Introducing...

Introducing...Marjorie Liu

The popular novelist discusses bringing her game to Marvel and taking the kids of NYX: NO WAY HOME to the next level. Plus: preview art!

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By Ben Morse Every writer or artist working for Marvel has taken their own unique path to the House of Ideas, but Marjorie Liu's has zigged and zagged more than most. The writer of the upcoming NYX: NO WAY HOME limited series debuting on August 6, followed a road that took her from legal briefs to families of demon hunters en route to shepherding Marvel's mutants on the run.

NYX: NO WAY
HOME #1 preview
art by Kalman
Andrasofszky

"I started out as a lawyer, but always harbored a not-so-secret dream of writing for a living," recalls the "New York Times" best-selling novelist. "I took some time off, wrote a book, and by some lucky miracle managed to sell it. I've been writing paranormal romantic thrillers and urban fantasy about shape-shifters and women covered in living tattoos full time ever since. Being a writer is the best job in the world." A fan of comics in general and the X-Men specifically since her college days, Liu has long desired a chance to put her literary talents to work with the Children of the Atom, but the door did not open easily or immediately. "I had the opportunity to write an X-Men novel [called] 'Dark Mirror' for [Pocket Star]," explains Liu. "I was at the first New York Comic Con signing copies of that book and had the opportunity to speak with [Marvel Senior Vice President, Strategic Development-Acquisitions & Licensing] Ruwan Jayatilleke. I broached the topic of doing more work for Marvel and that conversation—after several years of going back and forth—eventually led to NYX." Liu inherits the time-manipulating Kiden Nixon and the rest of the NYX cast, a group of disenfranchised young mutants trying to survive on the streets of New York City, from their co-creator and only previous writer, no less than Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada. In addition to the pressure of picking up the boss' toys on her first go

NYX: NO WAY
HOME #1 preview
art by Kalman
Andrasofszky

around in the Marvel sandbox, Liu also faces the challenge of living up to her own affection for the original NYX limited series. "I was a fan of the first run and, probably like most people, was frustrated when the series ended," admits the writer. "I had become invested in the characters—Kiden especially—and wanted to know what was supposed to happen next. I never dreamed that I'd be the one to carry the story forward!" Liu continues, saying of Kiden, body-possessing Bobby Soul and animal shape-shifter Tatiana, "[They are] hard luck kids who are doing their best to take care of each other and themselves. They've built a rag-tag family that's held together by trust, friendship and common pain, but the relationships are still tenuous [and] untested. And let's face it, the best way to discover the true character of a person is to shove them into a bad situation. Sink or swim, save or betray. "When some scary people destroy everything [they] have built for themselves, not only do they have to find out why, they're also forced to [discover] along the way whether the bonds they've created are strong enough to see them through to the other side." The "very dark journey" that Liu has planned for the NYX kids will find them down one of their ranks, as X-23 has since gone on to join the New X-Men and currently X-Force, and faced with a newly evolved Marvel Universe where the dwindling mutant population and superhuman registration loom heavy in their lives.

NYX: NO WAY
HOME #1 preview
art by Kalman
Andrasofszky

"District X no longer exists, mutants are on the verge of extinction, and now anyone with the X-gene has to register with the government," recaps Liu. "Not that Kiden and her friends are inclined to cooperate. These are teens who find the idea of spandex and world domination completely ludicrous—kids who have been so isolated in the bubble of their day-to-day survival that they hardly think about the dangers posed to them because they're mutants. "But they're going to have to start, because in a world where mutants are going extinct, the question is, 'Should mutants be feared…or should they be treated as a commodity?'" Helping to answer these questions will be artist Kalman Andrasofszky, whom Liu credits a great deal with easing her transition into this new medium. "Kalman has made Kiden and the others live and breathe," she praises. "He is an excellent visual storyteller and I'm very lucky to be teamed with him. The format [of working in comics] has taken some getting used to, as has the difference in pacing. It helps that I'm not doing this alone. Besides the support that [editor] John [Barber] and [assistant editor] Michael [Horwitz] have given me, much of the story comes from the art."

NYX: NO WAY
HOME #1 cover
by Alina Urusov

However, while humble and grateful for the opportunities she has received, Liu ultimately remains confident that she can carry over her writing skills from one medium to the next and deliver a knockout tale of this very special group of kids: "Writing a novel and a comic aren't so very different in that storytelling is storytelling. You're still focused on character and dialogue, on twists and mental punches. Kiden and her friends are a joy to write. They've faced the world and its ugliness without being broken. Scarred, maybe—but not broken." Before tracking down NYX: NO WAY HOME #1 on August 6, catch up with the original NYX on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
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