Chris Yost: An X-FORCED Confession

X-Force #17 Variant, Courtesy

This week X-Force #17 hits shelves and throws readers right back into the thick of things—by providing readers with answers to a number of dangling plot lines that occurred before the events of the Messiah War.  Now, X-Force is back—and they are racing against time itself to stop several catastrophes from happening…all at the same time.  But the fun doesn’t end there; it seems as though the team’s activities are becoming less and less clandestine—not to mention, Cyclops is going to be divulging more than his fair share of secrets in Dark X-Men: The Confession in September.

You might be asking yourself, “What’s the tie that binds all these revelations together?”

The answer isn’t quite so simple—but Chris Yost has a couple of cryptic answers; Newsarama contacted him to talk about both Dark X-Men: The Confession and the latest arc of X-Force, “Not Forgotten”.

Newsarama:  Chris, "Not Forgotten" starts up in earnest in August and this shorter arc ties up all the loose ends that were going on before Messiah War.  Let's play a little word association game—I'll bring up a loose-end and you give me five words or less...ready, go!

"Leper Queen"

Chris Yost:  Expendable, but dangerous.

NRAMA:  "Boom-Boom"

YOST:  Fate revealed in 17.

NRAMA:  "Legacy Virus"

YOST:  Not just a distraction.

NRAMA:  "Surge and Hellion"

YOST:  My doomed favorites.

NRAMA:  "Bastion"

YOST:  Soon.

NRAMA:  "Selene and Eli Bard"

YOST:  Even sooner.

NRAMA:  Has the line-up for the team become set or are readers in for more surprises in the months ahead?

YOST:  Big surprises in the months ahead, and everything changes by the end of the next arc, the one after 'Not Forgotten.'  But before that, the team is reunited as Wolfsbane returns.

NRAMA:  Rahne is going to be returning to the group—how has she changed now that she has love in her life?

YOST:  I think by the time she gets back, she's in a different place.  Rahne is a strong character that's gone through a lot.  But it takes more to keep her down.  Luckily, we've got more.

NRAMA:  What can you tell us about the new arc starting in October?  You know, the one before the big Bastion arc...the one with the name that'll spoil quite a bit.

YOST:  Everything will be revealed in San Diego, but it's probably the most ambitious thing Craig and I have done yet.  We've been building to it for a few years now, but the time has come.  If you've always thought the Black Queen should be a little more formidable, a bigger player... here you go.

NRAMA:  You've also mentioned that Scott and Logan are finally going to butt heads in #18; does that mean that Hank McCoy and Logan are on the same side in the amorality of X-Force issue?

YOST:  I don't think Hank is on anybody's side in a conflict between Logan and Cyclops.  From Hank's POV, it'd be choosing the lesser of two evils.  He can feel that lines are being crossed.  He expects it from Logan.  Scott is a different matter.

X-Force #18 Cover, Courtesy

NRAMA:  With Psylocke's return—will readers be seeing more of Betsy in X-Force or less of Archangel in all of his apocalyptic glory (Newsarama Note: Due to Warren and Betsy’s history together)?  

YOST:  Psylocke is still getting herself established, so she's not going to be joining anytime soon... if she would even want to.  And Archangel's in it for the long haul.  X-Force satisfies the killer in him... watch him go off the rails in issue 18.

NRAMA:  Is Archangel going to continue to struggle with his transformations?  Or is Warren winning the battle now that Apocalypse has embraced Warren for his humanity during Messiah War?

YOST:  Issue 18.  Probably the bloodiest thing I've ever seen as Archangel and Wolverine cut loose.  Warren's humanity comes... and it goes.

NRAMA:  Chris, the last time we spoke you mentioned that The Vanisher isn't going to be learning any important lessons in the near future; do you think he could be a breakaway character in this group given time?

YOST:   Vanisher is a weasel.  That's his charm.  But he's going to have a big decision to make real soon.

NRAMA:  Given the rich bounty of villainous characters that you're working with in the background of X-Force on a monthly basis--are there any heroic characters that you'd like to bring over to the dark side, so to speak?

YOST:  That's the great thing... X-Force IS the dark side.  Every member of X-Force is basically betraying the X-Men's ideals, every mission.  So usually when people say they'd like to see a character on the team, especially the kids... I'm shocked.  Why?  It's horrible!  If you really like the character, hope they never join.

NRAMA:  Let's change gears and talk about Dark X-Men: The Confession for a little bit; how does Emma's involvement with The Cabal stand up to Scott's formation of X-Force?  Will the two lovers put these cards on the table during this new project?

YOST:  This is it.  All secrets revealed.  The question is, how do they react?

NRAMA:  Do you think Cyclops could kick Namor's ass?  Do you think Namor feels bad about hitting on Emma Frost for one second?  Or is this going to be a case of Scott Summers falling short as a beta-male to Namor's alpha-dog persona?

YOST:  Yeah, I think Cyclops could take Namor, given the right scenario.  Cyclops is a master tactician and incredibly powerful... it'd be tough, but sure.  No, Namor would never feel bad about hitting on Emma Frost.  He doesn't feel bad for hitting on Sue Richards.  And if you think Cyclops falls short, you'd radically underestimated him.  If Namor hears the confession Cyclops gives, he'd be pretty impressed.

NRAMA:  Is Emma just going through the motions with Scott at this point?  Has their relationship been on the downward spiral for a while now?

YOST:  There's been a lot of couch sleeping lately.  Secrets kept between two people can never help a relationship... they can only destroy it.  This has been a long time coming.

NRAMA:  Will there be a clear cut division in the X-Men via The Dark X-Men and X-Force in the near future?

YOST:  The end of Utopia X is a game changer.  Matt Fraction has done an incredible thing.  And yes, there will be divisions... X-Force cannot exist in the open.

NRAMA:  To close, give readers something to consider in light of the dark times ahead for the Children of the Atom as Norman Osborn's Dark Reign continues.

YOST:  The X-Men always knew that the day would come when their backs would be against the wall... that day is here.  Time is running out for the mutant species.

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