Look Who’s Back! Greg Pak Discusses The X-Treme Return of…

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Spoilers for X-Treme X-Men #6 below, as a classic Marvel character made their glorious comeback in this week’s issue, which was written by Greg Pak and drawn by Stephen Segovia and Raul Valdes.

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So let’s get right into this, people. On a week where the original five X-Men all popped their heads back into the modern-day as part of All-New X-Men, writer Greg Pak was planning something even more audacious over in the pages of X-Treme X-Men, his Dazzler-starring romp through Marvel’s multiverse: the return of the sixth original X-Man.

Yes, it’s time to smash your hands on the desk and shout with glee, because SAGE is back! Issue #6 sees her appear in a Marvel title for the first time since Chris Claremont’s New Exiles run. But is she friend or foe? I spoke to Pak about the return of the legend, and what it might mean for the future of the book.

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Steve: What prompted you to bring Sage back into the comics? She’s been a mainstay of Chris Claremont’s run with the X-Men… but has been missing for an awfully long time.

Greg Pak: I fell in love with Sage for the first time when I read Grant Morrison’s “Murder at the Mansion” storyline. I just loved that cool, mysterious vibe and, as an unreformed sci-fi guy, I’m a sucker for any character whose brain works with the efficiency of a billion supercomputers. So I’ve been hoping to have a chance to write her for ages. Everything clicked for bringing her back in this storyline because she has a relationship with Dazzler, the story deals with world taken over by robots, and, hey, Sage was one of the big stars of the previous incarnation of “X-Treme X-Men.” DONE DEAL.

Steve: What does her return mean for the book?

Greg: We’ve been hinting for a while that the Xavier Head might have a secret or two. Sage is a brilliant thinker with a certain amount of psychic ability — which means she might have another angle on all the information the Xavier Head has been providing our team.

OR, of course, Sage could get infected by a technovirus, turn into a homicidal maniac, and kill half the team.

WHO KNOWS???

Steve: She’s introduced here as being the head of SWORD for Kid Nightcrawler’s world. Will this bring her into conflict with Dazzler’s team – or will Dazzler want Sage to join her mission?

Greg: All will be revealed in issue #7!

Steve: How will this affect Dazzler herself? Sage is a friend and ally going back a long way, but is surely the last person she expected to meet. 

Greg: Dazzler’s had so much insanity coming her way during the course of this story that I don’t think anything can surprise her very much. But at some point she’s going to have to take a breath, take stock, and figure out what the heck this all means. Sage might be a good friend to have around when that time comes.

Steve: Sage has always had a fractured relationship with Professor X, and now she’s in a book where the entire mission statement is ‘Kill evil Professor Xaviers’. Would she be delighted to hear this?

Greg: Possible. But it’s also worth remembering that Sage’s early years in the Balkans and Afghanistan were fraught with terrible violence and revenge. Whether that makes her more or less likely to sign up for this particular mission remains to be seen.

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Steve: Is it fair to call Sage the most efficient and effective X-Men of all time?

Greg: I think it’s fair for any comics fan to call his or her favorite character anything he or she chooses. ;-)

Steve: Finally – will the internet ever recover from this reveal? Are you prepared for the barrage of fan adulation you’re about to receive?

Greg: Hee! I’m just happy to have the chance to write these characters in this book. Thanks so much to everyone who’s been buying it — without your support, none of this madness would be possible!

Issue #6 of X-Treme X-Men can be found on Comixology – quick! And if you want more from Greg Pak, find him on the Twitters or at his website – double quick!

Comments

  1. Natalie says:

    I should totally get credit for letting you read part of my issue so you could ask Greg the questions.

  2. Alice says:

    hahaha! Your interviews are so much fun! Good read!

  3. Charles Knight says:

    “the return of the sixth original X-Man.”

    Eh? I’m not a big follower of the X-men but I don’t get this statement?

  4. Alice says:

    At the time Xavier recruited the original X-Men, he also recruited/trained Sage to spy the Hellfire Club for him.

  5. Matt D says:

    Sage fans are very, very obsessed with Sage.

    I mean they never sent Marvel a Quasar cake as best as I can tell but yeah. It’s religious. Up there with the Polaris parentage obsessees.

  6. SniktSnakt says:

    I never got the appeal of the character.

    I thought it was Jean Grey that was returning…

  7. Mesektet says:

    This title just fell below 20k so it will be cancelled any day now. Shame because i was enjoying it.

  8. SniktSnakt says:

    How many times, since the original Winick EXILES series, has Marvel tried to bring that concept back?!? Is this the third attempt?

    I think its time for Marvel to let the concept rest for a few years…

  9. Rob J. says:

    @Snikt: Considering that the Exiles concept originated in Malibu’s Ultraverse, this is something like its sixth iteration.

    1. Exiles (Malibu)
    2. All-New Exiles (Malibu, included Juggernaut)
    3. Exiles (Marvel, Winick-Bedard version)
    4. New Exiles (Claremont)
    5. Exiles (Jeff Parker)
    6. X-Treme X-Men vol. 2 (should be called Extreme Exiles or X-Treme Exiles or X-Treme X-Iles or something.)

  10. SniktSnakt says:

    LoL Rob, I totally forgot about the Malibu versions.

    My favorite was the Winick-Bedard version and the Jeff Parker one…

    I loved the Astonishing X-Men issues that introduced the X-Treme X-Men (w/art by original Exiles artist Mike McKone, a fave of mine), but the first issue of the regular series immediately turned me off, such ugly artwork. :-(

  11. I’ve never heard of Sage.
    Course I haven’t read an X-Men comic in over 20 years…

  12. Michael P says:

    Malibu’s Exiles, conceptually, was completely unrelated to later iterations. You might as well say the Guardians of the Globe are the same as the Global Guardians.

  13. Rob J. says:

    @ Richard: Sage is probably best known as Arcade’s one-time assistant, Tessa. Claremont retconned her (as is his due, since he co-created her) into having been Xavier’s original deep-cover agent during his runs on X-Treme X-Men (1st series), New Exiles and New Excalibur.

  14. Rob J. says:

    @ Michael P.: I couldn’t disagree more. Even factoring out that Marvel bought Malibu, the dimension-hopping aspect was brought into it for All-New Exiles (the 2nd Malibu series) and, even further, the high-body-count aspect of the concept was inherent in the entire concept of the first series. You don’t have the Winick-Bedard “Sliders” version of the concept *without* both of the previous versions for Winick (and McKone) to draw upon.

  15. Mike W says:

    @Rob J, Sage was never an assistant to Arcade. She was an assistant to Sabastian Shaw when he was the Black King of the Hellfire Club…

  16. Sage is an intelligent, independent, skilled, tough, dangerous, classy, beautiful, sexy, and funny woman who knows what she wants. Unlike Rogue, there’s none of that “Oh, I’m so confused” or “I need time to myself” and unlike Psylocke, when she says “no”… she really means “no”, and unlike Jean Grey… shes not a Mary Sue. Half the women in the MU are nothing but uninteresting incompetent morons… Sage is a breath of fresh of air.

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