In June’s Uncanny X-Men Special #1, a man from the X-Men’s past has come back and kidnapped its leader, Cyclops. He may not be a ‘damsel in distress,’ but it falls to the kids of Uncanny X-Men and Nova to save him –lucky they have some help from Iron Man. What kind of threat could bring together such unconventional team , and what does the U.S. Government’s Public Enemy #1, Cyclops, have to say about it?
Uncanny X-Men Special #1 is an oversized one-shot coming out in June by former Marvel/DC editor Sean Ryan (who was also just announced as the new ongoing writer of New Suicide Squad for DC Comics) and up-and-coming artist Ron Ackins. Ryan is no stranger to the X-Men, having served as an editor on the line during Joss Whedon’s monumental Astonishing X-Men run, and after a whirlwind of jobs at Marvel, DC and even DC’s west coast offices, he’s coming back home to write the X-Men in his first full-length story.
Newsarama spoke with Ryan about the turn of events in Uncanny X-Men Special #1, ferretting out the teen hero team-up between the kids of Uncanny X-Men and Nova, as well as who could kidnap Cyclops – and most importantly, why?
Newsarama: Sean, this sounds like quite the story – X-Men, Iron Man and Nova all crossing over in one standalone story. What can you tell us about it?
Sean Ryan: It’s a big rollicking space adventure. To get the tone for this series I keep thinking of movies like Goonies, and Adventures in Babysitting. I’ve been having a great time writing the kids from the Uncanny X-Men series, because they’re so new to all this stuff. Unlike most comic book characters, they haven’t seen it all yet. Nova is bit like that as well. You throw them together with Iron Man and Cyclops, it creates a nice dynamic between heroes at different points in their “hero careers” so to speak. People just starting out, and people who have been at it forever.
Nrama: Can you talk about Nova and the kids from Uncanny X-Men all being new to this whole superhero stuff, and how they interact?
Ryan: I think there will be a mutual fascination with the other. Both are so new, but at the same time they don't know that about each other. So it's sort of like, the kids from Uncanny X-Men thinking how cool it is that he's Nova, and Nova thinking how crazy it is that he's meeting X-Men. And there's also a bonding there of, "Oh, so you're new to this too? Phew, yeah, me too." There's a lot of things they can relate to with each other, and really learn from each other.
Nrama: Cyclops is many things, but damsel in distress isn’t a frequent one – but the solicits say he is kidnapped. Can you describe his situation, and who might have kidnapped him?
Ryan: Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but one of the ideas of the story is how the past never stops leaving you alone. So it’s something from the past that’s come back to haunt him. Whether or not it’s his past is the question.
Nrama: What brings these three Marvel forces together?
Ryan: Again, I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s who kidnaps Cyclops. That guy is the central figure in the story and spurs everything. He’s a bit of a tragic figure, I think. He’s a character that was bigger in the past and now has fallen on some hard times. He’s desperate, and that desperation spells trouble for the heroes in our story.
Nrama: What inspired you to bring these three disparate elements together?
Ryan: My editor, Nick Lowe, told me he wanted this to be a big action packed story with huge scope. So it made sense to make it a space adventure. And these three felt like the ones that made the most sense to go into space.
Nrama:I remember you name well in comics as an editor at DC and Marvel – even serving on the X-Titles during the Joss Whedon’s time on Astonishing X-Men era. But now you’re writing, with a story in A+X and now here; what brought you back to comics, but now writing?
Ryan: I’ve always wanted to write comics. I think every decision I’ve made since I was twelve years old was centered around, “will this help me eventually write comics?” So writing has always been the goal, but how one gets started writing comics is a bit of a mystery. I’m still not sure how you get to. But yeah, I had the pleasure of editing at Marvel and DC, and working on the west coast with DC Entertainment, but my eye was always looking for a chance to write. And recently, a saw a perfect opportunity to finally give it a go. I’m thrilled to be doing so, and hopefully they keep letting me in the future.
Nrama: Working with you on this story is Ron Ackins –a relative newcomer to Marvel. What’s ti like being paired up with him?
Ryan: It’s been great so far! The artwork is coming in fast and furiously from him and it’s looking awesome [just see for yourself here!]. He does some great character work and his action is fantastic. It’s been a real treat seeing the new pages come in.