Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT! Only four installments to go before we reach X-Men Monday #100!
It’s fitting we’re at X-Men Monday #96, because this week, we’re traveling back to the ’90s with legendary X-Writer Fabian Nicieza to discuss the new ongoing series, X-Men Legends!
As I love to tell people, the first X-Men comic I ever bought was X-Men #39. I picked it off a spinner rack at a Sam Goody inside a mall that no longer exists. While that story may be depressing, that singular eXperience was the start of something eXtraordinary–and I have Fabian and his co-creation Adam-X to thank for it. So you better bet when Fabian was finally given the chance to finish the story he started in the ’90s, X-Men Monday was going to dig into it with him. So sharpen your blades, flip that baseball cap around and let’s get started, X-Fans!
AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday, Fabian! This first question’s for readers going into X-Men Legends #1 who may not have read every Fabian-penned Adam-X appearance. What do they need to know about this mysterious character at the outset of your story?
Fabian: I hope everything they need to know is covered during the course of the issues. The basic setup is that Adam is a half-human, half-Shi’ar raised on a farming planet in another galaxy with no understanding of his origins. He came to Earth seeking the truth about himself and learned enough to realize that he’d probably rather not know all of it.
AIPT: But X-Fans do, Fabian. Obviously, this is a story you’ve wanted to tell for a very long time. X-Fan Kenny wanted to know–while writing your two-part X-Men Legends arc, how much freedom did you have from Marvel Editorial?
Fabian: Well, considering I got to actually write the story, I’d say I was given a tremendous amount more freedom than I received when I wasn’t allowed to write it!
But it was more than the freedom to tell it. Editors Mark Basso and Lauren Amaro provided tremendous support to help me structure the story in a way that I could “condense” the original 88 pages of content I had planned for this story into 50 pages.
AIPT: You’ve spoken about your original plans for Adam-X throughout the years. In fact, you and I chatted about them in 2019 for this very website! Despite everything X-Fans already know from what you’ve said, are there still plenty of surprises in this two-parter?
Fabian: Uhm… I don’t know. I haven’t collated what I’ve said over the many years vs. what readers have heard to what we’re telling. I hope the surprise comes from the validation of the story itself, maybe in finding a greater sense of sympathy for Adam, but if you’re secretly hinting your way around the revelation that Marrow is also a Summers Brother, we’ll just leave that surprise for the books…
AIPT: Speaking of the Summers, Cyclops and Havok feature prominently in this story. AIPT’s own David Brooke was wondering if you could talk a bit about how you view these Summers brothers’ relationship and brotherhood?
Fabian: I think from their very origins, Scott and Alex have always had a strained relationship. When you come from a past of mutual tragedy, it can draw you closer or separate you more. I think during the time period this is set, when Alex was leading X-Factor, the brothers were becoming closer. I tried to play off that to give them a better comfort together than they often showed at that time. Alex relaxes Scott and Scott keeps Alex on his toes.
AIPT: Erik the Red–like many X-Characters–has a long, complicated history. What can you tease about his role in your story?
Fabian: Well, picking up from events in Captain Marvel Vol. 3 #3, which is the last story in the continuity at that time in which Adam and Erik appeared in before the events where the X-Men Legends issues start, Davan Shakari is a man with a zealot’s desperation to bring about change to the Shi’Ar Empire. He is determined and steadfast that Adam is the key to accomplishing his goals.
AIPT: The way stories are told in comic books evolves every decade–and surely, your writing style has evolved with the times. Obviously, you and artist Brett Booth were producing work in the ‘90s. As a writer, did you try to write X-Men Legends in a ‘90s style? Or is this modern Fabian simply setting a story in the past?
Fabian: I think it’s just me writing a story. I didn’t go out of my way to emulate an “older style,” which would make all of us cringe, nor did I try to make it “nucomix,” which often makes me cringe.
It’s an action/adventure story about a space prince who wants to be left alone even though he could be the key to ruling a galaxy. Not too much time for navel-gazing in this one.
Fabian: I saw that he was making new appearances after I’d already scripted my issues, but I haven’t read any of the material. Leah and David are great, so that’s not meant as any slight to them, it’s just that as far as the characters go, this story takes place years in the past, and purposefully allows for how writers and artists might choose to interpret Adam today.
I learned a long, looong time ago, that trying to maintain a precious hold on characters as a writer for Big Two superheroes is like trying to stop a single drop of water from flowing down a river. That doesn’t mean I’m not still mad they stuffed Jack Monroe in a trunk, it just means I can let it go and let it flow!
AIPT: Let’s say X-Men Legends #1 and #2 shatter sales records. X-Fan Tyler Zinsmeitser asked if you have any more X-Men Legends stories in you. Anything else from your previous X-runs you’d love to revisit?
Fabian: I have always felt that the totality of both my X-Men and X-Force runs were “stories I never–or barely–got to tell,” so the question actually becomes, “does anyone still care about seeing them told?”
The editors have my number. If they call, I always listen!
AIPT: For fans of your recent Juggernaut mini-series, when can we expect to see Cain and his “unstoppable” friends again?
Fabian: You’d have to ask editor Jordan D. White that question. His answer might be “never” or “sooner than you think.” Editors are a cowardly and superstitious lot that way.
AIPT: I’ll make a note to follow up with him. Finally, X-Fan Daniel V wanted to know if you voted in the recent X-Men Election.
Fabian: Yes, I did, because the old Marvel Advertising Manager in me thought it was a super-fun promotion! And I voted for Tempo, because I always liked her!
Cool name, cool power, unexplored opportunities! I think I had more things planned for her in X-Force way back when, I just don’t remember what! She’s just the kind of character who could benefit from more exposure!
AIPT: Nice! Jordan also voted for Tempo. But that’s all the questions I have for you, Fabian, so thanks for taking the time to swing by X-Men Monday! X-Men Legends #1 goes on sale this Wednesday, February 17. And speaking of our friend Jordan, he was nice enough to pass along this batch of eXclusive preview images from upcoming X-Men comics.
But wait, there’s more! To celebrate the launch of X-Men Legends, here’s your eXclusive first look at the solicitation and cover for May’s X-Men Legends #4, featuring an all-new X-Factor tale by the classic creative team of Louise and Walter Simonson!
X-MEN LEGENDS #4
LOUISE SIMONSON (W) • WALTER SIMONSON (A/C)
WITH A VENGEANCE!
Things go from bad to worse for X-FACTOR when they must save the baby NATHAN CHRISTOPHER SUMMERS from the clutches of a deadly robot attacker. But who is really at the helm, and what will this mean for the FUTURE of the team and the SUMMERS clan?
Return to this classic era with legends Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson in this ALL-NEW tale set before the original X-FACTOR #43!
Speaking as someone who’s slowly been collecting the original X-Factor run in single issues, I cannot wait to read all-new Weezie and Walt stories with this cast!
A quick programming update–after 11 straight weeks of eXcellent interviews, I’m taking the final Monday of February off to get some long-overdue R&R. (And by “long-overdue R&R,” I mean start planning X-Men Monday #100.) X-Men Monday will return March 1 with writer Si Spurrier discussing his new series, Way of X! if you’ve got questions for Si, you can submit them by clicking here.
Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!