad with one of the hardest choice of their lives, how to deal with her? Nothing can prepare you for the ending, or the ramifications as X-Force are forced to unite with a former servant of Apocalypse! Ramping up to one of the biggest chapters in X-history, and yes, you've heard it before-- but nothing will ever be the same.

In Stores: May 18, 2011



Carey Extends His "Legacy" to Space & Beyond

CBR News spoke with Mike Carey about his plans for X-Men Legacy.

Issue #250 hits stores in just a couple of months. What can you tell us about the milestone issue?

Our main story in the issue kicks off a new arc that runs until issue #253. It's a story about Legion and some of the things that happen to him as a result of "Age of X" and the restoration of the X-Men's normal reality.

Issue #250 also has a back-up story that sets up the arc that begins in issue #254. It also explains some of the lingering mysteries from "Age of X." Specifically those relating to Revenant; her identity and how she came to be among the X-Men.

I understand this back-up also shines some light on another lingering mystery; the whereabouts of Havok, Polaris and Marvel Girl.

Oh yeah, we see them. Not just in glimpses, they're in the thick of the action. All three of those characters are very cool and fun to write and I've missed having them around -- which is the main reason why I floated the idea of bringing them back in like this.

Since we last saw those three characters, they were in space. Will the arc that begins in #254 take your team to the cosmic corner of the Marvel U?

Yes. The last we heard from them I believe was in "Realm of Kings" and they were on their way home. Obviously they never got there.

So in the story that begins in #254, four of our six protagonists end up in a very remote section of space. They're dealing with a crisis that arose in the aftermath of the "War of Kings" -- the war that was fought between the Kree (led by the Inhumans) and the Shi'Ar. But you don't have to know anything about the "War of Kings" to know what's going on. We're focusing on the destruction wrought in the conflict on some of the remoter parts of the Shi'ar empire. We'll be looking at what that meant for a strategically unimportant but narratively interesting part of the galaxy.

During "War of Kings," Professor X's ex-wife and former Shi'Ar empress Lilandra Neramani was murdered. Refresh my memory -- have we seen Xavier react to that news yet? Does he even know of Lilandra's death and will his feelings about her murder be part of this story?

As far as we know, he has no idea this has happened. And he doesn't find out in this story, although some of the other members of the team do. That means Professor X will find out very soon.

Earlier, you commented on just how powerful the new team in "X-Men: Legacy" is. I'd imagine the space arc will test their mettle with some pretty powerful adversaries. What can you tell us about the dangers they'll face?

We have, effectively, a running firefight going on between two alien groups. One if the Shi'ar, the other is a new and very scary race called the Grad Nan Holt. But we also have a not-very-natural disaster going on around them, which will probably end up destroying both sides. The X-Men are trying to avert this disaster and drawing fire from both sides in the process.

It's fast-paced, action-oriented sci-fi story. The setting is a planet-sized space station which has become a battlefield and is falling apart: imagine someone trying to write Larry Niven's Ringworld in 80 pages -- that's kind of what this is.

Finally, what can you tell us about your plans for "Legacy" following the space arc? We're only a few months away from "Schism," the event story line destined to tear the X-Men apart. Will "X-Men: Legacy" tie-into "Schism"?

Yes, the team will be drawn into the events of "Schism" and we'll see how they respond to things. "Schism" will be a supremely important storyline for "X-Men: Legacy." Everybody on that team is going to have a very powerful response, and Magneto and Professor X in particular are going to have to define their position. The result of that may redefine our status quo a bit.

Link

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

X-Position: Rick Remender

CBR: We have Rick Remender, the writer of Marvel Comics' "Uncanny X-Force," here to answer some queries and many others in today’s X-Position. Let’s jump right in…


Uncanny X-Force #10 Preview

Psylocke definitely can't get over the Apocalypse boy's death. She also seems very worried when it comes to the possibility of Brian finding out about her actions on X-Force. Do you think she has what it takes to be in a team like this?

Rick Remender: Right. The ethical quandaries that the team is placed in should beg the question, "Does any good person have what it takes to be on a team like this?" While the jobs they take on feel absolutely mandatory to them, the late nights of hand-wringing over the decisions are inevitable. We saw in issue #5 all of the cast were having difficulty with the Apocalypse job: Fantomex discussing it with his mother; Wolverine suddenly in denial about the decision; Deadpool dealing with posttraumatic stress; and Betsy lying to herself in conversations with holograms of her brother.

If these characters were not traumatized by what they went through, they would not be heroes and they would not feel like human beings. Betsy will continue to work with X-Force because she wants to keep her friends safe. But she will pay the price for what she does -- as will the entire team.

With Warren not being himself that much lately and Fantomex all over Betsy (the cover to issue #12 is, just, wow…), it seems like the romance between Angel and Psylocke is doomed. I'm sure they love each other, but do you feel like they are in a toxic relationship?

Rick Remender: They do love each other. And, were they two regular people living a regular life, I believe that they would be quite happy together. Their characters and their backgrounds align in a way that makes me feel that they belong together. However, in a situation such as the one therein, given that Betsy is responsible for containing the evil within Warren, there are sure to be some complications. And those complications will take their toll on both of them.

The "Schism" event will happen at the same time as the Dark Angel saga. Will you deal with the "Schism" fallout in "Uncanny X-Force?" It would be interesting if Wolverine, Angel and Psylocke take different sides in "Schism" and yet have to work together in X-Force...

Rick Remender: X-Force will obviously be involved in all big X-events moving forward; to what capacity you'll have to wait and see. The events of the Dark Angel saga will spill over into the other books -- no question about it. The future of X-Force will be somewhat altered by the events of "Schism."

Psylocke has had her telekinesis for a long time, and considering that she was involved with Angel for even longer than that, when will she learn to fly already?

Rick Remender: I can't speak to how Psylocke has been used by all other writers, but to me, having her fly makes her too powerful. Stealthy super-ninja/burgeoning Omega-level telepath is plenty for one character, in my mind. That's not to say that she hasn't been shown to have other abilities. To be frank, her history is a bit scattered and in order to make a cohesive backstory for her, I had to make some executive decisions as to what I would and would not be using. To use it all would just be too many ingredients in the soup, and I believe would make the character less interesting and believable.

Is Psylocke immune to the misdirection ability of Fantomex?

Rick Remender: No one on the team is immune to the misdirection ability of Fantomex. No one.

Friday, May 6, 2011