What to Expect from the 'Age of X-Man'
'Age of X-Man: Alpha' #1 writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler chat about today's tale!
Today, AGE OF X-MAN: ALPHA #1 begins a crucial new chapter in what is set to be a massive year for mutants at the House of Ideas.
Starting with AGE OF X-MAN: ALPHA and then continuing into MARVELOUS X-MEN, NEXTGEN, AMAZING NIGHTCRAWLER, X-TREMISTS, PRISONER X, and APOCALYPSE & THE X-TRACTS, writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler are weaving a new mutant mythology and a examining the fascinating concept of a potential mutant utopia.
In the chaos of the Marvel Universe, such an idyllic place is just asking to be disrupted by malevolent forces, right? We'll see... For now, we sat down with Zac and Lonnie to discuss the start of their story.
Marvel.com: Can you tell us more about the team featured on this great Phil Noto cover, and what their role is during the supposed peacetime they discover in the issue?
Lonnie Nadler: So the core X-Men team here is X-Man, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Nature Girl, Magneto, Storm, and Colossus. We chose this team for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they made the most sense in this world of peace as they each bring something unique to the table.
This isn’t a world where they’re engaging in fisticuffs too often so the role for the X-Men has become more about being worldwide relief workers, emergency responders, and role models for the rest of mutantkind.
Zac Thompson: To build on what Lonnie’s saying, more than what they uniquely bring to the team we also wanted to look at what they bring to the world as individuals. It was important for us to look at each member as a person with a very different outlook and stake in the world. We wanted to ensure the international characters were more in touch with their home cultures, but also in a world of peace that they were more in touch with themselves. That they had more time to explore their individual passions. Their autonomy came first, rather than their responsibility to the team.
Nadler: They no longer live in fear or oppression so as a team they now have the luxury of engaging in activities that they wouldn’t have had time for in the past. It’s not so much about petty squabbles or outrunning sentinels, and more about keeping the world safe. In many ways, they’ve become gods.
Marvel.com: What can readers hope to see in AGE OF X-MAN: ALPHA #1?
Nadler: Oh god, there’s a lot in those pages that it’s hard to say without spoiling anything. I suppose I can speak to what we tried to do and that’s to set the stage for this event by throwing readers into a strange new world that feels rich and lived in. I think what we’re most proud of is how we were able to create a wholly new universe largely visually and without too much exposition.
Thompson: So you’re going to see a much larger and very different version of Xavier’s school more like Hogwarts. You’re going to see a new and very different type of X-Men that are more like Gods. You’re going to see a world where physical mutations are considered the height of beauty. You’re going to see a set of villains who have a very different agenda than ever before. We tried to upend everything we loved about the X-Men and deliver something that never could have been expected. It’s really weird but that’s what makes it special.
Nadler: There’s so many hints and secrets hidden in these pages and so if readers take the time to look for them, it reveals a lot about this world. On top of that, they can look forward to what I honestly believe is some of the most beautiful and original artwork we’ve seen on an X-Men title in a long time. Artist Ramon Rosanas and colorist Tríona Farrell took what we gave them, ate it up, and delivered something so far beyond our expectations. I know it’s a bit taboo to talk about my own book this way, but the art alone makes this issue worth reading because it’s simply stunning.
Thompson: We owe so much of this Alpha to the world Ramon and Tríona have created together. We had a specific vision in mind, and way too many references to provide the team and they absolutely delivered on every level. It’s something truly different, and I know people are expecting this Age of Apocalypse lookalike but it couldn’t be more different in color, tone, and themes. We really wanted to explore a world that felt dynamic and vibrant in ways that were different than other X-Men events of the past.
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