Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CBR X-POSITION: X-Editors - My Questions Asked and (Mostly) Answered

I've always suspected that the big wigs at Marvel get way too many kicks out of the power they have over legions of fanboys like myself. At some point I'm sure they stop and think "Gee, I can legally profit off the awesome of these characters and mold them in my own vision. Damn, that's cool!" There are times when they use that power responsibly. There are times when they abuse it with the ferocity of hungry lion in a pack of wounded zebras. But lately, they've been doing a lot of shit right so for that I raise my glass and drink to their contributions. Keeping in mind, of course, that I drink to damn near anything.

Whenever the editors (you know, the ones with the REAL authority at Marvel), come out from their secret underground base built that's probably nestled somewhere in the Alps it's a big deal. Especially when a huge event like Avengers vs. X-men is on the horizon. Pretty much everyone at Marvel won't shut up about it and why would they? They're pitting the Avengers against the X-men while the freakin' Phoenix Force is on it's way to cook them like a pound of bacon in an Epic Mealtime video. It's led to all sorts of speculation and what not. So for this week's X-POSITION column, the X-Editors took time to further tempt us X-men fans into parting with our money and part of our souls.

CBR X-POSITION: X-men Editors

As any responsible drunk, I took some time between hangovers and binges to write a few questions for the find folk putting together this epic event. Not all of them were asked, but the fine folk at CBR were nice enough to ask the important ones. This is what they said.

MarvelMaster616 is next, and he begins our descent into the world of queries surrounding "Avengers vs. X-Men."

1) I've really been enjoying Jeph Loeb's work on "Avengers: X-Sanction." Can you talk about how the events of this story will fit into what happens in "Avengers vs. X-Men" and the books preceding it?

2) It's already been established that the Phoenix Force will be a big part of "Avengers vs. X-Men." However, there's been no mention whatsoever of Jean Grey. If I recall, Jean Grey supposedly merged fully with the Phoenix Force during the events of "Phoenix -- Endsong," yet she's been utterly divorced from the Phoenix Force as it has interacted with Hope, the Cuckoos, and Rachel Grey. When did the Phoenix Force become completely separate from Jean Grey?

3) In one of the covers to "Avengers vs. X-Men," Wolverine looks torn between fighting alongside the Avengers and the X-Men. What can we expect from him as the conflict unfolds?

Old chum, MarvelMaster616! Have you lost weight? You look terrific! Anyway, let's answer your queries!

1) "Avengers: X-Sanction" will have no effect on the books preceding AvX (as it's one of them and isn't finished yet), but it will have big effects on AvX itself. That will become way more clear when you've seen issues #3 and #4.

2) You are correct that there has been no mention of Jean Grey leading up to AvX. Read into that however you would like. Can't say much more than that, I'm afraid.

3) That's another question I can't say too much about without spoiling things. But the gravitational pull between the A and X will weigh heavily on Wolverine. You'll see this in AvX #1, "Wolverine and the X-Men" #9 and "New Avengers" #24.

I'm not sure if it's a good sign that the X-crew recognize my drunken ramblings or not. I'm also not even sure if Nick Lowe was just screwing with me. It may be a little of both since I doubt he reads this blog. But he's always been among the more eccentric members of the Marvel crew so I take some of his words with a grain of salt. But at least he made an effort.

The first question about X-Sanction was poorly worded on my part. I probably shouldn't have used the words 'preceeding.' I meant to ask whether X-Sanction would effect any other books besides Avengers vs. X-men. But whether he intended to or not, he may have already answered it in stating that it would affect the event itself. If I can take that at face value (and I'm never sure with Nick Lowe), that means that the outcome of X-Sanction probably won't be felt in other X-books until Avengers vs. X-men kicks in. So I got my answer there.

I didn't expect him to spoil the ongoing conflict between Wolverine's hatred of Cyclops, his membership to the Avengers, and which side he takes. But I always appreciate it when someone actually gives me issues to look forward to so that I at least know when I get my answer. It's better than Tom Brevoort just saying "wait and see" on his Formspring account. That shit just gets old after a while. So I appreciate that.

Where things get fuzzy though is with the Jean Grey question. And honestly, is that surprising? Everyone at Marvel has been allergic to Jean Grey lately. That's understandable when there isn't a rip-off character that looks just like her in Hope Summers running around and when the Phoenix Force isn't on it's way to broil the Earth. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Despite being dead for nearly a decade, Jean Grey still comes up in pretty much every major interview about the future of X-men. Yet Marvel is trying much harder than usual to avoid addressing her on every level. Some may see that as a sign that she's going to play a part in this event. I interpret more as an "if we ignore it long enough then maybe it'll go away." It doesn't work with cockroaches so I don't see why it would work with Jean Grey. This begs the question as to why Jean hasn't been mentioned. Forget for a moment that Hope Summers looks just like her, adopted her dress sense, and was raised by what is technically her biological son. When the fucking Phoenix Force is involved, Jean Grey is usually not far behind. Even in shitty stories like Phoenix Warsong, she's at least mentioned at times. None of that shit has happened with Avengers vs. X-men. This may or may not be Jean's triumphant and overdue return. Or it may be the event the finally separates her fully from the Phoenix Force and entrenches Hope as her replacement. I'm personally inclined to believe the latter given Marvel's utter revulsion to bring Jean back while bringing characters like Sabretooth back. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not getting my hopes up for Jean's return. There have just been too many false teases for it to have any real meaning.

I'm still excited about Avengers vs. X-men. I feel it's going to be the biggest event since the invention of whiskey. But if you're a Jean Grey fan and are banking on this to be her big comeback, I would caution you to tie your ass to a tree and hold on because when that rug gets pulled out from under you it'll be a hell of a fall. Other than that, this has all the necessary potential to be the biggest event in a decade. The onus is on Marvel to blow our minds and I've got the paper towels and windex ready. Nuff said!


  1. Being a huge Jean Grey fan, I've personally come to the conclusion that the higher ups at Marvel love the concept of her character, but hate her character as it actually stands. Last we saw the real her she was effectively written in to a corner as it were. Seeing as now she isn't just the most notable host for the Phoenix Force but THE living embodiment of the force it's kind of hard to write interesting stories around this all-powerful character without negating some of that.

    I think this is why we got Hope. She's more or less a retread of Jean's character without the years of continuity baggage. It allows them to mold her into what they picture, not to mention it lets Cyclops and Emma continue on their merry way without his former marriage drama.

    I think generally they would like all the Jean questions to just go away, but I think they begrudgingly acknowledge (without saying it out loud) that the way they've set things up that it just isn't going to happen. After all, a mention of Jean in the X-books has the fans come out in droves to the point that it even surprises me sometimes.

    I think in AvX Jean Grey will get a mention. Marvel knows they have to as the fans, even the ones who don't really care about Jean, will cry foul because hey, continuity is continuity. But otherwise I'm expecting no glorious return for my favorite red head. Her replacement is here and Marvel expects me to get used to it.

  2. I can find no flaws in your logic Adam, sober or high. I agree that every Jean Grey fan should not be too excited about this event just for the chance of getting Jean back. She's not coming back so long as the current order is in place at Marvel. They love her when she's dead, but hate her when she's alive. That's pretty fucked up, but that's par for the course I'm afraid. Go figure. Thanks for the comment!


  3. It's funny that they are canceling Generation Hope and tease that some of them aren't going to make it.

  4. I wouldn't say it's funny. I would say it's ominous. And by ominous I mean way too overt to be a coincidence.