Fifty Five Questions with Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson is the head writer and a producer for X-Men: Evolution. Recently he answered questions from Evolution fans here in the Beyond Forum. Here you can find some of the most frequently asked questions about the Evolution characters and series. Thank you Greg! Select a link for more questions and answers.
Personal - Show Production - Character - Plot - Miscellaneous
After such an shocking episode like "Impact" it seems odd that there'd be a light hearted Brotherhood episode afterwards. I'm assuming it is for balance (shocking episode one week, funny one the next). I'm looking forward to it, the Brotherhood is one of the elements of the show I enjoy the most. However, I'm curious if we will see any of the characters emotionally respond to the events in "Impact" (specifically Pietro and Wanda).
Actually, in "No Good Deed..." you'll see some fallout from Magneto's demise. Rogue is keeping to herself and won't be seen in this episode, but Nightcrawler will. However we don't get into how he's feeling - that's saved for another episode. Tracking all these heavy emotions from one episode to the next would tend to make the series depressing, so we choose when and where it will come up again.
When you come to doing the last season/episode, do you think you would give us closure or keep an open end? what I mean is would you end it in such a way that would leave it open for speculation, or another season if it was decided to revisit the evolution series in the future, or would you want to have a definite end to the series and tie up all the possible loose ends?
Season four may very well be our last season, and so we wrap up our main story arc in a two-part finale. Let's hope for a fifth season so we can explore some things we haven't had the chance to.
There is a rumor you will be doing the phoenix saga in Evo. Is that true because it is already being done in the movie.
No plans to go down that road at this point, though we've talked about it.
What inspired you to take such a dark turn of events, did the censors give you any grief about it all? Is this a one time deal or will we get another taste of the dark side of Evo?
It's good to go a little dark when dealing with the kinds of things our characters deal with. We enjoy telling those kinds of stories as much as the light-hearted ones. We just have to mix them up, otherwise it gets too heavy. Yes, BS&P was a little concerned over what our characters were doing, but the network really supported it.
Why was the decision made to break up Kit and Lance? I've wondered for awhile why you would spend a whole season building up the romance to suddenly knock it down.
It became too difficult to play the Brotherhood at odds with the X-Men, while Kitty and Lance carried on a secret attraction. So we decided to break it up, with the intention of reuniting them at some point. But the network decided not to revisit that, feeling we were getting too romance heavy with Scott and Jean, and Kurt and Amanda. You forget what network this is on. You're lucky you're gettin' what you're gettin'. Honestly, romance is something the younger viewers really don't wanna see. We put that in there for the more mature demos, but are limited to how far we can take it.
In Day of Reckoning Part 1 I was wondering if there was a real reason why Mystique made the Institute blow up, with the students in it? I mean it seemed like she was just blowing it up for the hell of it.
She's not a nice person. She's willing to do whatever it takes to take Xavier down. As far as the lockdown, it's really her wanting to scuttle Xavier's efforts no matter what.
How did Mesmero know about Apocalypse? If Apocalypse is supposed to be weak, how could he possess Mesmero? Why did Apocalypse wait for so long, if he could just possess another mutant and have him get the keys?
We imagined that Mesmero had, at one time, wandered close enough to the crypt in Tibet that Apocalypse was able to sense him. And being the first "mental" mutant Apocalypse had been able to contact, he made his move. Though he's weak physically, we kept his telepathy strong enough to amplify Mesmero's powers.
It seems like the series is moving in "Marvel Time"(people never age, or it happens really slowly), was this a decision by you, Kids' WB, or Marvel to not drastically age the characters ever(Jean and Scott graduating seem to be the exception to the rule, and perhaps Iceman as well).
I actually think our series does age, more so than most animated series. As you pointed out, we had a graduation for the older students, and Kitty turned fifteen and got her driver's permit. As well as our the powers of our characters continue to evolve as we go on.
What became of Power8? The finale of "X-Treme Measures" sounded like a cliffhanger.
That's a storyline we'd hope to get back to, but weren't able to with only a nine-episode season. If we go to season five, we'd delve back into it.
Did you ever work out an "in-series rationale" for why so many mutants are appearing all over the world? I recall that in the old FOX animated series, they used the explanation that it was the result of the impact of environmental change and increasing advanced technology; is this the same in the "Evo-verse", or is there a different reason?
We just saw it as a natural occurrence, starting slow, but becoming more and more prevalent. If we ever had to sit down and detail it for an episode, which we hadn't felt the need to do, then we might get more specific.
I was just wondering since time travel was mention will there be more about it in the future or was it only mention to help with that one part of the story?
I've purposefully stayed away from time travel, space aliens, and even magic (though we touched upon Black Magic in "African Storm." We also limit the use of other dimensions, as well, since that's a can of worms. I think one of the strengths of X-Men Evolution is that we keep it grounded in a world our audience can relate to. The whole idea was to put these characters in the same world our young viewers inhabited. We used time travel in the Apocalypse story because it made sense for that story. But it's not my favorite story-telling device (it can be a real headache).