02-08-2009, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Re: Official NEW MUTANTS Discussion Thread
IGN Comics: Nick, what lead to the return of New Mutants? Was this something that spun out from the Messiah Complex/War storyline?
Nick Lowe: It's something we've been brewing for some time. There's just something about these characters. So many people love them (myself included) but they've had trouble clicking on their own ever since they broke up. Some have had more success than others, but they haven't been as huge as they were when New Mutants was big. But in the past few years they've each been popping up a lot more. Cannonball in Mike Carey's X-Men run. Several of them in Fraction's Uncanny #501. Marc Guggenheim loves them and that's why they played such a big role in Young X-Men. And Illyana is the center of X-Infernus. The time just felt right to get the band together.
IGN Comics: The X-Men franchise has seen much of its past returning recently, including Stryfe and now the New Mutants sheer coincidence? Did the writing and editorial teams take a look at the state of the characters and realize some critical elements had been left behind?
Lowe: Well, ever since we moved the X-Men out to SF, we've been establishing their status quo as we go along. This was another base to cover. And we saw a hole. New Mutants used to be huge. Tom Brevoort once posted a set of old sales numbers on his blog. In April of 1984, New Mutants #18 was the 3rd highest selling book for Marvel, after only Secret Wars #4 and Uncanny X-Men #184. It sold more than Spider-Man. It sold more than FF and Avengers and all the rest. Sure, it was the start of Bill Sienkiewicz's run on the book, but #3 book from Marvel? We think these characters deserve more than they have now and thought it could have a clear and necessary place in the X-Men status quo.
IGN Comics: Each series in the franchise has a fairly distinct role and tone. Where does New Mutants situate itself? How will it stand apart from the other teams as well as its spiritual heirs, New and Young X-Men?
Lowe: Something happens in the first issue that makes it necessary for this specific group to get back together, but it goes a bit deeper than that. The New Mutants are in an odd place in the X-Men
hierarchy. They're not all considered full-fledged X-Men, but they're not kids anymore either. And it hit Zeb and I that it's a lot like when you leave college and join the working world of adults. You're on the edge of a major change and it's not an easy change. That's the underlying theme of the book, the transition from child to adult.
Zeb Wells: Yeah, if you look at New and Young X-Men as books about young mutants being trained to be X-Men, New Mutants is about what happens after you "graduate." That's who the New Mutants are, the first group of young mutants to actually graduate from the Xavier School and become the next generation of X-Men. We want to look at what that means, and how the characters will deal with it. There will be some growing pains, to say the least.
IGN Comics: New Mutants is a concept that really started to be phased out in the '90s with the rise of X-Force. For newer readers, how will you emotionally connect them to this returning team? I've heard the original team is returning will there be new members, perhaps to give a fresh perspective?
Wells: There are a few good scenes to be had in seeing the characters interact with the aforementioned Young X-Men, so that we can show new readers exactly where these characters fit into the X-Universe. In order to keep the concept "clean" I don't see any new members showing up for a while, though we will see characters from the team's past being used in interesting ways.
IGN Comics: Can you discuss the team and its roster, and what each character brings to the series?
Wells: Cannonball - He's the team leader. He realizes its time for him to step up and take responsibility. He knows this is a big deal and is a little frightened by it.
Sunspot - He's the ladies man, and has realized how important his relationship with the New Mutants is to him. He wants to be there for Sam and the rest. He sees the New Mutants as a way to take a break from his complicated life and just worry about what's important to him...taking care of his friends.
Magma - She's got a lot on her mind with her former boyfriend Empath being locked up at X-Men HQ, and she's not so sure about what Illyana's up to, so she'll be keeping an eye on her.
Illyana - She's an enigma to the team. Her arrival leads to the team being put back together, but she seems to be keeping a lot to herself.
Dani Moonstar - She's trying to get over the loss of her powers and find a way to be useful to the team. She's no longer technically a mutant, but she's not going anywhere.
Xi'an - Karma is pragmatic and strong. She's been through a lot and it hasn't broken her. It's only made her stronger. She's the team's rock.
In the second arc we'll be picking up a few more members that fans will be most pleased with...
IGN Comics: What will these mutants be facing in the early issues and arcs? Will the book initially focus on these characters' reactions to the major changes in the X-world?
Wells: In their first arc they have to deal with a villain from their past, then they will be swept up in the goings on of the X-Universe.
IGN Comics: How much interaction will the book have with other X-titles? Will it feature any other X-Men or perhaps X-Force characters?
Lowe: The first arc is pretty self-contained. It picks up soon after the end of X-Infernus and is an easy jumping on point for people who haven't been keeping up with all the X-Books. Starting in the second arc, it ties very closely into the tapestry of the X-Men side of the Marvel U, with X-Force and Uncanny and the rest.
IGN Comics: The New Mutants have always had a strong leader to follow. First it was Xavier, then Cable. Now that both men are out of the picture, who will the team turn to for guidance? Now that they're older and wiser, do they even need to turn to an elder for leadership?
Wells: That's one of the big questions we want to explore. Cyclops thinks they are at a point where they need to be let loose to stretch their wings, so while he will still technically be the "General" of the army, Sam Guthrie is going to have to step up and be the team's Cable or Xavier. It's time to cut the cord.
IGN Comics: Nick, has an artist been selected for the series yet?
Lowe: Oh, yeah. Diogenes Neves is on this book, hot off X-Men: Worlds Apart. Check out some early pencils.
IGN Comics: Is there anything else you guys would like to add about the return of New Mutants?
Wells: Only that we're taking this serious. We want to show new readers why these characters are so loved, and give fans of the characters the next chapter in the New Mutants story. Volume One was a 100-issue first act. Here comes act two.