Ed Brisson has been writing (or co-writing) Marvel's New Mutants ongoing series since it relaunched in the current 'Dawn of X' era - but as the team enters the crossover 'X of Swords,' Brisson is making his exit from the series.
With two members of the New Mutants - Cypher and Magik - entering the battle in the Otherworld carrying special swords (one of which is directly related to a third classic New Mutant), Brisson is setting the stage for a key aspect of 'X of Swords.'
Before Brisson hands over the reins as writer to Vita Ayala following his finale in October 14's New Mutants #13, Newsarama caught up to the writer to look back on his time with the young team and what he's got ahead - including a new creator-owned story.
Newsarama: Ed, you're wrapping up your New Mutants run following 'X of Swords.' What has working on this title and writing part of that story meant to you?
Ed Brisson: 'X of Swords' is going to be an event on a scale that I think is rare at Marvel. It's something that will not only have long term implications, but reaches back in time and informs the past of one of the most powerful mutants on Krakoa in a way that we haven't really seen before.
It's something that will have a lasting impact on the X-Men. I know people always say that with events, but this time it's real. I swear.
So, being part of that is pretty exciting, even if it's where I make my exit from the X-World. It's bittersweet, but I'm happy to leave the party while it's still raging on.
Nrama: For this last arc, you're tying into 'X of Swords.' What can you tell us about how the New Mutants fit into the story?
Brisson: Most simply put, two of the New Mutants are going to have to go to war for Krakoa, but while the rest of the chosen combatants are out and about on life-threatening missions to collect their swords, the New Mutants remain on Krakoa because they already have their swords.
So, they're just waiting and each is processing the upcoming battle differently. Magik is ready to run into the battle, as always, but Doug is less so. A lot of the issue centers around his own anxiety about this.
Nrama: You mentioned the two New Mutants wielding swords in the story - Magik and Cypher. What can you tell us about their swords – specifically how Warlock fits in?
Brisson: I don't think Magik's sword will be a surprise to anyone. She's going to battle with the Soul Sword.
However, things are slightly more complicated with Cypher and Warlock. It's seemed as though Warlock and Cypher are permanently merged on the island, even though we've seen glimpses that maybe this isn't the case. Warlock is alive and well, but has chosen to remain hidden for some reason.
This is the first time in 'Dawn of X' that we really show he's here and now has to come out in the open in order to battle with Doug in this giant war against Arakko. Doug's not the greatest warrior, so there's a lot of anxiety on his part, but Warlock is the greatest friend and isn't going to let Doug go into this alone.
They've merged before and this is an extension of that: Warlock will be Doug's sword and he will be the best self-friend sword that there is.
Nrama: You've been working with Rod Reis since New Mutants launched. What's it been like working with him? What's your favorite thing he's drawn over the course of your run together?
Brisson: Although Rod has more or less been the main artist, he and I have really only worked on two issues together: #1 and #13. My first (co-written with Hickman) and my last. Those two issues were great and I count myself lucky to have had the opportunity.
Of it all, I think that the stuff I dig most is Cypher's training in the upcoming #13. I don't want to spoil too much of it, so will let readers see why when the issue comes out, but it's great stuff.
Primarily, I was working with Flaviano, who was an absolute delight. I especially love the way that he handled the nightmare-inducing Cosmar in issues #9-11 - especially when the New Mutants dive into her 'nightmare sphere.' Those pages...I had every confidence that Flaviano would make them sing, but he went so far beyond my wildest expectations.
Also, I'd be remiss to not mention Marco Failla who did one of my favorite issues in the run (#12), featuring the New Mutants barging into the offices of DOX and confronting them.
The core of the issue was a lot of fun, but the best part was the epilogue to the story with Magik and Glob. I finally got to write a scene I'd been meaning to do for a long time where Glob unpacks a lot of his frustration and anger and Marco handled it brilliantly.
Nrama: New Mutants has occupied an interesting place in the 'Dawn of X' line, bringing together the younger generations of mutants. What do you see as the core principle of the New Mutants? What's the ethos that binds them together as this specific team?
Brisson: For this run, I wanted to treat them like the middle child. They're not the babies of X-Men anymore (and really, haven't been forever), but they're not the X-Men. They occupy that middle lane where it's sometimes hard for them to know just where they fit into things.
My mission going in was that they'd sort of be the Welcoming Committee for Krakoa. Traveling the world, picking up stray mutants who couldn't otherwise make it to Krakoa and bringing them home. But those missions often came with complications that they'd often try to clean up on their own without alerting the rest of Krakoa (with various degrees of success).
The motto I went into this with, which I believe Boom-Boom speaks aloud at some point, is "It's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission." They're not asking the X-Men if they can, they're doing what they think is best and dealing with the consequences as they come.
Nrama: You've been in and out of the X-office and other parts of Marvel for some time. What can we expect from you next?
Brisson: I've got a couple of projects in the hopper and am hard at work on bringing these to fruition, but because of COVID and other delays, it may look as though I've disappeared for a bit.
I'm not sure when the projects will be announced and obviously I can't say what they are for fear of death, but I'm excited for them.
I've also got a creator-owned book that will be out soonish. It's me returning to crime comics, something that is in my veins and hard to quit. News on that will likely drop in November.
Getting into 'X of Swords?' Here's everything you need to know about the monumental X-Men crossover.