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Nov 14

X-Men #2 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2019 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

I don’t plan to do every issue of the satellite books – certainly not in weeks when more than one book is coming out. But let’s stick with the core title. As always, page numbers are from the digital edition, and this post contains spoilers.

COVER / PAGE 1. Cyclops, Prestige and Cable fighting horrible monsters. A scene which actually takes place in the issue!

PAGE 2. Cyclops enlists Prestige and Cable to investigate a mysterious new island full of monsters which is heading towards Krakoa.

“Kids.” As you almost certainly know, Cable is Cyclops’s actual son, who grew up in the far future and returned as… well, it used to be an adult, but now it’s a teenager. Prestige (Rachel Summers) is the daughter of Cyclops and Phoenix from the Days of Futures Past timeline, so her father is a Cyclops, but not actually this Cyclops. She’s never been all that close to Scott in this timeline, and fell out with him rather badly at one point over his relationship with Emma Frost. But evidently she’s up for being a member of the Summers family these days.

“All the drama unfolding on Krakoa.” The assassination of Professor X in X-Force #1, as we establish a little later on. It seems awfully coincidental that a second island suddenly appears the moment that Xavier isn’t around, but nobody appears to make the connection here.

“Krakoa is making a beeline for it.” We’ve previously established that Krakoa is floating, and not connected to the ocean floor.

Aurora and Northstar are former members of Alpha Flight, and I think this is the first time we’ve had them confirmed as residents of Krakoa.

“Giant beasts from that other place we don’t normally speak of.” As we’ll see, this new island is linked to Arakko. In Powers of X #4, Krakoa told a legend-ish origin story to Cypher, in which it claimed that it and Arakko had once been single land, Okkara, until being torn apart by demons or some such. According to Krakoa, those demon invaders were driven back by Apocalypse and his original Horsemen, who pushed the entire island of Arakko through a “chasm” and sealed it shut. Cyclops seems to be already familiar with the idea of an island of giant beasts; either this story has been relayed to him, or maybe it’s something to do with the mysterious second Krakoa in the Atlantic which was mentioned in House of X #6.

PAGES 3-4. Credits and recap page. The title is “Summoner”, the small print simply “Mutants of the world unite.”

PAGES 5-10. Cyclops, Prestige and Cable take their jet to the mystery new island, explore it, and encounter weird animals and monsters.

Did they fly down from the Summer House on this thing, or are jets being allowed on Krakoa during the lockdown as emergency transport for the X-Men? Anyway, much of this issue is meant to be driven by banter between these three characters and… let’s say that if you’re not already sold on Hickman this probably isn’t the issue that’s going to convince you? The whole tone of it feels downright weird given that Professor X is meant to be recently dead.

Cypher is not available to interpret for Krakoa because he’s off in the Shi’ar empire in New Mutants. Presumably Black Tom Cassidy’s integration with Krakoa’s security systems (as set up by Cypher) is too specific to communicate about this sort of thing. And while Professor X explained in Powers of X #4 that he had made telepathic contact with Krakoa, it was rudimentary, and it had taken him a while.

All of which begs the question of why on earth Cypher was allowed to leave the island when he’s so vital. Depending on how charitable you’re feeling, it’s either characters being dumb for the sake of the plot, or another instance of people on Krakoa letting their guard down for some reason.

“The rifle I got from Raza.” In the previous issue.

Hawai’i. I don’t recall a story where Rachel Summers goes to Hawai’i, but sure, no reason why she wouldn’t have been there at some point.

PAGE 11. In the “Arak Maw”, a monochrome child thing is brief by its shadowy mother on what to do when he gets to Krakoa.

The Arak Maw. Inside the volcano on the new island, what appears to be a bunch of giant insect-like monsters crawling out of the volcano, and a dark portal through which the boy Summoner can talk to his mother. Presumably this is a portal to Arakko, described as “a hard land.”

“War is all you have ever known.” Arakko sounds like a bundle of laughs. However, the “mother” that we see through the portal seems to have a burning head. As the Summoner explains later, this is apparently the original Horseman War. We’ve seen her before, though never clearly – she’s seen from behind in the Arakko flashback, and she can be seen standing behind Apocalypse (mostly obscured by him) in House of X #2. For whatever reason, the story doesn’t seem to want to show her clearly here either.

“Find him. Follow him.” Apocalypse, obviously.

“They are coming now.” At first glance this seems to refer to the X-Men, but we establish later that Arakko has been in an “endless war” for years, which is reaching a crisis point. This Summoner has apparently been sent to get reinforcements.

The Summoner. The symbol drawn on his chest is a symbol of rank and power, as we see on the upcoming data page. He also seems to ooze black goop from his eyes (which he seems to have used to paint the symbol). Fallen Angels #1 has very similar imagery for the children using Overclock, which might suggest some sort of connection between Arakko and Apoth (that book’s villain).

PAGE 12. A data page on the Summoners. They seem to be residents of Arakko who can control the monsters that eternally besiege the place. From the symbol on his chest, our Summoner is the most powerful of the lot, and they don’t have any spares, so they must be pretty desperate to let him go.

“The wild borders of Otherworld.” A chasm apparently separates Arakko from Otherworld, which presumably means that at some point it’ll crop up in Excalibur.

PAGES 13-22. The naive Summoner and the X-Men have a misunderstanding and fight, then sort it all out as the new island merges to become a new bit of Krakoa.

The misunderstanding. Look, I know Cable’s meant to be younger and more reckless in this version, but is he really such a moron that he gives a thermal grenade to a complete stranger? The dialogue even lampshades what a terrible idea this. Decide for yourself whether it’s just meant to be funny, or whether it’s meant to be another example of people acting a bit weird on Krakoa.

Uhr’Oggloth, Hool-go-Dir, Dur. The three monsters that the Summoner calls up to fight the X-Men. They’re all new, of course, but they also seem decidedly Cthulhuesque. That imagery has previously been associated with Magneto’s Island M base, and it’s something that seemed to be foregrounded in Powers of X.

“Complicated question.” Cyclops rather dodges the Summoner’s question about his love life, but we’ve seen that the Summer House seems to have Jean in a relationship with both Scott and Logan; Powers of X #4’s gossip column also implied that Scott had other relationships going on.

The islands merge. Since this island isn’t Arakko itself, presumably it’s some part of Arakko that’s made it through to Earth somehow. Again – the fact that it shows up exactly as Professor X is taken off the scene seems too much of a coincidence.

PAGE 23. Data page. A revised map of Krakoa, now incorporating the Arak Corral. Fortunately, the Arak Maw portal is described here as “closed”. A portal to a world of Cthulhuesque demons seems like a lovely addition to any paradise, doesn’t it?

PAGES 24-25. The Summoner meets Apocalypse.

Arak Corral may have its portal closed but it still seems to be an active volcano of some sort.

“The sky is something to behold.” The Summoner seems to be impressed by all those stars that aren’t in the art.

“My children.” Apocalypse describes the Horsemen as his children – though he also uses the term figuratively to describe all the inhabitants of Krakoa and Arakko, so he might mean it quite loosely.

PAGES 26-27. The trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: HORDE CULTURE.

Bring on the comments

  1. Moo says:

    @Mark Coale – I just assumed that variant covers today were about milking the collectors/completists. Didn’t realize we still had buyers looking at new comics as investments.

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