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Oct 17

X-Men #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2019 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

X-MEN: This is the fifth volume of just-plain-X-Men, although confusingly the legacy numbering continues from the last run of Uncanny X-Men.

COVER (PAGE 1): The residents of the Summers House (plus the visiting Corsair) in the Blue Area of the Moon. More of that inside.

PAGES 2-3: A flashback to Charles Xavier giving Scott Summers a pair of ruby quartz glasses to control his optic beams. It’s a metaphor for Xavier giving Scott the confidence to embrace what makes him superhuman, of course – plus, there’s a parallel being drawn with the leader of Orchis, Killian Devo, but we’ll come to that. Scott’s visor can be seen sitting on a stand in the corner of the room.

Scott seems unsure that the glasses will work, but it was established way back in the 1960s “Origins of the X-Men” back-ups that Scott got his ruby quartz glasses at the orphanage, long before he met Xavier. (The original explanation was that he was given them to control headaches; a 1980s retcon brought Mr Sinister into the picture,) So if this is meant to be the first time Scott uses ruby quartz, it’s a retcon. Maybe he’s just unsure about trusting a new pair.

PAGE 4: Laid out like one of the House of X / Powers of X data pages, but it’s a typical Marvel recap page with headshots of the cast.

PAGE 5: Credits, still in the HoXPoX style. The Krakoan text above the X (simply reads “X-Men”, and the word above the credits is “one”.

The issue title is “Pax Krakoa”, playing on “Pax Americana” (the notion that American dominance brought comparative world peace in the latter 20th century). Basically, it’s positioning Krakoa as a superpower.

The small print in the bottom right reads “Mutants of the world unite”, referring to the famous line from the Communist Manifesto (“Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains”). That fits both with the mutant liberation theme, and with the theme of individuals becoming part of a larger whole. Not subtly, but it does.

PAGES 6-17: Cyclops, Storm, Magneto and Polaris attack “the last Orchis stronghold on Earth”, bring it down, and liberate the people who Orchis were holding in stasis tubes – all of whom are mutants except for one…

Orchis. Orchis were the main villains in House of X, where they were trying to build Sentinels in space in what they apparently considered an act of self-defence against humans. HoX played up the parallels with the X-Men and the vicious cycle of escalation rather more, and made them come across as somewhat more sympathetic and understandable. This bunch, in contrast, are demented extremists. Base leader Dr Mars rejects the idea of wiping the database to stop it falling into X-Men hands, and opts instead for a suicide scheme of turning everyone into an ape. We don’t actually see what happens to the apes (Magneto deals with them off panel), but presumably that precious database falls into the X-Men’s hands.

“The last Orchis stronghold on Earth.” The term “stronghold” is significant as part of Hickman’s cosmology of cosmic societies from Powers of X, though that’s not something Storm herself would recognise in using the term.

Cyclops and Storm. Storm’s a bit zealous at the start of this scene, isn’t she? Granted that these guys are Sentinel builders, she keeps talking about Orchis as “conquered people”. She also berates Orchis for keeping people in stasis – “How little they must think of themselves to treat others this way” – despite having voted to do something broadly similar to Sabretooth in House of X #6.

Cyclops gives a somewhat more measured inspirational speech about how the X-Men are winning because mutants are the future and no amount of Orchis science and technology is going to stop that. In the context of the wider Hickman project, this is dramatic irony – Powers of X tells us that in fact, a technology-driven posthumanity always wins in the end.

The stasis tubes. Most of them hold mutants, though they all seem to be new characters. The two gold and silver figures are specifically drawn to our attention in the next scene, so they’re probably important – otherwise they seem to be randoms. We’re not told why Orchis were holding them, but presumably some sort of experimentation was in mind.

The unnamed non-mutant. This is Serafina, a character from Mike Carey’s run. She was one of the Children of the Vault (as Storm seems to realise) – a community who had been locked inside a sealed vault where time was accelerated relative to the outside world, so that 6,000 years passed for their society while 30 years passed outside. This is why Polaris detects “massive atemporal development”. Although the Children were said to be a separate species on account of their genetic drift, their actual superpowers were attributed to advanced technology. In other words, they’re posthumans, just like Powers of X warned about. Serafina, in particular, had technology interfacing powers, making her the most posthuman of all.

Serafina claims here that she emerged from the Vault “before [she] was fully cooked”, because “wild gods [were] loose in the world”. The Children’s actual motivations in the Carey stories weren’t always entirely clear, but broadly they seemed to believe that they were the rightful inheritors of the world. Note that Magneto – who knows what happened in Powers of X – suggests that the wild gods are mutants, and wants to chase after her until Cyclops overrules him.

Serafina did not have the photo-negative look when we last saw her. That’s new, and it’s a plot point. Nor does the story give any clue of what Orchis wanted with her, bearing in mind that she’s not a mutant – though maybe they just couldn’t tell the difference.

PAGES 18-22. The X-Men bring the liberated mutants back to Krakoa and Dr Cecilia Reyes checks over them.

Cecilia Reyes. A mutant doctor who’s been a member of the cast on and off since 1997. Basically the go-to X-Men medic these days, if the injuries aren’t exotic enough to call for a full-blown scientist character. Reyes is basically a non-combatant; her power is a force field.

Magneto. The children of Krakoa idolise him, and he rather enjoys the adulation. This doesn’t seem entirely healthy – and note that he gets much more attention than the other X-Men, perhaps because he’s willing to play along.

Polaris and Cyclops. Scott invites Lorna to join the Summers family reunion, pointing out that Alex will be there; the significance here is that Lorna and Alex were a couple for years. Scott talks about the birth of his son. That’s Cable, of whom more later. It’s the second somewhat-inspirational speech Scott has given in this issue, and Lorna politely questions how much of it is for show.

PAGES 23-26. Killian Devo arrives on the Orchis Forge to take charge of the operation. Generally, this scene takes us much further back to the parallels between the X-Men and Orchis which we saw in House of X. Devo talks about the Orchis Forge as a refuge (in similar terms to Krakoa) and uses the same “Look at what they have done” line, in reference to the Orchis dead, that House of X used about mutants.

Killian Devo. This is the first time we’ve seen him, but in the data pages of House of X #1, he was named as Orchis’s director. He’s said to be 63, and before he was in Orchis, he was affiliated with STRIKE (a UK organisation from Captain Britain which was broadly aligned with SHIELD). He clearly sees Orchis as the good guys, cheerfully rattling off all the reputable organisations where his staff worked in the past, and grudgingly conceding that there are also ex-HAMMER and -Hydra staffers (whom he considers a “lesser evil”). He personally designed the Orchis refit of the station, but hadn’t arrived by the time the X-Men attacked – he does seem to feel some personal responsibility for the deaths that ensued. Karima indicates that, despite the X-Men’s attack, the Orchis Forge is still conducting some sort of “experiment” (our attention is drawn here to the former location of the Mother Mold), for which Devo is necessary.

Devo also appears to be somewhat posthuman – he has cyborg arms and has some sort of visor fitted to his head. He tells us later that this allows him to see despite natural blindness. Visually, there are parallels both with Xavier and Cyclops, in terms of the permanent eye-covering.

PAGES 27-31. At the Summer House, the Summers family entertain the visiting Starjammers. Aside from the actual content, one thing to notice here (and throughout) is the shift of scale from House of X. That book was concerned with the huge social changes brought about by Krakoa; X-Men shifts focus down to the level of smaller groups.

The Summer House. A home for the Summers family next to the Blue Area of the Moon. We’ve seen it before in House of X #3, when the X-Men set off for their attack on the Orchis Forge. It was mentioned in Powers of X #5 as the location of one of Xavier’s back-up “cradles”.

Interestingly, Cyclops has chosen not to have his home on Krakoa itself, though the Summer House is a Krakoan habitat with a link to the main island. We’re told later that the Summer House is on the Blue Area of the Moon; its main significance for the X-Men context is that this is where Jean Grey “died” as Dark Phoenix. Which seems like an odd place to set up home.

The Summers family. Traditionally portrayed as one of the most important mutant bloodlines. We’ll come back to the history of individual characters if it turns out to matter in future issues, but the permanent residents are:

  • Cyclops himself, obviously.
  • Wolverine, who is not a member of the Summers family. I’ll come back to that.
  • Jean Grey / Marvel Girl, Cyclops’s wife and fellow founding X-Man. (Or ex-wife, depending on whether you think their marriage ended on her death – we don’t establish here how they regard their current relationship.)
  • Alex Summers / Havok, Cyclops’ brother, and an X-Man on and off since the late sixties.
  • Gabriel Summers / Vulcan, the third Summers brother who was born in outer space and never knew his relatives until X-Men: Deadly Genesis came along. After Ed Brubaker’s run, Vulcan was shunted off to Marvel’s cosmic titles and the X-books pretty much forgot about him until now. He spent some time as the Emperor of the Shi’ar, and as near as I can tell, he was last seen in War of Kings #6, where he vanished in battle with Black Bolt. (Black Bolt long since returned from the same apparent death, so there’s no particular reason why Vulcan wouldn’t have survived too.) He’s behaving like a grandiose Silver Age villain in this story, but it seems to be partly tongue in cheek. There’s obviously a back story to be filled in here.
  • Nathan Summers / Cable, the son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (who later turned out to be a clone of Jean Grey). Nathan grew up in a far future dominated by Apocalypse, where he was raised by a time travelling Scott and Jean as seen in the miniseries Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix. Cable was the quintessential early nineties guns and ammo character, but this is a divergent version of Cable who first appeared in the recent Extermination miniseries, and had his back story fleshed out in the recent X-Force. In very broad strokes, when the teenage X-Men from the Silver Age spent an extended period in the present day (in All-New X-Men and X-Men Blue), this eventually caused disruption to the timeline that led to Cable travelling back in time decades early to sort it all out and to get rid of the older, original Cable who ought to have dealt with it but failed to do so. So this is a younger Cable but, sharing the back story of the original through to his late teens – as such, he still recognises Scott and Jean as his parents.
  • Rachel Summers / Prestige, the daughter of Scott and Jean from the alternate future timeline of Days of Future Past, who travelled back in time to become a permanent resident here. She’s been a member of the X-Men and Excalibur on and off since the 80s. She was a Hound in the DOFP timeline, which she likes to remember with the spikes on her costumes (mentioned here); the tattoos on her face are connected with that as well. The codename Prestige comes from X-Men Gold.

Hickman largely avoided characters with time-travel back stories, like Cable and Prestige, in House of X. Cable, in particular, comes from a timeline in which events don’t seem to pan out as seen in Powers of X – Apocalypse rises to dominance instead.

The visitors are the Starjammers, space pirates and general adventuring swashbucklers:

  • Christopher Summers / Corsair, the father of Scott, Alex and Gabriel, abducted by aliens when Scott and Alex were children. He’s a regular human.
  • Raza, the cyborg
  • Ch’od, the big strong reptile guy.
  • Hepzibah, the skunk-woman, who is Corsair’s partner.

For present purposes you really don’t need to know anything about the last three beyond the fact that they’re Corsair’s regular entourage.

PAGES 32-33. Data pages on the Summer House, largely with a floor plan, though also confirming that Vulcan has been a bit of a troublemaker. There’s a story coming with him, clearly. The Summer House has two empty bedrooms, though it’s not clear who they’re being reserved for, if anyone. Recall that Mr Sinister’s gossip column in Powers of X #4 suggested that there might be still more Summers brothers.

That column also implied that Wolverine was having an affair with someone “married with a kid”, with the full knowledge of her husband, who was “up to much the same, and more.” This now seems to be Jean, the kid being Cable, and the husband being Cyclops. Look closely at the floor plan: not only is Jean’s bedroom between Cyclops and Wolverine (something that isn’t obvious from the numbering of the legend), but those three bedrooms have connecting doors which are missing from all the other rooms. As for Cyclops’ own affairs, the obvious candidate would be a resumed relationship with Emma Frost.

PAGES 34-35. Corsair is worried about the X-Men’s ambitious new direction, and Cyclops reassures him. Pretty self explanatory.

PAGES 36-38. Back on the Orchis Forge, Devo speaks to Alina Gregor about the death of her husband. The parallels with Krakoa continue – Alina reveals that she has a way of bringing her husband back. This seems to involve a ruby quartz crystal in some way (which would suggest a connection with Sinister), and implies that Alina believes she can restore him from back-up just like the mutants are doing. If that’s right, then it would cast doubt on whether the X-Men really do need those five combined (though Moira seemed to think so in her journal).

PAGES 39-40. The Krakoan text on the trailer page reads “NEXT: ARAKKO.” That was the name of the other island which was supposedly split off from Krakoa in ancient times.

Bring on the comments

  1. Chris V says:

    No, Sinister said something about using Thunderbird’s DNA to genetically engineer that version of himself.

    Also, Moira said something about being worried, because Sinister was already producing chimeras, making her fear that Sinister is going down the same path he took in her life nine.

    Except, that wouldn’t make Sinister a “chimera” as seen in life nine.
    Unless Hickman does realize that Sinister already acquired powers from mutant DNA in the Gambit series.

  2. Shawn Lion says:

    As Powers of X #4 would suggest, Hickman clearly has plans for Sinister, as the Sinister Secrets revealed. Now I don’t know Hickman will be that detailed bringing up the Gambit series, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Sinister has somewhat been directionless as a character for a while, and Hickman having him as a potential psychopathic ally could be interesting.

    Now while the new X-Men #1 might not reached the height of Chris Claremont’s 1991 X-Men, it does give it the shot in the arm that it need after the X-Men and their comics had to go sit in a corner while Fox and Disney fought for the movie rights and it all ended when Disney said, “Fine! I’ll just buy you Fox”. Case closed

    Hickman’s X-Men #1 has a media res feel to it, and you might be lost if you haven’t been reading HoX / PoX. You might not know who Orchis is, or why Dr. Gregor is angry, etc. After HoX / PoX focused on huge, broad sweeping changes to the X-line, it up to X-Men #1 for the character beats. It does finely give small character moments to people like Cyclops and his father, that despite death and resurrection protocols, this is him. Hickman using Carey’s Children of the Vault is also a nice touch, and dovetails in Hickman’s vision of man, mutant, and “post-human” (man & machine). And I sure the use of Cypher (and Warlock being bonded to him) isn’t just happenstance.

  3. Job says:

    @Shawn Lion

    “Hickman’s X-Men #1 has a media res feel to it”

    First, the Latin phrase is “in media res.” You’re “in the middle of things,” not just “middle of things.” Second, it doesn’t have this “feel,” because it has no distinct ongoing plot. If anything, it feels like it’s “out of the middle of things.” House of X started in medias res.

    “It does finely give small character moments to people like Cyclops and his father, that despite death and resurrection protocols, this is him.”

    Well, it’s him to the extent that it’s a comic published by Marvel called X-Men and features a character called Cyclops. Whether or not this characterization resembles his past incarnations is debatable.

  4. Col_Fury says:

    I mentioned this in another thread, but no one finds it odd that Hepzibah is apparently trying to get her boyfriend’s granddaughter drunk? While flirting with her? And that Rachel doesn’t seemed grossed out by being hit on by her grandfather’s girlfriend?

    I mean, sure, skunk ladies are hot, but still. 😉

  5. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    What can you do, it’s X-Men. When Claremont wrote them everybody was lusting after everybody else. Hickman’s just bringing that back. 🙂

  6. CJ says:

    At the very beginning of the Phoenix Saga, there’s a scene of Scott and Jean kissing, with not-Stan Lee and not-Jack Kirby snarkily remarking how they didn’t do that kinda thing when they had the book.

    Young writers these days–they got no respect.

  7. Dimitri says:

    @Chris V

    Ah, I see. Thanks for the correction.

    I guess we can assume Xavier and co. are being a little loose/inconsistent with their rules to
    get what they really want? Further evidence that Krakoa and its stated agenda is not to be taken at face value.

  8. Jerry Ray says:

    The Jean/Logan/Scott thing (as it appears currently) is super skeevy and gross. It’s even worse if Jean’s been reverted to a younger backup version to go along with her reduced powers and throwback costume, as some have speculated.

    That situation seems like as much of a red flag as the cult-like behavior exhibited by Storm and others to me.

  9. Thom H. says:

    I think it’s about time Scott and Logan gave in to their intense feelings for each other. And if Jean can benefit from some of that sexual energy, then more power to her.

    I’m interested to see where the costume/powers thing goes (if it’s a thing). I can imagine Jean would get pretty pissed off about being regressed against her will. And we all know what happens when Jean gets pissed.

  10. SanityOrMadness says:

    I’m not convinced that Jean has been ‘regressed’ to an earlier backup – first, wouldn’t she notice that she had several years of missing memories? (and unless everyone *else* was mindwiped, she would be able to regain much of the missing stuff the same way Xavier did in Carey’s XM Legacy)

    Second, when would the backup even be from? Going back to when she actually wore the green minidress would place Xavier’s chat with Forge really, really early – even before we consider that her “prove it’s you reborn” line was a direct lift from Inferno, oddly late for that theory.

    Thirdly, on the powers front, she’s still listed as an Omega-level (oddly enough, for her telepathy, which was nascent in the ‘green minidress’ period and absent during X-Factor))

    I think this is just ‘how Hickman sees her’. Any jump from previous characterisation (and Cullen Bunn said in an interview recently that the X-Men have been spinning their wheels waiting for Hickman since *2015*,with writers very limited in what they could do, since none of it ‘mattered’…) is probably writer turnover rather than a grand plan.

  11. Job says:


    “I’m not convinced that Jean has been ‘regressed’ to an earlier backup – first, wouldn’t she notice that she had several years of missing memories?”

    Well, first, I don’t know how a person can notice missing memories, if they never experienced the things they’re missing. Second, Jean has barely been given any characterization, so we really don’t know anything she has or hasn’t noticed. We know nothing about her beyond her desire to fuck two guys.

    “Going back to when she actually wore the green minidress would place Xavier’s chat with Forge really, really early”

    That was intended. It was Year 0.

  12. Jason says:

    “Well, first, I don’t know how a person can notice missing memories, if they never experienced the things they’re missing. ”

    If it’s 2019 and your memories go up to 2015, that would be an indicator.

    If you’re a telepath and you read in other people’s minds memories of you doing stuff that you yourself don’t remember doing, that would be Indicator Number Dos.

  13. Jason says:

    “Cullen Bunn said in an interview recently that the X-Men have been spinning their wheels waiting for Hickman since *2015*,with writers very limited in what they could do, since none of it ‘mattered’…”

    If that’s true, then that’s ridiculous. And also kind of hilarious, given all the rave reviews saying variations on, “This is the most interesting the X-Men have been in YEARS!”

    Talk about an innovative way of generating reviews like that: Deliberately keep the franchise uninteresting for several years before your big relaunch.

  14. Chris V says:

    It was uninteresting for a long time before that point too.
    Avengers vs. X-Men was utterly terrible.
    The Inhumans vs. X-Men period was the absolute nadir for the franchise.

    There’s no way that Marvel had been planning for the Hickman relaunch going back as far as the Inhumans mess.
    Marvel still expected that Inhumans was going to magically replace the X-Men in a fan’s heart.

    I’d say that the X-books actually got more interesting after that terrible Lemire run on Astonishing X-Men.

    Most people seem to be saying that this is the most interesting that the X-Men has been since the Morrison days.
    While there were a few bright spots along the way (mostly in spin-off books rather than X-Men titles proper), the X-line has been in poor shape since House of M.

  15. Dave says:

    “Going back to when she actually wore the green minidress would place Xavier’s chat with Forge really, really early”
    “That was intended. It was Year 0.”

    I think you missed his point.

  16. SanityOrMadness says:
    “Bunn: You know, it was a weird project. All of those projects were weird, especially Uncanny and Blue, because we had kind of been given marching orders that we couldn’t change anything with the X-Men. I mean, we were very limited with where we could go with the story because the plans for House of X–those were already in play when I first started writing Uncanny X-Men. We knew. It was like the worst-kept secret at Marvel. Like, “We got another plan.” Yeah, it’s Jonathan Hickman–everybody knows it! But that was in place when I took over Uncanny X-Men. To some degree, it was like placeholder stuff.”

    PS: What Jason said re: missing memories.

  17. Chris V says:

    Oh, it was Extraordinary X-Men that Lemire wrote, not Astonishing. Whatever. It wasn’t hard to top that horrible, horrible book.
    I’m a Lemire fan too, nothing against Lemire.

    Once again, that’s really hard to believe. Hickman wasn’t even interested in working with Marvel again until 2018, when he agreed to finish his SHIELD run.
    We’re supposed to believe that Marvel foresaw that someday Hickman would return to Marvel and they decided to hold back the X-Men line until that day arrived.

    Marvel editor’s have been ret-conned to be mutants now too. So they can go to Krakoa, I’m sure.

  18. Chris V says:

    I’m sure that hatchet job during Secret Empire, where the mutants were shown to be a-ok with fascists running America, while the Inhumans became the “metaphor for persecuted minorities”, was all part of Marvel’s master plan to pave the way for Hickman too.

    “See? The X-Men aren’t acting out of character in House of X! They were already a bunch of fascist fellow travelers! Are you prepared to buy lots of copies of the X-Men comics now?”.

  19. Job says:


    Given that none of the X-Men have protested anything about their current status quo in any way whatsoever, Jean’s silence on this issue tells us literally nothing. If she had been regressed, we have no reason to think she wouldn’t be cool with for the same reason that all these immortal pod people are perfectly fine with dying and being reborn as immortal pod people.

  20. Thom H. says:

    It’s also possible that Jean hasn’t been “regressed” in any chronological way (meaning her memories haven’t been tampered with).

    But maybe her power set has been limited for some reason. That’s what happened “the last time she wore the green miniskirt,” right? She had lost access to her Phoenix powers because of a psychic block.

    Just a theory. But it kind of makes sense given that even on a bad day Jean could find a way to cut through all the bullshit on Krakoa and get to the truth.

    And I have to agree with Job — there aren’t many clues in the text to tell us what Jean is like or where she stands on most issues. She’s barely spoken so far. So the scope of Xavier’s tampering with her (and the rest of the X-Men, frankly) is still up in the air.

  21. YLu says:

    I did find it odd during the mission to the Forge that Cyclops was talking about using his optic blast to propel the escape pod to Earth. If Jean was at full power, wouldn’t using her TK to do that be a much more sensible option, on every level?

    Or am I missing some explanation as to why that wouldn’t be feasible?

  22. YLu says:

    Though I don’t think she’s been regressed, if for no other reason than lots of people were theorizing that from the start yet Hickman’s acting like nobody’s twigging to the real reason for the old costume.

  23. Job says:

    @Thom H

    Not to mention – and this is a detail I haven’t really seen people discuss – the fact that Xavier can “back up” all these mutants means all of them are consensually granting him access to literally the entirety of their minds.

    And given that they are going on suicide missions for Xavier, they are giving him literally body and soul.

  24. Dazzler says:

    The confusion regarding the U Men underlines one of my big problems with Morrison, the mostly half-cocked ideas that don’t really work. I always thought they were stupid and ill-defined, but they create a fair question for the cult of Krakoa.

    Also, this clearly FEELS every bit like an alternate universe. The world established here bears little resemblance to the universe we’ve been reading, and the sudden changes are explained by retcons. Hoxpox felt 50x more like an alternate universe (X-Men Alpha comes to mind) than it did like a soft reset (X-Men #1 1991). It just happens to be happening in normal continuity.

  25. Job says:


    “The confusion regarding the U Men underlines one of my big problems with Morrison, the mostly half-cocked ideas that don’t really work.”

    I thought they worked just fine and made perfect sense. So did many fans of Morrison’s run. Maybe you need to reread it and try harder to comprehend it.

  26. Chris V says:

    No, the U-Men wouldn’t be considered to be mutants as far as Krakoa is concerned.
    They were basically obsessed with mutants and jealous that they weren’t born mutants, so they tried to make themselves seem superior to mutants.
    They never referred to themselves as mutants. They called themselves “Homo Perfectus”.

    Sinister has tampered with his own genetics using mutant DNA, at least.

    The 1990s were known for such well thought out plots which make perfect sense….such as Onslaught.
    That was so much better than Morrison.

  27. Job says:

    @Chris V

    Isn’t it funny how upset he is about Morrison’s run, 15 years later? Like he’s still more angry at that than he is at HoXPoX.

    I mean, I hated Chuck Austen’s run. So I didn’t read it. And I read Paul’s reviews of it and laughed heartily.

    Imagine being angry at a bunch of comic books for FIFTEEN YEARS.

  28. Col_Fury says:

    re: Krzysiek Ceran
    True. The one that comes to mind is when both Rogue and Dazzler were lusting after Longshot in the mid/late-80s.

    A total aside, Rogue’s outfit at the time is still my favorite outfit for her. The green bathing suit over the black body stocking one.

  29. Job says:


    “Rogue’s outfit at the time is still my favorite outfit for her. The green bathing suit over the black body stocking one.”

    On one hand, I think it was a good costume. On the other hand, wasn’t this the beginning of the Rogue-the-sexpot look? I always thought it was weird how she went from being this incredibly insecure and tortured little skunk girl to playboy model.

  30. CJ says:

    I’ve always been partial to Rogue’s “cloak and hood” costume, particularly in Mike Carey’s run. It made sense to me that someone with fairly traumatic feelings about touch would prefer something like that over skin-tight sexy clothes.

  31. Job says:

    Oh boy . . . Marauders . . .

    I know I said Hickman’s utter lack of characterization is a major problem (and it still is), but if the alternative is Gerry Duggan dialogue, I’d just as well go with zero characterization.

    Yikes. This is just embarrassing writing. Has Duggan written anything worthwhile, ever?

  32. Chris V says:

    Not really.

    That’s a major problem with Marvel currently.
    They have a hard time getting any good writers to work for them. DC has the same problem.
    When I saw the initial list of writers that Marvel lined up to take over the “Dawn of X” books, it looked really underwhelming.

    I don’t know how you fix the problems with the X-books when you can’t get any decent writers to write the lineup.

  33. Chris V says:

    I was thinking the same thing about Immortal Hulk recently.
    Who is going to be able to write that book after Al Ewing?
    I’m sure that the reset button will get pushed, and the book will just be back to mediocre stories that we’ve seen a thousand times before.
    If not though, what would be Marvel’s plan, to put a writer like Gerry Duggan on the book?

  34. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Honestly, I much prefer characterization that sometimes makes me cringe to zero characterization at all. As such, I had fun with Marauders – even if there were cringy bits. There’s a fun setup, a compelling mystery and some great art (though some of the characters look too youthful – Pyro most of all).

  35. Col_Fury says:

    Duggan’s run on Deadpool was good stuff.

  36. Chris V says:

    Either Marvel is completely ignoring continuity again (which is probably the case), or there’s more going on with the Sabretooth scene we witnessed on Krakoa.

    Marvel has announced a Ravencroft series of one-shots, and one of the one-shots if a Sabretooth comic.

  37. Chris V says:

    Oh, it’s a flashback tale. I should have figured that out.

  38. Dazzler says:

    @Job: Don’t speak about me to other people.

  39. Job says:

    Man, that Dazzler kid is really uptight.

  40. Job says:

    Marauders also answers one question with two unfortunate answers:

    The X-Men ARE intentionally being written weird, and it’s impossible to tell through Hickman’s typically stilted dialogue.

    It is possible to tell, however, through Duggan’s cringy dialogue. It’s given away when the Russian mutant calls the X-Men a cult. Apparently we ARE supposed to think what’s going on with the X-Men is weird, despite Hickman’s inability to differentiate between intentional and unintentional weirdness.

    And then there’s Iceman’s line about Krakoa being a neverending party or some shit. I guess that’s all we’re getting about Krakoan society: it’s just a party. That’s it.

  41. Job says:

    @Chris V

    To be honest, I don’t even recognize most of the names on these books. I recognize Duggan’s name, though I’m not familiar with his work at all, and I’ve never seen anyone recommend a book that he wrote.

    On the artistic side, I’m torn. On one hand, there are a lot of new artists (or at least, names I don’t recognize) that are surprisingly ridiculously good, like cover artist Russel Dautermann (okay, he’s not new anymore, but Thor was basically his first big book, and he immediately knocked it out of the park). On the other hand, you have guys like Leinil Yu drawing X-Men again, and . . . I mean, he’s good, I’m always happy to see his work, but I did think, “He’s drawing X-Men AGAIN?” The guy has drawn almost nothing but X-Men and Avengers books for 20 years in the time he’s been at Marvel.

  42. Shawn Lion says:

    In these news articles, its simply stated as to why the X-Men comics were basically spinning in their wheels for months. Hickman has the clout to bring bring back lapsed X-Men readers to the fold. But after years of keeping X-Men comics in the corner, its going to be awhile before Marvel can rebuild the bridges they have burned even if they felt right in doing so.

  43. YLu says:

    Looking back, this issue is almost a Hickman version of a Claremont baseball issue, isn’t it? Only it’s the Hickman version so it takes place on the moon and people are spraying bio-goo to do dishes and half the folk are alien pirates and whatever. (Hickman’s said he returned to comics with Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s Authority and I’d say he definitely borrows a lot from its “I don’t give a fuck about superheroes buying groceries” mood.)

    Even the Orchis stuff is them stepping back and taking stock, last page reveal aside.

    An odd choice for a first issue; less odd if you view it as the issue 13 breather after the the unrelenting HoX/PoX, I suppose.

  44. Adrian says:

    It also answers the question of whether the X-Men are being mind-controlled. Since they do not speak like pod people in the book and actually sound like they have a personality (as cringey as the dialogue is), then the X-Men actually have gotten on board with Xavier’s bizarre cult with cloning, body swapping etc. One big happy family.

    I agree with Krzysiek though. Bad characterization is better than none for me. Despite the weak dialogue, at least the X-Men seem to have some personality in this book.

    The bigger issue is that it just did a really bad job with set up for the series. Aside from the Kitty mystery, why should I care about this silly premise of going around on a boat to help mutants get to the cult cloning paradise?

  45. Job says:


    “Looking back, this issue is almost a Hickman version of a Claremont baseball issue, isn’t it?”

    Hey, we agree on something. This was my thought as well.

  46. Job says:


    “The bigger issue is that it just did a really bad job with set up for the series. Aside from the Kitty mystery, why should I care about this silly premise of going around on a boat to help mutants get to the cult cloning paradise?”

    The premise is basically, “Our magical portals work almost all of the time. Here’s a series about what happens when they don’t work.” It’s . . . not great. At all.

  47. Job says:

    I mean, why a boat? Did they lose all their flight technology? Flying mutants? Teleporting mutants?

  48. Chris V says:

    Job-The Russian soldier is the villain in the story. We can’t really take his word at face value. It’s apparently the reason that the Russian government is using as an excuse to not open trade with Krakoa, because they are saying it is a weird cult.
    That’s just an outsider’s view and doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s truly a cult.

    I hate to bring this up, but during Claremont’s 2000-era return to the X-Men, didn’t he speculate that Kitty was really a member of the Neo and not truly a mutant?
    Now, Krakoa refuses to allow Kitty on Krakoa.
    Oh no….
    The Neo really are coming back, aren’t they?

  49. Job says:

    @Chris V

    “That’s just an outsider’s view and doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s truly a cult.”

    We are outsiders too. Regardless of the character’s “allegiance,” his characterization aligns with ours. Thus, the portrayal of the X-Men as (potentially) a cult was intentional.

    Besides, nothing is “truly a cult.” A cult is just an organization of a religious, ideological, or spiritual nature that is seen as unacceptable or harmful by the majority. For example, we the majority see Scientology as a cult, and yet it has tax-exempt status, as legitimate religions do.

  50. Chris V says:

    Right. Which is why I said that it’s just the excuse used by the Russian government to not open trade with Krakoa.
    The real reason seems to be based in authoritarian and speciest reasoning.

    I think it’s been obvious for a long time that we are meant to feel alienated and alarmed by the actions of the mutants on Krakoa.
    That’s never truly been in doubt.

    The question is, does Hickman want us to question our own biases? Is he putting us in the perspective of the outside and making us feel uncomfortable to make a point?
    Or, is Krakoa really something sinister? Are we feeling that there’s something wrong on Krakoa because there really is something that we should not support about Krakoa?

    The fact that a Russian soldier, who is the villain in this story, does not further answer this question.
    The fact that we are, presumably, meant to agree with the outsider’s view-point, in the case of a villain in this comic, still leaves the questions unanswered.
    Do we think these things are weird, simply because we are the outsiders too?

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