Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!
And in the last edition of X-Men Monday, #134, X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White promised a new image was on the way that would provide more information about the upcoming Destiny of X era. In case you somehow missed it…
You can eXpect a lot more information about the upcoming X-Books in this column in the weeks ahead (and, in this very article). But for now, we’re still in the Reign of X era, which means it’s time to dig into last week’s Inferno #3 and learn what answers Jordan can provide to your questions.
AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday, Jordan! Inferno #3 begins with a look back at the important work Doug, Warlock and Krakoa did to establish the island nation we now know and love. X-Fans have so many questions about what happened between the end of the “Age of X-Man“and Uncanny X-Men and House of X #1 — why was it important for Jonathan Hickman to explore how the island came to be, in particular, before eXiting the X-Line?
Jordan: Because it’s hugely important to the rest of the issue. People have been asking about that moment where Doug is walking through Krakoa and Warlock touches Krakoa and kind of bonds with it in some capacity. It was like, “What is that about?” This is Jon finally revealing that, and this is something he’s been aware of in the background the whole time. People have been asking why this and why that with Doug, Warlock and Krakoa all this time. This has been something that he’s had simmering in the background. So it’s important.
And Doug discovering what’s going on and the fact that he’s been aware of these things kind of the whole time — him being aware of what’s going on with Moira and with Mystique is important. So yeah, he really absolutely needed to do this, but it’s also something he’s been planning to do for ages.
AIPT: Let’s stay on that flashback sequence a bit longer — X-Fan Mark Floor was wondering if Krakoa is made up of the techno-organic virus. Mark is looking for a bit of clarity.
Jordan: I think that it’s been incorporated into the island. The way that Krakoa works now is different than the way that Krakoa worked before. That’s because of Doug. One of the things that you’ll notice in the issue that was absolutely written into the script — and I don’t think it gives away too much for me to say it — is that when Xavier shows Doug his vision of Krakoa. It’s not the Krakoa that we know. It’s like a future tech city. It’s because Krakoa becomes Krakoa because of Doug. I mean, they want to make Krakoa, they want to make this world for them, but the basis of Krakoa and technology and things like the gates and habitats and all that stuff you see in there — it only exists because of that alliance of Doug, Warlock and Krakoa.
So I wouldn’t say that Krakoa is a techno-organic thing, but I think it’s incorporated in it. And we talk a lot about mutant circuits. This is a thing that is neither Warlock nor Krakoa, but a hybrid that comes out of them working together. Even though Warlock technically isn’t an X-gene-carrying kind of mutant.
AIPT: OK, moving to the present, X-Fan Joshua was curious to know why Moira and Destiny are still enemies. Joshua thought Destiny only hated Moira initially because she wanted to “cure” the mutant gene. Now that Moira has fully converted to mutantdom’s cause, is it just that Moira hates someone who burned her alive? I know I would!
Jordan: Well, I can’t say too much about this because there’s another issue and one might suspect that might come up. What I’ll say is, yeah, Moira has worked really hard to stop Destiny from being alive. So I can understand why Destiny would be ticked about that. [Laughs]
AIPT: [Laughs] I’d say they both have reasons for feeling the way they do.
Jordan: I think it’s pretty easy to say the root of it does go back to that initial encounter between them, for sure. But to get into more detail, I think would step too much on Inferno #4.
AIPT: NeXt up, X-Fan Layla Miller requested clarification on Omega Sentinel. Was Karima already working against the X-Men when she appeared in X-Men: Legacy and other stories a few years back, or did the future version only arrive in her body recently?
Jordan: I would say it’s not the future version of her back when she was an X-Men: Legacy. I think it was sometime between then and now that this version of her came back. Orchis only became active when Xavier announced Krakoa. So obviously, that means the protocols were put in place before that, with all the agents aware that they could be activated. So I think it was sometime between then. If you look at the Omega Sentinel timeline that Jonathan wrote, part of that does help to allude to the where and how and why of her thinking she was human again, and then not being human again. And I think it would be after that point, where we saw her seemingly cured, that the future version of her came in and took over.
AIPT: I feel like we’re doing a lot of clarifying this week — and here comes some more! A few X-Fans were looking for clarity on the newly revealed Omega Sentinel [History] chart. So I’m going to eXplain how I understand it and you let me know if I’m correct. First, we’re currently in Moira Life Ten, right?
AIPT: And Omega Sentinel lived in Moira Life Ten [A] until she went back in time, which created Moira Life Ten [B]. So we’re actually living in the [B] timeline.
Jordan: Yes, that’s basically the long and short of it — what you said.
There was a time when Marvel operated under a strict policy. I believe this was under Mark Gruenwald’s watch — that it had a very strict policy of branching timelines. If ever any time travel happens of any sort, it’s a branching timeline.
So when “Days of Future Past” happened, they went back in time and they didn’t stop their timeline from happening. They branched their timeline off from ours. They created another timeline where things went better than it went in theirs, but everybody who was suffering in their world is still suffering. Everybody who died is still dead. They just went, “Oh, it would be nice if there was a version of us that was happier.” I think that’s a logical and sensible way to do things, but it also is in some ways — to me, anyway — unsatisfying. Because again, the entire purpose of sending people back in time is you’re trying to change things. If there’s no way to change things in the system, all you do is abandon everyone you care about and try to live in a better place without them. That stinks in some ways.
Anyway, because of that vaguely unsatisfying storytelling aspect of it, at some point, that rule went away and it became more, “No, you can change things.” We’ve seen storylines in the last 20 years that have changed things, like Age of Ultron. So this is saying yes, in the original version of her 10th life’s future, all the stuff in that timeline happens: the human-mutant alliance, Apocalypse’s return, the Children of the Vault defeated — all of that happened. And she went back in time to undo it. That’s the timeline we have been reading about since House of X #1.
Realistically speaking, you could say it’s for all Marvel history we’ve been reading about. But at the very least, you could say since we saw her in House of X #1 it has been the future version of her. And we have been in timeline [B] in much the same way. We’ve never read a comic before that, about the previous lives of Moira. We just have to know those did exist and they affected things before that are happening. It’s a fun reverse mirror.
AIPT: That’s not so complicated.
Jordan: I mean, I think I’ve mentioned before, the one that really breaks my brain is when I try to figure out how Moira’s power works with the events of Secret Wars where the universe was destroyed. But we can’t focus on that.
AIPT: Thats what Inferno #4’s about. OK, X-Fan Miguel2004 said with Jonathan’s departure from the X-Books confirmed, is there any hope we’ll see the Children of the Vault, Apocalypse, Chimeras, the Dominions and other plot lines set up early on — and teased again in Inferno #3 — in the Destiny of X era or beyond?
Jordan: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Again, Jonathan is stepping off the X-Books, but it’s not like the era is over and we’re throwing it away and starting something new. All the plot threads are continuing. All the guns put on shelf are going to be taken down and fired at some point. The things you’ve mentioned. I know of specific plans for, I believe all of the ones you just said, but I can’t give you a timeline because, well, A. I don’t want to spoil things, and B. we’re working on a pretty long timeline right now. So some of them will be sooner than others.
AIPT: And just to confirm, that’s timeline [B], correct?
Jordan: [Laughs] Timeline [B], yes, exactly.
AIPT: So, pivoting away from Inferno, a lot’s happened since you teased Leinil Francis Yu’s Destiny of X art last week. First question: The characters in the teaser art — are those the major players in the new era, or are there characters who’ll make a major impact not pictured? I saw a lot of concerned X-Fan reactions. These X-Fans, always so concerned.
Jordan: Every character who’s not on it will never appear again.
AIPT: [Laughs] They’re all dead.
Jordan: [Laughs] It’s like the 198, except way less.
Jordan: No, no, no, of course I’m joking. This is a lot of characters that we asked Leinil to do.
AIPT: Not enough, Jordan, never enough.
Jordan: If we put in every character that’s going to be in every book, he would still be drawing for the next month. It’s a lot of characters. We went through and made decisions for every book of who we wanted to feature from that book. Those decisions had to do with who’s got the most important plot lines, but also sometimes it had to do with who was cool-looking. If your favorite isn’t on there, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to be in the books.
There’s a very strong chance that they’re going to be in the books. I mean, you’ve already seen the Immortal X-Men cast on the cover of Immortal X-Men, and you’ve already seen the Marauders cast on the cover of Marauders — except for our mystery member that we haven’t revealed yet. A bunch of those people don’t appear on this, so that will continue to be the case.
Also, you’ve seen a little teaser from Legion of X, so there are a bunch of characters on there that aren’t on this as well. The same is true for X-Force and for Knights of X and for New Mutants and for X-Men Red. There are characters that are in each of those books that you haven’t seen that are going to be featured heavily. Plus, there’s also X-Men Unlimited, which is absolutely part of the line and does count. So there are folks who are going to appear in that who aren’t shown here.
AIPT: I was actually wondering if Deadpool was there because of X-Men Unlimited or another book.
AIPT: I know you like that Deadpool guy. I mean, does this confirm that Deadpool is an X-Men character? That’s hotly debated online.
Jordan: Well, the reason that’s debated is because you have to define the term “X-Men character.” He’s 100% not a mutant, like that is widely confirmed other than in the Fox films, where they decided he was — which makes it very difficult to keep straight. He comes from an X-Book, so he’s counted as an X-Character because they were able to make movies about him. In my history with Deadpool, I started editing him when I moved into the X-Office, because he was part of the X-Office over the course of my time editing him, and we did have him do a bunch of X-Stuff in that run.
We also tried to make him just part of the Marvel Universe as a whole — not confined to X-Stuff. So over the course of that, he sort of grew. I don’t want to make it sound like it was me. I just mean from my experience and from the way people were viewing him as I was working on him, editorially, everybody kind of viewed him a little bit more of a Marvel Universe character then, because he would be interacting so much with Spider-Man or with the Avengers or all these other characters, not just X-Characters. When I left the X-Office, I took him with me. So he was no longer edited by part of the X-Office. Now that I’m working on him again, he’s back in the X-Office. I mean, he’s currently appearing in, X-Men Unlimited and he’s going to appear somewhere else. So that’s why he’s out here.
AIPT: He’s a Knight of X. [Laughs]
Jordan: [Laughs] I’m not confirming or denying any of that.
AIPT: Now, obviously, you and Kieron Gillen have history from your Uncanny X-Men days. And I remember Jonathan mentioning early on Kieron was welcome in the X-Slack. Can you tell us how Kieron’s return to the X-Men and Immortal X-Men came to be?
Jordan: I mean, basically it was that. Jonathan and I both are huge fans of Kieron. If you look back in this column, I’m sure there were times when people asked me what my favorite X-Men stories and runs are, and I know I always like to talk about Kieron’s run, which I think is so good and won me over because, well, at the time, I was very much against what Cyclops was doing. But I loved what Kieron was doing.
Kieron wrote that great moment in Uncanny X-Men #1 where Storm’s like, “Raise your hand if you haven’t gone evil.” And like, only Storm raises her hand, which was kind of fun and crazy. I always said it was kind of a secret Brotherhood book.
I love Kieron and I love all his non-Marvel stuff. I loved Die. It was so depressing, but so good. And, obviously, I worked with him a ton on Darth Vader. I think he’s amazing. So anyway, like you said, when Jonathan said that, he wasn’t lying and that probably wasn’t the first time that subject was broached, because I think we literally just reached out to Kieron and said, “Do you want to do a book? We’d love to have you do a book.” And he was kind of like, “Maybe, I don’t know, we’ll see.”
And Immortal X-Men has actually been cooking for ages. We’ve been planning it for a very long time. And a long, long time ago, we reached out to Kieron and said, “What do you think about doing this book?” And he was like, “Yeah, that sounds really exciting.” The stuff he’s written for it is so, so, so good. I’m thrilled to be working with him.
AIPT: I feel like it’s a series X-Fans have wanted for so long. I know I have.
Jordan: Yeah. I mean, it’s all stuff that Kieron is very, very good at. It’s going to be amazing.
AIPT: Another of last week’s surprises was seeing Storm’s new costume, designed by Storm super-fan Russell Dauterman. Fans love it — how did that decision to reach out to Russell and give Storm yet another iconic look come about, and can we expect more new costumes in this upcoming era?
Jordan: Well, I don’t want to go into it too much, because it’s a story-based costume. The nature of working ahead for covers as far as we do and such means that we knew that we were going to end up having to show it before it premieres in the story, so that’s part of why we went, “Well, let’s debut it on this Destiny of X piece,” because it’s going to be a fun piece and it’s a great costume.
So we reached out to Russell with the story reasons for why this is happening and why she’s doing that. I know Russell already said that it was inspired by her ’80s kind of punk look, and we wanted a modern version of that. So again, I don’t want to go into exactly why. You’re going to read the book and you’re going to see why she gets that costume. But that was the impetus, and we wanted it to be a new version of that costume. It’s going to be a reference to it, but that’s not what it would look like if you go punk now. Like, you’re not going to wear the same thing you would’ve worn 40 years ago. Was that 40 years ago? My god.
So what’s a modern version of that? And I’m so thrilled that Russell came up with something so cool. We loved that hair style. I’m trying to remember who suggested that she have a more natural hair texture. I’m not sure because it definitely was a thing that got discussed in the X-Slack. But it’s great, I love it.
AIPT: Can X-Fans expect more new costume designs in the Destiny of X era?
Jordan: Yes is the answer. I don’t want to get too much into it, but yes. I mean, Juggernaut is colored differently. And Legion has that weird thing on his head, but we saw that in the preview already. Nightcrawler has a beard — we saw that in the preview too. So yes, there will absolutely be more to see for sure.
Not to mention, you know, at some point we’re going to have another Gala, so…
AIPT: How could we forget! Finally, what can you tease about the final chapter of Inferno?
Jordan: There’s going to be action. There’s going to be betrayal. There’s going to be intrigue. There’s going to be revelations. We finished it a couple weeks ago. I think Jonathan absolutely landed it and Valerio Schiti kicks ass — and Stefano Caselli, who actually helps out on this issue as well. They both are doing great work. This whole Inferno series I think is super, super cool. And you know, Jonathan never stopped amazing me with his writing the entire time I worked with him. So it’s a great finale.
AIPT: Thanks for the fun and informative conversation, Jordan! Also, thanks for these eXclusive preview images from Inferno #4 and X-Men #6! Hi, Spidey!
X-Fans, as we’ve reached end of year, it’s time for me to start preparing for the final X-Men Monday of 2021, in which Jordan and I will reflect on the year that was and look ahead to 2022. But I need your help! If you’d be so kind, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below and maybe — just maybe — your responses will inform some of the questions I ask our friendly neighborhood X-Men Senior Editor.
Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!
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