As always, I get giddy as a school-girl who skipped her Riddlin dose when my questions get asked in Comic Book Resource's weekly X-POSITION series. I try to submit them as often as I can. I don't just do it because I like having my name shown. I have questions that I need answered, damn it! And Marvel remains the ultimate gatekeeper so I ask away.
CBR: X-POSITION - Nick Lowe
This week Nick Lowe is the one answering the call. He's not known for being very articulate or serious. At times he comes off as Jim Carey in the Mask. He may think it's cute and all, but some fans are serious. We're passionate about our X-men comics and we appreciate it when the creators are serious as well (to a point). I originally asked four questions. When an editor is on board, he's usually in a position to know more. Anyone who has ever worked in publishing knows that writers may get their names on the material, but in the grand scheme of things the writers are the hos and the editors are the pimps. Now that Nick Lowe is the top editor in the X-office, he's essentially the X-men's top pimp. Unfortunately, of the four questions I asked only two got answered.
On the topic of the mansion, MarvelMaster616 was curious about the fella whose name is on the front gates of the palatial estate.
1) Are there plans for Professor Xavier? He hasn't been active lately. Will he work his way back into the X-Men sometime this year?
2) How will "Fear Itself" be tied into the other X-Men titles? Will there be tie-in issues, separate miniseries, or will we not see the effects of the event until it's all over?
1) MM616! There are some plans for Professor X. It's not a solo book or anything, but he's got a role in a few upcoming places.
2) "Fear Itself" will indeed have some X-Men stuff going on, both in the pages of monthly books and in separate miniseries. It's really exciting stuff. (HINT: Warlock is getting a helmet fitted.)
They were short answers, but they were short questions to begin with and Mr. Lowe didn't beat around the bush. I have been genuinely curious as to what the hell Professor Xavier is up to in the X-books. He literally put the X in X-men and he's been doing jack shit in the books for years. The most he did recently was unleash his schizophrenic son on Bastion in Second Coming. You would think the guy got killed off at some point, but he's still alive. He's just taking a back seat to Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magneto, Wolverine, Pixie, and hell even Squirrel Girl gets more attention than him. So it's nice to know he's got a role coming up soon. I hope he delivers.
The second question about Fear Itself was pure logistics. Usually when these events come out I need to have a sit-down with my wallet to discuss which books I want to buy and which books I CAN buy. Since Fear Itself is actually going to bleed into the monthly books that may make it easier. My wallet still hates me though and will probably put shit in my slippers when it gets a chance. Thta's what yo uhave to deal with as a comic fan.
Now I know what some of you may be thinking at this point. "MarvelMaster616, you always try to squeeze in a Jean/Hope question. What gives? Are you high again?" Well only part of those questions may be valid, but I'm not too high to forget the issue I can't stop bitching about. I did actually ask it, but it was not listed in the X-POSITION. That doesn't mean it was ignored though. Apparently, I'm not the only one for who this issue is like a thorn sticking out of my scrotum. A fellow X-men fan named Ramelito asked my question and was a bit more articulate about it.
Hi Nick! Congrats on the big promotion! I've been enjoying pretty much everything the X-office is putting out, so I hope you'll forgive me if my questions sound a bit negative, but I'm hoping you can give me your take on the following:
1) "Generation Hope" #3 dropped another hint that Hope and Jean may be linked. This is something that has been teased since Hope was first born. How long do you think a comic can tease a mystery before fans stop caring? I'm not asking this to be rude, but at some point, something that's over-teased creates unrealistic expectations for fans and the truth can be a let-down (for example, Wolverine's true origin which was teased for 30+ years). What are your thoughts on the sustaining of a tease?
Thank you for the kind words, Ramelito. I couldn't agree more about how good the X-books are right now. They're going to get even better this year once you all hear what we've got coming! To answer your first question, I'm going to have to ask you to turn in your X-Men Fan Club Card. An X-fan saying that we've been teasing something too long? The Summers Brother thing, the betrayer thread and many other story teases went on much longer than this has. As far as Hope goes, there are certainly hints being laid about a certain firey bird-like shaped thing. We definitely have wheels in motion, but I can't give you a target date or anything like that.
There was another question he asked, but this is the one that stuck out most. Rather than try to be as articulate as Ramelito, I'll just up and say it pissed me off. Nick Lowe is essentially making light of dragging out a plot for which the hints and teases have been so horribly blatant that he might as well be hiring thugs from the Sicilian mob to go door-to-door to each X-men fan's house and beat them upside the head with a lead pipe. The hints dropped about Hope and Jean being linked haven't just been teases. They've been painfully blatant. Hope looks like Jean, she acts like Jean (especially her New X-men incarnation from the Grant Morrison run), she dresses like Jean, she has the same hair-style as Jean, and as Second Coming affirmed she has a connection to the Phoenix Force like Jean. Even Rachel freakin' Grey has more features to set her apart.
The latest issue of Generation Hope #3 dropped another hint, one that might as well have replaced Hope with Jean for a moment because it would be the exact same thing. There's a difference between the teases of stories like the third Summers brother or Logan's past. Those were more subtle. In fact, the third Summers brother was hinted at only once by Sinister in some obscure comic and not mentioned again for years. Hope Summers has been teased at being Jean Grey on a routine basis since Messiah Complex unfolded three years ago. The teases haven't been subtle. They've been so painfully obvious that it's really hard to tell Jean and Hope apart at times. The fact Nick Lowe acknowledges that they've dropped hints is essentially an admission that they're not done teasing yet. The comments about dragging it out only imply they're going to wait as long as possible before they ever sort this out.
Think about that. Another few years of this Hope/Jean shit. You pick up a book and it looks like Jean, it acts like Jean, and if the books could sweat it would smell like Jean too. But they're not saying Hope is Jean. It's like Marvel refusing to acknowledge a 900 pound gorilla taking a shit in it's hand and rubbing it in their faces, yet refusing to acknowledge that anything is amiss. To essentially drop hints that are so blatant yet completely ignore them is not a sign that should be classified as good or even logical.
Then there are the far darker implications. Say Marvel does drag out the Hope/Jean issue for years. Then when they finally get around to it they make it so Hope and Phoenix have a connection, but Jean Grey is completely absent. They essentially ignore Jean completely, pushing her out of the equation and only keeping Phoenix. That would be the last straw. To basically make a character that's pretty much a Jean knock-off, give her the most defining element people associate with Jean with the Phoenix, and then completely separate her from the mix would the comic book equivalent of treason by pedophilia. Hope already has the Phoenix. That's been confirmed so there's no going back there. But Phoenix is and always has been associated with Jean Grey. There's no way around that. To try and use the Phoenix without bringing Jean Grey back is trying to have your cake and eat it too. It's Marvel's way to try and capitalize on Jean's popularity without having to bring her back and do all the hard work associated with it. If Hope is just a Jean replacement, then she's not much of a character. Should Marvel do this, making Hope and Phoenix without Jean Grey, then I'm done. I'm finished. I'm not buying another Marvel comic again and I'm closing this blog. That's not a joke or an idle threat. I will close this blog and never post another review. I'll still work on my website, but I'm done with Marvel comics. I hope they're not that stupid, but I've been wrong before. The mere fact that Hope being Jean makes so much sense leads me to believe Marvel won't go that route. They'll try to pull a fast one and if they do, I'm done. You can wax my chest, cut off my balls, put a wig on my head, and call me Liza Benili. I'm done.
Glad to get that out of my system. I'll keep asking these questions and hope the answer comes soon. I would like 2011 it be the year when I don't have to keep messing up Hope and Jean. I'm willing to wait a bit longer for the answers if necessary, but I have my limits and I'd rather not test them. Nuff said.