The bodies continue to pile up as Marvel’s mutant black bag squad
create a swath of crimson across the globe—in search of villainous
mutants, human supremacists, and, most recently, a vial of the Legacy
Virus. As the current story arc continues, readers may have noticed in Marvel’s January solicits that X-Force #11
offers some answers to the recent introduction of a new character who
may (or may not) have important ties to the history of mutantkind—a guy
named Eli Bard. Appropriately titled, “Who the Hell is Eli Bard?”—X-Force #11 begins to unfold the identity of a mysterious new threat on the horizon for mutantkind.
Newsarama contacted X-Force writer Chris Yost to talk about upcoming plans for X-Force in 2009.
Newsarama: Chris - following the current arc--which features The
Vanisher, Demon Bear, and a vial full of Legacy Virus...Oh yeah--also,
let's not forget Ghost Rider, Mr. Sinister, Cameron Hodge and The
Right...can you guys cram any more baddies and bad asses into a story
Chris Yost: There are actually a couple of appearances that are
still under wraps. The 'Old Ghosts' arc splits Warpath off from the
team, so it's like two stories in one. And then there's Wolfsbane, of
course. Huge story for her in the works.
NRAMA: How soon can we expect to see a rematch between Archangel
and Cameron Hodge? This fight's been a long time coming... How's Hodge
different this time around from his last incarnation as a member of the
CY: Archangel versus Hodge…hmm, that does sound good. Hodge is a
bit different than the last time they tussled, as Bastion has more uses
for Hodge than just a crazy ol' 'head on a Phalanx body.' You'll see
the start of that soon. Very soon.
NRAMA: Selene's always been one of those slightly ambiguous
villains whose presence is forcefully felt but never really thwarted.
Will she have a recurring role in X-Force in the upcoming new year? It
seems you've got a something a little more intimate planned for the
bloodiest band of X-Men in X-Force #11 and #12...just who is Eliphas Bard? And how does he connect with Selene?
CY: Selene's presence in X-Force reaches back to issue one. The
series has two big stories, Bastion... and Selene. In issue #11, you
see how it's all been brewing under the surface, you get to learn more
of Selene's history and you get the full story of Eli Bard, from the
beginning. How does he connect with Selene? Through blood.
NRAMA: Does Rome have any particular connection to Selene and Eli Bard as well as mutantkind?
CY: Rome is where Eli meets his once and future Queen. We know
Selene has a connection to Rome, after all... she tried to recreate it
in South America circa 80's New Mutants. So she's got an affection for the place. We see her in that element here.
NRAMA: Is Warpath's battle with Demon Bear connected to Eli Bard and Selene?
CY: Keep reading.
NRAMA: Is there more to this grouping of X-Men than meets the eye? Something prophetic that may be unfolding?
CY: Craig [Kyle] and I discuss this all the time. These are the
right mutants at the right time, whether anyone likes it or not.
They're the grunts, the ones who it falls to when the dirty jobs have
to be done. They're the ones willing to take it all the way.
NRAMA: Angel/Archangel, Elixir, and Domino seem to be rounding
out your cast of characters--any other last minute additions or will
there be a disastrous subtraction or two from the team?
CY: It was necessary to add a little diversity of power to the
team, a little more range. Archangel's current situation represents a
darkness that is going to hover over X-Force, while Domino's presence
lightens things up. Elixir is a little humanity and compassion on the
team, and while he's got the ability to kill, he's the only one who is
not a killer. He's a fresh, and sane perspective.
NRAMA: Speaking of the Angel/Archangel situation--it seems like
it's getting harder and harder for him to keep himself collected...is
this going to play out in the pages of X-Force or will he be "coming out" in the pages of another X-title first?
CY: It's going to play out here and in Uncanny, but it takes the forefront in X-Force in the arc after 'Suicide Leper,' issues #14-#16.
NRAMA: Is X-Force going to be at odds with the rest of the X-Men
in the near future, or will some of the other members agree with
Cyclops' motives for having a squad of black-ops X-Men?
CY: It's a tough call. If and when the secret comes out, I think we'll see reactions across the board.
NRAMA: Wolverine and Domino seem awfully chummy on the cover of X-Force #9--is there love in the air amongst all the disemboweling intrigue?
CY: Well, we already had violence, so we were just missing sex. Love isn't necessarily the right word.
NRAMA: What are the odds of Bolivar Trask and Steven Lang showing up in the pages of X-Force in the near future?
CY: Very, very good. I'd say 100%.
NRAMA: Will Bastion be working with the U.S. government to
develop deadlier Sentinel technology as well? Could this generation of
readers see something as deadly as Techno Virus-infected Omega
CY: We've seen that Trask and Lang were meeting with US
government officials in the Department of Defense, Warren even surmised
that mean sentinels. What is Bastion's plan for all this? It's big, and
we're going to see it unfolding in the coming months.
NRAMA: Name one character you really want as a member of X-Force but they're too busy in another book or "dead" for the time being?
CY: The hard thing about this book is that if you really love a character, you shouldn't want them in X-Force.
For the characters (hopefully not for the readers) being on X-Force is
kind of horrible. Now, for a character like Deadpool, X-Force seems
like a very happy place.
NRAMA: Fair enough. Finally, how about giving us five words that sum up the beginning of 2009 for X-Force?
CY: Death comes, past and future.