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X-Men Monday #26 – X-Villains

X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White answers your X-Villain questions and shares eXclusive preview art!

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Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday! And on Labor Day, no less! Yes, while so many hardworking Americans have the day off today, we here at AiPT! understand that your passion for Marvel’s mighty mutants never takes a break. I mean, sometimes it probably should… but we’re getting off track!

As you’re no doubt aware, we all survived the eXperience that was X-Men Monday’s X-Tra-Sized 25th Anniversary X-Travaganza! Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive response to our interview with the Dawn of X writers. Also eXciting? X-Men Monday made it into the comic book news cycle! Thanks for the coverage, IGN and Comic Book! All that love is especially astonishing considering Battle of the Atom co-host and illustrator Adam Reck pulled a Cypher and created Krakoan font! All we did was share some eXclusive art… this man created a font, people!

Other great, recent achievements in X-Fandom: X-Men Monday fans Nir Revel and wes empurrado pela mafia x managed to decipher the bulk of the Hickmanesque text I seeded throughout X-Men Monday #25.

This week’s new additions will be harder to figure out, I promise.

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Anyway, let’s say we get on with the show as we celebrate the mutants, robots and clones you wish you could hate but actually really love–X-Villains–with the X-Men Senior Editor you love to love–Jordan D. White!

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AiPT!: Welcome back, Jordan! Let’s kick things off with a question from Scott Redmond – Agent of G.I.R.L. (@ScottPRedmond). The X-Men, like all long-running comic book characters/teams, have had tons of adversaries over their long history. What do you think are some of the qualities that can make a villain/adversary more compelling as a character and have the staying power to remain prominent?

Jordan: It’s a funny question because I think all of the best X-Men villains have become “good guys” at least for a while on and off. Magneto, Emma Frost, Juggernaut… even Sabretooth and Sebastian Shaw. And it’s happening again in some of the upcoming Dawn of X books, if the solicits and covers are any indication! 😛 But I think the reason for that IS the answer to your question, which is that the most compelling and longstanding X-Villains are the ones who’ve had writers really sink their teeth into them as characters and make the readers understand them on some level. The reason people get so mad when I have, in the past, called Magneto and Emma villains is that writers have done such great work getting readers inside their heads and making them relatable in one way or another for those readers. Giving villains a point of view beyond just villainy is pretty essential to making people care about them beyond the one story where they are doing the bad thing that the X-Men stop.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

AiPT!: Well said. Next, Robert Secundus (@RobertSecundus) wanted to know how you feel about the gleeful reader reaction to sassy Nimrod in Powers of X?

Jordan: I feel delighted! Jonathan wrote such an interesting and mannered take on the character and then RB was able to get such emotion out of that robotic look! The scene where he angrily kills his snotty henchmen and then keeps talking “to” them was a real favorite for me. I laughed every time I read it.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

AiPT!: Nimrod’s been outstanding. Speaking of future threats… what are your views on Stryfe as an X-Villain? Evan Mc (@evanmccarthy) wanted to know and mentioned he does carry those oh-so-popular Summers family genes.

Jordan: Well, he’s got his uses. Honestly… I don’t have a ton of interest in using him as I think there are way too many duplicates in the X-World. Clones, alternate timeline versions, time travelers… I understand why they were all created, and I am not saying each one is a bad idea taken on their own… but the number of these duplicate characters has become pretty overwhelming over time and I think could use some streamlining. They take away from the uniqueness of the original characters.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

That said, I really liked Stryfe’s appearances in Deadpool when I edited that, having Wade on a leash so to speak. And I thought it was really fun to see Teen Stryfe since we have Teen Cable now. Though, now that I say that, it could also be fun for Teen Cable to fight Old Stryfe. Hm.

AiPT!: There’s this week’s scoop, other comic book websites–have at it! Now, syl (@lesbianjubilee) said that Mystique has always seemed to be the leader, with Destiny supporting her. But in House of X, it seemed that Destiny was running the show, threatening Moira and ordering her death, and Mystique followed her orders. Do you consider the pair equal partners in crime or is one more of a leader than the other?

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Jordan: I mean, Destiny knows what’s going to happen. She’s got the knowledge they need to do what’s gotta be done. Mystique has the elbow grease to get it done. Seems like a good partnership.

AiPT!: According to Bring Back Gay Pyro! (@MarvelMan616), Apocalypse in the past has always been portrayed as an uncaring, genocidal monster, but lately we’ve seen ole lips in a better light. Being a love guru in Age of X-Man and his sacrifice fighting Nimrod in Powers of X #3. Do you think it’s possible to redeem this future despot? Or is he just too far gone?

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Jordan: Well, I don’t think he came off THAT great in Age of X-Man in the end. As for whether he can be redeemed… I think it remains to be seen if it’s possible, or if it’s even something to attempt. There’s plenty of Apocalypse to come.

AiPT!: There’s even more Apocalypse to come in this very article! IliasKyriazis (@IliasKyriazis) wanted to know… what’s running in Apocalypse’s arm tubes?

Jordan: Oh, wow–that’s a good question. We just had a fun discussion about it in the office, with suggestions ranging from Capri Sun to transmission fluid. That said, after doing a little actual research, my best for real guess would be that the “energy manipulation” powers he has are likely not part of his mutation but something granted to him through use of Celestial technology laced through his armor and equipment. So they are probably energy conduits.

AiPT!: Hm, fair. But does that explain Cyclopocalypse’s funky flesh tubes? What about the flesh tubes, Jordan!?

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Anyway, Grey_life12 (@304grey_fan) asked if you consider the Phoenix Force to be a villain.

Jordan: No… I think the Phoenix Force is too big to be a villain. Like… a lot of people die because of physics, but I don’t think physics is a villain. I don’t even think entropy could be considered a villain… but I do think we should figure out how to put a stop to it. The Phoenix Force is up at that level–it just is. And it’s too powerful for a mortal mind to hold without problem, typically.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics


AiPT!: Semi-related to the Phoenix, Avalon (@braddocklegacy) said the “real” Madelyne Pryor was resurrected several years ago and hasn’t been seen ever since. Is she a difficult character to work with? Sure, she’s been a psychotic evil mistress, Avalon said, but she was also a kind woman, a mother and a friend. Is redemption so far-fetched?

Jordan: This sort of goes back to my Stryfe answer–I am not keen on bringing back another duplicate. Continuity was not kind to Madelyne. She’s buried under a huge pile of things that make any but deep lore divers’ heads spin. I think the “simplest” version of her story and continuity is she showed up looking mysteriously similar to Jean, she lived a life of good and bad things while Jean was dead, then it turned out she was a clone built to mess with Scott and co, and she died and was merged with the real Jean. That’s a closed loop that I am OK with and I’d rather not have her around to muck it up. That said, if someone came up with a good enough story reason, I am willing to be convinced.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

AiPT!: Dave Shevlin (@DaveShevlin88) was curious to know what post-House of M/more recent X-Villains are your favorites.

Jordan: Cyclops was pretty great.

Other than him, the young Hellfire Club. Oh, and the version of Sinister that I love only really started in the post-House of M era. Oh–also Unit was pretty sweet.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

AiPT!: But… how could Cyclops be a villain if he was… right? (exploding head Emoji) OK, our final X-Fan question this week comes from Jacob Hill (@Rambling_Moose), who said a lot of the time, X-Villains are just mutants who disagree with the central X-Men. Are there any marginal/fan-favorite X-Men you think could be cool in a more adversarial role?

Jordan: Oh sure… but I think I shouldn’t say too much about this. There is a lot of stuff to be figured out regarding what the X-Men stand for now and what they all think about that.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

AiPT!: So I was curious… when you think of the X-Men’s long history, so many of the team’s most prominent heroes have turned to the dark side, done terrible things or had unsavory aspects of their past revealed. Jean Grey, Angel, Gambit, Bishop, Cyclops, Wolverine, Charles Xavier and many others have all been affected and found their way back to the light. As Senior Editor, what is your opinion of writers making seismic changes to characters that may need to be softened or retconned down the road?


Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Jordan: Those kinds of big changes are never things to take on lightly. Generally speaking, I like to have some sort of a plan in place  to “fix” them before we do them. That’s not to say you cannot do anything unless there is a way to undo it… but like Jonathan likes to say, it depends on if you’re being additive or destructive. If you’re taking away more than you’re bringing to the story going forward, that’s not a great thing. But sometimes a big enough change can add a lot more than it takes away.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Of course the other problem is that the publication of these books is going on long enough that completely different people work on the books over time. So, huge things one writer and editor did to change everything forever might be things a later one thought hindered the series majorly. So there will always be retcons happening.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

AiPT!: Finally, for your song recommendation… if you’re ever in a bad–dare I say villainous–mood, what song do you put on to rage-rock out too? What is Dark Jordan’s theme song?

Jordan: Hm. Well, at the risk of getting a little too into my own psychology, if I am REALLY angry, I don’t think I do screaming rage, I think I go darker than that. So here’s a NSFW song of anger:

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AiPT!: Oh… cool… uh, X-Fans… only nice, positive questions for Jordan moving forward, OK?

So this was fun, everybody, we should totally do it again next Monday! I want to thank all the X-Fans who submitted questions about X-Villains, as well as Jordan for taking the time to answer them! Now that the code’s been cracked, I can confirm that next week’s X-Men Monday #27 will indeed focus on Storm, so get all your questions about the X-Men’s favorite goddess together and be sure to share them when the official call for questions goes out on AiPT!’s Twitter Tuesday morning [9 . 3 . 19].

Have an eXceptional week!

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