Mondays With Marts: February 27th, 2006

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Trevor -- What were your reactions to this years New York Comic Convention? Give the fans one high point as well as one low.

Mike Marts -- It was great to have a big-size comic convention back in NYC after many long years without one. Seeing as how the two biggest comic companies are stationed here in the Big Apple, it felt good to finally play “host” once again. The fans turned out in droves—which was the high point—but unfortunately the convention hall space wasn’t able to support the sheer numbers of people who showed up—which was the low point.

But all in all it was a great opportunity to interact with the fans and creative community on our home turf. Oh yeah, another high point was the “ape”-Beast/”cat”-Beast debate we got going during the X-Men panel on Saturday.

Trevor -- What creators were you able to meet with and was there anything to come out of these meetings that could quite possibly affect the X-Men’s lives?

Mike Marts -- Most of the guys and girls I met with are creators I’m already working with—Jim Calafiore, Tony Bedard, Mark Morales, Chris Claremont, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Frank Tieri, Greg Pak, Scott Hanna, John Layman—but I also had the chance to reconnect with artists I haven’t seen in a while. I talked to both Greg Horn and Steve Uy about some possible upcoming cover work.

Trevor -- You stated at the convention that Brubaker has his first years worth of stories for Uncanny plotted out. Can you give the fans a taste of what is to come that has not be announced as of yet?

Mike Marts -- How about the rise and fall of the Shi’Ar Empire…? How’s THAT for starters? Trevor -- Big weekend news about C.C. taking over on Exiles and Psylocke going with him. What brings Psylocke to the Exiles?

Mike Marts -- Betsy’s experience dealing with fractured realities (notably her dealings with her demented older brother Jamie) makes her an ideal candidate for the Exiles. And believe me—with what they’re facing over the next few months, they’re going to need the extra muscle.

Trevor -- What is the direction that C.C. will be taking his team of Exiles on?

Mike Marts -- Based on what I’ve read from his first few plots, it’s refreshing to see that Chris is keeping the spirit that Judd Winick and Tony Bedard established on EXILES alive and well. He’s jumping feet first into the thick of things in his very first issue, so I know fans won’t be disappointed. Expect to see some exciting alternate reality takes on some Marvel U characters that Chris has experience in writing.

Trevor -- I know Genext is not a title you will be editing, but what light can you shed on this series?

Mike Marts -- I have to tell you, I’m excited to pick up this book as a reader! I haven’t been involved in any of the creative talks, but everything I’ve seen and heard about it has me pumped. The premise is great and the teaser visuals have me wanting more!

Trevor -- You stated that Quesada does not like Fantomex, why is that? What storylines have you thrown his way that he has said no to?

Mike Marts -- Honestly I was just kidding around when I said that Joe didn’t like Fantomex…some people on the Internet seem to have misinterpreted my joke. In all honesty, we just haven’t received the right Fantomex pitch yet.

Trevor -- On a side note, I just wanted to say how ecstatic I was to hear that you allowed the fans to vote on cat-like vs. ape-like Beast. Can you tell the fans how the vote came out and what if any will the X-Office be doing to appease their Con-fans?

Mike Marts -- Well, it was a close one, but I think the “ape” fans won out…whether or not we do anything about it, well…we’ll just have to wait and see.

By the way, there were a few votes for a “fish”-Beast as well.

Trevor -- With Black Panther and Storm nearing their wedding, is there any new insights into what is in store for them after their nuptials?

Mike Marts -- Yup—check out UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1, on sale this June. It’s written by Chris Claremont with artwork by Clay Henry and an amazing cover by X-veteran Leinil Yu. Chris and Clay provide some great insights into Storm’s character…and we learn new things about her past as she prepares to deal with Black Panther and her future.

Trevor -- Now that Deadly Genesis is further into its series, what do the numbers look like? Can Marvel truly label it a hit?

Mike Marts -- Without a doubt. It exceeded sales expectations and earned Ed Brubaker a spot as writer of the flagship X-Men title!

Trevor -- With its success can we expect to see any of the characters introduced in the series (other than Vulcan) in the near future? If so whom and when?

Mike Marts -- Umm…that would be telling.


F4faith -- Given that the Blood of Apocalypse Arc is supposedly such a big deal, what is happening with Gambit if anything after BoA? Honestly if members leaving, etc is suppose to hurt the X-Men so, they why does it never do so? I've never seen a story where the X-Men ever care about a character being gone unless it's Wolverine or Cyclops. It seems more shock value for fans than the X-Men ever being affected or caring.

Mike Marts -- F4faith, pick up X-MEN #187. In this issue, Pete Milligan deals specifically with what you’re talking about—finding out what happens to Gambit and how this change affects his teammates and more specifically, Rogue.

DreBermudez -- Will the characters from NYX be incorporated into any of the x men titles?

Mike Marts -- Besides X-23 in NEW X-MEN, nothing is planned at the moment. The NYX characters are Joe Q’s babies, so it’ll be at a time and place of his choosing.

Blanchett -- Are all the surviving characters in New X-Men academy going to get new costumes?

Mike Marts -- Some, but not all.

Spider -- Shortly after the last X-Force mini, there was news about another X-Force series in the works. With three of the regular members joining the X-men and one in Nextwave, is it safe to assume X-Force is not happening?

Mike Marts -- Expect to see some X-Force alum in both CABLE AND DEADPOOL and a soon-to-be-announced MARVEL CIVIL WAR project.

Crawler310 -- There seems to be a lot of deaths in these Decimation arcs and so forth, Mr. Marts. Were the deaths of the Greys, the entirety of Alpha Flight, Banshee, Tag (with the other depowered students), etc. editorially mandated or did each author just decide to kill someone randomly? Will this trend continue?

Mike Marts -- The recent deaths weren’t editorially mandated…they more or less corresponded to the needs of the stories and the characters involved in those stories. Also—please know that all of Alpha Flight haven’t actually died.

wildjem77 -- Will the storyline of what exactly happened in the relationship of Longshot and Dazzler be addressed? As a long time fan it's great to see them back, but the whole relationship and (lost) pregnancy haven't been addressed.

Mike Marts -- Yes, we are planning to tackle their relationship next year in a Claremont-penned X-book.

FefeJQ -- Any big plans for Iceman in the future? I think he has a lot of potential right about now.

Mike Marts -- Yes, indeed. Mike Carey has some great things planned for Mr. Bobby Drake—stay tuned!