It was based around Hope Summers, the adopted daughter of Cable and reputed "Mutant Messiah". Upon her return to the present after being raised in the future, a group of mutants manifested. As Hope met and touched each mutant their powers stabilized and Hope gained a low level of telepathic influence over them. The story of the series itself dealt with Hope making the "Lights" into a team to stabilize each new mutant manifestation, taking a Lighter and Softer approach than previous X-Men teen series while also dealing with the insidious effect of Hope's influence.
The team consisted of Hope, Velocidad, Oya, Transonic, Primal, and Zero, with Oya leaving post-Schism, being replaced by Pixie and No-Girl.
Generation Hope provides examples of the following tropes:
- Empowered Badass Normal: Hope was a badass long before her powers manifested. With only the power to borrow other mutant powers (and sometimes manifesting the Phoenix Force).
- Genius Bruiser: Primal was a software programmer before his mutation activated, which gave him feral instincts. He's still capable of being quite intelligent but it's entirely dependent on whether his instincts deem it worthwhile, such as arguing a legal case.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Kenji's powers are basically a Voluntary Shapeshifting version of Tetsuo's Superpower Meltdown.
- Multinational Team: Hope is Alaskan but raised in a variety of futures, Velocidad is Mexican, Kenji is Japanese, Transonic is Canadian, Teon is Ukrainian and Idie is Nigerian. Pixie who joins later is Welsh.