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Feb 4

New Mutants #6 annotations

Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 by Paul in HoXPoX

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

COVER / PAGE 1: Armor, Maxime, Manon, Glob Herman and Boom-Boom sit awkwardly on the steps of Beak’s burning farmhouse.

PAGES 2-3: Recap and credits. This is “Not as Hoped” by Ed Brisson, Flaviano and Carlos Lopez.

PAGES 4-17. Everyone fights the drug dealers. The kids nearly escape, but Túmulo kills Beak’s parents, then kills himself, claiming that his government will blame the mutants.

Yes, 13 pages, but it’s basically an extended action sequence, which mostly speaks for itself. Of note along the way…

Feb 4

X-Force #6 annotations

Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. The Beast beats up some G-men while reading a book.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. The story is “Intelligence”, by Benjamin Percy, Stephen Segovia and Guru-eFX.

PAGES 4-6. X-Force are on a mission in Terra Verde, guided by Beast and Sage back on Krakoa.

Parts of this issue are narrated by Beast in a monologue about his role in X-Force – basically, he’s very proud of his achievements as a co-ordinator of intelligence and coverer-up of inconvenient news.

Feb 4

Fallen Angels #6 annotations

Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

PAGE 1 / COVER. The cast pose dramatically.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. This is just titled “Conclusion”, and it’s by Bryan Hill, Szymon Kudranski and Frank D’Armata. It’s the final issue of the series.

PAGE 4. Psylocke has a moment of self-doubt before fighting Apoth.

Psylocke thinks that she’s some sort of avatar of death and that she’s playing the role of hero that was left behind for her by Betsy. The first panel seems to be purely symbolic. The second is probably meant to be Kwannon with the father of her child, given the similar panel on page 9 – though it’s hard to tell and the blank facial expressions don’t help much. The third is her abusive teacher. The remaining panels focus on her internal division, which is probably meant to be paralleled in Apoth.

Feb 3

X-Men #5 annotations

Posted on Monday, February 3, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Storm and Armor in generic action.

PAGE 2. A flash forward to Cyclops realising at the end of the issue that his plan has gone wrong.

PAGES 3-4. Credits. This is “Into the Vault” by Jonathan Hickman and RB Silva. The recap picks up on the Serafina storyline from issue #1.

PAGES 5-9. In Ecuador, Wolverine pursues Serafina, but she mind-controls some locals to delay him, and slips back into the Vault.

The Children of the Vault. We covered this in issue #1, but the Children of the Vault (and Serafina in particular) are a community who were locked into a vault where time ran more quickly, the idea being that they would emerge with vastly advanced technology developed over thousands of years. They were supposed to emerge after an apocalypse and become the new rulers of Earth, but came out early and decided to conquer the world anyway, as its destined inheritors . This makes them “post-human” villains, of the sort that Powers of X presented as very important to Hickman’s mythos.

Feb 1

The Complete Moira, part 5

Posted on Saturday, February 1, 2020 by Paul in Moira

For previous posts, see part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

We left Moira just after the first Legion storyline. This time, we’ll be covering the rest of Chris Claremont’s first run on Uncanny X-Men. Frankly, this is all quite scattershot – Moira gets tied up in various storylines during this period but very few of them are really about her.

New Mutants vol 1 #44 by Chris Claremont, Jackson Guice & Kyle Baker (“Runaway!”, October 1986). Legion’s alternate personalities are causing trouble again. The New Mutants deal with it. Not much to see here, Moira-wise.

New Mutants vol 1 #46-47 and Uncanny X-Men #212-213 by Chris Claremont and various (December 1986 and January 1987). These are issues from the Mutant Massacre crossover, in which the Marauders slaughter the Morlocks. Magik teleports Moira to the X-Men Mansion so that she can co-ordinate the medical treatment of the survivors. This continues a tendency to treat Moira as a doctor even though she’s meant to be a scientist (and even though trained nurse Sharon Friedlander is right there with her). Storm also puts Moira in charge of the New Mutants during the crisis, but being the New Mutants, they promptly wander off to have an unrelated adventure with the Magus. New Mutants vol 1 #47 isn’t technically part of the crossover, but it has a subplot scene of Moira worrying about the missing New Mutants and discussing the situation with Magneto – their first on-panel discussion since he reformed. There’s not much to it, though.

Jan 31

Excalibur #6 annotations

Posted on Friday, January 31, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

Once again, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers are by the digital edition. This completes Excalibur vol 1, so a fuller review will follow.

COVER / PAGE 1. Captain Britain kneels before Apocalypse in the throne of Otherworld. Which doesn’t happen in the book, but makes the point about what’s really going on.

PAGE 2. Apocalypse is raised from the dead.

So, as I suspected last time, Apocalypse was sacrificing himself to complete his mystical ritual, in the confident belief that he would simply be resurrected. And indeed he is – as he confirms later, he was put to the head of the queue because of his position on the Quiet Council. This, of course, is cheating at magic, and in stories about magic, that sort of thing tends not to go well.

Professor X is evidently not impressed with these shenanigans, more because he considers it a misuse of the Resurrection Protocols. This has been presented as a quasi-religious thing, after all – or at least, that’s how the Krakoans are trying to portray it. Professor X does, however, address Apocalypse by his preferred name. Since I can’t type it and he still uses the old name when dealing with outsiders, I’m going to stick with Apocalypse.

Jan 30

Marauders #6 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition. And yes, this is very late. It’s also the end of the first trade paperback, so I’ll do a review of the first six issues in the near future.

COVER / PAGE 1. Kate Pryde and Bishop fight Hate-Monger and X-Cutioner.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. For the first time in the Krakoa era, the credits page is limited to just one page, presumably in order to squeeze everything in – the actual story is 23 pages long.

This is “A Time To Reap” by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli and Mario Del Pennino. The title couples with issue #5’s “A Time To Sow”. “A time to reap and a time to sow” is a loose paraphrase of Eccelsiastes. It’s the passage that was also used as a basis for the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, though that song uses a different version of the reap/sow lyric.

PAGES 4-6. Pyro and Kate fight Hate-Monger and X-Cutioner; X-Cutioner stabs Pyro.

Jan 25

The Complete Moira: Part 4

Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2020 by Paul in Moira

For part 1, see here. For part 2, see here. For part 3, see here.

With the Proteus arc over, Moira… well, drifts for a bit. This is the period where she becomes the X-Men’s scientist friend who pops up regularly to explain the plot.

X-Men vol 1 #133 and #135 by Chris Claremont, John Byrne & Terry Austin (“The Dark Phoenix Saga”, May and July 1980). Moira reviews some scans of Phoenix and confirms that it’s all looking very bad. Beyond that, she doesn’t get involved. Surprisingly, she doesn’t seem to be at Phoenix’s funeral in issue #138.

X-Men vol 1 #141 and Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #142 by Chris Claremont, John Byrne & Terry Austin (“Days of Futures Past”, January and February 1981). Moira and Charles Xavier testify before Robert Kelly’s senate committee on mutants. As you’d expect, Charles is keen to promote peace and tolerance, while Moira is mutteringly darkly about gas chambers – something that fits perfectly well with Hickman’s Moira.

Read moreW
Jan 18

The Complete Moira: Part 3

Posted on Saturday, January 18, 2020 by Paul in Moira, Uncategorized

Three posts into the series, we finally reach Moira’s first published appearance! (For part 1, see here; for part 2, see here.)

X-Men vol 1 #96 by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Sam Grainger (“Night of the Demon”, December 1975). And here we are. Moira shows up at the X-Men’s Mansion, responding to the invitation from Professor X (which we saw her receive in Classic X-Men #2). This is the point where she gets introduced to the X-Men, who at this point consist of Cyclops, Banshee, Storm, Colossus, Wolverine and Nightcrawler. Later retcons will establish that Moira has met Cyclops and Wolverine already, but neither of them remember it. Sean is immediately taken with Moira, kicking off their romantic subplot which will later settle into a long-term status quo.

Moira and Charles both tell the X-Men that she has been hired as the new housekeeper, to look after the house and the X-Men while he’s away. At that point, the demon Kierrok attacks, and Moira promptly gets a machine gun from the armoury to fight it – though Banshee actually bundles her to safety before she has the chance to use it, and the X-Men defeat Kierrok without her. This story is reprinted in Classic X-Men #4, which adds a page of Moira and Charles having a private conversation where they reminisce about their past relationship.

Jan 16

Fallen Angels #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Pin-up art of Psylocke and Cable. Is it just me, or is Psylocke’s left arm bent at a very strange angle?

PAGES 2-3. X-23 recruits Cable, Husk and Bling! as her squad.

Cable has been in this book all along; he’s a bit shaken by his encounter with the wraith thing from the previous issue, but mainly he wants to stop Apoth from “ending all difference”, which he considers genocidal. Despite this being the penultimate issue, however, he’s joined by two characters we haven’t seen before in this book.

Husk. This is the first time we’ve seen Paige Guthrie since she was killed and resurrected during House of X. She’s a weird character to use in this book. Psylocke and X-23 are here because they don’t really function well as part of Krakoan society; Cable is a bit of an outsider too, given his very different background and recent arrival in this timeline. But Husk has always been a very enthusiastic team player, even during her periods of instability. She seems to be here because she understands Krakoa’s policy to be that mutants no longer take action against threats that only affect humans, and she’s not comfortable with that.