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Comic Vine Interviews Christopher Yost

Chris Yost talks about X-Force, Red Robin, Cartoons and other cool stuff.

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Chris Yost started out as a Marvel intern who soon became known as a powerhouse writer along with frequent writing partner, Craig Kyle.  He's written episodes of "X-Men Evolution."   He continues to write numerous comics while still being heavily involved with several of Marvel's latest animated features.

Currently working on X-Force and the upcoming Red Robin, we thought this would be the perfect time to ask him a few questions. 

    ComicVine:  How long do you and Craig plan on being on X-Force?  How many stories mapped out?

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YOST:  Craig and I have got it mapped out pretty much through 29-30, so about a year and a half.  There's Messiah War wrapping up next month, then a four issue arc called 'Not Forgotten,' which then leads into something pretty big, which then leads into something super big.  Not counting 'X-Force: Sex and Violence.'  That's how we roll.

ComicVine: Ooh.  Have you guys ever argued about major plot points?  Do you take turns getting your way or are you two just that in sync?

YOST:  We differ on details here and there, but we have really similar sensibilities for the most part.  We each have things we're equally passionate about, and at the end of the day, we're both getting to tell the stories we care about.

I'm a little more rigid about things that we've plotted out staying that way, even when a better solution or option appears.  Craig's more flexible.  I tend to freak out a bit more on some things, but Craig's got his things, too.

ComicVine:   It's been announced that Wolverine and the X-Men will have a second season.  How many episodes will you be involved in/write?

YOST:  I'm wrapping up Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes now, but once I'm done hopefully I can transition over to X-Men.  The first season was a blast to work on.

ComicVine: What about Iron Man: Armored Adventures?

YOST:  No word yet on a second season, but the ratings have been strong for Nicktoons so far, so fingers crossed.

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ComicVine:  Let's go back to Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.  It's set for 2011 and you're the story editor.  Will this have the origin of the Avengers (finding Cap, etc) or will the team already have been established?

YOST:  The pilot is the birth of the team.  I will say no more!!

ComicVine:  Planet Hulk is set for February 2010.  How far along is that? 

YOST:  Greg Johnson was the writer on that one, but from what I'm hearing it's going to be incredible, no pun intended.  Frank Paur, who did Hulk Vs. is directing, and the same studio as Hulk Vs. is involved as well.

Have any other direct-to-video features been greenlighted?

YOST:  I honestly have no idea.  I hope so, and not just because I want to write them.

ComicVine:  How do you find the time to write so much?  How many hours a day do you work?

YOST:  Too many.  My kids wake me up at about 7am each day, seven days a week.  I get to work about nine, doing a mix of meetings, calls and emails, and the occassional writing.  Then I write from about 9pm to 2am.

Then, when I'm about to die after about three weeks of that, there's a week where I sleep in a bit and am generally totally unproductive.  Then I start all over.  I've written three outlines this weekend, and 5 script pages for Red Robin.

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ComicVine:  Speaking of Red Robin, you've started writing for the Bat-universe (with The Underground), do you feel you have to write differently for the DC Universe?

YOST:  I'm still getting a feel for the universe, for sure.  But I haven't really written any differently, technically.  It's a different vibe, to be sure.  Writing the Titans issue was my first foray into the general DC universe, and it was tricky.  Slowly but surely (hopefully) I'm getting it.

ComicVine:  How did you get writing duties for Red Robin?  Did you ask for it or were you asked to do it?

YOST:  Bat-Universe editor Mike Marts was my editor on New X-Men when Craig and I took over the book.  It's a little known secret that I'm not Marvel exclusive, and Mike called me up to see if I'd be interested.  And I was!

  We find out who Red Robin is officially in the first issue, when will we find out why the character in question chose the Red Robin guise?  Why give up their old and take on an existing identity versus creating a new one?

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YOST:  Over the course of the first four issues, you get the story (in flashbacks) of what happened between 'Battle for the Cowl #3' and 'Red Robin #1' that puts Damian in the 'Robin' costume and <CENSORED> in the 'Red Robin' costume.  He's got a specific reason for wearing it.

ComicVine:  You've mentioned before that you have the first 12 issues planned.  Is that a rough outline or do you have the individual issues already planned out?

YOST:  It's a rough outline, but yeah - the first year was my pitch, which leads into a natural second year.  We're on issue 6 now, and it's been pretty fun.  I don't think I've ever been this far ahead on a book.  Hopefully people like it.

ComicVine:  I'm sure they will.  Since Red Robin is leaving Gotham and is searching for Bruce Wayne (and he's not the only one searching), will we have guest appearances, new characters, both?

YOST:  Guest appearances galore, new villains, old villains, supporting cast members new and old...

ComicVine:  Are there big Batman-summit meetings you have to attend to make sure your events mesh together with the other Bat-titles?

YOST:  There hasn't been yet, but Mike Marts has done an amazing job of keeping me in the loop on what's going on in the larger Bat-universe.  And the larger DC universe, for that matter.  I hope there is a big Bat-summit, because then I can Twitter from it.

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ComicVine:  Your three issue mini-series, Killer Of Demons (through Image) is finished.  How was it writing your own characters in your own universe?

YOST:  It was a great experience, and certainly a learning experience.  Not just writing the books, but being wholly responsible for the production of the book, from start to finish.  And, you know, paying for it.  But yeah... I love Dave Sloan and Uriel, and would love to tell more stories about them.

ComicVine:  Do you have plans for more 'original' books?

YOST:  I do!  But I've got a lot on my plate just now.  So when the time is right.

ComicVine:  Will we ever see a complete box set for X-Men Evolution?

YOST:  I hope so!  I wrote a season 4 episode, and need it for my collection.

ComicVine:  Even though your plate is very full, what character(s) would you like to take on next?

YOST:  As much as I seem to write angsty mutants and grim caped crusaders, I really do like the light-hearted fun stuff.  I've always loved Spider-Man, so there's that.  Lobo, maybe.  The first Lobo mini-series was a life-changing experience.

And I'm always up for anything to do with space.

ComicVine:  Anything else you'd like to mention?  Any other projects you're working on?

YOST:  Avengers is going to be huge.  X-Force is getting closer and closer to just going insane, you'll see.  I really just can't believe how lucky I am to be involved with these projects, with such great people... and great fans.  Life is good.

ComicVine:  I think we're the lucky ones.  Thanks for your time!