Trevor -- Welcome back to uncannyxmen.net, Mike. How were your holidays?
Marts -- The Holidays were great, Trevor—thanks. Very relaxing. But now it’s back to the salt mines and time to start making comics again. In fact, this week will be insanely busy—we’re flying in the various X-writers for the first X-Men Creative Summit in several years. I’m extremely excited about the chance to get together with everyone in the same room and start brainstorming ideas for 2006 and beyond.
Trevor -- A ton of news has hit the fans since last we spoke. The biggest news is about the Civil War event that will transpire later on this year. We already know that the event will contain a “Mutant/Super-Human Registration Bill” that will split the Super-Hero community. What effect will this event have on the X-Men?
Marts -- Marvel Civil War is by far the biggest thing to happen to our characters in a long time. And don’t think the X-Men will be spared. A super powers registration act of any kind is dangerous, but perhaps even more so to the X-Men, who have had experience with type of thing before.
Trevor -- Another news story worth talking about is Wolverine: Origin and the fact that it has been stated Wolverine will not be appearing in X-Men or Uncanny for the foreseeable future. What are your thoughts on this and your reaction to another Wolverine series?
Marts -- The last time I was excited this much about Wolverine was during the ORIGIN run. Daniel Way is bringing his best ideas to the table in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS. I really can’t say much more without giving away juicy secrets, but trust me when I say that this series is truly what it claims to be—an in-depth look into another secret chapter of Logan’s origin.
Trevor -- With the Decimation of the mutant population and the X-Teams changing focus, which X-Men will comprise the new line-ups for the three X-Teams?
Marts -- Too early to say right now, but stay tuned for team roster announcements over the next few weeks. (The ASTONISHING X-MEN cast will stay as is.)
Trevor -- What was the reasoning behind the change for Sunfire? Why has he been changed to look more like his AoA counterpart?
Marts -- Has Sunfire changed? Huh? What are you talking about…? Oh, that’s right—you must be referring to that fiery guy appearing on the cover to X-MEN #184. He sure looks like Sunfire, doesn’t he? In any event, stay tuned for details on this and other members of Apocalypse’s Horsemen in the five special “Blood of Apocalypse” back-up stories, running in X-MEN #182-186.
Trevor -- Where are the characters Freakshow, Wicked, Unus, Shola, Karima, Book, Broadband, and the Dark Beast now that Excalibur has ended?
Marts -- Watch for KARIMA to appear in summer of 06. Most of the others will be seen eventually, but undoubtedly most of them were affected by the events of M-Day.
Trevor -- Besides the title “198” are we going to be seeing other limited series titles coming out that focus on the “b” and “c” list characters?
Marts -- For right now, 198 fills that particular niche.
Trevor -- Apocalypse’s reemergence comes at a time when the X-Men’s lives have been turned upside down. What does he have in store for the X-Men? What are his motivations, this time around?
Marts -- Apocalypse has always been the greatest champion for the mutant race, ensuring its survival at whatever the cost. So what better time for him to return, now that the mutant race is at its all-time low.
Trevor -- In the most recent issues of Uncanny X-Men the Shi’ar have killed most of the Grey Family. Can you introduce the fans to these new Shi’ar characters?
Marts -- They are the Shi’Ar Death Commandoes, a special group of bounty hunters assembled by and receiving orders from the Empress of the Shi’Ar Empire herself, Lilandra Neramani. The SDC include among its ranks Shi’Ar, Skrull and other alien warriors, specializing in the hunt (and sometimes kill of) intergalactic fugitives. A few of its members include: Blackcloak, SeGa, Krait, Flaw, Shell, Hypernova and Offset—just to name a few! Look for a full rundown on the SDC on the recap page of UNCANNY X-MEN #468.
Blanchett -- asks; “With the reappearance of so many Morlocks lately does this have anything to do with the twentieth anniversary of the Mutant Massacre?”
Marts-- Nope, just sheer coincidence.
Djinmaster -- asks; “For a while, there were boundaries between every Marvel title. Crossovers were all but eliminated, and story arcs were isolated to encourage the trade paperback format. Lately, with House of M, the X-men/Black Panther crossover, Storm taking a break from the team, and the Astonishing X-men appearing almost regularly in all the X-Titles, this seems to be changing. And with the announcement of Civil War and upcoming developments between Storm and Black Panther, it seems that it is going to stay this way for quite sometime. Is this a new style Marvel will be trying out, and is there a fear that the massive crossover-after-crossover concept will intimidate new readers and drive old readers away like it did back in the 90's?”
Marts-- What Marvel’s doing now is a balance between the two extremes you’ve described above. While we realize readers don’t want to be confined to stand-alone, isolated story arcs designed specifically for the trade market, we also understand that you’re not looking for multi-part epics with chapters a, b, c, d, e, x, y and z, either! So our approach these days is somewhere in the middle…a place where it’s extremely evident our stories are operating within a shared universe, but not a place that’s so overwhelming with complex continuity that we’re driving new readers away.