Lady Deathstrike returns as the lastest villian in “X-Men”

(CBR) If you aren’t reading Brian Wood’s “X-Men,” it is time to catch up. Two issues in, and the series has already proven itself as a return to classic “X-Men” heroics with fighting, flying and its all-female team of fan favorites including Psylocke, Rogue, Jubilee and a mohawk-sporting Storm. Wood keeps the characters fresh and timeless, delivering action and dialogue that never compete for attention. Combined with the sleek penciling of Olivier Coipel, “X-Men” has proven itself an integral addition to the Marvel NOW lineup.

Soon, “X-Men” joins “Uncanny X-Men” and “All-New X-Men” for the time traveling crossover event “Battle of the Atom.” And once the crossover wraps in Issue #6, Wood begin a new arc with the addition of artist Terry Dodson.

Wood spoke with Comic Book Resources about his next arc, which is highlighted by the return of Lady Deathstrike, and his plans to continue with the all-female lineup.

CBR News: “X-Men” and “Star Wars” fans are among some of the hardest to please, and you’ve taken on both. Did you intentionally set out to take on some of the most critical fans in comics? Have you been pleased with the reception for “X-Men” thus far?

Brian Wood: As it turns out, “Conan” fans are the most troublesome to please! I think “X-Men” fans get the worst rep, but in my experience, it’s been fine. Wonderful at times, really. But no, when I took on these jobs it wasn’t anticipating the worst, just felt they were jobs too good to pass up. Relaunching marquee titles like “X-Men,” “Star Wars” and “Conan” and all in the same year — it’s been a writer’s dream.

Lady Deathstrike is slated to be the new villain in your next arc, along with the New Sisterhood, and the current “X-Men” team is primarily female. Do you intend to keep the all-female lineup into the next arc? 

Yes, there’s no plans or even any intentions to add a male character to the lineup. As you can see already from the issues that have come out, men are present in the book, and in pivotal roles. I don’t expect anything to change as far as that goes. And just because the next set of villains is the Sisterhood, that’s not to say the next one after won’t be male. It might be.

In the Ultimate Universe, Lady Deathstrike had a big grudge against Storm. Will that characterization carry over to this incarnation?

I don’t plan on using anything from the Ultimate universe, but if there’s any one thing that Lady Deathstrike is all about, it’s holding a grudge. And exacting revenge. I think as far as that goes, Lady Deathstrike would look at the X-Men and see a target-rich environment, as the saying goes.

Your “X-Men” seems to have this timeless feel that is neither adhering to nor blatantly rewriting the character’s continuity. It feels classic and modern at the same time, and I haven’t seen any direct tie-ins to the other X-books yet. Is there any crossover planned beyond the big event in Bendis’ X-books? Do you feel any editorial pressure to work within the other X-stories?

Yeah, “X-Men” is a part of the “Battle Of The Atom” event storyline. Issues #5 and 6 will be a part of that. I was flattered, actually, to be included in the event since it’s only a few titles participating and I think it sends a strong message that “X-Men” is a book that ‘matters’ (in the comic book sense of the word), and is worth following. And I’m glad you said the timeless thing — when we were developing the series, my goal was to create an “X-Men” book that felt classic and timeless but without feeling retro, or too heavily keying into past events. Based on the reaction, I think we’re achieving that.

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