Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Avengers vs. X-Men by Skottie Young

Today, Skottie Young revealed his Midtown Comics exclusive variant cover for Avengers vs. X-Men #1 and it is, in a word, adorable.

Gillen Preps "Uncanny X-Men" for Earth's Mightiest Battle

CBR: When Kieron Gillen kicked off this new volume of "Uncanny X-Men" he brought together Cyclops; Storm; Emma Frost; Magneto; Namor; Colossus who had recently become the Juggernaut, the powerful avatar of the evil entity known as Cytorrak; Colossus' sister Magick; the mutant messiah Hope; and the robotic being known as Danger to form his "Extinction Team." In the series' first arc Emma Frost sustained a serious injury, and while she recuperates Psylocke has taken her place in the field.

"I wanted to take Emma off the table for a couple of reasons. First was the physicality of it. We're a book where if someone gets seriously hurt they're going to spend some time recuperating. So she's temporarily off the team and she was their telepath," Gillen told CBR News. "One of the things we X-writers talk about is how we want a natural connectivity between our books. 'Uncanny X-Force' had been kind of its own thing for its entire run, but with 'The Dark Angel Saga' there were all these ideas that were developed that we can fold back into our books. Jason Aaron has been doing some things with characters over in 'Wolverine & the X-Men' and I wanted to explore 'Tabula Rasa,' the strange land that was created in the middle of Montana during 'The Dark Angel Saga.' That idea really excited me. Plus we have Psylocke's emotional attachment to the events that occurred at Tabula Rasa and that led to her being brought in as well. There were all these necessary things that brought our British ninja into this situation."

Gillen has enjoyed writing Psylocke and feels the character fit organically into the stories he's telling in "Uncanny X-Men." "If you think about it she's also a character in an emotionally extreme situation because she can't really tell anyone about what happened and this is literally hours after 'The Dark Angel Saga.' Basically she went with the team to drop Angel off at their X-Cave. Then she went back to Utopia and was like, 'Okay there's this place, Tabula Rasa, I don't know what caused it, but we've really got to go in and make sure people are okay.' This is her basically tidying up X-Force's mess and it fits her job as one of Cyclops' security personnel. When we placed her on Scott's side this was one of the things we were thinking of," Gillen explained. "So it's all very natural because she's got both mental and physical abilities. There's all these different telepaths among the X-Men, but she's the most physical of them. Plus I got to write a real interesting relationship between her and Magneto since he's the only one of Scott's X-Men who knows about X-Force. I'm also looking forward to using Psylocke in 'AvX' as well."

Friday, February 24, 2012

X-Men #25 Art

X-Men #25 Spoilers

Spoilers: With the aid of Cerebra, Storm and her team head to the South China Sea, where Jubilee might be. Colossus stay behind, while Storm, Psylocke, Warpath and Domino soon find an abandoned missile base, where they face the vampires known as the Forgiven. A fight ensues with the X-Men and the Forgiven, just when Jubilee shows up and tell them to stop fighting. Jubilee explains that Raizo has been teaching her there's a different path is possible for the Vampires. Colossus arrives to the party, having discovered that there's a bounty on Raizo's head. Murderers like Deadpool, Lady Bullseye, and others are coming for the vampire.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deadpool #51 Art

Deadpool #51 Spoilers

Spoilers from X-Man's Comic Blog: Deadpool's wacky, convoluted plans continue here as X-Force battles the Hand, since X-Force believed Kingpin had the serum that could negate Deadpool's healing factor, while Kingpin wanted to get his hands on the serum. Meanwhile, Daken is also looking for the serum, since he was led to believe (by Deadpool) that it could negate healing factors, which meant he could use it to kill his father, Wolverine. As for who actually has the serum? Tombstone. After nearly getting into a gang war with Kingpin set up by, you guessed it, Deadpool, Tombstone decides to head to the lab to get the last remaining vial of the anti-Deadpool serum before things got too hot. Unfortunately for Tombstone, Daken had been eavesdropping on his business and beats him to the warehouse, burning it down and presumably taking the serum. Meanwhile, Deadpool has gambled that if anybody was savvy enough to get his hands on the serum it would be Daken, so he tells X-Force to find the serum while he deals with Daken, since the two wouldn't be able to kill each other due to their healing factors... Not realizing what Deadpool was up to (or that Daken most likely HAD the serum), Wolverine sends Deadpool after Daken, and possibly his death.

Uncanny X-Force #22 Art

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Uncanny X-Force #22 Spoilers

Spoilers: Krokwel and Betsy’s deal is conducted. He provides her and Fantomex transport to the nearest Earth portal. Fantomex tells Betsy he knows she doesn’t have feelings for him and only made her doubt her love for Warren in order for her to do what had to be done. Fantomex wants Betsy to reveal how she got Krokwel to help them, but she refuses to say. Meanwhile Nightcrawler convinces Wolverine they should be helping the people of Otherworld against the invaders. They are suddenly attacked by an army of Dragon riders zombies. Meggan and Kurt are separated from Wolverine and Deadpool. Logan and Wade finally make it to the Goat’s chamber where they face him. At the same time, while reaching the Earth portal, Fantomex and Betsy are ambushed by the Skinless Man. It’s revealed that once, the Skinless Man was part of the Weapon Plus program as Weapon III. He was sent to Otherworld to acquire the Orb of Necromancy. It turned out someone inside Weapon Plus didn’t want him to get the Orb, so Fantomex was sent to stop him. James Braddock eventually found him and sentenced him to have his skin removed. Fantomex later stole his skin and used as sentient bullets. Now the Skinless Man is back for revenge, ripping Fantomex’s skin off.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

X-Solicits for May 2012

Uncanny X-Force #25
Rick Remender (w) • Mike Mckone (a)
Cover by: Jerome Opeña
Variant Cover by: Stephen Platt
• Landmark 25th issue!
• The epic saga THE FINAL EXECUTION begins here!
• Who are the Omegas and why must X-Force hunt them down?
• Included in this issue: Two rare stories by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña starring Wolverine and Deadpool!

X-Men #28 & 29
Victor Gischler (w) • Will Conrad (A/C)
• A lost team of Skrulls infiltrates the X-Men
• Pixie is taken hostage…or did she go by choice?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Avengers Vs X-Men: Team Loyalties

"Avengers Vs. X-Men" is also a conflict that will divide families. Brian Braddock AKA Captain Britain recently joined the Secret Avengers and his sister, Elizabeth is better known as the X-Men member Psylocke. How do these two siblings feel about being on opposing teams in this conflict?
Lowe: Since the Secret Avengers are secret, Psylocke doesn't know that he's with them, but that doesn't mean she wants to run at Captain America with a sword.
Brevoort: And fortunately for Brian, at least at the outset, he'll be among the Avengers who head out into space to meet the Phoenix head on and who'll attempt to halt or divert it -- so he's going to have much more immediate questions of survival to deal with apart from his relationships with the X-Men and his sister. But the fact that there's that familial connection that potentially crosses team lines is definitely something that we'll see dealt with in the story. Brian was a long-time teammate of a bunch of the core X-Men, so he's got strong ties to them.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Uncanny X-Force's Final Execution

CBR: Today, Marvel wraps up a week-plus of Next Big Thing press conference calls on "Uncanny X-Force," with Rick Remender, Mike McKone, and Nick Lowe talking about what's coming up for the acclaimed series. Marvel Sales and Communications Coordinator James Viscardi controls the floor. The arc is called "Final Execution." Lowe joked that it was a "MEGA arc!"

Lowe also described it as "a huge target we're painting on the wall," along the lines of "Dark Angel Saga."

"We changed one element of the 'Dark Angel Saga,' and this was born out of that," Remender said. "This is like 9-issues, this arc, and it is kind of a continuation of what we're doing—the great thing about serial comics is that the story doesn't end," he added.

"Rick's pretty far ahead on this," Lowe laughed, noting Remender had turned in script for #30.

"Some of the big points, this story deals with the brand-new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants," Remender said. "They are the toughest band of Brotherhood of Evil Mutants you've ever seen." He added that consequences of earlier story arcs will continue to snowball.

"The Otherworld story wraps up in #23, and we wanted a palate cleanser," Remender said, saying Psylocke would end up in a very different place. But with "Final Execution," things get dark—"this is probably the gnarliest thing I've ever written," Remender said.

McKone said there will be "Deadpool on a shopping spree." "I've never seen anything like that, I've certainly never drawn anything like that..." he joked.

Remender said the shopping spree will be part of a recon mission, "but whenever Deadpool goes on a recon mission, every time, he opens a door and there's Darth Vader."

Remender said that #25 "reintroduces an X-Men villain we haven't seen in quite some time," and Lowe gave him the go-ahead to reveal: the Omega Clan, built from the remains of Omega Red. The Clan runs a shop called White Sky, where one can shop for "the type of assassin you want" and other goodies.

"Mike pretty talented, I didn't go easy on him," Remender said, adding he gave McKone lots of big action and double page spreads. McKone said he enjoys Deadpool's reactions, where he "keeps his calm until he loses it completely."

Remender said his arcs fall into place naturally, with ideas for one building from the last. "Nick and I have looked for logical reasons to double and triple the nightmare these characters are going through."

The writer did say, though, that "Final Execution" was not necessarily intended from the start. "This arc started to formulate in the midst of putting together the 'Dark Angel Saga,'" he said. Lowe said it's a "thematic destination," covering the issues of responsibility at the heart of the series.

"Yeah, tonally this is what I wanted to be doing from the very beginning," Remender said.

In response to a question about members of X-Force taking dubious advantage of White Sky, Remender paused before answering. "There is going to be a thread around a weapon—any organization that's turning people into weapons is going to strike a chord with some members," Remender said. He added that X-Force doesn't just go after bad acts, like "'I heard people were doing some bad things to donkeys in Tijuana, let's go stop that'—I want that donkey to have done something to you." At this point, the call broke down into laughter as Remender haltingly rolled out more of the metaphor. Bringing things back on track, Remender reiterated that there should be personal stakes to the X-Force missions.

Speaking to the anti-hero concept, Remender noted that it had been done well in the '80s, but in the '90s "everybody went 'so hard core! jump into the jacuzzi of blood and let's murder razor blades!'" For Remender, though, the appeal of Wolverine is fighting against popping his claws "until there's an absolute necessity to do it."

"I'm a Claremont X-Men guy; that's what I grew up with," he added, saying this has influenced his storytelling, "while dipping into the Grant Morrison era, for sure" and dabbling in Jason Aaron's stories.

"Warren Worthington killing somebody became so common that we just got used to it," he said, but going forward he wants it to "mean something" when any of these characters take a life.

"Psylocke's tragectory is a big one to watch," Lowe added. Remender said that "she's the least assassin-y, but she's been in that role for a while."

Remender noted that the ascension of a new Apocalypse—"hey! It's your buddy!"—was actually not the biggest consequence of the early issues. "Congratulations, you've made a terrible decision," Remender joked. And, creatively, one of the new developments is a big arc for Wolverine. "This ends with him in a very, very different place—Betsy and him come out of this story in an entirely different place from when this series began," he said. "They will not ever be the same—until another writer comes along," he laughed.

"I cannot wait to read people's reactions to this," Lowe said. "I can't wait to see the internet explode."

Of the Brootherhood, "some we have seen in X-Force, for sure," Remender said. "The others, they're all bigs." He added that, for each character, there was a lot of thought put into why he or she would be on the team and what that character's goals might be. And the leader? "We won't see who it is for a while, and people will say, 'whoa!'"

Lowe joked about commenters on the CBR forum suggesting "The Brick" was a great villain, because heroes are always getting hit in the head with bricks. "The Brick will be the last man standing," Remender joked.

Remender said the Omega Clan would have similar powers to Omega Red, but the powers would be "tuned to X-Force" and readers would start to see this in #25. "I kind of just want Mike's amazing pages, when you see exactly what we're doing here... they're pretty crazy," Remender said.

Asked about the future of the Genesis character, Remender joked about "giving Jason Aaron a taste and then taking him back—I don't like that guy, I don't trust him, his beard, his beady eyes... in his head he's still fighting the Civil War..." More seriously, though, Remender said that Aaron has plans for the character, "and those lips will definitely play a role."

Lowe: "Now answer that question about Genesis, the band."

"It's the Peter Gabriel / Phil Collins throwdown you've been waiting for!" Remender said.

"You've just spoiled two members of the Brotherhood," Lowe rejoined.

Lowe praised McKone's storytelling ability, and said he "jumped" at the opportunity to add him to the "Uncanny X-Force" roster of artists. Remender also said Dean White's colors have maintained a consistent tone for the series.

Remender said there was "a lot of talk" about tying into "Avengers vs. X-Men," but "there was no story." "We've got this trajectory, we've got this story we're telling in 'X-Force,'" he said, and he didn't want to jeopardize that even though it would be cool to do some of the fights.

"One of the strengths of 'X-Force' is that it has stood on its own," Lowe said. "Let's go forward telling this story. "We try to do a good balance here at Marvel, things that tie in and things that don't." Remender added that it of course would have been a sales bump to cross over with "Secret Avengers," but he thinks it was the right decision to leave the run uninterrupted at this time.

Asked about the art rota, Lowe said that McKone would not be illustrating the entire arc because of the multiple double-shipping months. "It's all dream team stuff," Remender said. He joked, though, that "there's a way to mail people methamphetamines without them knowing it, and then Mike could do four pages a day, but he doesn't know why he's constantly grinding his teeth."

"Uncanny X-Force" #25 is on sale in May.

Uncanny X-Force #25 Cover by Jerome Opeña

X-Men #25 Preview

X-Men #25
Written by: Victor Gischler
Pencils and Cover by: Jorge Molina

The Story:
• The X-Men will stop at nothing to find Jubilee, even if they have to kill every vampire on Earth to do so!
• X-Men vs. Vampires in a major way!

In Stores: February 22, 2012


Deadpool #51 Preview

Deadpool #51
Written by: Daniel Way
Pencils by: Ale Garza
Cover by: Dave Johnson

The Story:

In Stores: February 22, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Uncanny X-Force #22 Preview

Uncanny X-Force #22
Written by: Rick Remender
Pencils by: Greg Tocchini
Cover by: Leinil Francis Yu

The Story:
• Wolverine and AOA Nightcrawler face a strange and deadly new foe in Otherworld.
• Fantomex’s sentence is carried out and he is injected with an anti-reality serum…
• Psylocke becomes Lady Briton!
• Deadpool is decapitated.

In Stores: February 22, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #7 Art

Uncanny X-Men #7 Spoilers

Spoilers: The X-Men and Good Apex finally reach the Bad Apex, where he reveals his plans to use all the Celestial energies he had stored to rebirth his species. While the X-Men fight with Bad Apex, the Good Apex, wearing Danger as a protective suit, vents all the Celestial energy, dispersing it to every part of Tabula Rasa. Bad Apex knows it will take him millions of years to recollect it, so instead he decides to destroy everything. Storm tells him that if he does that, nothing of his people will remain. Her words get to Bad Apex and he leaves. Good Apex, however, tells Cyclops that unless they do something, every living being in Tabula Rasa will die.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #7 Preview + Kieron Gillen's Interview

Uncanny X-Men #7
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Pencils and Cover by: Greg Land

The Story:
• Tabula Rasa Part 3. The secrets of the evolutionary jungle are revealed, as the X-Men face the Immortal Man, with the help of a brand new ally!

In Stores: February 15, 2012

Newsarama: To stay on the Psylocke subject, you're using her in a much more integral role than you have in the past. Obviously, it's a natural choice given her part in the X-Force story, but what have you liked about exploring that character further — and her interactions with the rest of the team?

Kieron Gillen: Using her actually has a couple of useful, contradictory reasons. For people who read X-Force, they're in the position they know that Psylocke is lying — so you get a sort of dramatic irony response from the book. For the people who don't read X-Force, they basically take position of the X-Men trying to decode the mystery, and Magneto's probing of Psylocke provides particularly natural exposition.

The fact the emotional connection is so strong is something that really attracted to me. Being involved in the destruction of a town is a huge thing, and I wanted to dwell on how that actually impacts her. Since destruction is so common in superhero comics, we can end up skating over what it really means, but I wanted to put her face to face with the family of the people in the town and bring it home.

I also love playing with a character with a secret — and someone with power over her, in the form of Magneto. That's just great drama. Power, responsibility, corruption, ends-justifying-means, etc. These are all stuff that's bubbling under the surface with the book.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deadpool #50 Spoilers & Art


Spoilers from X-Man's Comic Blog: After watching his deformed clone die last issue by a dart that negates Deadpool's healing factor, Deadpool wants to get his hands on that dart, since it would finally give him what he'd always wanted: death. To that end, Deadpool ends up setting several powerful characters out to track down the anti-healing factor serum, for him. Wade tells Daken, Hydra Bob (who Pool sends to tell Kingpin), and Uncanny X-Force about the serum and waits for the results of their investigations. Daken is interested in getting a hold of the serum since he wanted to make sure it couldn't negate HIS healing factor, while Kingpin sees it as an opportunity to keep the mutants in line and expand his territory. Wolverine, believing Kingpin already had the serum (thanks to some crafty lying by Deadpool), wants to find the sniper who shot Evil Deadpool before heading after Kingpin himself. Wolvie manages to figure out that the sniper who shot Evil Deadpool was one of two men, and Deadpool teleports away with that information, hoping to get to the right sniper before anybody else. Meanwhile, Kingpin has sent Typhoid Mary and the Hand after one of the snipers, which ultimately brings Mary and the Hand into direct conflict with X-Force. Daken had managed to get to the other sniper and speaks with the man apparently responsible for the hit on Deadpool: Tombstone. Upon hearing from Daken that Pool was still alive (he thought Pool was the dead Evil Deadpool), Tombstone orders some more serum.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012