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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"He's putting the hair away now."
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November 06 2006

(SPOILER) Joss Whedon on Astonishing X-Men. And lo, a new Joss interview came online and it was good.

He was like, ‘I will take smell, please.’

That phrase will forever be burned in my mind.
"But I concentrated on Cyclops because he's been the team leader and the team washout in terms of popularity."

I've always liked Cyclops, although the writers usually made him into a sour puss instead of someone afraid of losing control. I did like how Cyclops was presented in the early X-Factor comics (say from 10-25). Scott going insane but still trying to hold it together was a lot of fun.
Good to see a Joss interview.

I thought this was pretty interesting -- it made me look at his other projects through this lens to see if it applied:

"The other thing about it is that my stories tend to take place in a day. I don't set out to do that, but I'm not a great one for the passage of time. I love momentum. I love to see people going through something very intense. I like to get into real-time as soon as possible."

(I enjoyed the smell thing, too...)
I'm a little irked by Joss. If he knows fans are going to be pissed off by Lockhead being the mole, then why not try to redeem Lockhead now? I'm sure Claremont will eventually step-in and fix it when he has the chance, but Joss' attitude towards the hard-core X-fans seems to continue the Morrison/Austen tradition of treating the X-fans are the source of all evil, and that's not like Joss. I think Loeb gave him bad advise on that one. Other writers go to the X-Men forums and none of them have been ripped to shreds by fans.

Not sure what to think of the direction Joss is going with Cyke. As long as he stops letting Emma push him around, I'll be happy. I'm not sure I like the concept of bada** Scott, and I loved the dynamic in Adjectiveless with Rogue and Cable telling Scott off, which really defines Scott's rather ineffective leadership style.

But the whole problem with why fans are so against Scott has to do with the way he's been treating other characters and his relationship with Emma, and making him an unbashed tough guy and the fact that everyone isn't going to like it, suggests to me that Joss is going to turn Scott isn't a bigger jerk that X-fans will hate even more. I'm getting tired of that.
FaithFan: That would seem more of an explanation of why fans hate Scott as of the past few years, but I thought over the long term, he was disliked because he was rather boring. It would seem that making him something of a jerk hasn't worked too well, so maybe making him a powerless badass leading the team will make him more likable. Just as long as he doesn't go for the mohawk.
If he knows fans are going to be pissed off by Lockhead (sic) being the mole, then why not try to redeem Lockhead now?

I read it much differently than you.
"I think that people will be pleased because it's going to give Lockheed a little bit more than ‘I show up and I'm cute.’ ... If people are like, ‘You've destroyed the essence of Lockheed,’ I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep."

He is hoping that fans will be interested that Lockheed is more of a personality, and less of an item. And he realizes that no matter what is done, there will always be someone to complain. If the complaint isn't something more substantial than bad "essence", then it isn't worth losing sleep.

As far as Cyke being a bad-ass, I have faith that Joss will keep it in character. Badly written Cyclops is boring, because some writers treat being responsible as being whiny and reactive. Brain-flash: Maybe Joss is going to put a little of hard-core Wesley into Scott. ("I'll take away the bucket.") Hopefully without the catastrophic wrong choices!
I just got a chance to read #17 now (I had to take a hiatus, because I was out of range of comic shops for a while) and I absolutely love Joss. Joss makes my life worth living. So many yeahbuhWHAT moments. Because I missed the boat on the Issue 17 thread I'll rant here:

I love the idea of Scott as a badass, largely because I identify with Scott and his fears of mediocrity, in spite of evidence to the contrary. He really is the Angel character in the X-verse (at least the way Joss writes him): a strong leader, with a constant sense of guilt and a need for absolute control over everything, or else he'll kill those around him (Scott with his power, Angel with Angelus). I think that after years of trying to keep himself under tight control, of course Scott's going to go wild when the primary reason he needs to control himself--his power--is taken from him.

And yeah, I also totally see Wesley. He might actually be a better analogy, but of course Wes and Angel are pretty similar characters to begin with. Although I think the catastrophic wrong choices are very much a part of dark Wesley. I don't really know if you can separate those two.

As far as Lockheed, I'm relatively new to the X-verse and so don't know the full history, but I think Joss is mostly trying to give Lockheed a personality. Lockheed being a mole doesn't necessarily mean he isn't loyal to Kitty--and in fact his desire to engage Ord makes perfect sense in terms of his desire to protect Kitty and her love. I can't wait to find out more.

And could anyone else pull off what Joss did with Kitty in this issue? In half an issue he puts her through a terrible trauma, and breaks our hearts along with hers, especially because we know the truth behind it. And John's art is so perfect--I especially love the Kitty/Peter scene in the rain,a nd the transition from Kitty walking along in her own, dark world, to walking through the brightly lit corridors. And the expression on her face when she says, "Mommy's here"? I keep wanting to say how the actress playing Kitty is so incredible, and I have to remind myself that it's just on the page.

I will say though that in some areas I have no idea what's going on (and it doesn't help that I don't actually have my old issues with me right now, and I can't really justify travelling two hours to pick them up--oh university life). So mind if I ask: as of issue 17 (no spoilers for 18 if you know any!), what is going on with Emma/White Queen and the, er, "imposter"? Am I remembering correctly a scene between Emma-who's-trapped-underground and "PERFECTION"/White Queen (in the hood) where Perfection says, "You really love him don't you?" about Scott? And the Emma who's been here all along the Astonishing line is the one who's trapped underground, correct?

Mostly I want to confirm that I'm supposed to be confused and not just missing something. :)
“The thing is that everything [in that scene] is about as dirty as you want it to be, which is how I like to write. [Laughs] I had dinner with Brian K. Vaughan and he was like, ‘Did Wolverine smell them on each other, or did he just know because he knew because they were acting guilty?’ I was like, ‘Which do you want?’...

I like comics as much as the next guy but how awesome would it be to see something similar on TV? I mean as much as I like "Heroes" when I watch it I think "wow I bet Joss could have done this so much better."
I definitely thought of season 5 Angel. Take his 'strengths' away and the calm, peaceful, stoic one becomes something scary and more heroic than one could ever expect.(But did I mention scary?)
Just a heads up but according to Diamond's shipping page Astonishing X-Men #18 isn't coming out this week after all.

[ edited by derf on 2006-11-07 00:56 ]
I really want to know what the cover for Astonishing X-Men #18 is. It's piquing my curiosity somewhat considerably.
This is the interview from this month's Wizard. The issue was actually quite good and worth picking up. It also includes an interview with BKV where he discusses Joss and Runaways a little. Not as much as the dual interview with the two of them in the last issue, but still worth mentioning.
Just a heads up but according to Diamond's shipping page Astonishing X-Men #18 isn't coming out this week after all.

No it's not, but it's finally coming out next week, just check the same listing for the the titles coming out next week.
Just a brilliant run. Awesome up until now (and I loved the Danger arc too) and the setup for the last arc is killer (or world breaker).

Lockheed being a mole is an interesting choice in the best sense of the word. Has he always been a mole, is he being purple-mailed? It creates more story.

The only problem with this run is that it will end.
Oh, shiny. Just shiny. A Joss interview surfaces, I get all excited, and it turns out I can't read it 'cause it's full of spoilers for vol 3, of which the TPB has not been released yet. Oh well, I guess I'll have to bookmark it and remember to read it when I've read Torn.
Just my luck.

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