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Feb 20

Wolverine #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE. This is volume 7 of Wolverine, and that’s just counting the titles that were simply called Wolverine. Volume 1 is the 1982 miniseries, volume 2 is the long-running ongoing title that started in 1988. The others are periodic reboots.

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine with his claws out, standing over some dead people, and with a butterfly on his hand. His X-Men belt buckle is lit up, for some reason. Like X-Force, this book carries the world’s smallest “parental advisory” warning.

PAGES 2-4. Alaska. A badly injured Wolverine wakes up surrounded by the corpses of X-Force. He sets off following a set of footprints.

Most of the issue is flashbacks leading up to this point. The implication is that the Pale Girl, leader of the Flower Cartel, makes Wolverine kill the rest of X-Force. (It really is fortunate that the X-Men came up with this resurrection thing in time for the Krakoa era, because ever since, they’ve become remarkably prone to getting killed…)

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Feb 19

New Mutants #7 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1: The New Mutants on a parade float in the Shi’ar capital. Look, there’s Murd Blurdock and someone who might be Yondu on the left.

PAGES 2-5. Roberto recaps the plot – or rather, explains how the New Mutants defeated the Shi’ar Death Commandos.

Issue #5 ended with a cliffhanger, in which the Shi’ar Death Commandos blew up the New Mutants’ ship, in an attempt to assassinate Deathbird. The meta joke is that Roberto is so self absorbed that he’s oblivious to the fact that issue #6 featured the earthbound cast, and cheerfully regales us with a “recap” of how the cliffhanger was resolved, a story we’ve never actually seen.

“The do-nothing Gen X-ers.” Chamber and Mondo. It’s always been a little unclear what these two are doing in the series, given that they aren’t part of the original New Mutants team and barely know any of the other characters. From what little we’ve seen of them, they seem to have been wondering the same thing. As for Sunspot, whose whole agenda here is to get the band back together, he seems somewhat baffled by their presence too – and he looks down on them as minor characters. (Probably fair in relation to Mondo, but Chamber’s a more prominent character than, say, Karma.) It doesn’t play out in the course of this issue, but presumably it’s heading somewhere.

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Feb 14

Excalibur #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Excalibur hunt the Warwolves.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. The story is “Verse VII: The Unspeakable and the Uneatable” by Tini Howard, Wilton Santos and Oren Junior. The title refers to the description of fox hunting in Oscar Wilde’s 1893 play A Woman of No Importance: “The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.”

PAGE 4. Excalibur bury the Sword of Might beneath the lighthouse.

Brian asked for the Sword of Might to be kept well away from him at the end of the last issue. The original Excalibur lighthouse also had a sword outside it for a long, long time – Magik’s Soulsword, which appeared outside the lighthouse when she died in Inferno. But this time the plan seems to be to bury the cursed sword as far underground as possible.

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Feb 14

X-Force #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Domino (without any of her plant grafts) about to be crushed by a toppling domino. It’s symbolic.

PAGES 2-5. Domino and Sage discuss a series of freakishly improbable killings.

This is self-explanatory – someone is killing humans who have been prominent supporters of mutants, and is doing so in ways which rely on such ludicrous coincidences that some sort of super power must be involved. For what it’s worth, we haven’t heard that much in the Hickman era about humans who are pro-mutant, as opposed to humans who are just willing to deal with Krakoa for the drugs. But evidently they’re out there.

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Feb 13

X-Men #6 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Mystique in action.

PAGE 2. Flashback. Destiny starts to tell Mystique about something she’s foreseen.

Mystique and Destiny. Mystique shouldn’t need any introduction. She’s been a major character in the Hickman run, and she’s a member of the Quiet Council.

Destiny was Mystique’s long-time teammate in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, later re-named Freedom Force. She died in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #255 (1989). Chris Claremont very, very strongly implied that Destiny and Mystique were a couple, but this doesn’t seem to have been spelled out on the page until History of the Marvel Universe #2, which is absolutely unambiguous.

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Feb 9

X-Men / Fantastic Four #1 annotations

Posted on Sunday, February 9, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Franklin Richards, with Kate Pryde and Sue Storm behind him (each with a hand on his shoulder), and behind them, Professor X and Storm. The title shown on the cover is X-Men + Fantastic Four, but I’ll go with the solicitations.

PAGE 2. Recap – which in this case means spelling out the status quo of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. Reflecting its semi-X-book status, this issue keeps some of the stylistic quirks of the Hickman-era X-books but eschews the monochrome in favour of a yellow and white colour scheme. It’s worth mentioning that this series isn’t edited by the X-office but by Fantastic Four editor Tom Brevoort. It’s the most significant interaction with the rest of the Marvel Universe that the X-Men have had since House of X.

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Feb 7

Marauders #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 7, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition. And yes, I will be reviewing the first six issues (which make up the first trade) when time allows.

COVER / PAGE 1. Callisto, in her White Bishop outfit, faces off against Bishop and Pyro.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. The story is “From Emma, With Love” by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli and Edgar Delgado. Does it need saying that the reference is to the James Bond story “From Russia, With Love”? Probably not.

PAGE 4. Data page. An unknown person in Washington DC tries to text Kate a warning about Homines Verendi’s plan to sell poisoned Krakoan drugs.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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