War Watch: Chris Yost on the Coming 'Messiah War'

X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Prologue #1

Marvel’s Children of the Atom suffer like no other; everyone hates and/or fears them. They’ve been plagued with viruses; decimated by magic; and had what seems like every one of their dead adversaries return—united by Bastion—to wreck havoc on what little bit of freedom they’re clinging to. Just who is responsible for bringing all this malevolence and mayhem to the lives of the mutants of the Mavel Universe? Chris Yost—that’s who…well, wait, he’s one of several guys, really…

In March, building upon the events of 2008’s Messiah Complex, Marvel releases X-Force/ Cable: Messiah War Prologue #1. This one-shot reunites Cable with X-Force as well as his father, Cyclops, who charged Cable with the task of protecting the mysterious ‘Hope Summers’—the first mutant to be born since the final moments of House of M. Now, Cyclops and X-Force must try to help a worse-for-wear Cable and battle not only the traitorous Lucas Bishop but yet another returning threat: the not-so-dead clone of Cable—the Chaosbringer, Stryfe!

Wanting answers? So are we. Newsarama contacted Chris Yost and asked, “Stryfe?!? What the…”

Newsarama: Everything seems to be getting darker in the Marvel Universe in 2009—particularly in Cable and X-Force—and the reality of "even darker times ahead" seems to be looming large on the horizon. Can each of you sum up the events of the upcoming build-up to 'Messiah War' in a one word theme? Also, go into why you chose that specific word?

Chris Yost: My word is 'wall' because mutantkind is up against it. The theme for X-Force, for me at least, is how far are good people willing to go to ensure the survival of their species? How many lines will you cross, how much blood you spill to make sure everyone you love will live to see another day? This isn't, 'Oh man - if we fail, Magneto will rule the world!' Or even about the survival of the X-Men. This is the survival of a species. There is no tomorrow if they fail.

NRAMA: Cyclops is the fulcrum behind all the current storylines—he's sent X-Force out to handle the dirty work and he's the one who had Cable go into hiding in the time stream--is everything going to hit the fan all at once? Will the X-Men hold him accountable? Is there going to be a philosophical split that sunders the 'X' in 2009?

X-Force #14

CY: I think Cyclops would go to jail with a smile on his face when it's all said and done. If everything he's done results in the survival of mutantkind, he'll take whatever judgment anyone wants to put on him, whether it be X-Man or SHIELD or the police. All secrets come to light in time, Cyclops knows this. But he's got to do everything he can. Will the X-Men split over it? Only time will tell.

NRAMA: Tell us about the Messiah War Prologue? Will this be a storyline that runs only through the pages of X-Force and Cable?

CY: Messiah War runs through only X-Force and Cable. The entire story takes place over about 34 hours. The prologue really sets the stage for the madness to come...and it serves as a primer for the events in the X-Universe since 'Messiah Complex.' So you've got no excuse.

NRAMA: X-Force has shown up in the pages of Cable but they haven't really reunited with Cable, so to speak; once Cable comes out of hiding, is there going to be room for him with X-Force? Or can one team contain both Wolverine and Cable?

CY: Cable and Wolverine don't really give a crap about each other... they just want to get the job done. They'll work with each other if need be, but if one of them gets in the other's way, all bets are off. And sadly, each of them is getting in the other's way in this story.

NRAMA: With the introduction of Eli Bard's origins next month and the re-emergence of the Leper Queen, will there be undercurrents of 'Messiah War' in the the X-Force monthly? Or have we already seen them? Will Bastion and his cabal of supremacists be a factor in the upcoming months?

CY: The road to War begins in X-Force #12 and #13, and leads directly into the Prologue. Bastion and his plans are the focus of #12-#13, but decisions are made that turn everything on its head, with tragic consequences. The last few pages of issue 13 are going to have a long lasting effect on X-Force, and the X-Men in general. Post-crossover, and I know this sounds impossible, but things get worse.

NRAMA: Yeah, so there’s this cover image of X-Force #14 featuring the return of...Stryfe!? What the...

CY: HELL. Yeah. Get ready to have your eyes stabbed. You know, in the good way.

NRAMA: But...but he died...

CY: Sure, he was dead and in hell, but that's a minor obstacle for the Chaos Bringer. He was raised by Apocalypse. They probably talked about how to escape hell and come back to life while they were fishing one day.

NRAMA: Okay, and who are these shiny, razor-pointy bad-asses with him on the cover of X-Force #14?

CY: Stryfetroopers. Wrap your head around that.

NRAMA: Is this this man the same Stryfe or are we looking at a new "Erik the Red" type scenario?

CY: It's Stryfe. If you can't count on a time travelling clone that's dead being the real deal, what can you count on? Stryfe is back, and Cable's not in the best of shape to deal with him.

Luckily, Cable's not in this alone. He's got six or seven allies...all armed with KNIVES. And a gun. So Cable should be fine against one of the most powerful mutants ever.

NRAMA: What does Stryfe want with Hope Summers?

CY: There are seven pretty big assumptions in that statement. The better questions is, 'What does BISHOP want with STRYFE?'

NRAMA: Is Messiah War leading to something larger this summer?

CY: Messiah War leads to Messiah Occupation, and the establishment of Messiah Democracy. Who knows how long it will take. But Messiah War introduces a whole new world to young Hope Summers. It changes things for Cable and X-Force, and sets up the end game for mutantkind. Little things like that.

Keep your eyes peeled for the second half of Newsarama’s coverage of the Messiah War—when we talk to Duane Swierczynski about Cable’s role in the Messiah War and the upcoming release of X-Men: The Life and Times of Lucas Bishop.

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