Monday, 12 November 2012

X-MEN LEGACY: Brainmakings

Ey-oop, folks.

Behold: a speedy note from beyond the Spursphere. I’d make the usual apologies for the sparseness of recent enbloggenation, but since it’s entirely down to a continent-slamming workload and assorted lifecrazies I don’t really have the time. I’d also say something clever about how the Amount Of Things One Possesses Which Are Worth Blogging About is inversely proportional to How Much Time One Therefore Has Left Over To Blog About Them, but… well, I’m too busy to do that either. So here’s the meat:

I’m the new writer on Marvel’s extreeeemely long-running ongoing mutantcentric book, X-Men Legacy. That’s pretty big. Bigger still is that we’re relaunching it with a brand new episode #1, a brand new central character, and a brand new - and deliciously weird - flavour.  The adventure begins on comics-store bookshelves and your usual digital outlets this Wednesday, the 14th of November 2012. Solicitation info is at the foot of this post.

Now, I’ve done a billion interviews about how excited I am by this opportunity elsewhere – you’ll find a few of them here, here and here, and here's a PREVIEW of the first episode – but I just wanted to use this space for a few quick thoughts about how I’ve oriented this book in my own mind.

I’ve waffled elsewhere about my ambivalent relationship with superhero comics. I’m a big fan of the genre at its best, but I’m not going to pretend I don’t think a decent chunk of it is depressingly dreary. Don't get me wrong: that's my own prejudices getting in the way as much as any true qualitative measurement. I often struggle to find anything worthwhile, plausible, morally justifiable or – frankly – interesting, in the conceit which lies behind the worst offenders of the form: namely, that the logical response to developing godlike superpowers is to become a champion of overly-simplistic boyscout moral “good” while somehow excusing one’s own endless bloody violence in pursuit of the same. It’s like this funny little blindspot readers are obliged to accept, and it makes me kinda itchy.

Now, some superhero comics – the good ones – rationalise the conventions of the genre in more cunning ways. The more elegant the rationalisation, generally speaking, the more that the important stuff – character, story, all that – gets to shine. For instance, the X-Men books have always worked for me because the explodo derring-do tends to revolve around matters of social, tribal and racial equality (or, more recently, survival) rather than anything more arbitrarily moralistic. In the mutant context you can play with politics, justice, car-chases, dragons, space-born monkeyslugs, etc… but it all comes down to “the us” and “the them”. Doesn’t get more elegant than that.

So. Given all that, I can’t tell you how enormously lucky I feel to’ve landed myself this gig – which not only operates deep in the lore and gurgling viscera of the X-verse, but sets itself even further apart by conspicuously thinking of itself as the Black Sheep of the mutant canon. I approached it with a manifesto very firmly in mind: one which applies not only to me and the readers, but to the character at the centre of it all too. Hence it’s the first thing he hears when he wakes-up at the start of the story. This is the sort of not-too-subtly-codified stuff superhero comics do so well, and I love that this is how we kick things off.

Over the coming months we’re going to encounter a guy made out of eyeballs, a dinosaur with a clock for a head, some creepy bird-fixated twins, and a scared manboy with impossible hair at the centre of it all. But it’s the topsy-turvy weirdness – that is, the chance to play with spandex conventions and hit all the expected beats, but to do it arse-backwards and upside-down – that keeps me gurgling at how lucky I am.

This is going to be awesome.

Oh, and to double-down on the mega-osity, Be Ye Aware that I'm a guest at this year's THOUGHTBUBBLE festival in Leeds - generally regarded among comicky creator-circles as the Funnest of the various UKside conventions. It'll be my first public whatnot since X-Men Legacy begins, so it really is your first (and possibly only, as far as 2012 goes) chance to get ep#1 signed. Or anything else, I'm not picky. 

I'll be signing on the Saturday (17th Nov) and the Sunday (18th Nov) on TABLE B, 13.50-15.20. Come say hazizzle. 

I'll also be giving a talk as part of the "1000 Words" event, about my time spent working in TV/Movies and how those memories relate to the comics experience. That's in the Alea Cinema Room on Saturday 17th, between 11am and 12noon.

Solicitation info here:

X-Men Legacy #1
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Tan Eng Huat

Main cover [above] - Mike Del Mundo
Variant cover [right] - Skottie Young

In Stores: 
November 14, 2012
Marvel Universe 
Rated T+ 
The Story: Marvel Now! spotlights Legion— the most unstable mutant in the world and Professor Charles Xavier’s son! Legion has reshaped the universe and killed gods – now, in the wake of AVX, he must conquer his demons and embrace his father’s legacy!

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVED this comic. Your interviews made it my most anticipated X-book, and you MORE than delivered. I haven't felt this much wonder and excitement since reading DnA's Marvel cosmic books & Gillen's Journey Into Mystery. Sign me for the XML Manifesto for the duration. THANK YOU.