Writer Marjorie M. Liu doesn’t need to write comics – she has a prolific career writing novels, among other things. But we’re glad she does, and particularly that she’s stuck with fan favorite character X-23 for so long. The female clone of Wolverine, X-23 has been put through the ringer of late, dealing with demons from her past both literal and figurative. We checked in with Liu to talk about the upcoming issue #11, which teams X-23 with another fan favorite, Jubilee. Oh, and we also snagged an exclusive preview of the upcoming issue:
MTV Geek: Let's talk a little bit about where X-23 is in issue #11... She's teamed up with Jubilee, right? Who is a vampire? I think?
Marjorie Liu: X-23 is in an emotional tough-spot at the beginning of this arc. She's weighed down with the past (a past that was thrown in her face during the previous Collision crossover with Daken), trying to come to terms with memories and feelings that she just isn't equipped to handle. Gambit, who has been doing his best to mentor her, calls in extra help: Wolverine, and by extension, Jubilee -- who has been traveling with him while she gets her own head on straight.
Because yes, she is a vampire. And that hasn't been easy for her to come to terms with.
Geek: There's something interesting in the dynamic of two of Wolverine's metaphorical daughters together, particularly as they both came to him in different ways.
ML: It fascinates me, actually. As an aside, sometimes I think Wolverine surrounds himself with daughter figures because even though he's a loner, he's afraid of being too alone with himself, because he might become a monster. Having someone to look out for -- such as these girls -- keeps him focused on being a better person than he might otherwise be.
But yes, both those girls definitely came to him in different ways. Jubilee found him in the desert and saved his life -- and X-23 was made from his DNA as his female clone. X-23, physically, is more his than Jubilee -- but emotionally, Jubilee is much more his daughter. And that's a strange thing, I think, for X-23 to process. It matters to her, even though she doesn't express it. It matters, because she perceives that Wolverine has been protecting Jubilee more than he's protected her.
This creates some tension when X-23 and Jubilee meet. Part of that has to do with the fact that Jubilee is a vampire now. Her scent is all predator, and that's something X-23 responds to in a negative way.
Geek: And also, X-23 and Jubilee are both on tremendously different paths right now in their character arcs.
ML: No kidding! There are some similarities, though. Jubilee and X-23 are both learning how to deal with their humanity. Jubilee lost hers, to some degree, when she became a vampire -- while X-23 is still learning how to find hers, and having trouble with the emotional fallout of dealing with her past.
Geek: Jubilee versus Dazzler... Who wins? The fans, right?
ML: That confrontation would rock my socks off. Yes, the fans would absolutely win. As for those two? I'm biased toward Jubilee.
Geek: Okay, back to X-23… A huge component of her character - like Wolverine before her - is her past, which you're dealing with right now. Can you see a time when she's finally put her past behind her? Or does that defeat one of the most interesting things about the character?
ML: I don't think X-23's past is the most interesting thing about her, but it's not like she can escape it, either. I see her as making a new past now, one that is radically different from her previous life, and that will inform her future in ways that are just as critical as her childhood in the lab.
Geek: Okay, what else is coming up for Laura? Is she getting involved in Schism – the upcoming X-Men event - at all, or is she in her own corner of the Universe for now?
ML: X-23's second year is all about bringing her into the larger Marvel Universe. Some of that will involve the aftereffects of Schism, but X-23 will also be pulled into adventures that bring her under the watchful gaze of some very powerful (and, perhaps unexpected) individuals.
Geek: And finally, you have some other - non-comics stuff going on, right?
ML: My paranormal romantic thrillers are all being reissued with brand new covers -- a new one each month until the fall. Soul Song (which is about a merman) was just re-released, and The Last Twilight (a shapeshifter/Ebola/adventure in the Congo) hits shelves at the end of this month.
I also occasionally blog the names and addresses of deployed soldiers who could use some mail: books, magazines, cards, snacks. More information about that can be found here: http://marjoriemliu.com/blog/