Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wood Empowers Mutants in "X-Men" & "Ultimate Comics X-Men"

CBR: This June, acclaimed writer Brian Wood takes over the writing duties of both "Ultimate Comics X-Men" and "X-Men." Wood's run on the books was announced today at the "Marvel: The Next Big Thing" panel at the WonderCon Convention 2012 in Anaheim, California and CBR News spoke exclusively with him about his plans for the titles.

Moving on to you work in the Marvel Universe with "X-Men." What do you feel is the mandate of this book? What types of stories are you interested in telling?

I'm departing a bit from what Victor Gischler's been doing. Frankly, I couldn't do what Victor does and it's not what an editor would hire me for anyway. I come from a background different from most comic book writers and I don't have the same breadth of knowledge regarding characters and continuity. I come in pretty fresh and research as needed, and that's going to make for a different sort of X-Men title.

The goal I've given myself here is to take the "security team" label I've seen associated with this book and really explore that, really run it out to its fullest potential. They won't just be interacting with known villains, but be taking the mutant/human conflict out to its bleeding edge, all over the world, taking on missions that will be very grounded. I've always responded best to the X-Men stories that had humanity itself as the threat.

You've got an interesting cast for these stories: Storm, Psylocke, Colossus, Domino and Pixie. What made you want to include these characters in this series? And how would you describe the initial dynamic between them?

This is the pre-existing cast save for a couple tweaks: Warpath is out, Pixie is in, and Jubilee was taken off by editorial. So on balance not that much has changed, but my concern was to make sure I had a team of characters with complimentary powers that covered a lot of bases with no overlap. Like any sort of "security team" would have, a guy that does this, another who is an expert in something else, and so on. I don't see myself changing the characters in any way that would disrupt the existing dynamic, but I am interested in writing Pixie -- I think she's fascinating. Her history is vast, complex, and the powers she has have a load of potential.

For your initial story, which kicks off in "X-Men" #30, you're pitting your cast against a newly discovered, centuries old, mutant race. What can you tell us about these characters? What makes them good adversaries for your cast?

I think their mere existence alone is pretty interesting. I call them the neanderthals to us modern humans, a "proto" race of mutants that predated those we know, and are entirely connected, genetically. They lived and died out centuries ago. It's a huge, huge revelation, not only because it gives the mutants a much longer history than they thought, it also gives them a greater "claim" to the world than they had -- it reduces the argument some might have that mutants don't belong in society or are otherwise freaks or aberrations. And what can these proto-mutants tell us about modern mutants? Is there a future race of mutants yet to come, that are much further refined? These proto-mutants are primitive, crude, and more elemental in their powers.

As far as being adversaries, I think the big question is why are they back. if this is an extinct race, how have they returned?

Going forward, what types of adversaries are you interested in featuring"X-Men?" Will you be using established characters or creating new ones? And will the team be limited to X-Men adversaries or can we expect them face a wide range of Marvel Universe threats?

In both books, I think the biggest conflicts will be from the threats that come from humans. Personally, I've always related best to the X-Men stories where the mutants are at odds with society rather than merely at odds with a villain. This is not to say I'm not writing villains, but my focus will be on that human/mutant conflict and what that says about all of us. Core X-Men themes at play, here.

We've talked quite a bit about story and character, so let's finish up by talking about your artists. David Lopez will be bringing to life your "X-Men" scripts and Paco Medina will draw your teen heroes in "Ultimate Comics X-Men." What do you feel are the primary artistic strengths of each? And what's it like working with Paco who has been part of "Ultimate Comics X-Men" since its first arc?

It always takes me a little while to figure out the answer to a question like that, because I really try and study an artist's work and their way of working, to better tweak my scripts to match. In other words, I write to the strengths of the artists (like so many other writers do as well). David and Paco are super talented and enthusiastic. I want to give them great scripts to write and find the best way to collaborate over the long term. As an artist myself, I'm sensitive about it. I don't ever want to come off indifferent to them or overbearing in how I write what they are meant to draw.

Wood's "X-Men" #30 and "Ultimate Comics X-Men" #13 both arrive in June.


The Great Black North said...

I wonder what cause Jubilee and Warpath to leave?

JJ.Froud said...

So glad he kept Psylocke on and glad that 'X-Men' is getting a fresh new take. Gischler was good but his stories lacked character development (unless you were Jubilee) and character interaction. Hopefully Wood will bring this to the book. I like the introduction of Pixie, hope her and Betsy can have some 'U.K.' interaction.

CmX said...

I'm really excited about this! I've never read anything by Wood, but I'm hoping it's better than Gischler's dry plots.

Efe X said...

What? Jubilee is out??
But that's the reason I buy this title, Betsy & Jubes action!

César Hernández-Meraz said...

When I saw the "new" race of mutants that have existed for a long time and have just been discovered, I was like "not again; those were the Neo, and then los hijos de la sangre or whatever their name was". Why can't they simply take the Neo and work with them? Because people never gave them a chance and they do not want to take that risk? Because they are too arrogant and think their concept will be better? (Los hijos de la sangre could not even speak proper Spanish, so it was not a good concept for me.) Because they simply do not know about their existence (which might be the case here, although that is not an excuse).

Then I read about they being "pre-historical" and thought that would be cool. If they were extinct and brought back, I like the idea. If they were simply hidden, I think that is too much (and a total repeat of other stories, like the Inhumans and races mentioned above).

treysome said...

let's hope the vampire stuff is over with

PsySpears said...

i freaking HATE pixie,she is the first x-man i have ever hated.the x-mens scrappy-doo.sucky suck suck.

Rahsaan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rahsaan Chisolm said...

Do you hate dawn the Key as much as Scrappy and Pix? LOL. By the way, your pecs look pretty hot in that photo! ;-)

Diodati said...

Brian Wood is a great writer, but I've only ever followed his Vertigo work and his creator owned books - it'll be interesting to see how he handles a title like this. I doubt he is massively wide-read X-fan (ala Rick Remender), but I do think he'll churn out some stories a bit different to the other x-writers. Which is probably what this book really needs right now. Not sure why he's so fussed about Pixie, but fingers crossed he'll write Bets well.

PsySpears said...

LOL Dawn annoyed the crap outta me at the start,i liked her by the end,and now in the comics shes matured,but thats typical of the buffy-verse,the charaters grow almost in real-time.Pixie on the otherhand is just a 2d "whine-bag" and a clear attempt to get a new jubilee or kitty now that those two ladies have grown up.shes awful.shes really not the kind of charater who deserves a front seat when there is so many deserving on ones.the army of young charaters that deserve it more is crazy,with a more interesting personality,background and relationships (dust etc).the only good thing that pixie has is her taste in popstars (dazzler lol) and its a bit of a kick to the teeth that jubes has been removed after such a radical change in direction for her.its like a typical out with the old,in with the new and more crappy. oh and thanks haha trying to get the bod ready for summer haha,and compliment straight back atcha

Blu Berri said...

Now-now boys, keep it rated G. If not, be sure to post pictures and videos.


Back on topic, I really hope Brian Wood decides to do something with Betsy that doesn't involve her "Yes Ma'am"-ing or getting beaten up the entire time.