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.
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.
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.
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.
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!