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Jan 14

Marauders #17 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

“The Winds of Change”
by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1. Storm and Callisto fighting. We’ll get to that in the story.

PAGES 2-4. Flashback: Emma and Callisto investigate Shinobi Shaw.

This flashback takes place during issue #11, after Emma returns home from Kate’s funeral to find Lockheed waiting, and reads his mind to find out how she died. (Hence the black outfit.) It doesn’t exactly match the original scene, where Emma said “show me” to Lockheed, saw what happened, and then turned to diamond and started punching the walls and vowing revenge.

Jan 13

S.W.O.R.D. #2 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

S.W.O.R.D. vol 2 #2
“In the Dark”
by Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti & Marte Gracia

COVER / PAGE 1: Cable, Frenzy & Abigail Brand, alongside an image of the S.W.O.R.D. space station impaled into a Venomised Earth. This is a King in Black tie-in, though unusually there’s nothing else on the cover to indicate that fact.

PAGE 2. A mystery figure in New York.

As part of King in Black, New York is overrun by Knull’s symbiotes, and there’s a symbiote shield surrounding the planet. The shadow figure is a Venomized Cable, as we’ll see later on.

Jan 12

Hellions #1-6

Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 by Paul in x-axis

by Zeb Wells, Stephen Segovia, Carmen Carnero & David Curiel

Continuing my reviews catch-up, we come to the opening six issues of Hellions. Very loosely, this might be seen as the replacement title for Fallen Angels, the one generally accepted dud from the first wave of Krakoan X-books. It picks up Psylocke and Mr Sinister, and in the last couple of issues, the plot links have become rather more explicit. Clearly this is the new home for the storyline that was set up in Fallen Angels, not just for two of its characters.

But it’s a very different sort of title. Fallen Angels was a ponderous affair with more than a dash of sixth form poetry to it. Hellions is a gleeful antisocial mess, in which Psylocke attempts to corral a team of mostly unmanageable eccentrics and supervillains into some sort of viable team, running missions on behalf of the utterly untrustworthy Mr Sinister. Sinister needs some sort of deniability in order to maintain his position on Krakoa, but that’s about all in terms of how far they can trust him.

Jan 8

Juggernaut #5 annotations

Posted on Friday, January 8, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

by Fabian Nicieza, Ron Garney & Matt Milla

COVER / PAGE 1: Juggernaut and D-Cel fight the Warden’s bees.

PAGE 2: In memoriam page.

PAGE 3: The recap page, ending the series with a white colour scheme.

PAGE 4. Flashback: Juggernaut discusses D-Cel with Professor X.

Throughout this series, D-Cel has insisted that she isn’t a mutant, despite other characters repeatedly claiming that she is. Juggernaut wants to get her to Krakoa, but everyone seems to agree that she has to make the decision to call on Krakoa first. This isn’t exactly the approach that we’ve seen the Krakoans take with more powerful mutants, but… well, it’s D-Cel. The Krakoans probably have better things to do than hunt down minor mutants who don’t want to come anyway.

Jan 7

Hellions #8 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 7, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

“The Grinning Neonate”
by Zeb Wells, Stephen Segovia & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Wild Child and Nanny fight their way past the Right, to the surprise of Havok and Psylocke. As we established in the previous issue, their resurrection has made both Wild Child and Nanny much more focussed and aggressive.

PAGE 2. Epigraph from (as usual) Nightcrawler. He insists that hate is not part of the soul of man, but something generated by circumstances.

Jan 6

X-Factor #6 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-FACTOR vol 4 #6
“Suite No. 6: Scio Me Hili Scire ‘Second Movement'”
by Leah Williams, David Baldeon & Israel Silva

COVER / PAGE 1: Siryn, with her voice forming the image of a death spirit of some sort.

PAGE 2: An epigraph from Siryn, though with an asterisk to something redacted. Presumably this is supposed to indicate that it’s actually the death spirit that’s possessing her (of whom more later). Though this seems to be an original quote, the basic observation that death is comparable to waking from a dream isn’t new.

PAGES 3-4. X-Factor relax at home.

“May have gotten lonely and left an ill-advised voice mail to Alex last night.” Alex Summers (Havok from Hellions). Lorna and Alex were a couple for decades, but haven’t had many dealings lately. It feels a bit odd for people on Krakoa to talk about using regular mobile phones.

Jan 5

X-Men #10-15

Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 by Paul in x-axis

X-MEN vol 5 #10-15
by Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu, Mahmud Asrar & Sunny Gho

As with Excalibur, I’m including the “X of Swords” issues here, because that crossover was central to X-Men in a way that it wasn’t for most of the titles. And with that arc, we get to the first major turning point in Hickman’s overreaching plot, with Arakko returning to Earth.

This is a crossover-heavy bunch of issues. Not only does it include three chapters of “X of Swords”, but issues #10 and #11 are tie-ins to Empyre. However, those are a very different affair; Empyre is completely peripheral to X-Men. Both of those issues use the tie-in sensibly enough – they just treat it as a readymade alien invasion that doesn’t call for further explanation, and use that as a backdrop for their own stories.

Jan 3

The Incomplete Wolverine: 1979

Posted on Sunday, January 3, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978

When we left the X-Men, they’d just finished an adventure in the Savage Land, and were trying to sail back to civilisation in a makeshift raft. As you do.

This is a big year for Wolverine, introducing some of the major aspects of his personal mythology.

X-MEN vol 1 #117
by Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Terry Austin & Glynis Oliver
January 1979

This is a Professor X story. The other X-Men only appear in the opening pages, in which a passing Japanese ship rescues them from a deadly gale. The vessel has some sort of secret government business to attend to before returning home (we never find out what) and so the X-Men are going to be stuck on it for a while yet. The reprint in Classic X-Men #23 adds an epilogue page, where the X-Men fill the time by training, and Wolverine broods over Jean, whom he still thinks died in issue #113.

Jan 1

Wolverine #8 annotations

Posted on Friday, January 1, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

WOLVERINE vol 7 #8
“War Stories” by Benjamin Percy, Viktor Bogdanovic & Matthew Wilson
“The Past Ain’t Dead” by Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert & Antonio Fabela

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine face to face with Maverick, which doesn’t actually happen in this issue.

PAGES 2-3. Wolverine arrives to visit Jeff Bannister.

We last saw Bannister (and his back garden) in issue #3, when the gate was planted. Evidently it’s become fully grown since then.

PAGES 4-5. Bannister tells his story.

Needless to say, there’s no established continuity involved here. Bannister is basically telling us that he became disillusioned as a CIA agent when he found that he’d been sent to kill other Americans in order to stop them from brokering a peace deal. It’s a fairly standard trope about the secret services having their own agenda. Bannister claims to be sticking around to do what he can from within.

Dec 30

X-Men #16 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-MEN vol 5 #16
“Sworded Out”
by Jonathan Hickman & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1: Cyclops in the Quiet Council chamber, in front of the face of Krakoa.

PAGES 2-6. Cyclops, Cable and Prestige watch the appearance of Arakko.

“So how’s this going to work?” There’s some very tongue in cheek technobabble here, for those who really care. Basically, Arakko is brought back to Earth via the External Gate (which doesn’t really make sense, because the External Gate connected Krakoa with Otherworld, not with Amenth – let’s assume Saturnyne is helping out somewhere). The mechanics don’t matter, of course. But this does explain why Krakoa was so keen for the External Gate to remain open, in “X of Swords”.