By Jeffrey Harris
Photos by Ryan Penagos, Kalia Cheng, Katie Doland and Pinguino Kolb
The X-Men panel
Here's what went down at the Comic-Con '07 X-Men panel.
The panelists: Axel Alonso, Ed Brubaker, Mike Carey, Marc Guggenheim, Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, Daniel Way and Peter David.
The last panel of Comic-Con! The point is made that the combined deaths these writers have racketed up together in the Marvel Universe are too numerous to mention! But the big story currently ongoing in the X-MEN world is "Endangered Species." Many of the mutants are gone, and this is going to lead right up to the next big X-Men story: "Messiah CompleX."
Mike Carey talked about his Marauders storyline going on in X-MEN and what he has in store when joined by artist Michael Choi. Rogue and Gambit together again for the first time in quite a while!
We got a preview of the October 2007 cover for UNCANNY X-MEN by Brubaker and Larroca, which will be part of the massive lead-in to "Messiah CompleX."
Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle remain on NEW X-MEN with artist, Skottie Young. One lone fan clapped wildly after the name of Illyana Rasputin was invoked. All fans of Colossus's baby sister should check out the last few pages of the October 2007 issue.
Peter David gave some info on his X-FACTOR book, illuminating the fact that as the mutants who number a scant 200, they need to get registered as an actual endangered species. Mutants deserve the same protections as other endangered species. All this is being headed up by the Isolationist, who has his own agenda. Plus, Quicksilver vs. Layla Miller! "You'll never guess who wins."
X-MEN: EMPEROR VULCAN is coming up in October by Christopher Yost and Paco Diaz. This story will deal with the X-Men left in space during Brubaker's UNCANNY run. Rachel, Polaris and Havok are still in space and kicking ass!
WOLVERINE, by Marc Guggenheim and his BLADE collaborator Howard Chaykin, will do a story dealing with Wolverine's spirit. What happens if his body heals...but his spirit doesn't? Coming in October.
Daniel Way says we will find out that the head of Weapon X-Romulus-will be Wolverine's main target to brain and maim this October in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS with artist Steve Dillon. Also, look for some bad jokes and great fighting with Deadpool.
The big post-Endangered Species story, "Messiah CompleX," kicks off this October with a one-shot special by Ed Brubaker and superstar artist Marc Silvestri (WOLVERINE, THE DARKNESS). Brubaker promises this is the beginning of a whole new world for the X-Men. "Messiah CompleX" will be a massive crossover storyline with multiple creative teams running from November to January. Alonso promised this is a story that shows the X-Men more as a team and an army more so than a family.
Some amazing artwork by Silvestri and Billy Tan was shown. Looks like Wolverine will be leading his own badass, feral strike force.
And of course Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi will be the new creative team on ASTONISHING X-MEN which was announced earlier at Comic-Con. Starting in 2008 the new team will pick up the continuity after the events of "Messiah CompleX."
Then things were opened up to the fans for Q&A:
Q: Are all the X-teams united under the X-Men banner for "Messiah CompleX"?
A: Yes all of them will be interacting and need to pick a side. It's in the tradition of "Inferno" and other big crossover storylines where the multiple X-teams fight against each other and alongside each other.
Q: Is Rogue going to continue being a badass and not die?
A: Yes and no.
Q: What is the future of CABLE & DEADPOOL now that Cable is apparently dead?
A: It will be called 'Pool and Dead Cable. Keep reading. Just jokes. But seriously, keep reading.
Q: Will Magik be reunited with Peter and Kitty?
and Peter David
A: Chris Yost says, "maybe on page 20."
Q: For Mike Carey, how will you portray Iceman?
A: Rogue, Cannonball and Iceman are all characters that know each other and go way back, and can trust each other and rely on each other. They are a stable triangle. Carey wants Iceman to come out of his frat boy roles and really grow into his powers. He's a person with a lot of experience and he can kick ass.
Q: Any plans for a crossover for Ghost Rider and Wolverine, for Daniel Way?
A: Sorry but there are no plans for a crossover for Ghost Rider and Wolverine.
Q: Any plans for Gambit to return to the X-Men?
A: There are plans for Gambit in the X-Universe but not to re-join the X-Men.
Q: I'm very curious, where did the Beast get Mr. Sinister's phone number?
Q: Will Wanda Maximoff come back any time soon?
A: Brubaker says they want to do something with Wanda, but there are some big plans in the next couple years for Wanda in the future. "When we can get our hands on her, we will destroy her."
Q: Ed Brubaker what gives you more satisfaction, reviving a classic comic character or doing your own comic character?
A: Brubaker said there are pros and cons to both, but he really loved bringing Bucky back.
Q: For Peter David, when will you get back to the noir in X-FACTOR?
A: David says the thing he wants to do with any comic is to shake things up and do things different. He says the story he's doing now with the Isolationist is much more in the noir feel. With all the shifting artists, he has to change the story to fit the style. With the next artist it will have more of the noir feel. No one is committing suicide anytime soon, but more of the tonality will be back in the next few issues.
Q: When you kill a character is it for a story, or because you really hate that character? When the character comes back should the character stay dead?
A: Killing characters is all done for the story, and we do the best with the ones we keep. David says for a long time fans were begging for the runt called Wolverine to get killed off. Then he popped his claws without his gloves on and fans went nuts. David says when someone brings back a character he killed off it is difficult.
Q: Will we get more Monet in X-FACTOR?
A: In an upcoming storyline Siryn and Monet will be paired up focusing on the two of them going on the road. David says Monet is a character growing on him very much.
Q: Could you talk about your planning process for which characters are featured on what books?
The X-Men panelists
A: A big dart board and a magic eight-ball, and you read CRIMINAL says Brubaker.
Alonso says all of it is ironed out and discussed in story meetings. It's an organic process and they go in to work out what characters are featured and will pop up in a decent role in certain books.
David says working in a universe like this, sometimes things are planned very carefully, but other times things just evolve naturally. Layla Miller was just a random character in HOUSE OF M, but now with her inclusion in X-FACTOR she's become a more popular and major character. It's what happens when you work in an environment with very creative people. Much like improve performance where you always work off each other and develop characters from the "ricochet effect." "E-mail facilitates this process even more."
Q: Solo series for X-men other than Wolverine?
Q: What are the plans for Cecilia Reyes?
A: We intend to kill her and bring her back! Kidding! No plans to use Reyes right now.
Q: Changing X-23's name to Talon?
A: The fans might make this choice and we will internally talk about how to bring that out according to Kyle. Kyle says they don't want X-23 to keep that name since it's a symbol of her being a slave and a tool of for others. X-23 is still having trouble finding who she is and should be.
Q: After "Messiah CompleX" will Peter David still be on X-FACTOR?
A: McCann says it's too soon to decide the future of the X-books after "Messiah CompleX."