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Fusion
07-03-2007, 02:50 PM
MIKE CAREY ON X-MEN #200

Link: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=119312

SPOILERS FOR X-MEN #200

Last Wednesday fans got a taste of what’s in store for the X-franchise with the revitalization of the Marauders in X-Men #200—they are the deadliest group of evil mutants to ever face anyone with an X on their chest (or belt for that matter). They’ve crippled and maimed a few X-Men and they’ve slaughtered countless numbers of Morlocks—they even killed Cyclops’ first wife Madeline Pryor. They represent one of the X-Men’s deadliest adversaries, Mr. Sinister, a deranged “Mengele-like” geneticist fixated on the survival of the fittest.

Since February, Mike Carey has been keeping Newsarama informed as to the smatterings of rumors involving the Marauders ascendancy to their rightful place in the hierarchy of X-villains. In last week's 200th anniversary issue of X-Men, readers got to feast upon an issue rife with treachery and reeking of death—with Mystique and Lady Mastermind showing their true colors; the return of Malice, as she infects the Omega Sentinel like a computer virus; as well as, the featured return of Gambit (in status quo bad-boy attire) and Sunfire (in his not-so-standard-but-popular Age of Apocalypse attire) and their implication in the apparent death of Cable…

Top that off with Rogue being shot square in her chest by the new leader of the Marauders, her momma—Mystique, and you have quite a momentous book. Not only is it revealed that she is the new leader of Sinister’s crew of malcontents—she’s been hiding amongst the X-Men for quite sometime.

Also, be aware, this issue contains the first installment of the “Endangered Species” back story that will run through X-Men, Uncanny, New X-Men, and X-Factor—the Beast has come to an impasse in his search for a cure to the “No More Mutants” genetic phenomenon. In this installment, he reaches out for help with an offer to some pretty big nasties from all over the Marvel Universe.

We found Mike Carey laughing evilly and twisting the ends of his imaginary evil mustache. Demanding answers, we got more than we bargained for—Carey mentioned a little something about a “Messiah Complex” and the room started to spin…

Newsarama: Issue #200 showed secrets upon secrets that must have been planned for a while now. How long has all this subterfuge been going on, Mike?

Mike Carey: A lonnnnnnnnnng time…

NRAMA: Was Mystique in on this from the ground floor?

MC: Certainly, she's been working systematically towards this for some while now. Some of this back story will be filled in.

NRAMA: Is Lady Mastermind participating under her own power?

MC: Absolutely. Nobody apart from Karima is being mind-controlled.

NRAMA: Did dirty dealing go down between panels?

MC: Kind of. If you look at the scene where they're all filing out of the room to let Rogue sleep, there are some interesting glances passing between Lady M and Karima..

NRAMA: Time-wise, does the back story take place with Beast making Faustian deals with the X-Men's adversaries take place before their altercation with Marauders?

MC: Yeah, the whole of “Endangered Species” takes place before X-Men#200.

NRAMA: "Messiah Complex" intends to provide the culmination of a number of X-related story lines from the last couple of years. Which characters from your respective books play critical roles? It's already apparent that Scott Summers finally has a real comeuppance after his deconstruction at the hands of Joss Whedon in Astonishing X-Men--who else will rise to the occasion? Are there any characters who fail?

MC: Along the way, yeah, definitely there are. All the Adjectiveless team are involved in the lead-up to the crossover, and most of them are in the thick of the action all the way through. And they don't all come out of it unscathed or on top of the game, by any means. Some of them lose...a lot... in this process. Others kind of come out of it renewed. I'd say...watch Rogue. Watch Mystique. Watch Iceman.

NRAMA: What is the "secret origin" of the Messiah Complex concept? Who got the ball rolling on this idea?

MC: It's lost in the mists of time. I think the first time we started talking about the crossover was the January 2006 creative retreat, and ideas were flying all over at that point. About the only thing I can say for sure is that the first guy to mention Sinister was C.B. Cebulski. We were walking from the cab to the meeting room on the last day of the retreat and he said, "You know, given some of the stuff that was coming up yesterday, I think Sinister ought to be in the mix." And everyone agreed. It had an inevitable logic to it.

It's amazing how amicable the process has been so far. Nobody has seemed to get defensive or over-protective of their own input at any point. There hasn't been complete agreement on everything—how could there be? And not every suggestion has been embraced, by a long way. But as a benchmark of how well it's all come together, everyone left the last retreat, in January of this year, saying "Man, I can't wait to write this."

NRAMA: With the cast of Astonishing figuring into this series of books—were there any squabbles over who "got dibs" on the direction of certain characters?

MC: Nah, it's more organic than that. The characters come and go through all the books, so you more or less get to write everyone. From the Astonishing cast, I favor Cyclops, Beast and Emma—and if you look back, you'll see I've been using them as supporting cast in Adjectiveless from the day I started.

NRAMA: Sinister's involvement seems fairly indicative--will this event involve other messianic villains? Apocalypse, Magneto, and Exodus have proven to be problematically "god-like" also...

MC: Out of those three, I can give you a definite ‘no’ as far as Apocalypse is concerned. He's been involved in a big, recent story arc and we won't be seeing him in the course of this event. We'll definitely be seeing at least one of the other two though. And you'd best keep an open mind as to whose Messiah Complex the title refers to...

NRAMA: X-Events are considerably more intimate affairs in comparison to larger Marvel epic events. “Endangered Species” and “Messiah Complex” are both very reminiscent, in terms of simplicity and guided readability, to "The Mutant Massacre" event from 20 years ago--is a smaller event like this easier to coordinate? Where do each of you find yourselves challenged the most?

MC: I'm sure it is easier to co-ordinate. It's a different structure, really—a different ground plan. We're telling one story across four titles, complete in itself. The company-wide crossover tells one story but spins a lot of other stories off from it, or drops elements from that one story into the ongoing events in a number of different books that are all pursuing their own independent plotlines. So this isn't like Civil War—still less like Infinite Crisis. It's like an organ point in a musical fugue: for a few bars, all the voices are in perfect synchrony. That's the crossover. Then they move away again and do their own things...

NRAMA: What is your overall opinion of a group cross-over like this? Does this give you a little room to breathe creatively?

MC: Yeah, I think this is a cool model. It's horses for courses, though, and it depends on what the crossover is meant to achieve. Here what we're doing is playing out the consequences of a lot of big events that have been part of the backdrop for all the X-books for the past year and a half. Inevitably that changes the status quo in the core books, but it has few knock-on effects outside the X-verse. It's a mutant crisis, and the mutants get together to deal with it. There will be a lot of Marvel heavy hitters who don't even know this is happening. Ideally readers will come out of this event both with answers to some big questions and with a clearer sense of where the X-Men are right now and where they're going.

NRAMA: The X-Men always seem to be the most compelling when all the odds are against them and they are on the brink of annihilation. Will “Messiah Complex” mark a return to a more ‘dire’ status quo for the mutants of the Marvel U? Things seem fairly awful right now on the precipice of 'Endangered Species'--care to share your personal interpretations of your books individually?

MC: Yeah, I don't think there's any argument about that. There's something very cool about those moments when the mutants have their backs to the wall and all the odds stacked against them, and they start to fight back. One of the iconic moments I always come back to is Wolverine picking himself up out of the sewers underneath the Hellfire Club. Okay, the X-Men have just been trashed, and their strongest asset has turned into an enemy, but Wolverine has survived by the skin of his teeth and you watch, breathless to see if he can turn this around. The informing idea of the X-Men is the beleaguered minority trying to define itself against the world's pressures and threats. In their finest hours, they more or less *have* to be outgunned, outnumbered and off balance.

In Adjectiveless, the team has been through a year where they've faced a lot of new enemies and come out on top—but in each case, taking harder and harder knocks in the process. Now they're right back in the situation that Rogue pulled them out of back in #188: they're in meltdown, both individually and as a team, and things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

NRAMA: Without giving anything away, do you have any last words, you disturbed, evil man?

MC: Deep laid plans and desperate improvisation against the backdrop of a steady, terrible war of attrition. Nobody comes out of this untouched.


Sounds like great stuff. Also reminds me how much I fucking hate Newsarama fans.

BrianS
07-16-2007, 06:16 AM
I'd love to know who at Marvel had the brilliant idea to give the X-Men over to a B list writer like Mike Carey?

This issue was awful. The art...geez. I remember when Chris Bachalo really drew the X-Men back in the 90's...And Humberto Ramos? Wasn't this guy great on Impulse?

Gregory
07-16-2007, 06:19 AM
they even killed Cyclops’ first wife Madeline Pryor.

This is a retcon, right? The way I recall, the Marauders tried to kill Pryor, but she survived, joined the X-Men, and later became the Goblin Queen. They did steal her and Scott's baby.

Pat Loika
07-16-2007, 06:21 AM
This is the best X-book being published. It's fun, smart, and I love the fact that Carey pays attention to what's going on in the other books and incorporates it into his stories.

P.

Andreas
07-16-2007, 06:33 AM
Mike Carey's writing and Chris Bachalo's art have been stellar so far, making this one of the best X-Men stories. Though if you're jumping on with #200, you're missing too much of the build-up to fully enjoy this.

Andreas

Roger
07-16-2007, 06:39 AM
I'd love to know who at Marvel had the brilliant idea to give the X-Men over to a B list writer like Mike Carey?

This issue was awful.

i have to agree
these x-men books have been unreadable drivel.
i'm done with them.

BrianS
07-16-2007, 06:45 AM
i have to agree
these x-men books have been unreadable drivel.
i'm done with them.

I like Astonishing...I wasn't crazy about Bru's first story arc, but so far I love the Morlocs storyline, and the art is incredible.

TIP
07-16-2007, 06:47 AM
I'd love to know who at Marvel had the brilliant idea to give the X-Men over to a B list writer like Mike Carey?


I'm not reading Carey's X title...but he is one damn fine writer (have you tried LUCIFER or any of his other works?).

Gregory
07-16-2007, 06:48 AM
I'm not reading Carey's X title...but he is one damn fine writer (have you tried LUCIFER or any of his other works?).

His first UFF arc lasted about nine years. I dropped the book a few issues later.

BrianS
07-16-2007, 06:51 AM
I'm not reading Carey's X title...but he is one damn fine writer (have you tried LUCIFER or any of his other works?).

I read the first 10 issues of Lucifer and was bored by it. I'm not up to his Hellblazer run yet (I'm WAY behind in my reading) but I'm not looking forward to it if this is his level of writing.

I will give him a little credit...the scene in Endangered Species with Sebastian Shaw was pretty inspired.

Masculine Todd
07-16-2007, 06:52 AM
Mike Carey is so prolific and such an amazingly talented writer. Marvel truly made a wise decision giving over the reigns of X-Men to him.

This issue was wonderfully unpredictable, and Humberto Ramos' art was brilliant. I can't imagine a better X-Book save for Astonishing X-Men.

Roger
07-16-2007, 06:52 AM
I like Astonishing...I wasn't crazy about Bru's first story arc, but so far I love the Morlocs storyline, and the art is incredible.

astonishing is the only X-book i'm reading!
joss owns my soul....
:)

NickT
07-16-2007, 07:17 AM
I'm really loving what is going on with this book.

TIP
07-16-2007, 07:22 AM
I read the first 10 issues of Lucifer and was bored by it. I'm not up to his Hellblazer run yet (I'm WAY behind in my reading) but I'm not looking forward to it if this is his level of writing.

I will give him a little credit...the scene in Endangered Species with Sebastian Shaw was pretty inspired.

This was also great fun
http://www.thefourthrail.com/images/reviews/010504/myfaithinfrankie1.jpg

Albert
07-16-2007, 07:27 AM
Yay! This comic is really getting good for me. I like how the three "teams" are getting mixed up more.

Doug
07-16-2007, 07:37 AM
I'm loving this book.

Really X-Men and X-Factor are the only two X-books that I read. Carey and PAD are doing some really great work in my opinion.

As for Astonishing, the delays between issues just kill it for me. I read the first year and enjoyed it, but for year 2 I'll get the trades.

scouser
07-16-2007, 07:40 AM
Carey's X Men is one of the best comics out now. Everyone should give it a try, its well worth it.

Run-BMC
07-16-2007, 07:58 AM
I read the first 10 issues of Lucifer and was bored by it. I'm not up to his Hellblazer run yet (I'm WAY behind in my reading) but I'm not looking forward to it if this is his level of writing.

I will give him a little credit...the scene in Endangered Species with Sebastian Shaw was pretty inspired.

I'm not surprised you don't like his X-Men then. Not everyone likes everything.

But I do have to say that giving the X-Men over to Mike Carey was a brilliant idea, and at the time, was probably a little ballsy too.


Yay! This comic is really getting good for me. I like how the three "teams" are getting mixed up more.

Yeah, but I couldn't imagine having to draw all that.

Joshzilla
07-16-2007, 09:44 AM
I'm loving what Carey's doing on X-Men and what Bru's doing on Uncanny. For me, it's the best the X-Men have been in a long, long time.

Fusion
07-16-2007, 10:21 AM
Carey is easily the best X-writer out there if not tied with Joss. Like what was said before, I love the unpredictability of the book. The action and dialog and the way the x-men use there powers is fantastic.

BrianS
07-16-2007, 10:40 AM
Carey is easily the best X-writer out there if not tied with Joss. Like what was said before, I love the unpredictability of the book. The action and dialog and the way the x-men use there powers is fantastic.

I don't know...it all seemed like a retread to me. I'm reading it going "OK, they are turning Rogue into Dark Phoenix and I wasn't the least bit suprised Mystique set them up for a fall

And the art...I mean, this is the X-MEN, not the cartoon version of the Teen Titans.

Marcdachamp
07-16-2007, 11:05 AM
I liked the issue. I enjoyed it a lot more than I have Brubaker's Uncanny. Nothing touches Astonishing and X-Factor, though. Those books are solid gold.