Jason Aaron On ‘Amazing X-Men’ And The Return of Nightcrawler [SDCC 2013]
Nightcrawler is coming back! As announced at Sunday's X-Men panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the return of the X-Men's swashbuckling blue elf is the centerpiece of the first arc of Jason Aaron and Ed Brubaker's new X-Men ongoing series, Amazing X-Men.
With a hand-picked team featuring Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Iceman, Northstar and first-timer Firestar, Amazing X-Men sends its heroes off into the afterlife to bring their team-mate back to life. Comics Alliance spoke to Jason Aaron to find out more.
Comics Alliance: What sets Amazing X-Men apart from the other X-Men books?
Jason Aaron: I'm basically trying to make this a monthly X-Men event book. That's how big and epic I want it to feel. I've spent almost 40 issues on Wolverine and the X-Men writing a huge cast of characters whose lives all revolve around the Jean Grey School, either as students or teachers or villains intent on tearing it down, and I'm still having a lot of fun doing those stories.
But Amazing X-Men will be about X-Men being X-Men, going on grand adventures all over the Marvel U, with nothing less than the fate of the world at stake. And the first arc will take Wolverine and his band of X-Men outside the realm of the flesh and into the afterlife, as their dead teammate Nightcrawler calls them to aid in the war against Nightcrawler's own father, Azazel, who's become a pirate of the afterworld, complete with flying pirate ships, a demonic crew and an army of evil red Bamfs. Also there will be sword fighting. And a fair amount of swashbuckling.
CA: Bringing back a literal lost soul sounds like a big challenge. What can you tell us about where this story takes the team?
JA: Into some strange new worlds, across some very strange seas. But first, the X-Men have to track those pesky Bamfs that have infiltrated the Jean Grey School for months now, and find out what the weird little guys have been up to all this time, right under their noses.
CA: What makes Nightcrawler so important to the X-Men?
JA: For me, he's fun. Fun to write, fun to watch. He's charming, he looks awesome, and he loves adventure. But he's also a deeply spiritual guy. He's pretty much my favorite X-Man, and I've been secretly plotting to bring him back ever since he died a few years back.
CA: Tell me about your team members. Why pick them, and why bring Firestar on board?
JA: The cast can basically consist of anyone who's a teacher at the Jean Grey School. Anyone who's on Wolverine's side of the great X-Men Schism. So we may see a few different faces from time to time. But I want to keep the cast relatively tight.
For this first arc, our main characters include A-list X-Men heavyweights Wolverine, Storm, Iceman and Beast, as well as long-time Alpha Flight member Northstar and long-time mutant but first time X-Man Firestar.
Firestar is a character who I think is long overdue for a spot on a major X-team. My love for the characters goes back to the days of the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon, which was my gateway into the Marvel Universe. Seeing how this is the Amazing X-Men, throwing her into the mix seemed only natural.
CA: You're working with Ed McGuinness on this book. What are his great strengths as an artist?
JA: There's just so much joy in Ed's work. He's one of those guys whose pages just make me smile. Oh and he can also draw absolutely anything you can ever possibly think of.
Ed was born to draw an X-Men book like this. But surprisingly, this is his first ever X-series. I'm just thrilled to be the guy who's along for the ride.
Amazing X-Men launches in November.