Wednesday, November 17, 2010

X-POSITION: Kieron Gillen - My Questions Asked Again

I'll try to make this a quick update so I can get back to putting the finishing touches on Supreme Reflections. There was another X-POSITION this week at Comic Book Resources. This time Kieron Gillen was the star of the show. Since I follow Generation Hope and Uncanny X-men closely I was compelled to ask a few questions and they got asked!

CBR X-POSITION: Kieron Gillen

1) In Hope's diary of the first issue, she mentioned that others told her about the Phoenix Force. Did anyone mention Jean Grey? It's been well-established that Hope has red hair and green eyes. Has anyone brought up that she bears an uncanny resemblance to her?

I want to write a gag along the lines of "Hope looks nothing like Jean! Hope's not at all moldy" – but I'm not sure I'll get away with it.

The splendid essay at the back of the issue – the work of Mike O'Sullivan from Jeph York's premise – is basically an entertaining way of presenting Hope's story so far. As such, it's going to have to be a little bit more explicit about stuff which Hope may or may not be as sure on, so anyone new to the book knows that the cosmic-firebird imagery has a disturbing precedent. I wouldn't take it as 100% literal canon in its flourishes, except the part about peanut butter.

(That's hyper-ur-canon. Hope loves Peanut butter. You will believe the Mutant Messiah can make a tasty sandwich).

So it should be taken as Hope's aware that something is up and people aren't really telling her about it yet. If we're going to have someone sit down and tell hope about the Phoenix and Jean Grey, that'll happen on panel and will be important. 

People are being sensitive about it for the understandable reason that it's a lot to drop on someone. They're watching, trying to support her, and seeing if it is actually a real thing or something else. To stress the point: Hope has lost her father a couple of weeks – at most – ago. No one wants to drop a "Oh, some of us are worried you may be a planet-killing cosmic force" on her. Especially since, in her emotional state, it could – hypothetically – be the sort of thing that could precipitate a real disaster.

On the other hand, Hope's a smart girl. If no one tells her – given enough time – she's going to find it out for herself.

That's a long and rambling answer when I could have just said, "No.", they haven't mentioned she looks like Jean.

2) Back during "Messiah CompleX," Cyclops gave baby Hope a locket that contained a picture of him and Jean. Does Hope still have that locket? Is that issue ever going to be revisited?

This time I will do a short answer: wait and see.

That's better, yeah? A proper Marvel-writer-esque tease. I'm a pro, me.

3) I'm a little bit confused on Laurie's powers. Could you please explain what she does, or is that something that cannot be revealed just yet?

She can fly, basically.

Man, that's underwhelming. But yes, she can fly. There was a vague original-five symbolism underlying our thinking – which isn't exactly one-for-one – and in power-set terms, she's the team's Angel. A physically enhanced flyer with a form that's adapted for that purpose. It's the latter part of that concept where she separates herself from general flyers – how her form adapts to allow extreme flight and maneuverability.

I've said before, but she's one of the purer characters on the team: a bookish, emotionally anal girl in chains to her own self-demands has to learn how to fly. She's very much superpower as metaphor for character's emotional struggle.

She's proving one of my favorite to write. She's very much the team's "Captain Sensible" character, stepping in and doing the "Wait, we're going to do what?" when the more foolhardy and headstrong people are thinking they're immortal.

So I got things cleared up with Laurie, which should help in my next review. I also got yet another Jean/Hope tease. This has been something that's been dominating the X-books for over a year now. I still have a hard time telling Jean and Hope apart. Hope looks like Jean, dresses like Jean, and wields a certain fiery bird like Jean. If somehow she doesn't have a connection with Jean, that would be a huge plot hole. But it seems Marvel is playing this really close to the chest. In the dairy part of Generation Hope #1 it was revealed that the X-men told Hope about the Phoenix Force, but Gillen here implied that they did not go into detail about Jean Grey. That is somewhat forgivable since Hope is in such a conflicted state at the moment. Dumping another revelation on her may be a bit much and when she's packing Phoenix heat, that's not a good thing. However, Marvel is still milking this mystery to a point where it's getting OLD. If by the end of 2011 this isn't at least partially cleared up, they'll have screwed the pooch. I hope there are some people smarter than that in the Marvel offices. It may not be Gillen. Only time will tell.

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