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Nov 20

Marauders #2 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX

Oh, all right then. I’m not guaranteeing to keep these up, but let’s cover this one quickly. As always, this post is full of spoilers, and page numbers are from the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. The Black King and the White Queen in a drawing room, pushing models around a map of the far east. Emma seems to pushing a model of Kate Pryde and her boat towards a model of a cartoon bomb. The place names on the map are all genuine except for what appears to be “Hellfire St[raits]”, which seems to lie between the cities of Xiamen (in China) and Kaohsiung (in Taiwan).

PAGES 2-3. The recap and credits. The title is “The Red Coronation”. The small print hasn’t changed since last issue.

PAGE 4. A data page with another slightly redacted memo from the US Naval Intelligence agent tasked with keeping track of the Marauders – there was one of these in issue #1. Largely, this explains that after issue #1, the Marauders headed for Tokyo, took out a whaling vessel on the way, did some partying, and then stole a pleasure craft to go after a Madripoor-registered vessel. Presumably this is the Marauders going after Black King’s rogue ship on Emma’s instructions, as referenced later in the issue.

Madripoorian flags. Given Madripoor’s notoriously lax attitude to, well, everything, it’s hardly a surprise to learn that it’s a nation used as a flag of convenience.

The FBI. Curiously, the memo ends by changing subject and complaining about a lack of co-operation from the domestic US intelligence services, who haven’t even provided something as basic as a list of Krakoan gates in the USA. This seems like a plot point – we’ve yet to find out why the US was so relaxed about instantly signing up for Xavier’s deal, or handing back Sabretooth during House of X.

PAGE 5. Emma Frost makes an offer to the Stepford Cuckoos, which they turn down.

We don’t see what she offers them, but it’s evidently a position in the Hellfire Club. (Presumably it isn’t the position of “Lord Imperial”, since she goes on to say that she’s leaving it vacant until she gets Sebastian Shaw in line.) Emma seems to be rather more cynical about Krakoan stability than the Cuckoos are; of course, she doesn’t live there.

Emma’s costume. Emma is wearing a costume with a feather effect over her right shoulder and all down her right arm. It might be coincidence, but the anonymous main bad guy in X-Force also wears clothes with a feather pattern on the right arm. (Emma is wearing this same costume in the cover, which is by a different artist.)

PAGES 6-7. Emma meets Sebastian Shaw at the Hellfire Trading Company’s London offices and gives him a dressing down for straying from his remit.

The building is overgrown with Krakoan trees on the outside, but the interior is more notable – it seems completely normal. Are they putting on a show for the Krakoans as much as for the humans?

Shaw is meant to be supplying Krakoan drugs to approved black market purchasers but seems to have been diverting the drugs to richer countries for quick money. This only really makes sense if the mutants aren’t currently able to keep up demand. We see in the next scene that the approved black market purchaser was a country that can’t publicly deal with Krakoa due to its instability and domestic politics (or at least someone who lives there).

PAGES 8-14. Flashback: The Marauders take out Shaw’s rogue ship.

Not a particularly challenging fight for the Marauders, since the opposition consists of a bunch of random sailor thugs and long time D-lister Batroc the Leaper, who does his best but knows a lost cause when he sees one. Kate rebuffs his attempts to cut a side deal, but otherwise treats him with reasonable grace. Note, though, that Storm is already muttering about Pyro’s casual attitude to the “kill no man” law, and worrying about the group’s habit of wandering off with boats.

After this flashback, the Marauders must return to Russia, meet up with Colossus, rescue a bunch of mutants, and bring them all back to Krakoa, as seen in X-Force #1. Then they apparently go back to Taipei to meet with Bishop, who was already there last issue investigating a disappearance. (You can also do it by having X-Force #1 take place before this issue’s flashback, but that means the opening memo is no longer referring to the Batroc mission – which works, but isn’t as satisfying.)

PAGE 15. Emma tells Shaw that she’s already appointed the Red Monarch.

Shaw apparently had his own candidate in mind, and is furious to learn that Emma had already unilaterally filled the seat before his return. (More on Hellfire Club structure later.) Throughout this issue, Emma assumes that Shaw would have tried to appoint his mistress, but it’s not clear that she’s right. Chances are we’ll see this character later when Shaw appoints them to a role under him instead.

PAGE 16-22. Bishop tells the Marauders that Xavier is dead, so they get drunk and have tattoos done, before travelling to London to get their vessel.

Professor X was killed in X-Force #1. Iceman’s immediate response is that the Five will be able to bring him back in the usual way, but everyone seems to recognise that it’s not so straightforward given Xavier’s own role in the cloning process.

Kate’s drunken partying here is really pretty out of character, but maybe spending long stretches at sea with Pyro has that effect on you. Pyro, for some reason, decides to get a skull tattooed on his face – not the sort of thing he’s ever shown an interest in before – and nobody else thinks it might be a good idea to stop him. It’s all… kind of weird.

Gateway. Gateway was the silent teleporter who opened portals to let the X-Men travel around the world during the late-80s Australian era. It’s not very clear in the art here, but he spins a bullroarer when he uses his powers. Kate’s inability to use the Krakoan portals seemed to be the rationale for the pirate set-up, but access to Gateway effectively makes that academic – she’s here now because of her role on the boat.

PAGES 22-25. Emma and Shaw argue, and Kitty reveals herself as the Red Queen.

Shaw’s “long history of hedging bets against mutantdom” primarily consists of his involvement in making Sentinels for the US government, but Emma was an ally of his for a lot of that period.

PAGE 26. A data page about the Hellfire Trading Company management (?) structure. Basically, there’s meant to be a Lord Imperial at the top, with White, Black and Red monarchs beneath, and Bishops and Knights below. Currently, only the monarch and the White Bishop roles are filled.

Traditionally, the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club had a chess theme, which meant black and white. However, Warren Ellis’s Excalibur run in the mid nineties showed the London version of the Hellfire Club having black and red kings and queens; perhaps the colour change happened when the American branch was formed. For what it’s worth, the Red Queen in Ellis’s story was Nightcrawler’s mother Margali Szardos.

How appointments to these roles work is unclear; the suggestion seems to be that Emma could somehow appoint the Red Queen unilaterally, as long as she did it before Shaw took office. It seems that in the absence of a Lord Imperial, they have to vote. Of course, comic book company law is not exactly renowned for its grounding in reality.

Lord Imperial. The idea of a “Lord Imperial” who was the true leader of the Hellfire Club worldwide started cropping up in later Claremont stories. For most of X-Men history, the Lord Imperial was apparently a nobody called Sir Gordon Phillips, who may have been a figurehead; he finally appears in Uncanny X-Men #388 and gets in three lines of dialogue before being murdered by Sabretooth. However, Uncanny X-Men #452-454 have Sebastian Shaw and Roberto da Costa fighting for the title, and Claremont also established evil telepath Elias Bogan as a former Lord Imperial in X-Treme X-Men.

“Accolades”. This rather archaic term for the granting of an honour is also being used over in Excalibur – though it’s properly applicable to knights, not bishops as shown here.

Christian Frost. Emma’s telepath brother, originally introduced in passing in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, but given a much more extensive role in the Emma Frost solo series and the recent Iceman book. He’s not the most stable person in the world, but Emma probably wants to keep him under her wing.

PAGE 27. The Krakoan read NEXT: QUEEN. And yes, that’s Professor X in the background art, which is the solicited cover art for issue #3. Or someone wearing his helmet, at any rate.

Bring on the comments

  1. Evilgus says:

    I’ve got to admit, I did enjoy Kitty in this issue. It feels quite rambunctious, but I’m not sure how long it can sustain that pace.

    The market economics of the black market drug trade, and indeed the very rationale, don’t quite add up.

    Pyro gets a marauder face tattoo? Er, what?

    And ignoring Bishop’s urgent concerns did seem inexplicably dumb, despite his raising it about three times. There’s a lot of that in the Dawn of X books, as characters rush to the next plot point in haste.

    Sebastian Shaw’s choice: could this be Tessa/Sage, given her return to the x-books? Selene, as villians get a second chance? Can’t think of any other females he is affiliated with who would be good candidates.

    Didn’t enjoy Kitty’s use of “bitch”. Never been comfortable with that in an all age book (yes, I’m being puritanical) but frankly it reminds me of the infamous “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch” quote. In a bad way.

  2. Allan M says:

    Re: Shaw’s choice, given how prominently Frost’s pushing the idea that it’s his mistress, I’m wondering if it’s Adrienne Frost, Emma’s sister from the Faerber Generation X run (previously killed by Emma, not that it matters now). She’s vicious, effective, and would be a great up-yours to Emma and ally for Shaw.

    As for Kate, I think the light tone is (intentionally) distracting us, and that she’s suffering from depression, or at least deep frustration. She’s spent her life since she was 13 years old fighting criminals, terrorists and monsters to protect mutantkind. And now, everyone she ever loved is back from the dead and immortal, and they get to live in literal paradise! But so do the monsters and crooks she fought, apparently for nothing. She is barred from paradise seemingly forever. For no reason. And as a reward, she gets to be… a drug dealer. I think it’s eating at her more than she’s letting on. I would not be surprised if Storm expresses concern about Kitty’s drinking before long.

    She’s the first character we’ve seen who seems to be operating on the assumption that Krakoa will fail eventually. She’s going to do her job and hold fast against the dangers they’re headed into, but end of the day, as she says to the tattoo artist, one day she’ll be penniless and on the run again.

    Also: Pete Wisdom for Red Bishop.

  3. Col_Fury says:

    I agree; Kitty’s suffering from depression and frustration (for the reasons you mentioned, and her planned marriage fell apart, and she was in charge of the X-Men until all of these changes came around), which basically led her to a mid-life crisis. With that in mind her behavior in this books makes more sense to me.

  4. Col_Fury says:

    Also, these X-Men seem pretty loose with stealing people’s boats and then either destroying them (Kitty) or selling them for beer money (Iceman). Maybe I’m old fashioned, but that doesn’t seem like heroic behavior.

    The real boat finally arrives and they name it “the Marauder”? I guess it’s hard to be creative when you’re drunk.

  5. CJ says:

    I wish the reveal hadn’t been given to us months ago.

    Kate calling Shaw “bitch” isn’t surprising to me, since the Hellfire Club tormented her in her earliest appearances and she seems to have an…understanding with Emma.

    Has Christian Frost been in any books besides Emma’s background in New X-Men? (wherein, I remind me, Jean straight-up called Emma a bitch there too).

  6. Ben says:

    I guess one of the benefits of resurrection is that you can get terrible tattoos and just off yourself when you come to regret them.

  7. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @CJ Paul mentions in the article that Christian was in the Emma Frost ongoing and recently in Sina Grace’s Iceman.

  8. Michael says:

    I suppose Kate’s bishop will be… Bishop. Because making him the Black Bishop would be way too on the nose… (and presumably, Shaw will want someone with whom he’s familiar. My money would be on a resurrected Harry Leland.)

    Kate: “I need a bishop. Hey Bishop, you interested?”

    Bishop: “Oh, THAT’S why I’m in this series. That makes sense.”

    As for Kate’s knuckle tatts and Pyro’s face tatt… hopefully there’s a mutant with the power to remove bad tattoos. (Speaking of which, how about the guy who imbued Ink with his power tattoos, can we bring him back?)

    I wonder who the other Hellfire appointees will be. (Kate should pick Illyana as her Red Knight once she gets back from space, so she has easy access to a teleporter. Or Rachel, because she looks good in red, and Kate seriously needs one or more of her best friends nearby.)

  9. Col_Fury says:

    I don’t have a problem with the knuckle tattoos; the Blues Brothers have them, so they can’t be a bad thing, right? (I should probably mention that the Blues Brothers is the best movie ever made and no one can convince me otherwise)

    The face tattoo, though… yeah. That’s bad. I think Ben’s on the right track about that. 🙂

    Maybe with all of this Hellfire Club stuff we’ll finally see the return of Opal Lun Sat-Yr-9? Am I the only one who misses her?

  10. Mark Coale says:

    Red Knight?

    Why not piotr?

    Hes got armor and was a Red.


  11. YLu says:

    “Note, though, that Storm is already muttering about Pyro’s casual attitude to the “kill no man” law, and worrying about the group’s habit of wandering off with boats.”

    Huh, I read that first bit completely differently. I thought Storm was reminding herself of the rule because she was smarting from the hit Batroc got in.

  12. JCG says:

    @YLu: That’s how I read it as well.

  13. Col_Fury says:

    Jah, #MeToo

  14. CJ says:

    @Krzysiek Ceran

    Oops, of course he did. I had just read a previous comment mentioning _Adrienne Frost_ and was wondering about her but typing something else, d’oh.

  15. Moo says:

    Speaking of Tessa/Sage, I always liked her. Or rather I should say, I like the idea of her. I hated the way Claremont wrote her. Always seemed to me he had a potentially cool character on his hands but just didn’t know how to get her there.

    The idea of a character with a partitioned mind– able to run multiple trains of thought simultaneously while also possessing 100% memory recall intrigues me. How would that affect someone psychologically? Especially where traumatic memories are concerned. The idea that Sage might be constantly replaying the memory of a traumatic incident– in perfect detail, during all of her waking hours because she can’t shut it off could have explained a lot about her aloofness and stoic personality.

    I hoped something like that might occur to Claremont but it never did. He was too busy using her as a deus ex machina to jumpstart latent mutants, restore lost powers, and cure blindness.

  16. Krzysztof Ceran says:

    Isn’t Sage basically a Dune mentat? Considering other classic sci-fi influences in Claremont’s X-Men.

    And yeah, I never got what her character is supposed to be. She was just… there.

    As for this issue – I’ve enjoyed it. Bishop’s subplot is not handled well – they specifically go to Taipei to meet him, then ignore him, he doesn’t mind that and then he’s so enamored with the boat that even he admits his thing wasn’t that important.
    It’s supposed to be a Claremont-like ‘many balls in the air’ multiple plots thing but it’s clumsy.

    Otherwise – I enjoy the cavalier attitude of the team and Emma toying with Sebastian. Also, apart from the whitewashing coloring, the art remains great – the dance/fight scene especially seems like a thing that could get lost in translation from script to page and Lolli executes it really well, I thought.

    Oh, and the Batroc/Kate talk was nice, too. I appreciate when the writer remembers Batroc’s not just a joke character.

    As for Kitty’s downward spiral – while that’s probably where this is headed, I hope the book deals with that without suddenly turning fully dark. X-Force and Fallen Angels are more than enough.

  17. Arrowhead says:

    There’s such huge potential for mutants with neurological or cognitive mutations – who simply process information in a different way, and seeing how that effects their perceptions and relationships.

    Primal from Generation Hope Is the best example I can think of. Maybe Quicksilver, who sees the world in slow motion, as explained in the famous X-Factor therapy issue. Maybe Blindfold? Wasn’t her tic because she couldn’t parse the future from the present?

    Of course, such characters need to be handled carefully, because using superpowers as a stand-in for mental disability and illness is a tricky business. Like how Legion is inconsistently labeled autistic (because why not) and his powers are based on “multiple personality” tropes with no regard for actual sufferers of Dissociative Identity Disorder. (As David himself said – “Would you call an epileptic superhero Spazmo?”)

  18. Si says:


    I’ve been thinking about the disposability thing too. Regret that tattoo? Blam! new body. Got a nasty virus? Blam! Need to go to the toilet at 3am but you’re all cozy? Blam!

    Why bother with basic health and safety? Why bother paying for return tickets to anywhere? Why bother slowing down if you see a fellow mutant crossing the road? Human life becomes the equivalent of plastic cups.

  19. Dazzler says:

    @Si: But it’s even worse than that, because you have these plot devices and you’re not even using them consistently. There are so many healers. Nobody should have prosthetics or handicaps and a surprising lot do. Chamber is capable of discharging his power without missing his face. Also they’re simultaneously making a big deal about Xavier’s death and also not making much of a deal of it at all, depending on where you look.

    It would be one thing to make this place an actual utopia where everyone was safe and whole and they really sold it that way, but it’s nothing like that at all. They tell us repeatedly that it’s these things but it’s very far from it.

  20. Allan M says:

    @Si I think the issue of disposability is going to be a plot point in X-Force. Characters who had artificial limbs pre Krakoa like Karma and Forge still have them, so they’re not currently in the habit of killing characters so they can be resurrected with all limbs intact.

    But what if they do, as you and Ben say? They seemed to be hinting that way with Colossus in X-Force #1, where he is horrifically injured and slowly being healed. But wouldn’t it be more humane to just kill him painlessly and bring him back? And once that option is open, as you say, what’s to stop Pyro from killing himself to get rid of a dumb tattoo he thought was cool when he was drunk?

    But there’s some inherent scarcity since all resurrections happen through the Five, and they have a mandate to revive all of Genosha and there’s only five of them. They’re evidently made a priority to revive the X-Men en masse, which is sensible since they’re functionally Krakoa’s army.

    They’ll inevitably have to create rules about resurrection priority, with an implicit caste system in a totally undemocratic society. Quiet Council and the Captains would be priority one. Then probably X-Force (security). Or maybe mutants whose powers could potentially fill a vacancy if one of the Five dies, like Jamie Braddock or the Morlock Healer. But after that, what priorities does the Quiet Council set? If a mutant kills themselves, do they get bumped down the list? Are combat-capable mutants more of a priority than noncombatants? Do mutants with a history of violence and/or terrorism get de-prioritized if they screw up their second lease on life? Tons of story potential there. Hopefully Percy can deliver.

  21. Dazzler says:

    Allan, they have healers. Multiple healers. Nobody needs to be killed in order to get their limbs (and in Chamber’s case, face) back. It’s insanely idiotic that these characters haven’t been fixed.

  22. JD DeMotte says:

    “Shaw’s “long history of hedging bets against mutantdom” primarily consists of his involvement in making Sentinels for the US government, but Emma was an ally of his for a lot of that period.”

    This is true, but that was before Emma was on Genosha when the Sentinels killed almost everyone else on the island. I can see that informing her opinion on such matters.

  23. YLu says:

    What healing ability would the X-Men have access to in the new setup that they didn’t already previously? Elixir was already on the team.

  24. JCG says:

    Don’t think the Hellions getting killed by Fitzroy and his pet Sentinels endeared them much to her either.

  25. Dazzler says:

    The X-Men have access to multiple healers all living in the same place, and mutants should notionally be more organized and cohesive than ever. I’m not acutely aware of where these healers have been during the time Karma has been legless, but I know there’s absolutely no excuse not to heal her by now. Especially when there trying to sell this joke as a paradise and the best mutants have ever had it. They could at least try selling that to the reader instead of turning it instantly into an island prison where the leader is instantly murdered and you need to ask Mr. Sinister’s permission to leave.

    Not to disrespect the folks of you who choose to buy into this premise, but you’re making a choice. The premise doesn’t sell itself.

  26. Dazzler says:

    Also, to my point, there’s no reasonable excuse here. It would be one thing if Elixir was simply unable to heal Karma’s leg or Chamber’s face for some reason. You have multiple healers, a resurrection machine and characters who can warp reality. The absolute least they could do to resist insulting the reader is to at least try to Krakoa as a haven.

  27. SanityOrMadness says:

    Also, Chamber’s had his face fixed twice – once rebuilt by Weapon X, once from a transfusion of Apocalypse’s blood. The implication from Hickman that his resurrected body “had to” have a missing face doesn’t really hold water.

  28. Taibak says:

    Not to mention Forge could just make a magic healing machine.

  29. Arrowhead says:


    You seem angry that “they” are saying Krakoa is a utopia when the story shows us it isn’t. I do not understand this criticism.

    The text makes it perfectly clear that Krakoa is not an actual utopia, and the creators very obviously do not intend it to be, and we the readers are obviously not meant to take it as such.

    Krakoa has a secret autocracy and immortal prisons, and gaping security flaws. These subplots were not included by accident. The creators did not blithely throw scenes of torture and political corruption into the script without reason. If they were telling a story about an actual utopia, then they would not have included these elements.

    If your problem is that the characters say Krakoa is a utopia when it isn’t… sometimes fictional characters say things that are objectively untrue. That’s something that people do, in fiction and in life, for a variety of reasons. When characters in this story call Krakoa a utopia, some of them are lying to protect their own agendas; some are repeating propaganda for the good of the state; many are clearly caught up in the initial excitement.

    The characters are told Krakoa is a paradise, and we the readers are deliberately shown the corruption under the surface. This is not a contradiction. This is dramatic irony. That’s the story.

  30. wwk5d says:


    Dazzler seems even more angry that some people might even be enjoying the new status quo…er, I mean, making the choice to buy into it.

  31. Dazzler says:

    @Arrowhead: My complaint is that the characters are all treated as a hive mind of unthinking sheep. The writers could have shown us the secret dark side of the island without making every inhabitant into such a blind idiot. You can create dramatic tension without making it so plainly obvious that the characters would have to notice that Krakoa isn’t a single one of the wonderful things the narrative insists it is. Little things like not having Xavier instantly murdered by low level thugs, not have a prison-style lockdown protocol after that happens, etc. Like, you know, make the island at least resemble the mutant paradise it’s meant to be. This would have been v easy to do.

    @wwk5d: I can’t even lie. I do roll my eyes at anyone who’s actually excited about this. I think cautious optimism is understandable but misguided. But, like, I actually think they’ve managed to ruin the X-Men to the extent that this sort of franchise can be ruined.

  32. Benji says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but it is *possible* that Karma and Jono are deliberately choosing to retain their damaged bodies, whether that’s to remind them of the events that shaped them into who they are, I don’t know. I do know that some (not all) people with a disability are fiercely proud of that. For example, some people who are deaf have expressed to me that they wouldn’t accept hearing aids/surgery as they consider their lack of hearing and utilisation of AUSLAN as part of who they are.

    I haven’t read the books yet (waiting for trades) but it could be a reason, unless they’ve specifically said they wanted to ‘fix’ their bodies and then that’s pretty clear my idea is kind of pointless.

  33. Adrian says:

    If people want to hand wave away the bad execution of this Krakoa setup that is fine. The issue is not the paradise image with underlying darkness or corruption. Great idea especially with issues like cloning and resurrection at will. But this story should have started before the actual establishment of Krakoa and show the X-Men reacting to this proposed status quo. They have been reduced to robotic idiots. It is even more ludicrous considering their individual character histories and their complex relationship with Charles. Especially Scott. Hopefully Moira dies at the end of this because her character history has been gutted. Charles to some extent as well if you try to put this story in the context of history.

    As for this Marauders issue, I don’t mind the direction they want to take Kitty in. I haven’t read anything with her in it since Whedon’s Astonishing so some mention of her recent travails would have been nice. Before reading Fury’s synopsis of the character’s recent history, I found the take on her jarring.

    The ship concept is still silly but the lighthearted approach to the material is probably the only way to make it palatable. It is just not done that well. The schtick is basically Frat Party on a Boat. Duggan isn’t writing great characters outside of Kitty so it drags it down with an already silly concept.
    Duggan also seems to be struggling with what to do with the rest of the cast. Kitty clearly has an arc but the rest are written in a pretty generic way and could be swapped out for any random mutant to be honest. I am beginning to feel as if this book is all about keeping some mutants busy until the next crossover happens.
    What is the overarching plot thread for this book though? Surely it cannot be the Hellfire Club tensions because thus far Sebastian Shaw seems to be a blithering incompetent. Hardly much of a challenge for Emma.

  34. wwk5d says:


    That may be, but you’re coming off as someone who is constantly posting on here just for the sake of browbeating everyone else into agreeing with you.

  35. Rich Johnston says:

    The Red Queen announcement is a reference to a certain Juggernaut meme, yes?

  36. SanityOrMadness says:


    Well, both Karma & Chamber have certainly shown dissatisfaction with their injuries in the past. Hell, while Chamber joining Weapon X was as an X-Men plant, at no point did he indicate regrets at the whole “rebuild his face and allow him to speak verbally” part of it.

  37. Arrowhead says:

    “Resurrection in damages bodies” is literally a plot point. They stated this in interviews.

    Maybe, as Benji said, the characters subconsciously believe their injuries are part of their “real” bodies. Maybe Proteus is stuck recreating their bodies from one specific point in time. Maybe someone in power is deliberately sabotaging the new bodies, because having mutants with physical differences reinforce that mutants are “different” and need a shared national identity.

    We don’t know yet, but this is a plot point. The eventual explanation could very well be stupid, but there will be an explanation.

  38. Arrowhead says:

    You have previously complained that the creators intend for we the readers to 1) uncritically accept that Krakoa is a paradise, while 2) the creators are simultaneously and deliberately showing us evidence that it isn’t. This is the specific complaint that I meant to address, because I don’t think it’s a coherent criticism.

    Complaining that the *characters* are *idiots* for accepting Krakoa as a utopia is a different complaint. It is certainly an arguable reading – but, I believe, not supported by the text.

    At Krakoa’s inception, we see the citizens swept up in a political rally, and having a huge party. All they know is that they’re suddenly in a post-scarcity society without aging or disease, seemingly safe from their persecutors, where friends and loved ones are somehow magically resurrected. They’re still in the honeymoon phase. They haven’t started to think critically about their situation.

    Krakoa’s flaws are not “plainly obvious” to the average inhabitant. They are not aware of the Quiet Council or the Hellfire Co’s more questionable practices. They are not aware of the creepy details of the resurrection process. They are not aware of the mysterious, forbidden territories of the island. Their rulers have denied them access to compromising information – something that rulers in the real world do frequently, and that average people frequently accept.

    The Reaver’s attack is security breach in an untested security system, and everyone is shocked and horrified. Again, this is something that happens in the real world – terrorists and assassins only succeed at asymmetrical warfare because they identify and exploit security flaws that the designers overlooked. A lockdown in the aftermath of a terrorist attack is not unrealistic.

    ..So my reading is that the characters are (for the most part) acting believably in highly unusual circumstances. It’s fine if your reading is different. Although I don’t think that ad hominem insults like “blind idiots” or “unthinking sheep,” are useful as criticism – if only because the targets cannot defend themselves, because they are fictional characters.

  39. SanityOrMadness says:


    Well, there’s two points to that. Firstly, Cyclops’ new body didn’t actually need his visor until his mind was downloaded by Xavier.

    Second, even if we buy that it HAS to happen to make them believe it or somesuch… they could heal them five minutes later, no? Call it part of the process and get Elixir & Hope to do it.

  40. YLu says:

    Given the huge backlog of dead mutants still “waiting” for resurrection, surely purposely clogging the backlog further by killing yourself just to get rid of a tattoo or even a lost limb (when the prosthetic was functioning just fine) would be viewed as rather selfish?

  41. Chris V says:

    This really is a missed opportunity (at least so far) to show how mutants’ powers could create a real utopia.

    I’d be interested in seeing mutants using their helpful powers to do things like heal people of grievous injuries.
    It’d be another way to show the human world why mutants could be useful, if only humans didn’t decide to fear and hate them so much.

    Instead, we’re seeing a convoluted resurrection/cloning protocol as the most interesting usage of a mutants’ powers.

    I’d like to see how a self-sufficient mutant society could be established using all of the different powers available to them, outside of relying on Krakoa.

    Maybe we will see more of this in future stories, or maybe this is just a huge missed opportunity.

  42. Adrian says:

    “Krakoa’s flaws are not “plainly obvious” to the average inhabitant. They are not aware of the Quiet Council or the Hellfire Co’s more questionable practices. They are not aware of the creepy details of the resurrection process. They are not aware of the mysterious, forbidden territories of the island. Their rulers have denied them access to compromising information – something that rulers in the real world do frequently, and that average people frequently accept.”

    Again, it is fine to hand wave things to enjoy a story but this seems like pure speculation on your part. They are most certainly aware of the resurrection process and who does it. The Five are almost worshipped. If I remember correctly, Psylocke strolled in to the chamber and was told not to use her psychic powers due to its effects. There is no evidence either way as to what most people on the island know about the council or Hellfire as we have not been privy to their perspectives.
    That is part of what hurts this story. Lack of context and character perspectives. Logically, if someone approached me (in a world that hates and fears me) and said come to my paradise utopia (where you can be resurrected but we need to imprint a strange language onto you and download your consciousness to keep somewhere forever), I would have questions. Lots of them BEFORE I even decide to go there. That’s not even touching on how people are being fed, clothed financially supported and kept occupied. I would also have even more questions when I see murderous egomaniacs like Apocalypse and Sinister running around.
    Again, it is fine if none of these inconsistencies bother you. But it is quite the stretch to conflate your assumptions and plot hole filling with actual events depicted in the books. Perhaps I have missed some of this so feel free to identify where this was made clear to you. I will stand corrected.

    And yes, if the X-Men (with their tumultous and tortured history with humans, mutant villains and even Xavier), signed up for all this without understanding the details or nary a protest, they have most certainly been reduced to gullible idiots for the purposes of the story. Not sure what is so insulting about that when discussing fictional characters.

  43. Dazzler says:

    My criticism is that it’s a pretty dumb idea that’s not that original or interesting and it’s poorly executed, particularly from a character perspective and particularly for the greatest and richest cast of characters in comics. I apologize if my criticisms are so vast and high in number that you can’t cohere them into one overarching feeling that the franchise has been ruined to the extent this sort of franchise can be ruined (assuming we’re sticking with this idea that this nonsense has been developing in the background for all of X-Men history, which is just completely absurd). Sorry for browbeating those who consider this to be good, sensible writing.

  44. Chris V says:

    Adrian-I mostly agree with your sentiments.
    However, it was stated during the initial minis that the Quiet Council were keeping most of what they were doing secret from the populace.
    It was also pointed out that Xavier and Magneto (with Moira) have more knowledge than anyone else on the Quiet Council also.
    There are secrets being kept from the majority.
    Xavier refers to all the mutants not on the Quiet Council as “their children”.

    Plus, in the first issue of Marauders, Kitty says that “the X-Men probably wouldn’t want to be associated with what we are doing”.
    Since what we saw was a group of mutants going to rescue some persecuted mutants, this would surely imply that there is some secret that the Hellfire Corporation is involved with that the majority on Krakoa are unaware also.

    I would definitely like to see more perspective of other characters on the island.
    So far, we’ve basically only seen Cyclops and Iceman.

    Plus, many of the characters are written widely inconsistently from book to book, or even from scene to scene.
    If Krakoa is doing something to mess with the minds of the inhabitants of the island (or whatever), it makes no sense.

    We saw some character in the Marauders comic acting very strangely.
    Yet, we see Shaw acting like his old self. He’s even putting his own interests above the interests of Krakoa (something I liked seeing).
    The review sort of says that Emma and Shaw aren’t living on Krakoa.
    However, neither are the cast of the Marauders anymore either.
    Pyro states that he’s going to be living on the Marauders’ ship.
    I’d assume that Emma and Shaw have been on the island close to the same amount of time as Pyro, as they need to show up on the island to attend the Council meetings, even if they aren’t living on Krakoa.
    Pyro has been away from Krakoa for long periods of time now too.
    So, why would Pyro being acting so strangely, while Shaw is acting completely normal?
    It just seems like totally inconsistent tone and writing.

  45. Dave says:

    “Firstly, Cyclops’ new body didn’t actually need his visor until his mind was downloaded by Xavier.”

    I’ll have to re-read to see if that’s made very clear, but couldn’t it be that he needs a little bit of time to absorb some solar energy before his power turns on?

  46. Dave says:

    “They are not aware of the creepy details of the resurrection process.”

    Which part? They have whole public ceremonies and the Five have the adoration of the masses.

  47. SanityOrMadness says:

    Dave> I’ll have to re-read to see if that’s made very clear, but couldn’t it be that he needs a little bit of time to absorb some solar energy before his power turns on?

    His eyes flash a bit when he’s facing at Xavier, but no actual blasts.

  48. Arrowhead says:

    I may be mistaken, but I believe the citizens of Krakoa (including many of the X-Men) are in the dark about the “weekly save state of your brain onto multiple redundant psychic servers, then restore from backup” stage of the process – which i find to be the creepiest and most morally questionable part.

    Again, I apologize if I’m mistaken. If there’s evidence that the majority are indeed aware of and unquestionably enthusiastic about the whole psychic server farm thing… that’s a pretty significant detail I overlooked, and one that significantly damages my reading.

    @Adrian @Dazzler
    I think Adrian hit the nail on the head here: it all depends how much you’re willing to fill in the blanks, and how much leeway you give the story. I’ve explained why I think the Krakoa model makes sense… but I concede I may very well be projecting my own explanations onto the text, and perceiving consistency that isn’t really there. It’s tough to catch yourself doing that.

    And we all have different levels of tolerance for incongruities and inconsistencies in corporate comics. I can accept Apocalypse on Krakoa because I’ve seen the “villain joins the heroes, despite unforgivable actions” trope so many times that I’m willing to give Apocalypse a shot. If the X-Men welcome Magneto back again and again, or forgive guys like Cyclops and Bishop for horrifying decisions, then I can accept Apocalypse.

    And again – acceptance of inconsistencies and suspension of disbelief vary from reader to reader. If they pulled out some excuse to put, say, the Red Skull on the island, then that’d be a step to far even for me and I’d be crying foul too. I guess that’s where you have to agree to disagree.

  49. wwk5d says:

    “if my criticisms are so vast and high in number that you can’t cohere them into one overarching feeling that the franchise has been ruined to the extent this sort of franchise can be ruined”

    Nah, we got it. By the the first two dozen or so times, at any rate.

  50. Adrian says:

    @Chris I think we mostly agree. Point taken on the Quiet Council. Although I have yet to see anything that needed secrecy besides Sabretooth’s punishment. I am sure most mutants would expect some form of governing body to be established. I do not dispute that there are secrets (Moira’s existence being one of them). It is just that we have no perspective to get a sense of how Krakoa possibly functions day to day with villians and XMen in close quarters, a public resurrection process and so on.

    @Arrowhead I agree on the willingness to suspend disbelief. We all have our limits. I think it is understandable that people inadvertently fill in the blanks as a lot of the story is just not well setup. Too much is hidden

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