A STRYFE 'Year One' Style Story Unfolds in X-FORCE

Stryfe
Credit: Dylan Burnett (Marvel Comics)
Credit: Pepe Larraz (Marvel Comics)

Ed Brisson introduced a young adult version of Cable in the recent Extermination event, and now in the pages of X-Force he is doing the same for his doppelganger, Stryfe.

A younger and even more impetuous Stryfe debuted recently in writer Ed Brisson's X-Force title, leading the Mutant Liberation Army (yeah, you read that right) to stop Cable and this new band of X-Force mutants from reuniting Nathan Summers with his long-lost, alt-reality sister Rachel Summers.

Series artist Dylan Barnett redesigned Stryfe for this newer, younger iteration, and also designed several mew M.L.A. villains that come straight from Brisson's teenage X-Men fan fiction.

With X-Force #6 debut this week, Brisson spoke with Newsarama about their first arc on the book, and what's to come in the immediate future with guest artist Damian Couceiro. Will Kid Cable face off with Kid Stryfe?

Some might say to that, "who needs a crystal ball to predict the obvious?"

Newsarama: Ed, you've really mainlined some Summers family lore for X-Force so far. X-Force #6 comes out April 10, what can we expect?

Ed Brisson: Much in the way that we used #5 to show where Kid Cable's from and what he's all about - how much of this is still fall out from Extermination - in #6, we're going to get a pretty good look at Stryfe and what makes him tick. Obviously, this is a much younger version of Stryfe than we've seen in the past - much in the same way that Cable is younger than the one we're used to.

Stryfe is a character who I love, but he's usually presented as a pretty one-dimensional bad guy (not always, but often) and so I wanted to dive in a little and show what he's up to, why he's up to it and really make sense of his motivations.

Credit: Dylan Burnett (Marvel Comics)

We also introduce more of his world, including his M.L.A. (Mutant Liberation Army) a proto-version of his M.L.F.

Credit: Damian Couceiro (Marvel Comics)

Nrama: Let's break it all down, one by one .You have Kid Cable, searching for his sister from another reality, Rachel Summers. You have Stryfe, the clone of himself from a distant future. Are you thinking about bringing all the disparate Summers family tree into this eventually?

Brisson: No. Right now, we're focusing on the triangle of Rachel Summers, Stryfe and Nathan. Rather than diving into Summer's family lore, we're diving into more Rachel/Cable specific histories - those who've read The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix and/or Askani'Son will know that Rachel plays an important part in Cable's past. That's something that's certainly being exploited in this upcoming arc.

Credit: Damian Couceiro (Marvel Comics)

Nrama: That brings up another point - in Rob Liefeld's Major X #1, he introduced Alexander Summers - Cable's apparent son. What can you say as X-Force writer - and Kid Cable's resident scribe - about those developments over there?

Brisson: It's an interesting take for sure. I'm settled in here watching it all unfold with the rest of the readers out there.

Nrama: Speaking of kids here, any chance for Stryfe's son, Tyler Dayspring, at this point?

Brisson: The story we're telling right now takes place at least a decade before Tyler is on the board, so we won't be seeing him pop up here.

Credit: Damian Couceiro (Marvel Comics)

Nrama: Had to ask.

Stryfe was shown with his full Mutant Liberation Army crew at the end of #4, and I was excited to see Zero among them. What can you say about the M.L.A. - and bringing back Zero?

Brisson: I've always loved the M.L.F., which Zero was always a part of, of course. The M.L.A. is meant to be almost like a test version of the M.L.F. The template for them. We know through Askani'Son that Zero was the first member and that he's been with Stryfe since Stryfe was a teen, so we absolutely needed to have him along. The others, Andrei, Kestle, Conduit, and Triptych are all new.

Conduit and Triptych were characters I created when I was a teen, back when I would write/draw my own X-Men fan-fic style adventures. It's thrilling for me to be able to take them and put them into the Marvel Universe proper. The designs on the character are all Dylan though. I gave him a write up on each, rather than trying to push through designs I came up with as a 13-year-old. The characters are much better for it.

Credit: Dylan Burnett (Marvel Comics)
Credit: Damian Couceiro (Marvel Comics)

Conduit, as his name suggests, is able to charge any conductor with energy that he can produce within his body. In the version I created as a kid, he used spoons. Here he uses batons, which are much cooler.

Triptych is able to divide herself into three equal sized energy golems to launch an assault from multiple fronts.

Nrama: So where is X-Force (minus Kid Cable) in all of this?

Credit: Damian Couceiro (Marvel Comics)

Brisson: X-Force is fighting with Stryfe and the M.L.A. through #5 and #6. We end #6 on a note that's going to mess X-Force up a little and put them into a place where they're driving the story, rather than tagging along for Kid Cable's adventures. Unfortunately, saying too much would be spoiling.

I will say that things are not going to go well for Kid Cable in the next arc and that X-Force will have to make their way without him

Nrama: Contrary to speculation by some, Warpath didn't die in X-Force #4. He looks to be dying in #5, but the verdict is still out. What can you say for him in this book?

Credit: Pepe Larraz (Marvel Comics)

Brisson: All I can really say is stick around for issue #7. All questions and concerns will be addressed.

Nrama: I know this book has been relatively Cable-centric in its early going, but do you have plans to shine the light on other aspects of X-Force's history down the road?

Credit: Valerio Schiti (Marvel Comics)

Brisson: Going into the arc that begins with #7, Cable is...well, without spoiling anything...as hinted at earlier in this interview...he's not very active in that arc, so the focus of the book is on the rest of X-Force and how they work together as a team.

As to getting to sit down and focus on other members of X-Force in the same way we've done with Kid Cable, that's something that remains to be seen and not something I can answer right now.

Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals for X-Force now that you're almost done with the first arc?

Brisson:  So ... I'll have to be intentionally vague (again) and just say that big things are coming for the entire X-universe. There've been some press releases on some of what's coming and I cannot really say anything beyond what's been released.

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