It’s just about time for the fourth Marvel NOW! “Next Big Thing” press conference of the week, this one focusing on Cable and X-Force, with series writer Dennis Hopeless and editor Nick Lowe on the line. We’re covering the call live and continuously updating this story, so keep hitting refresh for the latest.
For new interior art from the first two Cable and X-Force issues, click over here.
Marvel’s James Viscardi starts the call by asking what readers can expect when they open up the first issue. “They get dropped in, smack-dab, in the middle of a pretty horrible situation,” Lowe says, with the cast standing around a bunch of dead bodies, in a factory (though Lowe doesn’t want to say what kind of factory). That leads to a confrontation with the Uncanny Avengers.
The first four issues will feature a “parallel story,” detailing how the cast got to this point.
“Cable and X-Force are wanted criminals being chased by the Uncanny Avengers, trying to get these things done while it’s more and more difficult to stay one step ahead of the law,” Hopeless adds.
Speaking of the cast, Hopeless says Cable is definitely the lead. Hope Summers is also a huge part of the book, Lowe says, though at first Marvel didn’t want readers to know, because they didn’t want to spoil the ending of Avengers vs. X-Men.
“Cable and Hope are both wanting to be done with the crazy, and try to lead normal lives, but neither one is very equipped for that,” Hopeless says. “They’re very bad at living normal lives.”
Hopeless says Cable is a “little jacked up” after being cured of the techno-organic virus, which is why, as seen in the Marvel NOW! Point One issue, he turns to Forge.
“Domino gets brought in, and is an obvious X-Forcer,” Hopeless says, while not specifying the reason she gets brought in. “Doctor Nemesis gets brought in for medical reasons. Colossus has interesting post-AvX reasons to be there as well.”
Lowe says that the Uncanny Avengers are essentially the supporting cast of the book, the equivalent to Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive. Havok is the main reason the team gets involved. “Things have gone bad for the Summers family lately,” Hopeless says. “Now, [Havok's] nephew appears to be committing mutant terrorism all over the place. There’s an interesting relationship between the two teams. They’re not cops — it’s more like, you’re not explaining this to us, we need to bring you in.”
First press question, from MTV Geek, concerns Cable’s mindset in the series. “He’s a person who wants to make the world a better place, he’s a person who wants to be a father to his daughter,” Hopeless says. “But at the same time, he’s really good at wielding a big, crazy gun, and sneaking into bases and blowing things up.”
Next question, from CBR: Will this book have ties to ’90s X-Force, or be significantly different from what’s come before? Hopeless says that he sees Cable as “Steve McQueen in the body of the T2 Terminator,” and almost a superhero version of Richard Stark’s Parker. “While he does look a bit like old-school X-Force, and it does have that big gun, explosions, crazy fun stuff it had in the early ’90s, it’s wrapped around an interesting crime story, and a family story about a father and his messed-up daughter.”
“There are some inspirations from ’90s X-Force here, for sure,” Lowe says, but also influences from more recent incarnations of the concept, adding that they’re keeping things close to the vest because they have a lot of twists and turns planned.
Lowe also says that series artist Salvador Larroca is “almost reinventing himself” on the book, describing his art as a combination of his work on X-Treme X-Men and his more recent run on Invincible Iron Man.
Next question, from us: Is Hope a full-fledged member of X-Force, or playing a different role? “She plays a unique role early on, we kind of throw that out over the course of the first arc,” Hopeless replies. “Cable doesn’t think of this as X-Force — he thinks, I need to solve this problem, this is people who can help me with it. But when Cable gets a team together and it’s on the news, it’s called X-Force.”
“She is going to be one of the three biggest characters in the book,” Lowe adds.
Going back around, from CBR: What does Colossus bring to the book? “We kind of explain why everyone is there in the first issue, except for Colossus,” Hopeless says. “Colossus, to me, ends up on the team due to where he is after the Phoenix Five. Things aren’t great for Colossus, and he kind of gets sucked in.”
“He is the muscle, and he is a veteran, a guy who doesn’t really get shaken under pressure,” Lowe says.
Next question, from Marvel.com: What’s the difference between the two X-Force titles, and will they interact in the future? “Yes, there will definitely be interaction,” Hopeless says. “This is an X-Force where they are fugitives on the run,” Lowe adds. “As far as the world can tell, they are criminals. They are murderers. And they are on the run from the rest of the Marvel U. Uncanny X-Force deals with the dark underbelly of the Marvel U. It deals with a lot of moral quagmires that a team such as that get would tied into.”
Next question, from us: What villains will be in the book in the early going — or do the Uncanny Avengers fill that role? “Early on, the Uncanny Avengers are a big problem, and the situations that lead to the job are a little more — real world is a silly way to say it, but less villain-based, and more ‘something awful is going to happen and we have to stop it,’” Hopeless answers, saying that Uncanny Avengers are primary antagonists for much of the first part of the book. “We’ll roll into who’s creating the situation and what they’re doing as the series continues.”
Lowe adds that there will be monsters, and some “X-Men-based environmental problems.”
Last question, from Marvel.com: Will Cable and Domino’s relationship be touched on? It will, but a lot has happened between both characters since they were last romantically involved. “They’re not going to jump right back into bed together,” Hopeless says. “But that history certainly plays a role in their interactions.”
Viscardi ends by asking about the redesigns for the Cable and X-Force main cast. Lowe says that he and Hopeless talked about what they wanted — like Cable’s post-TO Virus mech arm — and then basically let Larroca loose. “We knew we wanted to limit the color pattern, we knew we wanted them to look not necessarily like normal superhero costumes, but with enough superhero trappings to look ‘right.’” Hopeless adds that there are storyline reasons for what they’re wearing, and the tech they’re using.
Wrapping up, Viscardi recaps that the first two issues of Cable and X-Force are out in December. Thanks for reading!