As New York Comic Con rages throughout Manhattan, incoming X-Force writer Benjamin Percy was interviewed on Marvel.com about the series, which launches in November following the conclusion of HoXPoX as part of the Dawn of X X-Men relaunch. We expect to learn lots more about these books at the Dawn of X panel this afternoon, but ahead of that, Percy dropped some details about what to expect from X-Force.
On the concept of the new X-Force:
My heart is full of centipedes and cockroaches so I’m the perfect guy to take this team on. If you think about this black ops unit and you think about the paradigm shift that’s occured in the X-universe, this is an iteration of the team you’ve never seen before. They are a mutant nation, which means this is the mutant CIA. Accordingly, we have a division. A division of analysts and a wet works unit. On one hand, you have Beast, who is the head. On the other hand, you have Wolverine, who is the fist. The head and the fist. We’ve got wet work, we’ve got investigative work, and they are gonna be both allied and on occasion against each other.
On the roster, first Quentin Quire:
He’s such a jerk. I love the way he rubs up against everybody in the wrong way. It creates great drama.
And the rest of the roster:
The thing about this team is, that’s a big roster. Not everybody is gonna be in every issue. Sometimes we’ll have an issue that just follows Domino. Sometimes we’ll have an issue that’s more about two characters in particular. Sometimes we’ll have one that’s more investigative work. Sometimes we’ll have one that’s more wet work. The only thing that you can expect is the unexpected.
On the style of the book:
It’s a procedural. Think about it like a Michael Mann sensibility. Think of Heat or something.
On how long the creative teams of Dawn of X have been working on the books:
I got a call in October . I think I knew, at the earliest, in September that I was gonna be part of this. I was actually going to see Halloween the film, and [Jonathan Hickman] was like, how about X-Force? And I said yes. And then in January, we all came together for an X-summit. During that time, we had all read the documents, we had all talked to Hickman extensively. At this time, we were figuring out team rosters. We had all these 3×5 notecards, hundreds of them with all the mutants’ names. We were doing some horse trading, some arguing, figuring out what the sensibility of all these teams and series would be. So we’re way ahead of things.
On X-Force artist Josh Cassara:
Josh Cassara, we communicate almost daily, by text, by email, by cell phone. You may know his work from Venom, and he’s amazing in Venom, but he has leveled up. He is turning in work that makes my jaw drop, and C.B. [Cebulski], and Jordan [White], and Hickman are all saying ‘what is going on here?” There’s something gritty and dirty and kinetic and incredibly emotional about what he’s putting on the page. I feel like I have found a life partner.
On working with the writers of other X-Books, such as the Gerry Duggan of comics, Gerry Duggan:
It’s all been very civil. The thing that’s so great about this experience is we are not only writing these individual series, we are writing one large story together. So the coordination that’s occurring, not just through these summits, but through everyday correspondence on Slack. If I have a question about Marauders, say, just yesterday, I was talking to Gerry, I was like, ‘hey, can I do this with the Marauders crew?’ and then we have a side negotiation. It’s all copacetic.
And finally, on who will be the antagonists of X-Force, and some teases for the book including the promise of a big event happening at the end of X-Force #1 (a death, maybe?):
People who were once enemies are now allies. The mutants are together on this team. Together on this island. And even though their sensibilities don’t always line up, they have the same goal. Of course, people are gonna run up against each other. When we talk about villains in the largest sense, who are the antagonists of this series? I can’t tell you that much, but let me give you a tease. Tease number one: something is going to happen at the end of X-Force #1 that will ripple across all the X-titles and leave you in pain and wonder. So just wait for that final page. Here’s another tease: even though there are these treaty nations who have signed up with the mutant nation, who have agreed to align themselves with Krakoa, there are still those within shadow agencies, within subsets of the government, who are opposed and who are gonna be working behind the scenes to undermine the mutants.
The way in which we have characters right now who are like ‘what’s going on with these mutants?’ Eventually, it’s gonna get a little more aggressive. As opposed to “what’s going on with these guys?’, ‘what the hell is going on with these guys? It’s gotta stop.’ Trouble is coming.
All your dreams will come true. All your dreams and nightmares I should say.
X-Force #1 is in stores on November 6th. Be sure to check in with Bleeding Cool this afternoon for breaking coverage from the Dawn of X panel.
X-FORCE #1 DX
(W) Ben Percy (A) Joshua Cassara (CA) Dustin Weaver
THE HIGH PRICE OF A NEW DAWN!
X-Force is the CIA of the mutant world-one half intelligence branch, one half special ops. Beast, Jean Grey and Sage on one side, Wolverine, Kid Omega and Domino on the other. In a perfect world, there would be no need for an X-Force. We’re not there…yet.
In Shops: Nov 06, 2019
Final Orders Due: Oct 14, 2019