HELLO Midtown Blogerine! It’s the second of our three “5 Q’s” THIS WEEK!! This time with one of the major architects of the X-Men Universe, Kieron Gillen! Hopefully, the lobbies of Marvel and DC won’t have a picture of me in their “banned from the building” list…

Kieron Gillen
Kieron Gillen

1. Much like Ed Brubaker worked with Matt Fraction before he stepped away from the book, Matt worked with you on the latest arc “Quarantine”, how was that like creatively? Was it a total collaboration?

It was collaboration in the same way that conscripts collaborate with the army high command. While Mr. Fraction sits in the mansion, smoking his gentleman’s cigar, I am marching slowly towards a revolving maxim gun and digging big old holes. But still, I did my duty and just about survived, and now claim to be one of the lucky few who survived a collaboration with Matt Fraction. Brubaker leg still hurts in winter, I know.

It’s a tricky one to describe, as I suspect co-writing gigs find their own way of working. In ours, it was me wandering into a house Matt had half-built already and deciding where to put the remaining bricks. And then kicking some holes in the wall, and adding some more bricks of my own. And then Matt pointed out he hated those bricks, and we fought a little, and then we put a different brick in there and everyone was equally unhappy.

It was actually a lot of fun. No, really.

2. I read your “.1” issue featuring Magneto (Uncanny X-Men 534.1 to be exact), and you hooked me. Can we expect more from him and Namor (who had my favorite line of the book)?

Definitely. Both are core cast for the foreseeable future, and both work really well in the ensemble cast. Magneto is more prominent in BREAKING POINT and Namor is more on the main stage in our FEAR ITSELF.

Magneto is just a glorious philosophical conundrum, and even his presence allows you to explore some of the most interesting parts of the X-men universe. And Namor is one of the most interesting arrogant men in the Marvel Universe. He really doesn’t give a damn what you think of him. He’s simultaneously whip-smart, deeply passionate and entirely obvious – and uncaring – of how funny some of the things he says are. I mean, that line in the .1 issue? I don’t think he’s joking.

Magneto, from Uncanny X-Men 534.1

3. Your current story has the return of Breakworld from Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run; can we look forward to more space bullets and crazy mad warriors tearing through our favorite band of mutants?

Space bullet wreckage and a single mad warrior. BREAKING POINT is basically the Count of Monte Cristo with Aliens and Mutants. It’s about Revenge and Love, which are two of the best things to hang a story off, as far as I’m concerned. I had a lot of fun developing the Breakworld from where Joss left it. We often see alien-worlds overturned by the action of Superheroes. I wanted to explore the after-effects, and how that changes the Breakworlders. Ex-Powerlord Kruun was a complete monster when we saw him in Astonishing – but the figure we see in Uncanny is much more of a tragic figure.

The Five Lights of Generation Hope

4. Hope and co. have been going through some crazy things in Generation Hope, which may be my favorite X-title… what can we expect in the future? Are we going to see a mutant renaissance or just a light at a time?

Thank you!

Yes, that’s what Hope believes. That she and her friends are going to give the mutant race a future, one light at a time – and then, eventually, something will change. She doesn’t know what that is, but that she has to be ready. She believes that the future has to be better than the past. She’s extremely idealistic. What the next six issues are about is that idealism being strained. No plan survives contact with the enemy, and Hope Meets 21st Century Earth is going to be hard on everyone.

5. Finally, will Hope and Cyclops ever get along? He’s sort of her grandfather after all…

I think shouting is how Hope shows affection. If she ever really likes Cyclops, she’ll probably try and punch him. Heaven help Gabriel if he ever takes her out on a date.

And there it is! The X-Men have always had a soft spot in my heart (again, thank the spat of 90’s comic book cartoons!), and despite their convoluted history, the X-books have been a great deal of fun, and I’m looking forward to more of Kieron’s work!

Next Time, we’ll have a 5 Q’s with Eddie Berganza, longtime DC editor who’s currently working on some book called Flashpoint? By some writer named Geoff Johns? Maybe you guys know about him… I sure don’t. (I’m a jerk and I know it)

Go Love Some Comics

–       Raph

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