By Marc Strom
You just can't keep a bad immortal down.
X-FORCE #11 brings Selene, the psychic vampire and longtime X-Men foe, back as writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, along with artists Clayton Crain and Alina Urusov, delve into the mysterious Eli Bard's history on January 28.
Selene, who has managed to live for untold millennia with her ability to sap others' life force and extend her own, has frequently menaced Marvel's mutants and even served as the Hellfire Club's Black Queen. More recently, she seduced the young mutant Wither in the pages of NEW X-MEN before disappearing once more.
But while the next issue of X-FORCE marks her first physical appearance in the series, Yost tells us that, "in a way, she—or her presence—has been in the book since issue #1 and before. Readers of our NEW X-MEN run know she showed up there. But issue #11 will give her definitive connection to the X-Force story, and as for the future, you'll catch a glimpse of it at the end of #11. And, shocker, it's grim."
Kyle adds that bringing Selene into the book has been part of the writers' plans for the series from its very inception.
"This series is about building the stakes to a place that we've never hit before, while taking care of any unfinished business we have from our previous books," he elaborates. "When we left NEW X-MEN we asked for two things, X-23—duh—and Selene. Selene was the biggest story we
didn't have time to tell in our last book and her arc has only gotten better since we've started X-Force."
Rogue Purifier Eli Bard, who recently dug up the bodies of Warpath's entire tribe, has known Selene for quite a while now, a story which Kyle and Yost promise to break wide open in X-FORCE #11.
"The two of them are a dark and twisted couple, at least in Eli's mind," Yost coyly states. "In issue #6, he made reference to death being his queen. Three guesses as to who he's referring to."
"The next issue will spill the beans on their back story, but there is much more to come with these two characters," Kyle divulges. "Their relationship and actions will affect everyone in our title, even Bastion."
Selene as a character has always appealed to both writers, who have often expressed a love of the X-Men's storied history.
"Ever since the Nova Roma story in the [original] NEW MUTANTS [series] and her introduction into the Hellfire Club in UNCANNY X-MEN, Selene has been a favorite," Yost notes. "She's the vampiric goddess, unabashedly evil. She's the seductress. As young Wither found out, she's hard to resist. And her outfits are quite nice."
"Yes, you have to respect women who want to be sexy first and evil second," Kyle jokes. "In all seriousness, Selene is a character that we feel can be as great as Emma Frost, and hopefully our coming story will help her achieve some of that awesomeness."
Even though X-FORCE has returned a number of classic X-Men characters to the fold, ranging from Domino to Bastion and, now, Selene, Kyle felt the necessity to also add something to the mutants' mythos.
"Chris and I are all about brining back the classics," he relates. "The old characters and stories are still the best. That said, we needed someone new to help strengthen the Selene and Bastion arcs. By the next issue you'll see that even though Eli is new to the books, he is old to the Marvel Universe."
For fans of millennia-sweeping epics, Yost vows that this story will cover a large amount of time as it illuminates Eli Bard's past.
"Issue #11 is primarily focused on Warpath telling the story of Eli Bard that he learned from his spirit guides in issue #10," the writer explains. "It starts in ancient Rome, and ends in the present day."
After filling readers in on Eli Bard's story, Yost and Kyle tease fans with a couple hints as to what they can expect in the coming months:
"The road to 'Messiah War' is going to be a rough one," warns Yost, referring to the upcoming crossover between X-FORCE and CABLE. "Anyone who thinks the Leper Queen isn't a threat, think again."
"Rahne's story has just begun," Kyle leaves off. "Be patient and you'll see exactly why we put her in this book."
X-FORCE #11 unravels the past on January 28. For more Selene, visit Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
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