Yesterday, at the Mondo Marvel panel at Wizard World Philidelphia—Marvel announced the next story arc involving the X-Men will be titled Manifest Destiny. Details are sketchy at the moment; but, similar to the Divided We Stand arc which crossed through the X-line, Manifest Destiny will cross through the core books, touching upon various mutant characters of the Marvel Universe in different ways. Further, Marvel will be releasing X-Men: Manifest Destiny, a four issue mini-series which boasts a hefty list of creators.
Newsarama contacted X-Editor Nick Lowe as well as Executive Editor Axel Alonso to discuss particulars in regard to Manifest Destiny.
Newsarama: The term Manifest Destiny beares a significant amount of weight in the history of the U.S. and the expansion of civilization to the Western shores of North America--how does this metaphor apply to the X-Men beyond the obvious move to San Francisco?
Axel Alonso: The X-Men’s move to San Francisco is more than just a change in scenery – it’s a change in strategy. It’s a large part of Cyclops' vision for what the X-Men should be – and one thing they should not be is sitting ducks in a hostile world. The X-Men’s new HQ, which we’ll unveil in July, is a fortress that offers the type of seclusion and security that they need at this juncture; their move offers a fresh start as they march forward with the faith—but not the knowledge—that there is a future. The Avengers can have New York, the X-Men have the Bay Area.
NRAMA: Is the Manifest Destiny storyline leading to a larger premise or will the titles be dispersing into their own singularity (somewhat) in the fall? Fans were seemingly pleased by the cross-over event of Messiah Complex--is the House of Ideas being mindful of reader sensibility in regards to being overwhelmed by large events and the lurching economy?
AA: What we're mindful of is making each book count. The one thing we don't want any X-title to be is redundant. Each book has its own mission statement, and its own vibe. And each book should contribute to the larger tapestry that is the X-Men universe.
NRAMA: Fair enough. Nick, who will be some of the key players featured in the X-Men: Manifest Destiny mini-series?
Nick Lowe: X-Men: Manifest Destiny will be structured somewhat like X-Men: Divided We Stand with one key difference—There will be one story that has chapters in each issue. That story centers around one of the first X-Men, Iceman. Other characters are Karma, Colossus, Mercury…
NRAMA: What information can you release in regards to creators involved with the mini-series?
NL: Mike Carey is writing the Iceman portions. There are many artists, but Humberto Ramos is going to do the covers.
NRAMA: Is Iceman a neglected character? Bobby Drake has always been this guy on the verge of breaking out of an ancillary role--then a regime change occurs and he falls back down a rung or two on the ladder of importance. Care to discuss?
NL: A lot of it has to do with his character. He’s never been the guy to stand up and take the reins. He’s the wiseacre. A lot of the reasons for him not taking center stage is that, I don’t think he wants it. Will that change? Well, he has been going through a lot in the last year.
NRAMA: Getting back to the idea of a mutant 'Manifest Destiny'--could there be a change in the way the X-Men represent themselves to the public? Are they going deeper undercover like the later years of Claremont's run or is this another declarative, "We're here, get used to it." kind of moment for the Children of the Atom?
NL: That’s something we’ve been pushing at in a big way. Cyclops is assertive and confident and he’s not going to let mutants go quietly into the night.
NRAMA: In your opinion are there other X-characters that you, as an editor, would like to see writer's tackle? Are there characters that writers seem to shy away from? And if so, why?
NL: Of course, I have my favorites. I’m a huge Cyclops fan and have a soft spot for Nightcrawler. But the ones I want to push into the spotlight are sometimes the smaller characters like Pixie, Pete Wisdom, Neznho, Dazzler, Strong Guy, Mercury…
NRAMA: What kind of threat will present itself in X-Men: Manifest Destiny?
NL: There are a ton of threats that are coming as part of Manifest Destiny. When they go to SF and state that this is their home, they know they have to be ready for anything. Some highlights? Magneto, The Hellfire Cult, Professor X… what? Professor X? Wait and see!