Yesterday Marvel’s conference call was about New Mutants and featured the announcement of the new creative team, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Today’s focuses on the next book in the X-Men line that was teased last week, with Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force. The thing about the teaser though….it teased the return of the stuff of legends, arguably the best alternate reality story, the Age of Apocalypse. Marvel has seldom truly revisited the series, though Judd Winick (and later Tony Bedard and Jeff Parker, since I’m only naming the good writers) wrote a book called Exiles which featured Blink, and later Sabretooth and Holocaust. And yes, there are characters like Nate Grey, Dark Beast, and Sugar Man who crossed over and are still somewhere, but it’s been incredibly rare to return to it.
Remender has confirmed that his Uncanny X-Force characters will be traveling the AoA in the near future, spinning out of events that have been occurring thus far. He’s trying to remain quiet on it though rather then give it all away, “It’s a tricky situation, because we’ve announced that they’re coming up, but to give away too many details would be spoiling some fun things.” He also confirms that the Dark Beast will be a pivotal player in the event, and that this is the first time a mainstream Marvel character has gone over to the popular alternate reality. He makes it clear that this isn’t just a fun story, it has actual bearing on continuity.
Talking about the title, Remender talks about how he will continue to explore who Apocalypse is, and his plans have spun out into a seventeen issue story….which makes me wonder if that means he’s only got plans for seventeen issues of this book and then he’s done. The book will be about the core team dealing with the responsibilities and ramifications of their actions, as you don’t join X-Force unless you’re willing to let your hands get bloody.
Nick Lowe, the editor, was also asked about the story saying “Apocalypse is not the big bad in this story. We can say that pretty unequivocally. Death does need to have some meaning in this X-Force book, or else the fact that they’re killing people loses meaning. That’s something we’re paying a lot of attention to. We’re not going to say Apocalypse is never, ever coming back, but they killed Apocalypse.”
“The responsibility is to treat these things as if the reader has never been exposed to them before,” said writer Rick Remender on how he plans to approach the Age of Apocalypse, promising not to erect the brick wall of continuity that makes it harder for unfamiliar readers to get on board. He also discussed the possibilities of new members joining the team, “While there are some new members coming up, they’re natural fits, but I don’t think people will see them coming.” He also noted that he had been heart broken before by being unable to fit in characters that he’d wanted to use, but I can respect that he isn’t trying to force them in.
Other things we find out include that when we see the AoA again it will have been ten years in that world since our last visit, the ten year anniversary mini from a few years ago….as awful as it may have been. One of the big things should be Wolverine though, as he’ll be coming into contact with alternate versions of dead friends and loved ones that include, but are not limited to, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler.
It’s one hell of a year to be an X-Men fan, isn’t it?
Tags: Age of Apocalypse, Rick Remender, uncanny x-force, X-Force, X-Men