Original Sin has arrived and no corner of the Marvel Universe will be safe—or the same—ever again!
With long hidden truths on the verge of being brought into the light, every hero will wish they had remained in the dark. This holds true for the mutants left in the wake of Professor Xavier's polarizing death. The X-Men founder's demise divided his “family” into mourners and martyrs, and now Xavier's last will and testament will forever alter the X-Men's already cracked landscape.
The two-part tie-in story kicks off this July with UNCANNY X-MEN #23, which sees quintessential X-artist Chris Bachalo teaming up once more with series writer Brian Michael Bendis. The revelations continue in UNCANNY X-MEN #24, which brings Kris Anka back into the Uncanny X-Fold on art. To get a hint as to just how much trouble awaits Cyclops and his band of rebellious mutants, we spoke with Bendis.
Marvel.com: Where did the idea for a last will and testament for Xavier come from?
Brian Michael Bendis: When I got the job to take over the X-Men, I knew I was coming on the heels of Xavier’s murder [in Avengers Vs. X-Men]. I knew why it was happening, but I also knew that Xavier’s legacy would be the point of both of my books. I wrote down a bunch of ideas and one of them was "Xavier's will." Once Original Sin became a reality, I knew that this story was the story to tell—I just didn’t know how big it was going to get.
Marvel.com: Since so much of UNCANNY X-MEN deals with Xavier’s legacy and the fallout from his death, does it ever feel like he’s another character in the book?
Brian Michael Bendis: For sure. We argued about Xavier’s death for weeks. It became clear to me, listening to the other X-Men writers talk about it, that the books and characters had grown past Xavier, but in his death his legacy becomes more powerful, almost religious, and like religion some people will have different interpretations of what some things mean to them.
Marvel.com: Can you give us any hint as to what the will contains, or the kinds of problems it will cause?
Brian Michael Bendis: The will is literally a list of things that Xavier needs to have taken care of in the event of his death. Some things the students will be familiar with and other things they will not be.
Marvel.com: How do the rest of Cyclops’ senior staff—Magik, Kitty, Emma—deal with Xavier’s will?
Brian Michael Bendis: What the storyline promises is such a shakeup with such bombs being dropped all over the place, that the entire franchise will be affected—and it’s hard to imagine it ever being able to go back to the way things were.
Marvel.com: How do all the new kids feel about Xavier’s legacy?
Brian Michael Bendis: They have more of a distance to it. They see him as a historical figure, which makes it more philosophical and ideological than emotional.
Marvel.com: You're working with Kris Anka and Chris Bachalo on these issues. Do each of these tie-ins work particularly well with each of their strengths?
Brian Michael Bendis: Oh, dear Lord, yes. First of all, they are two of the most expressive and fascinating cartoonists working in mainstream comics. From the very first issue, Chris turned UNCANNY X-MEN into an artistic expression book and every artist that has joined us, including Kris, has embraced that challenge.
Even as we speak, Kris and I spent the week redesigning a fan favorite Marvel character and just watching his process has been an absolute joy.
Marvel.com: Cyclops has progressively gotten more aggressive in his actions, going so far as to take on S.H.I.E.L.D. How big of a speed bump will Xavier’s will be in his journey?
Brian Michael Bendis: Well, the real question is what did Xavier leave for Scott? Did Xavier imagine a world where his prize student would be at least partially responsible for his death? I will say that the storyline is a big turn in the Scott Summers story.