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The Outhouse Interview: Christopher Yost

The Outhouse's own Erik Galston interviews X-Force Writer Christopher Yost.
I just want to start off with thanking you for agreeing to do the interview. 

I love this stuff. I’m more then happy to talk about it. 

First I want to ask how X-Force is gonna fit into the Heroic Age.

(laughs) I would say that the aims of the Heroic Age are the exact opposite of the aims of X-Force.  X-Force is like the anti-heroic age.  So it will be pretty interesting when things kind of run up against one another.  You may see some of that in Second Coming.

Why was Bastion made the leader of the anti mutant movement.

He always sort of was, when he was introduced back in Operation Zero Tolerance. They set him up as the face of the movement.  Bastion for those who don’t know is an amalgamation of Nimrod, a future sentinel, and Mastermold, who is a Sentinel producing machine.  Through a crazy chain of events, they went through a mystical portal and merged through the other side as Bastion.  It sounds complicated, but bottom line is, Bastion came back with one goal: eradicating mutantkind and saving humanity.  Through a chain of events in X-Force, Bastion was brought back to the limelight, and set himself up as the leader of the human resistance to mutants.  He in turn brought back Stryker, Trask, Cameron Hodge and Graydon Creed.  All of these huge anti mutant guys, each having there own organization, there own followers and resources.  They really are mounting up the war
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 front. 

Will Magneto ever find out about X-Force and how much Scott has embraced certain ideals of Magneto’s philosophy?

It would certainly be interesting.  I’d say keep your eye on Second Coming for a lot revelations.  If and when that secret comes out the reaction is gonna be across the board and certainly be exciting to see.

When is X-Force: Sex and Violence gonna come out?

I just got some news on that front the other day.  I would say in the very near future you will be getting that answer.

I’m gonna ask a few questions about New X-Men because its one of my all time favorite books.  Was there any reason you killed the characters you did?

For the most part, no.  Guys like Icarus and Wallflower, we had specific stories for that.  As far as the characters on the bus, no, there wasn’t any specific reason.  We had the characters we knew were leaving and the depowered characters.  We didn't have any particular vendetta against, say, DJ.  We know that at the end of the day, everyone is someone’s favorite character.  We looked at all the characters, and anyone we thought could have a super cool power, and again this is very subjective.  People like Specter and Kidogo, we kept them alive, in theory just depowered.  We wanted characters that people kind of liked so you felt the sting and hurt of it, just like the characters.  We tried to leave most of them nameless and the ones that were named mattered.

Furthermore have you ever had a crazy reaction from a fan when a favorite was killed?

Oh my god, absolutely.  There was a bunch of shock in general.  There are still people today that completely hate us.  We run into it occasionally.  It seems to be an internet phenomena where people are vocal about it.  We’ve gone to a lot of conventions and people are very cool to us.  We got a death threat I think.

That’s kind of funny a death threat over a comic character

Yeah that was really funny (note the sarcasm).  You know what, people are passionate. It was just some random post on a message board somewhere.  I don’t even remember what board. It wasn’t a real thought out plan for finding and executing us.  But people can forget… it wasn’t us!  It was Stryker. Smile

Yeah you didn’t do it yourself.

I don’t even know how to use a rocket launcher.

Since you're wrapping up on X-Force do you guys plan on doing another book together?

We’ll always do something together, but right now its up in the air.  Craig Kyle, my writing partner, is working on one of the feature films, and I’m working on the Avengers animated series.  We are just concentrating on wrapping up X-Force and Sex and violence.  But I’m sure something will come up.

What would be a character they're able to comment on to look out for in the near future? 

Characters that I would keep my eye on personally are Gambit, Hellion and Domino. 
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Are there any plans for Jubilee?

We don’t have any for her.  I am not aware of any plans, but I know there are a lot of people who love her.  So I wouldn’t be surprised to see her bounce back. 


What character outside of the X-titles would you love to get your hands on and do you see it possible in the near future?

I’ve been lucky in animation to write a bunch of them.  I always liked the Defenders. I thought they were a cool team. I wouldn’t mind bringing back Power Pack.

If you were to write an Avengers book, who would you want to write about?

I’m a pretty big believer in the classic team. I always liked Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision. Those are my guys. I’m a big Ms. Marvel fan, so I would probably throw her on the team. And I like Wonder Man and Beast on there too. Kind of the Perez Era team. I like the classics.


What drew you to writing Red Robin?

Mike Marts called me up and said, “hey, are you interested?,” and I said “hey, yeah.” I really like the teen characters. Tim Drake wasn’t necessarily in a fun place when I got him.  We talked about where he was and what would be happening. We were able to come up with a good story.  Part of the reason was to show Tim in the darkest place he’s ever been. And showing if you can bring him back to the Tim he was.  That’s what the entire year was about bringing him back to who he was.  

I actually just read the latest one with Batgirl. And that was the Tim I grew to love

Thanks.  Mission accomplished, then. 

You kind of touched on my next question of what draws you to teen characters?

For me with the teen characters and the new characters, haven’t seen it all. If you put Cap or Thor or Iron Man in a situation, with a few notable exceptions, they know what to do. Whereas if you get these young kids together and put them in situations that the older guys have already dealt with its new and fresh. You get all these ‘holy crap’ moments.  When Galactus comes to Earth, Iron Man and Cap are a little concerned, but they’ve dealt with it before. Whereas you’re going to get a different reaction from the Young Avengers or the Runaways. I like that rawness, that freshness. With teenagers everything this is so emotional and raw. And its fun. They generally are more fun. 


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I have two questions about writing. What made you want to write comics, and do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I never thought you could write comics, even when I got started in writing. I’ve been reading comics since i was like able to read.  I love comics, I have the big collection like everyone else does.  I never thought it was something you could do.  Writing comics, to me was like wanting to be an astronaut.  Sure you want to be an astronaut, but you don’t actually get to do that.  So I had written a couple screen plays, and I had the opportunity to show them to Craig Kyle, who at the time was in charge of the X-Men Evolution Show. He read them and liked them, and we started writing animation scripts together.  That kind of randomly segued into comics, with the X-23 character. So my intention was never to really get into comics, it was to do screen writing.  So when I saw my name on my first comic I was stunned.  I’m still kind of stunned. 

As far as advice, I would say: I know you really want to write that Spider-Man or that Wolverine story. Don’t.  Write your own story. The best thing you can do to get noticed by Marvel is to not write a Marvel story. Most likely they can’t read it for legal reasons. So I would say work on something that is your own, that’s your creation. You’re going to demonstrate that you have a voice and you can tell and structure a story. They will be far more willing to look at something you’ve done and published yourself.  Its a daunting task, don’t get me wrong.  But for the most part, no one is going to read a script, they want a comic book that you’ve produced.  Whether its on the web, or a black and white ash can, whatever it is that’s what they want to see. 

That’s good advice.  My last question, aside from your own work what are you reading and watching right now?

I’m watching Caprica, the final season of Lost, and Fringe.  What am I reading right now? I wish I had more time to read. Comic book wise: Siege, I love the big event stuff.  All the X-Men Stuff, New Mutants has been pretty amazing.  I think Hickman’s Fantastic Four has been fun.  

Every time we have an interview with a writer, we try to get a noncommittal quote from them about our site for our banner.  Our current one is from Brian Reed and he said, “ The Outhouse is looking pretty good... I guess.”  We’d like you to top that.  
 
I spend as much time as I can in the Outhouse, except when I can’t.

Thanks a lot for the interview.    

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