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Oct 28

X of Swords: Stasis annotations

Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X OF SWORDS: STASIS
“X of Swords, Chapter 11”
by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Pepe Larraz, Mahmud Asrar & Marte Gracia

COVER / PAGE 1: The ten champions of Arakko, some of them actually carrying their swords.

PAGE 2: Epigraph from Saturnyne. One of the big unanswered questions in this storyline is what exactly Saturnyne is trying to achieve by all this. In Chapter 1, the implication seemed to be that Saturnyne was faced with the prospect of a full scale war between the forces of Arakko and Krakoa, and offered a more symbolic mystical contest as a less destructive alternative. But it’s become increasingly clear that she has her own agenda.

For some reason, the small print on this page reads “Amenth sings.”

PAGE 3: Credits.

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Oct 23

Juggernaut #2 annotations

Posted on Friday, October 23, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

JUGGERNAUT #2
“How Green is my Valley”
by Fabian Nicieza, Ron Garney & Matt Milla

COVER / PAGE 1. The Juggernaut fighting the Hulk, obviously. This is a pretty straightforward issue, by the way – I don’t expect this to be a very long post.

PAGE 2. Recap page. The equivalent page in issue #1 was tinted red, to match the Juggernaut’s colours. This one is tinted green for the Hulk. If we’re doing a colour theme, then there’s still three issues to go.

We’re told that this issue takes place before Immortal Hulk #30. That’s a slightly odd reference point, because Immortal Hulk #30 was the middle chapter of a storyline. Presumably it’s nothing more than an acknowledgement that this story is lagging a bit behind the Hulk’s status quo in his own book.

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Oct 22

X-Men #13 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 5 #13
“X of Swords, Chapter 10”
by Jonathan Hickman, Mahmud Asrar and Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1: Apocalypse and the original Horsemen stand over defeated opponents, with Apocalypse carrying his two swords.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits.

PAGE 4. Data page on Grasscutter and Godkiller. These two swords have nothing in particular to do with this issue; it’s just part of the series of data pages on the contest swords which have been scattered through the stories to date.

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Oct 21

Excalibur #13 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #13
“X of Swords, Chapter 9”
by Tini Howard, R B Silva & Nolan Woodard

COVER / PAGE 1. The two Captain Britains fight.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits

PAGES 4-6. The Braddock siblings arrive at the Starlight Citadel.

“A mutant who became a hero to a people who were not her own.” Betsy as Captain Britain, of course, although the claim that she’s a hero to the people of Britain has been more often asserted in this series than actually backed up. Many of the claims in this narration would carry a bit more weight if we ever actually saw Betsy doing anything in a national-hero vein. But broadly, it’s making claims about the weight of playing the role of a national symbol, and the downplaying of personal views which is necessary if you’re going to be all things to all people – to the extent that you can.

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Oct 15

Cable #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

CABLE vol 4 #5
“X of Swords, Chapter 8”
by Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1: Cable, Cyclops and Jean Grey on the SWORD base with scary aliens in the background.

This post is going to be short – Cable #5 is a straightforward horror story introducing a new race of aliens and with little continuity baggage.

PAGE 2. Cable, Cyclops and Jean wonder where everyone is.

We’re picking up from a scene in X of Swords: Creationseven chapters ago – with no apparent interruption in time. I think we’re probably meant to take it that Scott, Jean and Cable’s mission over the closing pages of Creation took quite some time, and that they were quite badly out of synch with the rest of the storyline by the end of that issue, but it does read quite strangely, since there was no sign of that at the time.

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Oct 15

New Mutants #13 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #13
“X of Swords, Chapter 7”
by Ed Brisson & Rod Reis

COVER / PAGE 1: Magik and Cypher sparring.

PAGES 2-4. Magik calls Cyclops to call him home.

Cyclops and Cable are still on the SWORD orbital base, where we left them in X of Swords: Creation. The timeline of their subplot is deeply confused, since essentially no time seems to have passed for them while Chapters 2 to 6 have passed for everyone else, but I’ll come back to that in the Cable #5 annotations. At any rate, Magik is bringing them up to speed on the premise of the crossover. They don’t return immediately, and Magik will give them another call in Cable #5 to chase them up.

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Oct 14

Hellions #5 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

HELLIONS #5
“X of Swords, part 6”
by Zeb Wells, Carmen Carnero & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Just a group shot of the team, with Psylocke holding swords.

PAGE 2. The now-usual epigraph from Nightcrawler. Here, he seems to be warning against using mutant powers for battle because (I suppose) mutants need to nurture something so personal to them. It sounds as thought he’s cautioning against the way some of the Hellions have turned out, and doesn’t feel like a ringing endorsement of the team.

PAGES 3-5. Flashback: Empath is resurrected.

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Oct 8

Marauders #13 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS #13
“X of Swords, chapter 5”
by Vita Ayala, Matteo Lolli & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1: Storm, Black Panther and Shuri (who are in this issue), plus Wolverine (who has a cameo) and Jean Grey (who isn’t in it at all).

PAGE 2: The Chadwick Boseman tribute.

PAGE 3: An epigraph from a grateful person who was rescued by Storm. It’s credited to “S.A. Graham, Onslaught survivor”. I can only assume it’s someone who crossed paths with Storm during the Onslaught crossover of 1996.

PAGES 4-6. Storm and Kate Pryde talk.

Page 4 panel 2 is a flashback to X-Factor #4, and Polaris delivering Saturnyne’s cryptic clues about who should get which sword. This one was very obviously about Storm, who was worshipped as a goddess in her youth, and queen of Wakanda more recently.

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Oct 7

Wolverine #6 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #6
“X of Swords, part 3”
by Benjamin Percy, Viktor Bogdanovic & Matthew Wilson

COVER / PAGE 1: Speaks for itself, really.

Unlike the other tie-in books so far, Wolverine gets to keep its logo. If you do an image search, you’ll find some versions of the covers for other chapters that include the regular logo – I think what’s happened here the covers had to be redesigned in order to make room for the Chadwick Boseman tribute banners, and they chose to push the crossover. But in Wolverine‘s case, the logo is incorporated into the artwork and couldn’t easily be removed.

PAGE 2. Wolverine starts to emerge from the fires of Hell.

“I know from firsthand experience, this place is the best there is at punishment.” Wolverine went to hell in, er, “Wolverine Goes To Hell”, a Jason Aaron storyline from 2010-11’s Wolverine vol 4 #1-5.

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Oct 1

X-Factor #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FACTOR vol 4 #4
“X of Swords, part 2”
by Leah Williams, Carlos Gomez & Israel Silva

COVER / PAGE 1. The Five recoil in horror from a newly resurrected mutant… which is not really what happens in the issue, but it’s close enough, I guess.

“X of Swords” seems to be an old-school 90s crossover where the secondary titles get overrun by somebody else’s plot. This is an issue of X-Factor by virtue of the writer and the prominent role for Polaris, but that’s about it. The book doesn’t even keep its logo.

PAGE 2. Chadwick Boseman tribute page.

PAGE 3. Siryn and co arrive back on Krakoa.

If you’re not familiar with the characters, then from left-to-right in the bottom panel, this is Archangel, Apocalypse, Siryn, Rictor and Beast.They’re retreating from the battle we saw in X of Swords: Creation #1. Rictor and Apocalypse have evidently been infected by the Horseman Pestilence.

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