Marvel's time-displaced teens are back, and this time they've brought a few new mutants along for the ride. With mutant/human relations going south, the teenage X-Men have decided to travel west via Beast's deceptively spacious ride. It's a good thing their technologically advanced bus is bigger on the inside than the outside, because Oya, Kid Apocalypse and the all-new Wolverine have joined the original X-team's roster. But things aren't all gator wrasslin' and mixtape makin' good times; a group of tough-talkers called the Ghosts of Cyclops have emerged and they're causing nothing but trouble -- specifically for teenage Cyclops.
This week in X-POSITION, "All-New X-Men" writer Dennis Hopeless joins us and answers your questions about everything from Warren and Laura's relationship to the effect of the Terrigen Mist on the team and more.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Dennis! Let's begin this week with a question from Kenny about your travel plans for the teen team.
I didn't love the teen X's being in the present and sticking around as long as they have. Was hoping they would finally be put to bed after "Secret Wars." But since you are writing the book, I am going to be giving it a lengthy chance. It's mentioned in the first issue that they are taking a six-month trip. Do you have the "road trip" all mapped out, with an ending? And if yes, do you have plans for what happens after that?
Kenny! I've already written the first several issues so a good solid chunk of the road trip already happened in my brain (and laptop). Mark [Bagley] and I have a good solid roadmap for the next few arcs after that... So, yeah, we have plans on top of plans. Most (if not all) of which involve traveling and bad-assery. Safe to say this road trip will be open-ended.
Next, Richard has a question about one of the book's most prominent relationships.
I really enjoyed the scene with Laura and Warren in #1, and her casually resetting her bones was a touch. What do you have planned for this relationship down the road?
Richard! Death and dismemberment... or a Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls-style break up/make up carrousel. Possibly both. I suppose it depends on my mood. I am the monster responsible for both "X-Men: Season One" and "Avengers Arena."
And Richard also has a question about your creative process.
What is the most challenging part of writing this series?
Sitting down. Sitting down is the most challenging part of writing anything, at least for me. Convincing myself the story in my head is ready to come out of my fingers is sort of a daily struggle.
I'm sure that's not what you had in mind so... the second most challenging thing about writing this series is juggling the cast. Team books have a lot of moving parts and I never feel like any character is getting enough panel time.
There's one character that a lot of people want to see, so here's Psimitar asking for her on a lot of fans' behalf.
We've all heard how Jeff Lemire got dibs on Jean Grey. Was including Hope Summers (who you've written for in "Cable & X-Force") ever a consideration? It would seem having her would create awesome dynamics between Cyclops (who would most likely find her irresistible), Oya (who was one of her "Lights") and Genesis (who could very well be her best friend or greatest nemesis). Would adding Hope down the line be a possibility?
Psimitar! I'm a huge Hope fan and would absolutely add her to the book... If I could figure out a way to make her not look exactly like teenage Jean Grey. Now let me ask you a question: would you be okay with a bald Hope with large facial tattoos? Because that... I can totally do.
Focusing on the characters that are in the book right now, TruDivination wants to know about the two non-time-displaced teens.
Hi! Just bought the first issue and am now hooked! Out of curiosity, why did Hank invite Idie and Evan on the road trip, and why is no one in public freaking out at Evan's appearance? Or is this going to be elaborated on in future issues?
TruDivination! Hank invited Idie and Evan because they weren't doing much else and he enjoys their company. Simple as that. As for Evan's appearance, I'm sure some people in the Marvel Universe live sheltered enough lives that a polite, smiley blue-skinned boy would knock their socks off... But by and large, denizens of this crazy world have seen far weirder. They're a jaded lot and don't impress easily.
And AJpyro is curious about Idie, specifically.
Without spoiling it, where do you see Oya's mental stability at the moment?
AJpyro! It's... complicated. Idie has come a long way from her first appearance but she has a lot of baggage to haul around. Issues #5-6 delve into Idie's psyche.
MarvelMaster616 wants to know how this book fits into the status quo set up in "Extraordinary X-Men."
Can you talk a bit about the setting in this book? In "Extraordinary X-Men," mutants are being shot on sight and attacked in every corner of the world. Yet in "All-New X-Men," they don't seem to be getting harassed as much. They also don't seem to be in danger of the Terrigen Mists. Is there a reason for this?
MarvelMaster616! My take on this is that young people of a certain age often think themselves invincible. The Terrigen Mists are absolutely dangerous to my team. They're in every bit as much danger as every other mutant, they've just chosen not to worry that much about it. I'm not saying this is a great, well-considered plan, but that's the deal. They avoid the Terrigen cloud as much as possible and do try to be great super heroes.
As for the harassment... Even an angry, hateful world is full of all sorts of people. You don't encounter the worst of the worst every single day. And, frankly, out story won't be focusing on that part of the mutant experience. You'll see glimpses here and there. It's out there. That's just not what this book is about.
Next up, ouÂ·tre wants you to talk a bit about the book's bad guys.
Hello Mr. Hopeless! On a fairly superficial level, I really like the Ghosts of Cyclops group. Are we going to get to know them on a more personal, individual level? With their debut at the launch of the series and the solicited run-in with Blob, are you intentionally bringing back the classic X-Villains and the beloved concept of "evil" mutant teams?
OuÂ·tre! Hello back! The Ghosts of Cyclops are our primary villains for the first three issues so you'll see a lot more of them right off the bat. Considering how much I have writing them, they may well pop up again down the road.
And, yeah, classic X-villains were always a part of our plan. I really enjoy pitting the original X-Men against grown up versions of their original villains. The Blob, for instance, has lived a lot of life since those early days. He's a much different guy than the man they used to punk. That's an interesting dynamic.
Angel has his own new, interesting dynamic, and healed1337 wants to know your take on it.
Will Angel's new powers through the Black Vortex be explored in detail?
Healed1337! Sort of. I loved "Black Vortex" but we try not to write comics about other comics because it can be confusing and alienating to new readers. That said, Angel has gone through an interesting change that informs who the character is and where he's headed. Something crazy happened to Angel that made his wings catch fire and now he has to deal. That's fantastic and interesting and of course we want to use it. We'll definitely be taking advantage while addressing just enough of the how and why to keep everyone on the same page.
And finally this week, jowawill has two questions about the new Wolverine on your team.
Is there any chance of seeing Wolverine in anything like a leadership position or advisory role this time around? Given that the other team members are time-travelers brought forward in time (skipping the experiences of their adult selves) or former students, it seems that, regardless of what shared experiences they've had since, she is logically the most experienced team member.
Jowawill! This is going to sound glib and dismissive but please don't take it that way. Wolverine fills the Wolverine position on our team. She's the best there is... and all that.
What sort of relationship does [Wolverine] have with the other members overall, particularly Hank and Bobby (since she really didn't interact with them in any meaningful way before)?
Laura is obviously very tight with Warren and is slowly bonding with her other teammates. We'll be building those other relationships as the series progresses. Interesting things are ahead for Laura. There's more to life than Warren Worthington.
Thanks to Dennis Hopeless for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, "Cable & Deadpool: Split Second" writer Fabian Nicieza returns to X-POSITION debut! Have a question for Fabian? Go ahead and send 'em in via an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position." But get 'em in quickly, because the deadline's Friday. Make it happen!