Wednesday, January 26, 2011

X-POSITION: Nick Lowe - My Questions Asked...Sort Of

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.


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.


  1. It's great that we finally have a confirmation about Prof. X's future in the X-Books. And a major High-5 to your Hope/Jean rage! Throwing out all these ridiculous teasers is like slapping us fans with handfuls of shit and saying "It's might be shit, but we won't tell you if it really is shit until much later."

  2. I agree with you,Jack.And aside from being utterly insulting to their fans,the Marvel staff are beyond witless.They waste tree and ink in order to produce miserable stories about Hope's role as the mutant Messiah,which are actually meaningless;Decimation is not reversed and that "Generation Hope" story doesn't seem to go anywhere.They could make so much profit out of investing stories in Hope's connection to the Phoenix Force,but they choose not to!Instead,we're left with unanswered questions!Why did Bishop think of Hope as the mutant Antichrist?Why did Sinister want to seize control of the baby?Why is EVERYONE oblivious to Hope's manifesting fiery raptors?

    As for Professor X?I won't believe anything until I see it printed.We've been promised that Havok,Polaris and Rachel are soon to return for two years,yet still nothing.

  3. Noctis, thanks for the support on my Hope/Jean rage! I don't know how much longer I can stomach shit like this. If it were subtle, then that would be one thing. But the Hope/Jean hints are about as subtle as a kick in the balls. There's no excuse to be this blatant. Jean is too popular a character and Hope is becoming too much a derivative. So I'm ready for the writers to clear this up so I know if I can get along with my shit crazy life.

    And Selene, I appreciate your support as well. I know I rant on and on about Hope/Jean, but I can't help it! This issue really does bug the shit out of me. It's like Marvel is trying to avoid the whole Jean issue while trying to tap her popularity as well. I'm sorry, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want Jean's popularity, bring her back! Don't throw some shitty knock-off down our throats. That's like pissing on your head without the decency of calling it rain. I would rather slip myself the date rape drug and walk into Jeffery Dahlmer's house than be teased endlessly like this. I hope we have something to go on by the end of 2011. Based on Nick Lowe's response, I'm about as optimistic as a death cult in Sumatra. I'll believe it when I see it.

  4. Selene is absolutely right about all the galactic-sized black holes in Hope's storylines. Did EVERYONE think Bishop was just batshit crazy during his time-travelling, Terminator style "Must Hunt and Destroy" rampage? NO ONE AT ALL thought to themselves that maybe--JUST MAYBE--there is a tiny grain of truth in what Mr. "I Come From The Future And We Are All Fucked If That Girl Is Still Alive" has been preaching like a Armageddon-shouting lunatic at a downtown intersection!

    However, for what it's worth, I am enjoying Kieron Gillen's work on "Generation Hope". It nice seeing Jea--I mean HOPE (haha, borrowing from your playbook Jack. hope u dont mind.) take a leading role as the leader of her young, untrained, rag-tag gang of mutants.

    Still, if we fans don't get an answer by the time San Diego Comic Con 2011 rolls by, there will be hell and more to pay! Remember, hell hath no fury like a FANBASE scorned!

  5. I am very much in agreement with your frustrations, Jack. There's only so much a fan can take, especially when it concerns a character we've loved for so many years, before we say "ENOUGH!" and give up. I don't blame you for wanting to close the blog if Marvel ends up having Hope not turn out to be Jean in any sense. What was the point of all that blatant "clues?" Like you said: the hair, the eyes, the clothes, the Phoenix powers - and to have it NOT be Jean? What a horrible, horrible joke.

    BTW thanks for the shout out in your X-Men Supreme blog! I ain't done reading by a long shot :)

  6. Yeah, that's something else they've seemed to gloss over. Was Bishop just plain wrong? The guy was pretty convinced that Hope was going to destroy them all. You don't get that convinced for no reason. Now that Cable is gone who else is left to question whether or not Bishop was right? They did keep him alive, remember? Bishop is still kicking. He's just in the future. I do hope that comes up, but Marvel seems too content to gloss over this shit. I REALLY hoped that we would get at least a hint of an answer this year, but Nick Lowe has crushed those hopes yet again. I'm sorry, but there's only so much I can take and I'm a big fan.

    Rekkanoryo, I'm glad you share int he frustration because it is getting to a breaking point. Hope's story has been unfolding for quite some time now and along the way they've dropped SO many hints. I can't remember Marvel ever being this blatant about something. It's the fact that they're so blatant that I'm really worried that they're crazy enough to pull a fast one. They'll try to make Hope NOT turn out to be Jean and that will just be the end of it for me. Hope already carries herself pretty much the same as New X-men Jean Grey. If she's not connected, she might as well be a ripoff.

    And thanks again for your comments on my series. I've much more to come!