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Nov 27

X of Swords: Destruction #1 annotations

Posted on Friday, November 27, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X OF SWORDS: DESTRUCTION #1
“X of Swords, Chapter 22”
by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Pepe Larraz & Matte Garcia

This is the final chapter of the “X of Swords” crossover, and the third one-shot – the others being X of Swords: Creation and X of Swords: Stasis. All three officially have a #1 attached, because that’s how these things work.

COVER / PAGE 1. Fighting.

PAGE 2. Epigraph from Apocalypse. Until now he’s been carrying the burden of losing Arakko and Genesis in his youth; he’s evidently willing, in this issue, to take on the burden of Annihilation instead in order to rescue them. Since Apocalypse was immortal even before the Krakoan resurrection protocols took hold, he assumes that he’s likely to literally carry these burdens forever.

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Nov 26

Excalibur #15 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #15
“X of Swords, Chapter 21”
by Tini Howard, Mahmud Asrar, Stefano Caselli, Sunny Gho & Rachelle Rosenberg

COVER / PAGE 1: Shards showing the various contest participants; in the centre of the frame, Apocalypse’s shard is held by Saturnyne. (Honestly, you can tell it’s her from the shape of the sleeve, though it’s largely obscured by the logo.)

PAGE 2. Epigraph by Saturnyne. The claim here is that magic can be directed with willpower; therefore, magic will respond more readily to true desperation, but not so much to things that you merely desire. This ties to the advice to spellcasters on the data page about love spells later on.

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Nov 25

X-Men #15 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 5 #15
“X of Swords, Chapter 20”
by Jonathan Hickman, Mahmud Asrar & Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1: Apocalypse’s bloodstained sword, reflecting the Annihilation mask.

PAGES 2-5. Cyclops and Marvel Girl prepare to address the Quiet Council.

Krakoa is presented at its most utopian here, to hammer home the point that Cyclops sees it as a home worth fighting for. He says that he “dreamed” of a home like this but “never thought” they would have it – implicitly referencing “Xavier’s dream” of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants, which the X-Men used to go on about all the time. Of course, Krakoa is only very debatably an example of that dream, since it’s a separatist project – it’s only coexistence when viewed on the global level. But as Cyclops says, what good did that version of the X-Men’s dream ever do them? They never made any obvious progress towards achieving it.

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Nov 20

Cable #6 annotations

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

CABLE vol 4 #6
“X of Swords, Chapter 19”
by Gerry Duggan & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1. Generic pin-up of Cable and other characters from “X of Swords” (including Betsy, who’s been absent from the plot for several chapters now).

PAGE 2. Epigraph from Cyclops. The point here, of course, is that generally Scott is giving teen Cable fairly conventional advice, but in this issue Cable is fretting that the older, more experienced Cable that he forcibly replaced would have been much better suited to the occasion.

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Nov 19

Hellions #6 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

HELLIONS #6
“X of Swords, Chapter 18”
by Zeb Wells, Carmen Carnero & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Tarn the Uncaring stands over the defeated Hellions.

PAGE 2. Epigraph from Tarn, which pretty much speaks for itself. Tarn is (presumably) a new character – for what it’s worth, the Marvel Universe does have a previous Tarn, who was a minor Spaceknight, but that’s probably just coincidence. Oh, and a tarn is a small mountain lake.

Note that Hellions normally opens with an epigraph from Nightcrawler. I suppose Tarn gets the slot here because they’re such a long way from home.

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Nov 18

X-Force #14 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #14
“X of Swords, Chapter 17”
by Benjamin Percy, Gerry Duggan, Joshua Cassara & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine holding up his new Muramasa blade, with Professor X, Cyclops, Marvel Girl and the Beast shown in reflection – which has nothing much to do with any scene in the issue.

PAGES 2-3. Magik fights Pogg Ur-Pogg.

“Things are about to get busy.” As we’ll see in Cable #6, there are apparently 25 battles in total. We’ve already had six of them, and this issue takes us up all the way through to battle 22. So it’s something of a montage issue.

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Nov 13

Wolverine #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, November 13, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #7
“X of Swords, Chapter 16”
by Benjamin Percy, Gerry Duggan, Joshua Cassara & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1. Symbolic image of Wolverine impales by loads of swords, with images of the Arakki champions arranged in an X behind him.

PAGE 2. An epigraph from Saturnyne, alluding to all the tarot cards we keep seeing.

PAGES 3-6. Magik battles Pogg Ur-Pogg

This involves going through Merlin’s Holy Republic of Fae to Roma’s “Floating Kingdom” – initially shown upside down, as it was in X of Swords: Stasis. As far as I’m aware, the pseudo tarot card has no significance.

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Nov 12

Excalibur #14 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #14
“X of Swords, chapter 15”
by Tini Howard & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1: Apocalypse, Captain Britain and Magik offer moral support to a terrified Cypher. This bears no resemblance to anything in the story, but Cypher does at least appear prominently.

PAGE 2. Epigraph from Apocalypse. Obviously he’s referring to his relationship with Genesis, but the parallel here is the unlikely pairing of Cypher and Bei from later in the issue.

PAGE 3. Betsy psychically checks in with Jubilee.

We last saw Jubilee and Shogo in issue #11; they’re staying with the Priestesses of the Green while Shogo recovers from the injury he suffered in issue #9.

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Nov 11

Marauders #15 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS #15
“X of Swords, chapter 14”
by Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, Stefano Caselli & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1. A smug-looking Saturnyne stands over her unconscious, and presumably poisoned, guests. None of the Marauders appear here, and this is another of those “X of Swords” chapters which is an issue of the title in question in name only.

PAGE 2. Two epigraphs. The first is indeed a quotation from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Given the way this week’s issues play out, the point is presumably that the whole contest is essentially rigged by Saturnyne, or at least open to rigging. The second is from one of the Arakkii champions, who we know has a hundred followers that he raises from the dead with his healing powers every day.

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Nov 5

Marauders #14 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS #14
“X of Swords, Chapter 13”
by Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, Stefano Caselli & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1: Storm dances with Death. This issue is pretty straightforward, by the way.

PAGE 2: Data page. It’s the menu for Saturnyne’s pre-contest dinner, and pretty self-explanatory. The “raw delicacies originating from the Dryador Sea” are the last of their kind because the seas were destroyed by the Horde of Amenth when they invaded Dryador in X of Swords: Creation.

Saturnyne’s quote has fairly obvious religious overtones with the bread and wine. It’s vaguely possible that it’s meant to echo Proverbs 9:5 (“Come, eat of my bread / And drink of the wine I have mixed / Forsake foolishness and live / And go in the way of understanding”), which would cast Saturnyne as Wisdom, but more likely it’s just general Christian imagery.

PAGE 3. Credits.

PAGE 4. Recap page.

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