Last week I announced that Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel were working on a X-Men title with a possibly female lead character (given the “XX” in the teaser). Well I was right and wrong, but wrong in the best possible way. We are getting a female led book, but this time it’s a team of women. Jubilee, Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey and Psylocke have all gathered together to create a team of X-Men, and it’s shaping up to look like something special.
Brian Wood broke the news to USA Today and started off the interview by saying this:
“I’m definitely an X-Men fan, but I’m not deep into the world. I’m not a writer who’s been writing it forever, so my natural instinct is to go basic and simple and to its core. Marvel takes a look at its spectrum of X-Men books and fills needs. This is the book that is like a traditional X-Men book.”
Wood is certainly no novice when it comes to the X-Men, especially considering his work with Ultimate Comics X-Men and the adjective-less X-Men title, and going into it he knew that he wanted it to be female-driven.
“I feel like as far as the X-Men go, the women are the X-Men. Cyclops and Wolverine are big names, but taken as a whole, the women kind of rule the franchise. If you look at the entire world as a whole, it’s the females that really dominate and are the most interesting and cool to look at. When you have a great artist drawing them, they look so amazing and always have.”
Wood’s already planned out the first story and it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting. Jubilee discovers an orphaned baby that might be the key to mankind’s survival and while all this is happening, Sublime (from New X-Men) comes in and says that a threat from outer space is coming to get him. Add in some sentinels, an alien war and and an ancient rivalry between siblings and you have just the first of hopefully many stories to come out of this new X-Men book.
Wood’s biggest focus was to give every character a chance to shine and not just make it all about Jubilee.
“I don’t want to make it the ‘Jubilee and friends book.’ They’re all A-list characters — I’ve got to make them all shine.”
Wood used a lot of previous X-Men runs to influence how he wrote this title, especially 70s and 80s X-Men.
“I didn’t read it at the time – I’ve gone back and read it in collected form — but I can really appreciate how riveting that must have been reading it monthly. You’re just dying to know what happens each issue to these characters.
Wood also used Morrison’s New X-Men run (obviously since Sublime is in it) as a major template for his writing.
“It was how they related to each other and the stuff they went through personally. It had everything: It had that classic cast doing the classic stuff — very recognizable and big action. If I can make the reader feel the way I felt about that, where you’re just like, ‘Ah, this is just right, this is the X-Men,’ that’s the kind of vibe I’m going for.”
Anyone who’s read Wood’s work, especially UC: X-Men and Demo, knows that he loves to show the more human sides of characters. To him, a book doesn’t need to be glossy and pretty to be good. For him, a book can be great when it focuses on weakness and the fragility of some of his characters.
“I really love getting into people’s flaws as well as their attributes. I’m not afraid to show flaws in their characters, which I feel is unusual a lot in superhero books. That’s all I’m interested in writing at Marvel. Every so often I get asked, ‘Is there anything else you want to do?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ The X-Men are right up my alley — what I’m most comfortable with.”
Wood also wants to explore relationships in this book, sometimes even sexually, and eliminate the double standard that comes along with that. To him, he’s tired of seeing Wolverine sleep around with everybody, but if a female character sleeps with more than one person, she’s suddenly promiscuous.
“To everybody’s credit, these people are often shot down immediately for being sexist and unfair, but that is a very common thing. We’re just going to do it. We’re not going to worry about that. If Kitty or Rogue has basic human bodily urges, tough luck (to those opposed). To me, that’s as much of the X-Men as anything else.”
Either way, Wood and Coipel’s X-Men is shaping up to be a fantastic series and I can’t wait for it to be released. What are you’re thoughts on the series? Do you like the team? What about the creative team? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
X-Men #1 will be released in April.