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Sep 5

House of X #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX, x-axis

As always, this contains spoilers, and page numbers are going by the digital edition.

PAGE 1 (COVER): The X-Men fighting the Orchis Project footsoldiers.

PAGE 2: The epigraph comes from the captions in which Professor X reacts to the apparent deaths of the Orchis Project team, later in the issue.

PAGE 3: Straight into the credits this time. The issue title is “It Will Be Done”. That refers back to Cyclops’s dialogue in Powers of X #2 when he was briefed on this suicide mission. (“Does it need doing?” “Yes” “Then it will be done.”)

The small print reads “The House of Xavier and the way we treat our children.” “Children” here seems to refer at the same time to mutants in general (the Mother Mold compares mutants to the titans, the children of the primordial gods); the X-Men in particular (Xavier seems to have them in mind in his closing monologue); and the machines themselves (the Mother Mold says that “while you war, we children sit in judgment of those above us”). As others have pointed out, Hickman seems quite keen on mother imagery in this series.

PAGE 4: A data page on previous events which have led to the near extinction of mutants. The banner – “Look at what they’ve done” – cuts across the usual matter-of-fact tone of these pages. The list of anti-mutant criminals and their body counts is largely drawn from X-Force #3 (2008), which had a double-page spread introducing the Human Council of the Purifiers and giving their affiliations and body counts. The Human Council were former big-league anti-mutant villains who had become infected with the techno-organic virus so as to become part of Bastion’s collective, so it’s a story that fits quite well with Hickman’s broader themes. He’s added two names to the list: the Scarlet Witch and Mr Clean.

“Genosha – Sentinel | Trask | Mummudrai Genocide”: The mutant nation of Genosha was wiped out by Sentinels in New X-Men #115-116 (2001). The “mummudrai” was Cassandra Nova Xavier, the main villain of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, who activated the Sentinels using DNA which she copied from a minor member of the Trask family, Donald Trask III.

The number of mutants lost in the genocide is given here as 16,521,618. That figure comes from the body count credited to Bolivar Trask, the Silver Age creator of the Sentinels, in X-Force #3. That was obviously intended as a reference to the Genoshan slaughter, since New X-Men also gave a Genoshan population figure in that ballpark. (The New X-Men figure was slightly lower, but the attack was already underway by that point.) The implication seems to be that Trask’s Sentinels only killed people at Genosha, which is a bit odd.

Crediting Trask with the millions of deaths on Genosha is more symbolic than logical, since his involvement with that attack was limited to building the technology which Cassandra Nova went on to use, and his original Sentinels mainly aimed to capture and contain. Trask died in X-Men #16 (1965) when he sacrificed himself to stop the Master Mold. After being revived by Bastion, he seemingly died again in X-Factor #206 (2010) when he took advantage of a brief lapse in Bastion’s control to commit suicide by shooting himself. Quite how that works when techno-organics are involved… well, maybe we’ll find out.

Hickman also has the attack wiping out 94% of mutants, though New X-Men #116 put it at simply “more than half the world’s mutants”.

“Decimation – Mutant Erasure by the Pretender Wanda Maximoff”: This refers to the Scarlet Witch de-powering most of the world’s mutants in House of M #7-8 (2005), which led to the “Decimation” and “198” storylines in which the X-Men were guarding the 198 mutants that still had powers. Hickman has 986,420 mutants being depowered here; House of M just had the X-Men speculating on numbers ranging from “tens of thousands” to “a million, maybe”. Though it’s not mentioned here, mutants were re-powered in Avengers vs X-Men #12 (2012). Unlike the others on this list, the Scarlet Witch merely de-powered the mutants (though some did die when they dropped out of the sky and such like), but the list seems to treat the two as equivalent.

Scarlet Witch used to be a mutant and the daughter of Magneto, but that was retconned in Uncanny Avengers #4 (2015), and she’s now a human who was given powers by the High Evolutionary. That’s why she’s described as a “pretender” and included on the list of human villains.

“The Lights”: New mutants have often been referred to as “lights” in earlier stories, more in reference to the visual for Cerebro than anything else. Hickman uses it specifically to refer to an increased number of mutant births since new mutants started emerging again.

Steven Lang and Project Armageddon: Steven Lang was an anti-mutant bigot who obtained access to the Trasks’ Sentinel designs through the US government and built his own Sentinels under the auspices of Project: Armageddon in the early days of Chris Claremont’s run. The “mutants killed” figure of 29 comes from X-Force #3, and it’s not entirely clear what it really refers to, since it doesn’t seem to come from his published stories.

Mister Clean and the Church of Humanity: Mister Clean was a maniac who was killing mutants in the tunnels beneath London in Uncanny X-Men #395-398 (2001). He’s not a very notable villain, but he certainly killed more people than Lang’s credited body count of 29, which is probably why he’s on the list. He was a follower of the anti-mutant Church of Humanity, who were introduced properly in the following arc, and proved more to be more enduring villains. He seemingly died in Uncanny #398.

Graydon Creed and the Friends of Humanity: Creed was the son of Sabretooth and Mystique, and the Friends of Humanity were a grassroots anti-mutant organisation who appeared regularly in the 1990s. Creed is meant to be dead at the moment.

Cameron Hodge and the Right: Hodge was a childhood friend of Angel who manipulated the original X-Men into their ill-advised “posing as mutant-hunters” phase, and ran the paramilitary “Right” group, before turning into a mad techno-organic thingie. Big in the 80s and 90s.

The Leper Queen and the Sapien League: A hate group from Peter Milligan’s X-Men run circa 2006. When the X-Force list was prepared, they were a lot more prominent.

Donald Pierce and the Reavers: Major cyborg villains of the late 80s and 90s who, unlike the other villains on this list, continue to appear sporadically – most recently, they were in Matthew Rosenberg’s Astonishing X-Men run. Despite that, Pierce’s body count apparently hasn’t increased since X-Force #3. In fairness, their interest seems to have drifted off the anti-mutant agenda in recent years.

William Stryker and the Purifiers: The villain of 80s graphic novel God Loves Man Kills and his religious bigots. Stryker continues to show up periodically, most recently in the last Weapon X series.

PAGES 5-6: Professor X, Magneto and other X-Men in Krakoa work together to make psychic contact with the X-Men attacking the Orchis Forge. The Stepford Cuckoos, Storm and the Beast need no introduction. Trinary joined the X-Men in X-Men Red and she’s a technopath (she psychically speaks to machines). Aside from cameos, I think this is her first significant appearance outside that series.

The Krakoan team are shown merging their minds together in order to communicate with the team in space, fitting the repeated theme of individuals forming a greater whole. The captions seem to say that the Beast contributes “observation”, Trinary “analysis”, Storm “invocation” and Professor X “connection”. Beast and Trinary seem to be the wrong way round there, and it’s vague what Storm is actually contributing – animating the water, I suppose.

Arecibo, a few re-tasked SETI radio telescopes and the Dyson solar observatory: Arecibo is a radio telescope in Puerto Rico. SETI is the search for extraterrestrial life. The Dyson solar observatory doesn’t ring any bells.

PAGES 7-8: The remaining X-Men regroup to complete the mission. Alarm bells should be ringing at the casual declaration that “Archangel and Husk are dead” – you might just about casually kill off Husk, but surely not Archangel. This obviously feeds into the speculation that, given the “pod people” scene in issue #1, these might not actually be the X-Men. (In which case, where are the real X-Men, and what’s happened to them?)

PAGES 9-11: Omega gives Dr Gregor a pep talk, while the X-Men attack the station. The parallels between the two sides are very obvious: Cyclops said in the previous scene that they have to finish the mission “or this was for nothing”, while Omega gives exactly the same speech to Gregor about the death of her husband.

Omega says that she’s “just an observer”, which begs the question of who she’s working for, if she has no formal status within Orchis. The data page in issue #1, giving details of the Orchis Project, listed her affiliation as unknown.

PAGE 12: The Stan Lee page.

PAGES 13-14: M holds off the attackers while Marvel Girl escapes. M switches to her Penance body in order to fight the attackers – which is interesting, if she’s a clone, because that’s not an aspect of her powers. It’s something that was inflicted on her by her brother Emplate. Penance doesn’t normally speak, but apparently can here.

PAGES 15-26: Everything builds to a climax with the X-Men apparently getting wiped out, and the Mother Mold falling into the sun. Xavier is distraught (more so than you might expect if you were figuring that he was an impostor).

Mystique is conspicuously late in getting to her assigned task, which she vaguely explains by “I got turned around.” That feels like something which is going to matter later – despite her getting ejected into space.

Prompted by the X-Men’s attack, Gregor decides to bring the Mother Mold online even though it’s not yet guaranteed to be sane. Omega is appalled by that decision, which seems to fit the theme that mutants and humans are in a mutually reinforcing cycle of destruction – reinforced when the Mother Mold does wake up, and promptly declares itself to have transcended humans and mutants alike. Incidentally, Omega seems to have seen all this coming, given that back in issue #1 she was already talking about the Orchis Forge as a large-scale mistake.

Nightcrawler and Wolverine discuss whether there’s an afterlife. At face value, this is a straightforward discussion between the Christian Nightcrawler and the atheist Wolverine. However, both these characters have literally been to the afterlife – not only that, but  entire storylines were devoted to it, specifically the opening arc of Amazing X-Men (2013) for Nightcrawler, and the opening arc of Wolverine (2010) for Wolverine. On the other hand, if these aren’t the real Nightcrawler and Wolverine, perhaps they’re discussing whether they have souls. (“You still think there’s something waiting for us on the other side?” “Worried about your soul, Logan?” “Just wondering what someone like me should expect.”)

Nightcrawler certainly dies – we see him burning up after he teleports Wolverine into position.  Mystique, Wolverine, Cyclops and Jean certainly appear to die as well, though they have a bit more wiggle room in terms of seeing the body on panel. But hold on – there’s no way all these major characters really die here, halfway through the prologue to Hickman’s run. Plus, several of them are listed in upcoming solicitations. Something’s up here, and again, the obvious candidate is the pod people from issue #1.

The closing “No more” captions are apparently meant to be Professor X, since the quote is attributed to him in the epigraph – but it’s always possible that somebody else is speaking here.

Greek mythology: The Mother Mold’s opening speech is… a bit confused. The general thrust is that she positions the machines as the creations which have outgrown their parents, just as humans outgrew the gods. She specifically addresses the humans and mutants as “Olympus” and draws an analogy with the theft of fire by Prometheus. On the other hand, she also claims that humans are gods and mutants are “titans, their spoiled lineage” – which kind of works, since the cyclopes were titans. But in Greek mythology, the titans followed from the primordial gods like Gaia and Uranus; and the following generation wasn’t humans, it was Zeus and the Olympians. So the Mother Mold’s classical references are a bit muddled. But then, she is mad.

PAGES 27-29: Not so much data pages as a howl of rage, with the “no more” line repeated over repeated images from earlier in the book, very much at odds with the usual clinical tone of these pages. The two new elements are newspaper clippings about the Genoshan genocide and the post-House of M Decimation, but they don’t add any more information. Both articles are credited to Trish Tilby, the Beast’s journalist girlfriend from late 80s X-Factor who continued appearing as a supporting character into the 90s.

PAGES 30-32: The reading order again, and the trailer pages. “NEXT: SOMETHING SINISTER” and “THEN: SOCIETY.”

Bring on the comments

  1. Mr. K says:

    Also, there are lines about how there’s an eight minute delay from the site, but the comic is showing the observers reacting at the same time as the events are transpiring.

    Which might be for narrative convenience, but also suggests something off about what we’re seeing.

  2. CJ says:

    Minor detail: the pattern over Xavier and Cerebro when he says “connection” looks like the Librarian’s tattoo, even down to the broken circle segments.

    The Wolverine / Nightcrawler scene was really affecting, even if they are clones, even if they are coming back in a month, even if they just came back from the dead. I contrast that with Rosenberg’s run where I felt almost nothing.

    In PoX #1, Mystique had some demands–after this issue, I guess that she either demanded to be on this mission because of something Destiny told her (which may explain why Cyclops was more brusque with her), or maybe wanted to ensure Sabretooth was rescued.

    Mother Mold seems to be putting herself / AI in the role of Prometheus / humans. It made me wonder if she is going to “steal fire” and affect the sun somehow, given that we know that some futures include “worldminds”.

  3. Thom H. says:

    Yeah, I got nervous when the Mother Mold fell into the sun ranting about stealing fire. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her (or Nimrod?).

    And good point about the difference between this story and Rosenberg’s run. *This* is how you tell a story about the X-Men dying.

    Finally, I was wondering why Scarlet Witch was labelled a “pretender.” Her new origin is dull and unnecessary, but convenient for Hickman’s purposes.

  4. CJ says:

    A pretender can be a false member (not really a mutant) but also “a claimant to leadership”, which could mean she’s no longer an heir to mutant leader Magneto. The data page there was more like propaganda, totally delegitimizing her and making her an enemy of a mutant nation. In the context of HoX it was really well done.

    “The Lights” was also the name of Hope Summers’ team after Second Coming I think?

  5. Adam says:

    This lurker just wants to pop in and say that I was physically tense while reading this issue, which may be the first time I’ve experienced that while reading an X-Men comic, and I was also moved by the death scenes.

    Before Hickman’s run started, I truly thought I was done with this franchise, but the creators are firing on all cylinders here.

  6. MasterMahan says:

    I do wonder if we’re getting another “not our universe” switch, and that the continuity we’re familiar with is XI. Wolverine asking Nightcrawler if he thinks there is an afterlife is an odd question when Kurt returned from Heaven and Logan’s been to Hell.

    If so, that would likely mean Moira really did die from the Legacy Virus. We’ve been told the only way for her to permanently die if she doesn’t have her powers, and Legacy messes with a mutant’s powers, so that could be the loop breaker.

  7. Taibak says:

    Astronomy teacher here: AFAIK, the Dyson solar observatory is fictitious. No idea if it’s showed up in another series.

    And 8 minutes is roughly the time it takes for a radio signal to travel between the Sun and the Earth. I’m okay with the characters reacting in real time for dramatic reasons since a bunch of 16 minute pauses aren’t exactly thrilling reading.

  8. Chris V says:

    I hope this isn’t what is going on (and there are some things which seem to point against this), but I do wonder if this is Professor X running scenarios in his mind.

    It would seem weird that these are simply clones, as the characters have begun to show more emotions/personality with this issue.

    If the coming relaunch really does take place in an alternate reality, then maybe Professor X comes to the conclusion that there are no positive paths for mutants to pursue.
    That every possibility is going to lead to something horrible for the future of both mutants and humans.
    So, the only alternative is for mutants to leave Earth-616 to avoid the escalation.

    I can’t say that I would be impressed if this is where Hickman is going.

  9. Mr. K says:

    Taibak: thanks for backing up the delay with science. Interesting that psychic powers apparently travel at the speed of radio waves. But given that Hickman has already been messing with our assumptions as well as narrative, it seemed like an interesting comment to flag.

  10. Adam says:

    Definitely feeling the “This is reality X, the MU is reality XI” explanation. Marvel doesn’t let time travel, Crises, etc. change their continuity this much. Only rejigger continuity a bit so good characters in alternate realities can jump over, etc.

    Obviously the pod people are a big upcoming question, though.

  11. Chris V says:

    Isn’t that pretty anti-climatic?
    All this about how important Moira’s decisions have been, as she’s trying to find a way to break the cycle of mutants and humans creating a dystopian future.
    She sides with Apocalypse. She sides with Magneto.
    She lives in to the far future.
    She finally decides that Professor X must break all the rules.
    Where will that take them? Where will mutants and humans end up in that future?

    Then….she dies of the Legacy Virus.

  12. Ivan says:

    If regular continuity is XI (and I’m onboard that train — the Connection/Librarian symbolism does feel like another hint), even if Moira dies of the legacy virus as is canon, clearly her ten lives prior will inform and shape the future of mutants going forward — at least, that’s what all the bluster has promised for post-HoXPoX. But yeah, it’d be pretty weak if the end result of all this was that she downloaded her complete memory onto a thumb drive and hands it off to Xavier before she dies.

    Then again, assuming Sinister’s (and/or Xavier’s) birthing pods are another inevitability … what happens if Moira gets pod-birthed over and over? My head hurts.

  13. Chris V says:

    Looking at the rosters for the upcoming “Dawn of X” titles; Nightcrawler, Archangel, and Husk are not listed.
    Cyclops, Jean, and Wolverine obviously are listed for teams.
    Although, the review points out that their deaths aren’t as certain as the above three.

    Also of interest is that Hickman’s X-Men book is made up of Summers family members (plus Wolverine).
    That’s interesting, in that Sinister has always been obsessed by the Summers genetic line.

  14. MasterMahan says:

    “Isn’t that pretty anti-climatic?”

    Not necessarily. It means the X-Men are on their last chance. They lose this time, that’s it. Taking away the safety net is a common way to raise the stakes in a time loop story – see Edge of Tomorrow, Russian Doll, Eureka, Discovery, Person of Interest…

  15. Dave says:

    I thought the dialogue indicated that with their super-genius and analytics, they were kind of predicting the 8 minutes ahead, combined with the telepathic link, to make the communication seem like real-time (obviously just hand-waving it for narrative purpose).

    The connection/symbol thing would seem to be indicative of cerebro, or its (new?) cataloguing ability, or omething, seeing as that looks like the librarian’s job when using cerebro.
    Is this a hint that Year 1000 is a life that precedes the HoX ‘present’? The HoX cerebro comes from Year 1000 knowledge?

    It’s very odd that we’re being given lots of suggestion that these are pod X-Men, then seeing Xavier so appalled at their deaths…combined with the strong possibility it’s also not the regular timeline/continuity – I don’t think it is, and things like Kurt & Logan talking like they’ve never died is because these ones haven’t.

  16. K says:

    Isn’t there something clearly off with several of the “dead” characters here?

    Hickman explicitly defined Jean as an omega-level telepath back in #1, but she is behaving decidedly un-omega here what with needing Monet’s help with the telepathic link. (Monet telling Jean of all people to “try harder” at telepathy?)

    Mystique is sent to “blend in” but apparently does not shapeshift at all. Could have entirely avoided getting caught and flushed into space.

    Logan is “not his full self” after getting part of an arm blown off? Seems like Tuesday for Logan and of course he seems to heal fine as usual later. Why mention that?

    Cyclops tells Jean he would be “pretty terrible company” drifting back to Earth in an escape pod. Is that really just self-deprecation?

  17. Chris V says:

    I’m not sure how it makes sense though, when Hickman explicitly made a point to put on the time-line that Moira used a “Shiar golem” to fake her death from the Legacy Virus.
    I mean, yes, there could be reasons to explain Hickman’s decision.
    I still don’t think that’s what is going on with this story though.

  18. Col_Fury says:

    What If…?

    Moira XI is Earth-616?

    In several of her previous lives, she’s given someone important her information (Xavier, Magneto, Apocalypse) early on in the timeline, and they all ended poorly. Maybe in her eleventh life she held back (meaning, told no one), faked her death (the Shi’ar golem thing), waited for a few massacres to pass, then returned and shared her knowledge at the last possible moment?

    In theory, that would mean she hasn’t returned yet in the main timeline. Maybe that how HoX/PoX ends, or is one of the two remaining big reveals? I dunno. Just spitballing.

    Also, the Scarlet Witch/Magneto thing reminded me: I’ve heard rumors they’re going to reinstate the “Magneto really is Wanda & Pietro’s father” bit now that Disney has the X-Men movie rights back. Probably just fan speculation, though.

  19. FUBAR007 says:

    Moira didn’t die of the Legacy Virus. She died due to mortal wounds sustained when Mystique blew up the Muir Isle complex. She had the Legacy Virus when she died, but she didn’t die due to it.

    Further compounding the tragedy was that, had she lived a little longer, she would’ve been alive when Colossus released the cure. (And, if what we’re seeing in HoX/PoX is indeed 616, she apparently was!)

  20. CJ says:

    @Chris V
    Actually, I’ve been wondering about “our” Moira’s decisions, post-retcon. If she’s on her tenth or eleventh life, then that would seem to make every single major decision she’s made thus far very calculated and premeditated.

    Example: why choose to marry and have a child with Joe MacTaggart? The data sheet from HoX #2 only states that she married him in her tenth life. It could be that Moira IX learned something that having Proteus was a good idea, but she had no idea that Joe would be a bastard and that Proteus would become murderous. We know Proteus is at Krakoa, so presumably Hickman will address some of that.

  21. Art says:

    I think the Dyson Solar Observatory is meant to be part of the Dyson sphere Tony Stark was building (with Shi’ar Tech too, if I’m not mistaken) during Hickman’s Avengers run.

    I haven’t read all of Hickman’s Avengers run, so I don’t know the current status of the sphere.

  22. K says:

    @Art Stark’s Dyson sphere IS the Orchis Forge in this issue.

    So the solar observatory is presumably part of the base they were attacking.

  23. wwk5d says:

    Its probably a stretch, but given all the shout-outs to past continuity, maybe it’s Lila Cheney’s dyson sphere?

  24. Loz says:

    Is Xavier going to go the full Onslaught? Because when he gets testy about mutants dying, and Magneto’s nearby, that’s how you get Onslaught. Seeing as Hickman seems to be talking about evolution in terms of evolving threat levels I’m not sure whether Onslaught would be in there at the Omega Level or not.

  25. Omar Karindu says:

    Mother Mold seems to be putting herself / AI in the role of Prometheus / humans. It made me wonder if she is going to “steal fire” and affect the sun somehow, given that we know that some futures include “worldminds”.

    Chris Claremont’s first credited contribution to the X-Men mythos was apparently a suggestion to Roy Thomas to have the Mark II Sentinels — the Neal Adams-era ones — fly into the sun.

    When Thomas followed that story up in Avengers (1963) #102-104, it turned out that the solar radiation had, er, “mutated” the main Sentinel, Number 2, giving it the power to create space warps.

    Ultimately, the other Sentinels learned this and turned on Number 2. But once Number 2 was destroyed, all the other Sentinels went inert. This fits with a collective intelligence or some kind. Oh, and Claremont got another minor credit on those Avengers issues.

    So perhaps there’s a meta-reference here, and Hickman is deliberately calling back to the very first Claremont/X-Men plot point in some way as he moves the franchise forward?

  26. Omar Karindu says:

    The Titans references here also might refer to the way Cronos, the chief to the Titans, tried to forestall being replaced by the Olympian gods: He devoured his children in their infancy. That connects well to the way humans seem to respond to mutants.

    Prometheus, who stole fire, was a Titan, the one who sides with the Olympians and was allowed to stick around. But then he decided to help humans achieve greatness — or at last cooked food — in defiance of the gods, much as he had earlier helped the gods against their titan forebears.

    So it may be that Mother Mold’s confused analogy is meant to refer to the cycle in Greek myth, in which each generation outgrows its “parents” despite their efforts to stop them. But then that generation in turn tries to stop the next one from replacing them.

    So to the machines, mutants might reflect both iterations of the Titans. They’re the ones who kill their parents, as the Titans slew their primordial; forebear Ouranos, but also the ones who refuse to allow the next generation — the machines — to usurp them in turn.

    The X-men could then be both the upstart children destroying the primordial, beings that spawned everything, while remaining too “spoiled” and entitled to let the machines — who see themselves as the next step, perhaps — displace the mutants in turn.

  27. Ryan T says:

    I think the Wanda ‘Pretender’ language here feels more significant. It’s the first sign of a non-Hickman/Voice of God authorial voice in the data pages, which feels like it hints toward the data pages being meant to be being written by a character, rather than something produced for our benefit alone.

    I think Moira dying once more, being depowered mysteriously before her powers come to her and tying that to retrieving her memories and then implying that the life of Moira XI is the one where she gets the Legacy Virus (and isn’t she killed by Mystique? That’d tie interestingly with Destiny’s threat) and a universe where Moira wasn’t able to interfere, using, I guess, the other narratives of possible futures that will inform the narrative of this, the true present, would be interesting?

    Also: in terms of ‘they wouldn’t let this mess with continuity that much’ insofar as letting Moira’s lives ripple through continuity, we’ve been told the single most consequential scene in Marvel history is in these series, haven’t we? Something like that? A change from 616 being Moira X to a new 616 that has subtle changes (most things in Marvel continuity aren’t inextricably linked to mutants?) that are revealed over time would be rather consequential, I’d think?

  28. Andrew says:

    Terrific issue.

    Bloody intense. It’s going to be interesting to see what comes of the apparent deaths of some our biggest characters which are obviously not going to stick.

    Even though it’s not a particularly great storyline, I was pleased with the reference back to Joe Casey’s Poptopia storyline with Mr Clean and the Church of Humanity. I’ve got fond memories of that incredible 18 month period of Morrison/Casey/Claremont/Milligan and all the weird and wild shit that was happening at the time.

    I remember being largely unimpressed with a lot of the Casey material as it was coming out but I’ve re-read it a couple of times in the past couple of decades and it holds up much better in retrospect, though the X-Corps storyline still has enormous problems.

  29. Mark Coale says:

    As I mentioned to Paul.on twitter, I thought it was curious/suspicious that neither Xavier nor Magneto feature in any of those new books artwork in the center fold ad in this issue.

    It might not end up meaning anything, but just wanted to throw it out here too.

  30. Evilgus says:

    Re: Jean needing help from Money to boost her telepathy. Is there some significance that she’s in the Marvel Girl costume? I.e., she has good telekinesis but still learning telepathy?

    Loved the scenes where Jean called back to Earth and Storm used the water to make a physical representation. Kinda pointless but very cool visual! Nice that Hickman remembered Trinary exists too.

    It was a bit of a classic ‘everybody dies!’ issue. Loved each character’s moment in the sun… Some literally. The Nightcrawler/Wolverine scene was fantastic. Also I note that Angel/Husk were dispatched together off panel. An odd pair of characters for the mission, but I wonder if Hickman had planned a small nod to their relationship, but page count got in the way?

    Shout out to the art and colouring again, it’s truly fantastic. Gives appropriate grandeur and character expressiveness.

    @MasterMahan, interesting theory of the Legacy Virus being the loop breaker!

  31. K says:

    Another glaring hint that comes from the use of Jean in this issue:

    Back in #1, they said “it is a current priority for the mutant nation of Krakoa to protect and nurture its greatest natural resource: Omega level mutants.”

    Therefore, 1) there is no way they would send Jean, an Omega, out to die like this if this were the real Jean; and 2) what do they even mean by “natural resource”?

    (This also explains why Magneto and Storm, are most likely the real ones, sit back at home for this mission.)

    Theory: the powers of the Omegas are necessary to create new pod mutants. “All efforts are to be expended in order to secure the future of the state.”

    Another theory: there is a limit to the abilities of the mutants they can create using the current Krakoa-allied Omegas? And Cyclops really wanted Franklin on their side in #1 in order to expand what mutants they can create.

  32. K says:

    Also, as to why Xavier would be crying over these pod-made mutants:

    In the comments for #3 I speculated that the minds of all mutants are stored in Cerebro. Combine that with the opening scene of #1 and that suggests the pod mutants are born mindless – Xavier is there in order to nurture their minds telepathically through Cerebro records.

    He would cry over them because he personally raised them like actual children.

  33. Shawn says:

    > “The Lights” was also the name of Hope Summers’ team after Second Coming I think?

    Seconding this. In the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men, Scott takes a sense of vindication from the emergence of “five lights” on Cerebro’s map of mutantkind – five new mutants who have emerged after a long period of no new mutants manifesting. They’re gathered up by Hope, and are informally called “the Lights” even afterwards, so I think this was meant to be a reference to that small subgroup of mutants emerging which presaged the existence of a newer crop of mutants once the Jean Grey School was established.

  34. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Shawn You’ve mixed two storylines – the Lights appear after Second Coming, Hope gathers them whilst Utopia is still ongoing and all mutants are still lead by Cyclops.

    After AvX Scott takes a sense of vindication from a wave of new mutants appearing thanks to Hope using the Phoenix Force… with Scarlet Witch’s help, which I guess we’re meant to overlook now that she’s the Great Pretender listed among mass-murderers.

    Which is weird but sure, whatever.

  35. YLu says:

    >The small print reads “The House of Xavier and the way we treat our children.”

    Given that we’re seven issues in and every single one has changed up the small print except one (HOX #1 and #2 both have “the house of xavier and the island of krakoa”), can we now safely assume #2 was a typo, and it too was meant to have original text? I’m very much leaning towards yes considering that the plot of #2 had nothing whatsoever to do with Krakoa.

  36. SanityOrMadness says:

    Omar> So to the machines, mutants might reflect both iterations of the Titans. They’re the ones who kill their parents, as the Titans slew their primordial; forebear Ouranos, but also the ones who refuse to allow the next generation — the machines — to usurp them in turn.

    Oranous wasn’t killed, he was castrated…

  37. Karl_H says:

    > A change from 616 being Moira X to a new 616 that has subtle changes (most things in Marvel continuity aren’t inextricably linked to mutants?) that are revealed over time would be rather consequential, I’d think?

    “Following Moira into a new timeline where subtle tweaks can be made to X-Men continuity” could be an elegant way to do a soft reboot of the line — “things now happened this way instead of that way because Moira” being a more sophisticated version of “Superboy Prime punching reality”?

  38. Karl_H says:

    And if this *is* some kind of reboot or change of the significance they have been hinting at, it is still arguably true that five years from now there will still need to be a recognizable baseline Wolverine to be a member of various teams, and many future writers who are not named Hickman will be itching to do stories involving other recognizable baseline X-Men. Unless the plan is to have a new Moira timeline split off and be a separate publishing line, with the current 616 staying behind as a previous Moira timeline with all the recognizable baseline X-Men — which is commercially dicey — I can’t see Hickman’s run being more long-term significant than, say, Morrison’s.

  39. Chris V says:

    That may be the direction they are going, based on the sheer amount of X-books that Marvel seem intent on publishing.
    The six “Dawn of X” books announced is being billed as “wave one”, which Marvel stating that there are three waves of books coming.
    That would mean that Marvel is publishing more X-titles than at any point in history.

    We could conceivably be looking at eighteen different X-titles in total!

    That sounds like Marvel might be planning to make the X-franchise in to its own separate line.

    It doesn’t seem like this is going to last though, as Karl H says.
    It sounds like a longer-term Age of Apocalypse scenario.
    Eventually, they’ll want to reincorporate mutants back in to the mainstream Marvel Universe.
    Not to mention that the market will never sustain that many on-going X-titles for a lengthy period.

  40. Chris V says:

    I don’t want to read the story where mutants castrate the humans….

    Not to be nitpicky, but since someone pointed out about Uranus; the Cyclopes weren’t actually Titans.
    They were the progeny of Uranus and Gaia too, but they were of a separate race.

    Mother Mold’s references are even more muddled, because it was solely Uranus who hated his children.
    He kept them trapped within Gaia’s body, and it was Gaia who asked the Titans to use the sickle on Uranus.

    The humans were the forebears of the mutants, and the humans also created machines.

  41. Anthony Blackwood says:

    Graydon Creed was actually just resurrected at the end of the recent Weapon X series.

  42. Alan L says:

    So I recall reading Brian Wood’s X-men series, where Storm leads a group of all women X-men, and in the end of the first story arc in that series Karima Shapandar has the Omega Sentinel nanites purged from her body. She regained her natural, darker-skinned complexion, and an issue or so later she mentioned plans to re-join the Bombay police force, or something to that effect. I haven’t read a story where she’s been regressed into a sentinel once again.

    Is there a story I’ve missed where that happens?

  43. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Nope. Wood’s X-Men was Karima’s last appearance before Hoxpox.

  44. Dave says:

    That’s another possible hint that this isn’t the regular timeline.

  45. Chris V says:

    Or, a possible hunt that Hickman didn’t read Wood’s X-Men, and editors at Marvel have no idea what they’re doing.

  46. Jonny k says:

    Husk does seem like an odd choice — is it possible she can turn into something that survives the sun? Otherwise, why her?

  47. Chris V says:

    I was thinking that maybe some of the characters are the originals, and are needed to lead missions, since the clones seem so early in their development.
    So, some of the deaths were of the actual characters.
    I’m basing this on the fact that (based on upcoming teams for “Dawn of X”) it seems like Hickman might actually have killed off Archangel, Nightcrawler, and Husk.

  48. Paul says:

    According to Wood’s X-Men #7, Karima’s implants weren’t removed, but merely rendered inert. Beast DID say that they could be permanently removed “in time”.

  49. wwk5d says:

    “Or, a possible hunt that Hickman didn’t read Wood’s X-Men, and editors at Marvel have no idea what they’re doing.”

    Hickman does seem to be pretty inconsistent with how closely he follows continuity…or continuity he purposely chooses to ignore.

  50. Paul says:

    I think you can be pretty confident that Hickman has read the most recent appearance of a major character in his story. It’s on Marvel Unlimited (most things are by this point), and it’s very easy to identify through the usual basic resources.

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