With dozens of different realties existing in the dozens of different domains of Battleworld, the patchwork planet playing host to Marvel’s massive “Secret Wars” event, many writers have been given the opportunity to simultaneously script adventures set in wildly different locales. Dennis Hopeless is one such writer, as his “Secret Wars” output focuses on Manhattan’s hell-nightmare makeover in “Inferno” and the aristocratic political intrigue of “House of M.” While we still have to wait a little while longer to find out what trouble Magneto and his family will get up to in the latter book, two issues of “Inferno” have already been unleashed and detail Colossus’ last ditch attempt to rescue his sister Illyana’s soul.
This week, “Inferno” and “House of M” writer Dennis Hopeless makes his triumphant return to X-POSITION and answers your questions about everything from Domilossus to the intricacies of the Maximoff family tree.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Dennis! We’ll kick things off on a light note with a question from nx01a about the humor of “Inferno.”
The original “Inferno” had dark humor but your version seems to have lighter and more self-aware humor, almost making fun of itself (like the hilarious Nightcrawler “Princess Bride” swordplay). How would you describe your approach to the humor in your “Inferno”?
Nx01a! A lot of that is just me doing what I do. I like jokes and one-liners. I like writing self-aware characters who can see the funny in their drama-filled lives. The Inferno is big, dark and scary — but it’s also pretty outlandish. I think having the characters acknowledge the crazy makes them more relatable. It certainly makes them more fun to write.
Next up, Ben wants to know why you chose to spotlight certain characters in “Inferno.”
When you were first approached to do “Inferno,” why did you chose to focus on your “Cable & X-Force” cast of characters — some of whom like Domino and Boom Boom who were never part of the original ‘Inferno’ — instead of classic ‘Inferno’ characters like Storm, Psylocke, Dazzler, etc?
Ben! Boom Boom was absolutely a part of the original Inferno. She starred in Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove’s “X-Terminators” series, which told a big chunk of that story. I chose to use Domino because I’m telling a Colossus story and I like the two of them as a couple. To answer your broader question, I pitched what I wanted to write with characters I like writing and it got approved. Simple as that.
Personally, I think Boom Boom should be in every “Secret Wars” book, no excuse needed. But anyway — Jarred has a question about another fan favorite character featured in “Inferno.”
Magik runs Limbo in the 616! Is it possible that she retreated there before the final incursion, and that “Inferno” Magik is the same one we know and love?
Jarred! Yes? No? I don’t… Maybe?
Still so many secrets left in “Secret Wars!” With that in mind, Tazirai hopes you can give us a little bit of info about a certain British telepath’s involvement in “Inferno.”
With armored Psylocke shown in the series’ pages and covers, will she actually be in it and do anything? I think it’d be awesome to show a non-ninja Psylocke being badass.
Tazirai! Psylocke shows up throughout the series but sadly isn’t a major player in “Inferno.” I love pre-ninja Betsy and would happily write her being a badass — or just sipping tea on a sofa and saying British things — any day of the week. This just isn’t her story.
The “Inferno” portion of X-POSITION continues on with a question from berserkerclaw about the book’s version of Cable.
How did young Nathan get infected. And is that TO virus or demonic mesh like how Colossus is infected? I ask because Nathan wasn’t infected with the TO virus till way after “Inferno” in the normal reality.
Berserkerclaw! The multiverse finds a way! The way I see it, TO [Techno-Organic] virus is an integral part of who Cable is. Universes in which Cable was Cable — instead of an X-Man or Nate Summers or whatever — had him infected by the TO virus. That story obviously played out differently in the “Inferno” universe… but it happened. He looks the way he looks because (Javier [Garron] is awesome and) we decided living in Hell with a deadly virus would necessitate demonic magic/medicine. It’s ugly but it works.
As you previously mentioned, Domino and Colossus have kinda become your power couple. AJpyro wants to know what linked them together for you.
Domino and Colossus. What would you say is the big thing that connects these two for you?
AJpyro! Their personalities balance each other out nicely. He’s an artistic, slightly introverted, gentle giant who loses all impulse control when someone he loves is put at risk. She’s an extroverted, obsessive planner who lives out loud because she’s considered every angle and knows exactly how she wants to react. Part of it is that opposites attract. Part of it is that they make each other better people.
Before we move on to a few “House of M” Qs, Darth Phoenix has one final Hellish question.
Were there any “Inferno” moments or characters you wanted to show but could not?
Darth Phoenix! The funny answer is Madelyne’s underboob, but I don’t see that as some great loss. That character is so much more than her skimpy outfit. The only limitation we really had was space. I love the world of “Inferno” and could tell all sorts of stories within it. We had to limit ourselves to characters and moments that fit this specific plot.
zwalker1 kicks off our “House of M” portion with a question about the Maximoff twins’ heritage.
In the “House of M” world, are Quicksilver & the Scarlet Witch still mutants and the children of Magneto?
Zwalker1! In my mind, yes. The diplomatic answer would probably be, “Yes, as far as anyone in the ‘House of M’ domain knows.” For the purposes of the story, they are absolutely Magneto’s mutant children.
Master of Sound wants to know about the bad guys featured in “House of M.”
Since the “House of M” restarts soon, I was wondering if the best part of “HoM” will return as well: The Red Guard. They were awesome. And will there be villains in “HoM” as well? If so, who?
Master of Sound! Sebastian Shaw’s Red Guard does indeed appear in “House of M.” They are Magneto’s top cops and get all sorts of tangled up in the Royal Family’s game of throne. The villain question is tougher to answer. It’s not really a black-and-white, good versus evil story. Half of our cast could be considered villains, depending on your perspective.
Quicksilver has been in the spotlight recently thanks to his big screen appearances; Lucyinthesky has a question about the speedster that will be appearing in your book.
What’s the reason behind Pietro’s conspiracy? Without spoilers, what’s different about this Pietro compared to his 616 counterpart?
Lucyinthesky! Pietro has a variety of reasons for his actions in “House of M,” none of which can be explained her without spoiling. The “House of M” Pietro has lived the last several years of his life as an insanely wealthy and powerful prince. He answers to no one but his much more powerful father (and Doom but that doesn’t come up a lot).
Lastly, Jonas has a message and a question for you regarding Colossus.
Dennis, Colossus fans feel a great debt to you for the work you’ve done with him during your “Cable & X-Force” days and now with this “Inferno” storyline. Is it possible that you will continue writing him beyond “Inferno”?
Jonas! Thanks so much for saying. I love writing Colossus and I’m glad to hear you dig my take. I can’t say what will or won’t happen after “Secret Wars” but I will always have my hand raised to write Colossus.
And thanks to Dennis Hopeless for taking on this week’s questions!
Next week, “Magneto” and “Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars” writer Cullen Bunn returns to X-POSITION. Have a question for Cullen? Go ahead and send ’em in via an e-mail with the subject line “X-Position” or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. But get ’em in quickly, because the deadline’s Friday. Make it happen!
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