The master thief Fantomex, who has often hung around with Marvel's merry mutants the X-Men, has been off the board for some time since giving up his physical body to free Charles Xavier from the Astral Plane – but now he's entering the 'Dawn of X' era in Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1 (opens in new tab) from writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Rod Reis.
After speaking with X-Men group editor Jordan D. White (opens in new tab), who set the stage for the Fantomex one-shot (which ties into the ongoing saga occurring with Storm that has run through several of the Giant-Size X-Men one-shots) Newsarama is catching up with Reis about his part in the story. Working in the so-called 'Marvel Method,' Hickman and Reis plotted the story, and then Reis created the pages without a full script – a classic way of creating comic book stories that goes back to the days of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Reis filled us in on what's going on with Fantomex, whether we'll see any hint of his escape from the Astral Plane, and what it's like crafting a story in the 'Marvel Method.'
Newsarama: Rod, you're drawing a key part of the 'Dawn of X' story in Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1. What can you tell us about what Fantomex is up to here?
Rod Reis: Basically he's trying to enter the World and in order to do that, he's gonna get some extra and unexpected help from some known characters (and some new characters).
Nrama: Fantomex hasn't been seen in a while after giving Charles Xavier his body in the Astral Plane. How does that time away factor into this story?
Reis: This story is pretty self-contained and shows Fantomex's personal journey through eras. But by the last page, we can see him reintroduced to this new mutant world.(opens in new tab)
Nrama: You mentioned Fantomex will enter the World in this story. What's your approach to depicting this genetically engineered mutant environment?
Reis: I tried to bring different aspects of the World, referencing what other artists did through years and showing how it evolved as he gets crazier and crazier
Nrama: What has surprised you most about drawing this story?
Reis: The level of freedom I had during the production, it was a lot of fun to come up with different and inventive ways to draw crazy and psychedelic things and characters. I had a blast illustrating this book!
Nrama: You're working with Jonathan Hickman on this story. What's it like working with him?
Reis: Working with him has been great! We had a lot of fun doing New Mutants together. He's a great collaborator we both want to push the boundaries as storytellers and his ideas fit perfectly to my way to approach comics.(opens in new tab)
Nrama: How does it feel working in the X-Men line at such a unique time? Can we expect more X-Men art from you in the future?
Reis: It feels awesome, I'm so grateful to Marvel, Jonathan Hickman, and all X-Men office for the support and the freedom they gave me on this project. Yes! I will stay in Krakoa for a little longer and people can expect more X Men art from me in the future.
Nrama: What are the key things you're keeping in mind when putting together a page for a story like this?
Reis: The most important for me is to have fun with a book I'm working on and in this case, because the story is so crazy, it's super easy to get involved by this story and create cool striking visuals. Also, I want to make sure I will fulfill Jonathan's expectations and translate his words into a fun comic book.
Nrama: Bottom line, what do you want fans to know about Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex?
Reis: It's gonna be a crazy psychedelic ride to see Fantomex try to break into the World.