|X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 cover by Art Adams|
By Tim O’Shea
This week the eagerly anticipated 10-part X-Men: Battle of the Atom event began in earnest.
As part of Senior Editor Nick Lowe’s continuing effort to share perspective on some of the event’s major players, he offers his unique insight on Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Storm, Rachel Grey, and Molly Hayes.
Marvel.com: Much is made of young and present day Cyclops skills as a tactician, but would you agree that Wolverine is an even savvier tactician than either Cyclops?
Nick Lowe: Nope! I think Wolverine is super smart and capable, but a tactician? He’s not near them. He deals with situations at hand in intelligent ways, but he’s not 13 moves out on you like Cyclops can be.
Marvel.com: How much and how quickly is Wolverine's patience tested when another group of X-Men from another time shows up in the present day?
Nick Lowe: As [we saw] in ALL-NEW X-MEN #16, his claws were popped within a few pages.
Marvel.com: As someone who best sees how the X-Men: Battle of the Atom writing team approaches Wolverine, are there qualities that you see them all emphasize?
Nick Lowe: Brian Wood’s been really interesting to watch because he’s the guy who’s written Wolverine the least and he’s written some great moments. But between Brian Bendis and Jason Aaron, they definitely see him a bit differently. Bendis sees him as the tough as nails bruiser who has been through a lot and Jason sees his thoughtfulness—along with his claw-wielding badassery, of course—a bit more.
Marvel.com: Since the All-New X-Men arrived, Kitty has served as a mentor to Jean Grey to a certain extent; do we see those dynamics end or increase in the midst of Battle of the Atom?
Nick Lowe: You’ll see them interact for sure, but things are never easy between those two. You’ll actually see Jean and Rachel Grey interact in a really meaningful way!
Marvel.com: Is there an unwritten Marvel rule that if a story involves time travel and X-Men, that Kitty Pryde has to be involved?
Nick Lowe: Yes. Every X-Editor has to sign the KP453 form.
Marvel.com: Jason Aaron is a writer that taps into Kitty's intelligence fairly regularly; do we get to see some of Kitty's smarts on display in Battle of the Atom?
Nick Lowe: The whole group takes an IQ test in chapter six. It’s really gripping stuff.
Nick Lowe: She’s got some big moments in BOTA, but she doesn’t get to recite her dissertation on time travel here.
Marvel.com: Does her typical role as a peacemaker come in handy?
Nick Lowe: There’s a bit of that, yes. But also some butt-kicking.
Marvel.com: As one of the headmasters of the Jean Grey School, does Storm have reasons to be concerned how Battle of the Atom may impact her school?
Nick Lowe: She definitely should during the second month! Big things go down that I can’t talk about too much!
Marvel.com: The solicits for X-MEN #6 includes this tease: "Rachel Grey is the only X-Man qualified to defeat the mystery opponents!" Fans are always looking for strong female leads in their stories--how happy are you when you are able to edit a story that does just that?
Nick Lowe: I like to think that the books I edit have a lot of strong female leads, but you can’t beat editor Jeanine Schaefer on this front. You can really thank her more than me for the all-female X-MEN book. But it is really great to get some more Rachel Grey time in this story. She’s such a great character but sometimes gets overlooked because of the complexity of her backstory.
Marvel.com: How hard has it been on Rachel to have young Jean in the present day and does that dynamic have bearing on BOTA?
Nick Lowe: They only just met, really, in ALL-NEW X-MEN #15, but it can’t be easy. They have a few really nice moments in BOTA.
|All-New X-Men #16 variant cover by Stuart Immonen|
Marvel.com: Am I right in perceiving that Wolverine has come to rely on Rachel's skills in staying informed on the lay of the mental landscape when in the heat of a battle?
Nick Lowe: Rachel is one of Wolverine’s VIPS. You definitely see this in WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN. She’s the psychic powerhouse at the Jean Grey School, though Psylocke might have a thing or two to say about that.
Marvel.com: Without giving away too much, how did Molly Hayes get worked into the mix?
Nick Lowe: We were at our X-Men retreat and we were casting the future X-Men. We wanted a good mix of well-known, new and more obscure characters. As one of the editors of RUNAWAYS, Molly holds a very special place in my heart. So I thought this would be a great place to up her visibility in the X-Men world.
|Young Molly Hayes|
Marvel.com: Do you recall your reaction when you first saw Art Adams designs for the future character versions, including Molly?
Nick Lowe: Art Adams may be my favorite artist ever. I’ve been trying to get him involved in X-Men for some time, so I was over the moon. He’s such a creatively generous guy and his designs were incredible. I can’t wait to share them all in the hardcover!
Marvel.com: What kind of impact is added by future Molly's involvement in the larger story?
Nick Lowe: She’s a big part of the future X-Men, so she’s in it throughout!