As the intelligence arm of the mutant nation, Krakoa, the members of X-Force gathered strategic info and embarked on covert operations to protect their country and its citizens. In the aftermath of this year's Hellfire Gala, Krakoa is no more, and many of its citizens are believed dead. So what does that mean for X-Force? What will it become? Which of its operatives will play a bigger role in this new status quo? And which of their enemies will step out of the shadows and finally make a big move?
These are the questions that fuel writer Benjamin Percy and artist Robert Gill's X-Force series now that the Fall of X has begun. CBR spoke with Percy about the answers to those questions, one of which involves a storyline that's been building since the series began. Marvel also provided CBR with exclusive preview pages from X-Force #43-44 and the cover and solicit info for November's issue #46.
CBR: X-Force was the intelligence arm of Krakoa, but now that Fall of X has begun, it looks like Krakoa is no more. What does that mean for this book?
Benjamin Percy: The mutants are down and out -- killed, exiled -- but that doesn't mean they've given up. Some version of X-Force still exists, and now its members are trying to survive as prisoners, defenders of mutantkind, and a rebellion cell.
What was it like being part of the lead-up to Fall of X? What are some of the things about mutantkind's new status quo that you find especially exciting as a fan and a writer?
This entire experience -- writing in the X room -- has been a privilege. I hope that we've built something that will be an indelible historic era in the X-Men canon. It's especially meaningful that I've been able to write X-Force and Wolverine since the beginning to follow a long, tumultuous arc. We all knew the sun-soaked paradise of Krakoa wouldn't last (because nothing lasts; the status quo makes for boring storytelling), and now we're entering a more dangerous time of spycraft and insurgence.
Orchis has been primarily focused on eliminating the mutants of Krakoa, but there's another mutant enclave that's been quietly growing in power in the shadows; the Mikhail Rasputin lead one over in Russia. Will we see more of him and his organization in upcoming issues of X-Force?
Yes, this is Mikhail's big moment -- and Piotr's too. The Colossus storyline, which we've been building slowly since the first issue, comes to a head now.
X-Force #43 is the kickoff to the team's first Fall of X-era story. What can you tell us about it?
X-Force #43 shows us what happened to the team during the Hellfire Gala. It will add a whole new troubled dimension to what transpired.
Is that Black Tom on the cover of X-Force #43? Will he have a bigger presence in this story? And if so, what do you find most interesting about Tom?
Black Tom is so much fun to write. I'll only say that he's especially important because of his link/communication/synergy with Krakoa.
What else can you tell us about the team dynamics you're exploring in this story? Who are some of the characters that step into the spotlight?
I can't tell you too much, because: spoilers. But this is a moment where everything is broken, and characters can either give up or rebuild.
Who or what is X-Force up against in this new arc?
Mikhail. Orchis. We're in a dangerous new world that will have some Civil War vibes. Everyone will be operating from the shadows.
What's it like kicking off this new era of X-Force with long-time collaborator Robert Gill on interiors and Daniel Acuña on covers?
Gill is so, so good at what he does. Team books are incredibly hard on artists. His ability to account for this big roster of characters and give everyone their due and broadcast their varying personalities, stage wild, crowded action sequences, and pack the background with grounding details… It's worthy of a standing ovation.
Daniel Acuña is a madman sorcerer! I'm so geeked to have him on covers.
Finally, X-Force's former head of intelligence, Beast, is also in the wind at the beginning of Fall of X. Will we see him again in X-Force?
Oh, there's a big, big, big Beast story coming.
BENJAMIN PERCY (W) • ROBERT GILL (A)
Cover by DANIEL ACUÑA
A TALE OF TWO BROTHERS!
MIKHAIL RASPUTIN has been secretly controlling his brother, PIOTR RASPUTIN, A.K.A. COLOSSUS. Plans change. The control ebbs. Revenge is to be had. But at what cost? At last, the brotherly battle brewing the past four years in X-FORCE boils over – Mikhail vs. Colossus!
On Sale 11/8