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Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon - "Astonishing X-Men" Comic Book - Wizarduniverse.com Interview

Tuesday 12 February 2008, by Webmaster

WIZARD: Before we delve into comic-related stuff, let’s get this out of the way: What’s your favorite type of pie?

WHEDON: You know, I’m very partial to making a strawberry-rhubarb at Thanksgiving and usually end up eating most of it myself. Strawberry rhubarb is a thing of beauty.

Thanks. Now on to comics.

All right, but I think you’re glossing over the very delicate pie issue. You know, most of the last X-Men is going to be about pie anyway.

Speaking of which, is it safe to assume that the “Giant Size” title is a nod to the classic 1975 issue which launched the modern X-Men?

That was Johnny’s insistence. We were supposed to do 12 [issues] when I cornered him and said, “I have the next 12,” and he said, “Shut up! I’m busy!” And then I told him what the ideas were and he basically said, “F--- you!” And practically the first thing out of his mouth was, “And we have to go out with a giant-sized annual at the end of 24!” And I’m, like, “That works for me.” I actually thought he meant giant-sized, like, Superman Versus Spider-Man [Treasury Edition]-sized, and then found out that just meant longer. [I was] like, “But I want to see Spider-Man fight Superman…or Muhammad Ali, I don’t care.” I was a little disappointed that it isn’t actually going to be larger, but it will be longer and…“epic-er.” Yes, that is a word now! Yay!

What can we expect from the Giant-Size issue?

Well, it wraps up all of the threads that I’ve been weaving—obviously, the Breakworld saga—and will involve characters from the Marvel Universe. (They’ll all be dead—except Hawkeye.) For the first time since they locked horns with the Fantastic Four in issue #7, they will actually be a part of the whole, which means, of course, I have to keep writing my editor, like, “Who’s alive? Thor’s a clone? Okay. What is Spider-Man wearing these days? I’m very confused.”

And will Blindfold’s prediction from issue #18 about an X-Men not coming back actually come true?

Do you think Blindfold would not be right?

You never know.

Yeah, the issue ends with Blindfold going, “Psych!” and bumping into a wall. It’s hilarious.

[Laughs] The terminology was that “not all of them” come back, so is it possible that may or may not mean death? And that may or may not mean death. But is it going to be harsh? Let’s see. Let me look in the mirror…“Oh, it’s Joss Whedon!” Yes, it’s probably gonna be harsh.

Hopefully you don’t actually have a mirror there.

No, actually, I really don’t. I want to stress that I don’t have a mirror.

Now that you’ve pretty much finished the run, is there anything you wish you had done differently?

You know, not so much. I think the only major regret is that I don’t think I’m ever going to do anything as cool as issue #4, when Colossus came back and ran through Kitty. And it’s not good to peak at issue #4 when there’s 25 of them. I know the Danger plot did not resonate with most audiences as much as I would have liked. I think I was so interested in the ideas behind it that I forgot to connect them to the humanity of it and people weren’t really feeling what Danger was going through.

Arguably, your streamlining of the characters was part of the reason for the title’s success.

You pick up the X-Men and you have so much history. You just have to say, “I will honor the history that the fanboys know,” but I gotta write this for people who haven’t read 14 other things and aren’t reading them now. Which is why I stayed out of the Civil War and all of that because I wanted to make the book accessible to somebody who wasn’t an X-fan, at the same time as having just a fanboy party the whole time. Simplification. Logan—what are you going to do with Logan? Well, what hasn’t been done with Logan? How about turning him into a prissy Nancy boy? Which, again, was honoring his origin story. I didn’t pull that out of thin air; that had already been created.

You know what also hasn’t been done with Logan? A full body wax.

Well, spoiler alert!

Laughs] Last X-Men question: In issue #21, when Beast and Agent Brand are caught in a snowstrike, she says, “I don’t need your guts to keep me warm.” And then something happens down below, off-panel and then Hank says, “Oh. My.” Dare I ask what we’re supposed to infer here?

Um, infer away because the Giant-Size will reveal what she was talking about. Agent Brand has many more layers than she has heretofore shown. And that doesn’t mean I won’t kill her. But, yeah, we will find out what’s really going on with Agent Brand and why there was a glow.