Connect with us
X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Comic Books

X-Men Monday #154 – Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira’s Heel Turn, the New Mutants’ Future and More

Plus, 6 eXclusive preview images from upcoming X-Men comics!

Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!

Before we get started, I wanted to take a second to honor comics legend Neal Adams, who we lost last week at the age of 80. Neal, of course, revolutionized how X-Men stories could be told slightly before the original series’ cancellation. And if you’re unaware of the seismic impact Neal had on comics — both on the page and behind the scenes — take the time to read The Hollywood Reporter’s writeup on Neal’s passing.

Listen to the latest episode of the X-Reads Podcast!

In 2019, I was at Terrificon in Connecticut, assembling a GIANT-SIZE edition of X-Men Monday featuring any creator who would talk to me. Neal was one of those creators, and he couldn’t have been more generous with his time (I believe he was eating his lunch at the time). What I’ll always cherish about this brief interview is how, completely unprompted, Neal brought up why Sauron — who he designed — didn’t wear a costume.

“Because he’s a f-----g pterodactyl.”

To quote everybody’s favorite Magneto gif: “Perfection.”

If you missed it the first time, here’s a link to X-Men Monday #23, featuring Neal discussing Havok’s costume, his short but impactful X-Men run, and his mini-series The First X-Men. Rest in peace, Neal, and thanks for everything.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Neal at Terrificon 2019

Alright, X-Fans — on with the main event: X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White’s first full-length interview with us since X-Men Monday #138! That’s 16 weeks without JDW — no wonder you all had so many questions. Let’s get started.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday, Jordan! Let’s start with comic book shipping delays. For the X-Fans who don’t fully understand them and what’s happening, can you provide a brief explanation and whether it’s having any impact on how the X-Office continues to plan stories?

Jordan: What I can tell you is it’s really not any different from the delays that have been hitting the industry for the last two years. Marvel has actually done a really great job of avoiding a lot of them for the last two years. In a lot of ways, there were times when other companies were really hit with them, where we were able to sail through unharmed. Unfortunately, this is the point it’s hit us and it’s holding us back a little bit. Other people are still getting hit by it as well.

It’s going to pass and it’ll be fine. The X-Office, specifically, is working really hard to protect the places where there are story-driven reasons that things have to be timed well, so we are aware of those places and we keep an eye on them and we know that if this moves then that has to move. We’re very aware of that and we’re focused on it. And we’re working overtime on it. We’re making folks’ lives difficult by making sure that everything is in lockstep and it will come out correctly.

So there is an impact because these things are unavoidable, unfortunately. There are some delays, but everything will come out as it’s supposed to.

AIPT: That’s good to know. Now, I don’t need to tell you that the Destiny of X era is officially underway. X-Fans Nathan X and Westchester Al wanted to know how you decided which books would relaunch as new titles and which would continue with the same numbering.

Jordan: There are a lot of factors involved. Obviously, I won’t beat around the bush completely and say sales are not a factor. Sales are a factor for sure. We look at what books are already selling strongly and what books could use a shot in the arm from a new number one. That said, I think we did a very nice job of when those things happen, there is real story-driven impact on it. We’re not trying to do a thing where it’s like, “Oh, it’s the same book, it’s just got a new number one on it.”

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

I mean, look at X-Men Red, right? Is it continuing stories from S.W.O.R.D.? Yes, but I think it’s clearly a very different book than S.W.O.R.D. as well. If you liked S.W.O.R.D., I think you will like it. If you didn’t read S.W.O.R.D., there’s still a great chance you’ll like it. It’s a very different thing with a very different focus that just picks up some of the threads that were running at the end of S.W.O.R.D.

Knight of X is the same. It’s not Excalibur, it’s definitely got a lot in common with Excalibur, but it’s a new book with a new purpose and a new drive to it. And the same is true with Legion of X. Well, that’s slightly different because Way of X was already a mini-series — Way of X was not an ongoing series that stopped, it was a mini and it stopped, and this is picking up threads from that. It’s got a different setup. It’s got a different drive to it. It’s just continuing some of those same threads. 

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

I think they all are good jumping-on points. Meanwhile, yes, there were books that were going and continue to go strong, and we felt like they could stand on their own. And more importantly, aren’t having a complete story refresh. X-Men, New Mutants, X-Force, Wolverine — we weren’t looking at what we were doing in there and saying we have a new direction for them. They are the same series by any measure. Whereas the others, even though they have some strong similarities to those series and connections to those series, are still new.

AIPT: NeXt up, X-Fan Iron said this year’s Hellfire Gala is going to be a blast, but not all of the designs have been revealed yet. Can we expect a Hellfire Gala handbook like last year?

Jordan: I don’t think there’s going to be a handbook. The way that we’re handling everything this year is slightly different from last year. Obviously, instead of being spread across the whole line, it’s all focused in this one book, except that the variant covers are now spread throughout the entire Marvel line, showing those designs. So it doesn’t make as much sense because there’s only one book that it’s pointing at. That said, there are such cool designs and you want to make sure everybody sees them. More of them will be revealed as we go forward. And I think everybody’s going to be really excited by them.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Russell Dauterman did some amazing ones, obviously, but then we got to have other folks who hadn’t worked on designs last year, who got to try their hand at them. It really brings a lot of cool new ideas to the table. I think everybody did a great job and special shout out to my Associate Editor Lauren Amaro for wrangling all the folks who were designing those this year. I think she did a great job and I’m really happy with all the work. I think everybody else will be as well.

AIPT: OK, so Moira MacTaggert continues to be a hot topic. X-Fan Abdullah was curious to learn how far back the Moira heel turn was planned. Was it part of Jonathan Hickman’s original plans?

Jordan: That’s a great question, and talking about Jonathan’s original plans is always tricky for two reasons. The first reason is because, even still, we’re not at a place where I would be comfortable, for example, just telling people what Jonathan’s plans were because many aspects of them are still ongoing. And even the aspects that we are no longer necessarily going with, you never know, we might. And second, it shows too much of what we’re thinking about and what the plans, in general, were/are. Something else that’s tricky is, again, everybody likes to simplify it as Jonathan had plans, and then we got rid of them, and that’s just not accurate. Jonathan had plans when he started and the plans that Jonathan had when he decided not to go with his plans, weren’t the same as the plans he started with and the plans that we ended up with from Jonathan weren’t the plans, you know what I’m saying? His plans evolved as well. 

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

So how far back does her heel turn go? Quite a ways. Did it go back to the beginning? The answer is no — it did not go back all the way to House of X and Powers of X. It was a thing he came up with later, but it wasn’t that much later. Everything about Jonathan and everything about his stories is complicated. So even the idea of Moira’s heel turn is so simplified because is anybody in a Jonathan story really good or bad? It’s not like he thought of her as a “good” character and then he changed her to a “bad” character. Like, no, she was always a messed-up character who like pretty much everybody in power in these series does some things that are good and some things that are terrible.

In the original stuff, she was not going to end up where she is now. Like literally going, “I hate Krakoa and I want to murder everybody I used to be friends with.”

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Without going into too much detail, it was at the same time as the Moira series died is when that happened. X-Men Monday fans remember that we at one point were talking about a Moira series. We had talked to Al Ewing about it. He had a pitch for it. Like, it was good, but then Jonathan’s plans shifted pretty radically and it became, “Oh, actually, instead of doing that, I’m going to do this. Sorry, Al, let’s get you another book.” And the direction that Moira was going in shifted in a big way. But that doesn’t mean that we had to like radically reinterpret the scenes from House of X. The questionable things that she did back then are still the same questionable things she did now. It’s just where they ultimately ended up was different.

AIPT: So did Al have in-depth plans for the Moira series?

Jordan: Oh yeah, he had actual plans. I don’t want to make it sound like we had it in our publishing schedule and it was fully approved, but we talked to him about it and he thought about it. And he’s a really incredibly smart guy who comes up with ideas. And so he wrote us back going, “Here’s what I’m thinking.” And he had a plan for what the series would be like. And we were like, “Oh, that’s so cool.” But relatively shortly thereafter, it was like, actually, there’s not going to be any space for that. Sorry.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: You’ll have to release the plans someday.

Jordan: Someday. But again, it’s going to be a while because our plans are also interconnected and it shows our hand too much about what we end up doing.

AIPT: OK, some rapid-fire “where-is-my-favorite-character” questions for you. X-Fan Powers of V said, now that we have Thunderbird back in the land of the living, how long do we have to wait before we get Changeling back in the 616?

Jordan: Until somebody pitches a good story with him, I guess.

AIPT: You just broke Powers of V’s heart. I assume Changeling isn’t on deck to return?

Jordan: Yeah. I guess spoilers, there are no plans. Like, there’s nothing wrong with him coming back, that poor guy. He has kind of a tragic tale to him.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: I think Xavier owes him.

Jordan: Xavier kind of owes him. That said, Xavier no longer really runs the resurrection protocols. And I don’t know how high on Xavier’s priorities he would’ve been anyway. So at this point, and again, the real-life answer is if somebody has a story about him, he’s resurrected tomorrow. But so far nobody’s pitched.

Or, anytime you see a character on Krakoa who later is a contradiction — that was Changeling.

AIPT: That’s a fun mini-series right there! Fixing all the continuity errors. NeXt, X-Fan Rift asked, where’s my boy Hellion?

Jordan: Uh, hanging out, living his best life.

AIPT: [Laughs] Oh boy…

Jordan: I mean, again, I think last time we saw him was… oh, geez.

AIPT: I think he may have been in Way of X.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Jordan: He definitely showed up once or twice. I know he showed up in the big Academy X reunion in X-Factor. Beyond that, I can’t think off the top of my head of a big use of him. Much like Changeling, it’s just a question of when anybody comes in and goes, I want to write that awesome Hellion story that isn’t the Zeb Wells Hellions.

AIPT: Yeah, it’s become complicated from a branding perspective.

Jordan: But yeah, you never know, you never know when he might come back around.

AIPT: Well, if you liked those two questions, you’ll love this one! X-Fan Mark Floor said Evan/Genesis, Zero, Squidboy, Dummy, and Basilisk are all dead characters. Do you think it’s time to bring back at least one?

Jordan: I know for a fact that at least one of them is coming back.

AIPT: Are you going to tell Mark who?

Jordan: I’m not going to say who but absolutely one of them will be back. Evan’s complicated though, man, because he’s a clone and obviously yeah, the Five are saying we should bring clones back, but I don’t think the conversation ends with them just saying that, so…

AIPT: These are the characters people care about, Jordan.

Jordan: I know. And listen — 20% of the people will be happy, because one of those characters is definitely coming back.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: X-Fan JMC said it seems fans and reviewers agree: Polaris has been amazing on the X-Men. What hints can you give as to what’s next for the character?

Jordan: I can’t give away anything really. I’m sorry, but as you know, the X-Men Election’s coming up. We’ll have to see if she decides to stay on the team or not. And if she doesn’t, then it’s definitely too soon to tell you where she ends up. So keep reading. I do agree, though. I think between her appearances in X-Factor and her appearances in X-Men, she’s had a lot awesome, awesome screen time. And I think she’s increased the sales on coffee across the country, so we need to pay her back for that.

AIPT: Staying on the X-Men, X-Fan Hank said the X-Men are independent of the Quiet Council and it seems the X-Men team leaders don’t see eye to eye with the Quiet Council. How would you describe Scott and Jean’s relationship with the Quiet Council?

Jordan: I mean, I think you just described it — that was a good summary. I mean, they care deeply about Krakoa, the X-Men leaders, and it’s not like they literally are like, “The Quiet Council are bad guys.” Well, I mean, some of them are, but you know what I mean. They don’t automatically go, “The Quiet Council is evil,” but you know, the X-Men are not going to be burdened by that kind of red tape in the same way that the Avengers don’t want to be. Or the Fantastic Four don’t want to be. They are the champions of Krakoa, but that doesn’t mean they need to wait until the Quiet Council says, “Hey, go take care of that.” They’re like, “No, we’re superheroes first and foremost, if there’s danger, we’re stepping in.”

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

That’s why it was worth it for Jean to step down from the Council to help found the X-Men. And that’s why, even though Cyclops is still a captain of Krakoa, he’s not the Captain Commander. He will always step up to defend Krakoa. “Of course I will. I’d be happy to help lead to protect Krakoa, but I’m also going to be the head of the X-Men with Jean.” And that’s a different situation. It’s a different kind of calling and it’s a different kind of responsibility and those should be very separate things. I think that he doesn’t want to have to answer to them in those respects. I mean, of course they’ll obviously follow the laws of Krakoa in the same way that, like I said, the Avengers would follow the laws of the United States or of the United Nations or wherever they’re fighting people. They are lawful people. They are the good guys, right? But they don’t want to have to be beholden to them. They don’t want to have to answer to them.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

I think it even makes them uncomfortable that they had to fall back on Krakoa for immunity from Fisk’s law for prohibiting vigilantism or superheroism in New York City. But they took the deal because they allowed the Council to help them out with that and Krakoa to help them out with that because it’s worth it to do what’s right. So we’ll see, hopefully that won’t bite them in the butt, because again, the Council also aren’t bad guys, generally speaking as a whole. They’re just very questionable. Like we were saying about Jonathan’s whole setup — it’s not simple. It’s not clear-cut. The X-Men want it to be clear-cut as far as what they do. “We do good.”

AIPT: One more X-Men question from X-Fan Justin Dixon, who said with all the cards being dealt, there hasn’t been much exploration of the Treehouse dynamic. What’s a normal — not tense — day look like in the Treehouse?

Jordan: That’s a great question. I think that, generally speaking, they are all having a nice time there. It’s a nice facility. We know that Gambit runs poker games in it with questionable guests. I imagine given what we’ve seen, Lorna’s going to be getting some nice coffee in there. Laura’s probably going to be eating something because she seems to be doing that a lot in the book, getting all sorts of feasts. Scott and Jean seem to spend a lot of their time there. Somebody’s always on like, for lack of a better term, monitor duty. Obviously we probably would never call it specifically monitor duty because that’s somebody else’s game, but you know what I mean. They are monitoring the situation around the world. 

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

I think it seems like this crew gets along really well. There’s not a lot of interpersonal, negative stuff. There’s a little bit of discomfort between Synch and Laura based on the Vault situation, but it’s not animosity. It’s not like anybody on this team hates anybody else on this team. So that’s nice for them. I think, obviously Sunfire is a little more reserved than everybody else. He’s a little less into the fun vibe that everybody else seems to be having. Honestly, this crew seems really great to hang out with. It seems like it’s a real family atmosphere. We’ll see if that continues in the new team.

AIPT: As we wrap up, X-Fan Martin said Madelyne Pryor has returned — can we expect to see some moments between her and the rest of the Summers-Grey family?

Jordan: Sure you can. I think we’ve already shown at this point that obviously the next place she’s going to show up is in New Mutants and I’ll tell you, they’re not going to show up in there. That’s not going to be the place, but there are plans to come.

We definitely have big plans from Madelyne from here, even beyond New Mutants. And you’ll be able to see some of them very, very soon. And I would not be surprised if there are some family reunions coming up.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: And speaking of New Mutants, X-Fans Kas and Shawn pointed out that July’s solicitation for New Mutants said it was the “end of an era.” X-Fans are concerned. What does that wording mean for this beloved title?

Jordan: Let me just say, if you were planning to like buy a zillion extra copies because you were afraid the book was getting canceled, then it’s totally getting canceled. But everybody else, it’s not, it’s fine. This is the end of an arc and it’s an end of an awesome and an exciting arc where big things are happening. And it is the end of an era plot-wise on something pretty big that I cannot obviously spoil for you in any way, but it is not the end of the series. It is a continuing book. It’s a very awesome book that we love and that we know fans love.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

So you’ll get much more stuff and it’s about to hit an anniversary — the New Mutants’ 40th anniversary. The book’s not going anywhere. There’s going to be lots of awesome stuff in it to celebrate coming up, but I don’t want any of that to take away from the fact that this is going to be a really epic issue and end of this arc.

AIPT: Finally, we always get X-Fan questions, but rarely X-Fan mail! This was a nice note from X-Fan AdamTheUncaring, so I wanted to share it with you. AdamTheUncaring (who clearly cares) said, can you pass on a thank you to Jordan? With how many times him and the X-Office do interviews here it’s made a massive impact on how much joy I get from following the comics weekly. Also AIPT itself has made the X-Men experience so freaking fun with how much great content you produce.

Thank you for the kind words, Adam! Jordan, that note made me want to ask you: why do you do this? You don’t have to. It’s clearly not a job requirement for Marvel editors. But you continue to make yourself available to X-Fans.

Jordan: Well, first of all, thank you for the note. Let me just say, it might seem obvious, like, “Oh, they know people like what they do,” but it isn’t it in the sense that, well, like you just said, I don’t have to do these interviews. So to hear that people actually like that we do do these interviews and that we do make the time and effort to do this and it really does brighten their day and brighten their enjoyment of the books — that’s really awesome. Because it feels good. It feels nice to make people happy and to share the joy of making X-Men books.

As for why I do it. I mean, the thing is that I make comics because I love it, and I really do love it. I spend such a huge amount of my day thinking about these books and thinking about how to make them work and how to make them better. It’s a huge amount of my life and in the best way possible, because I love doing it. So I like doing these interviews because I like thinking about the comics and I like thinking about X-Men and so I want to talk about them.

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

It’s the same reason I like to do podcasts. Like I’ve done a lot of podcasts that people just reach out to me and ask if I can do one. And I’m like, yeah, because I want to talk for an hour about X-Men comics. I love working on these things and people have questions about why this decision was made and why that decision was made.

And again, obviously it’s tricky because I’m still making them and there are spoilers and whatnot. And yes, when people go, “When is the next time you’re going to do this character?” That can be really difficult to answer. I mean, it’s obviously more difficult to answer if we have plans for them, because then I really can’t say. I don’t want to ruin it. But again, I love talking about X-Men comics. It’s exciting and it’s fun. And so I want to share that joy.

It’s the same reason that I used to do Twitter questions back when I was on Twitter. And I’m kind of happy to not be on Twitter anymore, unfortunately, but I still like answering questions and I still like talking about X-Men and I’m glad to do it. It’s the thing that I miss about conventions. There’s a lot of things I don’t miss about conventions. I honestly don’t miss tight-packed crowds like San Diego and New York. There are just so many people now. Like they definitely make me uncomfortable. But I love doing panels. And I love meeting with fans and having a fan go, “Oh, I’m so excited about this book what you did.”

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

If you think about how much you as a fan love the characters you love, right? Or the teams that you love or the stories that you love. The love that I feel for the comics is not the same. It’s not identical because it comes from a very different place, but I feel that same love in having made the books. I feel love for the books that I’ve helped make. I’m not taking credit for all the books I work on — but I’ve helped make them and the people that I’ve worked with and the stories that I’ve helped bring out to everyone. It’s just real joyful and it’s real beautiful.

And I — man, I feel like I sound so cheesy right now — but I feel really happy. I feel really happy about all the things that I’ve been privileged enough to work on in my career. All the way from the Marvel Adventures books and the New Exiles and stuff that I worked on in my very first editorial office all the way up through Deadpool, through Star Wars, through Guardians of the Galaxy to coming back to the X-Men and getting to work on the Krakoa era. It’s such a privilege and I feel so lucky to have been part of it all. And yeah, I want to share that with everybody.

AIPT: A super positive note to end on, Jordan — thanks for sharing. That love for comics definitely shines through every time we talk. Thanks for taking the time to chat and thanks, as always, for these eXclusive preview images of things to come!

NeXt week, Tini Howard returns to X-Men Monday to discuss Knights of X #1!

X-Men Monday #154 - Jordan D. White Talks Delays, Moira's Heel Turn, the New Mutants' Future and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!

Become a patron today to get exclusive perks, like access to our exclusive Discord community and our monthly comic book club, ad-free browsing on aiptcomics.com, a physical trade paperback sent to your house every month, and more!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

billy the kid 4.1 billy the kid 4.1

‘Billy the Kid’ episode 4 review: A difficult life on the run

Television

Bryan Danielson suffers leg injury at AEW Rampage tapings Bryan Danielson suffers leg injury at AEW Rampage tapings

Bryan Danielson suffers leg injury at AEW Rampage tapings

Pro Wrestling

'Savage Avengers' #1 is a strong character-focused action frenzy 'Savage Avengers' #1 is a strong character-focused action frenzy

‘Savage Avengers’ #1 is a strong character-focused action frenzy

Comic Books

73 year-old Ric Flair will wrestle one last match this July 73 year-old Ric Flair will wrestle one last match this July

73 year-old Ric Flair will wrestle one last match this July

Pro Wrestling

Connect
Newsletter Signup