Wednesday, August 20, 2014

X-Position: Guggenheim Takes "X-Men" For a Space Adventure

CBR: This week, Guggenheim joined X-POSITION to discuss his current "X-Men" arc, returning to the X-Men universe after a lengthy hiatus, how his television experience with "Arrow" played into crafting the arc, his inspiration to bring the X-Men back into space and more.

You've mentioned in previous interviews that you made several pitches for your X-Men run, including at least one centering around each of the principal lead characters (Storm, Jubilee, Rachel, Monet, and Psylocke). Can you give us a hint as to what stories you had in mind for those characters and what particular qualities or paradoxes in each woman you want to emphasize in characterizing them?

Guggenheim: Well, my hope is to someday get to tell these stories, so, I probably shouldn't hint at them. [Laughs]

But I will say that the reason I didn't even contemplate shaking up Brian Wood's lineup was the fact that -- apart from the fact that, as I make a comment in issue #18, the vast majority of the team are all telepaths, they're all very different individuals. Rachel, I think, has this dark history and this tragic past, which colors her worldview in a very interesting way. Storm -- it's funny, it's hard to describe Storm. She's the easiest character for me to write, but she's the one I've spent the most time with as a reader. Her inner strength and inner nobility are very compelling things to see, particularly in comic books, which aren't always known for their strong female characters.

Monet -- I love sass. [Laughs] Monet's schtick is that she can sometimes border on obnoxious, but I love that voice and I love writing in that voice. Jubilee is the spark plug, literally the spark plug. She no longer has her powers, but she's still the youngster of the group that has a very interesting attitude herself. She's got a sense of humor about her -- it's different than Monet's, so I can play the two off of each other a little bit. Finally, there's Psylocke who is also another character that I've spent decades reading at this point, which makes me feel old. But I love the fact that she has a little bit of Storm's nobility with a little bit of Wolverine in her, too. It makes her a really interesting character.

A lot of times what I'll do is I'll think of stories -- and this is definitely true of the one that began on #18 -- and emotional journeys for these characters that's really based upon stuff that's happened to them in their past, and that's in part because I want to add new things to the sandbox, but at the same time, new character stuff can feel either like a gimmick or a ret-con. I'd rather start to work emotionally from the stuff that's already there. I think from the opening two pages of issue #18, you see that I'm doing that with Rachel's character and digging back into her past to try and bring out some stuff that still has some life to it. That's sort of true for all the characters -- they all have a rich history to them. They all have these rich backstories that I think make their emotional lives feel lived-in.

So far, there's only one arc announced for your "X-Men" run. Are you hoping to be able to tell a few of those stories you mentioned in further arcs down the line?

Guggenheim: Honestly, that's up to the powers that be at Marvel. When they asked me to come on, they were very clear that it would be a five-issue gig, and I just dove into it very enthusiastically. I love these characters and I love this world. I don't just mean the X-Men, I mean the Marvel Universe itself. I do really enjoy flexing those muscles. My hope is that there will be more Marvel work in my future. I've certainly been talking to various editors. If people agree, tweet! I think that helps.

1 comment:

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

His pitches actually sound better than Woods' actual scripts on this volume!