The X-Men are known for many things – star-crossed romance, extremely chaotic family dynamics, time travel, and changing sides every couple of years – but one of their lesser-known traits is the way they’re not afraid to run a business. Like literal business.
X-CorpThe upcoming Marvel comic by Tini Howard with art by Alberto Foche is a change of pace from the sprawling action science fiction of other X-Books, which spearheaded the former X-Men Angel and Monet St. Croix as the mutants’ courageous entry into the corporate world .
But what is business like in the new Krakoan age of X-Men comics, in which mutants have founded their own society on a living island, whose humanity is very nervous in the face of the new status quo?
We spoke to writer Tini Howard to find out and got four exclusive pages from X-Corp # 1, courtesy of Marvel Comics, which you can read below.
Can you talk a little about how you view Warren and Monet’s business acumen? How do they complement each other in your head?
The differences between them are not accidental. Part of this game of writing comics is finding characters to put together in new and interesting situations. They complement each other in brand new ways, but with a classic feeling that they should be doing that sooner. M and Angel are the one for a “T” – while it is seemingly easy to tell which is the “good cop” and which is the “bad cop”, the truth is that they all waged this war internally. You both have incredible business acumen and a lot of power and trust in her. In fact, they’re both incredibly threatening – but they’re also trying to position themselves as ambassadors for the world’s most benevolent race – it’s a challenge. And visually they are almost literal Red Oni and Blue Oni
A lot has happened in the world between the announcement of this book and its creation. In the last year or so of current events, has anything caused a change in your plans?
I became a better writer. I’m not playful – it’s the truth, and I’m grateful that there are people around me telling me when to get back to the gym before I can pick up the story I’m trying to carry. It sounds like someone told me I was bad or something – they didn’t, that’s the point. I kept trying to tell this story and it was good but not right. Instead of saying, “Sorry, child, you failed,” the door was left open. That’s the kind of office – we trust you. We have space for your story. And we don’t want you to tell until it feels ready.
So I spent six months of the pandemic with the midwife bringing a 22-themed event to the world and then felt exhausted but stronger. A little more able to find the story in my idea. So I wrote a better story and you can read it now.
I’m not the greatest angel head, but I’ve always felt like he’s mostly known for getting a raw deal, frequently tortured, or in some kind of internal fear (honestly not that uncommon for the X-Men). Is there a side of Warren that you want people to see more of?
I just feel like Angel is capable, loyal, and smart. He is trained and loved like anyone else the O5 But he’s not an omega mutant like Jean or Bobby, he never had leadership roles like Scott or Beast. I think he needs that turn – we need to see he’s as a leader as any of the O5s. His mutation is purely physical, it affects how he moves through the world, but instead of making him monstrous, it makes him so beautiful that you would think he never had a bad day in his life. But he’s still a mutant. And he wants to use everything he has for his people – and that’s the best of what he has.
Monet has a line in Empyre: X-Men When it comes to doing business like “mutants, not humans,” that’s an idea we’ll see X-Corp? Can mutants forge a new way of doing business?
Absolutely. That is one of the core concepts in X-Corpthat mutants do not have to operate at the same level of deficiency as humans. Mutants are abundant, they are expansive, they become their own fourth dimensional organism – they don’t have to deny their receptionist a raise to give the CEO what he wants. That is real power.
What interests you about the stranger corporate side of the X-Men? I love books that like to dive into Completely new X-factoralthough I have a hard time explaining why they make perfect sense to the X-Men.
Couldn’t agree anymore! Loved Completely new X-factor. And I also find it difficult to explain. I think that’s because I’m a fan of science fiction and the X-Men make great science fiction stories. It’s something I wanted to do very early on, I was a fan of the concept of X-Corp since its inception in New X-Menand knew I wanted to revive it on Krakoa. I’m also a huge Iron Man fan and a huge Norman Osborn fan. Characters who make Marvel money always pique my interest.
How much corp is in X-Corp? Is there something special that interests you about corporate culture or our modern perception of companies that you would like to explore here?
A tonne. To these two questions. I spent a lot of time in this world before I stopped writing, and a few years away I am always fascinated by what is really moving. It’s never just a handshake or a deal. Someone’s bad day, someone’s late lunch, someone’s secret shame – these are the things that make people sign a deal or not. And it’s about power. When you watch any of those shows that are obviously great inspirations to me here – Succession, Silicon Valleyetc. – you see that again and again. The amounts of money are flying around – they are fleeting. It’s the fight. Who goes down. Who bites whose neck?
They showed how the magical side of the Mutant Dome can lead to strange bedfellows X the swords and Excalibur – Is that something to look forward to? X-Corp how it expands the government of X. into the business world?
Who knows? That’s the thing about fixing a price for something – in theory anyone can come and buy something.
After all, the big word I keep coming back to when people talk about companies is “suspicion”. Is that something you wanna play with? X-Corp? Should we be suspicious of what we are about to see?
Suspicion is so exciting! Being suspicious of everyone is one of the best feelings one can have while reading a story. I hope you are damn suspicious. Trust no one. GOVERNMENT OF X, BABY.
X-Corp will be sold on May 12th.