Thursday, January 28, 2016

Uncanny X-Men #3 Preview

Uncanny X-Men #3
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Cover & Art by: Greg Land

The Story:
• With mutantkind in extinction's crosshairs once more, Magneto leads a team of the deadliest X-Men to fight for the fate of their species!
• But can the Master of Magnetism curb his killer instincts long enough to find out who's trying to speed up mutantkind's descent into the grave?
• Plus: Fantomex! Triage! And an X-Man you probably thought you'd never see again...

In Stores: February 3, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Olivia Munn and Simon Kinberg Talk "X-Men: Apocalypse" & Psylocke

JoBlo: After a long run on G4’s Attack of the Show, Olivia Munn has begun branching over into the film world, making a big splash this year with both RIDE ALONG 2 and X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Playing the fan-favorite character of Betsy Braddock/Psylocke, Munn talks about her costume, training, powers, and personality of the famed badass mutant. In terms of the costume, which is typically a form-fitting one-piece bathing suit, Munn weighed in on its importance and image.

“Everybody together decides what the costume should look like, so it's like an art picture of, ‘Here's like what we think Psylocke is going to look like.’ There's my head. I was like, ‘Oh, you're going to want me to work out more than I've already ...’ Munn trails off, then elaborates. “I think my first thought was it has to be purple, because we were going up against time and making it. It was black at first...The latex is in black and all the armor is in black and it's just easier, but I was like, ‘You got to make it purple.’ That was kind of my first thought when I saw myself in the costume, which is the Photoshop. When I first saw myself completely put together, it was a very nerdy cool dream. It's just like, "Whoa." It just doesn't really seem real.”

In terms of how Munn views Psylocke in the X-Men cinematic universe, she says, “The way that I see Psylocke is as a very powerful weapon that has been used and abused by different people so that they could use her powers and she's somebody who's just looking for righteous purpose." As for Psylocke’s powers, Munn describes how they held back on certain elements, particularly her telepathic powers.

“Psylocke is telepathic and telekinetic. In the movie, we see her being a telekinetic. We don't see her being telepathic. It's a decision because this is the first time we've really been able to see the character of Psylocke and have her really, truly exist in the movie. I talked about it with Simon Kinberg. There's just so much going on, especially with Apocalypse's power, and then trying to take on all of the X-Men. When you are telepathic, I feel that it's a power that you want to hold close to your chest. It's a card that you don't want a lot of people to know about because it's so much more powerful when people don't know that you have this power.”

Munn elaborates on the sword fighting aspect, as well as Psylocke’s deadly psi-blade, saying she will utilize both in the film.

“Yeah, which is why I had to learn to use a regular sword with both hands, so I can switch in between. It's more work for the special effects guys but it's pretty cool. That was actually James McAvoy's idea. He was like, "’f you can use both hands,’ he's like, ‘Then you can go, you can switch, you can...’ Because the thing about sword work is that you're always keeping somebody off. Like they don't really know it's happening. You're really throwing people off. Your opponent. He was like, "Well, you can really throw them off if you're going from your real sword to your psychic sword and then just switching hands and it's just...’ I was like, ‘That sounds awesome.’”

In terms of Psylocke’s personality, Munn says, “She’s methodical and very loyal and she's very calm and she's fearless. Her aggression is below the surface, but it's like, it's bubbling ... It's right there at any moment to access. She's a very calm, easygoing, kind of person within this world of insanity, but she's so powerful and strong. That feeling of when did anything where you're learning a skill. Once you learn it, you feel really powerful. She's very comfortable in her skin.”

Don't expect to see much about Psylocke's comic book past, however, as her origins as Betsy Braddock, sister of Brian Braddock aka Captain Britain, and the events that led to her becoming this version of Psylocke are not explored here, but hinted at. "There's small, subtle references to it with Apocalypse," says Munn. "For people who love and know Psylocke, they will know who she is fully formed. You would know her storyline."

ScreenRant: The actress pointed out that each of the Horseman is lost in some way, which is a fact that Apocalypse – like any other successful cult leader – is able to sense, and exploit to his own ends. Of course, that doesn’t exactly mean that Psylocke is forced to do anything she doesn’t do willingly (unfortunately, the story of how she came to be recruited and re-costumed may not be given much screentime in the finished film).

Munn explains: That’s the amazing thing about cult leaders. They can really see when people are weak and how to prey on that and capitalize on that. You see that with Magneto and Storm and Angel and myself. We all are in a place where we’re really needing somebody to come in and say, “This is the way.” [Apocalypse] first meets her and she’s the bodyguard. She’s got this amazing skill and she has zero fear when she goes against him, so he needs her. What he sees in her is that she is someone who can protect and has no fear and is an amazing fighter and has amazing abilities. She’s doing things because she wants to do them. She’s like, “I want to join you. You haven’t fooled me into joining you. I get it, I see what you’re doing, and I want to be part of it.” In the end, they manipulate her, but it’s always her choice to join it.

Collider: The producer/writer Simon Kinberg used the addition of Olivia Munn’s Psylocke as an example, revealing that the character was a late addition to the Apocalypse ensemble:

“Psylocke was quite a late addition to the script and the movie. Bryan Singer and I were up here in Montreal and we felt like we needed a different Horseman, and we just started going through the cycling of the different Apocalypse Horsemen over history. We felt like we wanted it to be a female character and we pretty quickly settled on Psylocke. And super randomly I think a week or two earlier I was in Los Angeles and we were casting Deadpool. I had met with Olivia Munn for a character in Deadpool that ultimately wasn’t the right character for her, but we were like ‘We’ve gotta keep in touch, she has to do something in the X-Men world.’ And Bryan and I were sitting in Montreal a few weeks later and saying we should do Psylocke and I was like, ‘Dude, I just met with Olivia Munn two weeks ago. She’d be great.’ Then we looked at pictures of her online and I emailed her and I said, ‘I think this is a great character for you’ and she immediately emailed me back and sent me all this fan art online that fans had done of her as Psylocke. So that’s how that one came to be.

Uncanny X-Men #2 Art

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Uncanny X-Men #2 Spoilers

Spoilers: Mystique working undercover at Someday Corporation gets her identity blown and fights her way from her would be captors. She escapes into a car with men who are dressed as Hellfire grunts. The driver tells Mystique while her cover was blown she obtained valuable intel on Someday.

In Detroit, Magneto is seen lurking through a medical examiners office. He locates the body of the mutant healer that was murdered by the Dark Riders. Psylocke communicating with him telepathically, from the Blackbird, tells him the mutant healer would still be alive if he hadn't sent him away as opposed to taking him, and the other mutants, in with them last issue. Magneto realizes that mutant healers are being targeted and tells Psylocke they need to locate other potential targets. Psylocke mentions Elixir and Triage but mid sentence Archangel appears briefly on one of the monitors Psylocke was looking at. Psylocke in shock, doesn't mention it to Magneto. Psylocke sends Monet and Sabretooth out to locate Elixir.

Elixir is found living in a church with normal humans in Vermont. Elixir mentions he doesn't want to join the X-Men and wants live a normal life. Monet urges him to come with him because they know he's in danger, and they're ambushed by the Dark Riders. As Sabretooth and Monet fight off the Dark Riders, Monet is struck by one of them and sent flying out of the church and lands outside. Monet lands by a group of humans, the same ones that took Elixir in, all murdered by the Dark Riders. Elixir runs outside and uses his powers to heal everyone at once, something he has not been capable of before. Monet is surprised to see how much more powerful Elixir has become. Sabretooth realizes it was a trap to lure Elixir out in the open. On the roof of the church, a Dark Rider uses a sniper rifle to shoot Elixir dead. They mention they should be able to get the Akkaba Clan's attention at this rate of murdering mutants, and escape before Sabretooth can locate them. Monet stays near Elixir's corpse. To be continued!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

X-Solicits for April 2016

Uncanny X-Men #6
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Ken Lashley
Cover by: Greg Land
Connecting Variant by: Ken Lashley
Classic Variant Cover by: TBA
Story Thus Far Variant Cover by: TBA
The first time original X-Man Archangel met Apocalypse, he was transformed into the homicidal Horseman of Death. Breaking free of Apocalypse's grasp, Archangel eventually returned to the X-Men and formed a relationship with his teammate, Psylocke. Now, years later, Psylocke has found a vacant, drone-like Archangel in the guise of Death once more. Fearing he's again fallen under Apocalypse's sway, Psylocke and her team of X-Men embark on a mission to save Archangel's life. But little do they know that they are about to discover a far more horrifying truth than they could have imagined...

X-Men '92 #2
Writer: Chris Sims & Chas Bowers
Art by: Alti Firmansyah
Cover by: David Nakayama
Variant Cover by: TBA
• PONDER: The machinations of the Fenris Twins!
• FEAR: The terror of Alpha Red!
• RELISH: The X-Men of the '90s, back in action!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Uncanny X-Men #2 Preview

Uncanny X-Men #2
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Cover & Art by: Greg Land

The Story:
In a world that’s never hated or feared mutants more, there is only one constant: BIGGER THREATS REQUIRE MORE THREATENING X-MEN. Refusing to accept one more mutant death, the most ruthless mutants on Earth have banded together to proactively mow down their enemies. But with a team populated by relentless killers, one question applies above all others: Can they stay away from each other’s throats long enough to sever their targets’?

In Stores: January 20, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

X-Position: Cullen Bunn Unleashes the Hard-Edged "Uncanny X-Men"

CBR: This week in X-POSITION, "Uncanny X-Men" writer Cullen Bunn joins us and answers your questions about those ideas, which include the return of the Inhuman villains the Dark Riders, Archangel's new role as a predator drone, Monet's aggressive attitude towards Sabretooth and more.

Magneto's group seemed shockingly... sinister at first, but now I see it operates more like Utopia's Extinction Team than X-Force, in that Magneto's team are ultimately the last line of defense for mutantkind. Is making this motley crew all relatable and quasi-honorable a challenge?

Any time you're dealing with characters who have been traditionally portrayed as antiheroes or outright villains, it can be a challenge. Not only do they need to be relatable, as you mentioned, it's important to remember what made them villainous to begin with! Some of these X-Men have done very, very bad things in the past, and I don't think the ol' switcheroo between villain and hero is simple.

And you mention "honor," but that is a completely different beast. A code of honor can include some pretty callous and cold elements. That's why you'll see this group do things that you might not expect from a traditional X-Men team -- because they are not a traditional team. What I think is interesting, though, is seeing if these hard-edged characters come around to a kinder, gentler way of thinking. Some of them just might. I know for a fact that some of them fail -- horribly.

Mystique and Magneto, despite film history to the contrary, have never (or rarely) actually worked together in the comics. How would you describe their relationship?

When it comes to Mystique, I think any relationship is best described as contentious. Magneto knows better than to trust her. She's too mercurial. But she's useful and (maybe even to jerkface Magneto's way of thinking) expendable. All that's assuming, of course, that she is actually working with Magneto and, as you'll see in issue #2, that might not be the case. The "team" that we've been talking about with this book isn't actually what people think it is!

I had seen the previews, so I knew the Dark Riders were coming. They are interesting in relation to the present situation of the Terrigen Mist as not only are the founding members Inhumans, but at least some of them were originally members of the Inhuman royal family. Fair to say this is why you are revisiting these characters that haven't appeared in some time?

Hey, Derek.

I think I mentioned somewhere that when I first started working on this series, I sat down and listed all the X-Men that I might want on the team. I then set about winnowing that list to a manageable grouping. Then I did the same thing with villains. I created this sprawling list of all the bad guys I'd like to use in "Uncanny X-Men." Suffice it to say, the list is pretty long. Mojo, the Hellfire Club, the Brood, the Reavers, the Nasty Boys... and on and on and on. The Dark Riders were near the top of the list -- primarily because I remembered liking their designs. The fact that they hadn't been used in a while was a bonus. It wasn't until a little later that I started digging into the backgrounds of the characters that I remembered that they had a connection to the Inhumans as well, and I felt that (thematically at least) they would be perfect for the first arc.

Apocalypse's views do seem somewhat in alignment with how Inhumans ran their society, at least prior to the release of the mists worldwide -- i.e., your place in society is dictated by your raw power. Do you think the Dark Riders are devotees to Apocalypse or just extremist Inhumans?

The Dark Riders are devotees to the teachings of Apocalypse. They have been force fed his doctrines for a long, long time, and it has twisted their brains in some monstrous ways. In this arc, however, they are "in the wind" so to speak. They are operating on their own, without a mastermind figure. That may make them even more dangerous, though, as they are acting with their own terrifying moral codes as their guides. They are trying to get back into the good graces of Clan Akkaba by making a violent, bloody statement against the mutants. The Terrigen Mist situation soured them into action. Not all of them are Inhumans, but for those that are, I feel like Apocalypse's teachings have been all consuming for them, overriding any previously entrenched philosophies.

Will healers like Elixir and Triage have a more important role in "Uncanny X-Men"? Or will they only appear for this specific arc?

Elixir and Triage are important in the first arc of the series, and I'd be lying if I said they're going to have an easy time. The Dark Riders are targeting mutant healers for execution, and they're really good at their job.

Really glad to see you working with Greg Land. You've teamed up with Gabriel Hernandez Walta before [on "Magneto"]; did you have any preference regarding the artist for this series? Will any of your favorite artists work with you in the upcoming issues?

Heliophoenix, a super heroic name if ever there was one!

Sometimes, when I start a new book, I'm asked for suggestions for artists. That can be tough, because almost always the artists I request are working on other books. With "Uncanny X-Men," I think editorial already had a few names in mind for the series. Greg Land and Ken Lashley were brought up quite a bit in the initial conversations, and I knew I'd be working with them in the initial couple of arcs (Ken will be drawing the second arc of the series). One thing that's nice about those two guys -- they both really love the X-Men.

I keep throwing the names of favorite artists out there, though, and I'm sure you'll see some of them popping up here and there. For instance, Tyler Crook, the artist for [Dark Horse Comics'] "Harrow County," is doing a short story with me for February's "Deadpool" #7. It's not "Uncanny X-Men," but it will be gorgeous!

As a huge Archangel fan, I'm glad to see him being utilized again. The hippie thing just wasn't working. How much of Psylocke's desire to find Warren's personality in there somewhere is based on love and how much is based on guilt?

All right, nx01a, I'm about to get maudlin with this answer. I once heard that grief is the price you pay for loving someone, and I think that's true. In the case of Psylocke and Archangel, I feel like Betsy will always have love for Warren. Her actions here, though, are not necessarily driven by being "in love" with him. Rather, she feels remorse and guilt for what happened to him. I don't want to go into how Archangel has resurfaced (that will be revealed later) but now that he is here, Psylocke sees this as a second chance to save him.

Seeing the dialogue between Magneto and Psylocke, it reminds me of when she first joined the team and the interactions they had -- specifically, her willing to do a job and Magneto showing concern about her talents. Now it seems reversed. Did you do a lot of research on each character's interactions with each other in the past to help lay groundwork for new interactions?

I wouldn't say I did a lot of in-depth research, Tazirai. Instead, I think about the interactions between the characters that I remember the most and build on that. In some cases, the details of those relationships are lost with the passage of time. In other cases, I've completely fabricated interactions I thought had happened based on my interpretations of the characters! As I've said elsewhere, I am a huge fan of the X-Men. I've been reading and collecting those comics for a long, long time. I can't, however, keep it all straight in my head. And I don't want to get too mired by those details if I can help it.

That said, you're onto something with Magneto and Psylocke and how they are interacting. Reversals of attitude are a pretty important part of how they get along in this book. And, yes, Psylocke isn't sure Magneto is up to the task ahead of him, not because of his power levels or skill, but because of his state of mind.

Will we see the character of Briar Raleigh show up in "Uncanny X-Men" to provide aid and help for Magneto once again, or Agents Rodriguez and Haines?

Yes! Briar Raleigh does have a role to play in the series -- a pretty important one at that. She's not going to be showing up on-panel for a while, but trust that she's already at work in Magneto's world.

Given the opportunity, I'd love to do more with Rodriguez and Haines. There are no immediate plans (there was a Haines cameo in an early draft of issue #6, but I ended up cutting it). I think it is safe to say that they'll show up, but it will be further down the line.

Monet hitting on Sabretooth seemed to be more her acting out than actual attraction. Is that a fair assumption or does she genuinely find something appealing about him? If so, why?

Howdy, xhx23x! I think you're onto something when you say Monet might be "acting out" when it comes to her seeming attraction to Sabretooth. In the eight months that have passed before the launch of this series, a lot has happened, and some of it has impacted Monet in a major way. It's shaken her down to the core. She's working through it in her own way, and that may not be the healthiest option. As the series progresses, you'll see some additional ways in which her behavior is affected by whatever happened. And what happened!?! I can't tell you yet.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Recap 2015 • Psylocke

Recap 2015  Talk about everything that happened to Psylocke in 2015 -- your favorite stories, favorite writers, favorite artists, favorite quotes, etc. Unfortunately because of the disappointing Secret Wars event, Psylocke had little to no appearances this year. Here's our little recap to refresh your memory!


X-Men #23
• The Burning World, Chapter 1
Psylocke and the X-Men investigate a supercell that hit a festival in the Black Rock Desert.

X-Force #14
• No One Ever Told Me That Grief Felt So Like Fear
X-Force finds out Cable has been using Fantomex to kill other superspies, and Psylocke and the others try to take him down.

Nightcrawler #10
• The Best Laid Plans--!
Psylocke is broken freen from Shadow King's control and sends Nightcrawler to the Astral Plane to face him.


X-Men #24
• The Burning World, Chapter 2
Psylocke, Monet and Rachel fight hivemind creatures inside a cave, but one of them hits Betsy's arm pretty hard.

X-Force #15
• Us Vs. Them
X-Force defeats Fantomex and Psylocke psycho-stabs him. The team fires Cable in the end.


X-Men #25
• The Burning World, Chapter 3
While Psylocke's still down, Rachel taps into hers and Monet's TK to lift heavy rocks inside the cave.

Nightcrawler #12
• The Heroes Rise!
Psylocke and Nightcrawler talk about his relationships with Bloody Bess and Amanda Sefton.


X-Men #26
• The Burning World, Chapter 4
The X-Men leave the cave, save the civilians and defeat the sentient rock after finding out about an experiment that gave it consciousness.


Secret Wars #2
• Doom Messiah
[ALTERNATE] Betsy Braddock of House Braddock is the sister of Higher Avalon's baron Brian Braddock after the former baron Jamie Braddock is sentenced to death.

Inferno #1
• Untitled
[ALTERNATE] Psylocke is part of a small group of X-Men that tries to free Illyana, but ultimately fails.


Giant-Size Little Marvel: AVX #1
• Untitled
[ALTERNATE] In Marville, the children living on X-Men Way, including Psylocke, are rivals of the children living on Avengers Street.


Inferno #3
• Untitled
[ALTERNATE] The assembled X-Men – including Psylocke – engage Illyana’s demon horde in battle.

Master of Kung-Fu #3
• Masters All
[ALTERNATE] Lady Mandarin, the mistress of the School of Spirit Blades, is one of the great masters who compete for the Emperor’s throne in trial by combat.

X-Men '92 #2
• Love is a Battlefield, Chapter 4
[ALTERNATE] After hearing Professor X’s psychic distress call, Cable gathers X-Force to the X-Mansion, only to find his dead body.


Secret Wars Journal #4
• Another Last Stand
[ALTERNATE] In the Sentinel Territories, Psylocke has been hiding for almost a decade by faking her death but sacrifices herself to help free Northstar's husband.

Inferno #4
• Untitled
[ALTERNATE] The X-Men have gone into hiding to plan their next moves.

Secret Wars: Secret Love #1
• Untitled
[ALTERNATE] Psylocke and Archangel are seen kissing.

X-Men '92 #3
• Head Games, Chapter 5; Ten Out of Ten, Chapter 6
[ALTERNATE] Psylocke decides to stay at the mansion and rehabilitate Xavier to follow the psychic traces of his attacker back to its source.


X-Men '92 #4
• Kelly's Heroes, Chapter 7; Evolution, Chapter 8
[ALTERNATE] Pyslocke unleashes Warwolves to attack the X-Sentinel, helps the Professor defeat the Shadow King and join the X-Men.


A-Force #5
• Untitled
[ALTERNATE] The members of A-Force, inclusing Psylocke, fight the zombies from the Deadlands who have invaded Arcadia.


Uncanny X-Men #600
• Untitled
Betsy and every other mutant alive are gathered by Cyclops to show humans that mutantkind means no ill to mankind.