Monday, February 29, 2016
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
Playback:stl: Starting in January, Cullen Bunn has teamed up with artist Greg Land to navigate the new Uncanny X-Men lineup consisting of Magneto, Sabretooth, Archangel, M, Psylocke, Fantomex, and Mystique. Choosing to continue the Uncanny X-Men title and then give it to a team that consists of the less-than-nice mutants in the Marvel universe was, in my opinion, a bold move, and the first issue of Uncanny X-Men definitely delivers on the hard image that Bunn describes during our conversation
PLAYBACK:stl: Having come back into comics a year or so ago, it was mind-blowing, to me, that Magneto had his own solo title. How difficult has it been to write Magneto in a group title after writing him as a solo title?
Bunn: It is definitely a change of pace to write Magneto as part of an ensemble cast. For 21 issues, he was my sole focus in a book that I intentionally left most guest stars out of. It would have been easy to bring in guests that had shared a spotlight with Magneto, but I wanted it to be very, very focused on him. So, it is—I don’t want to say it’s been a challenge, but there has definitely been some adjustment needed because my tendency, still, is to want this to be a Magneto book and I need to rein that in a bit to make sure that I’m giving all the other characters some time to shine as well. So when people read Uncanny X-Men, I think it feels like there will be moments that feel like they’re still reading a Magneto solo book, but at the same time I hope there will be moments where they will see Psylocke get as much attention, and Monet get as much attention, and Sabretooth get as much attention—they’ll come at different times in the book. I have to focus on giving all of these characters their moments to shine.
You definitely have quite the ensemble here.
Yeah, it’s a weird group.
All of these characters aren’t good guys—they have their occasional moments. How difficult is it to navigate those shades of grey when you’re planning out the things they’re going to be dealing with?
The shades of grey weren’t that difficult for me. I have a mission statement in mind for these characters that will be revealed in the next five to six issues. I’m more focused on adhering to that mission statement and giving these characters a goal that they can be focused on, and they’re going to handle it in the way they handle things. It may be a little more hardline than you’re used to with Uncanny X-Men. Within the team, we have different opinions on how things should be handled: some characters are more merciless than others and will cause friction in the group, and that’s fun to play with. In the end, it’s not that difficult because I have the mission statement in mind. This is a tough group of characters, so finding things that are going to challenge them, that’s a little more difficult. Any one of those characters is probably a formidable opponent in any situation, so when you put them all together, they’re a pretty tough group of hardasses.
For sure. I remember reading the names of all the mutants under this title and thinking, “What is that going to look like?”
To some degree, some of the team will be formed right off the bat, in the first issue. We’ve seen all of these characters together, but the way the rest of the team comes together will be a little different and will not be immediate. You won’t open the first issue and see all seven of these characters working together in the beginning. In the first issue, we’re going to see a few of them who have started working together, and then other characters will be sort of fed into the series—and in ways that people will not expect.
This seems to be a trend across the All-New All-Different teams: the team is on the cover, but not necessarily in the first issue.
Definitely. I know that in Extraordinary X-Men, that first arc is all about that team coming together and in All-New X-Men, it’s a little different—the team is together, but we’re still seeing that team coming up with their driving force. Then, in Uncanny, we’re seeing the team together and how the other characters come in. It’s not going to be a typical recruitment drive.
I don’t see that working very well.
Do you feel like there’s an extra set of pressure for delivery when writing under the Uncanny X-Men title because that is the flagship X-Men title?
Yeah. It’s kind of intimidating and I’m honored to be a part of Uncanny X-Men because it was important to me when I was growing up and is important to me now, as far as superhero comics are concerned. There was a lot of discussion on titles for this book and it was always going to be an X-Men title, although a lot of people said that it was obviously an X-Force book – and that’s not the case. I think once you see the team in action and see the adventures they’re going on that it’s a different kind of book than what you’ve seen with X-Force in the past. It was always going to be X-Men, but we went back and forth with the adjectives and what the final title would be, and I was really pushing and hoping for Uncanny X-Men. I’m super excited that’s the case.
Yeah, I imagine that must be really awesome. Did you always want to be a comic book writer when you grew up?
I always wanted to tell stories, since I was very young. I wish I still had the comic book I drew about monsters attacking cities when I was pre-kindergarten. I remember working on this comic.
I’ve been writing since I was very young. When I was in fourth and fifth grade, I did a comic that came out weekly that I wrote and drew, and it was sort of a science fiction/superhero comic. That I wrote for a couple of years and would handout to my friends, and yeah—I’ve loved comics. So, yeah, I guess you could say that it’s something that has been with me since forever.
That is so awesome. So Magneto’s been through a lot lately, from what I’ve been able to read in the X-Men storylines. How do you see this new team interacting with the other X-Men teams in a crossover situation with the All-New All-Different roster shake-ups?
Well, if they were to crossover, I think it would be a very volatile meeting. It’s tough and you will see, within my first arc, what some of the other X-Men teams think about what Magneto is doing. I wouldn’t call it a team-to-team meeting, but the readers will get a view of what the other X-Men think and really what sets this team apart from them. But, if we got into a crossover event, I think—at least with some members of the other teams—I think it would be pretty volatile. But with that said, I think even within the Uncanny X-Men team itself, some of the members are going to be pretty volatile with each other. When you look at a character like Psylocke and Sabretooth, one of their first encounters involved Sabretooth trying to viciously kill Psylocke. So I think there are histories between these characters and they’re definitely not a group that that is going to be doing trust falls with each other.
There’s definitely some animosity between these characters. We’ve got Sabretooth and Psylocke, and Psylocke and Fantomex also have some kind of history between them that’s not going to make them best friends anytime soon. Mystique is a whole ‘nother hornet’s nest that is going to be jumping right into the mix of it. So, this team’s got to survive each other first, and then maybe they can encounter some of the other teams.
Yeah, I feel like Magneto, Sabretooth, Mystique, and Fantomex would work okay together, but then you chose to throw Psylocke in there and then—
Psylocke and Monet both seem sort of out of place in this group.
Keep in mind that eight months have passed in the comic book world since the last storyline. The entire Marvel universe is jumping eight months into the future. So, a lot of what’s happened in that eight months will inform why this team is willing to work together. What I think is interesting about it, is that Sabretooth is the moral compass of the team, as much as he’s been one of the most ghastly villains in the Marvel Universe. A couple months ago, through some magical act, he was inverted so that his personality switched and now he’s sort of on a quest for redemption, and now he’s definitely the guy who’s like, “No, no, let’s not kill anybody.” So Sabretooth might be trying to calm some of these other members down.
That’s going to be really interesting to read.
Yeah, it’s a strange setup, when you think about it. Sabretooth might be the most heroic of these characters.
You’re definitely in trouble if Sabretooth is your moral compass.
So, do you feel like, as a writer, it’s difficult to jump around between all of these titles? You’ve written Sinestro, Magneto, and some Deadpool, and now Drax, as well. These are all very different characters.
It can get a little dicey, every now and again. I think when I was writing the Magneto solo and the Sinestro solo it was the most difficult. I always had to keep my eye on the prize and do whatever I could to make these two books as different as possible. Sometimes it got really weird—it was never intentional, but there were things that were similar. I had an arc where Magneto was dealing with Polaris, his daughter, and there’s a lot of father-daughter tension between the two, but in Sinestro, Sinestro has been dealing with his daughter since the first issue and there’s some tension between the two of them, too. So, I had to, in some cases, lean into the differences between the two characters a little more and a little harder than I would have normally. For the most part, it’s nice to work on these different stories. When working on a story like Uncanny X-Men that has a serious plotline, it’s nice to go to a book like Drax, where we kind of rely on some humor and a big sense of fun in that series. Switching between the books can be a good palette cleanser. Or, if I get stuck on a storyline for a Deadpool story, switching gears and working on the Uncanny X-Men storyline will sometimes loosen up those roadblocks.
That makes sense. On an unrelated note, who is your favorite mutant?
[Laughs.] My favorite mutant would have to be Rachel Grey. She’s been around for quite a while now, but she’s not an A-Lister, I guess. I like her backstory, where she first appeared kind of knocked me on my butt because it was an interesting story. She’s from the future where mutants have been enslaved and all but completely slaughtered, and she’s come back in time. She just has such a crazy backstory. She’s a super interesting character to me, so she’s probably my favorite X-Man and then maybe Nightcrawler, as a close second. And that was tough for me, when I was putting together my team. I definitely wanted to put Rachel Grey on the team and I had some ideas for doing so, but in the end I decided that I’d be better off saving that character until the moment’s right to bring her into the book, instead of trying to force the story to work around her. That’s not to say I won’t ever get my moment to have Rachel Grey as a member of the Uncanny X-Men because, you know, the X-Men have a long history of the team going through lots and lots of changes—the team is definitely fluid. While I have stories that I want to tell with all of the characters that are on the team right now, I want to honor that tradition of a fluid team roster.
As someone who dabbles in fanfiction, I feel like it’s always a struggle to write things that involve Jean Grey, who is my favorite mutant. Do you feel like you could comfortably write Rachel?
That is the toughest part. You have to separate the fan and the writer. I think I could because I’m always kind of—this is going to sound terrible: I’m always cruelest to the characters I like the most. So the biggest danger is that Rachel would just be tormented.
[laughs] Well, that’s kind of a Grey tradition.
That’s true. In some ways, if she were to join the team, I’d have the same kind of challenge that I have with Magneto. Personally, I’d want it to be The Rachel Grey Show, but I would have to make sure that I didn’t turn it into a book that was solely about Rachel Grey.
That would be an interesting book.
I went through a lot of teams when I was planning this book. I basically listed every mutant character in a notebook and then started putting together teams that might be interesting. At one point, I had Rachel Grey and Nate Grey on the same team—alternate timeline members of the Grey family—and I may have even had Cable on that team. So, it was like the Grey-family X-Men.
[laughs] At that point, you may as well add Bendis’ Jean Grey, just to be good.
Right? There were some very strange team formations that I wanted to make work and to some degree, just because I’m a fan of those characters. But, again, I had to force myself to focus on the team that would tell the best story, for now.
Great, now I’m going to be watching for Rachel Grey.
I know, right? When’s she showing up?
Alright, last question: what is your favorite part about being a comic book author?
Well, writing can be a very solitary job and it can be very lonely, but there’s a couple of benefits that comics, in particular, give to the writer. One is that it is a very collaborative project: you’re working with an editor, an artist, a color artist, a letterer who is lettering the books, and you’re working with a lot of other people so you don’t necessarily feel like you’re working in a vacuum. The other part, from a completely ego-selfish position, is that there is a sense of immediate gratification: I finish a comic and in a couple of months it’s out on the shelf, and readers are reading it. That’s not something you get when you’re writing, for instance, a novel that can take years to come out. In this case, I write a comic and it comes out, and readers are interacting with me and people are telling me what they think, and there’s something very satisfying about that for me. | Catherine Bathe
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Cover & Art by: Greg Land
• Mutantkind is teetering on the brink of extinction once more! While some mutants seek refuge, others are eager to fight for their species' survival.
• And in the case of the UNCANNY X-MEN, that means taking the fight to those who would hasten mutantkind's decline!
• But are the X-Men biting off more than they can chew when they try to hunt down the DARK RIDERS on their own turf?
In Stores: March 2, 2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Newsarama: Chris, Chad – you’ve gone from mini to full-on series, so what do you want X-Men ’92 to be?
Chris Sims: In a word? Big! Since we’re not part of Secret Wars this time around, we can do all the wild stuff that we could never do on Battleworld, taking the story to different locations and bringing in a cast that’s about three times larger than what you saw in the mini.
Chad Bowers: On top of that, it’s important to us that X-Men ’92 look, and feel like a real X-book, if that makes any sense. I think it’s easy to see us as sort of the goofy, nostalgia kick, or the successor to the animated series, and we’re delighted to be all of those things and more, but it doesn’t change how we’re approaching the series. In our minds, X-Men ’92 is an epic 10,000 years in the making, and we’re not letting a little thing like taking place on an alternate Earth or whatever dissuade us from putting the entire Marvel Universe at risk!
Sims: Yeah, definitely. There’s obviously going to be an element of nostalgia to the book, when you’re working with something that’s deliberately trying to echo a very particular era, but for us, it’s less about taking things back to the ‘90s and covering the Greatest Hits than it is about trying to figure out what would happen if that team never stopped. Because of that, we’re bringing in a lot of the stuff that you’ve seen in the 21st century, characters like the X-Statix or hints at later storylines, and trying to figure out what they would’ve looked like if they’d been created with that ‘90s aesthetic instead. Also, one thing that Chad and I realized when we were working on it was that the ‘90s X-Men never really had the “school” aspect - there was Generation X, of course, but the core team were never teachers. So the first thing we do - before page one, even - is open up the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters to bring in even more characters!
Nrama: What would you say the core team line-up of the series is, at least from the outset? Are there any Blue team, Gold team, or anything like that going on?
Bowers: Not much time has passed between the mini-series and the ongoing. So we pick-up almost exactly where we left off, with Cyclops and Jean on sabbatical, Storm settling in as the team leader, and Beast doing what he can in his new role of school headmaster. The field team is still Wolverine, Rogue, and Gambit, but we’ve added Psylocke and Bishop, who’re struggling with the transition from X-force to the X-Men. Now, they can’t just shoot and stab people, and blow things up all the time, and that learning curve is a big part of their story arc.
Sims: They’re still pretty violent, though, because what’s more ‘90s than a team where Wolverine is the reasonable one? But yeah, I think to us, it just doesn’t feel like an X-Men book if there isn’t a huge cast. We want big action, big threats, and a big enough roster that we can get to at least three different love triangles all happening at the same time.
Nrama: You’ve mentioned before Generation X will be involved. That’s a relatively deep cut, but how deep will you be going? Mondo deep?
Sims: Two words: Teen Doop.
Bowers: We used Chamber in the mini-series as the spokesman for the Nova’s RejeX, and we just loved writing him, and wanted to keep him around for the ongoing. From there, it’s only natural to bring in the rest of the Generation X kids, but even with all of them at the school, it was hardly the robust student body we were looking for. We thought about the New Mutants, but to me, they’re more ‘80s than ‘90s, so that didn’t feel quite right. We started thinking about who would’ve been about the same age as the Gen Xers, and then it hit us – the X-Statix crew!
Sims: Building the miniseries around Cassandra Nova made us want to see what would happen if we took a similar approach to other characters. So while she ended up being a clone of Professor X made by Apocalypse, we figured that characters like the X-Statix, who were in their mid-20s when that book was on the stands, would make a lot of sense to throw in as teenagers. With the school opening back up in our first issue, it just made sense to us to see if they worked - and I don’t want to spoil it, but at least two of them end up playing a big role in our first arc. Teen Doop aside, I mean.
Bowers: If the mini was a celebration of the earliest days of the ‘90s X-Men, look for the ongoing to really dive head first into everything else from that era. It’s funny, and maybe this is me showing my age, but I don’t think of Generation X as a deep cut. If you want to talk deep cuts, let’s talk about the Midnight Sons, 2099, and Marvel UK, and all those adjacently popular Marvel projects from the 90s. How cool would it be if some of those ideas spilled over into our book? Very cool, yes?
Nrama: In our interview back in September when this ongoing was announced, you said that this new series will allow to explore some iconic X-Men locations. What can people look forward to?
Sims: And that’s just for starters! I hope you’re ready for outer space, the far-off future, and even Mur-- wait, can I say that one? I think it’s a spoiler.
Nrama: And just who is that Oni-masked character on the cover to X-Men ’92 #2?
Sims: Oni? Nah, you’re thinking of our other book. But seriously, I think his name’s already out there in solicitations, so I can tell you that he’s Alpha Red, an all-new villain at the center of our first arc. And as his name implies, he has a connection to one long-time X-Foe that you probably expect… and one you might not.
Nrama: Also on this cover are the Strucker twins, Fenris. They were a big part of the initial X-Men story but didn’t really stick around to be long-term villains.
Bowers: Yeah, I remember they were all over the place there for a few years when I was a kid, but then kind of disappeared. Neither really caught on like the other 90s-era X-villains, and I can maybe see why, but I always thought they had a lot of potential and decided to just embrace that potential, and mold them into a major threat that might’ve been way back when.
Sims: We talked about how many heroes we’re putting in there, but don’t think we’re skimping on the villains, either. There’s a whole lot going on that the X-Men don’t even know about when they’re throwing down with Alpha Red.
Nrama: Any chance we could be seeing some of the bad seeds of 1990s X-Men lore – Maggot, Marrow, or perhaps Adam-X?
Sims: Adam X was originally going to be in the very first scene of the miniseries, but we ended up cutting him (with a razor-blade skateboard) to make more room. Now, it feels like we have to put him in there eventually. We just want to make sure that the time is right for him to show up and start electrifying your blood once again.
Bowers: Maggot’s in the mini as one of Nova’s RejeX, and we’ll probably pull him back in a little further down the road. Marrow too.
Nrama: Any chance for some baseball playing among X-Men in this series, or a trip to the mall?
Sims: I think the mall’s still recovering from the Sentinel attack back in the mini-series, but don’t worry - there’s a little recreation right up front in the first issue.
Nrama: Joining you on this book is Alti Firmansyah. She’s already shown her skills drawing Gambit in Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde, and he’s a big part of X-Men ’92. What will you be looking to take advantage of in her art style for this new ongoing?
Bowers: Alti’s maybe the most expressive artist we’ve worked with to date, and it wasn’t until we started getting pages that we realized just how much fun she’s going to make this book. There’s this amazing double page sequence in the first issue, where Professor X and Beast are walking through the school, and the body language of the students, and expressions on all of their faces is just stunning, and at times, utterly hilarious. Alti’s the real deal, she’s fantastic, and well on her way to being a superstar. We’re delighted to have her onboard.
Sims: We’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of artists who don’t even blink when we write stuff like “Page Seven: Three different teams of X-Men are fighting the bad guys when a dimensional rift opens up on the lawn,” and Alti’s knocking it out amazingly well. It’s gotten to the point where we actually write apologies into the scripts because we know it’s getting bigger, but she’s crushing it. That said, I think Chad’s right - her best stuff comes from how purely expressive she is. Her Jubilee is just great to look at every time she shows up!
Nrama: This is a homage to that 1990’s era of X-Men lore. You’re already working with Rob Liefeld on another project, but can Newsarama get you to go public with a dream list of artists you’d love to see come in and do a variant or some other work on this book in your run?
Sims: Oh jeez, there’s so many. We worked with Erica Henderson in the past, and I think we’d both love to see her take on our team. Something tells me she’s been a little busy lately, though.
Bowers: We’ve got a pretty incredible cover artist already in David Nakayama, but if we’re looking at a ‘90’s dream team, I’d love to see Chris Bachalo and Art Adams do a cover or two. Jae Lee would be pretty rad, too. Alan Davis. John Romita Jr. Can I say Jim Lee? I don’t think I can, can I?
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Uncanny X-Men #7
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Ken Lashley
Cover by: Greg Land
Age of Apocalypse Variant by: Ryan Sook
"Apocalypse Wars" Continues!
• Fearing their teammate Archangel has once more fallen under the sway of the villainous Apocalypse, Psylocke and Magneto have embarked on a mission to save his life.
• But they're about to make a discovery that will make them doubt everything they thought they knew!
• Meanwhile, Sabretooth and M make a horrifying discovery of their own in the Morlock Tunnels beneath New York City...
Writers: Chris Sims & Chad Bowers
Art by: Alti Firmansyah
Cover by: David Nakayama
Variant Cover by: TBA
• If you only buy one X-book this month...
• ...Dracula commands it be this issue!
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
CBR: With both "Deadpool" and "X-Men: Apocalypse" arriving in theaters in the next few months, 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise is steadily growing. With a growing X-Men movie universe, fans increasingly want to see more and more crossovers between all the characters. While this isn't exactly a crossover crossover, Olivia Munn has posted a video to Instagram that shows off her Psylocke sword-slinging skills, which were on display in last night's Super Bowl ad, and features "Deadpool" star Ryan Reynolds. This is Psylocke vs. Deadpool like you've never seen it before!
Um vídeo publicado por Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) em
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Olivia Munn has revealed a new image of herself as the mutant, psychic ninja Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse. She also took to Twitter to answer questions about the film and the character.
What was your favorite scene to film?
Munn: The fight scene. It took me about two weeks to shoot the entire scene. That was definitely my favorite.
Who wins in a fight: you or Wolverine?
Munn: When I was training for Psylocke, one of the things that we worked on was using two blades. When I have my psionic blades, I fight a lot like Wolverine when his claws come out because the psionic blades are part of my arms. We have a similar fighting style so it would be a pretty even match, but Psylocke wins.
Did you get hurt at all during training?
Munn: I did get hurt training. Most of it was self-inflicted. My right side was completely bruised from the ankle all the way up to my thigh. That was when I was home trying to learn swords by myself before I asked for a not so sharp blade to practice with.
How much comic book reading did you do when you got cast as Psylocke?
Munn: I didn't have to do a lot of comic book reading for Psylocke because I pretty much knew most of that when I was a kid. I grew up in Japan and being one of five kids, we all would get our X-Men comics, share them and read them together.
Will she have great action scenes?
Munn: I hope so. I worked for many months training. I did six hours a day of sword, taekwondo training, stunt training and wire training and shot a fight scene for about two weeks. Hopefully the fight scene still remains in the movie.
Will she speak with British accent?
Munn: No. I do not have an English accent for Psylocke. There's a lot of people with British accents in the film, so I decided I would be American and represent this side of the pond.
Will we see Psylocke using her psychic weapons in X-Men Apocalypse?
Friday, February 5, 2016
Collider: Olivia Munn had been a fan of the character for a very long time when she was asked to join the ensemble, and once she signed on, it was important to her that the sexuality of the character didn’t undermine her independence:
“Well, I’ve loved Psylocke… To me, I know that Psylocke is dressed very sexually. Out of all the costumes, it’s really revealing, but it’s important to know that she always had substantive plotlines… Just because she’s dressed like that, she’s not this promiscuous, slutty girl that’s—in fact, Apocalypse is the one who dressed her and gave her that outfit.”
The actress put a lot of work into diving into the psychology of the character, who has been used as a tool for others more often than not:
“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. Right now, that’s why she’s one of the bad guys.. She’s definitely someone who’s very strong, who’s been through a lot. She has really powerful abilities and is just looking for a purpose.”
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Spoilers: Psylocke and Magneto try and pick up Triage when Barrage, Hurricane, and Harddrive show up. Hurricane attempts to flush Triage out, but Magneto intercepts, drawing their attention long enough for Betsy to bypass their psychic defenses and find out where they're based, while Triage continues healing the sick. Once she has what she needs, Erik lets loose on Harddrive, who teleports the Riders out but not before he leaves behind a little spybot. Triage is convinced to go with the X-Men after Magneto affords him a few minutes to heal whomever he can. In Tibet, Monet meets with Shen Xorn, who refuses to leave his sanctuary until he has completed his meditations. If the mists or Riders find him first, so be it. We find out that the X-Men are based on Genosha and that the Mists hit there early on, killing 60 mutants. Sabretooth gives them the news about Xorn, and they immediately start preparing to hit the Dark Riders at their home. The Riders' spybot has followed them back to Genosha, however, so they also know where the X-Men are based. In the last scene, Fantomex is leading several Hellfire grunts into the bowels of a Someday facility. They find several mutants locked in stasis before guards arrive and gun Fantomex down. It was a grunt the whole time, and Fantomex has escaped in EVA with his intelligence. He asks Mystique to set up a meeting with their "masters."