COMICS: Writer Brian Michael Bendis Talks Marvel NOW!'s ALL-NEW X-MEN
One of the Marvel NOW! titles will bring the original five X-Men into the present in a series from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Stuart Immonen. Hit the jump for an interview with Bendis in which he goes into detail about his plans for the team and what we can expect from the book.
In a lengthy interview with Newsarama, writer Brian Michael Bendis has revealed a few tantalising new details about one of the most intriguing new series to come out of Marvel's upcoming NOW! relaunch, All-New X-Men. This will be one of many new #1 issues in the post Avengers Vs. X-Men Marvel Universe, and features the original five X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast and Iceman) using time travel to arrive in the present. These will be the teenage versions of the heroes, and rather than being just a gimmicky limited series, it is set to be an ongoing series which will have lasting ramifications for the characters. For more from the writer, including details on his other upcoming projects, be sure to click on the link below to visit the site.
On The Transition From Writing 'The Avengers' To Taking Over 'The X-Men':
It's a little different from other writers who have come into X-Men. Like when Ed [Brubaker] joined X-Men, he had never written the X-Men, or Matt [Fraction], or Grant Morrison — they had done so pretty cold. Whereas over the course of my time at Marvel — House of M alone — I decimated the X-Men, I brought Wolverine's memories back. I've done a lot of big things in the X-universe without ever writing a technical "X-book." Avengers vs. X-Men, and some other things I've been involved in, have affected the X-Men in a great, powerful way, which I'm proud of — but that does mean that I'm coming into the X-Men with some notoriousness attached. "That's the guy who decimated the X-Men!" Some people weren't reading House of M but were reading X-Men — all of a sudden they opened up a book and [mutants] were down to 200. "Who did this? That guy!" I know that there's a bit of X-Men fans who see me coming and are nervous, and also I'm known for murdering characters — even though that's not fair. So I know I'm coming into it with quite a reputation. But on the flipside I'm coming to the X-verse, which is known across the comicsphere as the most dedicated fans, the loudest fans. So I'm diving in head first, whereas with Avengers I wasn't prepared. [Laughs.] But I am now. On some level.
On The Inspiration For All-New X-Men And Bringing Back Jean Grey:
I'm a big fan of "Days of Future Past." I think it's one of the greatest imagination-inspiring storylines — the idea that your future is going to be hell on earth. If the original X-Men saw what was going on at Marvel today, this is worse than "Days of Future Past." Just Jean Grey alone inspires so many story ideas and so many emotions, and means so much to so many people. That's the thing X-Men fans always say they want. You go anywhere — "Bring back Jean Grey!" But they don't want a reincarnated Jean Grey, and they don't want a dug-up Jean Grey. They want Jean. It's not like I run out of my way to find crowd-pleasing things, but this does allow us to get Jean back, pure. What a great thing. And I love Jean, I love writing her — just having her push forth. She's one of the inciting things that makes this happen in the first place, her coming here and going, "Why is everyone looking at me? What happened, and why is the school named after me?"
On The Status Quo Of The Book And Using The Original Five X-Men In The Current Marvel Universe:
I can't wait to show you how it's the status quo, but I want you to buy the book to find out. Even giving this away — I would have loved if you would have just opened this book, and found out about this without any hype on my end, but that's not the way the world works. But there's so much more coming after the five get here — how they stay here, what the mandate is, what inspires them to stay — all of that is why I hope people buy the book to find out. From this idea, we're going to allow the X-Men to involve themselves more strongly into the Marvel Universe proper. It's certainly what I would like as a fan of the X-Men. The Avengers and Fantastic Four get to go into any corner of the Marvel Universe they want; the X-Men are always faced with a mutant problem. It shouldn't be only mutant problems, it should be superhero problems as well, and that is something that's long overdue. And every time they do step forward, like in [Victor] Gischler's X-Men, people get very excited, so there seems to be an appetite for that. It doesn't have to be Magneto and the Sentinels every time, it would be nice to slap Doctor Doom around a little bit. It's not just the five of them, it's "the X-Men." It's all of the X-Men. Them coming here, and seeing the "now" X-Men — the Jean Grey School cast of characters — reacting to the five, is a pretty big deal.
On How The X-Men From The Past Will React To Seeing Their Present Selves:
There will be a very specific point in the X-Men history where the [original] X-Men are being pulled out of, and you will get to see that moment. I literally went over those issues over and over and over again to find the perfect place. And imagine also — the thing that I'm so excited about — they come here as a group, but the things they discover about themselves may pull them apart. They're coming here as a team thinking they're unbreakable, and then you find out what Cyclops did, and what happened to Jean, and they might not so in love with each other the next day. And the one I'm looking forward to is, wait until you find out how disappointing it is for Bobby Drake to find out he turned out to be the normal one. [Laughs.] He was the biggest goofball, and he turned out to be a pretty well-respected teacher. For those who are fearful of the time/space continuum — you should be! It's constantly in flux, it's constantly being abused by people in the Marvel Universe, and there will be a price to pay. And this isn't the only story [where] I'm going to be f*cking with it.
On Working With Artist Stuart Immonen On The Series:
It is, and he's already got a couple of issues in the can, so I can wholeheartedly and firmly tell you this is among the best he's ever done. He seems very inspired, and into the emotions of the characters as much as I am. [All-New X-Men is] written for him, like no one's business. I've studied him like the Torah. Like Ultimate Spider-Man, you've got these teenagers who are wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and they're very emotional, and he's drawing it accordingly, and it's really lovely.
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