Chicago Comic-Con '09

Chicago Con '09: Dark X-Men

Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk reunite for a limited series starring Norman Osborn’s X-Men this November

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By Tim Stevens

To co-op an expression from the incomparable Peaches and Herb: reuniting feels so good. At least, it does at the House of Ideas.

The newest example of this comes in the form of writer Paul Cornell and artist Leonard Kirk- who most recently completed a run on CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13-collaborating once more to chronicle the exploitations of Norman Osborn's handpicked mutants after the events of DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA in the limited series DARK X-MEN, hitting shelves this November.

Cornell, for his part, could not be more thrilled to be working with Kirk again.

"It's great carrying on my partnership with Leonard and [editor] Nick [Lowe]," the writer says. "As I've said many times before, I love [Kirk's] way with expressions and emotion and acting. And in this series I'm starting to give him some big splash pages, to show off those huge designs he puts such heart into."

Kirk has a slightly different take on the reunion:

"In all honesty, I would have to say that the most rewarding aspect of my relationship with Paul is the fact that I get paid," he jokes.

"Okay, okay, that isn't entirely true. I suppose that what I like most is how open he is to my own ideas. He treats what we do as a true

DARK X-MEN #1 cover by Simone Bianchi
collaboration. I have been very lucky, in that regard, with most of the writers with whom I've worked. Of course, there is also the fact that he's just a damn good writer, period. That certainly helps."

That sense of humor will certainly aid him in drawing DARK X-MEN as it will put him nicely in line with the book's tone.

"I like the very dark humor of this team, the way that they're amoral or immoral or just complicated [individuals] who have been called upon to act, at least in public, like heroes," explains Cornell. "They're all pursuing their own aims, and those aren't necessarily Osborn's, and that collision creates some bleak humor. I'm having fun with the idea that, through virtue of trying so hard-because they're basically pretending to be things and people they're not, our heroes are making a huge effort to please-and so they actually do fulfill Osborn's desire for good PR.  They get the best public reactions any X-Men ever have.  And it's so thoroughly undeserved!"

Both Cornell and Kirk play close to the vest about just who these hard-working pretenders might be.

"I'm looking forward to showcasing a complete psychopath who's quite charming and logical," the writer teases. "Someone who's always done their best for their people and is furious to find themselves outmaneuvered and used, someone who's in hell but is very funny in their pain-and is that really okay on our part?-and someone who [has] seen the future and knows it'll soon be terrible for him, and can't quite get past the burden of depression."

"I guess I just have a knack for drawing the dark, fuzzy type," Kirk states, adding another small hint.

The team will talk about an old fan favorite who appears in the book as the Dark X-Men's most prominent nemesis.

"Nate [Grey, aka X-Man] is back, much to our heroes' shock, and he's horrified by what's happened since he went," reveals Cornell. "He's the antagonist to our heroes, the shining hope for mutantkind.  Of course not all of our heroes are pleased that they find themselves trying to get in the way of the plans of the shining hope for mutantkind because he might be the shining hope for them too.  But ignoring that hope, being cynical about it, attacking it, that's why there's 'dark' in the title."

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13 comments
LionelRGuy
LionelRGuy

X-MAN! F*** yeah! > Ry-Guy The Rather-Pumped-To-See-How-This-Turns-Out

Spiderman_cavy
Spiderman_cavy

FINALLY.. the return of Nate Grey. I stopped reading X-titles all together after Warren Ellis butchered my favorite character.I wonder if he returns as his old self, or as "The Mutant Shaman".

kellymf57
kellymf57

but those are known members, right?why would they white them out ?my guess, is that these are completely new additions.

theshock621
theshock621

Really looking forward to this! I like seeing more of Dark Beast and Mimic. and the return of X-Man is what fans have been asking...no, screaming emphatically for for years now! This is awesome.....And my guess at the whited-out characters are Weapon Omega...and Mystique in the front.

DeathNebula
DeathNebula

[quote="Karmic Kamikaze"]I gotta admit that I am pretty tired of all of the "Dark" this and that. It's lingering on a bit too long, [quote]Dark Reign is the best thing since secret wars I....

notapotatoe
notapotatoe

I definetely like the combo of ' Dark X-Men' and I hope it will last.I'm not-so tired about 'Dark Reign' and I'm looking for the interesting changes it will let in the MU.

colossalpikachu
colossalpikachu

Can't say I was a big Nate fan but it'll be interesting to see how he comes back and his impact on the mutant community and the Marvel U as a whole. As happy as I would be to have the 'No More Mutants' statement reversed I'd hate to suddenly see an explosion of mutants again like the Grant Morrison run (the worst ever in my opinion) and would prefer some how to go back to the 'secret' teams fighting bad guys for the safety of mankind. Outing the X-Men was a terrible decision but finally things are getting interesting again.With this Dark X-Men run I'm hoping that Beast reverts back his old (and best) appearance, from what I've read of the Dark X-Men/Avengers Utopia crossover so far it certainly looks that way. It's been too long in coming and I'm really looking forward to the post DR universe.

ShadowAngel
ShadowAngel

migth be weapon omega and a gurl idk lols this looks promising xD

kellymf57
kellymf57

definately excited to see nate, but who do you guys think are those two whited out figures on the cover?

BlackSamurai
BlackSamurai

I don't get two things about this series: one being why they get as hard a time being viewed (referred to actually) as capable heroes when most on this team can be seen as heroes (Cloak, Dagger, Weapon Omega - granted Emma, Namor and Mimick are always questionable, but they aren't true bad guys anymore), and two being that this is being called a limited series. The set up for this in the light of the eventual fall of Norman is more favorable than is Dark Avengers to continue as a team. Without Norman's standing, no one is going to allow the likes of Venom, Moonstone and Bullseye to continue to operate under the Avengers name (nor will they want to without the carte blanche and money), but between Namor and Emma's resourcefulness, that group can function indefinitely if Marvel wants it to. In light of what they stand for, I would see Emma wanting to let them continue to operate in the light as examples of goodness of mutants (y'know, after they kick Dark Beast and Daken off the team that is - the real McCoy would fit right in, or Forge, since he aligns a bit darker over the years). Now about Cloak and Dagger considering themselves not mutants. Maybe someone needs to come along and clean that up as maybe the first (and mostly only) products of what later would be MGH, but I was quite cool with them being mutants who survived because the drugs they got triggered their mutations.Also glad to see X-Man returning (and like Captain America ushering in the end of Dark Reign, let the speculation begin that Nate will officially reverse the 'No More Mutants' clause) especially since his 'death' by fading into the populace pretty much never qualified as death to me. Hope they know what to do with him long term now though.

mimic616
mimic616

OMG!More Mimic and a series done by the amazing Leonard Kirk and the great Paul Cornell.X-Mas, is early this year! :)

Karmic_Kamikaze
Karmic_Kamikaze

I gotta admit that I am pretty tired of all of the "Dark" this and that. It's lingering on a bit too long, buuuut a Nate Grey return is aweesome. I'd love a true Marvel shootout to end Dark Reign, that sets the universe straight again. Let's see the status quo return to the 80's-early 90's core of X-men and Avengers for a little while. Those characters are so different now, that the X-Men of old mingled with all the kids and Nate and the Avengers of old reunited would be really great. Let them crush the heads of these Dark X-Men and Dark Avengers and Dark whatever else.