By Kevin Mahadeo
The future of mutantkind has arrived, and beginning this November writer Kieron Gillen brings the children of tomorrow into today with the all-new ongoing series GENERATION HOPE.
Following the finale of the mega X-Men event Second Coming, which saw the mutant messiah Hope Summers return to the present and reignite the mutant race, five new lights appeared on Cerebro. The upcoming UNCANNY X-MEN arc "The Five Lights" explores the impact of these new characters and what their presence means for the previously dwindling mutant population. GENERATION HOPE follows soon after and seeks to answer more questions.
"New mutants have started to appear, which is of course a joyous moment," explains Gillen. "The sort of thing 'Five Lights' is generally about is that these initial mutants are not right. The question of why the mutants are not right is what [GENERATION HOPE] is about. These
Fans got a glimpse of the new poster children for the mutant species with the "Generation of Hope" teaser images, which revealed five never-before-seen characters. This quintet represents the main focus of GENERATION HOPE, but Gillen remains tight-lipped on exact details about the newcomers.
"Since this is spinning directly off [UNCANNY X-MEN writer Matt Fraction's] 'Five Lights' arc, the characters are going to be introduced and there are mysteries about them that are going to be dealt with in those issues," he notes. "So, I don't want to deliberately say anything that will overstep the mark for what's going to be in Matt's story.
Gillen does reveal that the five mutants come from all across the globe: one from North Africa, one from South America, another from Europe, one from East Asia and finally one from Canada. Despite their various backgrounds, however, the crippling nature of their sudden powers unites them. The writer he likens the title to the television show "House," only as a super team.
"Not that we've got an acerbic professor curing all these mutants," he jokes. "The sort of thing that drives the plot is, 'Here's a mutant.
Gillen also reveals that Hope shares a fundamental relationship with these new characters and plays a central role in the series.
"One of the cool ideas for me with the series is that Hope is the mutant messiah," the writer says. "So, what do you do when you have your messiah? Everyone prays and hopes for the messiah to come. When they do, it's rarely the messiah they thought it'd be. They are people who shake up the system. It's not just going to go back to this happy idea of how mutants once were. This is about change. This is about the idea that everything will shake up and the existent power structure will also change. It's about the idea of the future-the future of mutants and the future of people and if they have a future. Hope versus despair is the big theme."
"The [character] the first arc is based around, Kenji, I'll give you his name," he discloses. "He's Japanese and he's an artist. His power kicks off in an awkward, city-threatening kind of way. There's a big variety for stories. Sometimes the stories are incredibly personal and about something that is quite tender. On the other side, you've got the city-threatening, 'Oh my god it's Godzilla' kind of story. That's the most exciting thing about GENERATION HOPE for me: the sheer level of scale. It's all very classic X-Men stuff. You can open up whole different sorts of issues. Are these five mutants the best they can hope for? Is this really the future?"
"The big fun was just making up these people with Matt. One of them I jumped on and ran with. I ended up writing lists of scenes of what he'd do when he first meets almost everybody in the Marvel Universe. He's the sort of character that takes over quite happily. He's very primal, is a way of putting it. Looking at people's responses to the images, everybody's got all the characters wrong. This guy particularly. He's a very different character from what people are assuming."
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