|NATION X #1 preview art by David Lopez|
Crafting a new nation won't be the easiest task the Marvel's mutants have ever faced, but luckily they've got four of Marvel's most uncanny writers on their side.
NATION X, a four-part limited series beginning this December 9, explores Utopia's amazing architects: the X-Men themselves. Each issue of the series features solo stories spotlighting your favorite mutants as they, in the words of writer Scott Snyder, "struggle to come to terms with Utopia as a home."
"I think he's a guy at a bit of a cross-roads," says Snyder of Colossus, the focus of his NATION X #1 story. "He's not young; he isn't some wide-eyed kid who's going to be optimistic about establishing a mutant nation. On the other hand, he's taken a lot of hits and he's still standing-the guy came back from the dead, after all-so there has to be some small part of him that's at least a little bit of a believer in rebirth, right? He's a statesman, but he's dealing with a lot of internal issues, too.
"[There's] this moment [in the story] when he reminisces about being back on the collective in Siberia. Piotr's remembering a time before the X-Men, before even Colossus, and it just felt like that's him, that's the guy beneath the steel."
|NATION X #1 preview art by Mike Allred|
"My story is a contrast to the new claustrophobic X-Men status quo, as Wolverine and Nightcrawler trip through the expansive American southwest one last time with a cargo to help fortify Nation X for the long haul," he explains. "It's a whole exploration of contrasts, actually, especially considering the differing reactions core X-Men have to the move. And these two old friends have a great relationship that can bring out different sides of their personalities. Even when people are friends, one or the other always seems to be dead, hiding a secret, under the control of someone evil, or trying to steal the other guy's girlfriend. So I always love their 'bromance'."
Iceman gets the Chris Yost treatment in NATION X #1, in a story the writer promises will illuminate the "harsh realities" of the Utopia situation.
"Iceman finds himself in a unique position in this story, one that he may not be comfortable with: that of leader," Yost says. "[He's] keeping everyone alive, to a certain extent-he's making fresh water for the island's population. To the X-Men, Bobby is the irresponsible joker, the kid who
|NATION X #1 preview art by Michele Bertilorenzi|
Perhaps Simon Spurrier's part in the proceedings carries the most weight of the stories in NATION X #1; after all, his assignment covers a towering figure in the X-Men's lives: Magneto.
"Politics are bloody tricky when it comes to short stories," notes Spurrier. "So I just thought about which of Utopia's residents wouldn't be preoccupied with politics at a time like this. The first candidates were the younger generation: all the youths and former students. How are they spending their time, while their mentors play at Statehood? And the second candidate, oh-ho-ho, yes yes yes, was Magneto.
"As he puts it at the start of this story, 'Negotiation was never my forte.' This story is all about reconciling the past with the present, as represented by Magneto on one hand, and the kids on the other. I just brought the two together and stood back to see what would happen."
|NATION X #1 preview art by Leonard Kirk|
"Magneto comes complete with an enormous, unavoidable, colossal reputation," he says. "The X-youth have spent the entirety of their short lives hearing about this deadly, misguided, 100% baaaaad dude, and now-ping-here he is living among them. And they're expected to be cool with that. Magneto's utterly opposed to the notion of integration between humans and mutants, but amazingly, despite all their differences in the past, right now the X-Men share that ideal. Thus Utopia. So it's natural for Magneto to be among them, without enmity or ulterior motive, because for the first time ever their goals are aligned."
The writer's quick to point out the moment in his tale that revealed to him the true character of the X-Men's most tireless opponent:
"[It's] the chance to-literally-make Magneto confront the past. There's a moment in this story where he's forced to compare the angry, uncompromising ideologue that he once was with the older and more cerebral person he's become. His conclusions are, I think, beautifully unexpected."
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