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.

15 comments:

Alexander said...

Can't wait for this mega arc he's talking about.

Blu Berri said...

Ok, I have no idea what I just read.

To my [simple] understanding:
>Nine issue "super arc"
>Much darker theme
>New Brotherhood
>Surprise leader
>"They" will never be the same*
>Donkeys

*Unclear whether "they" means Wolverine and Psylocke's relationship or Wolvie's and Betsy as characters individually.

Miss_Braddock said...

OMG he's sooo got my attention I'm dying to read this arc! Yeah what does they will never be the same mean?????

I love Psylocke and Wolverine probably my two favourite Characters but I really hope it's not a relationship between them. Wolverine has every other female in Marvel and besides I quite like the relationship with Fantomex it's quite sweet and funny.

And I really, really hope they don't fall out with each other and she ends up on only Scott's team!

Oh what is it? Damn you Remender for being so good and for coming up for these stories that hook me in!

Brian said...

I agree. A Wolverine/Psylocke fling would ruin the awesome dynamic between them. I don't think they'd go for anything that obvious or cheap(the writers, I mean).

And how is Psylocke the "least assassin-y"? Isn't that the point of the team to begin with? And did she not inherit the martial skills of a master assassin? Not to get all fanboy about it, but I think I disagree on that point.

Anyway, as with all the others, I eagerly await the next arc.

PsySpears said...

I think that he means shes the least assassin-y because shes the one least willing to kill,not that she has the lesser skills.

PsySpears said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PsySpears said...

oh and i reckon (not to bring it up again) but maybe shes gonna end up in her caucasian body again (yawn)

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

PsySpears,
That's where she should be. It sucks that she's had to live her life looking like someone else all this time. As our favorite, she should get to be herself. I felt bad for her when the Japanese authorities wanted to arrest her at the airport, because they thought she was the criminal, Kwannon! LOL!

Blu Berri said...

@Miss Braddock and Brian: I don't think "relationship" necessarily means being paired or have a fling, I'm pretty sure it means their friendship. Maybe at the end of this "super-arc" Betsy and Wolvie have a "schism" of their own? Maybe this could also mean Psylocke becomes his most trusted confidant to fill the hole Nightcrawler left after he(Kurt) died? (AoA Kurt throws this speculation of mine out the window though, blerg)

Or it could very well mean that they'll get it on, I mean, Psylocke seems to be the only female Wolverine has worked with that hasn't fallen for his furry charms... until now. I dunno. xD I certainly hope NOT! I didn't think of this as a possibility until now, THANKS GUYS!! >_<

Nightlock said...

Why don't they just merge the Caucasian and Asian body together? There! Now everybody can be happy. I honestly think that would be a wonderful idea if Remender decides to do that! She will be the ultimate Betsy Braddock! From her high-level telepathy to her ninja assassin skills! That would be pretty darn amazing! That's what I'm hoping on.

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

I'll pass on that, Nightlock. I wouldn't want to be merged with someone else's body and face. Most people wouldn't. Too much identity confusion and emotional upheaval. I think she'd be great if she has her old face and keeps all her fighting skills/memories/training. That'd be the perfect version of the warrior that Elizabeth Braddock always wanted to be since X-Men Annual number 11 when they fought Horde. :-)

Either way, I guess we're all beating a dead horse with this age-old debate. The writers and Marvel and the artists will all do whatever they feel like doing.

MellyMel said...

I think Psylocke should stay the way she is. She's unique this way. I know a lot of people are rooting for her to return to her original form ( and not to be insensitive in any way) but do we just HAVE to have one more caucasian x-man/x-woman. Even the character loves her current form. So that being said: she's and omega level, fierce fighter, and has all her team and familial relationships in tact so other than the fact that she was originally caucasian, im just not understanding the big push back to the original body. Hey, lets bring back her off the shoulder balloon sleeves from the old costume too. lol. They symbolize exactly how i feel about another body swap--UNECCESARY! (wow just had a debate team flashback hahaha) ASIAN BETSY FOREVER!!!! YEAH!!!:)

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

Melly, LOL! Valid and good point, indeed.

I have to refute a final time, and then this is the last I'll say on the matter. Promise.

That being said, how would you feel having to look in the mirror every day and see a face that's not yours, but that of someone else's? "Race" aside. It'd be pretty jarring. And when people mistake you for her. Reminds me of the TV-movie from years ago, Who is Julia? starring Mare Winningham. Weird thing is I was fine with the change when it was her body. The whole Kwannon thing just messed it up for me. I guess, because it was originally her face just altered (Wolvie recognized her). (I know BluBerri hates that original plot!) Not the face of another person with their own separate life and identity.

As for multiculturalism, the X-Women are well-represented across every color almost. And I rather have Asians/Asian-Americans be represented accurately by characters, like Jubes, Karma, Hisako, Surge, etc. who were born and raised that way versus Psylocke who was turned into a fetish (Luckily she hasn't been written/drawn that way recently except for some of the obscene ass-in-air shots outside of X-Force).

Okay. Rambling. Bygones.

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

Melly, LOL! Valid and good point, indeed.

I have to refute a final time, and then this is the last I'll say on the matter. Promise.

That being said, how would you feel having to look in the mirror every day and see a face that's not yours, but that of someone else's? "Race" aside. It'd be pretty jarring. And when people mistake you for her. Reminds me of the TV-movie from years ago, Who is Julia? starring Mare Winningham. Weird thing is I was fine with the change when it was her body. The whole Kwannon thing just messed it up for me. I guess, because it was originally her face just altered (Wolvie recognized her). (I know BluBerri hates that original plot!) Not the face of another person with their own separate life and identity.

As for multiculturalism, the X-Women are well-represented across every color almost. And I rather have Asians/Asian-Americans be represented accurately by characters, like Jubes, Karma, Hisako, Surge, etc. who were born and raised that way versus Psylocke who was turned into a fetish (Luckily she hasn't been written/drawn that way recently except for some of the obscene ass-in-air shots outside of X-Force).

Okay. Rambling. Bygones.

Nightlock said...

Wow Rashaan you make a very interesting and valid point. And I agree with you completely! Hopefully Remender sees this and makes the official change. Rather then us, the ultimate Psylocke fans sitting here rambling on her fate as either a British or Asian X-woman.