Welcome back to X-Men Monday at AiPT!, X-Fans! We only took a week off but it feels like forever since X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White answered your questions. Now, just because Jordan’s back doesn’t mean he’ll be dishing on all things House of X and Powers of X, unfortunately (more on that, straight from Mr. White in a bit).
This gave me an idea. AiPT! receives tons of questions every X-Men Monday that wind up in a fancy spreadsheet. As we’re on the 22nd edition of this column, a lot of questions have gone unanswered. And just because Jonathan Hickman’s rewriting the X-Men rulebook doesn’t mean these questions no longer matter–X-Fans demand answers! So with that said, I’m proud to bring you this b-sides and rarities edition of X-Men Monday!
These are the questions that came close to being asked, but just didn’t make the cut. Some may have been too similar to other questions being asked and others may have been too wacky for primetime. Then, there were all the Bill the Lobster questions…
Either way, I hope you enjoy this chance to revisit some of X-Men Monday’s previous theme weeks. But first, a word from Jordan!
Jordan: Hey there, everyone! Happy to be back again, and SO happy that you’re all finally starting to see this crazy new view of X-Men that Jonathan and I have been cooking up in secret for so long! The response to the first issues of House of X and Powers of X have been phenomenal, and now I am just counting the days until you all get to see House of X #2! It’s so awesome.
Also since last time I did one of these, we’ve announced the Dawn of X lineup of books spinning out of HOX & POX! X-Men, Marauders, Excalibur, X-Force, New Mutants and Fallen Angels will all be launching in October and November, and all six of those books are terrific! You can check out the creative teams, the team rosters, and the first issue covers with the announcements—I am sure my hosts have an article all about them they can link you to.
The panel where we announced the books at SDCC was a blast, with a room full of excited X-Fans trying to guess who was on which team, and cheering for all the madness we revealed. Oh—we also released a block of Krakoan text listing the six titles on Twitter the day before the panel, and I am proud to say that dedicated X-Fans cracked the code within two hours! When we came up with the idea, there were folks saying they didn’t think there was any way people would figure it out, but I knew the passion of the X-Internet would not let them rest until they knew every bit of information they could get!
Anyway, as you are all well aware, we’re only 1/6th of the way through HOX & POX, and the first two issues have raised a LOT of questions with readers. But I am not going to answer any of those today. Sorry! We have 10 more issues to answer them in (not to mention raising new questions you don’t even know to ask yet) and I’m not gonna spoil them!
AiPT!: Thanks, Jordan! Let’s say we hit play on this X-Men Monday b-sides and rarities CD. You readers DO remember CDs, right?? OK, track 1–we’re taking it all the way back to X-Men Monday #18 – Fan-Favorite Characters with MagnetoRocks’ (@MagnetoRocks) question. Jordan, are there any “niche” X-Characters that have become personal favorites of yours? If so, how did you come to appreciate them?
Jordan: Oh, definitely! Putting aside all characters who appeared in the first 67 issues of Excalibur which has always been my favorite X-Anything (WHY HAS FERON BEEN LEFT OUT OF ALL THE PHOENIX STORIES???), I have a few, but the bulk of them result from me working on comics featuring those characters. I have often mentioned my fondness for Sage, and the reason I like her so much is definitely because she was in the first ongoing Marvel title I worked on when I started as an assistant editor—New Exiles.
I’d loved comic books for a long time, pretty much my entire life, and I was actually working at Marvel on the real deal Marvel Comics! It was a thrill, and it was (and is) something I was both excited for but also was a responsibility I took seriously. New Exiles was a series about characters jumping around the multiverse to different alternate worlds and getting into all sorts of hijinx, and the bulk of the characters were from other universes, but Sage and Psylocke were the characters from Earth 616, the proper Marvel Universe you read about in most Marvel comics. As such, I spent a lot of time thinking about them, looking into their histories, and whatnot, and it made me forever fond of them. With Sage, I will admit, the fervent passion of her fans struck me, because (and I am sorry, Sage fans, I am gonna be real for a moment) she is a pretty obscure character that lots of X-Men fans don’t think about or even don’t KNOW about. The fact that people loved her SO MUCH jumped out at me, and it made me look at her more closely than I had before. And yeah, that grew into an affection. I know she’s not right for every X-Book, so I have not tried to shoe-horn her into places she doesn’t make sense—and I don’t force writers to use my favorite characters, anyway. But I am really happy that she DOES have a place that makes sense, as seen in House of X #1 and the upcoming X-Force series.
I also think working on New Exiles is why I love Betsy Braddock so much—that combined with my love of the Alan Davis Captain Britain comics. So yeah, generally that affection comes from working closely with the characters in some capacity.
AiPT!: Awesome! I know there are a lot of Sage and Psylocke fans out there who’ll dig that answer. Now it’s time for track 2! And speaking of those niche favorites, Zack Jenkins (@XavierFiles) really loves Bill the Lobster from the original Fallen Angels series. For X-Men Monday #16 – X-Teams, Zack wanted to know if Bill deserves a shot at joining an X-Force team. Zack added that Bill did do a die-hard once.
Jordan: So, my go-to answer on this recently has been to joke about the X-Men calling on him as soon as they are hungry—but it occurs to me that you shouldn’t eat lobster if it’s turned green.
AiPT!: A fair answer. Track 3–one more question about Bill (we get A LOT of these). A few months back, Robert Secundus (@RobertSecundus) asked for a power ranking: X-Cow vs. Pickles vs. Bill the Lobster vs. Demon Bear. The time has come, Jordan… GO!
Jordan: Demon Bear > Pickles > Bill > X-Cow, unless we are ranking their D&D characters.
AiPT!: That’s a question for the NEXT b-sides and rarities edition. You ready folks? Because here we go. Track 4! Jordan, you mentioned earlier you’re a fan of the classic Excalibur run, but mm (@moxie329) wondered if you had any opinion regarding Louise Simonson’s X-Factor run? mm feels it’s underrated.
Jordan: Well, nothing can touch Excalibur for me, and that has as much to do with the age I was when I read it and the affection for the things of youth as it does with how much fun the series is—maybe more. That said, when Louise’s run of X-Factor was coming out, I would pick up random issues and I liked them a lot. I picked up X-Factor #12 because I recognized Boom-Boom from her appearance in Secret Wars II, and I LOVED the issue. In exploring the series after the fact, there are a lot of things to love about it. The fact that it was the first book to bring back the original X-Men as a team post-ANAD is really fun. I think I’ve talked before about how New Mutants was kind of a re-do of the original teen X-Men concept in light of the All-New All-Different changes to the concept, I think it’s neat that they ALSO decided to see if they could make the original 5 team work in this new X-World. Plus, the concept of the book is BONKERS and I kind of love it. The original X-Men pretending to be mutant hunters so when people call them to get rid of mutants they can help them? That’s kind of brilliant. Although I am remembering she didn’t kick the series off, so that would not have been her idea. But we also got Apocalypse and the team living in the Celestial ship! There was a lot to love. I worked on X-Factor Forever with Louise, revisiting that run, which was a lot of fun.
AiPT!: I read X-Factor Forever when it came out–had no idea you worked on it! But that’s the past–right now we’re talking about track 5, originally meant for X-Men Monday #11- X-Couples! With so much romance in the X-Mansion, Ross is just here for the geekery (@RPHutch1975) asked who, in your opinion, is the official ‘Agony Aunt/Uncle’ of the X-Mansion? Who does everyone run to for matters of the heart?
Jordan: Just talked it over with my assistant editor Annalise Bissa, and we came to the conclusion that it’s Storm. She’s wise, she’s caring, but she’s also tough… so she can sympathize with any awful things you’re going through, hug you when you need it, but also is ready to kick the butt of anyone who broke your heart.
AiPT!: And while on the topic of romance… track 6! Turn up the volume so the Cyclops fans can hear this one! Had Scott Summers been alive at the time, do you think he would have supported Rachel dating Nightcrawler in X-Men Gold? Lux Briar (@Luxwasfourteen) needs to know!
Jordan: Who could possibly be against anyone dating Kurt? He’s so loveable. That said, I think he would likely be pretty protective of her in the breakup.
AiPT!: We must be in the Rachel portion of the album, because track 7 is one more question related to Scott and Jean’s (possible) future daughter. (Fun fact: we get a lot of Rachel questions too). This was meant for X-Men Monday #15 – Jean Grey. Obviously, Jean Grey missed a lot while she was dead. Now that Jean’s back, Angel Alexander (@NYCAngel6972) asked if you think she’s aware of the culling of the Grey line and subsequent branding of Rachel by the hands of the Shi’ar Death Commandos sent by Lilandra?
Jordan: Like you said—Jean was gone for a LONG TIME (at least in our time, in world it was probably a long weekend or something, right?) so there were a LOT of stories that related to her and the things she cared about. I think it’s safe to assume that she knows about the important ones, especially ones that people she cares about were present for, but there is not time to go into her reactions to all of them, and those are not necessarily the stories folks are looking to tell with her now that she is back around. She definitely knows about her family dying, yes, but it’s not a story we’re looking to go into right now.
AiPT!: Track 8 hails from a few weeks back. Do you have any insight into the Phoenix’s approach to repowering mutants who lost their powers on M-Day? Mock Trialist (@TheSpicyCurry) mentioned that the recent Domino Annual revealed that Beak got his powers back but Stacy-X did not.
Jordan: Beak actually got his “powers” back during the Mothervine incident in X-Men Blue. Generally speaking, the depowered mutants did not get repowered unless there were explicit stories about them getting powers back. Generally.
AiPT!: Now we’re on track 9. If this was a Weezer album, we’d only have one song to go (unless we’re talking about Maladroit, Make Believe or Everything Will be Alright in the End). But this isn’t a Weezer album, it’s X-Men Monday! John Nieves (@JohngPR) wanted to know which X-Men characters surprised the Hell out of you when they became popular. Do any from your time as X-Editor or before come to mind?
Jordan: I will admit to not understanding why so many people were into Magik. When they brought her back in the mid 2000s, she just wasn’t a character I was into, and when she came back there was a whole thing about whether it was really her and whether she had a soul and whether she was evil, and I did not get why the X-Men wanted to have her around or why readers were into her. A lot of that being because I was not a big reader of New Mutants back when it was coming out. She popped up in lots of X-books and then she was a member of Kieron Gillen’s Uncanny team, and I was very indifferent to her as a character, I did not get why so many people wanted to use her. It was only through Kieron’s run that I grew fond of her. (Though, I do have to admit, a good portion of that fondness has to do with the absolutely reprehensible things she did to her brother in that run, and I am still completely shocked that he ever forgave her.)
AiPT!: Yeah, that was a rough period for Colossus. For track 10, we’re taking it back to the ’90s! During that decade, the X-Men were meeting everyone from the cast of the original Star Trek to the cast of Star Trek the Next Generation to the WildCATS and so on. If you could cross the X-Men over with another franchise–from movies, TV or comics–for a single issue, what franchise would it be?
Jordan: My personal opinion: A million percent Sailor Moon, and not just because I want to work on something Sailor Moon-related. Actually, the more I think about it, I think an O5 teen X-Men team up with the Sailor Scouts would be amazing.
I think Usagi and Bobby would be friends immediately. Hank and Ami could work on math together. Mina could swoon over Warren. Makoto could talk to Scott about being tough. Jean and Rei could bond over being psychic and Jean could express her envy over having fire powers. It would be so much fun. Then when the outers join, they could team up with the ANAD team. Come on, who does not want this?
AiPT!: If there’s an X-Fan out there who doesn’t want it, I’m sure we’ll hear about it. OK, now we’re at the penultimate track. That’s right, it’s track 11. Jordan, if you slipped your hand into the Infinity Gauntlet and could snap any non-mutant Marvel character into a mutant, ensuring them a spot on an X-Men team, who would it be and why?
Jordan: You’ll see.
AiPT!: Wow. Cue the X-Fan speculation! We’ve reached the end of our b-sides and rarities album. It’s track 12, and since we’re revisiting questions that didn’t make it into past X-Men Mondays, it only makes sense that your song recommendation this week be one of your favorite b-sides of all time. Let’s face it–b-sides tend to rock. So, what would you like to share?
Jordan: Here’s a fun one, all about trying and failing to sell out.
AiPT!: I haven’t listened to TMBG’s Miscellaneous T in ages. I think it’s time to bust out that CD (I’m telling you, some of us still listen to CDs!). But while we’re on the topic of CDs, I’m sad to report this particular disc has stopped spinning. I want to thank Jordan for taking the time to answer all these random questions and also thank the patient X-Fans who–in some cases–waited months to get their questions answered! You’re the real heroes.
Be sure to pick up the highly anticipated House of X #2 this Wednesday (as if you need a reminder). I can’t wait to read it. And I also can’t wait to head to Connecticut this weekend for Terrificon, which I’ll be covering for AiPT! Keep it tuned to AiPT!’s Twitter for updates from the event and then report back here Monday August 12 for a special edition of X-Men Monday–at Terrificon!
The march toward the anniversary 25th edition of X-Men Monday on August 26 has begun, X-Fans. Mark those calendars–it’s going to be an eXtravaganza! Oh, and have an eXceptional week!