COMICS: Sam Humphries Talks UNCANNY X-FORCE; The Three Fantomex's, Bishop And More
In a lengthy interview with our friends over at Comic Book Resources, writer Sam Humphries (Ultimate Comics Ultimates) has talked in detail about his plans for this month's "Marvel NOW!" relaunch of Uncanny X-Force. The writer has big shoes to fill as he follows on from Rick Remender's (Captain America) critically acclaimed 35 issue run. Below are just a few highlights from their chat, but make sure to click on the link at the bottom of the page to read much, much more (including his thoughts on the other cast members, the Los Angeles setting and artist Ron Garney).
In the following interview, writer Sam Humphries discusses the role of Fantomex, Cluster and Jean Philipe in this month's "Marvel NOW!" Uncanny X-Force series as well as the highly anticipated return of Bishop and much more. Check it out!
On Using The Three Versions Of 'Fantomex' In The Series:
We knew when I started plotting the new 'Uncanny X-Force' that Rick was going to split Fantomex in three, and we also knew that he planned on 'killing' Fantomex for a certain number of issues. We didn't want to undercut that though. So that's why we've been very coy about Fantomex, the identity of Cluster and how and why they're involved in the book. We wanted the end of Rick's run to have as much impact as possible. So we can finally reveal that Fantomex is in the new 'Uncanny X-Force.' Both Fantomex and Cluster are in issue #1 and joining the rest of the crew in this new era of mutant ninja noir. We can also reveal that Cluster is not a 'Lady Fantomex' or 'She-Fantomex.' She's the cloned third brain of Fantomex; an aspect of what used to be 'Fantomex Prime' now split off into an individual person.
On The Different Personalities Of The Three Fantomex's:
Cluster is the nicest and most nurturing of Fantomex's brains, but that doesn't mean she's the most heroic. I don't know if heroic is quite the right word to apply to any Fantomex. To some people saying you are the nicest version of Fantomex may be like saying you are the tallest version of Danny Devito! 'Fantomex Prime,' or the old Fantomex, was constantly wrestling with the three sides of his personality. He had Fantomex, Cluster, and Jean Philipe. Jean Philipe being the dark, evil sentinel brain within him. Cluster calls herself 'the nicest' and that's certainly true. She's the most loving and most in touch with her feelings and her emotions. She's not the rakish, devil-may-care, Fantomex.
On Their Relationship With 'Psylocke':
All three Fantomexes have feelings for Betsy, and all three Fantomexes are still Fantomex. So you'll see the immediate ramifications of how that dynamic plays out in the first issue of 'Uncanny X-Force.' It will be something that we're going to play with in the long-term future of the book.
On The Six Month Gap Between Rick Remender's Series And This One:
A lot happens in those six months that we will gradually fill in for the reader. And in this first story we get all the characters together quite rapidly, but for them this is not a natural grouping. There's a web of interdependent relationships that pull and push on everyone. The effect of that will determine whether or not the team stays together or falls apart. One of the things that sets the events of the series in motion happens in the six month gap between Rick's last issue and my first issue," the writer said. "Another thing that sets up our initial story is that somebody is kicked out of the Jean Grey School. And the final thing that sets the events of 'Uncanny X-Force' in motion is the discovery of a new mutant.
On The Return Of 'Bishop':
Bishop comes back to the present a changed man. He's changed because he's had some time to think about his actions. He's also changed because of the things he's had to do to survive in the future. So the Bishop that we see in 'Uncanny X-Force' #1 is a character who has been through a lot just to stay alive, and has done things that he didn't particularly want to do to get back to this time line. One thing that's been a constant with Bishop though is that he's always been a zealot. Whatever he does, he does it a thousand percent. So whether it's being a mutant lawman, trying to kill Hope Summers, or taking on X-Force, he does it with everything he's got. Bishop is certainly relentless and he's enough of a threat to take on the entire team. When we see him in 'Uncanny X-Force' he's at the tail end on a long quest that's taken him across thousands of years. Just to get back to 2013 has taken a lot out of him. So by the time he gets here he's already invested in his mission, and if 'Uncanny X-Force' tries to stand in his way he's not going to back down.
On What Readers Should Expect From His Take On The Uncanny X-Force:
'Uncanny X-Force' is a book about outsiders. This is a Marvel Universe where Wolverine is running a prep school and Rogue and Sunfire are Avengers! This is a post-'AvX' world where Avengers and X-Men are bending over backwards to promote this new era of unity and harmony, but there are still outsiders in this world. There are still scoundrels and weirdos and people who can't or don't buy into the whole Uncanny Avengers idea. All of these characters have reasons to feel like misfits. They're people who don't belong in Captain America's grand plan even if they are invited. These scoundrels and truly weird characters need a home and 'Uncanny X-Force' is that home. There are a lot of books with Uncanny in the title, but this book is going to be the most Uncanny of them all.
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