X-Men #22 cover.Since debuting in July 2010, the adjectiveless X-Men title has been the place to showcase Marvel's mutants interactions with the rest of the Marvel Universe — first the vampire world, then Spider-Man, the FF and, currently, War Machine.
Each story arc drew various members of the X-Men roster as needed, but the X-Men roster is a very different thing now then it was then, due to the fallout of X-Men: Schism and the resultant Regenesis era — the X-Men are sharply divided on philosophical lines, with some staying with Cyclops on Utopia, and others returning to New York with Wolverine as part of the newly incepted Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
X-Men is sticking with Cyclops, and focusing on Utopia's "Security Recon" team of Storm, Psylocke, Domino, Warpath and Jubilee. Newsarama talked with series writer Victor Gischler via email to discuss how Schism has affected the book, and a taste of what readers can expect in the near future.
Newsarama: Victor, in the wake of Schism and Regenesis, it looks like X-Men now has a solidly defined role — the series featuring the "Security Recon" team on Utopia. But, beyond the current arc co-starring War Machine, will the book also still be the place for readers to see the X-Men interacting with the Marvel Universe as a whole?
Victor Gischler: Yes, that's always been more or less the mission statement, which is why you saw some cool adventures with Spider-Man, the FF and now War Machine. The X-Men are heroes, so they've decided to go out there and be proactive with some hero-ish activities.
Nrama: It also looks like the book has a new regular cast in Storm, Psylocke, Domino, Warpath and Jubilee. How did you arrive on this group of characters? And from a writing standpoint, what makes them work well together?
X-Men #23 cover.Gischler: Well, with Cyclops going one way and Wolverine the other, it made it necessary to shake things up a bit. There was a lot of key input from the X-office on this, and I had my say too, and the result is the team you mentioned. One thing I knew for sure is that I wanted Storm to be team leader, and I think the rest of the team reflects — to some extent — the sort of characters Storm needs to get the job done. It's a cool combination of powers and skill sets.
Nrama: Speaking of Jubilee, she's been an important part of the book since becoming a vampire in the first arc. Can we expect further involvement from the vampire world in the book at some point in the future?
Gischler: Yes. Expect it. We love sassy vampire Jubilee, so we'll be making a point of digging back into that scene.
Nrama: War Machine is at the focus of the current story arc. He has an interesting history with Marvel's mutants — what makes his dynamic with the X-Men one worth exploring?
Gischler: Well, we were thinking that War Machine's government connection would be well-suited for the story. We have a regional conflict about to get out of hand, and we all know how the big countries like to keep an eye on the little ones. Add black market sentinels to the mix, and you can see how Uncle Sam might want to send his best armored guy to keep tabs on things.
Nrama: X-Men has featured several different artists, and it looks like Will Conrad is on board through at least #23. What made him the right choice for this arc?
Gischler: The editor's are responsible for matching up artists, so I can't take credit. But given the realistic nature of this story (relative to the pulpier style of last arc's story) Will was the right choice. A very good fit.
Nrama: To wrap up, what can you tease about the future of the book — either in the current arc, or beyond?
Gischler: We touched on it earlier: Jubilee! Stay tuned.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!