This September, uncover secrets in Journey into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa!
An old-school Marvel team is about to go on an all-new adventure!
On September 12, writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Djibril Morissette-Phan present JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY: THE BIRTH OF KRAKOA #1! As World War II ends, Sergeant Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos go on mission that will haunt them for years to come. Reunite with this classic Marvel squad as the mystery behind the origins of Krakoa finally come to light in this special one-shot.
“Krakoa is a classic X-Men fixture—from its first appearance in GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1 to revelations about its true nature in X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS decades later, ‘the Island that Walks Like a Man’ has fascinated generations of readers…but we’ve never known the story of how it came to be—until now! And you never know when or how Krakoa will come back to play a role in the journey of the X-Men, either,” explains series editor Annalise Bissa. “In this story, we fill in some of the history of Sergeant Fury and his Howling Commandos as well. Their story drops off late in WWII and we don’t see the Howlies again until they’re reunited during the Korean War, after several years of civilian life. So…what did they do at the end of the War? And how does it intersect with the atomic origins of Krakoa? If you want to know, this is the story for you!”
Get an exclusive first look inside JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY right here!
Prepare to dive into Marvel history with Dennis Hopeless and Djibril Morissette-Phan’s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY: THE BIRTH OF KRAKOA #1 on September 12! Visit your local comic shop to get your copy first!
Writer Dennis Hopeless reveals his plans for the new digital comic!
One of Marvel’s most mysterious teams is getting a brand new limited digital series! CLOAK AND DAGGER #1, available today and written by Dennis Hopeless with art by David Messina, will pick up during a bumpy time in Cloak and Dagger’s relationship. But like most powerful pairs, Tyrone and Tandy won’t be apart for very long.
We spoke to Dennis Hopeless to get an inside look on what’s in store for Cloak and Dagger!
Marvel.com: You’ve written for teams as well as individual characters. What was it like writing for two characters who are so different but so intertwined?
Dennis Hopeless: CLOAK AND DAGGER sort of splits the difference between writing a solo character and writing a team. When you’re writing about a single hero you can tell the story from inside their head. There’s one POV, and that perspective drives the story. Team books are often more of an ensemble. The spotlight moves around and the team dynamic is a bigger part of the story than any single point of view.
With CLOAK AND DAGGER, we’re telling the story from two very different perspectives at the same time. Tyrone and Tandy are fundamentally intertwined characters, like you say, but they see the world through different lenses. It’s been a lot of fun playing with that shifting perspective. We let the reader into each of their heads, sometimes even showing the same scene from two different angles. Just like in life, it’s the differences that propel the drama.
Marvel.com: What has it been like seeing David Messina interpret your script into art?
Dennis Hopeless: David’s style is big, bombastic, and super heroic. This is very much a psychological thriller. Like all the best Cloak and Dagger stories, it crawls down some narrow alleys and gets real dark. David’s art brings some much needed light and life to that. I love it.
Marvel.com: Cloak and Dagger have not only had their powers since they were teenagers, but they’ve been a duo for the same amount of time. Where does this relationship stand when we meet them in CLOAK AND DAGGER #1?
Dennis Hopeless: The current state of Cloak and Dagger’s relationship is one of the main driving forces behind this story. When we open, they’re further apart than ever, and the new status quo is still uncomfortable for everyone. Then old memories crop up, like old memories always do, and they’re yanked back together. It’s a lot of fun because we get to dive into their long history together. We spend some time with them in the early days when their powers and partnership were both still new and terrifying.
Marvel.com: Can you tell us anything about the “dangerous threat from their past” that is coming back? Is this series’ villain someone against whom Cloak and Dagger are seeking revenge?
Dennis Hopeless: That’s the old memory I was referring to. Tandy is working a murder case and spots something in a crime scene that brings back long forgotten teenage memories. Our villain sort of crawls up out of those memories… all of which is complicated by the fact that Cloak and Dagger are estranged. It’s a whole big tangled mess.
Marvel.com: Because they got their powers in such a scary way, do you feel like they feel resentment towards their powers? Do you think they’ve had long enough to accept them?
Dennis Hopeless: I think Tyrone and Tandy would each answer that question very differently. Dagger has embraced her powers and role as Super Hero in a way Cloak probably never will. To Tyrone, the Darkforce will always be a sort of curse. He uses it for good to the best of his ability, but it’s not something that gives him joy.
Marvel.com: Cloak and Dagger are coming back to address a mutual threat. Do you feel like there is any world in which they could truly separate for good?
Dennis Hopeless: They’re trying their best to do just that. So far it’s not going terribly well, but I guess we’ll find out.
CLOAK AND DAGGER #1 is available in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop, Comixology, and on the Amazon Kindle starting today!
With the Phoenix on its way, Jean has a lot to deal with.
Jean Grey is trapped in the mind of her greatest rival: the White Queen herself, Emma Frost! What started as a training exercise to prepare herself for the arrival of the Phoenix Force — ever on the horizon for a terrified young Jean — dissolves into a fight of two psionic powerhouses for dominance and mere survival.
Emma said she’d help Jean to train, but at the back of her head is always that tension. Unfortunately for Jean, the back of Emma’s head is right smack where she ends up. Only Dennis Hopeless and Victor Ibanez know how she will she escape from “Psych War Part 2” in JEAN GREY #9!
And all the while… the Phoenix is coming. Hopeless spoke to Marvel.com about what’s next for Jean.
Marvel.com: Word on the street is that the Phoenix is on the way… how does Jean feel about that?
Dennis Hopeless: It’s funny, with PHOENIX RESURRECTION on the horizon, everyone is talking about the return of the Phoenix… but our Jean has been telling people since issue #1. She’s been bouncing around the Marvel Universe trying to prepare herself for the firebird’s return, learning from various heroes and villains, filling out her arsenal and strengthening her resolve. Now after a run-in with Doctor Strange, she’s being haunted by what appears to be the ghost of her older long-dead self. As I think anyone who reads Previews can guess, everything is coming to a head very soon.
Marvel.com: So much of Jean’s story in this series is her debating destiny versus free will. Which school of thought do you subscribe to?
Dennis Hopeless: I definitely subscribe the concepts of luck and privilege and whatnot; we’re all products of our origins to some degree. I don’t personally chalk much up to destiny, though. I think we make choices that send us in certain directions, but to some degree we’re all bouncing around in the chaos. That’s obviously not the case with Jean, but she has writers trying to make her life interesting and meaningful.
Marvel.com: What aspects of Jean and Emma’s fraught relationship do you find most compelling as a writer?
Dennis Hopeless: Perspective is the most interesting thing about those two. Emma has been Jean’s villain over the years obviously and they’re occasionally allies. But when it comes down to it, the good and evil of their situation all depends on who is holding the camera. Superheroes can be very black and white. It’s one of the backbones of the genre… but I love writing in that grey area.
We actually address Jean and Emma’s strange dichotomy directly in a conversation between them in issue #9. Despite all the different minds she’s poked around in over the years, Jean can really only see the world through her own eyes. Emma’s version is a little different.
Marvel.com: The relationship between Jean and Emma Frost has always been tenuous at best, but how are they alike?
Dennis Hopeless: I think they actually have a lot in common. They’re both brilliant, powerful telepaths. They’re passionate teachers and fiercely loyal friends. They both take teaching very seriously. You wouldn’t to face off with either one of them in a street fight… and then of course there’s Scott.
Marvel.com: The Phoenix Force has been portrayed and represented so many different ways by different writers over the years. How do YOU interpret the Phoenix Force?
Dennis Hopeless: We’ve tried to focus on the through line between all of those representations. What is this god creature firebird? What does it want? Why does it keep coming back for Jean after all these years?
We’ll dig deeper into all of this as the series moves forward, but I think my biggest takeaway is that The Phoenix is neither good nor evil. It simply IS… life and death and rebirth all at once. Power incarnate.
Marvel.com: How does Victor Ibanez’s art capture the spirit of the story you set out to tell?
Dennis Hopeless: Victor creates such fully formed characters and worlds in his pages. Everything is so 3-dimensional and 360 degrees. You feel like you’re actually underwater or fighting cyborgs in the dusty desert wind WITH Jean! He also nails every expression. His acting is just incredible and every character is so distinct. Victor’s depiction of Jean and Hope meeting for the first time is one of my favorite pages ever.
Marvel.com: What would happen if you became a host of the Phoenix Force? World domination? Unlimited Twizzlers? Exploded brain? All? Some? None?
Dennis Hopeless: Oh God… Either a very sad and fiery nervous breakdown or Armageddon. No real person should be trusted with that much power, least of all ME!
Follow along on the adventure with JEAN GREY #9 by Dennis Hopeless and Victor Ibanez — available November 29!
The young mutant seeks some mighty mentoring from Odinson!
JEAN GREY #4, written by Dennis Hopeless with art by Victor Ibanez, continues the story of the young time traveling mutant on her quest to figure out a way to avoid becoming the terrifying Dark Phoenix like her older self on July 12. Who better to teach you to fight a god-like cosmic being than a god? That’s right, Jean tracks down the unworthy Thor—aka Odinson—and racks his brain for a way to avoid her looming date with destiny, but things don’t go quite as smoothly as she hoped.
“This issue, I would say, is my favorite X-Man and Unworthy Thor, stuck together in the middle of a Lord of the Rings battle,” shares Hopeless. We find Jean trudging her way up an all but deserted mountain in Norway to try and find some words of wisdom regarding her impending doom, but instead she finds an army of assassin orcs heading straight for Odinson, who sits at the local pub knocking back some adult beverages. Jean frantically warns a very unimpressed Thor of what’s creeping up the hill toward them in an attempt to flee before they arrive, but ends up caught up in a fight that will last for almost as long as the issue. But don’t be fooled, Hopeless ensures, “There is a lot more going on behind Thor’s drunken half witted eyes than it seems.”
Jean Grey #4 cover by David Yardin
The writer equates it to asking your grandfather for advice: “Grandpa seems like an old man who’s tired and likes to hear the sound of his voice, but really is a person who’s lived a lot of life and has a lot of interesting things to impart if you pay attention.” Too bad Jean is a little slow on the uptake and spends most of the story in a very frustrated state listening to some drunken old god ramble on about his seemingly useless war stories while they fight off an army.
Luckily Odinson’s methods—intentional or not—pay off. Out of her frustration Jean learns a new ability that definitely brings some fresh weapons to her arsenal and will surely come in handy when taking on a giant firebird. Now she just has to learn to control it! So while Thor might currently be unworthy, dejected, and just overall not in the best place, he still knows what’s up. “He isn’t surprised by things throughout the course of the issue,” suggests Hopeless. “So he probably knew she was coming before she got there, and what she wants and that’s why he’s telling the stories he’s telling. He believes in her, he knows she’ll figure it out and he’s giving her what she needs, but he’s not willing to hold her hand through it.”
Tune in July 12 to see just what Odinson is hiding behind that deceptively dim exterior and what new skill our young hero brings to the Phoenix fighting table in JEAN GREY #4 by Dennis Hopeless and Victor Ibanez!
Dennis Hopeless profiles past hosts of the big bad cosmic firebird!
In the new JEAN GREY series kicking off May 3, the young title character finds herself faced with the reality of her future: a drawn out struggle with the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force causing destruction, heartache and her eventual death. Thinking she has avoided this path by traveling to the future, Jean learns that the Phoenix Force is coming for her, and understandably, she’s heading for the hills.
Resolved to not let a dire fate befall her yet again, writer Dennis Hopeless tells us that Jean seeks out former Phoenix hosts in an attempt to find some way to evade the inevitable.
“A lot of stories have been told about what it’s like to merge with the Phoenix and our take on it is what it’s like to avoid it,” explains Hopeless. “The Phoenix is more of a dragon to be slayed.”
Unfortunately, quite a few super humans fail in the dragon slaying department, including…
Rachel Grey: The alternate timeline daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, Rachel spent quite a while as a brainwashed “Hound” for the authorities, forced to hunt down her fellow mutants before merging with the Phoenix Force. And while Hopeless still loves all things Jean, Rachel probably proved a more successful host: “Adult Jean was definitely the most powerful but she had her ups and downs—destroying a planet, killing her friends—Rachel I think [rode] that wave a little better.”
The Phoenix Five – Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus, and Magik: The Phoenix Force possessed these five X-Men after it split apart in battle, and while the heroes tried to use this awesome power gallantly, they left quite a bit of damage in their wake. “They tried to do great things and they ended up losing their minds, causing massive world problems and killing Charles [Xavier],” says Hopeless adding that it seems the more good you try to achieve with the powers, the more likely your efforts will backfire.
Hope Summers: Destined to become the new Phoenix host, Hope also tried to avoid her destiny. The Avengers weren’t too keen to see her wielding this almighty power either, but in trying to prevent it they created the Phoenix Five and we all know how well that went. Summers finally accepted her role and became a temporary host, using the Force to bring back the fallen mutant race.
Quentin Quire: A destined future host of the Phoenix Force, Quentin has even interacted with his epic tomorrow self, making Hopeless pretty excited: “He has a very interesting take on handling it.” Chivalry isn’t dead, Quentin; share some of your wisdom with our red headed friend.
Korvus and Rook’shir: Members of the Shi’Ar alien race, both Rook’shir and his distant relative Korvus proved pseudo hosts, channeling the power through a sword named the Blade of the Phoenix long before the present day.
Amber Hunt, the Stepford Cuckoos, Fongji, Professor X, Diamanda Nero, and Madelyne Prior all played brief hosts to the Phoenix as well, while Nightcrawler, Storm, and Vulcan wielded the power in alternate “What If” stories. Seeing as many of these characters are either dead, bad guys, or only exist in weird potential alternate timelines, Jean would probably be better off looking elsewhere.
Will Jean be her own knight in shining armor and finally slay the fiery beast that has burned so many others? Find out May 3 in JEAN GREY #1, and then the cosmic action continues on May 24 in issue #2, both by Dennis Hopeless and artist Victor Ibanez!
Dennis Hopeless helps the psychic powerhouse strike out for her first ongoing series!
X-Men fans have followed the adventures of Jean Grey over the years, and for many readers, she has become a favorite character. Soon, she’ll have her own series for the very first time. We’ll get to see a time-displaced Jean battling some of her classic demons—but will things play out differently this time?
We caught up with series writer Denis Hopeless about what we can expect from him and artist Victor Ibanez.
Marvel.com: ResurrXion will shake things up across the X-Men titles—have you enjoyed taking part in and helping to shape that?
Dennis Hopeless: Because I’ve done ALL-NEW X-MEN for over a year and I contributed to the initial planning of everything leading up to Inhumans Vs. X-Men, I’ve seen it on the horizon for a while now. I knew it was coming, and I could plan into it. Because I’m going from writing all the time-displaced X-Men except Jean Grey, to writing just Jean, I’ve had to make a transition, but I’ve had fun with it. It feels sort of like starting over fresh.
Marvel.com: Jean will be going up against the Phoenix, a classic conflict for her. Can you tell us your experience with writing a story that’s familiar in some ways but also new?
Dennis Hopeless: We wanted to do a couple different things with this, because Jean has never had a solo series before. We wanted to do something that’s new and unique, but that also gives readers that classic Jean Grey feel that they love.
Now, we have a teenaged Jean Grey who hasn’t had all the experiences that the adult Jean did.
I spent over a year on ALL-NEW X-MEN delving into the other time-displaced X-Men and exploring how they live in the shadows of their older selves. In Jean’s case, her older self has died. Still, when you say the name “Jean Grey” or “Phoenix,” people already have an idea of what that represents—but that isn’t her. I wanted to take teenaged Jean and put her up against this massive, monolithic thing that the other Jean had to deal with and see how she’d handle it differently. I wanted to write something brand new that still takes advantage of this classic, beloved character.
Jean Grey by David Yardin
Marvel.com: As you mentioned, we’ll see a time-displaced Jean, trying to avoid the fate of her predecessor. How will things go differently this time around?
Dennis Hopeless: Very early in our series, we see her confronted with the idea of the Phoenix coming, and the reality that they need Jean Grey to stop it. But she’s not the Jean Grey they need, and the older Jean Grey has died. So she needs to level up. She needs to become a prepared Jean Grey by the time the Phoenix arrives. So she puts herself through a lot of things to try to get ready for something she can’t really prepare for. And I think a lot of people can relate to that—especially readers around her age. During those post-high school, early college years, you want to figure out the adult you’re going to become, but you largely base that on the experiences you had growing up and the expectations others have put on you.
Marvel.com: Jean seems like a complicated person with a lot of nuances that you’d want to get across. How did you approach developing and conveying her character?
Dennis Hopeless: In 2011, I worked on X-MEN SEASON ONE. We took the original five X-Men during the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby era and kind of updated them, adding a little more character. Jean posed a challenge because the writers hadn’t developed her as much in those early issues. We leaned into that with that book and made Jean the protagonist. So I put a lot of energy years ago into figuring this out. And in a lot of ways, [Brian Michael] Bendis and company brought that updated version of the character to the initial ALL-NEW X-MEN run—the more fleshed out, well-rounded, teenaged version of Jean. And she has had some crazy experiences lately, but she remains distinct from the adult Jean. In regular continuity, she becomes a really interesting character much later. So now we see her kind of in between those points, living in the shadow of all of the crazy events that never actually happened to her. That’s where the nuance comes in for me: taking that early Jean I figured out years ago and adding to that the weight of Dark Phoenix and Scott and Emma and all of these experiences that she didn’t have but everyone else remembers.
Marvel.com: Would you like to tease anything else?
Dennis Hopeless: Sort of similar to what I did in ALL-NEW X-MEN, the book will give us a road trip across the Marvel Universe, but very focused on Jean. She’ll have to fight and experience things in order to grow as a person for a very specific reason. So we’ll see a lot of guest stars, a lot of crazy Marvel Universe locales. And of course we’ll focus on Jean, whom we’ve traditionally seen in team books. Fans of hers will love this book!
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