Witness the build-up to Extermination in new X-Men post-credit scenes!

20 years into the future, mutant kind is on the verge of extinction—and it’s an incident not even the X-Men will survive!

But how did this future come to be in the first place? And is it too late to prevent it? The answers will be revealed this summer, but readers will be able to find clues in the final pages of key X-Men titles. Appearing in select issues starting in May, the X-Men’s future will be teased exclusive post-credit scenes from writer Ed Brisson and artist Oscar Bazaldua that show the lead-up to EXTERMINATION!

Follow along as the X-Men prepare for new adventures in the Marvel Universe—check out this handy guide to keep track of it all!

How will all of this impact the Marvel Universe? It’s up to you, True Believers, to find out! Pick up these stories to travel on the road to EXTERMINATION!

Then read EXTERMINATION #1, by Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz, coming this August!

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Cullen Bunn discusses the enigmatic Emma Frost!

When the X-Men get lost in space, an opportunity arises for Emma Frost, Havok, Bastion, and Miss Sinister to hatch their devious plans in X-MEN: BLUE #23!

On March 14, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jorge Molina trap the mutants on a spaceship, pit Polaris against the body-snatching Malice, and put future of the enigmatic Emma Frost up for grabs.

We caught up with Bunn to chat about the state of mutant affairs…

Marvel.com: What events led to the team finding themselves lost in space in issue #23?

Cullen Bunn: In the preceding arc, “Poison-X,” the Original Five X-Men venture into space to deal with something of a symbiote problem. That adventure is going to cost them dearly and they aren’t going to be able to get home as quickly as they want to. That leaves a void here on Earth, especially since the threat of Mothervine is escalating quickly!

Marvel.com: How have tensions at home been unfolding with the Blue team missing?

Cullen Bunn: Magneto is angry. I think that’s the best way to describe it. His team has left him high and dry, and his enemies are using the absence of the Original X-Men to their advantage. With the Original Five missing, Magneto is forced to take some drastic steps.

Marvel.com: What’s going on with Malice and Polaris, and what’s the history there?

Cullen Bunn: Polaris and Malice have a long history. Years ago, the psionic entity of Malice possessed Polaris and turned her against her friends. Now, thanks to Miss Sinister, Malice is back! Way back in the early issues of X-MEN: BLUE, Jean Grey found a necklace containing the Malice entity. Malice was meant to possess Jean…but she’s now found her way to Polaris. The question is, in a world of doppelgangers, is this the Malice we knew from before?

Marvel.com: Emma Frost, Havok, Bastion, and Miss Sinister are up to no good—tell us about this unholy alliance and what danger it poses.

Cullen Bunn: Each of these villains has a different reason for wanting the same thing. They are all trying to see the mutant race thrive. Miss Sinister wants this for scientific research and genetic raw materials. Bastion wants this so that he can restart his mission of killing mutantkind. Emma wants this so she can see a dream fulfilled. And Havok wants this because be believes, deep down, that mutants should rule the world. They are launching the Mothervine project in order to see this happen. Of course, once they achieve this goal, they are going to turn on each other and try to kill one another. They’re all planning for that eventuality already.

Marvel.com: This young Blue team have now been lost in time and space…sounds like a metaphors are afoot!

Cullen Bunn: Absolutely right! Growing up and finding a place in the world is a turbulent and trying endeavor for each and every young person. Hell, it’s difficult for most of us throughout our lives. This is a big theme for the X-Men. They are in a world where they, quite literally, don’t belong. They have impossible role models in…themselves…and they can’t see how they would ever become those people. In some cases, the people they are supposed to become seem horrible to them. It’s a story of destiny and a teen’s struggle to avoid said fate.

Marvel.com: Speaking of story themes, how do fan favorites Polaris and Emma Frost fit in with the idea of “destiny versus free will” that this series has been exploring?

Cullen Bunn: An interesting pair you’ve picked for this question. For one, the theme of free will is overt. Polaris is in danger of being possessed by Malice. She must struggle against that if she wants to be herself. For Emma, she struggles against destinies of her own making. She started out as a villain. She became a teacher. She became a hero. Then, because of a terrible loss, she became a villain again. The story in the next few issues will show what she decides she must be…and if those around her will accept it.

Marvel.com: With so many story threads going on, how you do you and Jorge Molina manage to keep everything unified and streamlined in terms of story and art?

Cullen Bunn: It’s a real challenge sometimes. I am working on several arcs at once, and in addition to Jorge, I’m working with R.B. Silva and Edgar Salazar and Jacopo Camagni and Iban Coello, all on stories that interconnect in significant ways. The good news is that these folks are consummate professionals, and they are working together as well as humanly possible to make sure it all comes together.

Read Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina’s X-MEN BLUE #23 on March 14!

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Cullen Bunn on the team encountering the Master of Magnetism in the past.

Most of the time it’s pretty safe to assume that when you travel in time, you should expect some drama. What new challenges will the Original Five X-Men face in X-MEN BLUE #20 on January 24, as they encounter an old-school version of Magneto, their former nemesis turned current day ally? We caught up with writer Cullen Bunn to find out.

Marvel.com: Will encountering Magneto as they travel to the past cause the X-Men to doubt their decision to team up with him in the present? Will it remind them of all the reasons he was originally their enemy?

Cullen Bunn: Oh, absolutely! The X-Men will be seeing a very different side of Magneto. This is the Magneto who wants to conquer the world, to see mutants rule over humanity. I’m not sure this will make them doubt their decisions, but it will reaffirm why they joined Magneto in the first place. They signed up with Magneto so they could be there if and when he finally snaps and goes to the dark side. They might see some hints of the “kinder, gentler” Magneto, too. Those personality traits are always there. But this also shows that the darkness, the rage, is always there, too.

Marvel.com: On the other hand, will knowing that their relationship with Magneto changes in the present impact the ability or willingness of the X-Men to fight him as they travel through time? Will they feel more reluctant knowing that he allies with them in the future/present?

Cullen Bunn: I think they might be reluctant to fight Magneto, knowing that they will someday be allies. But…who says they’ll be fighting AGAINST Magneto in the past? At least this time around, they may be siding with Magneto. Now, if you’re talking about will traveling to the future and living with the modern X-Men make them reluctant to battle Magneto if and when they return home…well…we’re addressing that a bit in this arc. A key point of this arc is that if the Original Five do anything different in the past, it will upset the present. With that in mind, they MUST fight Magneto, just as they did in the past.

And here’s a real twist of the knife:

Maybe the Original Five in the past fought Magneto in their earliest encounters BECAUSE they know how he’ll end up in the future and they need to guide him to that moment.

X-Men: Blue #20

Marvel.com: Magneto has always seemed like a character who, at least some of the time, has relatable motivations for what he does. He’s not just a one-dimensional bad guy. So seeing him at these different points in his personal history could kind of bring to light that internal tension that we’ve seen over the years.

Cullen Bunn: True. One of the things that makes Magneto interesting to me is that he IS a villain. He’s done some terrible things. But because of all the horrible experiences he’s had, we can almost understand why he does what he does. What’s scary about Magneto is that right now he is acting somewhat “heroically” but if he really dwells on all the awfulness that has surrounded him, he might just swing back into his rage and darkness. It’s not a matter of it, really, but of when.

Marvel.com: What do you think Magneto of the past would think of Magneto of the present and vice versa?

Cullen Bunn: The Magneto of the past would likely not understand the motivations of the Magneto of the present. He might be wondering what the angle is, because he would assume that there is one.

The Magneto of the present might look back at his past and feel a bit of remorse… but he might also know that everything he’s done has been for the good of mutantkind, and he might feel some comfort in that, some resolve. That life… those decisions… make him who he is today and may inform his choices for what comes next.

Marvel.com: Would you like to mention or tease anything else?

Cullen Bunn: Coming out of this story, we’re going to be seeing a lot of the plot lines I’ve been seeding over the course of the series will start to bear fruit. One of those threads will address the Original Five’s concerns that Magneto might one day “go bad” once more.

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The X-Men make history with Cullen Bunn!

With the timestream in ruins, the Blue squad needs to find a way to restore history before saving themselves from…themselves.

A collection of mysterious “other” versions of the X-Men have appeared to occupy the team’s places in the past. And, at long last, the original X-Men get their reunion with Professor Charles Xavier. So how will the mutants react? Find out on January 10 in writer Cullen Bunn and artist RB Silva’s X-MEN: BLUE #19!

With so many electrifying mysteries at play in this story, we went to Cullen for some answers!

Marvel.com: Walk us through what’s been happening in “Cross-Time Capers” so far!

Cullen Bunn: The story is really just getting started! The X-Men have realized that everything around them has started changing. Polaris vanishes out of nowhere. Magneto disappears. Watching television, Bobby sees a report about the anniversary of the X-Men killing Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, something that never happened, of course.

It’s almost as if reality is correcting itself all around them, healing the way a broken bone heals…imperfectly. Amidst all this, they receive a message from Professor X, saying he needs them in the past. Thanks to the Time Platform that Magneto has been secretly building, they have the means to do that. But their first jump through the time stream took them to the future instead of the past and they’ve been trying to work their way back from there ever since.

Marvel.com: How has the Blue team been trying to put the timeline right?

Cullen Bunn: The message from Professor Xavier comes from the past, and they believe that something has happened in their original time to cause all these strange problems. They believe that their absence in the past may finally be catching up with them!

The problem is that they visited their point of origin once before and saw that they still existed there. They started to believe that maybe they came from an alternate reality…but if that’s the case, how could they be causing such trouble in this reality? It all feels pretty headache-inducing for them.

Marvel.com: Will Professor X have some answers once they all meet up?

Cullen Bunn: I don’t know if Professor X will have all the answers, but he does have something very important to tell the X-Men—something that will guide them in the days to come. They’ll come out of this story with a clearer view of where they’re headed. They’ll have more questions, too, but that’s only to be expected.

Marvel.com: How do the “other” X-Men, as seen on the cover, play into this issue?

Cullen Bunn: This story has everything to do with the “other” X-Men they saw when they hopped back through time in ALL-NEW X-MEN. When they reach the past and encounter themselves, they’ll be quite surprised by what they find!

The Blue team will wonder if something changed in them when they started traveling through time. In facing their past selves, though, they will need to align with an unexpected ally…

Marvel.com: How do you think this experience has changed the X-Men?

Cullen Bunn: The Original Five are completely different than they were before. They have discovered new things–about themselves and about the world. They have developed new relationships, developed new abilities and powers. All of that’s important, too. Assuming these X-Men come from “our” reality, there’s no way they can just return to their time. The physical and psychological changes they’ve experienced could “break time” too.

Marvel.com: If the Blue team manages to get back to where they came from, will the Gold team follow?

Cullen Bunn: This one stands all on the shoulders of the Blue team—they are the only heroes who can solve this crisis…because, in many ways, they caused it. If they fail, the Gold team will likely never exist. As you’ll see in the story, their travels through time have really twisted reality, not just for them, but for others in the future and the past as well.

Marvel.com: How does the team feel about the prospect of going back to their old lives?

Cullen Bunn: It’s not something any of them take lightly. Some of them—like Bobby—hate the idea of returning once and for all. But, as I mentioned, it’s more than just popping into the past and carrying on as if nothing ever happened; the X-Men are different now. They can’t simply go home. If time can continue unhindered, they must return just as they were when they left. Their physical changes must be undone. Their mental changes must be undone.

Imagine knowing that, in order for the world to go on spinning, you have to sacrifice everything that makes you who you are; for some of the X-Men, that price might be one they’re unwilling to pay.

Marvel.com: Any hints as to how this whole paradox will resolve itself?

Cullen Bunn: They have to be very careful here. They could change everything with their actions in the past. Really, though, that’s how they have gotten themselves into this mess in the first place. We’ll see that they are not the only people from the past that know they have been traveling through time.

We’ll also see that they’re really just patching leaks in the time stream with this adventure; if they want to repair the paradox once and for all, they must return to their timeline. Anything else destroys reality.

While this is a fun, crazy adventure, I think it leaves the Blue team with a deeper understanding of the inescapable fate that ultimately awaits them.

Cullen Bunn and artist RB Silva’s X-MEN: BLUE #19 ventures into the past on January 10!

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The original Generation X comes calling for the old school X-Men!

In the upcoming X-MEN: BLUE #18 by writer Cullen Bunn and artist R.B. Silva coming December 27, we’ll see the original Generation X crossing paths with the original five team. So how will it all go down? We chatted with writer Cullen Bunn about what we can expect when these mutants all go head-to-head.

Marvel.com: We’ve got the original Generation X team coming in, but we’re not quite sure whether they’ll help the Blue team, or start a fight. Could you give us a couple motivations they might have for each?

Cullen Bunn: The X-Men Blue team has discovered that time is breaking down and the past, present, and future are changing all around them. So, when they meet up with Generation X, they meet a group of mutant kids who have been dealing with circumstances that are a little different than what you might expect. The Generation X team is on edge and on guard, so when the Blue team appears before them, they don’t trust them at all. In fact, the original five X-Men are seen as enemies for reasons we have yet to explain.

Marvel.com: If it does come to blows, can you weigh the odds for us? What advantages does each side have? 

Cullen Bunn: Well, Generation X has the X-Men Blue team outnumbered just slightly, but I’d say that at this point in time, the X-Men are much more seasoned. That said, Monet and Chamber are wild powerhouses and Synch and Husk both throw in such a wild card factor that Generation X is not to be underestimated. If it comes down to a fight, it could go either way.

Oh, who am I kidding? They’re gonna fight.

And the matchups between Penance and Jimmy Hudson, Monet and Bloodstorm, and Husk and Cyclops are all exciting for me.

Marvel.com: In recent X-Men history, there we’ve seen a lot going on with the timestream. Like younger versions of Jean, Scott, etc. coming into the present. So this seems like a really interesting time for the X-Men to do Marvel Legacy stories. How does the timing of all of this influence this arc?

Cullen Bunn: Anyone who reads my [X-Men] stories knows that I’m almost always looking to the legacy of the creators who came before me. I grew up reading UNCANNY X-MEN. The X-Men are very important to me. Stories like this one—and the previous “Mojo Worldwide” story—allow me to dive into that love for the X-adventures of the past in a big way. I would have wanted to tell this tale no matter what, but the Legacy angle was a happy accident.

Marvel.com: I think a lot of us—including myself!—consider Jubilee a favorite. Can you tease a little about the role she’ll have to play in issue #18?

Cullen Bunn: I was so happy to be writing the Jubilee from this era. For me, she represents everything fun about the X-Men. This chapter of the X-Men Blue story certainly has some dark moments, but Jubilee reminds us that we’re meant to have a blast reading this story. Also, there’s conversation between Jubilee and Bloodstorm that I really enjoyed writing. It’s fun and maybe a little meta, but Jubilee also sums up what I think should be the ever-present philosophy for X-Men tales.

Marvel.com: Would you like to mention anything else?

Cullen Bunn: Don’t forget that a story featuring Generation X from this timeline also means Banshee and the White Queen have a role to play. In particular, Emma plays an interesting role. In the present, the X-Men see her as an enemy. But when they encounter her in the past, they see a different side of her. Maybe—just maybe—this will inform how they interact with her when—[and] if—they make it back home.

Traverse the timestream with Cullen Bunn and R.B. Silva in X-MEN: BLUE #18, due out December 27!

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Cullen Bunn previews the squad’s meetup with the X-Men 2099!

Stranded 82 years in the future, the X-MEN: BLUE squad needs to figure out what’s gone wrong with the timestream in order to return to their own era. And when Jean Grey and her comrades call for help, the X-Men 2099 answer.

On December 13, writer Cullen Bunn and R.B. Silva put this mutant group to the test with “Cross-Time Capers Part 2” in X-MEN: BLUE #17!

Since we don’t have a time machine to jump to December now, we asked Bunn to give us a few hints on the future of X-MEN: BLUE!

Marvel.com: Catch us up on how the team got lost in time!

Cullen Bunn: The big question for the X-MEN: BLUE team is…do they really come from the past or do they come from some alternate reality? They don’t know the answer themselves.

They went back in time (during the ALL-NEW X-MEN run by Skrull-masquerading-as-a-comic-writer Dennis Hopeless) and they saw themselves right where they should have been! For a New York minute, they thought they had gotten some “Get Out of Paradox Free” card. But they came from somewhere, right?

In this arc, they’ll learn that their presence in this timeline has severe repercussions. To put a fine point on it, reality starts breaking down around them and they’re the only people who can set things straight. They receive a summons—a “To me, my X-Men!”—from none other than Professor Xavier himself, only this time he’s calling them from the past.

Luckily for them, Magneto has been building a time machine. Unluckily for them, the time machine has a few bugs in it…

Marvel.com: For readers who may not be super familiar, explain the ‘90s phenomenon of X-MEN 2099.

Cullen Bunn: X-MEN 2099 was the ambitious endeavor to introduce the merry mutants of the future to the world at-large. Just like SPIDER-MAN 2099, this gave readers a look into the heroes of tomorrow. Unlike SPIDER-MAN 2099, the characters were completely new. Other than the fact that they were mutants and X-Men, they had little connection to any characters from the “main” Marvel Universe.

We got introduced to some really strange and wonderful mutants—Skullfire, La Lunatica, Meanstreak, Metalhead, Bloodhawk! Bizarre characters and an equally strange world; a wild endeavor that really took the notion of super heroic world-building in some fun directions.

Marvel.com: What made you choose 2099 as the destination for this story?

Cullen Bunn: I chose 2099 for the weirdness of it all. When I set out to write X-MEN: BLUE, I wanted to embrace the “uncanny” side of the X-Men and put our team in some strange situations.

The 2099 mutant universe might be as weird as they come, and it gets even stranger in this arc. I like how these X-Men from the past encounter the X-Men from the future. I only have a little time to spend there, but I’m introducing a lot of little nods to the 2099 series, like the House of Pain. I’m also throwing some new twists into the mix, like Onslaught 2099 and AlchemaX (and, yes, that “X” is important).

Marvel.com: How have these young X-Men stepped up to this harrowing mission?

Cullen Bunn: The X-Men have a unique position to solve this problem. Reality has started crumbling. The past and the future have started resetting all around them. However, they all exist “outside” of this time and reality—even Jimmy and Bloodstorm hail from a step or two outside of our world. So, as these reality ripples pass them, they remain unchanged…for now. They must act fast, though, because the clock is quite literally against them.

Marvel.com: How do different members of the team feel about the damage done to the timeline? Do they enjoy time travel or do they see it as a living nightmare?

Cullen Bunn: We tackle this throughout the arc. You’ll see that Iceman gets little more excited by this adventure. Maybe he’s hopeful that they can set things right. That’s at first…but he doesn’t seem as thrilled with the idea that they may have to return home permanently to fix the problem.

Cyclops, on the other hand, sees the future of 2099 as a nightmare. It doesn’t surprise him, though, it’s a nightmare he’s been expecting. He has a little more trouble when he encounters the White Queen of the Generation X era. She confuses him a little, because she’s not the woman he thinks he knows. It’ll leave some questions for him in upcoming issues.

Marvel.com: Did you and artist R.B. Silva research old time travel X-Men stories in preparation for this arc? How did you modernize this kind of tale to make it your own?

Cullen Bunn: That research is fun! I think R.B. had as much fun as I did, but—yeah—we had to supply him with a ton of reference material.

Making the stories a little more modern has been a challenge, but having this weird X-viewpoint…they’re from the past, trapped in the present, visiting the future…helped to give it some new life. Also, the “time ripples” I mentioned helped to add many new twists and turns and surprises to the mix!

Marvel.com: Did you find inspiration from any particular time travel stories for this arc? 

Cullen Bunn: I guess I took little pieces from all over the place. Mostly, I leaned into this idea that little changes in the past can alter everything. And I liked the idea that time can almost be a living, changing thing—that when these paradoxes occur, time will work to correct itself but it isn’t an instantaneous correction. That gave me a lot of fertile ground to work with and allows for some unexpected encounters along the way.

Marvel.com: If you, personally, could jump into one X-MEN event and watch it all go down first-hand, which would you choose?

Cullen Bunn: Holy cow! That’s such a great question! And it’s nearly impossible for me to answer!

But—really—wouldn’t you have wanted to be drinking with Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Colossus on the night Colossus brawled with Juggernaut? I have a feeling that I would have ended up getting my soul sucked out by Selene or something by the end of the issue, but I still would have liked to have bent an elbow with Logan, Kurt, and Peter.

Pick up Cullen Bunn and artist R.B. Silva’s X-MEN: BLUE #17 on December 13!

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The mutants of yesterday struggle to save tomorrow with Cullen Bunn!

When the timeline gets fractured, who would be better qualified to fix it than the time-displaced X-MEN: BLUE teens themselves? Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Thony Silas present X-MEN BLUE #16, out on November 29!

The X-MEN: BLUE team has been struggling with the knowledge of their own potential futures—including a bunch of traumatic events—but in “Cross Time Capers” they’re forced to face those events first-hand. When Magneto gives the team a time machine, they scramble to save the continuum and figure out who and what to make of themselves in this brave new world.

Cullen Bunn drops by to catch us up on the timeline(s?!) and what’s in store for X-MEN: BLUE.

Marvel.com: So catch us up on what’s going on with the X-MEN: BLUE team lately!

Cullen Bunn: The Blue team has had a lot going on as of late. They’ve been battling demons from alternate realities, adding vampires to their ranks, starring in blood sports for Mojo’s delight, and more! When I started writing this book, I was determined to throw a lot at these characters. There would be stories coming in from all directions. And no sooner than one adventure ends, another begins. Next up, the X-Men are being thrown through time on some outrageous escapades through time and space.

Marvel.com: How exactly does one “time cop”?

Cullen Bunn: Only Jean-Claude Van Damme knows for sure. But the X-Men are gonna give it a good old mutant try! There’s something dreadfully wrong in the time stream, and the Blue team is uniquely qualified to handle the situation. They have a time machine that Magneto has been building secretly in the basement of the mansion. They’re going to be putting that to good use, and they’ll be meeting the X-Men from 2099, as well as Generation X, The White Queen, and even Magneto from the past. The Blue team will be meeting Emma Frost from her Generation X days and Magneto from the height of his super villain days. Imagine that for a second.

Marvel.com: Jean’s been dealing with the knowledge of the Phoenix future that might await her, but how are the others grappling with the idea of their potential selves?

Cullen Bunn: For the original five X-Men, the future is the past. That’s a strange concept, but if they are going to grow into their more well-known counterparts, they have to return to the time they left behind. That scares the X-Men, because they have grown and changed while they have been in our world. If they return to theirs, either they have to abandon everything they’ve become or the future will change—drastically.

Marvel.com: How is Bloodstorm adapting to the team?

Cullen Bunn: Bloodstorm will always be a little out of place in this team. Remember, in her world, she killed many of the X-Men because of her unnatural hunger, so she’s always on edge, always on guard. But she has connected with at least one member of the team: Bloodstorm and Cyclops seem to have formed a bond.

X-Men: Blue #16 cover by Arthur Adams

 

Marvel.com: How is Beast doing after the events with Goblin Queen and his dangerous forays into magic?

Cullen Bunn: Beast is holding up well. He’s dealing with some guilt and a sense of worthlessness. That’s what led him to delve into these dark forces, anyhow. Now, though, he knows he can’t use magic without opening himself up to corrupting magic. He’s willing to do this in dire situations, but he must be careful. Of course, there might be some additional ways in which Beast could enhance his abilities, and we might see that in the time travel story…

Marvel.com: How is the team dynamic with GOLD doing after the events of their Marvel Legacy crossover?

Cullen Bunn: The dynamic post “Mojo Worldwide” will be both better and worse. The teams will have worked together. They’ll have a better understanding of each other. But, the revelation that they’ve been secretly working with Magneto all this time will strain the relationship a bit.

Marvel.com: What’s it like writing the X-Men so young? How did you get into their heads as teens?

Cullen Bunn: I genuinely love these characters, so it’s a delight to write them at this stage of their lives and on these adventures. I draw on my own youth to some degree when writing these characters, but—if I’m being honest—young people today are a lot smarter than they were when I was one of them. If nothing else, I brought the mental average down quite a bit. So, I try to think of universal truths and universal challenges that we all go through at some point in our life, then try to think about how these heroic teens might manage these situations. Tempering that with the individual attitudes and experiences of the characters, it helps to pull it altogether in a way that rings true.

Marvel.com: This story touches on how the timeline is fractured. Can you hint more about what we’ll be able to expect from that concept?

Cullen Bunn: So, there’s been this ongoing debate around this idea: are the original five X-Men from an alternate reality? Are they genuinely from the past of this universe? In this story arc, we’ll be answering that question fairly definitively.

Pick up X-MEN: BLUE #16 by Cullen Bunn and Thony Silas—available November 29!

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As the Mojoverse invades Manhattan, Marvel.com’s resident therapist profiles the villain.

As always, evaluating a subject without ever meeting them is, at best, educated guessing. Nonetheless, given the direness of the situation and the data available, this writer felt it was ethically sound to offer this personality sketch and his attorneys have agreed. I hope it provides help with subduing the subject.

The subject, Mojo, is an apparent alien/other-dimensional being who is from a race that are born without spines and use technology to increase their mobility and ability to stand upright. He self-identifies as a male although it remains unclear if that concept is native to his race’s reality or a product of exposure to human television. The planet and universe he hails from was evidently named for him (Mojoworld, Mojoverse), not the other way around. This apparently reflects his dominance of the most important aspect of his race’s society, television.

According to a history of the universe that appears to be—as best as we can verify— accurate, his universe was bombarded by broken waves of energy that were, in fact, Earth television waves.  Exposure to the broken and, to them, inexplicable energy both caused a sort of societal psychotic break and created a universe-wide addiction. Craving content more intense than the broken waves could provide, Mojo rose into the void and created homegrown TV content. As such, he was elevated to a kind of combination dictator and program director.

Given the subject is an alien from a planet with an aggressively different social structure, it is difficult to label him a sociopath as, in terms of his society, his behavior and cognitions might be entirely in line with societal norms. However, by our standards, to our understanding, he does present with symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder and, possibly, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

He is motivated, seemingly, purely by the twin desires of garnering maximum attention for himself and dominance of his enemies. He shows limited regard for the lives and comfort of those around him. He is erratic and capricious, nearly always choosing the quick jolt of short-term satisfaction over long-term planning.

This makes him defeatable—as his history with the mutant rights group the X-Men indicates—but also wildly dangerous. Because he is oriented towards the short-term, he is unpredictable and just as likely to react in violent rage as in cowardly self-preservation. Additionally, he has engendered the kind of support from those beneath we might associate with a closed state dictatorship, meaning he has a plethora of what he likely considers “cannon fodder” at his disposal to throw at his enemies.

The surest path to victory against the subject is to demonstrate to him that bigger ratings can be achieved through easier means. He is a fairly lazy creature and, as noted above, likes the quick fix. So if the ceiling to success feels like too much work and a simpler means to rating dominance exists—think the amount effort required to make a successful cheap reality show vs. a prestige drama with well-known actors—he will always take the easy way out.

For further information and analysis of the subject, this writer recommends the definitive volume on Mojo, X-MEN BLUE #15 from Doctors Marc Guggenheim and Jorge Molina, available on November 15.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who loved TV enough growing up and bets he could’ve ruled the Mojoverse.

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Writer Marc Guggenheim peers inside the head of the terrifying TV tycoon!

After years of drawing the X-Men to his own nightmare realm, Mojo has decided to mix it up and swing by New York City instead. On October 18, Mojo takes Manhattan in X-MEN: GOLD #14!

Written by Marc Guggenheim with art by Marc Laming, the mutant crossover continues as the Gold team fights alongside their X-MEN: BLUE counterparts in a war with Mojo, the Brood, and Dark Phoenix!

So, what motivates the malevolent mogul behind all this chaos? We asked Guggenheim to find out.

Marvel.com: The first time we spoke about this crossover, you mentioned that Mojo would be your nightmare television executive. Now that you’ve written him, has that perspective held up?

Marc Guggenheim: Yeah, it really has. Even more so than I imagined.

The fun thing about writing Mojo has been the opportunity to get metatextual. I really, really pushed that—particularly in issue #14. There’s a page that has a really fun joke about the nature of X-Men capacity to not only avoid being killed but to be resurrected. It gave me a chuckle to see how Marc Laming executed that; the joke really lands.

Mojo can never be too broad or too big. No matter what you write for him, it never feels over the top.

Marvel.com: What inspires Mojo on a day-to-day basis?

Marc Guggenheim: For my money, Mojo gets motivated by three things: ratings, ratings, and ratings.

It makes him a very ego-simplistic guy. He has a very simple need: he wants the biggest audience he can get his hands on. There’s something very decadent about that kind of character—the kind that acts just so cravenly that nothing will stop him in his pursuit of ratings.

If you think about ratings, they are kind of meaningless. And I say that as someone who has been working in television for 18 years. [Laughs]

There’s nothing special about ratings. It gives you an idea of how many people are watching your show, but they aren’t good onto themselves. So Mojo pursues this entire endeavor for his entire life and it is a very meaningless pursuit.

If you can see him through that light, you almost start to feel bad for the guy.

Marvel.com: What draws Mojo to the X-Men? Why does he find them so magnetic?

Marc Guggenheim: Well, that’s a good question.

He has a history with them. It’s almost like he’s killing two birds with one stone—he gets his precious ratings at the same time that messes with the people who have often made his life difficult.

Every time he deals with the X-Men, he comes away diminished. But it’s more than just the X-Men foiling his plans—he usually ends up taking a step back as a result of his interactions with them. For someone like Mojo, who has this massive ego, he gets really picky about these upstart mutants that keep vexing him at every turn.

Marvel.com: What are your thoughts on Marc Laming’s rendition of Mojo? What about his depiction really brings out those characteristics?

Marc Guggenheim: I really like Marc’s ability to capture a lot of the humor of Mojo. It can be one thing to draw Mojo as really diabolical or creepy looking, but Marc also manages to nail all the jokes that are written here.

Marc has also made Major Domo this really fun visual sidekick to Mojo. You’ll often see Major Domo’s facial expressions are providing a fun, but subtle, commentary on something probably all of us can appreciate—working with the worst boss ever. [Editor’s note: Not me! I love my bosses that will definitely read this article!]

Marvel.com: How did you and Marc go about capturing the broken physics and inherent strangeness of the Mojoverse?

Marc Guggenheim: In issue #14, Marc takes us on a tour of the X-Men’s Greatest Hits. His artwork does a fantastic job of not only replicating the look and feel of those stories, but really the look and feel of those eras.

For example, we open with a scene set around the start of “Mutant Genesis”—the beginning of [writer] Chris Claremont and [artist] Jim Lee’s three-part Magneto story in X-MEN. You’ll really feel like you are transported back. It’s really cool and fun.

I just want to say, Mike Mayhew drew issue #13, Marc draws issue #14, Diego Bernard will do issue #15, and all the issues are colored by Rain Beredo. All the artists are turning in unbelievable work. And Rain’s coloring brings it all together so even though three different artists are on board, it keeps a similar visual style all the way through.

They are really, really, really stunning looking books. All our artists are up to the challenge of the incredibly huge landscape we are playing with here. These are really big widescreen sequences across the biggest, most iconic X-Men stories that have ever been done. It has been really easy to write, but man the artists have had their work cut out for them.

Marvel.com: What about this story makes Mojo so dangerous to the X-Men?

Marc Guggenheim: Every time the X-Men have dealt with Mojo, it hasn’t just been on his terms, but on his playing field as well. For Mojo to make a breach into our world—it just ups the dramatic stakes. You’ll see throughout the series how Mojo’s plot eventually impacts Manhattan. To my knowledge—I’m always loathe to say we’ve never seen something because there are so many stories—I feel pretty confident in saying we’ve never seen this before.

Without spoiling the ending, I will say that by the end of this issue the battlefield will be very significantly changed. It sets up the climax that we will reach in X-MEN: BLUE #15.

The crossover continues in X-MEN: GOLD #14, by Marc Guggenheim and artist Marc Laming, on October 18!

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Analyzing a mutant Marvel Legacy with writer Cullen Bunn!

Mojo may seem like a goof, but writer Cullen Bunn needs you to know that the villain has you—and the X-Men—fooled.

The mutant crossover continues between X-MEN: GOLD and X-MEN: BLUE as the two squads unite to wage war with Mojo, Sentinels, the Brood…and the past. On October 11, Bunn joins artist Jorge Molina to keep the fight alive as Marvel Legacy begins with X-MEN: BLUE #13!

Cullen took a moment to warn us about the danger of Mojo, the devious delight of unveiling Team Blue’s connection to Magneto, and the joy of collaborating with Marc Guggenheim.

Marvel.com: What made this the perfect time for a crossover between Blue and Gold?

Cullen Bunn: What’s more thrilling than two X-Men teams coming together and facing a threat that they simply cannot face alone? There’s a long-standing tradition of two different X-teams joining forces, mixing up the rosters, and facing some dire threat. With the Marvel Legacy initiative, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit that tradition in a big, action-packed, fun way.

Marvel.com: How did you decide on Mojo as the villain to bring these teams together?

Cullen Bunn: First of all, Mojo is awesome. I’ve been planning a Mojo adventure for a while now—there are hints of it in my UNCANNY X-MEN run. When we started talking about the Marvel Legacy arc, though, we knew we wanted to have the Gold and Blue teams come together, and my Editor [Mark Paniccia] suggested that this could be where the Mojo story takes place. I couldn’t agree more. Mojo gives us a great opportunity to revisit some of the greatest moments in mutant history—the Asgard War, the Mutant Massacre, the Death of Phoenix, Days of Future Past—because he has such vast abilities to warp reality in a deadly way.

Deadly.

Marvel.com: How would you describe your take on Mojo?

People forget this about Mojo—yes, he’s kind of a goofball and he cracks weird jokes. But he’s also extremely powerful and can be scary as Hell. Mojo can be terrifying and menacing. He’s still a character with a lot of humor, but he’s not to be trifled with. In this story, his back gets pushed up against the wall, so to speak, and that makes him extremely dangerous. I just looked at some lettering notes from one of the issues, and the Editor had written “So creepy!” on a Mojo scene. That’s exactly what we’re going for. Sometimes you hear that Mojo operates in an alternate reality, so his threats aren’t all that real. Well, in this story he’s coming to our world—and we absolutely do not want his plans to succeed.

Marvel.com: How does the Blue team react to their Gold counterparts? How about Mojo?

Cullen Bunn: The teams get along fairly well. There are some very interesting dynamics here. Cyclops and Rachel, for instance. Old Man Logan and Jimmy. Storm and Bloodstorm. Of course, the 800-pound Master of Magnetism in the room is that the Gold team does not yet know that the Original Five are working with Magneto. That’s going to change in this story, and it will put some tension on the relations between the groups.

Marvel.com: Describe the collaborative process between you and X-MEN: GOLD writer Marc Guggenheim. How’s it been?

Cullen Bunn: Marc and I both have X-Men lore wired into our brains. I know for certain that Marc’s notes for X-MEN: GOLD included “softball game!”—just like my notes for X-MEN: BLUE. I’m not one hundred percent certain, but I’m pretty sure he also had plans for Mojo. Working together has been an absolute blast. We had some phone calls early on to discuss the story, then we started trading planning documents back and forth, adding to the story, making it crazier and more epic.

Marvel.com: How have your respective artists, Jorge Molina and Mike Mayhew, contributed to that process?

Jorge and Mike helped so much in defining the look and feel of Mojo’s world—we’re seeing a lot of it here—and of Mojo’s technology and the “weapons” with which he attacks Earth. Also, seeing these two talents casting the current X-teams into classic situations—and classic clothing—is something special.

Marvel.com: Given that Mojo lends himself to both humor and horror, how would you describe the tone of the crossover?

Cullen Bunn: This crossover is all about action and classic X-Men adventure. In some Mojo stories, the X-Men are thrown into silly or goofy situations, but not here. These adventures are serious business with real stakes. This feels like a fun story, make no mistake, and there will be plenty of moments of humor—some of it fun humor, some of it dark—but I don’t think what we’ve got here could qualify as silly. The X-Men are trying to save themselves, but they are also trying to save the world, and time has started running out.

Marvel.com: Tell X-Men fans why they need to get onboard with this crossover.

Cullen Bunn: I think you could start this arc without reading either book beforehand, really. We give you everything you really need in those first couple of issues. Of course, you should read both GOLD and BLUE, because you’re missing out on some really awesome fun in those titles, but you can let this be your introduction to either or both teams and still have a blast.

X-MEN: BLUE #13, by Cullen Bunn and artist Jorge Molina, launches on October 11!

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