The ‘Uncanny X-Men’ Creative Team Reveals How the Mutants Enter the War of the Realms
Matthew Rosenberg and Pere Pérez talk about bringing the X-Men into the intergalactic battle.
The epic War of the Realms continues to spread across the galaxy, and now Malekith’s forces are invading Earth. Asgardians and Midgardians alike must ally to fight them back and the X-Men’s own Valkyrie, Dani Moonstar, is on deck leading a team of merry mutants to war!
We spoke with Matthew Rosenberg and Pere Pérez about Valkyrie’s new role and the team that’s got her back, as well as the style we can expect in WAR OF THE REALMS: UNCANNY X-MEN #1, out Wednesday, April 24!
Marvel.com: Can you tell us about the team that Dani Moonstar is leading into the War of the Realms and what possible conflicts are ahead for the X-Men?
Matthew Rosenberg: The X-Men are far from full strength these days. Following the events of DISASSEMBLED, they are a pretty bare-bones unit. And with Cyclops injured and Wolverine missing, Dani takes charge. She has the most connection to what is going on since she is still a Valkyrie on some level. But she has a great team behind her—Magik, Karma, Wolfsbane, Chamber, Havok, Banshee, Hope, Cyclops, Multiple Man... and maybe one more mysterious team member returning to the fold. Their main focus will be on staying together and helping as many people as they can survive the coming war.
Marvel.com: How does this X-Men team fit into the War of the Realms?
Pere Pérez: I guess they’re sort of in damage control. They find themselves involved in a situation they don’t fully understand and just try to react to it, and try to save as many civilians as they possibly can.
Matthew Rosenberg: The X-Men right now are so completely focused on their own mission, but when the War of the Realms hits they are dragged in along with everyone else. They have a history with Asgardian heroes and villains, but nothing like what's coming.
Marvel.com: If you could pick favorites, who on David Yardin’s cover are you the most excited to dig into and showcase in this miniseries?
Matthew Rosenberg: Writing Dani Moonstar taking charge and kicking butt in her Valkyrie armor is awesome. But I also have a special place for Wolfsbane in this one. We put her through a lot, and she might not come out of this the same.
Pere Pérez: Without any doubt, Wolfsbane. She’s always been one of my favorite New Mutants.
Marvel.com: Dani has experience with being a squad leader, but leading the X-Men into realm-spanning war seems like an altogether different task. What’s the military hierarchy here, if there is one? Does she take orders from someone else or is she on her own?
Matthew Rosenberg: As this unfolds, the X-Men are broken up into squads. While Dani isn't taking orders from anyone, she is more of a field leader. She is playing offense while Cyclops is on defense, trying to keep their new home base secure.
Marvel.com: What kinds of shifts to Dani’s character had to be considered when you were working together on this story?
Pere Pérez: I try to make her look more like a Viking. Her outfit, attitude and fighting style are more savage, more direct.
Matthew Rosenberg: Something happens in the War of the Realms... I can't say what or Jason Aaron will kill me, but it has a profound effect on Dani. I can't really say more than that, but when people see what happens I think they will see Dani in a new light.
Marvel.com: Pere, can you tell us about the character designs? What were some of your most favorite parts in bringing these characters to life?
Pere Pérez: I had a lot of fun designing the costumes that will appear in issue #2. They’re sort of “Mad Max” meets the “Lord of the Rings” mixed with their original costumes. I’d say my favorites have been Moonstar and Havok.
Marvel.com: And what kind of aesthetic and tone are you going for in this WOTR tie-in miniseries?
Pere Pérez: I’m trying to keep things as raw as possible. The X-Men are fighting a long battle to save not only themselves but all of Midgard, so the fight gets a bit dirty and ugly. Besides from trying to keep the fights real and brutal, I’ve tried to convey a sense of scale by choosing wide shots that give us a feeling of the scale of the threat here.
Marvel.com: What were some of the real-world influences or inspirations for this story, and what X-Men archives did you dive into to prepare for such an epic tie-in?
Matthew Rosenberg: I really wanted to tell a war story with the X-Men for this. We already know they are the best Super Heroes in the Marvel Universe, but the War of the Realms is something else. So now we get to see them as soldiers. But more than that, they are outnumbered, behind enemy lines, working to help people, trying to survive. So we really wanted to focus on telling that story. A story about the brave people who do what they can against overwhelming odds.
Marvel.com: Did any of your past work influence this story and the war ahead that the X-Men now face?
Pere Pérez: I’ve drawn several Viking graphic novels in Spain, so this Norse mythology theme is definitely one of my favorite subjects to explore visually, and all that previous experience definitely helped.
Matthew Rosenberg: I try to make all of the X-Men books I've written build off each other. So the events of MULTIPLE MAN, ASTONISHING X-MEN, NEW MUTANTS, and DISASSEMBLED all play a part. We've seen how these characters come together – now I want to show why that matters.
Marvel.com: You worked on UNCANNY X-MEN: X-MEN DISASSEMBLED #10 with Ed Brisson and Kelly Thompson, so what’s it like getting back to the Uncanny X-Men realm amidst the War of the Realms? What’s your rapport and routine like in working on this miniseries together?
Pere Pérez: It’s always a joy to work with those characters. I thought I had drawn all of them, but most of the characters on War of the Realms were not on UNCANNY X-MEN, so I’m really happy to take a shot at them.
Matthew Rosenberg: I love working with Pere. He is such an amazing artist, and this just feels like the book he was born to draw. His sense of scale, the energy on his pages, the great characterization. All of it works so well here.
Marvel.com: What do you want readers to know about this particular tie-in to WOTR?
Pere Pérez: I’d like to say this miniseries is the book I’ve worked harder on in all my career, and also Matthew has written some shocking surprises that I can’t wait for you guys to read. So check it out and let us know if it’s been worth it!
Matthew Rosenberg: We're trying to do something a bit different here. I think if you're an X-Men fan, a Thor or War of the Realms fan, or just a fan of gorgeous comics there is something for you here. And there are some major moments in here that X-Men fans aren't going to want to miss. I don't want to give too much away, but there are going to be some tearful reunions and maybe some tearful goodbyes in the book. War is hell, after all.
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