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Interview: Marjorie Liu on ASTONISHING X-MEN and Relationships

The former X-23 writer is taking on an entire team now.

Marjorie Liu continues to blow us away with her writing. From taking on the kids in NYX: NO WAY HOME to the dark and mischievous DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE to the lovable (but deadly) X-23, Liu always manages to add a little something extra to her issues.

In an unfortunate announcement, X-23 was revealed to be ending with issue #21. The good news is Liu and Mike Perkins are the new creative team for ASTONISHING X-MEN beginning with issue #48. That issue won't be on sale until March but we couldn't wait to ask Marjorie some questions on what she has planned.

Comic Vine: You first wrote the X-Men in your X-Men: Dark Mirror novel (2005). How has the team changed in your eyes since?

Marjorie Liu: The team of Dark Mirror existed in its own universe. It was part of the Marvel U, but that story was written for fans who might not be familiar with the X-Men, and so I can't really compare them to the official team of then -- and now.

CV: Your team consists of Wolverine, Warbird, Gambit, Iceman, Northstar, Cecilia Reyes and Karma. Did you get to pick the roster or were the characters chosen by editorial?

ML: The roster was almost entirely my choice.

== TEASER ==

CV: Will the series deal with school issues from WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN or will the characters be away from the school on missions/adventures or both?

ML: There will be some references to the school, but for the most part the characters of Astonishing will be on their own, having adventures that have nothing to do with those crazy, wild students!

CV: With Northstar living with his boyfriend and Gambit getting his own apartment, how will your team be assembled when needed? Will this be an official 'squad' Wolverine will call on for specific missions?

ML: It's going to evolve into an official squad, but what we'll see in this first arc or two is a team full of men and women trying to live their own lives away from the X-Men. Not because they're sick of being X-Men, but just because that's what people do: they have a job, and then they go home from that job.

CV: Hooray for the return of Cecilia Reyes! Has her attitude on 'costumed adventuring' changed? Will you explore any feelings/past relationship with Beast?

ML: No, her attitude hasn't changed all that much. Costumed adventuring really hasn't benefited her life in any measurable way. Just the opposite, actually. As for Beast...we'll see, won't we?

CV: Will you continue your knack for capturing the friendships/relationships between characters? (Your Gambit/X-23 and X-23/Jubilee portrayals were what set the book apart from other x-titles).

ML: You're very kind. I don't know if I've got a knack for it, but I am definitely focused on deepening the bonds between these characters, and exploring their relationships to one another.

CV: I know we should look forward and X-23 is currently on the West Coast but is there a chance she might pop up? Will Gambit check up on her or at least call her?

ML: You'll see a reference to X-23 in the first issue, though I can't say that she'll pop up in the book. Never say never, though. She's definitely part of Gambit's life.

ASTONISHING X-MEN #48 is on sale March 28, 2012.

Posted by War Killer

Wish she wasn't leaving X-23, first Black Widow and now Laura... :(

Edited by MyraMyraMyra

I'm so excited for this book! It sounds great, and it features many of my favourite characters.

I'm especially thrilled to see my favourite character Gambit being written by someone who actually likes writing him again. I liked what Liu did with him in X-23, and I'm looking forward to see where she'll take him next.

Posted by papad1992

I'm really excited with the return of Cecilia Reyes... This really sounds like it's gonna be a great series!!!

Posted by unicornpuncher

I really dont care for cecilia reyes as a character but the rest of this book looks great. Karma and Northstar time getting some storyline are going to be great. Especially Karma, no ones ever known what to really do with her before.

Posted by Whisper_

@War Killer said:

Wish she wasn't leaving X-23, first Black Widow and now Laura... :(

I know :(

Posted by pspin

I wish more money for this series, I guess I'll have to stockpile for trades. Speaking of which anybody know how many volumes of AXM there are?

Posted by snyderman567

Cannot wait for this issue. X-23 will always be a fav :)

Posted by frogjitsu

If you trade Wolverine and Warbird for X-23 and Dazzler, and add Havok and/or Psylocke this would be perfect.

Posted by ProjektGill

I loved the X-23 series but have never really touched Astonishing X-Men. Marjorie taking over the series seems like a great jumping on point. Awesome interview Tony.

Posted by badaboop

This sounds good. I was in this series from the beginning until Whedon left, then jumped in and out of issues, lost interest completely at some point, but now maybe this will get me back into it. Always do love Gambit.

Posted by Mr. Kamikaze

What I assumed Marjorie Liu looked's nothing at all what she actually looks like. That is a very very good thing. She is so pretty.

Posted by frozenedge

@Mr. Kamikaze: I can agree with you on that

Posted by Turkeysammich

Glad Karma is getting some attention. I was disappointed the benched her on New Mutants after Second Coming.

Posted by The Impersonator

@_Whisper_ said:

@War Killer said:

Wish she wasn't leaving X-23, first Black Widow and now Laura... :(

I know :(

Posted by natejoseph09

Very excited for this book.

Posted by SexualLobster

Gambit is with X-23..?

Posted by sora_thekey

Astonishing X-Men has not been a major X-Men book lately. Putting Liu in charge of the book certainly is going to make it stand out... Just wish X-23 didn't have to be sacrificed in order to save Astonishing.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus


Posted by LoganRogue24

i want to see a Wolverine Rogue pairing.

Posted by soccersss

@LoganRogue24 said:

i want to see a Wolverine Rogue pairing.

That's a bad idea. Rogue has already screwed up Gambit & Magneto. It would be a disaster to add Wolverine to the list

I am extremely excited for Astonishing X-men. I am definitely going to start picking up this series come March.

Posted by AlKusanagi

Is Karma still gay as well, or has that been retconned out?

Posted by JonesDeini

@War Killer said:

Wish she wasn't leaving X-23, first Black Widow and now Laura... :(

Totally feel this, folk. Widow is the book that introduced me to her and I loved it. I also enjoyed her work on X-23

Posted by KEROGA

what if x-23 was emo.....

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

I might just pick up this series just to get back into Astonishing X-Men again!

Posted by lykopis

So excited about this. I can hardly wait - Northstar AND Gambit?


Posted by Bestostero

i really wished that dazzler was part of this team lol

Posted by jrock85

Strong bonds and friendships have been missing from the X-titles for a very long time now, so I'm really excited for this title.

@Mr. Kamikaze said:

What I assumed Marjorie Liu looked's nothing at all what she actually looks like. That is a very very good thing. She is so pretty.

Yep. She's a cutie.

Posted by ivolution2k1

if only she didnt wreck hellion in x-23

Posted by jrock85

@ivolution2k1 said:

if only she didnt wreck hellion in x-23

I'm starting to think that its an editorial mandate to troll Hellion because he's getting it bad in every book that he appears in lately.

Posted by Dark Noldor

I'm sorry to the folks that like her but Marjorie Liu is one writer that I'll always avoid reading and unfortunately she landed on a title that was on my pull list, so Astonishing X-Men is no longer an item that I'll purchase

Posted by Solarflare32

Wonder if they will ever tie up how cecilia rayes escaped neverland

Posted by Solarflare32

Or karmas young ward face

Edited by Nosfistis

Marjolie Liu's writing is top notch, don't get me wrong, but I'm kind of bummed out by this new roster and team placement. Wolverine's side now has five books. Cyclops team will have 3 after Generation Hope gets, sadly, canceled. Wolverine appears in 3 x-books, one avenger and one more of his own. How am I supposed to feel about things, since I'm on the ideological side of Cyclops? I still read all the x-books but it just seems unfair. It seems that editors are purposefully trolling the other side. Also, tired of having wolverine shoved in my face on almost every comic I pick up. It has gotten ridiculous Marvel. In order for Wolverine books to thrive, personal favorites get canceled (x-23, Generation hope). Don't know whether it's a business thing or I read about Wolverine-verse. Hope they manage to strike some balance some time soon.

Posted by thatlad

Good interview, Liu and Johns good stuff from comicvine lately.

So disappointed in Marvel dumping X-23 but leaving another x-men team book on the shelf (uncanny x-men, x-men, wolverine & the x-men, x-factor, uncanny x-force, x-men legacy, new mutants, x-club). I was thinking liu had some other commitments (her being a literary writer and whatnot) and that was why x-23 got cancelled. Weak sales was a bad shout considering there were other books lagging behind x-23 that survived. That book just needed a bit more promotion

Posted by 2stepsFromHell

I miss X-23...*cries bitterly*

Posted by ChillinVillain

I don't like the way she just ended the X-23 and Hellion relationship for no reason; the way she wrote Laura in those issues with Hellion were completely out of character with how she'd been written in New X-Men, X-Force, and even the first few issues of her X-23 run.