Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT! And your eyes aren’t deceiving you–this is the final installment of X-Men Monday before we reach our milestone 100th edition!
But if you think we’re saving all the cool stuff for X-Men Monday #100 then you don’t know us very well. This week, we’re eXcited to bring you the first interview with writer Tini Howard since Marvel announced her new X-Series, the long-awaited X-Corp! Eagle-eyed X-Fans may have noticed an eXclusive piece of black-and-white X-Corp preview art by Alberto Foche in X-Men Monday #92, which featured Tini answering Excalibur questions.
I know, we’re pretty sneaky like that. Well, this week we’re able to go a little deeper into what readers can eXpect from X-Corp, as Tini’s back to answer your questions about this new series, launching this May.
AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday, Tini! In Marvel’s X-Corp announcement, you mentioned you yourself have a corporate past. Are you able to talk a bit about your pre-comics life and how it might influence writing X-Corp?
Tini: Sure. I grew up near Washington, D.C., and didn’t go to college out of high school. My family didn’t really have the money and I didn’t know what I wanted to do yet, so I just started answering phones and filing papers in offices, so I could learn things. I worked in HR and in facilities management and in a whole bunch of other boring offices until I decided I quite liked marketing, actually. The marketing I did was for a highly specific, Big Money, really stuffy industry, so what it lacked in glitz and glamour it made up for in an enormous amount of quiet time to soak up everything I could, like a sponge. And I did. By the time I stepped away from the corporate world to pursue a writing career, I’d gone from receptionist phone jockey to Marketing Consultant, so I have some experience climbing the ladder. (As you can see: I opted to get off the ladder.) (And here I am–writing stories about the ladder.)
AIPT: That’s cool to know. And I’m sure those marketing skills are very handy in the comics industry. Speaking of comics–every X-Book in the current line is so distinct. X-Fan Pame was wondering what themes will be at the core of X-Corp.
Tini: Resource management, power and control. Why we acquire power and what we do with it, and the ethics of how. What it means to enter an economy based around scarcity when your resources are no longer finite. Think of it this way–the medicines are made from flowers. Mutants aren’t limited to typical real estate for farming. They broke the game. They have access to things humans do not. You see what I mean? They’ve gotten more than rich. They’ve gone, in a sense, off the economic grid. And people who like to use scarcity to suppress others are gonna hate that.
AIPT: X-Fan Mutant power of procrastination said that with Marauders already dealing with certain aspects of the Krakoan economy, particularly the drug trade and all things Hellfire, what sets X-Corp apart?
Tini: Great question. This was a part of why this book took so long to make–was making sure the angle we settled on was distinct. I don’t want to spoil things, but we’re playing with that expectation in the book. What you think X-Corp is bringing to the table and what they’re actually bringing to the table. We’re not actually going to make you sit through 20 pages of meetings a month, and we’re not selling the same thing that the Marauders are selling, and we’re not in the same meetings. (I mean, we are, like Gerry and I are, but you know, X-CORP and the Marauders… aren’t.)
AIPT: Time for some character talk. X-Fan Heroine Addict loved the way Warren Worthington III was portrayed in Empyre: X-Men #1 and was wondering if you could expound on where he’s at as a character, overall, and what he intends to do in X-Corp.
Tini: I think a gift of the Krakoa era is bringing peace to characters who maybe haven’t had it in a while? Or characters who… maybe feel like they really only get stories when they’re at their worst, right? There aren’t a lot of modern stories where Warren gets to succeed at being Angel, the Hero. And he’s a perfect hero. He has the bearing and the intelligence and the looks and the know-how to absolutely devastate in a board room–and he’s a good guy. He’s Don Draper if Don had wings and a good heart. How do you not want to write that story? I mean, I obviously do.
AIPT: And X-Fan @tapwater86 asked what makes Monet St. Croix a good fit for the role of CXO?
Tini: She’s Superman, but psychic, and when she comes into the office she doesn’t slouch or hide behind a fake human identity. There are a few people on the team–Monet is one of them, you’ll see, but there is another I’m thinking of–who are absolutely corporate Robin Hoods. Honestly, the whole team might be. There’s a delight in closing a deal not because you WANT it, but because you don’t want someone truly evil to have it. Monet loves the thrill of the hunt, the chase and the kill. And this is a nice outlet for those urges. Hopefully, it just remains an outlet.
AIPT: Now the two of them–X-Fan Justin Poteat asked what makes Warren and Monet good business partners?
Tini: They’re the squeeze and the juice, you know? They’re a great pair, there’s a harmony there that’s impossible to ignore. Both moneyed youths who grew up to be good at the corporate thing, both of them have that Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde thing about them, where we know there’s another guy under the surface. And they differ in their approach–Warren is more disciplined, Monet thinks it’s good to let the beast out for a run. Take that as you will.
AIPT: Since you mentioned Mr. Hyde, X-Fan Allison S said the cover for X-Corp #1 is clearly broadcasting Archangel and Penance vibes, and Warren and Monet do have some similar character history in regard to trauma. X-Corp is going to showcase a lot of corporate shenanigans on behalf of Krakoa, but is it safe to assume we’ll also be getting some personal/character deep-dives with these two?
Tini: They’re two of my favorite characters and the similarities and differences between them are so serendipitous. I couldn’t resist going into their characters if I tried. I want to say–and I know these are two very complicated characters? You can read them for the first time here in X-Corp and follow along fine. We’re not going to make it complicated for you. We’re here to learn about their futures, not about their pasts. We’ll see the return of Madrox to X-CORP following Empyre: X-Men as well–and we’re doing some wild things with him, too. Very fun and weird.
AIPT: Good to hear Jamie will be along for the ride! X-Fan Dysc, Avalonian Serf was wondering if there’s a temptation when you have two X-Books to cross them over, or do you think of Excalibur and X-Corp as very different books with very different directions?
Tini: That’s a great question. Writing in the X-Office currently is a lot of crossing over with others anyway–Krakoa is a living thing, when you pull on one part we reflect that elsewhere, and I think that’s been part of our success. So I’d say I don’t get the urge to create a crossover, but I’m highly aware of how the actions of one book affect and are reflected in the other. But like, yeah, of course, there is the temptation to put elves at business meetings and stuff like that. Let’s see if I give in to it.
AIPT: Before we wrap, I have to ask, what’s it like getting to collaborate with artist Alberto Foche on this series?
Tini: Alberto is a gem. It’s our first time working together, and his first work for Marvel, which is really fun. Especially for a book like this, it’s really cool to work with someone who is bringing a whole new set of inspirations, a whole new perspective. I’m so pleased with his work on the book. Do you ever notice how some artists are better at depicting flight than others? Alberto is wonderful at drawing flight–a perfect trait for an Angel book.
AIPT: What I’ve seen so far looks great! Finally, putting X-Corp aside–you have a chance to open a new business on Krakoa. What’s the business and which mutant do you want by your side as a business partner?
Tini: I’d probably see if Rictor wants to run some cool little magical library/herbarium shop. Or I’d make a skatepark. Jubilee would probably run a skatepark with me.
AIPT: Either one sounds good! Tini, thanks so much for giving us an advance look at what we can eXpect from X-Corp! And speaking of advance looks–how about this batch of eXclusive preview images, courtesy of X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White?
As we wrap up, I want to remind readers of AIPT’s X-Men Monday #100 giveaways. There have been two winners so far, but there are still three more Twitter giveaways left in March.
Here’s all you need to do:
- Be sure you’re following AIPT on Twitter.
- Like and retweet X-Men Monday #99 and #100 to automatically be entered into the weekly giveaways and the X-Men Monday #100 GIANT-SIZE Giveaway.
Anybody who likes and retweets #99 and #100 will be eligible for a batch of six digital codes from recent X-Men comics. A winner will be drawn at random and notified every Wednesday following the release of a new X-Men Monday at AIPT. Best of all–the winner can request which single issues they’d like the codes for (while supplies last, of course).
The X-Men Monday #100 GIANT-SIZE Giveaway will be a random assortment of X-Men and Marvel trade paperbacks and single issues. Only U.S. residents will be eligible for this prize.
In the neXt edition of X-Men Monday…
That’s right, X-Men Monday #100–at long last! Please note that what we’re working on is SO massive, we’ll need an eXtra week to prepare. So no new edition neXt week, but be sure to save the date for Monday, March 29!
Until then, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!
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