Welcome, X-Fans, to another eXciting edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT! And welcome to November–it’s going to be a fun month. I’m genuinely pumped for the topics we’ll be covering between now and December (especially next week’s–more on that later), and it all starts right here!
That’s right, just like a true pirate, writer Gerry Duggan has commandeered X-Men Monday so he can answer YOUR questions about his eXcellent new series, Marauders!
Where’s our beloved X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White?? What did Gerry do with him?? Will he ever return to X-Men Monday???
Oh, are you expecting answers? You should know by now, the Hickman era’s all about seeding mysteries. Anyway, let’s talk Marauders!
AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday at AIPT, Gerry! Our first question comes from Zach Rabiroff (@zachrabioff). Zach wanted to know what first inspired you to do a pirate-themed comic. Was this always imagined as an X-Men pitch, or was the metaphorical pirate coffee percolating earlier than that? And what pirate literature or movies have most influenced you?
Gerry: I had been itching to tell a pirate story and while you can do anything in the Marvel Universe, it wasn’t highly likely that I could get an ongoing series out of pirates–until I heard Jonathan’s story. Once I heard about an island nation, human drugs, world divided, I knew what I wanted to exploit in Marauders. Jonathan, Jordan and CB gave greenlights and we’ve been jamming on it for over a year now. I’ve been at this a while now, and there are rarely times to play it safe, and I knew Dawn Of X was going to reward the NEW. If we showed up swinging as hard as Jon/RB & Pepe, then it was going to be all work.
I’ve talked elsewhere about how Jonathan’s story occupied a piece of real estate in my brain that’s equal to the space I reserve for thinking about Watchmen. Part of me wonders if I didn’t subconsciously bring the Jolly Roger to the proceedings. I almost never remember my dreams and almost always wake up with ideas in my head, some of them were about pirates. Oh, I also saw Master & Commander in the theater several times. In a better world that got to be a series of six films.
AIPT: Sadly, it’s just an OK world. Next, Joe Glass (@JosephGlass) asked what runs and creators’ works have been most influential to the makeup and themes of Marauders?
Gerry: Obviously Claremont/Byrne et al, then Whedon/Cassaday and most especially Jonathan’s. I’ve read ahead.
AIPT: Lucky! Andrew (@FezGreco) asked if you could shed some light on how and why you chose the team you did other than Kitty–er, Kate! How exactly does it work when you all want certain characters in your books on an X-Team?
Gerry: These two questions are about velocity, something every story should have, especially X-Men comics. The writers and editors are currently building new worlds, and we’re giving gifts to the fans and to the characters. Kitty/Kate was someone we knew we could change rapidly at high velocity. Paired around her are some of the biggest X-Men on the board. I really wanted to write every character you’ve seen in Marauders. I don’t think there are enough curtains in our industry so I’m always a little hesitant to pull one back, but I will in this case to briefly say: every fan wants their character to come away the star of the show. I want that too–for all the characters. They’re each going to have come away as the best and coolest part of the team depending on the issue number. Fans need to get their sea legs under them. It’s going to be a long, fun, dangerous voyage. There’s gonna be a lot of kissing and punching and yelling and rescuing and winning and losing for all these characters. They’re all Omegas (in my heart).
AIPT: We received quite a few Kate-centric questions, and I had one myself. Why was the change in name from Kitty to Kate important to you?
Gerry: It wasn’t important to me, it was important to her. Again, we’re dusting off old bits and shining them up, and Kate’s a legacy name for the adult version of that character. It just felt right.
AIPT: Ross helping in the X-Force Forensic Lab on Krakoa (@RPHutch1975) asked who came up with the concept of Kate’s unique problem. Was this one person’s idea or did it spring from collective collaboration?
Gerry: We discussed it as a possibility that she could not use the gates, and it’s too good an idea to be mine, I think it was Jordan’s. The irony is too delicious…
AIPT: Speaking of delicious… Zack Jenkins (@XavierFiles) asked, what kind of rum does Kate drink?
Gerry: Rum that is whiskey.
Gerry: As it turns out, quite a bit. My pomade days are behind me unless someone sciences the s@&$ out of baldness for real.
AIPT: Kieran Lowe, Moira’s eleventh life (@lowe_kieran) said Kate hasn’t exactly been averse to violence before, but do you see her extreme violence with the Russian soldiers as reflective of her frayed state of mind, or of her commitment to the Krakoan mission? And do you think at this stage Storm and Iceman have concerns about her?
Gerry: I think you’re right about Kate, she feels left behind. How that will play out will be interesting.
Re: the violence… the aggressor sets the tone of the engagement. For Kate, the scene began with her friends being depowered and then a three-round burst from a long rifle that would have been fatal for anyone else passing through her head. After that, it’s more than fair to “take the safety off” and let Kate flex. You don’t get a second chance at a first issue. Once we committed to Kate not being able to use the transit the first issue was going to belong to her, and then we needed a showstopper of an action scene. There’s a whole side of the entertainment business now that is “action design” where beats and gags are cooked up for actors according to what they can reasonably pull off in front of a camera. The best example of these is 8711 Action Company, the producers behind the Wick films. I told the story to Matteo, and then he inhabited Kate and her unique skill set and we let Kate run wild. I could write and shoot six seasons and a film of Kate using her powers tactically and never repeat a gag. The second question is the really interesting one, so I won’t answer it here.
AIPT: Real quick, readers–if you want to hear Marauders artist Matteo Lolli talk about the series, check out X-Men Monday #31 – New York Comic Con 2019! Alright, now how about Kate and Emma Frost… they have quite the complex history. In your opinion, how do these two characters view one another?
Gerry: Read the first couple of trades of Marauders–available soon.
AIPT: Foiled again! A question from Soldier X-Calibur (@TROCK71311182), who’s seen a Red King mentioned in House of X and Powers of X, while Kate is referred to as the Red Queen. Is this a mistake or are there two separate characters?
Gerry: That was a head fake. Once Kate leaked as the Red Queen we leaned hard into it.
AIPT: X-Men but Gay (@xmenbutgay) asked, when the decision to use Pyro came about, what was the thought process on which Pyro to use?
Gerry: I had a fire-breathing dragon, so I was going to have a Pyro. After that, it was simply a question of familiarity.
AIPT: Nocturne Noble (@NocturneNoble) wanted to know what your interpretation of Bishop was and how do you plan to expand on his character?
Gerry: He’s a character that could use a gift or two, in my opinion. He gets those gifts. He steals the show in issue 8.
AIPT: Obviously, the name “Marauders” is a bit controversial in the X-Men’s universe. No-Boy (@hypercortisone) asked if any X-Men are going to take bigger issue with the group taking up the Marauders mantle, particularly those who suffered the most at their hands like Marrow or Angel?
Gerry: Kate herself was nearly killed by the Marauders, but I’m not sure any of the mutants are ruminating on the past the way their fans are. If they were, Sinister wouldn’t be on the Quiet Council.
AIPT: Good point! Our penultimate question comes from Jamesons (@SiteJamesons), who asked what was the inspiration behind the “mutant hunting quadrupeds” in Brazil? Can Brazilians expect a visit from the Marauders crew in the near future?
Gerry: Any aggressive or hostile action towards Krakoans, or the impeding of their transit system will elicit a response. Don’t start none, won’t be none.
AIPT: This week’s final question comes from Bethany w. Pope (@BethanyWPope), who asked if the cast for this series is set or do we have any surprises to look forward to?
Gerry: The latter.
AIPT: Start speculating, Marauders fans! Maraudfans? Fanrauders? Who knows? Anyway, a big thanks to Gerry for taking the time to field these questions, and thanks, as always, to the X-Fans who submitted queries!
Now, in the next edition of X-Men Monday, we’ve got a new character spotlight, and it’s eXciting, because this is one I’ve wanted to do forever. X-Men Monday #35 will be all about Krakoa’s Captain Commander–and my all-time favorite X-Man–Cyclops! (X-Fans, I’ve been doing X-Men Monday for 34 weeks–let me have this one thing!)
Oh, thanks, Scott! So get those Cyclops questions ready and look for the official prompt on AIPT’s Twitter tomorrow (November 5).
Until next time, have an eXceptional week!