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X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

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X-Men Monday #194 – Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions… Created By ChatGPT

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

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

Artificial intelligence and comic books. Will AI replace human writers? Could it take jobs away from human artists? All terrifyingly important questions. But there was one question no one was asking…

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

Could AI ask better questions than real comic book fans?

It’s a bold and — dare I say, controversial — question to ask. Fortunately, we here at X-Men Monday have no problem steering into controversy. (Like that time we devoted half an edition to talking about Weezer.)

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

But on a serious note, the advent of AI innovations like ChatGPT, understandably, have left many creatives feeling uneasy. Scroll through LinkedIn and you’ll see any number of non-writers evangelizing AI’s potential. Sure, to someone who struggles to craft an email, ChatGPT’s a game-changer. But actual writers? We know there’s more to good writing than cracking an algorithm.

In my life beyond X-Men Monday, I oversee an editorial department and, as a result, have dedicated a significant amount of time to playing with and pressure testing ChatGPT to stay informed. It has highs and lows (many of which you’ll see in this week’s interview), but in my opinion, it’s nowhere near ready to take anyone’s job away — if employers have standards, at least. ChatGPT gets facts wrong, doesn’t cite sources, and it’s devoid of wit, sensitivity, common sense, and so many other traits naturally gifted — human — writers possess. Anyone telling you otherwise is probably the same type of person who’d pay another student to write their essays for them in high school.

But… I’m also someone who still purchases physical media, so what do I know about technological advancements?

I do know that X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White was game to take part in this experiment and field what ChatGPT considers to be X-Fan questions. Whether the chatbot did a respectable job, well, that’s for you to decide.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday, Jordan! OK, ChatGPT, please generate an interview question for the Senior Editor of the X-Men comic book line at Marvel Comics.

ChatGPT: What is your approach to selecting and working with writers and artists for the X-Men comics, and what qualities do you look for in creative talent?

Jordan: The first thing I look for in a writer is them having written something that I’ve enjoyed as a reader. For the most part, people do not get their first-ever writing job at Marvel — they will all have written something before, whether that is a comic at another company, a book, a screenplay, a scripted podcast — something.

A lot of people think that the most important qualification for a writer is having good ideas for stories — this is not true. Fact is, pretty much everyone has ideas. Being able to follow through on an idea, to take that idea and nurse it into a completed work — that’s what makes someone a writer. So the ability for a writer to have pulled off a story I’ve enjoyed is the starting point.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

With artists, it’s a little easier, because to a large extent their talent is much easier to see at a glance — you can see one page and immediately go, “WHOA.” But also, we USUALLY cast the writers before the artists, so when we’re deciding on an artist, we’re usually trying to match the vibe of an artist’s style to the vibe of the script (or outline or even general story pitch, depending how far along we are).

I’ve learned a TON about making comics from Tom Brevoort over the years, so I tend to quote him a good bit when talking about philosophy of comics, but he’s said that casting a creative team is less science and more alchemy — you’re taking these separate elements and trying to throw them together in a way that makes magic… and that’s what we’re trying for every time.

AIPT: A good question, a great answer. Let’s see what else you got, ChatGPT. Generate a fun question X-Men fans might have about the character Cyclops.

ChatGPT: If Cyclops could pick any historical figure to have dinner with, who do you think he would choose and why?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Jordan: Interesting. So, my first thought was a civil rights leader, and then I started debating to myself whether Cyclops was more of a civil rights fighter or a general. Like — would he rather meet Martin Luther King Jr. or George Washington? I think I would come down on him meeting with MLK.

AIPT: That was interesting. ChatGPT, generate a question X-Men fans might have about the character Jean Grey.

ChatGPT: If Jean Grey was going to start a podcast, what would the topic be and who would her first guest be?

Jordan: Would it be wrong if she started a podcast called “Changing Minds with Jean Grey” where she has vocal opponents of mutantkind on as guests and, uh… has a very persuasive conversation with them, convincing them to change their views?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: That tracks. ChatGPT, generate a question about X-Men comics the creators of said comics might want to answer.

ChatGPT: How do you balance the personal lives and relationships of the X-Men characters with the epic superhero battles they face?

Jordan: I am PRETTY confident a non-bot fan asked this question in X-Men Monday past and I answered it. But I’ll bite! It’s an interesting one because over the years the pendulum has really swung a few times on this one, partially due to the nature of the audience for the comics. To go to Spider-Man, compare the original Amazing Spider-Man Lee/Ditko issues (or even the Lee/Romita) to the Ultimate Spider-Man Bendis/Bagley ones.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

In the original comics, the large bulk of the comic is superhero and supervillain action. For most of any given issue, like 18 pages are Electro doing some scheme, Spidey fighting him, etc., and maybe you get two of Peter’s dating life. The reason (or I think one of the big ones) is that the series was shooting for mass reader appeal — the issues were relatively self-contained, the average reader would pick up an issue off the newsstand, they might not get every issue. So each one was mostly made up of an A-story that was satisfying in that single serving. The other two pages, the soap opera, the life drama… even though it was a smaller piece, for crazy long-term readers, that part has a huge impact. When you look back over a few hundred issues of Spider-Man, he fights Electro 20 times, they all blend together. But those little snippets of Peter’s life add up to his biography — who his girlfriend was, what his job was, where he lived, etc. For long-term readers, those were lasting things with big impacts.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

By the time we get to Ultimate Spider-Man, they infamously didn’t have him in the Spider-Man costume for most of the first arc, and even after that, the soap opera became AT LEAST as important, arguable more-so, than the fighting parts. There was an entire issue about him and Mary Jane talking — that’s not a diss, it was a good issue. But I think it would have NEVER come out that way a few decades before. In part, I think, that is because the readership did shift and so much of it now WAS longer-term readers, or at least an attempt to get long-term readers. Comics had shifted over the decades between the two series from a disposable medium to a long-term one, books were being collected more often in TPBs… which happens even MORE often now, not to mention digital comics giving people even easier access to back issues.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Side note… dang, I am getting totally philosophical today. Sorry I am so boring.

Anyway — long-term fans want to see as much of the characters’ lives as possible. For a lot of them, it is MORE important to see the characters’ emotional states, how their lives are going than it is to see how exactly they stop a robbery. And I get that. Which is why you’ll often see the most hardcore X-Fans asking for things like… a book that just takes place on Krakoa and shows life there. Or back in the day, a book just at the mansion, just made up of all those fun scenes that would be between their missions in the normal books. BUT… I also know that anytime we try things like that — any time we even start leaning a little more in that direction, sales on the book in question tend to drop. And I think there are a LOT of reasons for that, more than I probably should start listing off here when I’ve already gone on way too long about Spider-Man.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

But anyway, ChatGPT, the point is that it’s a delicate balancing act. That we think a lot about what makes for a good story over here, and in doing so, we’re always trying to balance character and plot, action and emotion, in the best way possible.

AIPT: We’ve definitely talked about this before, but it’s one of those evergreen X-Fan talking points, so always good to discuss again. OK, ChatGPT, generate a funny question X-Men fans may have about X-Men comics and their characters.

ChatGPT: Does Professor X ever secretly use his telepathic powers to cheat at card games or win arguments with his friends?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Jordan: I think Xavier DOES cheat at cards — he finds out what the other person has before he can stop himself, but then he intentionally throws the hand because he feels so bad about using his gift for something as small as cards. Like he could have a straight flush, but then when he checks that the other person has a pair of twos, he ends up folding.

AIPT: ChatGPT, generate a funny question X-Men fans may have about X-Men comics and their characters.

ChatGPT: If Mystique can shapeshift into any person or animal, does that mean she could technically turn into a giant hamster or a potted plant?

Jordan: Yes. Yes, it does. It really makes you wonder what creative teams have been doing not having more giant-hamster Mystique scenes.

AIPT: Haha, let’s change gears from giant hamsters. ChatGPT, generate a philosophical question X-Men comic book readers might have about Marvel’s mutants.

ChatGPT: Should mutants be obligated to use their powers for the betterment of society, or do they have the right to use them for personal gain?

Jordan: That is a great question. One of the beats we never had as much room for as I wanted to was the idea of a character whose power is inherently kind of… evil or bad, or anything like that. It came up pretty early on with Empath, a character who makes everyone around him do whatever he wants, including like him sometimes. Zeb Wells did some AMAZING stuff with him in Hellions, but I was always kind of interested in the idea that his fellow Krakoans would be unhappy with him controlling them and certain people in the mutant nation would argue that putting restrictions on how he uses his mutant gift would be the ultimate betrayal of the ideals of a mutant nation. That even if his power is, in its very nature, taking away freedom and will from his fellows, to encroach on or criminalize the use of his gift would be worse.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

This… is not an argument I agree with, I should mention. But I think, in the context of Krakoa, it becomes a tricky argument to counter and a really interesting one. It’s a bit like Apocalypse successfully arguing for the decriminalization of mutant-on-mutant murder — it’s not something I think should really even be considered, except they found themselves in a very different place and were feeling out a new society from the ground up. It hasn’t been without its speed bumps.

Anyway… you’re talking to a Spider-Man fan. Of course they should use their great power responsibly.

AIPT: Good stuff. ChatGPT, generate an X-Men fan question that incorporate references to food.

ChatGPT: Which X-Men character do you think would be the best chef, and what kind of food do you think they would specialize in?

Jordan: We already saw that it’s Greycrow, duh. Update your samples, ChatGPT.

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: ChatGPT, generate a silly question X-Men fans may have about X-Men comics and their characters.

ChatGPT: If Jubilee eats a lot of garlic, does her pyrotechnic power make her breathe fire like a dragon?

Jordan: Yes, but she never does it because it makes her miss Shogo.

AIPT: Kind of interesting ChatGPT referenced garlic, something vampire Jubilee would not eat, and a dragon. Anyway, ChatGPT, generate an X-Men fan question that will get the internet talking and help an interview with the X-Men Senior Editor go viral.

ChatGPT: How do you decide which X-Men characters to focus on in new storylines and events, and what kind of input do you get from the creative team and fan community?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Jordan: To start at the end, very little to no input from the fan community enters into our decisions of what characters to choose with the exception of trying to (again) strike a balance of characters that keeps characters who are associated with sales featured in the books.

Most of the time, that is actually not hard at all — the characters most associated with sales usually end up that way because people like them and they have been a part of great stories. As a result, our writers like them as well and are very interested in telling more and new stories about them. And THAT is where the bulk of the decision comes from — a writer wants to tell a story about these particular characters, so those are the ones we feature. That is the reason we do and do not feature characters most of the time — those are the ones people want to write about.

I mean, look — yeah, that is a slight over-simplification. It does happen that sometimes someone will pitch a story in which six C- and D-list mutants get together for a new team… and I usually need to guide them to bringing in some heavier hitters in there. But it’s not like I am going, “No — they are lame, use my fave!” or even, “We’re looking to push Beast this quarter, so use him here.” It’s more like, “These are great characters, but we’re gonna need a few more folks guaranteed to get readers in the door. Can we talk about replacing half these characters with some more recognizable and famous ones?”

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

And then it becomes a conversation — who of the bigger-name characters are they interested in? Who is available? Which stories about those obscure characters are core to the idea so we should keep them around to feature them and which can we afford to lose? Like I always say in these interviews — I am not here to put out MY X-Men, I am here to help the writers and artists do the best version of theirs they can do, and part of that involves helping make sure the book sells enough to keep going.

AIPT: Well, props to ChatGPT for that question. I feel like X-Fans will definitely want to discuss that answer. Will it go viral… that’s up to you, dear reader! Next up, sorry, I have to. ChatGPT, generate an X-Men fan question that incorporates references to Weezer.

ChatGPT: Who would win in a fight: Magneto or a Weezer fan who insists that Pinkerton is their best album?

Jordan: I don’t understand the question — why would Magneto be fighting himself?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Nice. Another very Jordan-specific question… ChatGPT, generate an X-Men fan question that incorporates references to ukeleles.

ChatGPT: How would the X-Men react if they discovered that their newest member was actually a mutant ukulele player with the power to manipulate soundwaves?

Jordan: Do you mean, like… a superhero who does useful superhero things with soundwaves and just chooses to use ukuleles to do so? Like they can turn sound into solid sound and use their uke to generate the sound they use offensively? Or do you mean a mutant with the power to make ukulele songs sound awesome? If the former… I think they would be OK with it, but probably wonder why they had that affectation?

I mean, Gambit throws cards when he could throw anything, so it’s not unheard of. And a uke is better than like a bagpipe or accordion version. So they would be OK. If the latter… they would probably ask how they heck they won the election.

AIPT: If there’s anything I’ve learned over the course of 194 editions of X-Men Monday, it’s that X-Fans love comedy. So now, let’s really test the limits of ChatGPT’s comedy chops. ChatGPT, generate a very funny question X-Men fans would have for Marvel Comics that would make other X-Men fans laugh.

ChatGPT: Do you think Storm ever gets frustrated with her weather powers and just wishes she could control traffic instead?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Jordan: When you think about it, weather is really just the traffic of the air. She’s manipulating the red and green lights of temperature, pressure and electromagnetism — it seems logical that she could just as happily manipulate the “weather” of the freeway, guiding the currents of automobiles and the lightning strikes of car crashes.

AIPT: OK, ChatGPT, generate a REALLY funny question X-Men fans would have for Marvel Comics that would make other X-Men fans laugh VERY hard.

ChatGPT: Can we get a storyline where the X-Men have to face their toughest enemy yet: a really bad Yelp review?

Jordan: ChatGPT, I feel like you are making a sneaky reference to the time I had you write up a story where the X-Men convinced all their villains to take jobs in a restaurant they started to get their lives on the straight and narrow until the plan was disrupted by Sebastian Gorka coming into their restaurant and starting a scene.

Yes, that is really a story I had ChatGPT mock up. I think I still have it.

AIPT: One last time. ChatGPT, generate a REALLY funny question X-Men fans would have for Marvel Comics that would make other X-Men fans laugh VERY hard. I mean really, REALLY funny this time. I want to laugh!

ChatGPT: Is it true that the Danger Room has a Yelp page and its reviews are just one-star ratings from traumatized X-Men?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Jordan: Who do you think would start the Danger Room Yelp page? It wouldn’t have been able to start until after the Morrison run, since everything was a secret before then. Like Armor was like, “Almost died, will not return (unless the professors make me, which they will). One star.” Oh — hang on. It was Hellion, wasn’t it? That kid…

AIPT: I find it very endearing that ChatGPT thinks Yelp is hilarious. ChatGPT, you’re going to love this one. Generate a question about Orchis from Marvel’s X-Men comics.

ChatGPT: What are the potential consequences for the X-Men and the mutant community if Orchis succeeds in its mission?

Jordan: Their mission… to eradicate mutantkind? Death, it seems like.

AIPT: ChatGPT, can you generate a question X-Men fans may have about the upcoming “Fall of X” summer event?

ChatGPT: Will the “Fall of X” event have any lasting effects on the X-Men comics and continuity?

Jordan: Even Chatbots are asking spoiler questions. Yes, of course it will!

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: One more before we call it an X-Men Monday. ChatGPT, what is an interesting question X-Men fans might ask Marvel that would solve long-burning questions in the X-Men fan community?

ChatGPT: What is the future of the X-Men franchise in Marvel Comics, and what plans do you have for the characters going forward?

Jordan: Sigh. Let’s go back to real fan questions. :P

AIPT: That… we can do. Congratulations, X-Fans — ChatGPT failed and you will not be replaced. And thank you, Jordan, for taking part in this [hopefully] fun experiment.

X-Fans, as a treat for enduring some of the cringier ChatGPT questions, how about some eXclusive preview images, courtesy of Jordan?

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #194 - Jordan D. White Answers X-Fan Questions... Created By ChatGPT

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Ugh, those Immoral X-Men would have no problem replacing you with ChatGPT.

Until next time, X-Fans, stay exceptional!

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