X-Men: Divided We Stand

Legacy Virus: Carey Talks X-Men

Mike Carey discusses the launch of X-MEN: LEGACY, including the future of Professor X, Magneto and more

Share:

Comments:

X-MEN: LEGACY
#208 cover by
David Finch

By Matt Powell Dreams fade, but legacies never die. Throughout the chaos of "Messiah CompleX" the signs kept appearing that the dream could be coming to an end. The Xavier Institute, the physical foundation for Charles Xavier's vision of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants: destroyed. The ambassadors of the dream, the X-Men: disbanded. But the killing stroke that hit hardest came when the figurehead for mutantkind, Professor Charles Xavier, seemed to meet his death at the hands of one of his own.

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
Scot Eaton

The apparent death of Professor Xavier adds even more doubt to an already uncertain future for mutants—however, Xavier's legacy remains. X-MEN writer Mike Carey, joined by artist Scot Eaton, will chronicle the existential adventures of Charles Xavier beginning in February's issue #208 of the newly-retitled X-MEN: LEGACY. On the journey to save his mind, body and soul, Professor Xavier will turn enemies into allies and traverse pivotal eras of the X-Men's past to regain what he's lost. Getting to the heart of the mythos, Carey offered his thoughts on LEGACY and the first stages of the fallout from "Messiah CompleX".

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
Scot Eaton

Marvel.com: Not to start things off on a morbid note given the current state of Professor Xavier, but considering the damaging secrets harbored by the professor including his 'lost X-Men' in X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS and the subjugation of the sentient Danger Room in ASTONISHING X-MEN, how do the X-Men feel about their mentor's apparent death? Mike Carey: I think the death of someone close to you puts a lot of things into a different perspective. It's easy to maintain a grudge against the living, because the living still have options like apologizing, atoning, explaining. When someone's dead, that's it—no more room for maneuver. I think it makes you think about unfinished business, about things you didn't get to say or do and can't now.

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
John Romita Jr.

For most of the X-Men, I think that would include thinking on the debt they owed Xavier from a long time ago, when he helped them come to terms with their identities, natures, and gave them a community that they could belong to. Would things like the DEADLY GENESIS team and Danger still cause hurt and resentment? Yeah, of course they would. But I don't think they'd stop most of the X-Men from mourning Xavier. Marvel.com: Let's a look at X-MEN: LEGACY—where do we find the X-Men going into this new series? Mike Carey: Well, first and foremost, this is no longer a book that's primarily about the X-Men. In present time, it's about Professor Xavier. Which I know makes this a very brief death indeed, even by comic book standards. The rest of the X-Men are largely off-stage for a long time, for reasons that I think are

X-MEN: LEGACY
#209 cover by
David Finch

dictated by recent events. In their own books you'll see them coping with the new status quo, with the effective disbanding of the X-Men and closing of the Xavier Academy. This is Professor X's book, and the starting point is Exodus trying to undo the damage caused by Bishop's bullet. Marvel.com: Speaking of Exodus, you can't help but wonder if he and the Acolytes have an ulterior motive behind the guise of their 'help'… Mike Carey: As you'd expect with Exodus, the answer to that lies in his concerns for the future of the mutant race. He believes that Xavier's death would be a bad thing for mutants right now, and he's got a proposition to put to Xavier should he ever recover full consciousness and the use of his powers. A lot of it comes down to the personalities involved and to what you might call the political agendas. What happens next for mutants, and who should oversee it? Marvel.com: The dilemma plaguing Prof. Xavier revolves around the dismantling of his consciousness and its subsequent projection across time in an effort to save his life. With that in mind, how desperate is this situation?

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
John Romita Jr.

Mike Carey: [Professor Xavier's lost consciousness are] pieces of memory rather than pieces of cognitive functioning. Memory is stored in the brain in a modular way, and it's a massively redundant system: individual memories seem to be stored in lots of different places, or at least to be accessible through stimulation of lots of different brain areas. Maybe these pieces aren't even irrevocably lost; it's just that Xavier can't currently access them. And there's a sense in which your identity is really the sum of all the things you've said and done and thought. So while he's in this state, is he really, fully Charles Xavier? It's kind of an existential horror story in that sense. Marvel.com: What are the details surrounding Prof. Xavier's contingency plan to project bits of his consciousness into various characters throughout the Marvel Universe? Will mutants be the only ones able to sustain his mind or are super-powered humans candidates as well?

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
John Romita Jr.

Mike Carey: It's more a case of him seeking out people who knew him at different times in his life, because their memories of him will help him to fill the gaps in his own memories. Understanding is what he's after, as well as raw facts. Yeah, there's no reason why that process shouldn't take him to non-mutants as well as mutants. It will, inevitably. Marvel.com: Did any of these 'consciousness vessels' have any choice in being involved? Mike Carey: Nobody was doing the choosing, really. This is just how things have worked out, because Exodus's first attempt to revive Xavier was such a botched job. So it's the damage from being fatally wounded, from the destruction of his brain, and then the damage from the imperfect reconstruction. I guess you don't realize you've got pieces missing until you finish making the jigsaw and take a step back from it. Marvel.com: How will regaining the missing pieces of his consciousness affect Prof. Xavier?

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
Scot Eaton

Mike Carey: [Prof. Xavier's consciousness is] very definitely [connected] to his sense of himself, his definition of himself as a person. In piecing together his past he's reclaiming his present, reassembling a personality and at the same time looking at the different facets of that personality from unexpected angles. Marvel.com: His search to reincorporate his lost consciousness will find Prof. Xavier and the Acolytes traveling throughout past eras in the X-Men's history to track them down. What eras of X-Men past can we keep an eye out for? Mike Carey: At various times over the arcs we've got planned, there's virtually nothing that we don't revisit at some point. Definitely, House of M. Deadly Genesis, the X-Men's early run-ins with Magneto and the Brotherhood, Legion and Proteus [and] the Hellfire Club [will be visited]. The point, though, is not just to replay cool moments from past continuity: it's to explore the meaning of these events for the people who were involved in them.

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
John Romita Jr.

Marvel.com: What about some past X-Men storylines that have been left unresolved. Any chance we'll see some loose ends finally tied up? Mike Carey: I'm going to be deliberately evasive here, but I will say 'Black Womb.' Xavier's childhood has some mysterious aspects to it, alluded to way back in the early 90s but largely ignored since. Without retconning, it's time to explain what those things meant. Marvel.com: Looking over the scope of the series, which past X-Men storylines did you find naturally fit into the saga of LEGACY?

X-MEN: LEGACY
#210 cover by
David Finch

Mike Carey: The ones that were pivotal for Xavier himself. The formation of the first X-Men team, the Krakoa/Deadly Genesis story, Fatal Attractions, the death and funeral of Illyana Rasputin, the early stories involving the Shi'ar, his first meeting with Legion, stuff like that. Marvel.com: Given the time-spanning world tour we're on in this tale, can we expect to see any characters presently dead in the Marvel Universe alive and well in LEGACY? Mike Carey: It's not a journey in that sense. After the first arc, it's Xavier on a kind of solo quest that's more about his own life and his own motivations than anything else. So he's visiting old friends and enemies in order to fill gaps in his self-knowledge, and in the process he's getting sucked into their agendas and the unfinished business he has with them.

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
John Romita Jr.
and Scot Eaton

But yeah, we'll definitely see some characters that are currently dead. Jean Grey, for instance, is definitely going to appear. Marvel.com: Factoring in hidden agendas, unfinished business and a Phoenix rising from the grave, which X-Man, villain, or other characters do you feel will surprise readers the most or be the one(s) fans will most rejoice to see? Mike Carey: Interesting question. I really think it will depend on when you started reading [the] X-Men. For the old school fans, I'd guess that the Magneto/Xavier scenes in [the second issue] will strike the strongest chords. There's a sequence where I've basically [composed] together all the scenes where they argue about their respective philosophies, and turned them into a single conversation. It took me a day to script three pages, but it was worth it.

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
Scot Eaton

Marvel.com: Jumping off of your mention of Magneto, how pivotal is the Master of Magnetism to LEGACY? Mike Carey: It's central to the first arc. One of the questions we pose there is, in light of recent events, which of the two men was right? They each had a vision of the future and a strategy to deal with it: has one of them proved to be superior to the other? In present time, the reason why Magneto even shows up might surprise people—but it's kind of in keeping with the Magneto/Xavier relationship if you take that relationship back to its roots. Marvel.com: Charles Xavier and Magneto's relationship stands clear, but how do Gambit and Rogue fit into the tapestry of LEGACY? Do they both share a previously unseen link to Prof. Xavier that will be revealed?

X-MEN: LEGACY
preview art by
Scot Eaton

Mike Carey: There are no surprises there. Well, that's not strictly true. In the Rogue/Gambit arc, there are surprises, but no revelations about the Professor. It's more [of] how Rogue fits into that story and where it leaves her. Marvel.com: Will we ultimately learn new secrets from Xavier's past? Mike Carey: Yes. But they're not arbitrary 'what we never told you' kind of things. Questions asked long ago will be answered. Marvel.com: With so much detail in your planning, how far have you worked out your plots? Mike Carey: I have three arcs planned in detail. I'd like to carry it on past that point, because it's a very flexible format and there are lots of fascinating things you can do with it. X-MEN: LEGACY #208 ships February 27, but take a look back at Mike Carey's first X-MEN story with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

MORE IN X-Men: Divided We Stand See All

MORE IN Comics See All

Comments

0 comments