Mike Carey on returning to the 'X-Men' with 'No More Humans'
(CBR) In 2005's "House of M" #8, Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel, the Scarlet Witch put the mutants of the Marvel Universe on the brink of extinction by using her reality warping powers to enforce a proclamation of "No more mutants." Suddenly the X-Men found themselves in an even darker and more dangerous world where they were fighting for more than Charles Xavier's dream of peaceful co-existence between man and mutant -- they were fighting to stay alive.
The final issue of 2012's "Avengers Vs. X-Men" brought hope back to the mutants. The Phoenix force undid the Scarlet Witch's spell and now the Marvel U's mutant population is once again on the rise. What would happen if the X-Men found themselves in an opposite situation? What would become of their founder's dreams and ideals if they suddenly found themselves facing a world without humans? Writer Mike Carey and artist Salvador Larroca will answer those question and more in May 2014 with the release of their original graphic novel, "X-Men: No More Humans." We spoke with Carey about the upcoming OGN and what it's like returning to the X-Men after more than two years away.
CBR News: Mike, you've been away from Marvel Comics and the X-Universe for about two years, and a lot has changed in your absence. As a writer, which of those developments from the past two years has intrigued you most?
Mike Carey: Well, it's hard to get past the fact that Rogue just died. [Laughs] That was kind of devastating and extremely upsetting for me personally. It was a very powerful story though. I've been loving Bendis' "All-New X-Men." Having read the premise and thought, "How can that possibly work?" I discovered that he made bringing the original five X-Men to the present day work brilliantly by finding the human beats and emotional touchstones in that situation.
So I've been following that with interest. And arising out of that, "Battle of the Atom" where the past, present and future of the X-Men all came together, which I guess is a reoccurring theme in the X-Men. It just came from a slightly different angle this time around. I've also been loving Si Spurrier's stint on "Legacy." Some really amazing stuff happening in that book.
You're coming back to the X-Universe to write an original graphic novel. You've written both prose novels and original graphic novels before, but this is the first X-Men graphic novel since 1982's "God Loves, Man Kills" by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson. What does it mean to follow in Chris Claremont's footsteps like that? And in your opinion, what kind of story does an X-Men graphic novel need to be?
That's a good question. As far as following in Claremont's footsteps goes, we're all doing that aren't we? It's easy to forget, because it's a long way back now, but all the people who work on the X-Books are on a trail that Claremont originally blazed. He did so much to establish what the X-Men were and how a book of that kind could work. He was also the one who expanded the original book into a franchise with "New Mutants" and then with "X-Factor."
So it's very exciting, and it feels like a great opportunity. I love having the bigger canvas. Obviously it's the same size canvas as about five to six issues of a regular book, and it would be perfectly possible to do it that way. I think doing a story as an original graphic novel gives you certain freedoms that you wouldn't have if you were doing it in serial form; in terms of pacing and I guess in terms of your core cast. It allows you to draw from all of the characters from all of the books when you need them. If you were doing the story as part of a run on "Uncanny X-Men" there would be an expectation that the cast of "Uncanny" would be at the center, and it's the same for any of the other books. So an OGN can be eclectic and be paced however it needs to be paced.
I think the fact that it's a free standing story outside the run of any particular book allows it to be about the X-Men in a broader sense. Who are these people? What are they for? What is their world like? It allows you do the global beats without any constraints. That's what I've aimed to do.
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