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X-POSITION: Dennis Hopeless Dives Into Cyclops & Jean Grey’s Psyches

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comic News Comment
X-POSITION: Dennis Hopeless Dives Into Cyclops & Jean Grey’s Psyches

After taking an extended road trip and running afoul of everyone from Toad to the Goblyln Queen, the teens of “All-New X-Men” have almost reached their journey’s end. Their tenure on the road concludes in next month’s “All-New X-Men” #19, and the team will move on to an all-new series — “X-Men Blue.” That series will reunite the team with their long lost fellow time-displaced hero Jean Grey, just in time for Jean to get her own ongoing series. ResurrXion lies ahead, and changes are coming with it.

RELATED: All-New X-Men Sets Up X-Men Blue’s Magneto/Teen Team Dynamic

This week in X-POSITION, “All-New X-Men” and “Jean Grey” writer Dennis Hopeless joins us and answers all of your questions about what lies ahead after “IvX.”

CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Dennis! We’ll start with the big question that everyone’s asking, even weeks after “Death of X” #4 came out: why are people in-universe comparing Cyclops to Hitler? We’ve heard different takes on this on the page and from other writers, but what’s your take on it? Is what Emma’s projection of Cyclops did in “Death of X” really that bad?

Dennis Hopeless: My story there has always been about teenage Scott struggling to deal with the public perception of his older self. The world thinks of Cyclops as a villain because of what transpired with the Inhumans. That’s how we discussed it in the room when all of this was first being conceived. That’s the status quo Scott is dealing with. “Death of X” fleshes out the how and why of all that in a really interesting way. The reality of the situation was much more nuanced than “Cyclops is an Evil Terrorist!” But of course it was. Unfortunately, Teen Scott isn’t tormented by reality. He’s tormented by the ugliest version of public perception. He’s spiraling down a deep dark self-loathing Internet hole that makes him question everything. That’s enough to mess anybody up.

All-New X-Men #18

And we’ve all seen that you can find pretty much any kind of hot take on the Internet, too. Cyclops should frequent better news sites! Moving on a little, MarvelMaster616 also has a question about Cyclops and Emma.

Mr. Hopeless, I loved “All-New X-Men” #18 and how teen Cyclops now finally knows the truth about what happened in “Death of X.” I thought it was one of your best issues of “All-New X-Men” to date. Could you talk for a moment about what this revelation means for Cyclops moving forward? More specifically, what does it mean for his future with Emma Frost? She’s a big part of what happens to him. After a revelation like this, how will that affect his mission going forward?

MarvelMaster616! Thank you so much for saying that! We’re super proud of that issue. At the end of #18, Scott is on the warpath for Emma. He is coming at her as soon as humanly possible. You’ll see how all of that plays out in “IvX” and in issue #19. Scott’s story is ongoing.

Next up, Time Like Lightning wonders what’s going to happen to your cast now that they’re heading over to “X-Men: Blue.”

Since some of these characters are moving into Cullen Bunn’s “X-Men” book, did you and Cullen ever talk about possible directions for him to take the characters? And do you know where Idie and Genesis might be seen after this book ends?

Time Like Lightning! Cullen Bunn is a creep. No one likes him and I avoid talking to him at all cost. The fact that he is taking over these characters frankly frightens and disturbs me. They deserve better.

As for Idie and Evan, I’m not actually sure. There are big plans afoot across the X-Men line, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pop up soon, but I’m not certain where that will be.

Actually X-Editor Daniel Ketchum wanted everyone to know that Idie and Evan will be popping up in Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna’s “Generation X,” at least in cameo roles. They’re not being left behind! Moving on, Psimitar has a question about a character you didn’t use in “All-New.”

When it became apparent that you weren’t going to get to use teen Jean Grey in “All-New X-Men,” did you ever consider using Hope Summers in her place? You seemed to really enjoy writing her in “Cable & X-Force” and with Idie on the team she seemed like a good fit. Also, with the upcoming “Jean Grey” solo series is there any possibility of Hope Summers showing up considering she previously hosted the Phoenix Force?

Psimitar! I did consider Hope briefly, but I was always concerned about growing the cast too large. My favorite thing to write is intimate character drama and the more stars you have in a book, the more juggling you have to do. Larger casts make what I do much more difficult. That said, I do love writing Hope (and everyone else from “Cable & X-Force” frankly). Don’t be surprised to see her show up in “Jean Grey.”

Also, yes, Jean will absolutely interact with previous Phoenix Force hosts. That’s a big part of our second issue.

Jean Grey 2 Cover David Yardin

EXCLUSIVE: “Jean Grey” #2 cover by David Yardin

And you can all see that in action on David Yardin’s cover for the second issue, which is debuting (above) in this very article! Next, Anduinel wants to know if there are any other stories you wanted to tell with this cast.

With “All-New X-Men” coming to a close, are there any stories you would have liked to tell that you just didn’t have time to get to?

Anduinel! Yes! So many stories. Because “ANXM” was always intended as a road trip book, I have a notebook full of exotic locales and the various sorts of trouble the kids could’ve gotten up to. We hit my favorite beats from the notebook, but I had so many more. Jean might just steal of few of the best ones for herself though, so I’ll never tell.

Moving onto “Jean Grey,” the aptly named Grey has a question about your ideas going into a new series.

I got “X-Men: Season One” for Christmas to see how you wrote Jean in the past and I absolutely loved it! I really look forward to your homecoming to the “Jean” solo book. As a writer, do you already have an end game in mind when you start a book? Does that change based on the duration of the book changing?

Grey! Thanks for saying. “Season One” was my first paid writing work and we had a blast making it. Jamie [McKelvie], Matt [Wilson] and Mike [Norton] made me look incredibly good right out of the gate. That book is gorgeous.

As for endings, I do usually have some sort conclusion in mind. That can be tricky on an ongoing because you don’t always know exactly how long it will last, but there’s always a goal. We usually have little touchstone moments worked in along the way to make sure the characters grow and change in interesting ways. Marvel stories rarely truly end, so you can only throw down so much punctuation, but a satisfying final issue is always a good thing.

All-New X-Men 019

“All-New X-Men” #19 cover by Mark Bagley

Speaking to Jean Grey herself, mbm721 wants to know what your take on her is.

What do you like most about Jean Grey as a character and do you find the notion of writing a Jean solo overwhelming and intimidating considering all her history? Expectations are high for this book.

Mbm721! I find Jean’s potential endlessly fascinating. Both times I’ve written the character, I’ve gotten her as a teenager. My Jean isn’t quite fully formed. She’s still learning the ropes with her powers and struggling with self-confidence on some level. That’s great fun because we all know how incredible she’ll grow up to be. The funky twist with time displaced Jean is that she now knows it too. She knows it and it haunts her dreams. That’s a fun dynamic and we’ll be leaning in.

I’m not super intimidated, though, no. Writing Jean feels like coming home and I’m a fantastic comic book writer. We’ll be spinning gold. No worries.

Here’s Gary, with a specific request for one of Jean’s many iconic foes.

Please tell us teen Jean will meet the real Maddie Pryor who was brought back a few years ago. The Goblin Queen is fun, but I would love to see teen Jean meet her adult clone seeing as the actual adult Jean is gone.

Gary! Nope! Goblin Queen or bust, my friend.

Short and sweet answer! On a similar note, Soulsword323 also wants to know if Jean will run into a particular someone.

Thus far, the Original Five have had the opportunity to interact with their adult counterparts, except for Jean. Do you have any plans for this teenage Jean to interact with her adult counterpart, whether it be through a dream or some type of vision? Seeing as how we’ve seen adult Jean interact or send messages from the White Hot Room before.

Soulsword323! Yowza… Do we have surprises in store for you! Great question, but that’s all I can say.

Color me intrigued! Coming up on the end of the “Jean Grey” questions, here’s an ask from venomblasting.

Hi Dennis! I want to express my thanks for giving Jessica Drew back her own series and redefining Spider-Woman. In her original run she had made great friends with the X-Men. Can we expect to find Jessica and Jean interacting at all?

Venomblasting! Thanks so much for reading “Spider-Woman”! That book is near and dear to my heart. I love writing Jess so I’d never rule out having her guest star (in anything). No current plans but now that you’ve planted that seed.., Who knows?

And we’ll end this week with a look at the larger ResurrXion line, from akiresu_.

Besides your own, which ResurrXion title excites you most?

Akiresu! I’m super stoked for “Iceman” and “X-Men Blue.” I’m a big fan of Sina Grace and was thrilled to see him on that series [“Iceman”]. Bobby is one of my favorite characters and he’s in great hands.

And while Cullen Bunn may be reprehensible, he’s a fantastic writer with some exciting plans for the O5. I’ll just mark out his name on the covers and pretend it was written by someone else.

“All-New X-Men” #1 arrives in stores on March 29, and “Jean Grey” #1 follows on May 3.

Special thanks to Dennis Hopeless for taking on this week’s questions!

Next week, incoming “Weapon X” writer Grg Pak returns to X-POSITION to answer your questions! Have a question for Greg? Go ahead and send ’em in via e-mail with the subject line “X-Position”. But get ’em in quickly, because the deadline’s Friday. Make it happen!

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