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X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Comic Books

X-Men Monday #222 – Preeti Chhibber Talks ‘Love Unlimited’, ‘Women of Marvel’, and More

Plus, an early, eXclusive look at ‘X-Men Red’ #16, on sale October 11!

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

In the ’90s, it seemed like everywhere you looked, Wolverine was there. Well, move over, Logan, because it’s writer Preeti Chhibber’s time to shine!

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

No matter what age you are, Preeti seems to have something for you, from the Marvel: Avengers Assembly series to the latest season of the Women of Marvel podcast. With so much recent output — many of it being X-related — there’s no better time for Preeti to make her X-Men Monday debut. I wouldn’t be surprised if more X-work is in her future, so let’s get to know Preeti and her history with Marvel’s mutants a little better.

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of preetichhibber.com, photo by Randy Fontanilla

AIPT: Welcome to X-Men Monday, Preeti! First, let’s go back to the beginning. What was your first X-Men eXperience?

Preeti: Honestly, probably watching X-Men: The Animated Series as a kid and playing the X-Men video game. I had an older brother, so I’m sure there were comics littered about, but largely my X-Men love started with the cartoons and the games. And the trading cards!

AIPT: So many good trading cards. And just so X-Fans get to know your X-preferences a little better (no pressure!), who’s your favorite X-character and what’s your favorite X-story of all time?

Preeti: I need you to know that I sat and stared at this question for 10 minutes. Just sitting there in a state of panic – how do I choose??? But you have to go with instinct and I’m going to say Nightcrawler, given – not to date myself — that I had at least seven different winamp skins featuring him and no other X-Men characters, ha! He’s the best of everything – a swashbuckling adventurer, a romantic hero, a dark and tortured soul.

In terms of favorite X-story… my standard answer is very much a classic because you can’t go wrong with it: “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” It’s classic for a reason! It still slaps! I still cry like a little baby! But non-standard answer (for right now because the non-standard answer changes all the time) is 2010’s Uncanny X-Force Vol. 1. While I don’t write it, I do love angst. It’s awful and it kills me, but I love angst — there’s a reason Evan shows up in the Avengers Assembly series, ha ha.

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Wait, I wrote up all these answers and realized I have one more to add which is Kelly Thompson’s Rogue & Gambit run. It’s perfection.

AIPT: Oh, we’ll get to Rogue and Gambit in a bit. But first, it seems like, suddenly, you’re everywhere! From your Rogue and Gambit-focused Love Unlimited arc to this season of Women of Marvel and everything in between. First, congratulations on all the success! Second, was writing comics always a goal or something that just sort of happened based on prior writing opportunities?

Preeti: Thank you! Part of being everywhere is definitely a syndrome of freelance anxiety. I have a hard time saying no to any cool-sounding projects. I’ve always been very vocal about writing specific characters – I think I was tweeting at Marvel in 2014 to let me write a Peter Parker novel. But my ambition was mainly prose-focused. Comics happened a little bit by accident, starting with the series I mentioned above, Avengers Assembly. I think that got my name on some comic editor’s radars. Funnily enough, my first official Big-2 comic was a Zatanna one-shot for DC that came by way of a prose short story I wrote for a Star Wars anthology a few years ago.

AIPT: Your Love Unlimited arc was a wonderful look at the kind of fun — and trouble — Rogue and Gambit have and get into when they’re not with the X-Men. How did this story — and that unexpected ClanDestine tie-in — come about? 

Preeti: Marvel approached me a while back about a Love Unlimited comic for a different character and I had to decline at the time, but I did want to do one… so I offered up a few pitches for other characters – including a Gambit and Rogue heist-off. They liked the pitch, and once there was space in the schedule for it, I started scripting late last year.

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

For the ClanDestine stuff, wanted a villain who could conceivably be immortal or long-lasting. Rather than creating someone new, Marvel has this massive history of so many characters… so I dug through the archives and tried to find someone who could fit what I had in mind. I loved the original Alan Davis stuff, so this worked out!

AIPT: For many X-Fans, Rogue and Gambit are THE X-Couple. What do you love about this iconic pair’s relationship?

Preeti: There’s such a great balance between them – they’re both firecrackers, they’re both funny and smart, they complement each other so, so well. And there’s so much love and mutual respect between them!

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

And all of this just ups the intensity of their relationship and the potential for drama (earned drama, obviously).  

AIPT: You’ve also written the X-Men for younger audiences in Marvel Avengers Assembly #3: X-Change Students 101. Some of the most iconic X-Men stories focus on heavy, thought-provoking ideas and concepts, but this specific story is aimed at readers ages 8-12. What, in your opinion, makes Marvel’s mutants so appealing to readers young and old, and able to transcend age groups?

Preeti: I think what appeals to younger readers is what appeals to all of us – these characters are powerful, special people, but they still have problems. They still have issues they face, whether it’s discrimination, feeling like you’re not good enough, or so many other problems. Kids are smart, and they can pick up on things. They can recognize pieces of the real world in a story.

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Scholastic

AIPT: Is there an X-character you haven’t had a chance to write yet you’d love to get your hands on?

Preeti: Nightcrawler! Please. I need this.

AIPT: On a recent episode of the AIPT Comics Podcast, you and your Women of Marvel co-host Ellie Pyle teased that a massive Rogue episode is on the way. What can Rogue fans look forward to when this episode drops?

Preeti: We got to talk to some very special people about Rogue. There’s one guest in particular that had me losing my mind. I can’t wait for people to listen.

AIPT: If readers have loved your take on Rogue and Gambit or listened to you on Women of Marvel, what other Preeti Chhibber work do you recommend to them?

Preeti: I have a Spider-Man series out – it’s prose, but I pitched it as: “I want to write a Peter-Mary Jane rom-com” and they said yes. The first two books in the trilogy are out now, Spider-Man’s Social Dilemma and Spider-Man’s Bad Connection.

You can also pick up an anthology called Battle of the Bands, I have a short story in there called “Merch to do About Nothing” that’s centered around two nerdy kids selling band merch at their friend’s show.

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Press

AIPT: Excellent! And finally, what new projects do you have in the works? Anything you can tease?

Preeti: Next year, my debut young adult romantic comedy comes out – Payal Mehta’s Romance Revenge Plot. I also have the third book in the Spidey trilogy coming soon, and a few more Marvel projects on the comics side with some very fun characters, so keep an eye out for those!

AIPT: Will do! And on that note, thanks for stopping by X-Men Monday, Preeti, and best of luck with all the upcoming projects! 

X-Fans, before we wrap up this week’s edition, how about an eXtra early, eXclusive look at preview pages for X-Men Red #16, on sale October 11, 2023?

Yeah, I thought you’d be OK with that. As you’ll see, this issue features two stories! First, the continuing saga of Arakko’s civil war.

X-Men Red #16

“The Fall of Prometheus”

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Yildiray Cinar
Color Artist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Then, as the cover teased, we’ve also got an all-new story from recent X-Men Monday guests Raphael Draccon and Carolina Munhoz!

“Scales and Shadows”

Writers: Raphael Draccon and Carolina Munhoz
Artist: Marcelo Costa
Color Artist: Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher

X-Men Monday #222 - Preeti Chhibber Talks 'Love Unlimited', 'Women of Marvel', and More

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

To see what happens next in both stories, be sure to pick up X-Men Red #16 October 11!

Until next time, X-Fans, stay exceptional!

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