Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT — which also happens to be our 150th edition!
Astonishing! 150 weeks of eXclusive X-Creator interviews, preview images and the occasional tangent that has nothing to do with X-Men. (OK, so maybe those tangents happen a little more often than I’m letting on!) What I guess I’m trying to say is you don’t do 150 of anything unless you truly love it (at least in comics journalism).
I love getting to work on AIPT’s X-Men Monday column, which started out as something pretty straightforward. Every week, X-Fans would have a wide range of questions, and X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White would do his best to provide answers without spoiling. Then came the theme articles and character spotlights. Before you knew it, people not named “Jordan D. White” were stopping by the column to field questions. The column has evolved so much since it launched in 2019 that it’s not uncommon to see Comedy Bang Bang‘s Scott Aukerman appear, a surprise M.O.D.O.K. takeover, an absolutely bonkers Valentine’s Day Special, or just Jordan giving his thoughts about that time the original X-Men met Frankenstein.
Again, it’s comics journalism — it’s essentially the Wild West and I keep that in mind each and every time I’m planning content. How can we flip the script? How can we keep evolving what a comic book interview can be — and add a sense of fun, eXcitement and positivity to readers’ Monday morning? I may be biased as X-Men Monday is literally the only thing I do at AIPT, but it’s the best gig in the comic book website biz and it definitely wouldn’t be without all the support from the X-Fan community, Marvel and the X-Office, and, of course, AIPT! Thanks, everyone!
Now, a milestone deserves a special treat, so Jordan’s gathered a few of the X-Writers to give the Destiny of X era a proper kickoff. (And if you don’t see a few of your favorite creators in here, don’t worry, there are a lot more DoX series-based interviews to come in the weeks ahead!)
AIPT: Welcome to X-Men Monday #150, everybody! It’s been a while since we did a pulse check on life in the X-Slack — X-Men Monday #100, to be eXact! Since then, a few creators have left the X-Office and new writers — like Victor LaValle, Kieron Gillen, Steve Orlando and Alyssa Wong — have joined. With these new collaborators in the mix, how has the vibe in the X-Slack evolved since those early Dawn of X days?
Jordan D. White: I am also interested in hearing people’s updated thoughts on the “which member of the Quiet Council is every member of the X-Slack?” issue. I still think I am Doug.
Si Spurrier: Jordan, if we’re all council members then you’re the chairs. Or the table. Or the room. Or the very air we breathe. Or possibly the gorgeous Krakoan slanting sunlight, falling like a dream through the hazy air of mutant paradise.
(P.S: Please can I have a page rate increase?)
Tini Howard: Maybe I’m Kate Pryde. Been there since the beginning, mostly concerned with my weird side projects, phases through the floor to leave parties when I don’t want to be there anymore.
Leah Williams: Tini, you’re Mystique. Everything you just said also applies to Mystique. I’m Kate. As far as how the vibe in the X-Slack has evolved, well – there are more people in there now! The vibe is the same. (No one has really left, either – the X-Slack is kind of like a fraternity. Even if you graduate, you’re still a member.)
Si: Zdarsky’s Apocalypse, in the sense that he rarely comes back to visit; is all-powerful; is weirdly lovable; is objectively awful. Great kisser too.
Tini: I think Chip was also Pepe’s model for all those beefy Poc shots.
Steve Orlando: Wait, is Selene on the Council? I do have a history of resurrecting things from the past. If not, then I suppose I’d like to be Destiny… coming late to the party and stirring s--t up. And doing it in style.
Kieron Gillen: I like that no one has said I’m Sinister yet. Everyone is so kind!
Gerry Duggan: Kieron is definitely Sinister. He’s not joking.
Vita Ayala: Don’t worry K, you’re the Sinister of my heart. :3
Jordan: I guess Jon was Magneto? That makes sense — he was definitely a redeemed villain.
AIPT: Back in January, you all shared your 2022 X-Men Election endorsements. Now that all the votes have been cast and some time has passed… let’s hear about the hot goss’ and behind-the-scenes drama. Who was campaigning the hardest in the X-Slack? Who was voting more than once via multiple devices? Was there X-Fan election meddling?
Tini: I don’t want to talk about it. You people disappointed me.
Leah: I stayed out of it this year.
Si: We didn’t hear of any obscenely obvious attempts to throw the vote this year, which is possibly the most disappointing thing of all.
Steve: I feel like the vast majority of Micromax votes came from inside the room. I know mine did.
Vita: This year I voted with my heart instead of an attempt to troll Gerry, and I was still crushed…
Gerry: There was I think less shenanigans but once again the results were a gift with some long-term yields. A few things clicked into place. It’s already been a lot of fun. Jordan and I have discussed how to shake up a future vote.
AIPT: Good to hear we have another election to look forward to! Alright, so the Destiny of X era officially kicks off this week with the release of Immortal X-Men #1. X-Fan KingdomX asked, how is Destiny of X thematically different from the Dawn and Reign of X eras? Similarly, X-Fan AleX of X was wondering what “Destiny of X” represents for Krakoa?
Si: Points of No Return.
Steve: Si’s right!
Jordan: And it’s right there in the title. It’s their destiny! Right?
AIPT: X-Writers, what has you most eXcited about your new Destiny of X series/runs? To quote the always enthusiastic X-Fan PolarIceFire’s question, “SELL IT to us, let’s get even more buzz goin’!!”
Tini: This sort of addresses the above question, too, but the Dawn and the Reign were about building, maintaining, this sort of massive amount of story energy I was funneling into building a realm and keeping it going. Now, we’ve built this massive Otherworld machine — we get to jump in and play with a structure that’s CLASSIC X-Men, and something we don’t see a ton of back on Earth — mutants on the run.
Also, there is kiss~ing.
Leah: I am also excited for the kissing in Tini’s book. (I don’t think there’s anything I can appropriately tease about unannounced projects just yet.)
Vita: Third-ing the excitement for the kissing in Tini’s book! 😉
Si: Legion of X is essentially NYPD: Blue, except if the precinct house was a Sheriff’s Office built inside a psychedelic bubble reality, and the detectives were a dysfunctional crew of badass mutants who can’t agree on anything. Their caseload includes a fugitive god of mischief hiding out on Krakoa, an unauthorized body hijacker (“possession with intent”) and the sad duty to inform one prominent character that their father has been murdered. By, er, an omnipotent robot. Standard day-in-the-life stuff, really.
Basically, it’s what happens when you throw a gazillion glorious X-world ideas at the notion of a cop procedural, then take away the badges, jails and self-importance. The ur-question is: how do you stop a densely packed population of mutants, much given to drama, from going Kablooey every time someone has a bad day?
The Legion is Krakoa’s last and best hope, basically. It’s a pretty out-there book, but it’s threading some very important stuff for the big picture.
Oh, and there is, also — because Tini demands — kiss~ing.
Kieron: Honestly, the runs have all excited me so much that I’ve decided to reboot my old podcast Decompressed to talk to everyone about them.
AIPT: That’s awesome to hear, Kieron! Looking forward to that. X-Fan Immortal X-Drew asked — without spoiling too much, of course — who are the X-Characters readers should keep an eye on in the Destiny of X era?
Leah: Any answer to that at this junction is gonna be spoilery.
Si: I’m all for spoilery. Banshee’s got some pretty amazing stuff coming down the pipe. “Hot new look” is the least of it. And I’m hoping our Arakkii manhunter, Weaponless Zsen, will be a breakout character. She’s… spicy.
Steve: Oh, it’s got to be the ninth Marauder…all THREE of them we’ve cast so far. The floating final chair! An allusion to my favorite comics runs, and also a chance to get some truly wild people on our roster for a second or two. If not that, it’s probably the 10,000 years of first appearances we’ve got coming…
Kieron: Well, if your name is literally in the title, that has to be a pretty big tell, right? So, look for the debut of the hot new mutant character of 2022, Of: the omega-level preposition.
Jordan: Every title has some new faces that I think are going to make people excited. I am glad Tempo is a regular finally. I think Exodus is getting a nice shine-up. I am pumped Juggernaut is in an X-book again! The reveal of who’s on the new X-Men team is going to be great. Oh, plus, you know… Deadpool is around. I missed that guy.
AIPT: Speaking of characters, the one most X-Fans asked about was Iceman. For X-Fans Alex, BobbysWorld, Ian, Justin dixon, Michael, Natty from the Krakoa Server and Sam (@AlligatorSky), what can you share about Bobby Drake’s future in the Destiny of X era?
Leah: …Any answer to that, at this junction, is gonna be spoilery.
Steve: Ibiza will never be the same.
Jordan: It’s already been announced that he is in his own Infinity Comic which, in case you were unaware, is 100% in continuity with our Krakoan era. But yeah — to say which book he’s going to be showing up in is a spoiler. You’ll see!
AIPT: X-Fan grables said that in X-Men #9, we see that the three main ruling bodies in the X-universe are the Quiet Council, the Great Ring and Orchis. Since Immortal X-Men will focus on the Quiet Council and X-Men Red necessitates the use of the Great Ring, can it be said that X-Men’s focus will be Orchis in the Destiny of X era?
Gerry: Orchis will definitely be coming into crisper focus. After A.X.E. we’re launching into an arc that is my favorite thus far. It will also be the debut of a fan-favorite artist on the X-Men. It’s gonna change lives.
AIPT: A life-changing, fan-favorite artist? Who could it be, X-Fans? While we’re wondering about the future, X-Fans Mark Floor and Krakoa4Ever were wondering when we can expect a second wave of Destiny of X series to be announced. It wasn’t too long ago X-Men Monday teased Alyssa Wong was up to something…
Leah: Soon. Stay tuned.
Tini: Alyssa is a mad genius, so she’s in the right place. She’s cooking with gas for sure. I won’t say more than that!
Si: The thing Alyssa’s got planned with the, y’know, [gestures unnervingly]… Amazing and bonkers stuff. And when Leah says “stay tuned,” she means: please carefully position a small pillow, or maybe a miniature trampoline, on the floor beneath your jaw, because when you see the first few pages of [redacted project title] you’re gonna need it.
Tini: Oh yes. Speaking of things that are going to EXPLODE, please hold on to your @#$%$ and %^@# with both hands for Leah’s upcoming project.
Vita: Alyssa and Leah are going to blow everyone’s minds. Y’all ain’t ready!
AIPT: This year’s Hellfire Gala is fast approaching and will be a more stripped-down affair — a 72-page one-shot. The fact that the Hellfire Gala is an annual event provides a unique opportunity in comics: a chance to revisit an event, retain many of the elements that made the first so successful, while also introducing new twists and surprises. So with all that said, were there specific things you set out to do differently this time around?
Gerry: Ah, yes… one of my patented stripped-down 72-page affairs. It’ll be fun, and it will be gorgeous, but it’s also dangerous and has some very important stories for not just mutants, but the larger Marvel Universe.
Leah: This is a dumb answer but I wanted my hellfire gala ‘22 playlist to be as worthy of being played in gay leather bars in NYC as it was last summer. So I started working on it in November 2021.
AIPT: I’m glad you brought up music, Leah, as that playlist is the perfect transition to my final question. When describing A.X.E.: Judgment Day, Kieron compared his efforts crafting the event to Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s desire to create a “teenage symphony to God.” So, if Judgment Day is Kieron’s Smile, what albums capture the feelings of your Destiny of X series/runs?
And Jordan, you have the very easy task of picking the one album that perfectly sums up the entire Destiny of X era. No pressure!
Tini: Mm, I’m a sucker for a concept album. Knights of X has a lot of highs and lows — we’re fighting back against tyrannical fascism that’s crept into our perceived fantasy, so there’s a bit of Pink Floyd’s The Wall in there. But also, it’s not so dire, we have heroes fighting back against it, so… throw in a little Danger Days by My Chemical Romance. Mash ‘em up.
AIPT: This is an X-Men column, of course, I’m going to embed the MCR music video starring Grant Morrison!
Leah: I made a playlist.
Si: Best I could do to encapsulate Legion of X would be the entire back catalog of the Ozric Tentacles with intrusions by Mastodon and The Moody Blues… and Barracuda by Heart every time Mother Righteous shows up.
Gerry: Kid A.
AIPT: Alright, Jordan, what have you got for us?
Jordan: Wow, you’re asking me to summarize all of Destiny of X by choosing only ONE Weezer album? 😉
But seriously, now that I made that joke, I have no choice but to actually pick a Weezer album, and I think it’s going to be Everything Will Be Alright in the End, but not for the (seemingly) obvious reason.
AIPT: Jordan, how did I know you’d bring it back to Weezer? But that is an eXcellent Weezer album. (And X-Fans, if you haven’t listened to Weezer’s new SZNZ: Spring LP, what are you even doing with your lives? Reading X-Men comics?!)
Speaking of X-Men comics, how about a few eXclusive preview images from the Destiny of X era, courtesy of Jordan? More panels than usual in honor of the big 150!
That’s all for this week, X-Fans. A GIANT-SIZE thanks to the X-Office for taking the time to celebrate with X-Men Monday and to all the X-Fans who submitted questions. We’re taking next week off, but look for the call for questions about Immortal X-Men #1 on the same day it’s released — this Wednesday, March 30, 2022 (on this website and Twitter) — and then return to AIPT on April 11 to see if Kieron Gillen answered your question.
Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!
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