Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!
After a week off–and FIVE chapters of X of Swords–we’re back! While we were away, a lot went down in Otherworld! There was dancing! There was dining! There was arm wrestling! In our universe, there may have even been a Presidential Election in the middle of it all. But forget that–X-Fans had questions and X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White has answers!
AIPT: Welcome back, Jordan! Our first question this week comes from X-Fan Kas. The data page in Marauders #15 about Wolverine’s vision of the future mentions Moira X. Does this mean Logan–or even Saturnyne–are now aware of Moira’s presence on Krakoa?
Jordan: Uh, no. That was just a fun data page. First of all, I will say that since the very beginning of data pages in House of X, people have assumed–or have theorized–that they have some in-world origin. And there are places for sure where we explicitly say they do it, like if we’re reading a report by the X-Desk or where we’re reading texts that characters have or stuff from Apocalypse’s grimoire. But there are also times when it’s just information that exists in a data page in a comic and it’s written by Gerry or Ben or Jonathan, a lot of the time. At one point, some people were going like, “Oh, these are going to be from the encyclopedia of the librarian at the end of time.” They’re not, they’re just part of the book that you’re reading, which is great.
And as such, sometimes we can use them one way. Sometimes, we can use them other ways. So this one is just a recap page. But if you want an in-world explanation for how it works, the way I would say it works is that Saturnyne has created an illusory reality for Wolverine, but she has not crafted every detail of that illusory world. She has temporarily and magically duplicated reality and had it play out. And that does not mean she’s aware of every single thing that’s in it. It just means that it’s playing out until she then intercedes and stabs him with claws.
AIPT: But Logan does think that he lived that life and it’s something he remembers now, right?
Jordan: Oh yeah. He remembers it.
AIPT: This next question comes from X-Fan Emmanuel Boyd, who’d like to know who is the oldest sibling of Apocalypse and Genesis’ children? Emmanuel thinks it’s War based on how she’s followed by Death.
Jordan: Wow. That’s a great question. I don’t know that we’ve ever defined that. I don’t know that we’ve ever said for sure. Who’s the oldest and who’s the youngest? I feel like I need to raise that question amongst the group and talk about it. You know, I’ll tell you what, I’m going to go on the X-Slack right now and, not everybody’s going to be awake, but some of them will be and I’m going to ask them, and if we get an answer by the end of this interview, I’ll let you know.
AIPT: Alrighty–stay tuned, readers! So, Jonathan Hickman has said that, when approaching X-Men, he wanted to be additive. And thanks to X of Swords, it’s canon that Wolverine has not only met Leprechauns but now eaten a unicorn–and really enjoyed it, apparently. Who whipped up that Otherworld menu?
Jordan: Oh, that was very much Gerry. He was very, very big on planning out exactly what that menu would be. And yeah, I don’t know why exactly that was something he was relishing, but he very much was. And he knew he didn’t want to spoil the unicorn. So that’s why the menu says “the horned beast.” Because he was like, “Oh, that’s too good of a bit to spoil by putting it on the menu card.”
But by putting it that way, I think it works really well. You can imply that for people of Otherworld, you say the horned beast and they know exactly what it is, in the same way that we say, you know, we’re having roast beef–that doesn’t say cow. So yeah, I think that was a really funny bit and a ridiculous bit, but good.
AIPT: Now, way back in X-Men Monday #50, I asked you about the funniest thing to come up during your C2E2 X-Men Summit. You said:
The funniest story bit involved Doug Ramsey. It was a thing that was completely not planned to be in the story, came up organically in us talking about it and is awesome and great.
I’m going to assume that was Doug’s surprise wedding to Bei. if so, could you talk a bit about how that twist came to be?
Jordan: I wish I remembered in more detail how that came about. But it was just all of us talking about what should happen and somebody throwing out that idea. I honestly can’t remember who. If I had to guess, I would guess that was Tini’s idea, but I don’t know for certain, it sounds like it could be a Tini idea. It could be a Gerry idea. It could honestly be anybody. So I don’t remember the details, but I was definitely thinking about that. We didn’t have the marriage going in and we did coming out. Now I can’t go into too much detail on that because there’s still six more chapters. We’ll see what happens with that, but yeah, that was definitely an element that we came up with in Chicago in that conference room, right by that breakfast bar.
AIPT: A related question: Why didn’t Warlock say anything at Doug’s wedding? X-Fans Pame and tiz asked about Warlock’s silence during Dougfriend’s nuptials.
Jordan: Well, how Warlock feels about that is a really great question and definitely something that will be explored. But I think that, again, going back to the questions about why did they keep it secret and all that stuff in the first place. I think that currently, just the way they are working together and interacting together is a little different. And I think that you can read the way that they have been working together with Warlock not talking as them acting together as one a lot more, but we’ll see how he feels about this and why he didn’t want to speak up. They didn’t do the part where anybody should speak now or forever hold their peace, though. That’s only in movies. Most weddings don’t do that. People aren’t like, “should we let someone try to stop this?”
AIPT: X-Fan Alana Thompson pointed out that this week’s chapters saw the tone of X of Swords shift dramatically to a more fun feel. What made you choose quick duels that don’t always involve swords?
Jordan: Listen, there will be other fun things that happen. They’re in a crazy world of Otherworld. But that doesn’t mean the things that happen don’t matter. So, are there no rules? Well, there are, they’re just weird rules of magic and not rules of order the way that we’re traditionally used to. It will make a difference who wins these fights. It will make a difference how they win the fights. It will make a difference who lives and dies. Just because there was an arm wrestling match doesn’t mean that some of the fights aren’t to the death because some of them are to the death. I mean, so far two characters have already died?
AIPT: Yeah, Captain Britain died and Summoner died.
Jordan: And War got her hand chopped off. A lot more is going to happen. Some of it will be a little playful. I’m not going to lie, but that’s just a mixing of tones. That doesn’t mean that this is a silly story. There are some silly parts in it, but that’s more like tension relief and when it ends, it doesn’t end on a gag, it ends on some real stakes happening.
AIPT: Next, X-Fan Ally said the art in Excalibur has been consistently great, but Phil Noto’s style was absolutely perfect for the particular tone of Excalibur #14. Ally was wondering if Phil was chosen specifically in this case because his art suited the story being told in this issue, or if it was a happy coincidence he was the guest artist?
Jordan: Um, a little bit of both. Phil was not originally planned to draw this issue and things happened regarding schedules of artists and also, you know, this was being planned during a time of a lot of uncertainty for the whole industry and publishing. So a lot of our plans did shift kind of quickly behind the scenes and we needed an artist for this issue kind of unexpectedly before we solicited it and we realized Phil could do it and that he would be perfect for it. So we knew what the issue was when we cast Phil on it. It was a little bit of a happy coincidence that he was able to line up with this one, but also as soon as we saw that was the possible alignment we were like, “Oh, that would be the perfect alignment. Let’s do this.” And that’s why we made sure that happened. So it feels amazing.
And, you know, we want to keep him doing X-Stuff as long as possible because, I mean, I love working with him. He’s so talented and he can sell any story. I’m looking forward to him being back on Cable as well, because I think he brings a lot of emotion and depth to kid Cable, so to speak. He brings a lot to him and I think if you haven’t checked out that series and you liked Phil’s art on this, you should grab that trade when it comes out of the first five issues. It’s beautiful. And it’s great.
AIPT: Cable’s been amazing and Phil’s been a big part of that. So, as I’ve been reading X of Swords, I’ve picked up thematic nods to past, iconic X-Men epics. For instance, Genesis’ struggle against Annihilation’s influence reminds me of Jean and the Phoenix. The concept of two teams dueling is also very Dark Phoenix. We have Days of Future Past in Wolverine’s future visions and even Proteus when Logan and Summoner are battling and being warped in Blightspoke. Was it at all intentional to reference classic X-Men events in this modern event?
Jordan: Well, I think a little bit of both. We definitely didn’t sit down and say, “Let’s nod toward all those things very specifically.” But I think that those things are in the minds of our writers all the time because they are thinking about X-Men constantly and they are trying to write something epic that lives up to those things in a different way. So yeah, we definitely weren’t like, “Well, let’s put in a little Dark Phoenix bit and let’s put in a little Days of Future Past bit,” but those things are so essential to the X-Men nowadays that, because they are such big classic stories that I think you almost can’t help but echo them when you’re trying to do something that is X-Men at its best.
I feel bad saying that we’re doing X-Men at its best. I’m not saying this is the best story ever done. I’m saying that we’re certainly trying, though, like that’s what we want it to be. I hope so. We’ll find out in time.
AIPT: This next question people actually ask a lot. X-Fan Grey asked where is Evan Sabah Nur?
Jordan: He’s dead. Yeah, he is. He died in the Age of X-Man, unfortunately, and he really did die. And he hasn’t been back since then. So it’s very sad. Apocalypse killed his own son. Can’t trust that guy.
AIPT: Sad, but glad we finally answered that one. So, when Logan and Storm were flirting in Wolverine #7, she mentioned telling Jean. Jordan, how come Storm knows what’s going on between Logan and Jean but X-Fans are still wondering?
Jordan: Because she lives with them? Why do I know what’s going on with the other editors at Marvel and you don’t? Because I talk to them all the time. What does she say? Let me look at the exact things she says and see specifically.
“Watch your mouth, you dirty old flirt, or I’ll tell Jean.” And his response is “You’re drunk.” So, the answer is, we don’t know what she knows, and we don’t know what is happening. And there are a lot of ways that people could–if one was going to explain every word of that in those sentences, there are lots of different possibilities that you could use to explain them. I know the one that the people are asking about, but that’s not the only one that is possible. So, you know, it all remains to be seen until things are on the page happening. That’s when you know that they are confirmed, otherwise, they’re just theories or hints.
I mean, listen, let’s not kid ourselves. There are a lot of things that have been hinted at in X-Men history that have turned out not to be the case. So maybe it’s 100% true and maybe it isn’t, we’ll find out when we see it on the page.
AIPT: Well, that’s an amazing segue to my next question, which is about the just-announced X-Men Legends series.
Jordan: Oh! That’s a really good segue!
AIPT: I told you. We’ve seen series like these before, but they’re often not in continuity, like X-Men Forever or X-Factor Forever. The stories in X-Men Legends will be canon by the writers who left these plot lines dangling. How did this idea come about?
Jordan: Well, it’s because comics are for all different fans, right? And as incredibly proud of the X-Books that we’re doing that I am, and as well as they are doing–which they are doing very well, I know for a fact that not every X-Fan likes what we’re doing. Like, there are people who aren’t into this. There were people who weren’t into Giant-Size X-Men. There were people who weren’t into what Grant Morrison did, there were people who weren’t into what Joss Whedon did. There were people who weren’t into what Chris Claremont did when he came back to the series. Every era has its fans, every era has its non-fans. But just because we’re doing a very specific thing that we’re really happy about, doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be comics for people who like other stuff.
We also like old X-Men comics and we’re going to make those too. I’m really excited that we do get to start with Fabian’s story because this is a story that as long as I have known Fabian, he has been dying to tell. I have heard him talk about wanting to tell this story.
AIPT: We’ve talked about this in X-Men Monday too.
Jordan: A number of times, yes. So when the possibility came up to do this, he said, “Of course, I want to do this book, I want to tell this story.” And we went, “All right, it’s time, let’s do it.” So I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled that we get to make that happen for him and for all the fans that have been waiting for this. So this really is exactly what I was talking about. This is something that was hinted at for quite some time and not confirmed on the page and therefore was not true. And now we’re going to find out if it’s true.
AIPT: And I feel like there’s something extra special about the original writer getting to tell the story vs. something like Paul Jenkins telling Wolverine’s one true origin or what Ed Brubaker did with Deadly Genesis. Or if Jonathan Hickman wanted to tell this story.
Jordan: Oh yeah. No, it’s a totally different animal. I mean, well, first of all, if Jonathan wants to tell a story about those things, he’s just going to do it probably in X-Men. You know what I mean? Same with any of those folks. If Gerry was like, “Here’s the thing that happened to Kate when she was 16,” we would just have a flashback issue of Marauders or whatever. There’s nothing stopping them from doing that. But X-Men Legends is very specifically about creators from the past being able to go and tell more stories about the thing that they wrote about and about the characters that they wrote about in the time that they wrote about them but still in continuity.
So, you know, this story that Fabian’s telling is a story that we’re saying did happen at the time. We say it happened in the past and now is part of continuity and the same will be true for the story that Louise Simonson is telling and the ones that Chris Claremont will be telling. And I don’t know if they’ve announced all the folks that we’ve talked to.
AIPT: I remember Larry Hama was another one.
Jordan: Absolutely. And was there anybody else? Well, there’s one other.
AIPT: And it’s an ongoing series? It’s not like, a set number of issues?
Jordan: This is going to be an ongoing book and we’ll be happy to bring in other creators, but also to let these creators tell more stories as well.
AIPT: Fabian’s story is two issues–are the other one’s multi-part stories as well? Do they vary in size?
Jordan: I think they vary in size. And again, Fabian’s telling two issues about this, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be able to do another issue about something else or multiple issues about something else. Yeah, as long as people are interested in reading the stories, we’re really thrilled to be telling stories about them.
AIPT: And the series announcement said these stories will change the past and future of the X-Men. Is it safe to assume that since you oversee both this series and the Krakoa stories, stuff that happens in these books can easily seed stories in the modern era?
Jordan: Sure, of course. I mean, like I said, these are all going to be in continuity. So, I mean, I don’t want to spoil the outcome of any of them, but if something big happens in those, it will be the case and will have always been the case for the Krakoa era as well. So it affects the characters and the things that they’ve been through. And, therefore, it is absolutely fair game to be brought into things in the present.
AIPT: You’ve worked with Chris and Fabian before, but have you worked with the other writers like Louise and Larry?
Jordan: I’ve never worked with Larry and I’ve worked with Louise a little bit. I was assistant editor on X-Factor Forever early in my career. And also I think another couple of Marvel Adventures stories that she worked on.
I don’t think I’ve ever worked with Larry–and I also should mention that I am not editing this book. I am Senior Editor in charge of it, but Mark Basso is going to be editing it and he’s really pumped for it. He’s also a big fan of all these folks and is thrilled to be working with all of them.
AIPT: Well, I hope to talk more about the series as it approaches. But for now, what can you tease about this week’s issues of X-Force, Hellions and Cable?
Jordan: This is another mix of a little bit of madness, but it all is going to be coming to a bit of a point and we’ve only got two weeks left. So the way that this works is that these three issues are definitely another big turning point. And the last week of the event, it all comes out at the same time. You’re going to want to read straight through because it’s all the big ending in that last week. So a bunch of stuff is going to happen in this next week. And as we have just shown to you last week, you’re not going to expect how it happens for sure. The only thing you know is not to expect anything. It’s not going to go the way you think.
Jordan: Oh, let me jump back into the X-Slack. So there has been a discussion, a little bit of a back and forth, including Jonathan Hickman, who initially answered right out the gate “Death of course.” But then he was persuaded by others. Vita Ayala said “No, Death should be the youngest.” So in the end, they have come to Famine being the oldest, then Pestilence, then War, then Death.
AIPT: Well, there you have it, X-Fans: The definitive age ranking of Apocalypse and Genesis’ children. The X-Writers have spoken. Thanks for that clarity, Jordan, and thanks for taking the time to chat! Also, thanks for these eXclusive preview images…
Good to see Kate again. X-Fans, Jordan and I will talk about the penultimate week of X of Swords at the end of this week, so we’ll need your questions by Thursday, November 19 at 5 PM EST. Look for the official call for questions on this very website this Wednesday.
Until neXt time, X-Fans–stay safe and continue to be eXceptional!
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