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Jul 29

X-Factor #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 by Paul in Uncategorized

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

X-FACTOR vol 4 #1
“Suite No. 1: Prelude: Aurora Moratorium”
by Leah Williams, David Baldeon & Israel Silva

X-FACTOR. This is the fifth X-Factor series, and the others have no particular common thread. X-Factor vol 1 ran from 1986 to 1998, and started off as a reunion of the original X-Men, before relaunching as a government-sponsored team with issue #71. X-Factor vol 2 was a four-issue miniseries from 2002 about an FBI mutant civil rights task force. X-Factor vol 3 ran from 2005 to 2013, and featured Jamie Madrox’s X-Factor Investigations detective agency – the obvious forerunner for this book. And All-New X-Factor ran for 20 issues in 2014-15 with a corporate-sponsored team.

COVER / PAGE 1. Symbolic image of the cast in front of a DNA Helix. For recognisability, they’re all in costume, though they don’t actually wear costumes in the story. (Eye-Boy never had a superhero costume, and is shown in his school uniform.)

PAGE 2. Tribute to Denny O’Neil.

PAGE 3. Northstar senses that Aurora has died.

Northstar is Jean-Paul Beaubier, a speedster best known as a founder member of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight. Aurora is Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, his twin sister, also a member of Alpha Flight. Originally they had powers that worked in synergy together, but that got changed later. At any rate, it potentially explains why Northstar might be aware of her death, if you don’t think “twins” is a good enough explanation on its own. Both are mutants, and Northstar has had a stint in the X-Men in the past, though he’s never really been central to the X-books for any extended period.

We’ve seen Northstar in a few cameos in the Krakoa era, but this is his first significant appearance since Age of X-Man: X-Tremists, where he was a brainwashed member of the Age of X thought police.

Northstar’s heavy-handed and abrasive personality in this issue is pretty consistent with his traditional depiction. The man making the coffee is his husband Kyle Jinadu. I don’t think he’s appeared outside a cameo in quite some time, and this issue is no different. Kyle is not a mutant, and note that while Northstar has clearly been spending time on Krakoa, he has absolutely not left his family to be with the mutants. This is vaguely unKrakoan behaviour.

PAGES 4-5. Northstar tries to bully the Five.

The Five are the five mutants who are collectively responsible for bringing mutants back from the dead (together with Professor X’s psychic backups, and DNA records strongly implied to come from Mr Sinister). We’ve been told before that they are treated semi-religiously on Krakoa, and this is a very clear example. The crowds down below seem to be treating this as a pilgrimage site.

Northstar is clearly very unimpressed with all this and sees it as deeply self-aggrandising for the Five to encourage it. They don’t really have a good answer to this – they dodge the criticism in favour of telling Northstar (quite fairly) that he’s not the only one waiting for a loved one to come back. They also raise the issue of the resurrection protocols that have been mentioned before. Supposedly, these are designed to make sure that copy characters don’t get created while the original is still around.

This is well and good, but it begs an awkward question which the X-books have so far been dodging: if you can restore someone from back-up while the original is still alive, and create a copy of them, then why is that clone any less of a copy when it’s done after death? On one view, the resurrection protocols are simply a way for the X-Men to avoid having to face those awkward questions too directly. On the other hand, the X-Men do consistently act as if they believe that resurrected mutants are the same person, so perhaps they really do think that their process can somehow retrieve the soul from the afterlife, or something like that. At any rate, this has been a nagging issue throughout the Krakoan era, presumably on purpose.

The Five are right to refuse to help Northstar, but they are rather dismissive towards someone who believes his sister has just died – though Northstar, being Northstar, hasn’t exactly helped his case with his behaviour.

There seems to be a misdirected speech balloon in page 5 panel 3 – the character speaking in a Scottish (ish) accent is presumably meant to be Proteus, not Goldballs.

PAGE 6. Northstar speaks to Sage.

“First Beast, then Boom-Boom…” Sage is referring to her supporting roles in X-Force and New Mutants respectively.

The Green Lagoon is the tiki bar from X-Force. We saw its opening night in X-Force #9 (I don’t recall Aurora being on panel, but there were a lot of people). This story happens less than a week later.

PAGE 7. Northstar arrives at the Green Lagoon.

It’s very quiet, so presumably it’s the middle of the day. The bartender is the Blob, who’s been seen in that role in X-Force too. You’d think he wouldn’t be ideal for working in the narrow space behind a bar, but apparently you’d be wrong.

The woman at the bar is Polaris (Lorna Dane) who doesn’t normally dress like this. She’s been a member of most X-Factor line-ups dating back to the government-sponsored team. As mentioned later, she’s the biological daughter of Magneto (though their relationship isn’t that close) and there’s long been a sense that she ought to be more important to mutant politics than she actually is. Magneto will pick up on this later.

PAGE 8. Data page – a flyer for X-Factor Investigations. This is a bit confusing, because it suggests the group already exists. In fact, they’re going to be formed in the course of the story, and Eye-Boy creates the flyer on page 34. Why this wasn’t put at the end of the issue, I have no idea.

The Krakoan text simply repeats the English.

PAGES 9-10. Credits and cast page. I’m not sure why the story title is “Aurora Moratorium” – a moratorium is a delay, rather than anything to do with death. Perhaps the idea is that Aurora is in some sense on hold pending her resurrection.

PAGES 11-12. Polaris selects her team.

Daken gets rejected by Lorna, but she seems to accept him when he shows up sober a bit later on. He’s the son of Wolverine, he had his own book for a bit, and he’s generally been a manipulative sociopath, though with some straying into more complex territory. We’ve seen him briefly on Krakoa, but this is the first time we’ve seen him at any length. His motivations for signing up for this team – in fact, actively angling to get on it – are unclear; there are no obvious signs in the issue of an ulterior motive but, well, it’s Daken. He claims later in the issue that he’s simply bored and looking for something to do, but that doesn’t seem terribly convincing.

Prodigy was a member of the second New Mutants team (from the Grant Morrison era). His power is to permanently retain the skills of everyone around him, so basically he gets more and more omni-competent over time. He lost his powers on M-Day but continued to show up in various titles, since his accumulated knowledge remained.

Strangely, he’s shown here having just been resurrected. His last pre-Krakoa appearance was in Uncanny X-Men vol 5 #17, when he cameoed as a mourner at Wolfsbane’s funeral. It’s possible that he deliberately got himself killed in the Crucible, seen in X-Men #7, in order to qualify for resurrection and get his powers back.

Prestige has been a member of various X-Men and Excalibur line-ups since the 1980s. She appeared in several issues of the current Excalibur run, and she was given the puppy in the epilogue to Excalibur #8. It’s the sole survivor of the Warwolf race, who fought Excalibur a few times; it was entrusted to Rachel so that her psychic powers could keep it under control. She greeted the thing by cooing “Who is this amazing baby?!” at it, and seems to have decided that Amazing Baby is just going to be its name now.

Eye-Boy has been a major character in trainee books like Wolverine & The X-Men and the most recent version of Generation X, and also had a prominent role in Age of X-Man: Apocalypse & The X-Tracts. His multiple eyes let him sense all kinds of things, not just vision. I have no idea what he’s doing in this scene, because his powers have never involved sticking extra eyes onto objects. Despite his apparent geekiness, he’s an obviously useful character for X-Factor’s remit, both in terms of his powers and his broadly-sensible personality – though he’s likely to be overawed by some of these characters and ought to be completely out of his depth standing up to Daken or Northstar.

PAGES 13-15. Daken inveigles his way onto the team.

Daken insists that he’s reformed, which is of course what all villains are supposed to be able to assert on Krakoa. “Messy” is probably a fairer description of him. Daken uses his pheromone manipulation here to remind people that he can be subtle, but he does seem to be using it constructively, to calm down a kid’s temper tantrum. Rachel appears to verify that the kid’s hate for his grandmother is genuine, and not something caused by Daken.

PAGES 16-19. The team investigate Aurora’s last hotel room.

Daken says he’s going to “interrogate” the desk clerk. In fact, he uses his pheromone powers to seduce the guy. But he does seem to be using it in a genuine attempt to advance the investigation. Still, this sort of casual manipulation of people is very Daken, and note that he only uses his powers in this way when the others aren’t around. This is a much less innocuous thing than calming a brat.

“Everybody always forgets about my chrono-skimming…” Rachel has the power to manipulate time, which eventually became the explanation for how she travelled to the present from her home in a dystopian alternate future. These powers are very hazily defined, and I think strictly speaking the term “chrono-skimming” has been used in the past to cover stunts like swapping the minds of Kitty Prydes from two timelines. But Rachel has occasionally used her powers in this way before, to view events which have happened nearby in the past – see X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2, for example.

Looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of it in this series.

PAGES 20-22. The team retrieve Aurora’s body.

PAGES 23-25. Northstar delivers Aurora’s body to the Five.

Understandably, Northstar is more preoccupied with getting the resurrection procedure up and running than with hanging around to find out why she died. Note that it’s Daken who, uncharacteristically, is doing the sensible thing about having Aurora’s body properly dealt with, while Northstar yells at people and then stands in the background looking a bit chastened.

Rachel and Hope both live in the Summers family home, hence their interaction here.

PAGES 26-29. X-Factor present their findings to the Quiet Council and get officially appointed to the role.

The story seems to be simply that Aurora died due to brake-tampering from an anti-mutant activist, who got himself killed at the same time… but there’s probably more to it than that, given that we don’t really know what brought them together in the first place.

For some strange reason, Lorna declines leadership of the team and nominates Northstar, who has demonstrated precisely zero suitability for the role. Granted, he’s emotional about his sister, and he’d probably do better in another case… but still.Northstar is understandably baffled, but accepts the role – whether because he lacks the modesty to say no, or because he feels duty bound, or just because he wants to remain involved in the investigation.

Lorna insists later that she had her reasons for turning down the role (despite Magneto’s evident disappointment regarding the family name). She seems to imply that she’s in a “finding herself” mode at the moment. But even if she didn’t want the job herself, wouldn’t Rachel have been the natural choice? Is there some reason why she wants Jean-Paul to have the role?

The House of M is Magneto’s home, where Lorna is presumably now living.

PAGES 30-31. Lorna speaks to Krakoa and builds the Boneyard in her sleep.

“Do you remember how we met?” Krakoa tried to eat her, in Giant-Size X-Men #1.

PAGES 32-33. X-Factor move into the Boneyard.

The Krakoan text on Prodigy’s T-shirt reads “CK”. Cute.

Note that if Lorna and Rachel are moving into this place, it also gets them a little more distance from Magneto and Cyclops respectively.

PAGES 34-35. Forge explains X-Factor’s systems.

Eye-Boy’s flyer is the one we saw earlier in the issue. Much of this scene simply spells out what was hinted at in there.

PAGES 36-37. Data pages: the rules of resurrection. These are heavily redacted, which is obviously very, very suspicious. Even part of X-Factor’s remit is redacted.

The section on the resurrection queue mentions an “augury incident.” This isn’t explained, but augury is the art of seeing the future. Is this something to do with Destiny, whose resurrection is being deliberately deferred to string Mystique along?

PAGES 38-39. Trailers. The Krakoan reads “NEXT: MOJOVERSE.” The Mojoverse is the home dimension of the insane, TV-obsessed Mojo; Rachel and the Warwolves both have connections to the place from the early days of Excalibur.

Bring on the comments

  1. Mike says:

    I’m not in love with the art, but this is the most fun book I’ve read since Hickman took over.

  2. Gareth says:

    There was a *lot* to get through this issue but I felt I got my moneys worth and was entertained, which is not something you can say about the X-books lately, particularly in a week where the absolute bobbins that was X-Men #10 was published.

    As Mike says – fun. That helps a lot with some of the rougher parts.

  3. Mike says:

    I’m pretty sure Eye-Boy was placing those ubiquitous “googly eye” plastic toys on his shoes. The fact that every eye is facing down – because of gravity – is a hint.

  4. JD says:

    This is definitely a first issue that benefited hugely from being double-sized.

    Lorna’s portrayal here, with the leather jacket and her ambivalence towards leadership and her legacy, seems to draw heavily from her leading role in The Gifted TV series. (Similarly to how Prisoner X was riffing on the “Lorna in jail” arc of that show.)

  5. Médard says:

    Fantastic first issue.
    I loved the dynamic cartoony art and lushly colors.
    Williams writing gives live to the characters, had all characters do something relevant to the advance the story and gave each of them a relation towards another. The story also gave a setup for the series and a complete story all in the first issue. This is, dare I say, a perfect first issue.

    I also liked that this series is going to tackle the dubious and mysterious resurrection part of the new route of the x-titles. It’s a subject which has been barely touched upon by the other titles, while it seems like a great well for new stories.

    Not a fan of Mojo and his world/universe, but after this issue all I can say is: bring it on!

  6. Médard says:

    @Mike “ I’m pretty sure Eye-Boy was placing those ubiquitous “googly eye” plastic toys on his shoes. The fact that every eye is facing down – because of gravity – is a hint.”

    That was my take on it as well. Like a silly joke of Eye-boy who was obviously very bored.

  7. Joe says:

    Not cool, Daken. It’s one of those I suppose unwritten rules of SF/F that pop up from time to time. Sex as a result of mental manipulation is not considered informed consent. It looks a bit like rape. Couldn’t Daken just have manipulated him into talking a bit too much? Did it have to be full sex?

    Is Hickman even aware of the above? I don’t know how much he interacts with the SF/F community on the whole. While I recognise the tropes in his work, they’re generally done in a fun way. Surely he must be aware of what’s tired, what’s cliche, and what’s still fresh. But then there’s Daken. I don’t know what to think.

    Okay, Lorna letting Northstar lead. Maybe she thinks it’ll make him less brusque? Become more of a people person?

    Other than Daken, I really liked this issue.

  8. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    ‘Couldn’t Daken just have manipulated him into talking a bit too much?’

    But… isn’t that exactly what he did? He even complains that they’re leaving already, which I read as confirmation that nothing beyond flirting has occured.

    Also Hickman has nothing to do with it, this book is written by Leah Williams. Who is very much a Twitter person and interacts with the community constantly. I would expect her to touch on the consent issues sooner or later.

    Daken definitely has been written in the past as using his pheromones to make people have sex with him – in his own book – so if he’s supposed to be in a genuine good guy phase in X-Factor, this will have to be addressed.

    As for the issue – it’s a very good start. Even for an oversized issue there’s a lot packed in here. It doesn’t go beyond the advertised premise – the team will investigate missing mutants to confirm their death for resurrection purposes – but it showcases how that will work and why that’s necessary in a detailed and, most importantly, interesting and engaging way.

    I have mixed feelings regarding art – some scenes worked very well for me. I liked the motel and bridge sequences, for example, but the scenes set on Krakoa felt somehow flat. Maybe Baldeon is better with real-world locations.

    @Paul
    Regarding Kyle – the creators said in interviews a long time ago that Kyle is living on Krakoa despite being human. It’s not super-clear in this issue, but the flower arrangement in their kitchen looks to me like it’s full of Krakoa eyes, so I think their home is on Krakoa. And while that’s up for interpretation, Kyle is later present in the Boneyard near the end of the issue.

  9. Ben says:

    Pretty good!

    It was nice to see characters acting like actual people instead of insane cultists.

  10. Daniel says:

    Poor old Grumpy Gay Northstar. Like Namor, I’ve never understood why so many characters put up with his shit.

  11. Evilgus says:

    I went into this expecting it to be a bit sledgehammer, but I really enjoyed it. As everyone has commented, it was fun, packed in a lot, and had a good grasp of character – not just wooden cultists!

    I liked the explanation of Rachel’s chromo skimming, how it was powerful bit limited. Rachel herself also is far more compelling than she’s been in ages (constant trauma victim). She’s a character who comes across as innately sad or one step removed, but can still be wry.

    The one character I can never get a bead on is Lorna – who’s she meant to be, exactly? Peter David writing her a big sister/den mother always felt closest to her character. But I like this was lampshaded when Lorna explicitly asks Magneto who he thinks she is exactly. I’m interested to see.

    Looking forward to this run. The character mix is a real cross section of old and new generations.

  12. Polarityhavok says:

    As a Lorna fan, I still don’t really have a good take on what her personality because it seems to shift so often from writer to writer. Her and Magneto having no idea how to to answer the question either made me chuckle.

  13. Scott B says:

    Has Danger shown up anywhere lately? I can’t remember seeing her since the last version of X-Factor and you’d think she’d have an interesting role given Hickman’s mutants vs. machines thing.

  14. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    She was a background character in Cullen Bunn’s X-Men Blue. I don’t think she’s appeared since – definitely not in Dawn of X. Maybe someone is using her in the Iron Man robót uprising crossover? I’m not reading it, just guessing.

  15. Thom H. says:

    Loved this issue, and so happy that Northstar and Aurora are getting some attention.

    I especially liked the characters explaining to each other how they could contribute to the investigation. It felt subtle and organic, and it totally sold me on the strange roster. Their power sets overlap in some really interesting ways.

    Not sure why the sides of people’s faces are so frequently in shadow, but otherwise the art was really dynamic and the coloring was beautiful.

    I’m really looking forward to more of this!

  16. Ben says:

    Thom- Yeah I like that the book has a clear purpose and a reason for why each character is there.

    A lot of the line feels very half hazard.

    —————–

    Is that Children of the Atom book ever coming out?

  17. Allan M says:

    Danger is not in Iron Man 2020 thus far, and with one issue to go, seems unlikely that she will appear.

    Children of the Atom is still coming out, per Jordan White, the editor of the X-books, on Twitter a week ago or so. At this stage, I’m assuming it’ll be a post-X of Swords thing.

    As of X-Factor #1, I’m mostly ambivalent, but I think it’s funny that we now have two X-teams whose token ex-villain is on the team because they were drunk and had nothing better to do. Also, for all their posturing about being a superior species, Magneto and Polaris’ exchange underlines that mutant society is still being built with family bloodlines as hugely important (see also: comments about the Summers and Guthrie clans under Hickman).

  18. Luis Dantas says:

    This was good. Easily the most engaging and best executed of all the X-books of the Hickman era that I have read.

    Lots of interesting plot seeds, very good pacing, and excellent characterization. It has been a very long while since I saw such compelling, well-rounded characters in an X-Book.

    The pencils remind me of Angel Medina’s, but they are considerably more palatable than those. I keep wondering why Northstar looks so much like Hugh Jackman, though.

    Keep this up and this book will be a major contender for the highlight of Hickman’s era.

  19. David says:

    @Joe-

    I definitely agree with @Krzysiek, it’s extremely clear that Daken’s seduction of the motel clerk doesn’t go past flirting. The clerk is sitting on the counter and touching Daken’s chest, they’re both still dressed. They didn’t have sex.

  20. MWayne says:

    I thought this was the best debut issue of the Hickman era thus far: solid premise, snappy dialogue, good characterization, multiple plot threads laid down, lesser known power sets on display, nice art. I agree with Luis that Jean-Paul looks a little weird to me in places, that’s the only negative I can think of, but it is not bothersome.

  21. Josie says:

    This book didn’t do it for me. Like many of the current X-books, it feels like a bunch of random characters slapped together. I only have familiarity with Northstar, Polaris, and Rachel, and of those three, only one of them has had a consistent personality.

    And if your book draws attention to the fact one of your characters has no personality, that doesn’t do anything to address the problem.

  22. MWayne says:

    @Josie: i think you are talking about Polaris, regarding calling attention to the fact that one of the characters has no personality? I thought her scene with Magneto suggested that the writer intends to do something about the personality problem. I.e., Identify the problem, then work on fixing it.

  23. Evilgus says:

    The best writer of Lorna so far has very Peter David, but even then he’s been having to do a vast amount of fix-it work. She’s never been distinct, and the on/off daughter of Magneto role never helped.

    I read this issue groaning wondering what Lorna we’d see, and actually laughed out loud at the Magneto scene for putting on page what I was thinking. I agree with @MWayne that Leah Williams called it out as a mission statement to address it.

    Already with the odd relationship with Krakoa, and her deliberately keeping her head below the parapet in terms of visible power on the island, we should get an interesting Polaris in this run.

  24. Chris V says:

    I thought that David’s take on Polaris during his initial run on X-Factor was distinct and created an interesting character.
    Then, she got ruined by Chuck Austen.

    The problem is that if Williams puts work in to help define Lorna again, in a few years, a new writer will just mess her up again. It’s like she’s stuck in a vicious cycle.

  25. Luis Dantas says:

    Most of the noteworthy characters are, though. Tony Stark keeps losing and regaining Stark Enterprises. Cyclops keeps oscillating between being the respected leader of the X-Men or the demoralized has-been that must give way to Wolverine. Wolverine is everything at once.

  26. Chris V says:

    True.
    I guess when you have characters who have been around for decades and decades now, a lot of writers run out of new things to do with them, and decide to try to redo a classic story-arc from earlier in the character’s history.
    At least with someone like Tony Stark, they had a number of consecutively good years of stories building up the character before he became stuck in this negative cycle.

    The defeating nature of being a corporate property.

    Unfortunately, with Lorna though, her defining character trait (or arc) is lacking an identity.

  27. Thom H. says:

    I’m just glad the questions that are being asked about Lorna are more along the line of “will she be leading this team?” and less “who’s she dating?” and “who’s she related to?” That in itself is a promising start for the character.

    And for someone who is, for all intents and purposes, one of the original X-Men, I think the question of leadership is warranted. She’s been around — and fighting evil — longer than almost any other mutant on Krakoa.

  28. Taibak says:

    Thom: Ironically, it’s also an angle Peter David used for Lorna during the most recent X-Factor run.

  29. Josie says:

    Maybe Leah Williams “called it out to address it,” but in this one issue, it wasn’t addressed. It was just called out. I can’t just fan-fiction a solution to the problem of Polaris that wasn’t actually on the page.

  30. MasterMahan says:

    This team seems overpowered for mystery solving. Most supernatural mysteries give the protagonists significant limitations to preserve the drama. The resurrections in Pushing Daisies had a 1 minute time limit, the visions in iZombie are uncontrollable and misleading, Lucifer can only bring out someone’s innermost desires, etc. Between the past-scanning mind reader, the see-everything guy, the expert-at-everything guy, and the super-senses guy, I’m not sure how this team can be challenged on mystery solving.

    It’s hilariously in-character that Aurora can live on the polyamorous orgy island and still find a way to have an illicit affair.

  31. JD DeMotte says:

    I got the impression that Leah Williams was channeling a bit of “The Gifted”‘s interpretation of Lorna into this version of the character. The clothes definitely felt like the tv show if nothing else.

    I thought this was a lot of fun. It’s an interesting way to explore one of the key components of the current X-Universe without big data dumps. Don’t get me wrong, I like the data pages Hickman introduced even if not every book has done a lot with them, but I think if there is a story to be told with that data it’s better to introduce it that way. Show don’t tell, yadda yadda yadda. Having a title that can naturally explore such an interesting and game-changing concept like the resurrection protocols in a more natural, story-driven way is a draw for me.

  32. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @MasterMahan
    Well, it won’t be a problem if Leah Williams writes sufficiently convoluted problems for them. And powers-wise the first X-Factor Investigation also had pretty much everything covered – they had an invincible telepath, a super-senses gal and Madrox was basically written as expert-at-everything-guy at the point. And when Longshot joined he brought in psychometry, which is basically indistinguishable from the way Rachel used chrono-skimming here.

  33. Loz says:

    If this book lasts, which I hope it does because I thought it was fun, then I see Rachel’s chrono-watsit powers being the same as Frank Black’s in ‘Millenium’ or Will Graham’s in ‘Hannibal’.

  34. Dimitri says:

    @Loz

    So… Rachel will be able to see the true faces of demons and will gain deeper understanding of the balance between good and evil in the end of days after touching a magic obelisk guarded by evil apocalypse dogs?

    Sorry, I know what you meant. It’s just you kind of made my day by casually referencing the “Millennium” TV show (which I love).

    …although, come to think of it, that above description of Rachel’s powers would have been right at home in the later half of Peter David’s X-Factor run.

  35. Luis Dantas says:

    How much confirmation do we have that polyamory is the norm in Krakoa?

    Far as I know, there is the recently-confirmed setup with Wolverine, Jean and Scott, which _seems_ to include Emma as well.

    But I stand uncertain of how representative that is. Those are, after all, members of ther Krakoa ruling elite, and even then they still end up being targets of the equivalent of a gossip column.

    It could go either way – and it is a bit sad that we still have so little to go on about that matter – but I think that the evidence as we have it right now suggests that polyamory is far from the norm in Krakoa.

    That makes sense to me. There are at least a few hundred mutants there, probably many more. It is even now not clear how so many felt like leaving their homes behind and moving to Krakoa so quickly.

    Having most of them change their sexual behavior uniformly while at that strains credibility quite a bit. Or perhaps it is a strong hint that we should not assume them to be on their right minds. I don’t mean this as any form of disapproval or criticism of polyamory, mind you. I just don’t find that much deep change happening so swiftly easy to believe.

    Come to think of it, Israel has been attempting a similar yet considerably less disrupting change for decades now and the results have definitely been much more modest. Yes, comic books and telepaths and mutants and all that, but still.

  36. Chris V says:

    As I pointed out before, Gambit and Rogue are in a monogamous, conservative marriage.

    It seems like the Cyclops/Jean/Logan/Emma relationship is not the usual on Krakoa.
    I felt this was more a way to avoid fractious rivalries on Krakoa, since Xavier wants all mutants to be working for the same goals.

    There was a lot of talk about hive-minds and giving up individuality when Krakoa was founded. I am wondering if we’re moving towards an eventual end-point of massive orgies where all the mutants are sleeping with each other.
    Of course, there are probably limits from Marvel on how far Hickman could go.

  37. ASV says:

    It may be people connected one seeming instance of polyamory with the rest of the island’s population engaging in a more or less continuous rave.

  38. Thom H. says:

    Maybe I’m being obtuse, but I reread this issue last night and…does the way Aurora died make sense?

    The anti-mutant (mutaphobic?) guy cut the brake lines of his car and set up spiky things to pop the tires.

    He misjudged how far the car would skid in the rain, so it hit him and went through the railing, killing both him and Aurora.

    But if he was “lying in wait to dump Aurora’s body in the Puget and retrieve his vehicle” like Prodigy says…how would Aurora have died? He can’t dump a body in the water that’s already in the water. And if she’s not in the water, she’s not dead, right?

    Plot hole? Clue? Am I misunderstanding?

  39. Luis Dantas says:

    The way I see it, there is at least decent room for revisiting her death scenario. The explanation is incomplete at best, as you point out.

  40. MasterMahan says:

    X-Factor’s explanation of what happened clearly makes no sense. The authorities couldn’t tell the difference between someone who died in a car crash and someone who died from being hit by an SUV? There’s another shoe waiting to drop, possibly with googly eyes.

    Scott/Jean/Logan/Probably Emma isn’t the only poly relationship we’ve seen on Krakoa. Teen Cable had a date with Pixie and Armor in his first issue, and is dating the Cuckoos in his second. This doesn’t mean it’s the rule, but it’s apparently not frowned upon.

  41. Thom H. says:

    Okay, cool. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so. Weird that an entire room of people bought that explanation, but OK. I’m happy to consider it a mystery instead of a mistake.

    I’m also suspicious about how little we see Aurora’s face while she’s alive. Not sure what that could mean, but again – happy to see if it goes somewhere.

  42. Taibak says:

    So random question. Would you recommend this to someone who has little to no interest in what Hickman is doing, but is a fan of Rachel and Jean-Paul and did enjoy Peter David’s recent X-Factor run?

  43. Allan M says:

    Taibak: It’s the best Rachel’s been handled in awhile, I’d say, based off a single issue. Even just down to having her 80/early 90s fashion sense back. And Northstar is fine. It’s definitely set in the Hickman status quo (Krakoa, mutant resurrections) at its core, but it we’re not seeing strains of the cult like behaviour thus far or portentous Big Foreshadowing (data pages notwithstanding). If you’re fine with working within the Krakoa status quo, the characters are all behaving normally (allowing for writing style/authorial takes).

    The main issue is it’s getting three issues before it gets pulled into a big crossover. Northstar and Rachel should fare okay – he’s the team leader and she’s got a cosmic sword kicking around, so both should get decent page time in a crossover about swords. But it’s tough to tell in advance how enjoyable issue 4 will be if you’re not interested in the broader Hickman story being told in the crossover.

    If you buy single issues, #1-3 seem worth a go, and maybe hold off on #4 until you see commentary one what it is. If you read in trade, pay attention to how people react to #4.

  44. Luis Dantas says:

    I definitely recommend this book for fans of Peter David’s X-Factor. Rachel, particularly, is at her absolute best ever IMO.

    Not so sure about Northstar, but at least he is getting clear characterization.

  45. Karl_H says:

    ““Do you remember how we met?” Krakoa tried to eat her, in Giant-Size X-Men #1.”

    Lorna subsequently acting as if her question was a faux pas makes me think she was referring to the fact that she literally threw Krakoa into space.

    I’d forgotten that Prodigy is bi. That makes the team 50% bi and 1/6 gay… Lorna I think is straight but I’m not sure about Eye Boy. Interesting!

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