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Joss Whedon

Joss Set to Write New X-Men - Silverbullet Interview

By Alan David Doane

Monday 29 December 2003, by Webmaster

You didn’t hear it from me, but Joss Whedon is the guy set to write New X-Men.

This is a story that Rich Johnston — whose column I enjoy every week, just like you — has claimed to know for some time now. Why would he not let people know that the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is going to step into the footsteps of the wildly popular Grant Morrison?

Well, he has to do a column the week after he reveals this news. He’ll need more rumours, and presumably for whatever reason, Marvel wants this kept under wraps for now. I can believe this, as I’ve been on the receiving end of their outraged wrath when I had the temerity to reveal information that one of their creators sent me in a press release without asking for Marvel’s permission first. So I know they’re sensitive about such information as:

Joss Whedon is the guy set to write New X-Men.

So when I receive such information — and I’ll admit it, I loved Buffy, I want to still like Angel, and I thought Fray was one of the better actiony-type comic books of the past few years — but when I receive such information, man, I am torn. Is it true? The person who told me this is a top-level writer highly sought after by American comics publishers. This person knows everybody, is liked by everybody, and for whatever reason has always been kind to me and likes my blog. And this person wanted to share a scoop with me:

Joss Whedon is the guy set to write New X-Men.

So I say to this person, this longtime pro who I have come to trust, "How sure are you?"

I heard its him and [John] Cassaday. Again, not from me. But it’s solid.

Solid. As in, already set. Locked in place. It is, in a way, as if it already happened. Or, is it?

I poked around some more. Sure, this is a rumour column, but even so this is fairly big news among people interested in this sort of thing, and it merits investigation. So I poked. I received confirmation from not one, not two, but three industry figures, all of whom I trust implicitly. Apparently, this is the worst kept secret in comics.

But as long as it’s only common knowledge within the comics industry, that’s apparently okay.

What I’ve learned is that neither Marvel nor Joss Whedon want this news to become public knowledge outside the industry. I’m told that Whedon’s existing TV contracts forbid him to sign the type of deal with Marvel that he’s apparently agreed to, and the fear within Marvel is that if Whedon’s deal goes public, his New X-Men run will be aborted before it begins.

I’ve further heard that Marvel is hoping the Whedon/Cassaday New X-Men will sell in the neighbourhood of 300,000 copies per month, which would obviously make both Marvel and superhero-oriented retailers happier than pigs in shit. While some that I’ve talked to dispute the figure, it does seem likely that the combination of Whedon’s name and the popularity of the franchise would do very well indeed, for however long he stayed on the book. And there’s no question Cassaday’s artwork would shine — his two-issue X-Men/Alpha Flight mini-series was beautifully drawn even that early in his career, and perhaps a decent run on New X-Men would serve to erase memories of the sickeningly awful Captain America that John Ney Reiber wrote for Cassaday to draw.

My conclusion, after a week of investigating this, is that it’s true. Joss Whedon and John Cassaday are set to work together on the title that Grant Morrison reinvented, New X-Men.

Quick note from Markisan: Sorry to jump in here, Alan, but I couldn’t resist adding my two cents. In an upcoming interview with Ambidexterous columnist Brandon Thomas, Marvel EIC Joe Quesada says he had the new X-Men writer lined up two hours after Grant Morrison signed an exclusive with DC, and has held off on the announcement.

I’ve also heard Cassaday’s decision to illustrate New X-Men means Planetary will suffer long delays... again. According to my source, the official word from DC/Wildstorm will be that Cassaday can somehow fit Planetary Between X-pages. But everyone else in the real world knows John C. can only do one book a month. So look for the series to be put on standby for a second time.

Ironically, Joss Whedon has mentioned that Planetaryone of his favorite comic books. Thanks to Chap for the info.

This Has A "Yeah, But When, And For How Long?" Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

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