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|
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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