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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.

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Jan 15

Excalibur #5 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

PAGE 1 / COVER: Rogue in her bed of flowers, with Apocalypse standing over her.

PAGE 2: Recap. For some reason the recap says that Brian is “possessed by an evil sorceress” – he’s been corrupted by Morgan le Fey, but he isn’t really possessed by her in the normal sense of that term. The recap also clarifies that Coven Akkaba were telling the truth last issue when they claimed that Shogo’s dragonfire had damaged the fabric of Otherworld and allowed the invasion of mythical creatures which we saw there. In the previous issue, it was at least ambiguous whether this was actually a Coven Akkaba plan that they were trying to blame on Betsy to undermine here; here, it’s much clearer that they’re taking advantage of a genuine collapse of the boundaries between Earth and Otherworld, brought about by Shogo thanks to the manipulations of Apocalypse.

PAGES 3-4: Rictor rescues Gambit.

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Jan 14

X-Force #5 annotations

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Forge stands with an arsenal of organic tech. By the way, note that while Krakoa’s general aesthetic is plants, these things look to be meat and bone.

PAGES 2-3. Over their radio link, Domino tells Wolverine that she’s coming for him.

The top half of him, anyway. This is all self-explanatory – “You came for me in Korea” refers back to earlier issues of this storyline.

PAGES 4-5. Recap and credits. This is “Necessary Force” by Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara.

PAGES 6-7. Needing another way to the fight, Domino gets Black Tom to ask Gateway.

This is the limitation of the gates: somebody needs to plant one at the other end in the first place, and (we now know) they can be destroyed.

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Jan 9

New Mutants #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Deathbird fights Cannonball and Sunspot… which doesn’t really happen in the issue.

PAGES 2-3. Sunspot recaps the plot.

Two pages of in-story recap is a lot, but it’s been three issues since we were last dealing with this cast and this storyline. In plot terms, at least, there’s still no apparent connection between the two strands of this series. Sunspot’s recap of the plot is basically accurate, despite all the comedy egotism – and note that Sunspot doesn’t actually name any other characters in this entire sequence.

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Jan 3

Marauders #5 annotations

Posted on Friday, January 3, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Iceman and Christian Frost on Christian’s submarine.

PAGES 1-5. Bobby visits White Bishop Christian Frost on his submarine.

The Anthropocene is a proposed term (though the proposal is a very serious one) for a new geological epoch marking the period in which human activity is the dominant influence on geology and ecosystems. Bobby treats it as synonymous with climate change, which isn’t really correct.

Christian Frost, Emma’s brother, was a throwaway character from New X-Men #139 who was later expanded upon in the Emma Frost solo title (which established that he was gay) and the recent Iceman solo title (which established him as a mutant with vaguely-defined psychic powers). So Iceman already has an established acquaintance with Christian. Since Bobby is hanging around on Christian’s submarine and wearing Christian’s monogrammed dressing gown, the obvious implication is that their relationship now goes further than that.

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Jan 2

X-Men #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

PAGE 1-2 / COVER & RECAP. Professor X, Magneto and Apocalypse, apparently walking out of a Davos meeting (attended by rather more people than we see in the story itself).

PAGES 3-4. Professor X, Magneto, Apocalypse, Cyclops and Gorgon arrive at Davos.

Davos. Davos is a ski resort in Switzerland, best known for hosting the annual World Economic Forum meeting (which is what people normally mean by “Davos”). The World Economic Forum itself actually consists of corporations, but the annual meeting is routinely attended by politicians, celebrities and the like. This is, pretty obviously, a show of power by the mutants; they’re going through the motions of being normal global citizens, but at the end of the day, it’s Apocalypse in a suit.

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Dec 21

X-Force #4 annotations

Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2019 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Domino fires a gun and Sage uses a computer. Generic solicitation art, really.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. This is “Blood Economics” by Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara.

PAGES 4-6. Soldiers attack a Krakoa drug station.

Xavier Pharmaxeuticals. The first time we’ve seen exactly how the legitimate drug channels operate. As you might expect, the handful of black market ships from Marauders aren’t serving the whole world; when they can supply openly, the Krakoans just go through gates. We’re told later that this station is 15 miles from the coast, in which case it’s (just) outside the US’s territorial waters. Presumably some regular US boats come and collect the stuff.

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Dec 20

New Mutants #4 annotations

Posted on Friday, December 20, 2019 by Paul in Annotations, Uncategorized

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Boom-Boom in a cornfield. The Krakoan letters are “NM” for “New Mutants”.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. This is “Fast and Furious” by Ed Brisson and Marco Failla. Most of this issue speaks for itself, annotation-wise, by the way.

PAGES 4-5. Boom-Boom learns that Armor has been gone for three days.

This version of Boom-Boom, like the version in the recent New Mutants miniseries, is clearly an alarmingly heavy drinker if not an outright alcoholic. The seemingly incessant partying of Krakoa allows her to fit in without being too obvious. And again… just how party-centric is this place?

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Dec 18

Marauders #4 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Storm, doing what Storm does.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. This is “The Red Bishop” by Gerry Duggan and Lucas Werneck. The “public humiliation” strapline on the recap page refers to what’s coming up in the issue, rather than the recap it introduces.

PAGE 4. Data page. Another memo from the increasingly exasperated writer on the X-Desk, who complains with growing prominence that he isn’t being properly resourced, that other countries are throwing much more effort at it, and that he’s not sure anyone is even listening to him. This might just be a running joke, but it does seem like a plot point that the US government (particularly the current US government) is being so weirdly co-operative.

Krakoan drug delivery. The author says that there must be at least three Krakoan ships in order to account for all the drugs being delivered. That seems woefully inadequate to account for the whole supply – Krakoa’s leverage is based on actually being able to supply its drugs to companies that deal with it – so presumably he’s talking simply about the black market. Countries that will deal with Krakoa probably just get a gate.

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Dec 14

Fallen Angels #3 annotations

Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2019 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers are from the digital edition. This isn’t a continuity-heavy issue, and a lot of it is taken up with a fight scene… so this is probably the shortest annotations post yet.

COVER / PAGE 1. Psylocke/Kwannon, sheathing a bloody sword, surrounded by blossom, and with another woman apparently training behind her.

PAGES 2-3. Apoth’s internal monologue.

Apoth – which gets the computer font lettering – gives us a weird speech where the main points are (a) he is God; (b) God transcends morality, and birth and death are neither good nor bad but just part of the scheme of things; (c) he is lonely; and (d) Psylocke is his “mother” who created him. He apparently wants to draw in Psylocke so they can be together.

The stuff about birth and death lacking moral content echoes Kwannon’s training material from earlier issues. More generally, Apoth seems to be saying that people turned him into a God, in order that he in turn could elevate them. (There’s a man-machine version of the Sistine Chapel fingers to emphasise the point.) Again, this is squarely in the Hickman era’s theme of technological progress versus evolution.

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