Everyone knows that Wolverine is in a lot of comics each month, but right now there's really one man controlling his destiny: writer Jason Aaron, who's not only approaching his second year on the Wolverine solo book, but is also writing the character's much-anticipated split with Cyclops in X-Men: Schism, and placing Logan in a leadership role as of the October-debuting new ongoing series Wolverine and the X-Men.
The post-Schism X-Men status quo is being dubbed by Marvel as "X-Men: Regenesis," with Wolverine and the X-Men being joined in November by a new Uncanny X-Men #1 from Kieron Gillen, Carlos Pacheco and Greg Land. Each book represents a side of Schism's philosophical split, and though details are still mostly under wraps — the five-issue Schism miniseries doesn't even start until July, after all — Newsarama talked with Aaron to get a little clearer picture of what lies ahead, including the tantalizing hint that there's at least one character who "Wolverine literally has to drag with him in chains."
Aaron also discussed the Schism miniseries itself — specifically the return of Quentin Quire, Kid Omega from Grant Morrison's New X-Men — and what's currently happening over in Wolverine, plus a little Punishermax talk for good measure. Courtesy of Marvel, we've also got a couple of exclusive interior pages from X-Men: Schism #2 and #3.
Exclusive Frank Cho
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X-Men: Schism #2Newsarama: Jason, this month's news that the outcome of X-Men: Schism will be two new teams — Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine and the X-Men — got a lot of fans talking and speculating. Have you monitored the reaction at all?
Jason Aaron: Yeah, I've seen some of it. I always try to keep an eye on what people are saying online. I read my reviews, and all that sort of stuff, lurk message boards. It seems like people have responded favorably. Some people don't like the idea of Uncanny X-Men relaunching, which I can understand to some degree, but at the end of the day I think we'll come out of Schism with a stronger group of core books.
Kieron is doing exciting stuff on Uncanny, and taking that book in a new direction, and I'm getting to do all sorts of crazy new stuff in my book. I think it'll be a good time to be an X-Men fan.
Nrama: Is it strange at all to be talking about stuff that's coming so far down the line? X-Men: Schism hasn't even started coming out yet, and we're already discussing what's coming after it.
Aaron: That kind of stuff is always a little weird. Whenever you're writing stories, you don't necessarily think about, "Well, how are we going to market this?" but that always has to come into play. You kind of want to give people some heads up of what's coming, and "Why should you be interested in this," and "How is this going to affect things?" That always plays into it.Exclusive Frank Cho
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X-Men: Schism #2You look at Schism — it's called Schism, so that obviously tells you things are getting split apart. Where there was one book, now there's two. Where there was one faction, now things are broken apart. So that part shouldn't really be surprising, it's kind of right there in the title.
Nrama: Yeah, and there was probably never much of a chance that the end of Schism #5 was going to be, "Never mind! We're friends again!"
Aaron: Right. The real question will be, "Why does this happen? How does it happen?" So it shouldn't really matter that you kind of know what's going to happen, it's still the suspense of how and why.
Nrama: You've been writing Wolverine for a few years now, and have written some of the X-Men in there, but Wolverine and the X-Men is your first shot at writing an ongoing X-Men title.
Aaron: I've been super-excited, ever since I first found out this was where we were heading. I've been poking around the edges of the X-verse for a while, doing Wolverine. I've been wanting to get on a team book, just waiting until the time was right, and everything kind of came together, where they offered me Schism in conjunction with this follow-up book. I jumped at the chance. I'm getting to do the kind of X-stories I've always wanted to do.
Nrama: You've talked before about your admiration for Grant Morrison's New X-Men. Are there any specific runs or eras you're looking at for inspiration with Wolverine and the X-Men?
Nrama: And the pre-Claremont material sometimes gets ignored, since post-Giant-Size X-Men #1 is what's often considered the "classic era."
Aaron: I think people forget that this is a Lee/Kirby book. It was one of the few that didn't really click under them for whatever reason, but there is some really good stuff back there.
Nrama: I know you can't talk specific members yet beyond Wolverine, but the book sounds like it will have a pretty large cast, right?
Aaron: It's a big cast, but on the other hand, I'm also trying to focus things in a little bit more.
To me, the stuff I love about the X-Men is the soap opera of it. To do that, you really got to have a solid, core group of characters, so you can explore them, and bounce them off each other, do elements of love affairs, and fallouts, and tensions, and all sorts of unexpected relationships — the kind of stuff we've loved in the X-Men for years. There will be a lot of characters involved in the book, but we'll still have a pretty solid, core group.
#2 cover.Nrama: And new characters, too, it sounds like. Are these ones we'll see first in Schism?
Aaron: The new characters we see in Schism are really the new villains, the new Hellfire Club. The new characters in Wolverine and the X-Men pretty much debut in that issue #1. There's at least one that we first see somewhere else. Some of the main characters in Schism will carry over into Wolverine and the X-Men.
Nrama: What about established characters who have never been X-Men before?
Aaron: We'll see a couple of pre-existing X-characters who we haven't seen for a while. At least one of them who's really stepping up in a big way for the first time.When you look at the cast, there will be some characters where you say, "Oh, well that makes sense." There will be others that will be a bit of a head-scratcher. There will be some surprises.
When the call goes out, when everybody realizes after Schism that this break has happened, people start to choose sides. There are some people who sign up with Wovlerine from the get go — he doesn't even have to ask them or talk them into it, nothing. There are others he has to give the speech to, and convince them, "Hey, you need to come with me." There are other characters who are forced upon Wolverine, who he doesn’t necessarily want. And then there's one character Wolverine literally has to drag with him in chains. You get a real mix.When we first had the X-retreat where we talked about all this, that was the focus of one of our mini X-summits: "OK, who's going to go where?" I'm saying, "Man, I'd love to write this character," and Kieron would say, "Well, I'd love to write this character," but most of the discussion was us figuring out, "Who makes sense going which way?" So not just, "which characters do we want," but, "what makes sense for these characters to do?" Which sides would they choose? The lines weren't arbitrarily drawn in terms of just what we wanted to do.
Nrama: It doesn't sound like there's going to be too many characters sitting on the fence.
Aaron: I don't think we'll have a lot of fence-sitters. I think even spinning out into the other books, most all the X-books will be allied with one side or the other. I don't think you'll have a lot of middle ground.
Nrama: On art is Chris Bachalo, and this is your first time working with him, right?
Aaron: It is, yeah, we've never worked together before. He's one of those guys that I've been a huge fan of for years. He's really the perfect guy to draw the book, the only artist we ever really considered for this. He's getting to design new characters, and a new corner of the X-universe, which is great. He's really just cutting loose and having a blast. He'll be drawing some characters he's drawn before, and some he's never drawn before, so it'll be a real mix.
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X-Men: Schism #1
by Carlos Pacheco.Nrama: Since the last time we talked about Schism, it's been revealed that Quentin Quire will be playing a major part. What made him right for the story?
Aaron: I needed a spark to start the fire in Schism. It just sort of clicked. Quentin was one of my favorite things about Morrison's run, a character who popped up in a few places since then, but certainly hasn't had a very prominent role in the X-universe. I wanted to bring him back in a big way. He certainly makes a big splash right off the bat in Schism #1, and then continues to play a part throughout. This really puts him back into play in the X-universe in a big way, back doing the same kind of stuff we saw him doing in Morrison's run, just getting in way bigger trouble this time.
Nrama: Since you're the writer of Wolverine and Wolverine and the X-Men, how much interaction will there be between the two books?
Aaron: You won't see direct crossover, but certainly Schism has a big effect on the Wolverine solo book. Wolverine has to go on a little side mission in order to be able to set up what he's doing in the pages of Wovlerine and the X-Men.
Schism will affect pretty much every X-book. Rippling out from that, going forward we'll see how it affects the entire Marvel Universe in a profound way. Certainly the entire Marvel Universe has been watching what's been going on in the X-universe for a while now, much of it with trepidation When thy see what happens in Schism, they've got to be getting a little more antsy. For the longest time, the X-Men kind of existed in their own little corner of the Marvel Universe. They handled their business over there, everybody else handles their business over here. We will definitely see that change. The X-Men will be thrust back into the midst of the Marvel Universe again.
Wolverine #13 cover. Nrama: Right now in the Wolverine solo book things are coming to a head with the Red Right Hand, which has been building since #1.
Aaron: This has all really been one story so far. Everything's coming to a head now. We're finally finding out who these people are, and why they're doing what they're doing, as Wolverine's fighting his way to them. The last issue of this arc is really a big punch in the face; it's what everything has been building to so far. We find out the big secret of "What is the ultimate plan of the Red Right Hand?" and "Have they been successful?" It's something that really yanks the rug out from Wolverine. It's not something you have to read to understand Schism, but if you are reading both of them, I think you'll see how things dovetail, and certainly what Wolverine will have gone through by that point in the pages of his own book has a big effect on his mindset going into Schism.
Nrama: And even with picking up a new title, it looks like you're staying on Punishermax?
Aaron: Punishermax is still rolling on. The current arc is "Frank," which has one more issue to go, and then we jump into a brand-new arc that puts Frank back on the streets of New York City, headed for his final showdown with Wilson Fisk.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER! More on X-Men: Schism and "Regenesis":
- 10 Candidates for WOLVERINE's Post-Schism X-MEN Team
- 10 Candidates for the Post-Schism UNCANNY X-MEN Team
- Gillen: New UNCANNY Cast Most Powerful X-Team of All Time
- Alonso & Lowe Divorce Marvel's Mutants in X-MEN: REGENESIS
- Jason Aaron Pits Wolverine Against Cyclops in X-MEN: SCHISM