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Runaways


Mike Carey on X-Men #200 and beyond
Author : Trevor CatesLast Modified : 3-20-07
X-Men #200

Trevor Cates-- Mike thanks for the chance you’ve given me to chat with you. How has the last half-year been for you since beginning this X-Men journey?

Mike Carey -- Pretty amazing, Trevor – and pretty intense. It felt initially like leaping off a precipice and not even knowing how far below the water was. It was so different from anything I’d done before. And I’d set myself a big task, in some ways – creating a new team, and creating them on the fly, in the middle of a sprawling action-oriented story arc. And defining a new group of villains, bringing the Beaubier twins back into play... But it all seemed to come together. It’s been a wild ride.

Trevor Cates-- Can you give the fans a rundown on what is already known about where X-Men #200 is headed and where it is taking them?

Mike Carey -- Well I don’t think we’ve made any secret of the fact that this is an issue where the X-Men kind of get – to use a topical term – disassembled. We put them into a very extreme situation and we come out at the other end a long way from where we went in. That’s in terms of team line-up, status quo, core relationships, everything.

The other things that we’ve said are that this arc – the one that kicks off with #200 and runs through to #203 – will in many ways be a lead-in to the crossover event that’s coming at the end of the year. And that the X-Men will be facing off against the Marauders – for my money, the scariest and most formidable villain team they’ve ever encountered.

Trevor Cates-- Lady Mastermind is a strange addition to the X-Men, what niche does she fill? Where do you see her with-in the next 12 issues? Also what did Creed smell on her?

Mike Carey -- She is kind of an odd choice. In terms of team dynamic I’d always seen things in terms of a stable triangle – Rogue, Iceman, Cannonball – in a state of precarious balance against an unstable triangle – Mystique, Sabretooth, Lady Mastermind. Cable and Karima stand outside this grouping, Cable because (as he bluntly puts it) he’s just visiting and Karima because she’s not a mutant and she’s emotionally very detached.

So I chose Lady Mastermind partly because she’s such a volatile and extreme personality. As with Mystique, you suspect that some aspects of her behaviour may have their roots in an actual psychosis. But on the surface you’ve just got this amazing, wickedly ingenious, endlessly aggressive woman who never lets anyone get away with anything. She’s the hardest X-Man for Rogue to wrangle, even taking Mystique into account. Because of course Mystique is trying hard – for whatever reasons – to be supportive of Rogue’s position, while Regan doesn’t give a damn.

What does Creed smell on her? You’ll find out next week.

X-Men Endangered Species OneshotTrevor Cates-- As I’m sure you’ve thought about this from every angle what are the pros and cons of having characters like Sabretooth, Lady Mastermind, and Mystique as members of the X-Men, from a writer’s standpoint?

Mike Carey -- The pros are that you have a house that’s always falling down. Even without the application of external threats, there are enough tensions and conflicts within the team to keep everything moving forward.

The cons… well, I have to say that the biggest problem was in terms of perception. Some people felt when they read the team line-up that it had been chosen for pure shock value, to get attention at the expense of plot logic and psychological consistency. I had an uphill struggle at first fending off accusations that I was dragging the X-Men through the mire, turning them into a team of psychopathic killers and career criminals, purely to make a mark on the franchise.

In fact, as I hope everyone now sees, there’s solid plot logic for every one of Rogue’s choices. The inclusion of Sabretooth in particular does raise some thorny issues, but it’s not being done for shock value or just to be different. It has a context, and within that context it makes perfect sense.

Trevor Cates-- Is Sabretooth to be considered an X-Man or a prisoner of the X-Men just being used as a weapon not an ally?

Mike Carey -- Yeah, that’s absolutely how I see it. He’s being used much more as a munition than a full team member, in situations where everything is at stake and there’s no time for fine moral discriminations. There’s a conversation that Karima has with Cannonball about that in #197 which goes right to the heart of it: if you’re holding Creed’s leash, and he kills someone, then to some extent that’s the same as you yourself killing them. She sees the situation as untenable in the longer term, and she’s got a solution that’s as extreme as the problem.

Trevor Cates-- Sinister is coming back into the X-Men’s lives, what will his role be?

Mike Carey -- That’s a difficult question to answer. He has an agenda, and as usual it’s huge and over-arching. He’s never been a man who thinks small or sets his sights low. In some ways, like Exodus in the X-Men Annual, he’s responding to a crisis that affects him directly – the crisis of imminent mutant extinction. And being who he is, he’s prepared to think (and do) the unthinkable.

In the shorter term, and specifically in #200, it won’t be easy to see what he’s trying to do and how his actions all fit together. And that’s part of the problem for the X-Men. They’re being attacked and they don’t know what the motive behind the attacks is: consequently they can’t anticipate Sinister’s next move or defend themselves against it. In the course of the arc, some of that will become clear – and that’s our lead-in to the crossover right there. When you suddenly realize that everything Sinister is doing is subordinate to a bigger scheme and a bigger ambition that will potentially change everything in the X-verse.

Trevor Cates-- Will characters that we would assume to be “one of the good guys” join him in his mission? If so can you give us any hints to who they are?

Mike Carey -- I really want to duck that question, but I’ll say this. What Sinister is trying to do isn’t in itself something that the X-Men would inherently disapprove of. But the way he intends to do it is appalling. There’s a tension right there, and a need to choose sides. There will be two surprising defections, both very different: one will be a long time in coming.

Trevor Cates-- The Marauders were made up of Sabretooth, Malice IV, Arclight, Prism, Harpoon, Scrambler, Blockbuster III, Scalphunter, Vertigo II, and Riptide. Out of these ten characters how many of them are going to be in your incarnation? And which one of these would you consider your favorite to write and/or personal favorite?

Mike Carey -- Only one character in that list won’t be present. This is the classic line-up, more or less – but with some significant additions, too. They’re going to be even more formidable than they were back in the Mutant Massacre days. When you get to that particular page in #200… well, it gives me the shivers, and I wrote it.

I think my favourite is probably Scalphunter. But I’m leaving Sabretooth off to one side there because he’s had a much more significant life outside the Marauders than any of the others. Just purely as a member of the Marauders line-up, it’s Scalphunter: he’s ruthless, he’s resourceful, he has a compelling backstory and he has a power that you can use in a lot of unexpected ways.

Trevor Cates-- The Marauders haven’t appeared since 1999 where have they been and what has been Sinister’s reasoning in bringing them back now?

Mike Carey -- Well many of them have been steeping in nutrient gel in one of Sinister’s bases. As we know, he’s capable of growing cloned versions of any of the Marauders except for Sabretooth and Malice: when you sign on with Sinister, it’s a job for life – and life goes on until he says it stops.

The “why now” question is at the heart of the #200-#203 arc, and the short answer is because what he’s trying to do requires – just as one of its elements – the services of a small but unstoppable private army. Because he knows that the X-Men will oppose him, and he’s laid plans to make sure that – no matter what they do – they can’t affect the outcome.

Trevor Cates-- Can you give us a guide through these characters heads (what makes them tic what is their inside voice up to) and what they will be thinking after X-Men #200 … Rogue … Cable … Sabretooth … Gambit … Sinister?

Mike Carey -- I’ll give you Sinister. He’ll be thinking: “Not a perfect score, but on the whole, very satisfactory. Very much within the acceptable range.” I can’t give you the X-Men’s thoughts because… well, I just can’t, is all. Even starting to answer that question would give too much away.

Trevor Cates-- You recently took a trip to New Orleans what was your experience? Were you able to get into Gambit’s head better? What kind of stories run through your head based on the trip?

Mike Carey -- It wasn’t primarily a Gambit fact-finding tour, but I did take the opportunity while I was there to eat a lot of Cajun food, listen to a lot of zydeco and read up on Cajun culture – as well as talking to a charming Cajun guy who runs a bookshop there and is something of an expert on the bayou communities. I think it did give me a feel both for the unique qualities of New Orleans as a US city and for the amazing resilience and cohesion of the Cajun communities in Louisiana. Whether that will give me any insights into what makes Gambit tick… well, I don’t want to say anything until after I’ve had a pass at writing him. I think so, but we’ll see.

Stories based on the trip… bear in mind that most of what I was doing was looking at the damage that Katrina had left behind her, both in physical terms and in terms of the human landscape of the city. So one of the things that stays with me most is the number of people who now have fleur-de-lys tattoos (the fleur-de-lys being the city’s emblem). They feel that they’ve been through a collective ordeal that defines them, and they don’t ever want to forget it.

Another thing is that I now understand both Mardi Gras and Louisiana voodoo much more than I did from just reading about them. Voodoo in particular has kind of opened up for me in ways that it hadn’t before. I’d never made the imaginative leap of seeing it as a marriage of African tribal religions with the pomp and circumstance of Catholicism, but that’s what it is. It’s the religion of slaves who couldn’t worship their own gods unless they disguised them as Catholic saints. So Baron Samedi was often called Saint Peter or Saint Pierre, because his role is a similar one: he keeps the keys to the door that leads to the next world. It’s amazing stuff.

As far as Cajun culture goes, I’d love to have a Cajun wedding in a story somewhere – the bride with dollar bills pinned to her wedding dress. And I’d love to bring in one of the illegal backwoods race tracks.

X-Men #200 Bachalo Variant


Trevor Cates-- Here are some viewer questions …

Mike Carey -- Yeah, and I’m going to have to be a bit terser with there because there a hundred or so of them.

Milkshake08 –

-What are your plans for Karima? Is she going to stick around? Are you planning on exploring her history with Neal Sharra?

MC -- It’s not at all certain that she’ll still be in the team after #203, but she’ll still be present as a character. I don’t think I’ll be getting any Karima/Neal beats in. I was hoping to do that during the Pandemic arc, but there wasn’t room.

-When are we going to see the Children again?

MC -- In 2008.

-Who has become your favorite character to write?

MC -- You know, I was going to say Rogue, but I’m enjoying writing all the team so much that I don’t really play favourites any more. It probably is still Rogue, but it’s Rogue by a whisker.

-Who is the most difficult to write?

MC -- Cable. You’ve got to give him this massive presence and authority, so he’s got to say a little and mean a lot.

-What characters would you like to write or think would be good additions to your team?

MC -- The top three would be… Northstar. Husk. Beast.

X-Men #197 Page #1>Hermito7 –

-How many issues are you scheduled to stay on as the writer of X-Men?

MC -- I’m around until at least #207. After that we’ll have to see. But I’m not thinking of wandering off or anything: I’m really enjoying what I’m doing.

-Hearing of the return of Gambit after 200 what types of changes can we see from him in personality, powers, and possibly looks?

MC -- I’d just direct you to the David Finch cover on that one. And I’d also say keep watching until #207 before you come to any conclusions.

Crutey Anth –
-Are there any plans for other X-characters to join the team e.g. Husk or even some who were never X-men e.g. Skids.

MC -- There are a lot of plans, some of them more radical than others. I can’t really start talking about that stuff until after the June summit.

-Do you have any plans for the 198?

MC -- Not en masse, but for some of those characters, yeah.

-Favorite Mutant?

MC -- See answer above. Knee-jerk response: Rogue. But I love all the characters in the team, and I also get a big kick out writing the Astonishing and New X-Men casts. Haven’t been able to get my hands on the Uncanny team yet because they’ve been up in space. But their time will come… 

-Favorite non-mutant?

MC -- Karima!

-Favorite villain?

MC -- Hard question. If we’re talking about “of all time”, then it’s a tie between Magneto and Juggernaut. I know how weird that sounds.

X-Men #197 Page #1Gremlin in the works –
-The internets been buzzing with positive comments about the recently released X-Men #200 3/4 page cover. Will other artists draw their own covers with all the X-Men on to be used as variants?

MC -- There are going to be two other covers, but they’re differently themed.

-You have stated a few times in other interviews that Northstar is one of the characters you would really love to write for. Considering his recent involvement with the current team and his return to sanity do you have plans to feature him in the upcoming arc...maybe as a team member?

MC -- I’m pretty determined to use him, yeah. At the moment I’ve got him coming in in #201, but there are logistical problems with that. It may be later.

-Are there any underused or misused X-Men past or present that you feel you could give a positive and defining voice to?

MC -- Under-used or misused… we’ve been talking about Revanche on my blog lately, and about how the Kwannon saga has stuck to her like an all-over-body mud facial. I wouldn’t mind dusting her off and walking her around the block. Her being dead complicates matters a little, though.

Xfire2k2 –
-What other X-men appear in issue #200 besides the regular cast?

MC -- Most of the Astonishing team will be present.

-Will Magneto, Quicksilver, and/or Scarlet Witch be in the upcoming X-event?

MC -- One of them will.

X-Men #197 Page #1Crawler310 –
-Which of the Children are definitely dead as of the end of the Supernovas arc? That is to say, did Cannonball really kill Serafina; did Iceman really kill Fuego, etc.?

MC -- I’d say that Serafina was partially protected by Sam’s blast field, so she was probably only knocked out rather than killed. Fuego was definitely dead, and he’d previously killed Aguja. Sangre died when Mystique’s thermite bullets sublimed most of his body into hydrogen gas. For the others, the explosion prevented our seeing what happened to them.

-What exactly were the Plague Dogs, and what happened to them? They kind of disappeared after that scene with Sabretooth.

MC -- They were three subordinates of Pandemic’s who had been infected with one of the many viral strains he discovered on the way to strain 88. They were able to reshape their flesh, even to the extent of merging into one composite being. They were also effectively invulnerable, because they could heal themselves seamlessly from any wound. So Sabretooth ate them – hence his comment to Cable about eating too much.

fefeJQ –
-Will we see any future romance on the team?

MC -- Yes. There are some pretty intense scenes coming up between… but that would be telling.

-Do you have any more plans to explore Iceman’s potential?

MC -- You bet. We’re only just getting going on Iceman.

-Are any very well known villains returning? (Other than Sinister)

MC -- Mostly, as you’ve seen, I prefer to create new villains. Sinister and the Marauders are the only long-standing villains we’re thinking of using in the near future.

Gibbering Mute –
-Mike, do you find it fun or a chore to "ultimatize" characters for Ultimate Fantastic Four?

MC -- I love it. It’s one of the big perks of the job.

-Do you think you'll write anymore Horror stuff for marvel like your Werewolf by Night one shot?

MC -- I’d definitely be up for it. I’d like to write Jack Russell again.

Ascloseasitgets --
-What X-titles do you read? Which one is your favorite?

MC -- I read all of them. Favourite… hard to say. Don’t you find that you go to each of the X-books for something different? If you twisted my arm, I’d say Astonishing, because I’m such a Joss Whedon fan-boy.

- If you had to scrap your current line-up and pick a completely new one (no bars), who would it include?

MC -- If I tell you that, I’d effectively be revealing who’s most likely to be in the new team… If I couldn’t have Rogue as team leader, and all of my current team was also ruled out, I might have a team led by the depowered Dani Moonstar.

- If any of the X-Men was going to go the way of a villain, who do you think it would be and why?

MC -- You mean any of the X-Men who haven’t previously been villains? Probably Cable, because he’s always prepared to ignore laws and regulations to get the job done. He’s the closest the X-verse has got to a paramilitary unit.

- Which X-characters (heroes or villains) would you like to see given more of the spotlight, but are currently not members of any team?

MC -- Well Gambit’s got to come back at some point, and sooner rather than later. Husk and the Beaubiers I’ve already mentioned. Bishop would be in that list. So would Storm.

- If you follow the title, who of the New X-Men do you see as having the most promise?

MC -- I love X-23, but she’s sort of beyond the stage of just showing promise now. Mercury. Elixir. Dust.

-Any you'd like to write?

MC -- I think it would be cool to write all of them. They’ve become a really fascinating team now.

- What do you think of Gambit's "gas" powers?

MC -- Umm… I prefer his regular powers.

- What is your take on the Gambit-Rogue relationship? Do you like them apart or together?

MC -- Both. But since I inherited a situation where they’d been split up, I’m not going to revert to the status quo just automatically and immediately. I do want to give them a chance to meet up, though. And it’s going to happen soon.

-Can they love other people?

MC -- Yes. Everyone can, given the right circumstances.

- Karima obviously doesn't feel human, but how do you think her being a non-mutant (and symbol for the hatred against mutants) affects her feelings about being an "X-Woman," especially post-HoM?

MC -- I think she looks at these things – at most things – very dispassionately. The thing about Karima is that when she thinks, she’s thinking with the sentinel parts of herself as well as with her human brain. There’s a scary elision of identity there, which I’d imagine makes it difficult for her to define what she is and where her true self begins and ends.

-Does she even consider herself to be one?

MC -- An X-Woman? Good question, and if I had to give a one-word answer I’d say no. At the same time, she’s probably got kind of an existentialist outlook: if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

- I am very pro-Mystique and love how you are writing her. Aside from the "Rogue's mom" angle, how do you see her as a forgivable or a sympathetic character (if at all)?

MC -- Thanks.  Again, this is a big question to go into here, and it probably needs more space than I can give it. We had a great discussion on the blog about the influence of power on personality. Mystique sometimes seems to be so mercurial and volatile that she’s almost not a coherent personality at all – and that might be a result of a power that has her flowing into different shapes and taking on different roles, sometimes living in disguise for years at a time. That, for me, makes her a more sympathetic figure, because it makes her in some sense a victim of her own special abilities. I also think that her love for Rogue – which is real, despite all the things she’s done that seems to contradict it – gives her a possibility for redemption.

- I think you've done an amazing job with Ultimate Fantastic Four (and "Ultimate Vision"). Would you ever take over Ultimate X-Men if offered the title?

MC -- I don’t know. Probably yes. It’s never been my favourite Ultimate book – I’m too attached to the 616 characters, I guess – but there are some great characters in the mix and there are some amazing things you could do with it.

X-Men #197 Page #1Daytripper –
-Great work on "rescuing" Northstar and Aurora - any chance of seeing any other former members of Alpha Flight in the near future (despite Omega Flight I suppose).

MC -- Always possible, but no plans at the moment.

- What do you think of Amanda Sefton? Any chance of an appearance?

MC -- Interesting character, but kind of a victim of “power creep”. If I used her, I’d want to nail down what she can and can’t do a bit more clearly. And I’d be unlikely to use her unless I could borrow Nightcrawler for a while, too.

- If you could resurrect any one X-character, who would it be?

MC -- Mister M. He’d get me out of a plot hole in a little story I’m writing…

No, I’d like Jean to be alive again – but I wouldn’t want to resurrect her, I’d want to go back in time and talk Grant out of killing her.

Anna Raven –
-Any big changes in store for Rogue following her run-in with Pandemic? Either powers-wise or personality-wise?

MC -- Absolutely enormous changes – but it’s not just Pandemic’s strain 88. It’s also what happens next…

-In upcoming story arcs can we expect to see Rogue's X-Men team in any greater context with the rest of the X-Men lineups or the rest of the Marvel U.?

MC -- Yes to the other line-ups, not so much to the rest of the MU.

-Any reaction to the death of Captain America?

MC -- I haven’t read it yet. Looking forward to doing so. This is Brubaker – I know it’s going to be good.

Blackcyclops –
-Do you have any plans to write Cyclops in action or any of the other X-Men from Astonishing X-Men?

MC -- Oh yeah.

Asterix2x –
-Do you plan on using Jubilee in the upcoming X-Event (or any other) after (or before) she makes her return that Joe Quesada mentioned?

MC -- I can only give a pusillanimous “maybe” on that one.  I like Jubilee a lot. I’d be happy to use her.

Spider –
-Any chance of having the team come up against Weapon X?

MC -- There’s going to be a scene coming up shortly where they kind of run across the wake of Weapon X. And there’s a Weapon X-related plot feeding into the crossover…

-Cable and Sam are both tied to X-Force, will X-Force ever show up to help or fight this X-team?

MC -- Now wouldn’t that be something to see? Couldn’t comment, though.

Djinmaster –
-One of the things I like about you is your interaction with your fans on your website. You really seem to go out of your way to answer fans, more than most other authors that I see. Do you feel that having an open dialog with fans like this affects how you write?

MC -- It keeps me psyched and involved with the characters even when I’m not working on a script. That’s probably the main thing. And I enjoy doing it. But I’ve been really lucky in my interactions with readers. Nobody’s ever flamed or insulted me or even sent me death threats. I look at stuff that goes down on some other boards and I think “wow, there but for the grace of god…”

Canemacer –
Since this is the issue he's returning in, what can you tell us about Gambit?
Will he still have gas powers?
Will he stay a villain?
Will he double-cross somebody?
Whats going to happen with him and Rogue?
Will he be joining the team during the roster shake-up?
Will he return alongside the Marauders?
Whats up with him and Sinister?"


MC -- I’m on a three-line whip not to talk about this stuff yet. Sorry.

Brianhalpin –
-Mike, You’ve said that after this years X-Event that you plan on changing up your roster leaving only a few from your current one. Can you tell us how many you'll be keeping and/or who you'll be keeping?

MC -- There are reasons why I can’t answer that right now. There are some big decisions still pending that will have an impact on who I use and how I use them. The status quo is going to be shaken up in some very profound ways, and the June summit is going to be mainly concerned with nailing that stuff down.

War Star –
-Will Sunfire be joining the team?

MC -- No.

-Will he go back to his horsemen look?

MC -- You’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Marvel-fan/atic –
-You have had a few random choices for X-Men (Lady Mastermind, Omega Sentinel anyone). Can we expect surprising roster additions such as these after the lineup change?

MC -- Random? I have a huge, complicated plan that ends with me stealing Beast and Cyclops.

Yes, there will be some surprising additions.

Psimaster –
-In reading both X-Men as well as Cable and Deadpool, there have been some inconsistencies with continuity regarding Cable between the two books.

For example:
Cable's current powers, i.e. his techno suit, can replicate his telekinesis nearly to the same scale as his power level in early issues of Cable and Deadpool. However in X-Men, he seems to only have a force field and not a terribly effective one at that.

Also, Cable's bodyslide is still presumably connected to Deadpool's DNA but in X-Men we see Cable bodysliding by himself in issue #196.

Can we explain this? I was under the impression that you and Nicieza were working very closely together so as not to cause these kinds of issues…


MC -- We’ve worked closely together on the next arc and its after-shocks. Before that, though, I was just winging it on what I knew from reading Fabe’s stuff. I don’t think there are any direct contradictions, though. We haven’t seen the full range of what Cable can do with his force field because it just hasn’t come up as a story element. And we have seen Cable teleporting solo in C&D, I think, after the Burnt Offerings story arc.

Yanks5179 –
-Mr. Carey, with other books you've done like Lucifer and Crossing Midnight, both absolutely fantastic works, it's obvious you did a great deal of research into the subjects such as mythology, religion, etc. With the X-Men being a superhero book with so much of its own mythology, how did you prepare yourself to write a team that's been around for over four decades and, in doing so, how much of your research into X-History was a factor in what characters you wanted to use, what ones you wanted to bring back, and in what direction you want the book to go?

MC -- Well thanks – glad you’re enjoying my Vertigo stuff.

With the X-Men, it helped that I was a long-term reader and fan. Although there were gaps in my knowledge, the basic architecture was all there. I knew who all the characters were and most of their personal histories, so a large part of the research just consisted of getting hold of issues and runs I hadn’t followed and sitting down for several days to read them. I was also helped in that by uncannyxmen.net, and by Trevor’s willingness to act as an unpaid research assistant whenever I desperately needed info on a particular character or topic.

But my wish list was already shaping up as I was doing all this. As I said above, I had this idea for the stable and unstable sub-groups clashing against each other, and most of the choices within that were surprisingly easy. Karima and Cable were the only choices I thought long and hard over: the rest just seemed to fall into place.

-As your work has been largely praised by X-Fans old and new, how long can we plan to have you around on this book?

MC -- As long as Marvel will have me. 

Italysfinest –
-If you can say anything, in the upcoming x-over, what (if any) role will Apocalypse be playing?

MC -- None. We won’t see him at all.

-The excitement I experience for the return of the Marauders is really high, I need to know, which one of the old ones will make the cut and will Gambit & Sunfire be with them?

MC -- See answer above. They’re all there except for one, and that one is missing for good and sufficient reasons. Gambit and Sunfire… well, they’re certainly going to be in the mix at some point.

-How big of a role will Rogue have in this x-over after what’s going on in "Condition: Critical” ?

MC -- Tough question. She’s at the heart of it, in some senses, but not necessarily in the way you might imagine.

Elixir95 –
-Do you have any tips for underage creators that desire to be a writer or artist for the Comic Book Industry? What avenues should we pursue and how do we get the big names to recognize us?

MC -- The important thing is to get your stuff out there and get it seen, and you’ve got more options there now than you would have had ten or fifteen years back.

There’s no point at this stage sending in sketches or story proposals directly to Marvel or DC. Almost always, they’ll want to see published work before they’ll take a chance on you. So you go through the indie route or the web comics route – or if you’re independently wealthy the self-publishing route. That seems frustrating now, but believe me you want to be ready for the majors when/if they pick you up. It can be bad to make your early mistakes in a big forum under a harsh spotlight.

Write or draw as much as you can – not just pin-up images but continuity work (if you’re an artist, you can draw pages from some of the many scripts that are now available online or as value-added features at the back of trade paperbacks). Show your work to lots of people, get feedback, and take the feedback seriously. Go to conventions, if you can: talk to professionals. Attend portfolio review sessions. Hone your craft.

If you love it and you keep working at it, you’ll get steadily better. And you’ll also make contacts that will help you. My career has been like that old arcade game, Frogger, where the frog crosses the river by jumping from one log to the next. Some of the logs sink under you, but so long as you keep jumping you can stay alive.

Cajunpirate –
-Boxers or briefs?

MC -- Briefs. With superheroes on them.

ExodusCloak –
-I loved the way Exodus seems to have returned to his Bloodties levels in the recent X-Men Annual can we expect more of this?

MC -- Yeah, Exodus will be back – and he’s a force to be reckoned with.

If Mr. Sinister was the one who revealed the existence of a 3rd Summers Brother can we expect Vulcan to be involved in the X-Event?

MC -- No, he may be elsewhere.

Calintz –
-Will they be bringing back Psylocke from the Exiles title for the big #200?

MC -- I wish.  But no.

Meanadam –
-Do you like tacos?

MC -- I love Mexican food in all its many shapes and varieties. Whenever I’m in San Diego for Comicon I eat Mexican every chance I get, because in the UK we often have to settle for mediocre Mexican or none at all.

Joshenry –
-Mr. Carey is there any chance that Phoenix (Jean Grey) may return and could you tell us if you would like to write the character?

MC -- I’d love to write her, yeah, but I think any resurrection for Jean would have to be handled with spectacular amounts of caution. She’s almost a character that you CAN’T resurrect now.

Knix –
-What will be Quicksilver's role in mutantkind's future?

MC -- I’m sure it will be significant, but in the long term rather than immediately.

-I heard no more mutants are born, is there more to come for him other than just empowering M-Day casualties?

MC -- Well, that’s never really going to solve the problem. Is there more for Quicksilver? There has to be. But I don’t know where his journey will take him next.

-If Angel is going to side with the hulk in WWH, will he become the X-Men's enemy?

MC -- They could conceivably find themselves on opposite sides in a quarrel, but enemy… no, I don’t think so.

-Is there a chance for him to come back as an active member?

MC -- A good chance, I’d say.

-Will Sunfire and Gambit stay as villains and become part of Sinister’s Marauders?

MC -- That’s a “wait and see”.

-I heard Iceman will play a big role in #200-#203. Any comments? What are your plans with Bobby, particularly with his character & power development?

MC -- Iceman and Cannonball are brought to the fore very dramatically in #201-#203. All I can say about Bobby is that what we’ve done with his powers so far is the start of something bigger, and that we’re also going to be focusing very strongly on him as a character.

Tugrul.sahin –
-The X-Men didn't participate in Civil War, fine by me. Will the X-Men clash with the Initiative?

MC -- It could happen at some point, but I don’t expect it to be a major plot element.

KiplingKat –
-Is Magneto coming back for this issue or are there any plans to bring Magneto back and more importantly, how has House of M/Decimation affected him/changed his direction/made him do some serious soul searching?

MC -- We’ll be seeing Magneto very shortly – and most of these questions will be answered at least partly. I think it’s fair to say that Magneto has been through the valley of the shadow. He will come out scarred.

Hampig71 –
-Any plans to use Storm in the future?

MC -- We’ll be seeing her soon.

BlackCat01 –
-Are we finally going to learn more about the status of Cecelia Reyes in the near future?

MC -- No. Not soon.

-Where do the X-men that will leave the team go?

MC -- Not into limbo. We’ll see where all of them end up.


Psycwave –
-Do you have any plans on revisiting any of these characters such as Jesse Bedlam, Sunspot, Mimic, or Fantomex?

MC -- No, yes, yes and no. But for “plans” read “vague ideas”. Nothing firm yet.

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