RSS Feed
Mar 3

Hellions #10 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

HELLIONS #10
“Funny Games, Part II: Hitbox”
by Zeb Wells, Stephen Segovia & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Some of the Hellions in the foreground, with Arcade gloating in the background. For some reason this issue has old-style 1980s cover boxes, which doesn’t really seem to play into anything much (though it does get the characters who aren’t in the main pose onto the cover).

PAGE 2. The now-usual opening quotation from Nightcrawler. This time he’s telling us what a valuable experience it is to face our demons and grow.

PAGES 3-6. Arcade talks to Sinister.

Arcade traditionally wouldn’t be in anything approaching Sinister’s league when it comes to power. But he does tell us that Sinister’s powers are being dampened by the chair. And Sinister seems to be a lot less physically powerful in his current incarnation anyway.

(more…)

Feb 26

New Mutants #16 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 26, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #16
“One Step Behind”
by Vita Ayala & Rob Reis

COVER / PAGE 1: The faces of the New Mutants in a shadowy cloud, presumably the Shadow King. Once again, Scout is shown with the team, somewhat jumping the gun in terms of the actual story.

PAGES 2-3. Some kids sneak into Otherworld.

The Braddock Lighthouse is the headquarters of Excalibur, as seen over in their own book. That’s Rictor hanging around near the gate and being sneaked past, though the character model is a little off (the X-logo on his chest is usually drawn bigger than that).

The three kids are Monica, Josh and Liana. Monica’s the one with the red hair. Technically it’s the first appearance for all three of them, but versions of these characters previously appeared as background prisoners in Ayala’s Age of X-Man: Prisoner X miniseries. We established in the previous issue that the prison in that series included a bunch of filler characters who were copies of real-world mutants but apparently were not simply counterparts of them – from the look of it, Ayala is importing a whole bunch of these background characters into mainstream continuity.

(more…)

Feb 25

Wolverine #10 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #10
“Mercenaries”
by Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert & Frank Martin

COVER / PAGE 1: Logan and Maverick in action.

PAGE 2: Recap and credits.

PAGES 3-5: Logan takes the lead with Maverick.

The basic point here is that their relationship is so ingrained that Maverick is willing to take Logan’s lead just on a vague sense of who he is. The Merchant’s comment that the two of them “don’t put much value in history” is somewhat ironic – they can’t put much value in their history, because they can’t remember it, or can’t trust what they do remember. The Merchant, in contrast, seems to value Marvel Universe trinkets largely on the basis of their supposed historical significance – or at least he serves customers who do. Even though Maverick was being sold as a useful weapon, most of the Merchant’s stock appears to be mere cast-offs and collectibles from famous heroes and villains. In a sense, he’s obsessed with history without actually seeming to grasp why it matters.

(more…)

Feb 24

X-Men #18 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 5 #18
“Inside the Vault”
by Jonathan Hickman, Mahmud Asrar & Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1: Darwin, Wolverine (Laura) and Synch enter the Vault.

PAGE 2. The exterior of the Vault.

This is recapping issue #5. In that issue, the X-Men decided to infiltrate the Vault, home of the post-human Children of the Vault. Technologically-enhanced post-humans are supposed to be the biggest threat to mutantkind, according to everything we discovered in Power of X; and besides, the Children of the Vault really are planning to take over the world once they’re ready. The Vault is a sealed chamber where time moves at a different rate, the idea being that eventually they will emerge in a hyper-advanced state, ready to take over the world. From time to time the Children come out to have a look around and decide that they need a bit more time in the oven.

(more…)

Feb 18

Cable #8 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

CABLE vol 4 #8
“My Dinner with Domino”
by Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1: Just Cable with Domino’s face in the background – and her black spot framing his head.

PAGE 2. Straightforward quote from Cable. Of course, Stryfe doesn’t just look like Cable; genetically, they’re identical, so the differences between them should be down to their different experiences.

PAGE 3. A meteorite changes course.

We’ll see it again at the end of the issue. Generally, Duggan writes Domino’s luck powers at a ridiculously high level in this story, more akin to the way Longshot has sometimes been written; traditionally Domino’s powers have been played at a subtler level than that. In voice over, Domino kind of shrugs her shoulders and acknowledges that she can’t really explain how her powers work. Explanations offered over the years have involved things like probability manipulation and subconscious telekinesis, none of which would really account for a bad guy just happening to stand in the right position to get flattened by a meteorite… but whatever. You can only really write Domino this way as a guest star; as a regular character, this sort of thing would break the book rather quickly, or at least wear thin. As a one-off, it’s fine.

(more…)

Feb 17

Marauders #18 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

MARAUDERS #18
“Saving Face”
by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli, Matteo Lolli & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1: Just an action shot of Iceman and Pyro. I think it might be going for a yin-yang thing, but if so, it’s pretty loose.

PAGE 2. Quote from an anonymous UN ambassador about Madripoor. Could well be Madripoor’s own ambassador, Donald Pierce. In terms of the way Madripoor has been presented in Wolverine stories over the years, the comment isn’t unreasonable.

PAGE 3. Professor X and Magneto arrive for Emma’s ceremony.

“I know you have been helping Emma with her gala…” The Hellfire Gala, first mentioned in issue #7. It’s finally going to happen in upcoming issues of X-Men, where the new team line-up is going to be held. Magneto helped Emma by acquiring the location in Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1.

(more…)

Feb 12

S.W.O.R.D. #3 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

S.W.O.R.D. vol 2 #3
“Everywhere Man”
by Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti, Ray-Anthony Height, Bernard Chang, Nico Leon & Marte Gracia

COVER / PAGE 1. Manifold doing his thing, with the outback on one side and the Alpha Flight station (with Henry Gyrich) on the other. Unlike last issue, this does have a King in Black tie-in banner, though it’s largely obscured.

PAGE 2. Manifold leaves Lila in charge.

Although it’s notionally a King in Black tie-in, this issue is largely a spotlight for Manifold, perhaps in part to introduce him to the X-books’ audience – although he’s a mutant, his previous appearances have mostly been in Secret Warriors, Avengers and Black Panther. And fair warning, I’m not hugely familiar with any of those runs.

(more…)

Feb 11

X-Force #17 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #17
“Omega, Reconsidered”
by Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1. Kid Omega and Phoebe of the Stepford Cuckoos, blissfully together wile X-Force do X-Force stuff behind. The comic in the bottom left shows the cover of issue #15.

PAGES 2-4. A montage of Kid Omega’s deaths.

I don’t think any of these are meant to be specific scenes that we’ve seen before; we might or might not be intended to take them literally, and it doesn’t really matter.

The Commander Islands are a group of sparsely populated islands in the Bering Straits – they belong to Russia, but they’re pretty close to the outlying islands of Alaska. No bears live there, cyborg or otherwise, but they do have a lot of seals and guillemots.

Another of Quentin’s deaths comes from a poisoned bunch of flowers from the Church of Humanity, the Chuck Austen-era religious extremists.

(more…)

Feb 10

Excalibur #18 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #18
“Mad Women”
by Tini Howard, Marcus To & Erick Arciniega

COVER / PAGE 1. Rogue, Jubilee, Gambit and Rictor look mournful, while members of the Quiet Council (plus Cypher and Krakoa) are seen in the background. This doesn’t have much to do with the content of the issue, and feels like it was meant to cover an issue set before Betsy’s apparent return. The solicitation for this issue read “As the Council makes moves to protect mutants in the Otherworld, Excalibur must determine the fate of Betsy Braddock”.

PAGE 2. Saturnyne receives a petition from Krakoa.

Saturnyne has three empty wine glasses at her feet and apparently hasn’t been eating, given Ryl’s comments. She’s clearly still annoyed that her scheme to get Brian back as Captain Britain didn’t work, and that she’s now stuck with an entire corps of Betsies, as seen in “X of Swords”. It’s not immediately clear what’s littering the floor around her – it might be the shards of the mosaic she constructed in “X of Swords”, and which she used to reconstitute the new Captain Britain Corps, if she smashed it again after its work was done.

(more…)

Feb 4

X-Factor #7 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 4, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

X-FACTOR vol 4 #7
“Suite No. 7: Scientia Vincere Tenebras”
by Leah Williams, David Baldeon & Israel Silva

COVER / PAGE 1: A rampaging Polaris with Eye-Boy in the background. It doesn’t have that much to do with the story.

PAGES 2-3. Speed visits Prodigy.

This continues the subplot of exactly how Prodigy died and how he came to be resurrected. While it’s been suggested that Sofia might have engineered her own death so that she could be resurrected with her powers restored, this issue suggests that Prodigy genuinely believes that he died in circumstances he doesn’t remember, and was legitimately resurrected.

Prodigy claims that he died “during the same O.N.E. attack on Xavier’s Institute that wiped out a bunch of other kids”. In the previous issue, he was vaguer in talking to Sofia – he told her simply that he had “died around the same time as Loa and Rahne”. Taken together, this account is decidedly confused. Rahne died in Uncanny X-Men vol 5 #16; Loa was reported dead in Uncanny X-Men vol 5 #11 (both part of the Rosenberg run). There was no O.N.E. attack on the Institute at around that period. The Institute had been destroyed by the Horsemen of Salvation in Uncanny X-Men vol 5 #3. A group of O.N.E. Sentinels commandeered by the Reavers did attack the Institute in Astonishing X-Men vol 4 #16-17, but it didn’t seem to kill any of the kids.

(more…)