Brian Wood answers fans questions about ‘X-Men’ and ‘Ultimate Comics X-Men’

(CBR) Whether it’s his work for Marvel Comics or his independent, creator-owned comics, Brian Wood has a knack for writing strong female characters — which is why it came as no surprise when his new “X-Men” ongoing series starring an all-female cast landed with such a bang. Wood’s “X-Men” only just hit its second issue and has already become a fan-favorite series. Its success is understandable — after all, Wood is the longtime writer of “Ultimate Comics X-Men” and had a brief but critically-acclaimed arc on “X-Men” in 2011. With “X-Men” finally launched and off to the races, Brian Wood joined X-Position to answer your questions about his work on both his new ongoing series and “Ultimate Comics X-Men,” Jubilee’s power set, his desire to create a new “Generation X” series and more.

Kevin kicks off this week’s X-Position with a question about Jubilee and her role on the team.

Dear Mr. Wood, Now that Jubilee has a baby boy, Shogo, can we expect to see her participate in missions and utilize her vampire abilities?

Brian Wood: Yeah, I know there’s been some talk about how maybe Jubilee isn’t a vampire any longer, or that I’m ignoring it because she hasn’t displayed any of those traits in an overt way, but she will. And yes, she is still a vampire, and yes, those missions are coming. Shogo’s not going to get in the way of her being one of the X-Men. But it might be a couple issues more before you see it in full force.

Speaking of Jubilee’s baby — how big of a role will he fill in the series after the first arc? Also, nice job so far on the series — the issues cannot come fast enough.

Thanks! Well, he’s around for the long haul, and will be a constant presence in her life (at least under the pen of this writer). As far as how big, well, I’ll just say to read the “Battle Of The Atom” series. Shogo may surprise you.

The next question comes from Askanipsion, who’s hoping for a resurgence of the Askani. With Blaquesmith returning in Cable & X-Force, will there be a Rachel “Bright Lady”/Blaquesmith reunion with Rachel learning the Askani teachings? The Askani is one of the coolest things in Rachel’s history.

I agree its pretty interesting, but I have no plans in the foreseeable future to do anything with it. I don’t know how one would handle that in a small or casual way — it seems like it would probably completely consume Rachel’s time and focus. Maybe it would have to be its own arc or miniseries, I dunno.

Corther, another Jubilee fan, wants to know more about the specifics of her power set now that she’s a vampire. I’ve really enjoyed this new volume of X-Men so far. It’s great seeing all the ladies up front, and especially having Jubilee back in a major book. I did have a question about her, though: in the first issue Rogue says “…And keep Jubilee safe!” which seemed a bit odd to me. I’m really hoping this isn’t going to be another case of Jubilee is the inexperienced member of the team, like she’s the new Kitty, or Armor, or — well, Jubilee. She’s been an X-Man for a long time, and now has the powers of a vampire! Speaking of which, can we maybe get some clarification of what those powers are? Besides the strength and speed, she was showing some different power sets (teleportation, for one) in the awesome Wolverine and Jubilee mini. Also, any chance we’ll see how her time spent with the Forgiven went? Thanks!

I think Rogue only said that because Jubilee had only just come back, and under some pretty stressful circumstances and with an infant in tow. Not a comment on her experience at all, because I agree that would be out of line. Her powers — well, I would say, and my editors could correct this or add to it: longevity, strength, hearing, smell(!), stamina, healing and so on. Fangs. Vampire stuff. Maybe the ability to go feral in a controlled way? It’s tricky, because she really has to live in both worlds, that of a X-Man and that of a vampire, so sometimes things gotta get fudged a bit, which is why I think she was given that ring that helps her walk around in the sun. And that’s also why I’m not giving her that broody personality any longer — we need the snappier, happier Jubilee. All of this is what I’m referring to when I said in past interviews that people should consider Jubilee to be a mutant with vampire powers, as opposed to the vampire thing as being the most important thing about her. And the Forgiven — no plans in the short term.

txgohan has one or two questions about his new favorite series, with a quick query about Brian’s other book, “Ultimate Comics X-Men.” Hey Brian, I’m so glad that are writing X-Men as I haven’t read such interesting stories in a while. X-Men has become my favorite title not only because it features Jubilee and Storm, but also because I feel like I am getting that classic X-Men action from the ’90s comics and cartoon!!! I do have a few questions for you about the new team and the Ultimate version. 1) Sublime is able to possess organic beings, Arkea is technology. How was she able to possess the baby?

That gets explained in #3. And thanks for seeing the classic vibe, it’s something we were definitely going for, but trying not to be too obvious about it.

2) Will we be seeing more of Karima or will we be introduced to a different classic female character? Polaris?

Yes, and yes, and not Polaris (although I wish).

3) In “Ultimate Comics X-Men,” I thought the Phoenix force left Jean Grey. How did she pull that effect at the end of the last story arc? Will the Mothervine/Psylocke thing ever be revealed as well?

The Mothervine/Psylocke thing is as explained in my title as it’s ever going to get. Mothervine was a big part of the “Ultimate Wolverine” miniseries, which you may or may not have read. I’m not sure if editorial has more plans to explore it or not. I’m already wrapping up the end chapters of the “World War X” arc.

4) Please write a Generation X reunion story. I loved it when you wrote that series in the ’90s and Jubilee, M, Chamber and Synch were my faves.

I would write that, but I’m not sure if I would be the most qualified, since I came in at the very end of that series. But I’d create a new “Gen X” series in a heartbeat.

cora reef wraps up this week’s questions with some questions about “Ultimate Comics X-Men” Kitty versus “X-Men” Kitty and more. Dear Mr. Wood, One of the most compelling aspects as a reader for “Ultimate Comics X-Men” is the stark difference that book has from the regular Marvel Universe. You’re working with two different versions of Kitty Pryde every month, now. Who do you see as the stronger of the two?

Well, good question. I don’t know if it’s some subconscious organizational method buried in my brain, but I don’t compare the two books at all, ever, not even idly to myself. I have all my current books so compartmentalized, that questions like this always take me by surprise, like I forget I am writing two Kittys. So I don’t know — I think Ultimate Kitty is probably more powerful in terms of influence and the burdens she currently has on her shoulders, but 616 Kitty is way more experienced and mature. So I guess it depends how you want to compare them.

“Ultimate Comics X-Men” doesn’t really seem to be about the X-Men any more. Do the X-Men even really exist? It’s not a criticism, I’m just curious, because the title “Ultimate Mutants” or “Ultimate Utopia” seems like it’d be more appropriate.

It might be more descriptive of these current story events, but I don’t know if I would say it’s more appropriate. The stories I’ve written for this title are a snapshot of the overall, a relatively brief chapter and dealing with a very small set of characters within the larger Ultimate X-Men world. I don’t doubt that a future writer will take things in a different way, and I would agree with anyone who thinks it’s probably time to do so. The end of my “World War X” arc does allow for this, it does wrap up the last 22 issues of the book in a way that leaves the future of the X-Men wide open and with a hopeful tone.

Finally, since it was just American Independence Day, how do you think Jubilee celebrates the fireworks?

Who cares about fireworks, it’s all about the food.

To wrap things up, here’s this week’s Behind-the-X question: What piece of technology would you voluntarily allow Arkea to take over in your life?

I could really use a sentient e-mail auto-responder, one with a seriously bad attitude.

Special thanks to this week’s guest Brian Wood for answering all of your stellar questions! Next week, perennial X-Position guest James Asmus returns to the fold to discuss all things “Gambit” — including the upcoming conclusion of the series! Got a Cajun-related question for James? Send it over in an e-mail with the subject line “X-Position” to ssunu@comicbookresources.com or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!