Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!
And happy belated Father’s Day! As a surprising number of X-Men are also X-Dads, I’ve wanted to do a Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) edition of X-Men Monday for sometime now. While scheduling got in the way of the Mother’s Day edition (and Jean Grey and Mystique are surely thankful for that), the stars aligned this month. And, we even got our favorite real-life X-Dad, X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White, to participate!
So, if you’re a dad — this one’s for you! And if you’re not a dad, this one’s also for you, because it’s X-Men Monday and we only do one a week. Enjoy!
AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday, Jordan, and happy Father’s Day! I’d like to start by asking, who is your favorite X-Dad?
Jordan: I would say right now it’s Cyclops. There have definitely been cycles when it’s been different people. I mean, there were definitely times when I would’ve been like, “No, Cyclops is a terrible dad.” Pretty much all of the X-Dads have been terrible dads at some point or another. But I really love the family feel that we’ve given to Cyclops, Jean and the Summers family in the Krakoa era. And when he was with young Cable, I thought it was great. I thought it was just such an awesome, wholesome story. And it was definitely tragic that he had to let him go. But I guess that’s the story of being a dad, right? You raise a kid and then you have to let them go into the far future and fight for their life for a revolution.
AIPT: Well, while we’re on this topic — X-Fan Tommy was wondering how Cyclops feels about old Cable taking his teenage son’s place. It seems like teenage Cable was Scott’s favorite “version” of Cable. Has Scott spent any time with old Cable since his resurrection?
Jordan: Sure, but not as much, I’m sure. I mean, it’s a real “Cats in the Cradle” situation, don’t you think? Young Cable was Scott’s second chance, you know? Well, maybe even third, depending on how you count it. He lost his son early. He had no choice really because the comic book markets just determined it had to happen. No, but he had a terrible, deadly disease that he had to go to the future to treat. Then, obviously, you’ve got The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, where they get to go to the future and be with him.
But this was his second chance. So he got a thing he didn’t expect to have, which is time with his son and time to help his son and to be a father for him. He’s had precious little of that. And like I said, he had no choice, but he had to give him up again. It was important. The X-Men deal with huge issues that are more important than the needs of individual people or even individual families.
So Cable did what he thought he had to do. And I feel like he’s probably right and Scott accepted it begrudgingly. And, you know, how many years pass between young Cable leaving and how old Cable is now? I mean, obviously we’ve never said exactly how old old Cable is. But at the very least, we can say firmly decades have passed where Cable did not have that father figure in that fatherly way. So I think Cable’s just a real different guy at this point.
And while they do have some sort of relationship, and I’m sure at some point we will explore it more, it’s not the same relationship in the same way that if you don’t see someone for — let’s just pull a number out — for 40 years, when you see them again, it’s not the same, especially in this weird situation where Cable has changed. That’s 40 years worth of life changes. And Scott is the exact same guy he was when he left — because he literally just left. So that complicates things.
I am sure that Cable probably is hesitant to get really close to Scott again. And I don’t know exactly how Scott feels about it. I mean, I would imagine he feels really weird about it.
AIPT: But old Cable does remember all those family dinners in the Summer House, right?
Jordan: He does, absolutely. And here’s the thing, we’re saying he always did.
AIPT: Right, that’s what I was going to ask. So back when X-Force #1 came out in the ‘90s, that Cable remembered Krakoa?
Jordan: I think the proposal is that he’s always remembered it. I can tell you exactly how I feel about it. We put the stories that we want to put on the page on the page and that’s what counts most of all. And who knows, you know, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, somebody might do a story where they’re like, “No, back then, he didn’t know that.” Time travel is nonsense and therefore people interpret it in different ways.
But also, you’ve got Cable remembering a terrible future that hopefully we’ve averted at this point, right? Like that future shouldn’t exist anymore. Somehow, he still goes back to it. Is it an alternate timeline or are we still saying it’s the future? Are we still saying it’s a possible future, even though it’s hopefully a less likely future? It’s all complicated.
To my mind, though, we closed the loop on it and said yes, old Cable knew about young Cable’s experiences. As far as we are concerned, when we told that story, Cable went into Extermination knowing — maybe not remembering he was there yet — but knowing, “Young me kills me at some point. And then I still come back because young me remembers bringing old me back.”
AIPT: And I’m sure that was all planned when Extermination was being planned, right? [Laughs]
Jordan: Oh yeah, yeah — we’ve known for years. No — but again, that’s why Gerry Duggan put in stuff about the bomb. He puts the bomb in the arm because he knows, “Oh, I’m going to need that bomb.” All of that crazy nonsense. I’m really happy that we closed that loop, because I like closed-circle time travel stuff. I mean, you’re talking to the guy who allowed Shatterstar and Longshot to become each other’s father. So there you go.
AIPT: Speaking of X-Dads!
Jordan: Oh yeah, you’re right. That should have been my answer. Both of them are my favorite X-Dads. So, I’m going to spoil this. Hopefully, it’ll happen at some point, and then people can point back to this interview. But I have always said we should do a father and son buddy mini-series of Shatterstar and Longshot where both of them think they’re the dad in the story and we’ve never done it. I want to very badly. So maybe somebody will.
AIPT: You heard it here first, folks! Shatterstar and Longshot: No, I’m the Father! — coming… maybe.. someday. NeXt up, X-Fans Luna, Murphy Alexander (@murphyalxndr) and Natalie asked if we can expect to see someone become father sooner than later?
Jordan: I wouldn’t hold my breath. I’m going to be real with you. Babies in comics are difficult. Oh man, I’m already regretting saying this out loud.
AIPT: [Laughs] We’ve talked about this before, when Way of X was coming out.
Jordan: OK, OK, Yeah, this is definitely one of those things, like marriage in comics being complicated, making complications for us, that people get real upset about. Because again, I’m not talking about real life. I’m happily married and I love my son and I’m so glad he exists, but I’m not the protagonist of a 60-year-long story [Laughs] or at least not yet. I’m in real life. In comics, having a kid changes things so dramatically. The format of the story changes the responsibilities that the character has so drastically.
I mean, it always goes back to Spider-Man in a lot of ways, right? Because Spider-Man was a character who was married and then got unmarried. He’s a character who had a kid for half a second and then they went, “Oh actually, we can’t do that.”
If you look at what happened there, in the ‘90s, they gave Peter Parker a kid in the time when they thought we’re going to be done with Peter Parker. Peter Parker’s retired from being Spider-Man. He’s having a kid and moved to Portland. A lot of people forget that where he got his driver’s license for the very first time. But he was having a kid because they were like, when he has a kid, his responsibility is to the kid, not to the world anymore because there’s another Spider-Man who’s taking care of Spider-Man things. You can’t risk this child’s father in the way that when he’s single or even married without a kid.
But then as soon as they knew they’re bringing Peter back and Ben is going away, they went, “Oh no, we have to get rid of this child.” [Laughs] And they did their best and that happens a lot.
Then, there’s the Fantastic Four, which is very different because that always read like a book about a family, even though it was not explicitly that at the very beginning, but it became more and more explicitly that. So yes, they have managed to make that work with them having children. There are a couple other places, but here’s the thing, I would bet you money that any example that any of our readers has where they go, “What about this one? This one worked out well.” There is a really good chance that it didn’t work out as well as you think it did in the sense that probably there’s a bunch of people behind the scenes going, “I wish this character didn’t have a kid. Is there some way we can get rid of this kid?” [Laughs]
AIPT: I remember when I was reading the New 52, and it was after Damian Wayne had been introduced. In the new timeline, they had Bruce, Damian and the other Robins and I was just like, wait… how does this work now?
Jordan: I mean, yeah, DC went whole hog, right? Because Batman has a kid who’s a superhero and now Superman has a kid who’s a superhero. So they leaned in and we’ll see how that works out. I mean, maybe that’s a great way to do it. Maybe that will be the way of the future. And maybe we’ll all regret that we don’t have Spider-Girl in the actual Spider-Man book right now. As much as I really enjoyed the Spider-Girl book — I actually thought it was a really fun book — I’m still very glad that Peter’s Spider-Man and that we still have the main Spider-Man book going. So to me, that’s a fine story to tell about the future, but in the present, I want the main heroes that we like and the new characters as well.
AIPT: With so many alternate-universe children running around the X-Universe, are there any editorial rules around introducing new ones and overcomplicating already extremely overcomplicated continuity?
Jordan: “Rules” is too extreme, but I caution people about doubles. We don’t need more doubles. So like with all things that I work with the writers on, when they come up with their ideas, I don’t ever make hard and fast rules where I’m like, “You may not do this,” but there are things that I’m like, “I don’t think that’s necessarily a good idea. You need to show me that this is a story that’s worth doing.” And I think that’s usually one of them, because again, like you said, there used to be more doubles than there are now. We’ve kind of weeded a few of them out. But with the X-Men, especially, you’ve already got hundreds of characters — do you need five versions of the same character in our universe? And the answer is no, you don’t.
AIPT: We’re also in a world where everything could get adapted to other media. And let’s say Rachel Summers becomes a huge, breakout character. If you want to put her in a movie, there are so many complications that also need to be explained to a general audience that you don’t have to deal with when a character doesn’t have time travel, alternate future baggage.
Jordan: I mean, Rachel’s an interesting one because at least with Rachel, they’ve got all of the stuff about how she’s unique and this and that. The other thing is we don’t have a Rachel. She’s from an alternate future, which is definitely confusing. People get the multiverse now more than they used to. But she’s still a unique character.
For me, it’s much more like, again, nothing against this character or the story’s done with her, but we had Bloodstorm and it’s like, well, that’s another Storm. “Well, she’s totally different — she’s a vampire.” Yes she is. But she’s still a version of Storm. We can have Bloodstorm in alternate universe stories or whatnot. We don’t necessarily need her in this universe. Which again, does not mean we couldn’t do a story where we have alternate reality characters coming into it. I think that’s a great idea. Tell me a good story. That’s what matters most. Tell me a good story. But if somebody says, “Hey, I have an idea. Let’s bring in alternate universe characters.” I’m like, “I hope that’s not the whole idea.” [Laughs]
AIPT: I mentioned Rachel Summers — here’s a question about Ruby Summers. X-Fan Joanna said way back when, Ruby Summers was introduced, had a few adventures, and then went nowhere, but recently she was featured in the Summers family tree, and Scott did sound emotional when he learned about her. Will he ever get to be her dad?
Jordan: No, never. [Laughs] No, I’m kidding. Again, same as the last answer. It depends on a good story. I remember that that was a fun and clever idea. Ruby Summers was a really clever Peter David creation. And it was in the time when Scott and Emma were a couple. And the idea that Emma, who could turn into diamond, and Scott, who has ruby quartz glasses, produced Ruby. It was really fun. It’s a future I don’t think we’ve revisited in a very long time.
So my money is not on her coming back anytime soon. And obviously, I don’t expect them to have a baby in the present anytime soon either. But again, you never know with characters like that. It always is going to come back if a writer is familiar with her and likes her and then can tell a good story with her.
I mean, that’s generally the case with X-Men characters. Now, the fact that she is a alternate universe character means that it’s a little bit less likely because again, we’ve got however many hundreds of X-characters in the 616 already who you know for a fact each and every one of them has die-hard fans who are desperate to bring them back and to have us bring them back. So it’s more likely we’ll get to some of those characters before we get to a random alternate universe character, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. It really all depends on if a writer has a story.
AIPT: There’s only so much story real estate in these comics. I’m reminded of the conversation we had a few weeks ago about Changeling and Hellion. (Shout-out to X-Fan Rift!)
Jordan: It all depends on if the writer has a story. So if you could just cut and paste that for every answer.
AIPT: [Laughs] If only. OK, X-Fan Starlight said In X Lives/Deaths of Wolverine, we finally had a long-awaited Wolverine family story, where they worked together and functioned as a family. We haven’t seen Logan interact much with his kids before, though, and it’s hard to tell if he’s close to them. Can we expect to see more Snikt family stories and Logan spending more time with his kids in the future too? Many fans would love to see more adventures of the ‘The Wolverines.’
Jordan: Yes, I think you can expect that. It’s nothing I can announce right now, but I do think you can expect that. I will say, Ben Percy has actually been wanting to do one for ages, but there’s always been some reason or other that we couldn’t for a long time. It was that Laura was in the Vault. He wanted to do one way back then, but it was like, “Oh, but Laura isn’t around and that’s a very specific plot point.” He wanted to do a big family story that we couldn’t. But he was very happy to finally be able to do it in X Deaths of Wolverine. But yes, you will see them together again, for sure.
AIPT: Now for this week’s most-asked-about characters! X-Fans Tomy the Cactus, XFanHickmanStan, TomTheKorn, and BoomBoom’s 13th biggest fan wanted to know what you think of Angel’s kids the Apocalypse Twins, Eimin and Uriel.
Jordan: That’s shocking to me. As I said earlier, I know every character has their fans, so of course, if you asked me just, do the Apocalypse Twins have fans, the answer has to be yes, because every character does, but I’ve never had anybody ask me about them. So that’s quite surprising to me. I mean, listen, they haven’t gotten a lot of love. We’ve had very specifically a bunch of stories about Apocalypse and his family, but not them. And maybe that should change. Right now, most of Apocalypse’s family is not around — they’re off in Amenth doing Amenth things that we have not revealed yet. So my guess is it’s fairly unlikely that they would show up before he does, but anything’s possible.
AIPT: But these are Warren-Apocalypse’s kids.
Jordan: Oh, right, right, right. That’s right. I’m sorry.
AIPT: I guess they’re kind of the grandchildren of Apocalypse.
Jordan: Right, right. You calling them the Apocalypse Twins confused me for a second, but right. I do remember. It was that Angel had the death seed inside of him and then he had these children.
AIPT: I think they only appeared in Uncanny Avengers.
Jordan: Yeah, and they were raised by Kang, if I remember correctly, who has also shown up recently, but not with them. Honestly, it’s a good question. I mean, Warren hasn’t gotten a lot of showcase either, other than in X-Corp, which unfortunately, did not continue. So it’s a worthwhile thing to explore. And I’m a fan of time travel, even though it is a bunch of nonsense that often is done wrong.
AIPT: It’s been a long time since I read their story, but are they eligible for resurrection?
Jordan: Well, eligible for resurrection? It would depend on a lot of things. It would depend on exactly the circumstances of their birth. I don’t remember exactly the circumstances of their death. I’d have to do a bunch of research. That said again, they’re time-traveling characters. Like, are they dead? Yes. At some points, but other points not. So who knows? We could bring them back in various ways.
AIPT: They had cool designs.
Jordan: Yeah, they did. That was a nice-looking book and a really well-written book. Oh man… no… I was going to say, Havok’s kid. Can we bring Havok’s kid back?
AIPT: Was that Katie? His daughter with the Wasp? Everyone’s an X-Dad! As we wrap up here, X-Fans Joshua The Fatherless and CursedGod both asked pretty much the same question. Colossus is an X-Man who is a father and a lot of people maybe don’t remember. He had a threesome in Classic X-Men #21 and we’ve seen in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12 that he got a kid out of that three-way, yet nobody has brought this up ever again, and these two X-Fans are sure nobody will bring it up, at least in the near future. But do you know about it, Jordan?
Jordan: Oh yeah… I definitely know about it. Again… like I was saying on the other questions, giving a character a kid is a tricky proposition. If you DON’T have some comic book-y nonsense age them up suddenly, then you’re talking about a character who really needs to be devoting a HUGE portion of their life to that kid or else they are going to get judged pretty harshly. Like… not to throw shade on this, because I WORKED on his books for ages and am proud of it… but when you remember that Skaar, Son of Hulk, is out there just… I don’t know, wandering the world, and Bruce Banner is just a terrible dad who doesn’t really ever think about the fact he has a kid who probably needs a dad. The Hulk book that is coming out now is a BLAST — I don’t WANT that book to not exist just so Bruce can be a better dad… but yeah, it’s best not to think about that at all.
And again… that is my feeling on Colossus’s little one. I think it’s best to let that sleeping dog lie. But… and again, you can copy/past this in for me… it all depends on the story. If Al Ewing or Vita Ayala or Tini Howard or whoever came to me tomorrow and pitched a great story that featured the kid, I am totally willing to be swayed by it. I cannot tell you the number of times I have had my mind completely changed on a character or idea from creators just… pitching me good comics!
AIPT: Finally, something that has nothing to do with X-Men. What’s the best thing about being a dad?
Jordan: Re-exploring the world through his eyes. Introducing him to the world as I know it and getting to see him experience it for the first time. It’s… just the most fun thing in the world, and it gives me a whole fresh experience on things I have seen or done to the point of taking them for granted before. He has seen all the Star Wars movies, and he has his own thoughts and feelings on them, and that is just so much fun to talk about. He knows who Weezer are — he likes “Beverly Hills,” haters, so that song is great in my eyes because he likes it. Going places together, having adventures, sharing life together. And I know he’s going to grow up and this is all going to go away and its freaking heart rending. But for now, I am loving every moment.
AIPT: Love that. And, love that you managed to bring Weezer into it (the SZNZ: Summer EP is out tomorrow, everyone). X-Fans really, really love the Weezer mentions. But on that note, thanks for spending Father’s Day with us, Jordan! And thanks for these eXclusive preview images from upcoming X-Men comics!
NeXt week, writer and artist Luciano Vecchio stops by to answer X-Fan questions about Marvel’s Voices: Iceman!
Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!
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