The excitement builds for those X-Men and alternate universe fans as Greg Pak and Stephen Segovia’s X-Treme X-Men #1 hits stores on July 25th. We first spoke to Greg Pak earlier this spring when the book was announced, but now that he and Segovia have been hard at work on the title, we wanted to check in and see how things have been progressing and give you and idea of what to expect when the issue hits.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got our hands on an exclusive 3 page preview of X-Treme X-Men #1 that you can check out after the interview, but now, here’es X-Treme X-Men writer, Greg Pak!
iFanboy It’s been revealed that X-Treme X-Men will span alternate universes. What will the balance be between new alternate universes and established ones be? Will we be visiting any familiar settings that fans can get excited to get glimpses of again?
Greg Pak: It’s an infinite universe, so we’re going to start off by exploring brand new worlds. We also want the book to be very new-reader friendly — so don’t worry if you’ve never read an alternate-reality story before. You don’t need to have encylopedic knowledge of anything to dive in and have fun. That being said, there are a slew of revelatory and exciting things going on for long-time X-Men and Marvel Universe fans to dig their teeth into. Dontcha dare miss it!
iF: When we last spoke about this, you said you’ve been having fun writing Dazzler – now that a few months have passed, are you still loving the Dazzler? What is it about her that’s so appealing and why do you think she’s been languishing in obscurity for so long?
GP: Oh, man, my love for Dazzler grows with every issue. She’s a blast to write because she’s got a great, self-deprecating sense of humor, but at the same time she wears her heart on her sleeve and says out loud almost everything that runs through her head. That’s an enormously fun kind of character to write, particularly when you contrast her with a stoic-type like Howlett or a slightly shady figure like Emmeline Summers-Frost.
Dazzler’s also a great character for a super-hero book because she’s one of those Marvel characters with an incredibly well-defined and important civilian life and identity. She’s a singer, a pop star, with everyday drama and pressures and relationships. I love having those kinds of characters in superhero books — they can be incredibly relatable and their civilian lives and relationships raise the emotional stakes enormously for all the wild superhero hijinks.
iF: Does writing the X-Men in different realities allow you any freedoms that you don’t have when writing the same characters in the standard Marvel Universe? With other alternate universe stories, we’ve seen different takes on characters and costumes, but the changes are usually superficial, how deep into these universe will you go into?
GP: I love the “X-Treme” name for this book because we’re running through the stop signs in every issue, taking the promise of mind-bending, high-stakes alternative reality stories as far as we can. So yes, you’ll see some pretty shocking takes on some of the alternate-reality versions of our characters. At the same time, I’m striving to have every alternate-reality character reflect in some significant way on real themes, story possibilities, or character traits suggested by the original. So you may see an Angel, for example, who’s wildly different from the Warren you’ve come to know, but those differences are based on something real and might present new ways to think about some of your favorite characters. And there’s the promise that these stories will eventually curve back to slam right into the Marvel Universe proper at some point, so any alternative version you meet along the way may present massive challenges to “our” versions of the characters later down the line.
And to tease just a little bit, fans of Xavier, Storm and Thor (yes, Thor!) in particular won’t want to miss our opening three issues.
iF: What will the rhythm of the book be? Will it be universe hopping and delay their return back to the Marvel Universe or will they be stopping back at home in between alternate universes?
GP: Our heroes embark upon a hugely high-stakes mission in issue #1 that probably makes Dazzler very much hope for the sake of the Marvel Universe that she won’t end up back in the Marvel Universe any time soon. But stories tend to eventually go directly where their protagonists least want them to, right?
iF: What has been the biggest surprise to you as you’ve worked on X-Treme X-Men? Has the story lead you in a direction you didn’t anticipate or has artist Stephen Segovia delivered something unexpected?
GP: Stephen’s tremendous — I had a total blast working with him on the “Silver Surfer” mini a couple of years ago — so it’s no surprise I’ve been loving every page he’s turning in.
So I’d say the big surprise to me was the day I really listened to what I’d been saying out loud to everyone all along — that anything can happen in these stories. Certain characters are whispering to me as I write these stories — and I’m cutting them loose to charge off in directions that make for shocking and revelatory stories that you’ll never see anywhere else. It’s wild and scary and fun and it feels just right.
X-Treme X-Men #1 is on sale on July 25. Check out this exclusive sneak peek: