Wolverine and the X-Men writer Jason Aaron joined artist Nick Bradshaw (Danger Girl, Army of Darkness) and editor Nick Lowe to talk about the future of the Marvel ongoing.
Issue #19 is out this week and it begins a new direction for the book. Here's what the creative team behind the series had to say about what's in store for the constantly-imperiled School For Gifted Youngsters.
Aaron led off by giving his thanks for the opportunity to work on this series and also express his surprise at reader reaction about the surprise ending of issue #18. The one-time Wolverine and Ghost Rider writer says it was a pleasant surprise to see such a strong fan reaction to the fate of a new characters.
This week's issue represents the first Marvel Now installment of the series and Aaron which Nick Bradshaw says was a pleasure to come onboard for. He joked that he wasn't sure he could handle pulling the trigger on the events of last issue, but he leaped at the opportunity to draw a host of monsters in the book, some of whom might return to Wolverine and the X-Men in the future. Aaron added that this week's issue will also be setting up the events for the series for the near future.
Bradshaw will be handling art chores until Ramon Perez steps in early next year.
Part of that involves a change in the faculty, with some new characters coming in to try out for the staff thanks to the influx of new mutants having been created in the wake of Avengers vs. X-Men, and in part following the departure of Husk in the midst of her malfunctioning powers (a storyline Aaron promises will pop up in a surprising location). In fact, if you want to know what's going on with Husk, she's got her own Twitter account which Aaron invites fans to follow in the near future. Plus, issue #19 will be live-tweeted as a very special Halloween installment of the book.
This week's issue also gives us "Frankenstein's Murder Circus" in a callback to the classic Chris Claremont issue. Aaron says this wasn't just an excuse to get Bradshaw to draw the X-Men in circus costumes--the issue is also a chance to seed many of the plot threads for the next year. Bradshaw chimed in that he loved the chance to draw some of the X-Men kids while drawing on his love of 70's carnival/circus horror films.
Coming up in issue 24, we'll get a date night issue, with Kitty and Iceman following through on their burgeoning relationship, while Storm and Wolverine have a little something going on, continuing a long tradition of the X-Men not getting out and meeting enough new people. For Aaron, the Kitty/Iceman relationship is in part the result of a bond that's formed after spending years working alongside one another and now serving as surrogate parents to the kids of the school. The writer says that part of the theme of the series is growing up, and he's looking forward to showing what happens to some of the current crop of students once they graduate--details that he's laid out in his notebooks.
Aaron also talked about Genesis, the kid Apocalypse character and how he and writer Rick Remender have been working together to plot out his course through 2014. The character has bounced from Uncanny X-Force over to Wolverine and the X-Men under Aaron and back to Remender again.
Explaining the relationship between this title and All-New X-Men, editor Nick Lowe explained that these represented the two flagship titles of the mutant corner of the Marvel universe. Around issue #24, we'll start to see the two books intermingling for the first time. In All-New X-Men #6, we'll also see the present-day incarnation of the grown up Angel. Lowe says the goal remains to keep the continuity tight without overwhelming or putting off new readers. Part of that has been supported in Wolverine and the X-Men with a series of smaller, approachable arcs, but heading into the next few months, the series will be gearing up for its longest, most involved arc.
You can check out some preview art for issues 19-21 below.
Issue #19 (on sale this week):