Sins, Destines & Legacies: Mike Carey Talks X-Men

X-Men: Legacy #218

Marvel’s Charles Xavier was never the man of mystery that popular characters like Wolverine or Gambit have been over the years in the epic stories that have graced the pages of the numerous X-titles that have chronicled the lives of the mutants of the Marvel Universe. Mike Carey, writer of X-Men: Legacy, has been exploring somewhat uncharted waters as an amnesiac Xavier seeks answers for the jumbled memories in his head in light of the events of 2007’s Messiah Complex storyline. Finishing his recent confrontation of sorts with Cyclops in the current issue of Legacy, Xavier will be approaching Wolverine in the coming months—kicking off in X-Men: Original Sin and carrying over into both Legacy and Wolverine: Origins.

Newsarama caught up with Mike Carey to talk about his involvement in a number of current X-storylines and about things to come in X-Men: Legacy.

Newsarama: Let’s get right to it, Mike. The X-Men: Original Sin project ties both X-Men: Legacy and Wolverine: Origins together. First Cyclops…now Wolverine? Is Charles Xavier really the decent guy we’ve been lead to believe that he is or have his best intentions been a lot more not-so-well intended?

Mike Carey: Well, I guess that’s the real heart of the question that he is trying to answer. Who is he, really? He’s got bits and pieces of memories and he’s trying to bridge all of these gaps with all of the things he does know about himself—you know, what has been versus what he now is.

There’s a point in issue #216 where he says he remembers these events as a stranger would—the pieces of the past that he does remember, he kind of sees from the outside. One of the things he’s trying to do is sort of come to terms with his own motivations; the consequences of his actions; and he’s trying to grasp what his own morality is. The mere fact that he’s engaged on this quest shows that he is still a very moral man; that he cares about right and wrong. Although in the past, when he was younger and far more inexperienced, he’s overstepped the mark and done some questionable things.

NRAMA: You’re working with Daniel Way on this project—what’s your take on Wolverine’s son, Daken? Will he be figuring in more with the X-Men in the months to come?

MC: I think Daken is a fascinating character because, in some ways, he is what Logan could have been. He’s like an aspect of Wolverine’s nature taken to the furthest extreme—not tempered by Wolverine’s moral sense at all.

Daken is completely amoral and unscrupulous; he’s unrestrained. Wolverine is capable of restraint even though he has that same sort of darkness and savagery within him. In a way, I think Daken is a sort of distorted mirror image of Wolverine. It was really interesting to write him within this story.

NRAMA: Wolverine’s got sort of a strange family forming now, don’t you think? He’s got a son as well as a female clone of himself, X-23, who could be, for all intents and purposes, his daughter. Do you think with this new dynamic there could be potential for a ‘Wolverine Family’ kind of like DC’s ‘Bat-family’?

MC: (laughs) That’s an interesting concept! You could definitely see a book like that selling, couldn’t you? I think one of the more interesting aspects of this development is the way that Wolverine does not shirk away from his responsibilities to these two characters at all. You might’ve expected—being the loner that he is—that Logan would have backed away from engagement with his, for lack of a better term, his children; but he doesn’t. It’s really amazing how he’s stepped up to the plate here; the way he’s sort of shouldered the burden of seeing that they both get a chance to become human beings as opposed to following the more bestial or savage sides of their natures.

NRAMA: Will Sinister be figuring into this upcoming series of revelations as well? Or have we seen the last of him/her for the time being?

MC: We haven’t seen the last of Sinister. I don’t want to say too much about how Sinister figures into the upcoming arc—but yes, the character introduced at the end of the ‘Sins of the Father’ arc, the new female version of Sinister—I guess you can compare her to Daken as a sort of “next generation” Sinister, the way he’s a next gen Wolverine—is definitely still around; still active and part of a grouping that includes Sebastian Shaw.

NRAMA: How does the Hellfire Club keep becoming involved in all these events with Xavier at the center? Who are some of the new faces readers have been introduced to during the recent Inner Circle meetings?

MC: We’ve seen Castlemere, this cyborg guy who has been inspired by Donald Pierce. There is also this mysterious woman named Mercedes who is a member of the pro-Shaw grouping. There’s another gent named Leonine who we’ll be meeting soon. Also, we now know that Roberto DaCosta is not in the mix anymore; he’s bowed out of the Inner Circle and created a bit of a power vacuum. This story is a part of the backdrop to the events that are about to play out.

NRAMA: Is Xavier’s relationship with the X-Men going to keep getting worse? With the current developments taking place, will this forming rift be reconcilable?

MC: No comment, but read X-Men: Legacy #216. (laughs)

NRAMA: (laughs) Okay. Will there be more unexpected guest-appearances in Legacy in the months to come?

MC: Yeah, I definitely intend to keep bringing characters in. The goal is twofold really—the goal is to not have Professor X taking up his old role again and sort of working his way back into the X-Men and picking back up where he left off; but, at the same time, to allow him to be interactive with people he needs to clear the air with the most. Those are the majority of the guest-appearances; some of them you can pretty much guess who they are if you ask yourself the question, “Who does Xavier feel he still has unfinished business with?” and those are going to be the people we’re going to be seeing by and large.

NRAMA: With the advent of a number of villainous characters being “reborn” in the pages of X-Force—are there any of these once-dead, mutant-killing supremacist characters that you’d like to get your hands on?

MC: I know all of the characters you’re referring to…

NRAMA: They brought back quite a few. Bolivar Trask, Stephen Lang, Cameron Hodge, the Leper Queen—pretty much anyone who has had a mad-on for the X-Men…

MC: Yeah, that’s quite a list of folks who’ve held a grudge towards the X-Men. I think it would be nice to do a Bolivar Trask story. I think he’s an interesting character.

NRAMA: He’s been turning up quite a bit—in X-Force and in a flashback or two in Legacy—but he’s been dead for close to 40 years in ‘real time’…

MC: Yeah, he has been sort of off the table, hasn’t he? But we find ways around that sort of thing all the time. (laughs)

NRAMA: That was an evil laugh, Mike. Are you involved with X-Men: Infernus at all? Or are you going to be primarily focused on Charles’ story in Legacy? Are there any other projects you’re working on that fans will see this winter?

MC: There are some other Marvel projects—everything I’m doing in the X-verse is sort of out on the table already—Secret Invasion, Manifest Destiny and Original Sin, Legacy as an ongoing —although Legacy will be sort of reborn/reinvented a little way down the road. We’re moving towards an epic arc which will bring Rogue back into the spotlight and after that Legacy will undergo another metamorphosis because, by that time, we will have brought Xavier to the point where we want him to be and the book will sort of move off in another direction.

NRAMA: Let’s change gears and talk about the Iceman story in the Manifest Destiny mini-series. What’s the deal with Mystique? Why does she have this sadistic fascination with Bobby Drake? Also, what’s going on with his powers? Is he changing again?

MC: I think you can definitely read this story as a postscript to the “Get Mystique” arc in Wolverine. There was a climactic confrontation there—some very significant things were said by Wolverine to Mystique and she’s still got those things in her mind as she goes back to Iceman. Why she goes back to Iceman will be something that she will explain herself as the story in the Manifest Destiny mini-series plays out—and I will say that all is not as it appears on the surface.

As for Bobby’s powers—he is changing and we’re going to sort of chart that as we go on. We’re not going to give him new powers. We are, to an extent, emphasizing different aspects of his existing powers; all of which are already canonical.

NRAMA: Are there going to be big revelations for other members of the X-Men? You talked about Rogue and this transition in Legacy; with the return of a number of matured classic New Mutants characters across all of the X-titles, are there any of those particular characters that you’d like to draw into the tapestry of the X-Men: Legacy title?

MC: I would definitely like to revisit Sam Guthrie—Cannonball. He’s always been a character I have a lot of time for. I think Dani Moonstar is fascinating; although I don’t necessarily see a way to include her in Legacy in the immediate future. I’ve always liked Karma as well. They’re all pretty cool characters—they are a lot of things you can do with them; you’re right that they are sort of coming back and ascending onto the scene in 2009. They’re sort of the missing generation.

NRAMA: Will there be any other returning villains from X-times past that readers should keep they’re eyes peeled for in upcoming issues of Legacy?

MC: One from the very recent past, yes; who is going to be showing up very soon. Someone who has a very specific, very personal, grudge against Xavier—and in some ways, it’s kind of a surprise we haven’t seen this character before now…given recent events.

After that…I can’t really talk about who else will be showing up in the title.

NRAMA: In closing, sum up Legacy as Charles’ book—you mentioned early that you’re trying to take the character is a new direction…just where is he going?

MC: He doesn’t know where he’s going—he’s exploring his past with the urgent need to make decisions about his future . I think the point that we’re taking him to is the moment when he makes that first decision; where he says, “Where do I go from here?”

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