Mondays With Marts: July 18th, 2005

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Nick -- Happy Monday, everybody! With Mike recovering from San Diego, I’m taking the reigns of “Mondays with Marts”. Brace yourselves. This might get crazy.

Trevor -- Diversity is an issue that all comic companies must deal with. What’s your take on the X-Men and how they portray diversity? Do you think the X-Franchise could improve its minority view?

Nick -- One of the best things about the X-Men is that it centers on people who are “different.” They aren’t normal and they are persecuted because of that. And that’s something we can all relate to because we’ve all been “different” at one time or another. Diversity is a big part of this. I think it’s something that we try to do in our books. If you look at Uncanny X-Men, we have an Asian women who is also English and has naturally purple hair, an African-American from the future, a German with blue skin, a hairy Canadian, an African-African, a Caucasian from the future, and a Caucasian blond who used to be a Caucasian brunette. If that’s not diverse, I don’t know what is.

Trevor -- Mutants used to only number in the handfuls, now they number in the hundreds of thousands, do you think Marvel messed up when it allowed creators like Morrison to substantially increase the mutant population? What do you think is the magic number that Marvel should hover around?

Nick -- Good question, but when you think about it in relation to the world population (around six-and-a-half billion), hundreds of thousands is still pretty small. A magic number is difficult. I think what Grant did was really interesting. What he did was take it from a group that people heard existed and turned it into a world minority. What Grant did was make it so everyone knew a mutant, which personalized them a little more.

Trevor -- What makes now feel like the right time to bring back characters such as Dazzler and Captain Britain?

Nick -- I think characters go through a natural cycle. Books get canceled for a reason. 99% of the time, that reason is sales. When people start losing interest in characters and sales dip, it’s usually time to give that character/or characters a rest. Captain Britain and Dazzler are done with their rest. They stretched out, warmed up and are ready to kick butt. NEW EXCALIBUR is really cool. It pushes Dazzler to the next level and really brings Cap back in a big way.

Trevor -- The line-up for the New X-Men cast has been recently announced. What’s the reasoning behind the line-up changes and how do you think these characters can bring more of a fan following than Nunzio/ Christina’s New Mutants?

Nick -- First, Nunzio and Christina did a great job with NEW MUTANTS and NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X. They introduced some great characters, re-introduced others and created a lot of great relationships between them all. It was just time to move in a different direction, and you’ll see why in the coming months. The shake-ups and line-changes are all part of Chris Yost and Craig Kyle’s story, which is AMAZING. The only character that’s new to the book is X-23, and that was just because Mike Marts is in love with her. I tell him over and over that she is fictional, but he doesn’t get the message (which pisses his wife off to no end). Anyway, the story pushes the book and the characters in a very different direction, but is true to what has come before. They remain the same characters that fans love. Well, except for when Santo gets turned into a girl. Oh wait! I wasn’t supposed to say that!

Trevor -- With Mystique’s recent appearance in the X-Men title can the fans dare to say that an appearance from Forge is not far off? If yes or no, are there any plans for Forge in the near future?

Nick -- Keep reading :)

Trevor -- What is the basis of the story in 1602: New World?

Nick -- 1602: NEW WORLD picks up a day or two after the original series ended. In it we follow David Banner, the King James I’s advisor who was sent to America to hunt down Nick Fury, and Peter Parquagh, Nick Fury’s youthful right-hand-man. We see both dealing with the powers they received in 1602 #8. We also meet the 1602 Iron Man. And there are dinosaurs. Lots of dinosaurs--which you should remember from the original series.

Trevor -- Will there be new characters revealed and can you let the fans know just a few of their names and what they’ll be up to in the New World?

Nick -- Iron Man is our biggest new character. There are some great supporting characters, like the 1602 version of J. Jonah Jameson (who is even funnier with a Scottish accent) and our big villain for the series, the 1602 version of Norman Osborne. I tried for about a month to convince Greg Pak that a 1602 version of Rocket Racer was necessary, but he thought that without paved roads, the skate-board just wouldn’t work.

Trevor -- Lets step away from New World and talk about what your up to. What series’ are you currently editing? Which ones the hardest for you to edit and which one do enjoy the most?

Nick -- I am currently editing ULTIMATE IRON MAN and a few other things that haven’t been announced yet. One is the new Warren Ellis team book that might be the greatest comic of all time. That’s all I can say about it right now, as I am sworn to secrecy. There’s also a top top top secret book that I’m working on that I can’t talk about yet. And a not-so top top top top secret book that I can talk about, but I won’t. HA HA.

Trevor -- As the assistant editor what does your job require?

Nick -- Somehow, I tricked Marvel into promoting me to associate editor. It’s great because you get lots of perks (pool passes, bikini-clad women who peel grapes for me and a spiffy leisure suit jacket with Associate printed on the back).

Trevor -- What does Nick Lowe do in his spare time? Are you married? Do you have any kids? What are your hobbies?

Nick -- That’s awfully nice of you to ask. I am getting into cycling, I’m learning to play the bass, I’m an actor and I started a club, here in the city, where I gather large groups that run down the street yelling “I am a buffalo!” To my knowledge, I don’t have a wife or kids. Surprising, right?

Trevor -- Lets open the floor to you, Mr. Lowe, if there is something you’d like to mention feel free to do so now.

Nick -- The main thing I want to draw attention to is the letters page in UNCANNY X-MEN. I hope you all like it, because Sean and I love writing it. In general, I hope all the readers are enjoying the letters pages we’re doing across the board. We really wanted to do more of them to give the fans a forum in the books.