Friday, July 27, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #17 Advanced Preview

X-Men #33 Preview

X-Men #33
Written by: Brian Wood
Art by: David Lopez
Cover by: Jorge Molina

The Story: 
• The history of the Proto Mutants is revealed!
• Mr. Grey makes his move against the X-Men…and it’s not what any of them are expecting!
• Colossus makes a decision that could endanger the entire team.
• Storm’s field agents are kidnapped and a weapon of the X-Men’s making goes missing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Uncanny X-Force #28 Spoilers

Spoilers: Psylocke prolongs Gateway’s agony before he dies so she can use his powers and teleport X-Force away from Cavern X before it explodes. Wolverine, Psylocke, Deadpool, Nightcrawler and E.V.A. are sent to 30 years in the future and are welcomed by Deathlok. Deathlok tells them about others who are anticipating their arrival in order to hurt them, so he orders X-Force to leave. The others: older versions of Cable, Hope and Deadpool arrive on the scene and realize Deathlok got to the time-travelers first. It’s revealed that Magistrate Braddock (older version of Psylocke) is the one who run this group which also consists of Wolverine and Punisher. She orders them to retrieve X-Force unharmed. Elsewhere, Deathlok reveals to X-Force that after they took down Evan, who became the worst threat the world had ever known, X-Force were celebrated as heroes and when there were no more criminals to be hunted, they began killing preemptively, eliminating anyone who could possibly become a threat in the future. Deathlok says he’s going to stop that from ever happening as he considers it murder and is completely against what X-Force has become. Magistrate Braddock’s minions tracks them and kills Deathlok, all the while Psylocke manages to escape and decides that if this is what she is to become, it’s better to sacrifice herself to ensure this future never happens. Psylocke kills herself.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

X-Position: Remender Gives a "Final Execution" to Uncanny X-Force

CBR: In the first of a special two-part X-Position, Rick Remender answers your questions about "Final Execution," explores the decisions involving Psylocke and Archangel during his "Uncanny X-Force" run, reveals which side the team falls on in "Avengers Vs. X-Men" and "Schism" (hint: It's not what you'd think) and teases what has yet to come for the series.

The "Final Execution" storyline seems to be leading up to X-Force being outed to the world. Whether or not this arc culminates with that particular high note, how much story do you have planned out going forward?

Rick Remender: The story up until issue 35 is locked in. I've been working on for some time now with editor Nick Lowe and we've spent many hours on the phone beating it into shape. I'm very excited about the payouts that are coming up in people's reaction to them. Big changes are coming.

I've noticed Angel continues to be depicted with metallic wings. If the Life Seed truly cured him from the Death Seed (which is Celestial technology), shouldn't his metallic wings (also Celestial technology) also have been erased and replaced with his natural feathery wings? Unless the Life Seed didn't completely erase the Archangel persona.

Rick Remender: In my mind, the seed took Archangel as soil and grew a new person. Metal wings and all. What you see there is an entirely new being created by pure life energy. To see how that will play out, keep reading Jason Aaron's "Wolverine and the X-Men."

I've always wondered: which side of the X-Men's Schism do Fantomex and Deadpool fall under? Do they even care about the argument between their team leader and Cyclops?

Rick Remender: Neither of them are/were very concerned. Both of them continued to work with Wolverine, so I suppose that's the side of the fence they fell on.

I've been loving Final Execution and think it's so cool that you gave EVA a new evolved form. How long have you been planning to give her a body and a more active role in X-Force?

Rick Remender: It's been an idea I've had from the beginning. Grant Morrison set it up in his final arc, and I thought it would be cool to show actually happen. The character has some very cool moments coming up so keep reading.

When did you first plant the seeds of bringing old X-Men villains back to form a new Brotherhood? I haven't been able to find any signs of it in previous issues. Is there anything you threw into previous story lines to tease "Final Execution?"

Rick Remender: It's been in the works for some time. All of the characters that we have seen in the series up until this point play some role in the new Brotherhood, as well as picking up threads that Jason set up in the "Wolverine" ongoing series and what Rob Williams was doing in Daken's book. It was important to me that all of the villains have a personal connection to each one of our cast members so that the conflict coming up was very personal. I also wanted to make sure that this was the toughest bands we had ever seen, and an obstacle far too large for X-Force to actually overcome.

There was a great moment in issue 26 where Deadpool made a hilarious "Arrested Development" reference. Are you a fan of the show? More importantly, is Deadpool? When does he have time to watch TV?

Rick Remender: I am a huge fan of the show. That particular line was Phil Noto's idea, so all kudos to him. Phil and I talk on the phone quite a bit while we work, and I think it leads to more cohesive end product. Deadpool's down time probably consists of a lot of Netflix and "Arrested Development."

If they were forced to choose, whose side would the team members in X-Force (other than Wolverine) be on in "AvX?"

Rick Remender: I haven't really given it much thought. The majority of the cast have only been involved in peripheral battles, like we saw with Psylocke and Daredevil, and the rest don't really have a pony in the race. We've seen Betsy and her reaction to it all. AoA Nightcrawler isn't very interested, and Deadpool and Fantomex, well, one is indisposed and the other is dead.

What has been the most satisfying contribution to the X-Men mythos you've crafted in Uncanny X-Force?

Rick Remender: I feel like we did a good job of cleaning up the Apocalypse continuity and rebuilding the mythology so he and his can be a huge, important threat in the Marvel Universe moving forward. Taking all of the various pieces and connecting them into one understandable hierarchy and mythology. There is so much great stuff to work with, and I feel very proud of how we've compiled it together to make a new whole. Obviously, I put a lot of time into Psylocke and Fantomex as well and hopefully developed them further in a way that is satisfying to readers.

How will the new Brotherhood come into play in the Marvel universe after Final Execution, if at all?

Rick Remender: If I would answer the question, I would give away the ending. Suffice to say our team is up against the toughest band of mutant villains we've ever seen. How it ends and where the Brotherhood land after this is a big part of the story I wouldn't want to give away here.

You wrote some regal badasses in Thor and Brian Braddock but you still kept romantic tones pushing with the likes of Fantomex, Warren and Psylocke. Which do you prefer to write: stories with more action or more intrigue and romance?

Rick Remender: I think a good story has a nice balance of both. Too much action just becomes images of people punching and jumping and smashing through glass. You need to build the context and the emotional ramifications for the conflict. However this is not television or film, one must be very mindful of the quantity of quiet moments. It forces you to be very concise and make sure you're using every bit of real estate to its utmost.

Who was your favorite character thus far in 2012 to write?

Rick Remender: I find a way to love most every character in writing. I don't have a particular favorite and try to give them all the same amount of attention, figure out what makes them tick, what are their motives, and who they are at their core. Once you do, you can find a reason to love most any character.

How long until we see the Clan Akkaba pop up in UXF again, specifically Pestilence, who last we saw was pregnant with the child of Archangel?

Rick Remender: Those things all sound like huge stories that I am likely planning huge things with. Can't say anything other than that right now.

Can we expect the infamous Weapon Plus creation Doctor Mind Bubble you hinted about before to appear in your next "Uncanny X-Force" arc?

Rick Remender: Big plans for Dr. Mind-bubble await!

Can you share any insight into Psylocke's head as to what she would have said to Angel had he been the person she wanted him to be when she visited the school? With her regret erased, did she even feel the need to justify sleeping with another guy? I understand that her mourning and sadness being gone opened the floodgates with Fantomex, but being that she and Angel truly loved each other, wouldn't that have been a deterrent for involving herself with Fantomex so quickly?

Rick Remender: Her Warren is dead. The trip to the school was a visual reminder of this. We deal with her complex feelings for Warren and Fantomex in upcoming issues. It is quite possible for someone to have intense and complex feelings for more than one person. I also think that sex holds less significance for adults than it does for younger people, and I try to avoid the double standard where a man who sleeps around is a stud while a woman is viewed as promiscuous. Betsy had strong feelings for both of these characters and she has complex reasons for her actions.

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Kotobukiya Bishoujo Statue? (Update)

This picture - which depicts a new Kotobukiya Bishoujo statue of Psylocke in her X-Force uniform - has misteriously surfaced online. No further details such as date of release were given. Check back soon for new announcements.

Edit: A rep for Kotobukiya stated that "This recent image appearing on the forums is fan made and not an official announcement."  He also adds that "[plans to make an X-Force version of Psylocke] has certainly come up in our planning and development meetings along with possibly revisiting some of our earlier releases. What does everyone here think? Should we revisit and update some of the older releases or focus only on new characters?" If you'd like to see this released, give your feedback to the Kotobukiya rep at the!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Uncanny X-Force #28 Preview

Uncanny X-Force #28
Written by: Rick Remender
Pencils by: Julian Totino Tedesco
Cover by: Jerome Opeña

The Story:
• X-Force land themselves somewhere you’ve never seen them.
• A new member joins the team!
• Rising star Julian Totino Tedesco (VENOM: CIRCLE OF FOUR, JOHN CARTER GODS OF MARS covers) joins the best creative team in comics for two issues!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #16 Art

X-Men #32 Art

Uncanny X-Men #16 Spoilers

Spoilers: Magneto, Storm, Psylocke and Danger decide to follow the Phoenix Five in Sinister London. Cyclops decides to take the city starting with the creation engines, so no more Sinister are created. Sinister awakens a clone of Krakoa under his castle, while his minions take Namor down by using a laser cannon. Colossus grows in size to take on Kraoke, but Sinister drops living “Gambit” bombs on him. Magik teleports the Gambits within the Ruby Converger, destroying the laser cannon. Sinisters then drop Cannonballs on Magik and Colossus and take them down. Namor disobeys Cyclops and attacks the castle. Namor is ambushed and teleported to elsewhere. Meanwhile, Emma is attacked by exploding cows and knocked out. Three Madelynes approach Cyclops, who ends up unconscious after blasting them. Sinister approaches Cyclops, while Magneto, Storm, Psylocke and Danger arrive in Sinister London and witness all the destruction.

X-Men #32 Spoilers

Spoilers: Psylocke telepathically calms down the proto-mutant, and the X-Men bring him to their jet. Storm and Colossus disagree about whether or not to brief Scott over their latest discoveries. Storm threatens Colossus should he jump the gun. Hunter, the student who was supposed to analyze the proto-mutant's sample, contacts Storm and says their camp lab was trashed, noticing their files are missing. Storm orders her to hide the sample as they'll find her later. It turns out the proto-mutant only speaks an old-fashioned rural dialect of Russian, so Colossus asks Magik to drop by. Magik finds out that Ister (that's his name) and the other Proto-mutants were exterminated about 600 years ago by humans and buried in a mass grave.  Someone found this grave and is now cloning them and letting them loose. Magik wants to go back in time to stop this. Storm disagrees. Psylocke comforts Storm and assures her she's doing the right thing. At Dr. Gray's lab, he decides to shut Ister off since he became a liability. Before Ister dies, Psylocke enters his mind and finds all about Dr. Gray and what he's doing.

Tuesday Q&A: Rick Remender We caught up with the busy Remender and piled on the questions until we learned all we could about his plans for Avengers and X-Men alike. Segueing over to the X-side of the fence, what can you say about the new member joining X-Force in UNCANNY X-FORCE #27 and #28?

Remender: Well it’s something that we saw Grant Morrison touch upon in his last arc, with the evolution of E.V.A. becoming her own person, and I would put a big Spoiler Warning over this: If you’ve read UNCANNY X-FORCE #27, then you know that Fantomex takes the hit. It was something that Grant had set up as happening in his future story and I thought that it would be nice to respect that and actually show it happen. Beyond that, I also wanted Fantomex to take the hit because this is going to be a very Wolverine-centric arc. All the characters have had a lot of spotlight time in this, but Wolverine has not had a lot of personal stuff to deal with. And here he is now where the methodology of X-Force and what they’ve done with Evan, and then Fantomex cloning and growing a new Evan, have left Wolverine in a bit of a spot where he’s got this student of his who’s Apocalypse. And this is because of Fantomex, and now Fantomex is not there. Fantomex is off the picture so he’s dumped this in Wolverine’s lap to deal with.

Beyond that, we’ve revealed that the new leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is Daken, and this is somebody who’s got a lot of resentment against his father, as well as members like Sabretooth and Mystique, and they’ve taken Evan and they plan on using The Shadow King to warp the kid’s mind to use him as their own personal Apocalypse. So the evolution of E.V.A. comes out of the death of Fantomex and her character will be developed as we move forward. What makes them the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants? Is revenge their basic mission?

Remender: Well I like the idea of just leaning into the evil aspect of it, and it is revenge, and power. They don’t have any relatable motives other than revenge and power, and I like the simplicity of that. They’ve all got personal contacts, every member of the Brotherhood has a personal grudge against one of the members of the X-Force, and their goal is to basically take this Apocalypse [clone] and to use him to kill them; when you’ve got your own pet Apocalypse nobody can really come messing with you all that much.

You’ve also got in Daken somebody who’s been leaning toward becoming a bad guy. Going back to his origin and being raised by Romulus and who he is, he sees his father as a fraud. He sees his father as a charlatan. This guy is a savage who kills and he dresses up in frilly super hero costumes to make it okay, and he sees that as weakness. He’s leaning completely into his savage nature, but bubbling underneath that is a kid who sees his dad has a school to help mutants, who has taken in people like Quentin Quire and this kid Evan who is Apocalypse, but he didn’t get an invitation to come join. His father has never extended a hand to him to come be a part of the school or to learn to be a better man. He’s given him a lot of passes. For how bad Daken is Wolverine always seems to give him a pass, but he never offered that inclusion into his world. So I guess the theme that I’m exploring there is how far a son will go to earn his father’s respect, even going so far as to kill him to earn it. A lot of evil’s going on with you! Masters of Evil, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants…any team-up between those two groups coming?

Remender: That’s definitely not going to happen now, but there is the [upcoming] UNCANNY AVENGERS and my SECRET AVENGERS. They cross pollinate a bit. You’ve got things like Father who was introduced in X-Force, Fantomex’s mother and Psylocke’s dad who are involved with Father in creating the Descendants so there is interconnectivity there. What is the “Final Execution” as referred to in September’s UNCANNY X-FORCE #31?

Remender: Well, I don’t want to say who all is going to be a part of being executed. It’s a big arc for Wolverine, and it’s something that [editor] Nick Lowe and I spent a lot of time talking about on how we can actually incite change, to grow him, to develop him in a way that’s maybe we haven’t seen in a while. That is where UNCANNY X-FORCE then bleeds over into UNCANNY AVENGERS. Those two books have a lot of connective tissue. I would say in UNCANNY AVENGERS, 50% stems from AvX and 50% stems from the events of the “Final Execution” arc in UNCANNY X-FORCE.

Wolverine’s state of mind, who he is, where he’s at, and what his purpose is in the UNCANNY AVENGERS is very clearly defined in the events of both books. So it’s something that sort of naturally grew. The idea for UNCANNY AVENGERS came to me from all of that, from “Oh, well this and this and this makes sense if you do this.” So the events of “Final Execution” are going to shatter a lot of lives, and I’m getting to the point of what I’ve been doing with the nature/nurture debate and all of the father and son stuff that we’ve been seeing throughout the series. It gets to the point of how it affects these characters moving forward in a way that helps grow them so that they’re not in any way stagnant. Is there an inclination for you, having two titles like SECRET AVENGERS and UNCANNY X-FORCE, to draw common threads between them?

Remender: You want to feel like these people share a universe, and I work really closely with Kieron Gillen and Jason Aaron to make our X-books have those threads that continue one through the other. I think it’s important to try and do that when you can if there [are] natural places for it.

But the interconnectivity shouldn’t feel like you have to read one to get the other. I always try to make sure that things are defined enough in their own books. If you didn’t read UNCANNY X-FORCE and you didn’t read the Deathlok arc and get to know Father or see Lady Deathstrike in #5.1 and get an idea for the coming robot revolution she was talking about, that stuff will be completely defined in SECRET AVENGERS. So you don’t have to read that. But if you do read it, you’ll get to see these characters bouncing around the universe a little bit and it makes them feel more cohesive, I think.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Comic-Con: Deadpool Video Game Trailer

IGN: Finally. After laser eyes in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and a great guest spot in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Deadpool is getting his own video game. Simply titled Deadpool, the game is being developed by High Moon Studios, the folks behind Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, and arriving in 2013. Specific platforms were not announced. We have the trailer below, and although it wasn't mention specifically in the Comic-Con panel revealing the game, the voice of the Merc with a Mouth appears to be Nolan North, who is famous for being Nathan Drake in Uncharted but also played Deadpool in Shattered Dimensions.

Friday, July 13, 2012

X-Men #32 Preview

X-Men #32
Written by: Brian Wood
Pencils by: David Lopez
Cover by: Jorge Molina

The Story:
• Learn the secret origin of the proto-mutants.
• How long can Storm keep Cyclops from taking control of her team?

In Stores: July 18, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #16 Preview

Uncanny X-Men #16
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Pencils and Cover by: Daniel Acuña

The Story:
AvX Tie-In!
• We can’t say much or we spoil the event of the summer!
• The X-Men move against the forces of Sinister!

In Stores: July 18, 2012

New Avengers #28 Art

Psylocke appears in Danger's virtual reality simulation.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Uncanny X-Force's Truly Evil Brotherhood

Newsarama: Newsarama talked with Remender about bringing Daken into Uncanny X-Force, building the new Brotherhood, and — though he can't say much at this point — a small bit about his Marvel NOW! series, Uncanny Avengers. Courtesy of Marvel, we're exclusively debuting a page of art by Julian Totino Tedesco from Uncanny X-Force #28, scheduled for release on July 25.

Newsarama: Rick, as of Uncanny X-Force #27, Daken has joined the book as a major villain and leader of the new Brotherhood, which is a surprise on a couple of levels. What motivated you to use him? It certainly gets Wolverine more personally invested in the story, which up until this point focused more on Fantomex and Psylocke.

Rick Remender: That's definitely one of the reasons. The other is, as I was putting together the framework for the Brotherhood, I knew it was going to be a Wolverine arc, so I wanted to make sure there was a lot of personal context to these fights. If there's not personal context, if there's not something that you're heavily invested in seeing the outcome of, then it's just people throwing each other and punching sh*t. That's something I always try and find.

Early on, it occurred to me that Rob Williams had been doing a great job of making Daken into a villain, and he was leaning into that aspect of his character, and that this would be a really natural place for him to land. It also feeds into the father and son aspect that we've had in the series, with Evan and Fantomex, and the nurture/nature debate. I came up with a few ideas for how this could be an examination of the nurture/nature debate, and that led me to my conclusion. Here Logan is trying to raise Evan — Apocalypse — to be a good kid, and he never invited Daken to that school. Daken's always been in the grey between good and bad, but he's slid into bad enough times, and Wolverine has given him a pass, time and time again.

They all knew that if Evan went bad, what they'd have to do, so they're raising a kid that they've already had a hand in taking down once. It's a very slippery slope. I think there's also a lot of emotional context in Daken seeing that they're trying to give Evan this chance, but he never got that much attention or love, he was just sort of forgiven and swept aside. He's got a lot of baggage to deal with, and I like to work on the theme that a son will do anything to earn his father's respect — even kill him.

Nrama: And it seems that not only is Daken clearly the villain of the story, he actually himself sees it that way — and in fact, the entire Brotherhood is embracing being truly "evil mutants."

Remender: And that's sort of the idea. You always had the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but they never really entirely embraced the evilness. They were on the different side of the mutant debate with the X-Men, you had Mystique at one point running the show with Destiny guiding her hand, and it wasn't completely leaning into the evil. There was a relatable motive.
While there are relatable motives here, they're all very aware that what they're trying to do is get revenge, and to create a powerful army with their own brainwashed Apocalypse, so nobody can ever mess with them again, and they can go on their own dastardly business.

Nrama: It's an interesting dynamic, because there's always a lot of moral ambiguity from the protagonists in the series. 

Remender: The methodology of X-Force is something that they're forced to really examine. The consequences of what they have done are definitely still in play, and that was my plan from the beginning of the series — that they would do some awful things, but this time there would be such awful consequences that it would force them to reassess their motives. 

Nrama: Daken appeared to die at the end of his solo series — are you addressing that in the story?

Remender: Yeah, we resolve all that. 

Nrama: What went into building the lineup of the new Brotherhood? It's a stacked group — were you looking at putting together something of a supergroup of X-Men villains? 

Remender: Sure, and obviously a lot of the characters I've built up throughout the series, so there's personal animosity. You've got Skinless Man, who obviously doesn't care for Fantomex. You've got the Shadow King, who was a prisoner in Betsy's mind for many years, and is eager to get revenge on her. You've got the Omega Clan, who think Deadpool and Wolverine killed their family. You've got the Blob, who killed Nightcrawler's wife. You've got, obviously, Sabretooth, Mystique and Daken, who have a long history with Wolverine. And then you've got Evan — so you've got a fairly personal group, as well as what I think is one of the heaviest-hitting Brotherhoods we've seen. 

Nrama: It's a cliché to say "everything has been leading to this point," but clearly "Final Execution" is dealing with issues that have been building since issue #1. With a lot of things changing coming to Marvel — and you involved with some of the high-profile early announcements— is it possible that "Final Execution" is something of an ending, at least of the first phase of the book? 

Remender: It's definitely a conclusion to everything that's happened before. All of the loose threads are tied up. In he first 18 issues, we dealt with about 50 percent of what we set up, and this is the other 50 percent. By issue #35, you do get a beginning, middle and end to the whole thing, and then, thematically, it gets flipped a little bit, and moves over into Uncanny Avengers. 

Nrama: Does that mean that Uncanny X-Force is ending? 

Remender: It doesn't. It just means that after issue #35, aspects of the book shift over into Uncanny Avengers. 

Nrama: An interesting sort of side story to Uncanny X-Force recently is that you've also got to touch on some of the stuff elsewhere in the X-books, most clearly what Jason Aaron is doing in Wolverine and the X-Men. What goes into that type of coordination? 

Remender: Jason and I keep in really close contact, because we have characters jumping between our books, and we wanted to make sure that it was cohesive. Jason took Evan for a little while, and built him up as a person, and really put a spotlight on him over in Wolverine and the X-Men, and then he hops back over into this story, where we get to then escalate things, and tweak his life quite a little bit. Where he goes is up in the air still. I don't think people will anticipate it.

That's the thing I really loved about the X-books growing up, the interconnectivity. It's something that we've all made a real, concerted enough to try and make sure that these books line up and have threads that touch one another. 

Nrama: Plus Tabula Rasa showed up in Uncanny X-Men, and was one of the early settings of AvX. 

Remender: It's nice to see the stories bleed out and have presence in the other books. 

Nrama: Coming up in issue #28, it looks like Deathlok is coming back to the book? 

Remender: Yes. I don't think anybody will anticipate exactly how that will come together. There's some stuff that was set up with Deathlok that then gets paid out here in a pretty big way. 

Nrama: The first cover to Uncanny Avengers depicted six characters. Are you looking to stick to a smaller main cast, like you have in Uncanny X-Force? 

Remender: I like to have a core six, and to really build their characters, and get to know them and establish their dynamics. But for a team like that, you can expect things to grow a little bit, arc by arc, in terms of cast.

Nrama: Like what you've been doing in Secret Avengers. 

Remender: Yeah. Like you see in the upcoming Masters of Evil storyline, between #29 and #33, it mostly focuses on Hawkeye, Venom, Valkyrie and Ant-Man. The other characters are there, and they're playing a role, and Black Widow too, to an extent. You can have the bigger cast, but I think the trick is to only select so many of them for each mission, and then to move the focus around, lest it becomes a soup of too many characters. 

Nrama: Right, that has to be interesting — you're working on the Masters of Evil and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants at the same time. 

Remender: And it just sort of happened, the plans all sort of happened at the same time, but they're both stories that I've been writing on for well over a year or two. It's nice to see them come to fruition. Hopefully people will dig them, and we do justice to the legacy.
They're super-different. The Masters of Evil, in this case, is like an army. There's not really much personal context to that, which makes it more of a 007 villain, as opposed to a family member.