The feature’s called X-Men Monday, but characters like Captain Britain, Rictor and Boom-Boom still have their die-hard fans–and so do the teams these characters belong to. That’s why today’s edition of X-Men Monday is all about those other X-Teams!
So, what did X-Fans want to know, and what did X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White have to say? Read on to find out!
Jordan: Excalibur is a great balance of humor and drama. The thing is, the humor is really well done and super memorable as a result, so I think people tend to think of the book as a funny book… but it has great action and adventure plots as well. It’s the series that made me love Kitty, Kurt, Rachel, Brian and Meggan so much, it made them all feel so real and palpable. Also, I think it’s Alan Davis at his absolute peak. The series kicks off with Claremont writing and Davis drawing, and they are a terrific pair.
Eventually, other artists step in to do issues, and no offense to them, but you cannot help but look inferior next to Davis absolutely crushing it. Alan left the book at the end of “The Cross-Time Caper,” and there are a couple of clunker issues in there where the book struggles to find its feet, but then there are a couple of fun arcs involving Girls Schools, Limbo and Warwolves… and then Alan Davis returns to the book taking over writing as well as art, and DAMN, it sings. As much as I love the Claremont and Davis, I think the Davis solo issues are even MORE amazing. I think I’ve read issues 42-50 about a zillion times, and I love everything about them. From there, Alan was either writing, co-writing, or writing and drawing the book through issue 67, and the book ROCKED all the way through.
AiPT!: X Te X (@cafenightwing) said that the New Mutants were the very first X-Men spinoff team and wanted to know, in your opinion, what did they bring to the franchise and why do you think there has been a resurgence in popularity for those characters in recent books such as Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and Matthew Rosenberg’s Uncanny X-Men and New Mutants: Dead Souls?
Jordan: I think they have popped up in those places because both Jon and Matt were fans of the original run and wanted to bring them to the forefront. I think that team was a really great idea because it’s the place that first fused the two concepts of X-Men–the original team of young mutants and the all-new team of international heroes. It was the new Claremont spin on the Stan and Jack concept, updating it to fit into the series as it now existed. And it worked really well! It felt like a whole new aspect being opened up in the franchise by going back to its roots! It was a pretty awesome series.
AiPT!: Speaking of New Mutants: Dead Souls, Robert Secundus (@RobertSecundus) said the X-Line has had recent great creative success with ancillary or unusual teams in mini-series (Dead Souls) or maxi-series (Astonishing X-Men). Is this a model you’re looking to explore further? Is the market such that these sorts of teams best thrive in minis rather than ongoings?
Jordan: Everything is up for grabs in the post-HOX landscape. There is nothing you can take for granted. Things will take completely different shapes.
AiPT!: Vishal Gullapalli (@vgulla87) said that while X-Force started as a paramilitary strike force and has mostly been used as a mutant black ops squad, is there any room for a more Peter Milligan-style approach to the title, or is the nature of X-Force too well-defined at this point?
Jordan: I don’t know that there is a benefit to a Milligan-style co-opting of the X-Force name at this point. I think, when they tried that, it was because they felt the original squad was not working as an idea anymore so they needed to try something new… but after that series happened, they took the name back to, as you said, the black ops team… and that worked really well. I think at this point, between those two versions of the team, the idea of X-Force as a strike force of some sort is pretty cemented. I think if the X-Men tried to launch the X-Force Neighborhood Food Drive people would assume they had to rinse the blood of the stingy off the canned goods.
AiPT!: Similarly, Chris et Al (@strictlyworse) asked if the other X-Teams’ names like “X-Force” and “Excalibur” are set in stone at this point or do you think new teams could fill a certain niche that these pillars of X-Manery do not?
Jordan: I think we will all find out together soon enough.
AiPT!: gene slime (@geneticghost)–Twitter’s #1 Shatterstar fan–said that Shatterstar has grown a lot since his debut in X-Force all those years ago. Where would you like to see the character go from this point forward?
Jordan: I really love him coming into his own as a person. I think his relationship with Rictor has been fascinating, and I hope we can see more of it going forward, whether that be easy or difficult for them. I also really, really, really want to do a father/son buddy story with Shatterstar and Longshot. OH MAN, do I want to do that.
AiPT!: More X-Force talk! snewp, Agent of G.I.R.L. (@Sn0rpD0rg) said that Boom-Boom has been a member of X-Force, The New Mutants, Fallen Angels, the X-Men, and is the ONLY X-Person to have been part of the legendary Nextwave. What allows her to have such a diverse résumé without being on the front lines of the franchise?
Jordan: Well, you just called it–it’s BECAUSE she’s not on the frontlines, but people like her. Also, I think part of the reason is that people think of her as a “fun” character but (and please forgive me if you disagree) she’s a character that has not had a ton of dramatic development. She tends to be in a book where she has some great moments, some awesome action and some fun zingers… but rarely does she have a lot of emotional growth or development. Which actually means there is still room for her to grow and become an even better and more beloved character.
AiPT!: From fun characters to a fun question: syl (@lesbianjubilee) asked who’s more fun to go shopping with? Boom-Boom or Jubilee?
Jordan: I am going to say Jubilation, mostly because we could both bring our toddlers. Taking the little one shopping is a lot of fun.
AiPT!: AboveTheClouds (@Confused4Life27) said M has been in Generation X, X-Factor, died, lost friends to T-Mist, joined Magneto, formed a bond with Creed, joined the Hellfire Club, fought her evil brother, joined Creed’s Weapon X. After her recent adventures, how do you see her handling this big new step with the other bigger chars in House of X?
Jordan: I can’t REALLY answer that without giving you the context of what she is doing in HOX and why. What happens in this series really changes things across the board, and so far, I don’t think anyone has really glommed onto how or how much. So, Monet is gonna be in a very different place when we see her next, because pretty much everyone is in a very different place because of what happens here. Also, I don’t think the mutants themselves see things quite the same way fans do, with the idea of a “flagship” team or whatnot–they are more focused on the missions and getting done what they need to.
AiPT!: Adam Go See Dark Phoenix (@BiokineticGold) said, in regard to the New X-Men, don’t you think it’s time they aged out of student life? Most of them predate Laura, the Young Avengers and the Runaways, nearly 20 years ago at this point. They’ve more than earned the right to be X-Men!
Jordan: Yeah, this is why it’s not ideal that there are 71 different generations of mutants. The Marvel Universe can’t really allow that much time to pass. I know fans HATE when I say Cyclops is only around 27 years old… but that’s the official status. There are lots of arguments I have heard about why that is wrong, from it being impossible to have that many things happen in such a short time, to pointing out how much time has been said to pass, to just talking about his character and how he acts. Thankfully, the Marvel Universe does not have to obey the laws of physics or even (sometimes) logic. If you need an in-world explanation, Al Ewing lovingly provided one in his run on Ultimates that explained how a form of chronal gravity dragged past events along with the present, remaking the past as it moved forwards. Personally, I love that explanation. If that doesn’t do it for you, you can go with my big reveal on Twitter a while back–that every panel of every comic book ever takes place in a completely different universe, we just string them together to simulate a continuing story.
AiPT!: As we wrap up, Jesse Bedlam (@BedlamTalk) asked as X-Men membership ebbs and flows, how do you pick and choose when the best time to launch a satellite book is?
Jordan: It usually has a lot more to do with publishing plans than membership. Usually when there are big storylines, crossovers, etc., you want to have something spin out of that if at all possible. Other than that, there is usually a title count we’re shooting for and as books come and go, we’re coming up with new ones we can try out instead.
AiPT!: Finally, for your song recommendation of the week… a challenge! In past X-Men Monday interviews, you’ve teased that Rogue and Gambit may appear on a new team. You’ve said that we may see some familiar titles relaunched with a new direction at SDCC. SO… could you give us a song that you feel embodies one of the new X-Team books set to launch in the Hickman era? No spoilery context needed–just a song!
AiPT!: Well, there you have it, X-Fans. Start picking apart those Ween lyrics to reveal your new favorite X-Book! But before you all do that, let’s thank Jordan and everybody who submitted questions about their favorite X-Teams!
As for next week… well, we’ve focused on X-Teams, X-Events and X-Couples in the all-new, all-different X-Men Monday era. Isn’t it about time we bring on the bad guys? Or, a semi-bad guy, depending on what X-Era we’re talking about.
Magneto, folks–next week is all about the master of magnetism!
So start posting your Magneto questions in the comment space below or wait for the call for questions on AiPT!’s Twitter tomorrow morning (Tuesday, 6/18). Sorry, Wolverine, another week where you have to take a backseat…