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X-POSITION: Hopeless Talks Pickles and Predicaments in “All-New X-Men”

by  in Comic News Comment
X-POSITION: Hopeless Talks Pickles and Predicaments in “All-New X-Men”

The return of “All-New X-Men” is so close! Yes, we were here talking about the teen team of X-Men a month ago here at X-POSITION, and now we’re just a few weeks away from getting to see writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Mark Bagley’s take on the next generation of mutant heroes. Well, technically the time-displaced versions of the first generation of mutant heroes, and two modern-day mutants (Kid Apocalypse and Oya). Okay, wait, well, Kid Apocalypse is technically… let’s just say they’re all teens and they’re all mutants and they’re all about to hit the road with Pickles in tow! Who’s Pickles? He’s the newest addition to the X-Mythos and, as we found out during our X-PO Q&A session with Dennis Hopeless at New York Comic Con, he’s the writer’s new favorite character.

RELATED: Teen Mutants And Old School Action Collide In Hopeless’ “All-New X-Men”

This week, “All-New X-Men” writer Dennis Hopeless answers your questions in the first ever video X-POSITION, recorded in the CBR Tiki Room at NYCC. In the video below, Dennis tackles topics such as Beast’s pet Bamf, Angel and Wolverine’s relationship, new opponents and more!

CBR News: You’re watching CBR TV. I am Brett White here in the CBR Tiki Room at New York Comic Con 2015 for a video X-Position. The very first one we’ve ever done. I’m here with Dennis Hopeless.

Dennis Hopeless: Hello.

Yes, the writer of “All-New X-Men” for All-New, All-Different Marvel [Laughs].

Yes, and “Spider-Woman.”

And “Spider-Woman”?

“Pregnant Spider-Woman.” That’s the new title, “Pregnant Spider-Woman.”

[Laughs]

That’s a scoop [Laughs].

Is that the new adjective, “All-New, All-Pregnant Spider-Woman!”?

I wrote down all these adjectives thinking they would let me change the title and no, it’s just “Spider-Woman.”

But today, we’re going to dive into some X-Men — some X-Men territory for X-Position. We have some questions from our readers…

Excellent.

…hard hitting questions. We’re going to come at you with the heavy topics.

That’s what I want. That’s what I want.

[0:51] First up, we have a question from txgohan. Also, I’m going to apologize. I have to read all these Internet names out. I hope I’m getting them correctly. [Laughs]

I hope you get them wrong.

The question, “Brian Bendis has the Original Five team learn new aspects of their abilities. Will we see the X-Men continue to grow in their abilities, like Cyclops getting refined control or the new capabilities of Warren’s cosmic wings?”

To some degree, yes. I’m — I think, we’ll be playing a lot around with the idea that these are the characters you know, but they’re the characters you know from when they were first starting out. You know, they’re still — back then, everything was new. And we may see, for instance, some old villains who have several years on them — several years of experience on them. So, while they used to be able to, you know, handle the Blob quite easily, now, he’s a grown man who knows what he’s doing and it’s a little bit of a different thing. So, we play with that to some degree. We’ll definitely be playing with the differences in personality and how maybe they aren’t going in the same direction they went the first time they grow up.

Yeah, if you think about like Beast, eventually he got this bug in his ear of like, “I want to start experimenting on myself.”

Right.

But, now we have teen Beast. I mean, like, is he going to start getting that like, “Maybe I should start injecting myself with stuff?”

Well, and also, he’s seen the end-result of that, so…

[Laughs] Yeah, don’t do it.

Hopeless: I think if you see — I mean, the idea that this is like a “Days of Future Past” future for them in a lot of ways. Like, the Marvel Universe is insane and things have changed in maybe ways they don’t like. We’ll definitely be playing with that, while doing a fun road trip story where they bounce around in a mini-bus [Laughs] and hang out.

[2:19] Awesome. Next up, we have a question from Kenny. I got that one right, I think, “Kenny.”

Sounds right.

“What’s it like to be writing X-23 again? Will you be her differently than you did in ‘Avengers Arena’?”

Well, she’s not in a death match, so slightly different.

Less dire circumstances.

Right. Well, Bendis progressed the character in interesting ways through his run. We got Laura when she was in a very, very dark place. And she’s Wolverine now. And she — you know — she’s ready to kind of embrace, “I’m going to be a superhero. I’m going to follow in Logan’s footsteps and kind of leave my past behind me.” So, it’s been a lot of fun to take that journey through. It might not be the smoothest journey to like [Laughs] happy-go-lucky Wolverine. But, yeah, I think she’s in a very different place, so we’ll be delving into that.

Yeah, I feel like if you get the codename “Wolverine” you cannot be a happy-go-lucky character.

Well, I mean —

Even if Nightcrawler became Wolverine, he’d have to get a little serious and grizzly.

Sure, but Laura started out even in a darker place. Her origin story is terrifying. So yeah, I think we’ll take her more to the place where Logan got before he died. You know, like, embracing the superheroism of it all and trying to be a — you know — like a more complete person.

[3:22] Yeah. Next, we have a question from Dan_108 — gotta get that underscore in there — “Let’s hear more about Hank’s pet, Bamf. There is a Bamf on a variant cover of ‘All-New Wolverine.’ Does he and Laura have a connection?”

Pickles is my favorite character — 100%. All of the characters are going to interact with Pickles because, number one, it’s my favorite thing for Mark Bagley to draw. Like, I kind of just want to make Pickles in every scene — the background of every scene — so Mark has to do something with him. But, yeah, he plays a big role in the first arc and we’ll be developing relationships with Pickles and everyone.

Was that like one of the immediate things when you got “All-New X-Men,” like, “I need a Bamf. I need a Bamf for this road trip”?

It was Jason Latour’s idea. I had– there’s a… what’s the word… I can’t think of the word. I needed to get all of the characters from different places to one place very quickly, and I said, “I don’t know what to do.”

As a “McGuffin.”

Right, so I called Jason and told him this problem. And he said, “Well, just put a Bamf there,” which was a very easy solution. It worked out really well. So yeah, then I added him to the team and now he’s my favorite character.

[4:29] [Laughs] Next up, we have a question from Mark. “Dennis, I’m a huge fan of your ‘X-Men: Season One’ OGN.” — I am as well — “In that, you really made Marvel Girl shine as lead character in a way that we don’t usually get to see, so how does Jeannie not being on your team affect the boys?”

It affects them — I mean, it will affect them later. We’re not going to make this like a “lamenting Jean’s absence” book, as much as I love the character and hate Jeff Lemire for taking her. I–

Was there an arm-wrestling match over that?

He just has like a creepy stare. Like, I needled him a lot and I talked about — in the room when we were discussing where all the X-Men books were going to go, I worked on him pretty hard and he’s unflappable. He just stared me down and–

Adamant.


–gave me his Canadian stare. So, I will continue to pester him about it, but Jean’s not going to be in the book. So, also, the eight month later jump allows us to kind of move past that. Like, they have — they’re all in a different place then where we saw them last, and Jean as well. So, we’ll probably bring her in at some point as a guest star. I love writing the character and in “X-Men: Season One” she’s the protagonist, so I would love to play with that again. But, we’re moving past Jean.

Yeah, I mean, and kind of when you look at it with these new “All-New X-Men,” you can kind of view your OGN — your “Season One” OGN — as a like, these are those characters. Like, that was a modern retelling of their origin and these are modern version of those original characters, so–

Yes.

In a way, you kind of created characters… maybe? [Laughs]

I mean, that’s how I’m playing it, for sure, because, in order to write something like that, you have to get into the heads of the characters. And I read all the old ’60s comics in preparation for that and that’s exactly where these characters come from. So yeah, they live in my mind. I mean, I had to take into account that they’ve been here for a while. They’ve been doing different things. You know, Angel’s wings are on fire and stuff. But, yeah, I definitely sort of — at least in my own head, “X-Men: Season One” is a prequel.

[6:15] Yeah, next we have a question from xhx23x — two questions, actually. First up, “Are the Cycke-fanatics going to show up in the book often?” We saw them in those preview pages from Mark Bagley — all the people wearing the Cyclops masks.

The Ghosts of Cyclops, yes. That’s what they’re called.

They’re going to be a main threat throughout or…?

They’re the primary threat of the first arc. And they’re very interesting characters because we delve into their psyche a little bit [Laughs] and how they interact with the characters, how they — the differences between their mentality and our kids. So, I’m not sure they’ll be like — they’re not going to be like the big bad of the series, but they definitely play a huge role early on.

Kind of like the rival gang, like the Hellions to their New Mutants, in a way or like…?

Sort of. Yeah… yeah… yes.

[7:02] [Laughs] Emphatically yes. Next, we have another question, “Is there a new character that you’re excited to introduce, and, if so, can you tease us about it?” Is there anyone new that’s going to show up that you’re excited to write? Besides Pickles, we already know a lot about Pickles.

Pickles is the answer to that question.

[7:15] I’m going to get into my own super X-Fan, and ask my own question right now. Have Edie and Wolfsbane ever talked? Because, you know, Wolfsbane comes from an exact same background of like super Catholic, very repressed in her mutancy. I don’t know. I’m just saying, like, Wolfsbane could show up at some point.

That is an interesting idea, yeah, because I definitely want to play with so — I hadn’t thought about that, that’s absolutely true. I don’t think that they’ve interacted.

I don’t either.

But, I can make them interact — that’s my job, decide what to do.

You can make the puppets move.

Right.

Next, we have a question from MarvelMaster616, who might have more control over the Marvel Universe than you do with that name, jeez.

Sounds like it.

[7:44] “What can you tell us about the relationship between X-23 and teen Angel? How has it played out during the eight-month gap and how serious would you say the relationship is at this point?”

I’m taking the ball from Bendis and running with it. Like, in my mind, that is a relationship that’s been going on now for, you know, the better part of a year at least.

Yeah.

And, they’re definitely just having a good time. They’re teenagers. They’re not necessarily going to be together forever, but they get along. They have a good time. And, I think Angel is kind of the perfect guy for what Laura like wants to be. Like, she wants a — he’s a — like, a good influence on where she’s going. But Warren, you know, also went through “Black Vortex” and has weird stuff of his own going on. So…

Yeah, a little bit.

There is a lot of fun drama to be had there, so we’ll see.

[8:30] Yeah, and lastly, another question from the MarvelMaster, “How does this story in this series fit into the larger story about the original five X-Men being stuck in their future? Is there still a long term plan about how their presence will affect the timeline?”

We’ll get into that at some point. Right now, we’re dealing with the fact that they’re here now. They live here now. You know, like this is their home — that’s a big part of the arc, in fact, that “we’re not — this isn’t the future anymore. This is the now, and what do we want to do with that? How do we want to move forward with that? And, maybe we stop worrying so much about getting back and figure out the here and now.”

Awesome. Well, I’m very excited about “All-New X-Men.”

Me too. I can’t wait for people to see it.

And, yeah, keep an eye out for that book. It’s coming out — All-New, All-Different Marvel. And you’re watching CBR TV for our first ever video X-Po. I’m Brett White.

Thanks to Dennis Hopeless for appearing on camera and taking on this week’s questions! Stay tuned to CBR for information on next week’s X-POSITION guest.

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