Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT! Now, I know what you’re all thinking…
“Now That’s What I Call Mutants Vol. 2?! What is that? What is this theme? And volume 2? When was there a volume 1? What’s going on?!”
First–great questions. Second, Now That’s What I Call Mutants Vol. 2 is the second X-Men Monday where we’re digging into the vaults and asking the X-Fan questions that almost made the cut in installments since the first time we did this with X-Men Monday #22 – B-Sides and Rarities. And yeah, I tossed a few random questions of my own in the mix, but I think fans of a few lesser-seen mutants will be totally fine with that.
And for readers who think, “Ugh, this is just filler content” … You do realize Jordan first teased Moira being a mutant at the end of X-Men Monday #22, right? In a question about the Infinity Gauntlet! As I always say, read these closely. That’s part of the fun!
Also, stay tuned until the very end, as not only do we have six eXclusive preview images of things to come, but a GIANT-SIZED AIPT announcement. Now, let’s bring in everybody’s favorite X-Men Senior Editor, Jordan D. White, and see what he has to say about all these b-side questions!
AIPT: Welcome back, Jordan! This first question’s a Chris Hassan original. You know how some people believe whoever becomes the President of the United States gets to know the truth behind UFOs and the existence of aliens? Well, when you took over the X-Men line… were you immediately let in on the truth behind every great, unresolved X-Mystery?
Jordan: LOL, no. I think this goes back to the different ways that fans and creators view the stories. For there to be real answers to those mysteries, it would make sense if the comics were documentation of real events that happened, but… to the creators, they are opportunities for stories. The only “truth” behind these mysteries is the truth that we make of them. There might be what the writer who seeded them intended, sure, but we are not beholden to those ideas. Like, for example, Jonathan is seeding a lot of things right now that he has very concrete plans for. But if he and I get fired tomorrow, the “truths” behind those unresolved plots would be thrown out. Maybe the new writer would resolve them, maybe they would ignore them and add them to that list.
AIPT: That’s a really interesting way of thinking about all those dangling threads from past creators that so many X-Fans want resolved. Also interesting… that some people prefer Hank McCoy in his feline form! Zack Jenkins (@XavierFiles) said, Cat Beast best Beast?
Jordan: Is my answer to every question this week going to be “No”? No is my answer. Cat Beast is great because I pretty much always like Beast… but if I had to pick a favorite look for him, it would probably be classic blue, with current blue giving it a pretty good run for its money.
AIPT: I’m a classic blue guy, myself. Next up, Storm has been one-half of many famous comic book romances. Grey_life12 (@304grey_fan) wanted to know which was your favorite and why?
Jordan: She has been in a lot of big ones, hasn’t she? I know a lot of people are very invested in Storm and Black Panther’s relationship. Others still have a soft spot for Storm and Forge. Some even love the Storm/Logan romance, which I think felt a little rebound-y to me. They’re all interesting, but personally I have always really loved seeing Storm and Yukio together. While not canonically a romance, it just… really seemed to open up something in her that was pretty exciting for the character.
AIPT: Good answer–and an opinion many an X-Fan shares. So, we received quite a lot of questions for X-Men Monday #35 – Cyclops. Here’s a fun one that didn’t make the cut from Ben A (@glace1847). What does Scott Summers keep in all those pouches?
Jordan: Visine. Literally every time he is not on panel, he is doing eye-drops.
AIPT: Makes sense! OK, and now a more serious one from Vendetta (@Eman419Boyd): Cyclops is said to have excellent hand-to-hand combat skills. Do you think Scott could give the likes of Captain America, Black Panther and Black Widow a run for their money without his optic blasts?
Jordan: A run for their money, sure… but all three of them are enhanced to at least “peak human” level, so I think they would have the edge.
BUT, I reject your question as a very HUMAN way of looking at things. Why would a mutant ever not use their mutant abilities? It’s a part of them. He can take them down with a glance!
AIPT: Billy-Vell * (@williamaximoff) said that both Adult Jean Grey and Teen Jean Grey each got a shot at leadership in X-Men Red and X-Men Blue, respectively. In Red, specifically, Jean’s hopeful and inspiring leadership was different than what we’d seen before. Is there any hope of Jean getting another shot at that, or has Krakoa changed the need for Jean to step into that type of role?
Jordan: I think the thing that was most exciting about Jean in X-Men Red, for me, anyway, was not her leading a field team but her as a leader of mutantkind—her making bold decisions and statements for her people as a whole. And she IS in that role right now—she is on the Quiet Council, the governing body of Krakoa. She is one of the 12 most powerful people in all of the X-Men comics right now.
AIPT: There’s no denying Jean’s power. Now, you’ve gone on record as being a fan of how Rachel Summers’ character was developed throughout the original Excalibur run. KennyMcKormick (@Ikilledkenny7) wanted to know if you view the character’s relationship with the Phoenix differently than Jean’s?
Jordan: Yeah, but I am not really sure how reconcilable it is? Alan Davis went pretty in-depth in Excalibur into Rachel’s origins, into the nature and history of the Phoenix… and I honestly don’t know that the stuff done with the Phoenix since then really gels with it. Like with all fans, the stories we love first are the ones nearest and dearest to our hearts, so deep down inside me, I think of that version of the Phoenix as the right one… but I also know that MANY more people have read the X-Men stories about the Phoenix Force since then, so that’s not necessarily the version that is generally accepted.
AIPT: Hey, speaking of Summers kids… how’s X-Man doing?
Jordan: He’s still off being a universe, like you do.
AIPT: Hey, speaking of Summers kids–again–Katie|| CEO of Leia Amidala Skywalker Organa Solo (@JewishSkywalkrs) asked if Hope was invited to the Summers family dinner in X-Men #1?
Jordan: I am sure. But The Five have become very connected to one another and their works. In addition… while I am sure the new family dynamic between Cyclops and Cable is amazing for both father and son as they are getting back something that was stolen from them… I would imagine it’s not easy on Hope. The idea that Cyclops accepts this kid in that role who is not, to her, what she needs or wants from a Cable. I think both of their feelings on the matter are understandable and… right, really. But there is a good chance she would want no part of that, or at least to give it a little more distance.
AIPT: Well, while we’re on the topic… Colette X (@colettecollects) said that many of the X-Men’s leaders have children (of all ages), but we don’t always get to see them enjoying off-duty interpersonal time. What are some of your favorite X-Parent/X-Kids relationships that you’d love to see more of?
Jordan: Oh man, no one is going to like my answer here.
Generally? I hate there being actual parent/child relationships involved. I love the X-Men as a family, I love that they love one another deeply… and I don’t think them having actual babies or time-hopping adult children or alternate-universe children is a particularly great idea. Really, I think it takes away from the feeling of the incredibly close group of friends.
That said, you play the ball where it lies, and those relationships already exist, and I think Jonathan’s take on the Summers clan is incredibly entertaining. I think it’s a very different feel for them, but it works and makes something great out of something I think of as a bit of a handicap.
AIPT: OK, let’s talk about someone who doesn’t have the last name “Summers” but is an X-Kid. Daken never had a chance at a normal life, having been brainwashed and manipulated from birth, according to Daken Akihiro (@DakenXmen). Now that Daken has a starring role in the upcoming X-Factor series, is it safe to assume we’ll see more exploration into his past and trauma the same way we’ve seen it explored with Logan and Laura?
Jordan: If you know Leah Williams’ writing, you know she likes to go deep into the minds and hearts of her characters. X-Factor has a pretty good size cast, so they are all gonna get their time in the spotlight, but you can bet she is already diving into what drives them in her mind.
AIPT: Time for some costume talk. Liam (@liamshvdes) said Jonathan Hickman stated that some characters would change costumes depending on the series and artists’ preferences. We haven’t seen much of this so far, but are we to assume more of this is coming? (Jean’s Giant-Size X-Men costume change vs. her regular X-Men look comes to mind).
Jordan: Yeah—I think it will pop up when it pops up. I think Magneto wears an interesting outfit in X-Men + Fantastic Four at one point, if I remember correctly. If an artist has a strong opinion, we want to know about it, as we’re all collaborators on these things. Russell asked if he could give Jean a new/tweaked look, and we were happy to accommodate. But characters don’t have to make unilateral uniform decisions. They can play.
AIPT: The Quiet Council, X-Force, Emma Frost and Kate Pryde–Krakoa may be paradise, but many mutants are hard at work, it seems. Is everybody else just on permanent vacation, or can we expect to see entrepreneurial mutants eventually opening up shops and restaurants on the island?
Jordan: Pretty soon, actually! And probably in a book you’d not expect it to be in.
AIPT: Nice! And I’m going to assume that book is… Ghost Rider! Anyway, as we wrap up, I’d like to say that contrary to what some readers believe, I like to make people happy. So with that said, can you confirm that at least one or more of these fan-favorite characters will appear in an X-Men comic within the next several months based on scripts or art you’ve seen?
Dust, Maggott, Frenzy, Surge, Wind Dancer and Skin.
Jordan: One of those characters appears on-panel in a comic I am sending to press this week… but it’s a visual cameo, so that doesn’t really fulfill what you’re talking about.
Another was in a plot outline I approved earlier this week, though.
AIPT: Awesome–thanks for the tease! Finally, since we’re talking about questions that didn’t quite make the cut, do you have a favorite alternate take, demo or remix of a song that you think sounds better than the album version?
Jordan: Oh, wow—we have not done a song question in a while!
Here’s a remix of the Devo song “Whip It” that gives is a completely different vibe… a Reggae vibe. I remember being SUPER impressed that it was able to feel SO different from the original while still being the same vocals and some of the same instruments…
Although I am now realizing, you said better than the original, and I am not sure I would go that far for “Whip It”… the original is pretty great.
Actually, there are a lot of songs on that “What Is Hip?” remix album that are pretty impressive. I think the remix of Summer Breeze was the first I heard, and I might like that more than the original on that one, even though that is a classic as well.
AIPT: Good stuff! And with that, we bring Now That’s What I Call Mutants Vol. 2 to a close (I wonder if there’ll be a Vol. 3). Thanks for taking the time to answer these random questions, Jordan! And thanks to the X-Fans who asked them over the past few months and waited patiently for the answers.
Is everybody ready?
This special seven-day event will kick off Monday, February 24, in celebration of the highly anticipated Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost #1, which goes on sale that Wednesday!
It’s still too early to reveal all the details, but rest assured, you won’t be seeing a week’s worth of articles about who the true love of Scott Summers’ life really is. (In fact, Cyclops doesn’t factor into many of the articles being planned.) Nor is this event designed to pit these two telepaths–and their passionate fans–against one another. This is a week designed to celebrate Jean and Emma, who are not just two of the greatest X-Women, but two of the greatest characters in all of comics!
So spread the word, get eXcited and stay tuned for more details. Now have some eXclusive preview images and have an eXceptional week!