Heroes Con 2009 - Marvel's X-Men Panel

Marvel closed out its panel presentations at Heroes Con 2009 on Sunday with its X-Men panel hosted by C.B. Cebulski, with lone panelist, writer Matt Fraction.

Prior to opening the floor to questions, Cebulski ran through a brief Power Point presentation with announcements of three new projects:

X-Babies, an October-launching miniseries by Gregg Schiegel and Jacob Chabot that brings the X-Babies of the Mojoverse back to the forefront, and at the same time introduces the characters from Marvel’s defunct kid imprint, Star Comics to the main Marvel Universe. Star characters that will meet the X-Babies include: Royal Roy, Top Dog, Planet Terry, and Wally Wizard.

Psylocke, a four-issue miniseries beginning in November, written by Chris Yost with art by Harvey Tolibao. The storyline of the mini will flow from Psylocke’s recent appearances in Uncanny X-Men and her involvement with The Sisterhood.

X-Men Legacy Annual coming in September, and written by Mike Carey with art by Daniel Acuna.

Fraction also spoke of Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, saying of the crossover that it was one of the first ideas that he had for the book when he went to his first X-Men summit meeting a couple of years back when he wrote “X v A” for his summer of 2009 story, meaning “X-Men vs. Avengers.” The storyline came and went in terms of do-ability, and then became more and more real as Dark Reign came into being.

“It’s not a six issue fight scene,” Fraction said of the story, explaining that the story will have ramifications and lead to The List specials previously announced.  Fraction said that his List special, illustrated by Alan Davis is completed, and all six scripts of Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men are done, and that the story sets up his second and third years on the series.  Fraction said that he had to open an Excel sheet to keep track of all the characters in the miniseries.

Fraction said that Mike Deodato will be drawing Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus, the bookend one-shot after the 6-issue series.

Moving to questions, Cebulski announced that, to spur participation, everyone who asked a question would get a free X-Men comic, with the person asking the best question getting an X-Men trade paperback.

Will any Generation X trade paperbacks be coming out, given how important Emma Frost, Monet and other characters from that series are lately, Cebulski said that while he wasn’t sure, suggesting it to Marvel’s Jen Gruenwald may convince her to get the wheels rolling and make sure they’re reprinted.

Fraction said that there’s a chance that a “lot of familiar faces, powered and de-powered, new and old” may be showing up for various reasons. He added that he hasn’t decided yet who may be returning, but affirmed that some may be coming back. He later said that he wanted to follow up on what happened to the Blob, and possibly bring Jubilee into his mix in Uncanny. “We’ll be seeing de-powered folks and familiar folks in the next eight issues,” he concluded.

Asked if he has more plans for Dazzler, Fraction said that he really likes the character and wants her to stay around, but stayed noncommittal on specific plans.

Will Namor’s mutant-ness be played up with the character joining the Dark X-Men, and fan asked? “In #512, we deal with it very explicitly,” Fraction said. “He was the first mutant of the ‘mutant boom’…we get to see what the mutant growth curve was, and it spiked straight up after Namor.”

In speaking to a young fan about the Jean Grey/Wolverine/Cyclops triangle, Fraction offered the following advice: “Moving forward in your life, if you have steak on your plate, you don’t need the lobster too.”

Asked about the gay characters that have been in Uncanny, and if he would be introducing any more, Fraction said that he may, but doesn’t want to make a big deal about it, because he doesn’t think that the sexuality of the characters is that big a deal, but rather, just a characteristic, much like hair color.

How did Warren Worthington get involved with the science team in Uncanny? Fraction said that basically it's because he's the rich guy who can fund the endeavor.

Will X-Force be more connected to the Uncanny happenings after Messiah War?  Fraction: “You should really check out X-Men/Dark Avengers.”

Asked about more elements of the “Inferno” storyline coming back to Uncanny, Fraction said that he's probably tipped his hat enough to that storyline as much as he plans to in the series. Cebulski added that while they're not coming back in Uncanny, elements may be seen, regardless.

Fraction reiterated that he'll be moving towards a stable team within the pages of Uncanny in the coming months, noting that Storm and Iceman may well have their places, and that it doesn't take a genius to figure out the rest of his favorites among the cast.

Asked if Kitty Pryde is gone for good, Fraction said that “She's a great character.” At a panel on Saturday, Fraction alluded to the idea that she was gone, given that “Gone” was the name of the issue in Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon in which Kitty saved the earth, but stayed on the rocket.

Fraction said that Kitty Pryde was his character crush among the X-Men, and is part of the reason he's keeping Pixie in the spotlight, pointing to her as a blend of Kitty Pryde and Jubilee in many ways.

Why is Daken, Wolverine's son in Dark Avengers not Uncanny, Fraction said that he's going to be on both teams, with a line coming from Norman Osborn referencing this in a self-referential way, “Who knew? Wolverine is crazy popular.”

Is there a period of time after a character, such as Kitty Pryde disappears that other writers can't use them, a fan asked. Fraction said that he thinks it's story dependant, but there are lots of fail safes to make sure that the return is what's best for the story, rather than a return for a return's sake.

Asked if there are plans for Dani Moonstar, Fraction pointed to the slide showing the art from Dark Avengers/ Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, stressing again his love for the original New Mutants.

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