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The X-Perts

The X-Perts: Colossus

Kieron Gillen, Victor Gischler and Nick Lowe talk about Peter Rasputin, his history, his loyalties, and his new outlook

By Ben Morse

The Schism has come and gone—now it’s time for Regenesis.

Following a split in the Children of the Atom, two factions of X-Men have taken to their own missions in UNCANNY X-MEN as well as WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN. Here on Marvel.com we’ll be regularly gathering the creators and editors responsible for guiding the X-Men’s destiny to dissect each of their charges to examine what makes them tick and lend some insight into why they’ve chosen the team they did in the wake of Regenesis.

For years, Peter Rasputin has been a stalwart of the X-Men as Colossus. He has deviated from his heroic path for a brief sojourn with the Acolytes and sacrificed his life to stop the Legacy Virus only to be restored through alien technology, but for the most part, this warrior with the soul of a poet has been steadfast and reliable. Recently, however, Colossus has experienced massive upheaval, taking on the power of the Juggernaut to save San Francisco and perhaps losing part of his soul in the process. Now a member of Cyclops’ Extinction Team in UNCANNY X-MEN, what lies ahead for Peter and those who love him?

How would you describe the core of who Colossus is and what is most important to him?

Victor Gischler: (writer of X-MEN): Loyalty.  He's a very steadfast fellow.

Kieron Gillen (writer of UNCANNY X-MEN): Colossus is someone who believes in goodness and sacrifice, and the belief that the two tend to be one and the same. He's in the process of discovering the problems that tend to go along with that. He wants the best for everyone. He still feels guilt from the many times he's acted in a way which he considers beneath that. He's a good person who isn't quite as good as he thinks he should be, which as far as burdens go, a pretty bad one.

Nick Lowe (X-Men Senior Editor): People. Specifically, the people he loves—his family and his dear friends. Everything else comes at a distant second. Except for charcoal and a nice big sketchbook. And Pirozhki. Look it up!

What is Colossus’ view of how the mutant race should conduct itself moving forward? How does this contrast or conflict with others?

Kieron Gillen: Despite him being one of the more aggressive weapons in [Scott Summers’] armory, I don't think he's someone who by his nature believes in a militarized mutant [race]. He thinks ideally that everyone should be able to do whatever they want, as long as they don't hurt themselves. But right now maybe people need to be thinking more about what they can do for others than themselves. For him, that's about being a super hero.

Nick Lowe: He focuses more on the people than the bigger mutant issues. And at this point, he’s just focused on not letting Cytorrak take over.

Victor Gischler: I think he's putting faith in his leaders to make those difficult decisions. He's not without his own opinions, but he understands there are some high level decisions being made, and once he's decided to support the leadership, he's all in.

How has Peter Rasputin changed since the day he became an X-Man? What events have influenced that change?

Nick Lowe: He’s changed in a lot of ways, but he’s still mostly the same guy. And thank your lucky stars for that because you need a foundation like that to fight off an evil god inside your brain.

Victor Gischler: He's matured. He's had Kitty, lost Kitty, had Kitty and lost Kitty. He's toughened up mentally and emotionally.

Kieron Gillen: He's changed from a dude into a metal dude. He does it almost every issue. Haven't you been paying attention at all?

How important is family to Colossus?

Victor Gischler: Very.

Kieron Gillen: It's almost impossible to overstate its importance, in either his actual blood relations or his chosen friends.

Nick Lowe: It is the most important thing.

What is the state of Colossus' relationship with Kitty Pryde and how does it influence his current decision-making, if at all?

Nick Lowe: It’s certainly not in good shape right now. The choices he made during Fear Itself changed the way Kitty looks at him and how he looks at himself.

Kieron Gillen: They're still friends, though it's clearly hard for both of them. Though, at least from current evidence, it seems she doesn't influence his current decision making at all.

If it comes down to protecting Kitty or Illyana, who do you think Colossus chooses?

Victor Gischler: Yikes. What kind of crazy trick question is that? He'd find a way to protect both!

Kieron Gillen: Whoever needs protecting at that exact moment. Part of me isn't even sure he'd be capable of choosing if you gave him a Sophie's choice situation. I think he'd end up getting them both killed, or somehow kill himself to avoid making that decision. Or ask Kitty and Illyana who he should save.

Nick Lowe: I think he’s the kind of guy that would find a way to protect both. But if we’re in Philosophy 101 and this is a question that he can’t dodge, I’d probably say Illyana. She’s still his little snowflake to him, no matter how many Elder Gods she wipes out of existence.

What does Colossus think of Cyclops' "Extinction Team" and his place on it?

Kieron Gillen: He was already a powerhouse, and his avatar-possession by Cyttorak only makes that more so. Cyclops wants him on the team? The team seems to be saving people. Maybe this will let him save some more people before whatever is in his head consumes him? It seems to be the best place for him. And the part of him that's charred from contact with Cyttorak's spirit is enjoying destroying everything. It doesn't matter what for. It's the destruction that matters.

Nick Lowe: He doesn’t really have a lot of brain space right now to think about it, but he’s always been ready to make tough realistic grey-area choices.

Is the choice he made to leave the X-Men and join the Acolytes something that ever still affects Colossus?

Nick Lowe: He certainly hasn’t forgotten that time, but I don’t think it weighs that heavily on him as it was eclipsed by Illyana’s death and had a lot to do with his emotional fallout there.

Kieron Gillen: Sticking his hand up to “Have you ever been a super villain” during the first issue of UNCANNY X-MEN probably says much.

How did his sacrifice to cure the Legacy Virus and subsequent revival alter Colossus?

Kieron Gillen: Not enough, I think. He killed himself and I don't think has learned almost anything from the experience.

Nick Lowe: That was Colossus to a T, making such a sacrifice. I would say both the sacrifice and revival were more character defining than character changing.

Have we seen the full extent of the changes to Colossus now that he is the Juggernaut? How much should we be scrutinizing his most recent actions as perhaps not entirely his own?

Nick Lowe: You have not seen the full extent. And I can’t stop you from scrutinizing.

Victor Gischler: It's something to watch. My guess is that there might be a few surprises on the horizon. After all if all is well and settled, well, what fun would that be?

Kieron Gillen: I'll limit myself to saying that the trials and changes to Colossus is one of the backbones of what I'm doing. As Idie was to my GENERATION HOPE run, Colossus is to my UNCANNY. He's not saying much, so what he does say bears close examination. I'd say that you almost hope that his recent actions weren't his own, because the alternative really is even more horrible.

What role within the X-Men is Colossus most comfortable with?

Victor Gischler: Support of the leadership; implementing orders to the best of his ability.

Kieron Gillen: The guy who stands in the middle-back in the team-photo; the central defender in a football—i.e. soccer—team.

Nick Lowe: He’s comfortable being the support of his friends.

Who among the X-Men is Colossus closest to? Who does he trust the most?

Kieron Gillen: Now? Magik. More than anyone, Magik. More than ever, Magik. He has no other choice.
No, it doesn't seem particularly healthy to me either.

Nick Lowe: His original X-Men cohorts. Storm [and] Wolverine. And Illyana and Kitty, of course.

Who does Colossus believe should lead the X-Men?

Victor Gischler: Cyclops or maybe Storm.

Nick Lowe: I don’t think he really has a dog in that fight.

Kieron Gillen: As someone who doesn't like leadership, he views those able to lead with enormous respect. He respects the station as much as the person doing it. At the moment, he thinks that Cyclops is doing a good job considering the situation he finds himself. That said, of Cyclops' inner circle, he's the one who sees the bravery in Wolverine's route too. I think he's partially glad that both men are choosing to lead right now, in their very different ways. That fate has meant he can only be on one side doesn't mean that he doesn't see the merit in the other.

Does Colossus have any desire to lead the X-Men himself? Would he be capable of doing so?

Kieron Gillen: No and no. I think he's one of nature's followers. I think, historically speaking, it's one of the most important things about him. He's reliable. That he's not quite as reliable at the moment is one of the things that is disturbing about the current team for the members.

Nick Lowe: That would be really interesting to see, but I don’t think he would want it. So we should do it, I suppose.

Victor Gischler: No. Not his thing.

Why did Colossus choose to follow Cyclops in the Schism?

Nick Lowe: It had more to do with his sister than Cyclops.

Kieron Gillen: He can't be at the school, because he considers himself a risk to them—and he's not wrong. In a real way, Colossus has bigger problems right now than mutant politics. That said, as I noted earlier, he's one of the X-Men whose natural instincts lead him to thinking being a pro-active super hero is a good and necessary thing.

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What about Colossus son from the savage land? As seen when the x-men were in the outback!!! Especially if the rumours of Kittys pregnancy are true!!