AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Hits the Jean Grey School in LEGACY

X-Men Legacy

#266 cover.

Only three issues of Christos Gage's X-Men Legacy run have been released thus far, but they've contained a number of notable storyline elements, including Rogue's growing uneasiness following her X-Men: Schism-induced separation from Magneto, flirtation between Frenzy and Gambit, a visit from superpowerful X-villain Exodus, and — at the very end of X-Men Legacy #262 — the first on-panel meeting between Wolverine's side of the "Regenesis" split and some of the mutants that chose to stay with Cyclops on Utopia.

Comic book plots in motion tends to stay in motion, and nearly every X-Men title is heading towards an auspicious event titled Avengers vs. X-Men, a 12-issue series starting in April pitting, you guessed it, the Avengers versus the X-Men. X-Men Legacy is tying in to AvX starting with May's issues #266 and #267, where She-Hulk, Falcon and Moon Knight arrive to secure the newly established Jean Grey School for Higher Learning — which the X-Men aren't exactly psyched about, natch.

On Tuesday, Newsarama talked with writer Christos Gage about Avengers Academy and how that series looks to be affected by Avengers vs. X-Men. Here we catch up with Gage on X-Men Legacy to talk AvX, the current arc featuring Exodus, and an upcoming two-part story guest-starring Weapon Omega and Mimic. Courtesy of Marvel, we're exclusively debuting interior pages from X-Men Legacy #264, by artist Rafa Sandoval and scheduled for release later this month.

Newsarama: Christos, in X-Men Legacy this May, the AvX conflict looks to be coming to the Jean Grey School, just a few issues into your run on the book. I recently talked to Kieron Gillen, who described how everything he's been doing in Uncanny X-Men since the relaunch last fall has essentially been steering into AvX — has your approach been similar? Generally, have you been able to keep ongoing storylines percolating as AvX permeates both books?

X-Men Legacy

#264 cover.

Christos Gage: I have certainly been aware that AvX was coming, and been preparing for it, but it's not as if we've been solely focusing on that. I think in Uncanny, there was more of a continuity of purpose… the roster was smaller, and there was some change of focus, but the Utopia X-Men are doing more or less what they did before.

It's been a bigger shake-up for the Grey School X-Men, and I wanted to examine that, as well as the Schism's effects on the characters. Over in Avengers Academy, I've been continuing with ongoing stories for the kids, and having a blast with the Runaways guest appearance in #27 and 28. So I think each story is its own thing, but with an awareness of where we were headed, and the character journeys will continue during AvX.

Nrama: The May solicits revealed that #266 and #267 will see the unconventional team of She-Hulk, Falcon and Moon Knight tasked to secure the Jean Grey School. How did you arrive at that Avengers crew, and why do they work well in contrast with your Legacy cast?

X-Men Legacy #264

interior art.

Gage: I'll be honest, it was partly to do with who I could use in a way that made sense given where else they're showing up and who's off in space and so on. But of those who were available I picked these three because they work well in the context of the story. I can't get too much into why without venturing into spoiler territory. But it's a fun mix! She-Hulk and Frenzy have battled before… and Moon Knight vs. Gambit just sounded cool to me. I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I'm digging writing it!

Nrama: Now that you're a few months into your run on X-Men Legacy, how have you taken to Rogue as a main character? Will she continue to be a focal point throughout the AvX conflict?

X-Men Legacy

#264 interior art.

Gage: I've always liked Rogue, and yes, she will be the main character for most of AvX, although #268 will be a standalone Frenzy spotlight issue.

The great thing about Rogue is that in addition to being an awesome character by herself, the very nature of her powers makes her a terrific window into other characters as well.

Nrama: Exodus has been the main antagonist of your current arc; an enduring X-Men villain, but still one lower on the radar. What motivated you to use him in your first Legacy story?

Gage: A few reasons. One, I wanted to have a big throwdown between our team and an incredibly powerful character. Two, when last seen, Exodus was convinced to cease hostilities because of the need for mutantkind to unite. Well, mutantkind isn't united any more, and I'd imagine Exodus would be upset about that. Thirdly, I thought he provided an interesting means to really get into the debate over mutant kids being used in combat and the different philosophies of the Utopia and Grey School factions. We'll see that explored in #263.

X-Men Legacy

#264 interior art.

Nrama: Before the Avengers vs. X-Men tie-in is a two-part story guest starring Weapon Omega and Mimic. Does this lead in any direct way to the AvX material, or is it more of a standalone "palate cleanser" story before the big event?

Gage: It's not a lead-in, it's a story of its own, albeit one that I think has ramifications for a number of our cast members. Editor Daniel Ketchum and I talk about TV shows a lot when discussing story; how on something like the Joss Whedon shows, the threat always seemed to shine a light on whatever the characters were going through at the time. I hope that's true here. I also just think Omega and Mimic are great characters. I have a soft spot for characters who may not have lived up to their full potential. I can relate to them more than, say, Captain America, who I love, but who does just about everything right.

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