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Mutant X Interviews: Howard Chaykin (2/01 Comics Continuum)



Howard Chaykin: Comics Continuum 2/6/01 *Parts of this interview also appeared in SciFi Wire

HOWARD CHAYKIN TALKS MUTANT X TV SHOW

Comics and television veteran Howard Chaykin is serving as executive consultant of Marvel's Mutant X television series, set to premiere this October in syndication from Tribune Entertainment. "We're pretty excited," Chaykin told The Continuum in a telephone interview on Monday. "We think it's a phenomenal opportunity to have a lot of fun with this stuff. It's a real start-up, with new characters and new ideas that I think will generate some terrific comics after the fact."

Chaykin, who has been working on Mutant X for about two weeks and will also be writing Marvel's Cable comic book, said he's hired Mark Lisson, David Newman and Elizabeth Keyeshian as writers for the show.

"As of now, we've submitted two episode outlines and four stories, and more we'll be going over this week," Chaykin said. "So, we're in good shape."

Mutant X is not based on the comic of the same name. The series details a group of humans bound together by a powerful bond of genetically engineered powers of an extraordinary nature. Realizing that genetics projects have spun out of control, the government forms the Office Of Mutant Research, whose sole mission is to capture all mutants in order to "repair" them. Mutant X are on a mission to seek out fellow mutants to protect them from the government's crusade and recruit them to further a guiding principle of peace and harmony between the mutants and the rest of humanity.

The leader of the group, with super intelligence, will likely be named Adam Xero. Other possible members include Fuse, Rapport, Shadow Fox and Synergy.

"That's a pretty sketchy start-up," Chaykin said of previously reported Mutant X members. "More will be revealed."

Chaykin said - with some reservations -- that Mutant X is "pretty much" a super-hero show.

"I hate to put the onus on it, because it's going to be more than that," he said. "That covers a pretty broad range of material.

"If you know comics, you know my stuff. You know that I'm not interested in doing ground-level, mass-market, mainstream stuff. One of my jobs has always been to maintain the cutting edge in comics. I think I've done a pretty good job with that.

"And we'll do the same thing here, I think. One of the reasons I'm doing (Mutant X) is because of what I bring to the table, which is a long-standing career in comics and a long-standing career in television. I don't think there are a lot of other guys who were able to make the leap from comics to another career and maintain both successfully, and I've been pretty comfortable doing that. I've worked pretty steadily (in television) for 10 years, and still maintain a comic-book career at the same time -- because I feel that both have their importance.

"And I think the same sorts of sensibilities I brought to my comics I want to bring here. It's one of the reasons I'm here."

Chaykin said designs for the show's characters are in the beginning stages.

Shooting of Mutant X will begin in June in Toronto. Look for more from Chaykin soon here in The Continuum.

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