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Aug 28

X-Men #11 annotations

Posted on Friday, August 28, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

Nice and simple, this one.

X-MEN vol 5 #11
“One War, One Mutant”
by Jonathan Hickman & Leinil Francis Yu

COVER / PAGE 1. Magneto presumably facing off against the Cotati. This issue is bannered as both an Empyre tie-in and a “Path to X of Swords” issue. It’s not exactly hard to figure out which scene is which.

PAGES 2-5. Summoner invites Rockslide to play a game.

The Arakko point is presumably part of the Arak Corral which showed up and joined with Krakoa in issue #2. It contains a closed portal to the sister island of Arakko. Summoner came through the portal in that issue; he has the power to control the monsters of Arakko, and he came looking for Apocalypse’s help. The three young mutants who come to speak to him are Rockslide (the rock guy), Anole (the lizard guy) and Loa (a minor character from the mid-2000s New Mutants series).

PAGES 6-7. Recap and credits.

PAGES 8-9. Data pages. A two-page memo from Cyclops to the Quiet Council.

“Our recent captains’ quorum.” That’s an odd usage of “quorum”. A quorum is the minimum number of people who have to attend a meeting in order for it to be valid. But “quorum” does have another obsolete sense, referring to a group of justices of the peace – so maybe Cyclops is using it that way.

“The multiple recent incursions of Krakoan space.” Obvious examples would be the Xeno attack in X-Force #1, the Brood attacking in issue #8, and the Fantastic Four sneaking in during X-Men/Fantastic Four.

Danger Island and the Atlantic archipelago were shown on the map at the end of House of X #6, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen it. Cyclops suggests it’s not getting a great deal of use; most of the Krakoans are happy to lie around and party.

Omega Level mutants are almost entirely redacted out of the text. Strangely, the one legible sentence says “See below regarding enchanted techniques”, when the next section is headed “Enhanced combat techniques” and seems to say nothing about enchantment. Probably just an error.

Enhanced combat techniques. Cyclops’ basic point is that just as the Five work together in synergy to do something none of them could do alone, other mutants could have similar combined effects in a military setting.

PAGES 10-11. Exodus introduces his story of Magneto’s victory.

We saw Exodus teaching these children in issue #7. (And they’re the same children – the miniature Kid Omega is particularly memorable.)

Exodus’ gimmick used to be his zealotry for Magneto; he’s never been much of a deceiver, and it’s entirely likely that he believes everything he’s saying here. That’s not to say that he’s a particularly reliable witness. Exodus’s take on events is inherently likely to be Magneto-centric, and he doesn’t claim to have actually been present for anything that he goes on to tell us about.

Having said all that, it’s Magneto – there’s absolutely no reason to think that he wouldn’t fight heroically in defence of Krakoa, and take a leadership role in doing so. This sort of situation brings to the fore his more heroic qualities..

PAGES 12-25. In Exodus’ account, Magneto leads the defence of Krakoa against the invading Cotati.

The Cotati are the invading aliens of Empyre, serving here as more or less generic opponents.

Magneto’s three helmets. The red and purple helmet is his traditional Silver Age helmet; the white costume is more recent. The black and grey helmet was from the Magneto solo series a few years back.

And aside from that, it’s mostly fighting, really – the main point to draw from it is probably that Exodus is focussing almost entirely on Magneto and downplaying the contribution of everyone else. The final panel shows Magneto fighting alongside the X-Men, but Exodus is only talking to the kids about Magneto.

PAGES 26-27. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: SUMMONED.

Bring on the comments

  1. SanityOrMadness says:

    There’s some really weird cameo choices in this – Goldballs fighting sticks out especially badly; surely “The Five” would be at the top of any evacuation list?

  2. Ben says:

    I actually really enjoyed this issue.

    Hickman is best when he’s playing it straight and epic.

    Plus I’m a sucker for Magneto.

  3. Daniel says:

    Been wanting to ask this but not sure where. How long have Xavier and Magneto secretly been in cahoots? And how does this reconcile with Fatal Attractions, Eve of Destruction, etc?

  4. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    If I recall HoXPoX correctly – or more to the point, if I recall the annotations and internet discussions about HoXPoX correctly – the scene where Xavier and Moira recruit Magneto was placed around Uncanny X-Men #150, based on his island base at the time.

    The timeline given in one of the data pages mentions Xavier and Moira falling out with Magneto at a later date. I don’t recall where that was placed on the timeline but I guess this is the loophole that’s supposed to accommodate Magneto’s villanous turn. (The 90s, basically).

  5. Allan M says:

    The Magneto/Xavier/Moira alliance begins somewhere post-Uncanny #150 – he raises Isle M out of the ocean floor the issue before and flies away at the end of the story, so it has to be slightly later.

    The alliance is broken later on, which is not explicitly but pretty clearly X-Men #1-3, in which it’s revealed that Moira mucked with Magneto’s mind when he was a child, and he’s furious about it. Moira has a diary entry in HoXPoX where she bemoans how she screwed it all up.

    So they are at odds during the 90s, and presumably mend fences when they did in normal continuity, post-Morrison.

  6. Ben says:

    So I take it that in Hickman’s Moira retcon, the Magneto at the end of Morrison’s run who kills Jean Grey is really Xorn? Or his twin? I always hated that retcon, even if it salvaged Magneto for future use.

    Maybe the real Magneto was Joseph this whole time?

  7. Chris V says:

    There would be no reason for Hickman’s Moira ret-con to undo the Xorn ret-con, no.
    Based on the fact that Xorn is part of Krakoa now, that would imply that the ret-con of Morrison’s Magneto still exists as canon.

  8. Daniel says:

    During Fatal Attractions, what was the X-Men’s reason for attacking Magneto? When he crashed Illyana’s funeral, aggressive as he was, he seemed to imply that he was just gathering any willing mutants to live on Avalon so they could… live there. I forget, was he planning to attack Earth or something?

    And as far as X-Men 1-3, I always wondered what would have happened if the X-Men didn’t act like assholes and just left Magneto alone. It was probably a lost cause as soon as Fabian Cortez got involved, but in fairness to Magneto, he really did try to keep a level head and then Wolverine tried to kill him.

  9. Chris V says:

    In Fatal Attractions, Magneto unleashed an EMP on the Earth.

    In X-Men #1-3, that was Claremont’s way to subtly make his point that Magneto still wasn’t truly a villain, even though he gave in to Harras and Lee by making Magneto the main antagonist for the X-Men again.

  10. Luis Dantas says:

    Personally I don’t buy Magneto as anything but a full villain. Claremont attempted to sell the idea that he isn’t one since the Graphic Novel “God Loves, Man Kills”, but his rationales were never convincing to me.

  11. Daniel says:

    I think it would have been interesting to have a Cold War of sorts play out for a while between The X-Men and Magneto circa X-Men 1-3. Things would have boiled over eventually, but it would have been nice to spend more time with the late Claremont Magneto who was disillusioned and wanting nothing more than to wall himself up in Asteroid M for a while. We barely got to know that guy before he went completely batshit during Fatal Attractions.

  12. Claus says:

    Re: Loa:
    Alani Ryan was indeed a rather minor character during the Kyle/Yost run on New X-Men, but she got more of a profile of her own when she forged an odd friendship with Namor, appearing as a regular in the series Namor: The First Mutant and Fear Itself: The Deep. Loa later resigned from the X-Men entirely in order to attend Avengers Academy. Then she vanished from any publication for years. I think this is her first appearance in the Hickman era.
    My point is that from her history Alani would have to be reckoned among the most integrationist and least isolationist of mutants. I hope that gets a nod, at least.

  13. SanityOrMadness says:

    Well, she was also one of the characters killed off in Rosenberg’s bloodbath. So that could have an effect (doubly so if you assume there’s something rotten in Krakoa, and that resurrectees’ minds are particularly open to manipulation).

  14. neutrino says:

    p.15: Cyclops is supposed to be on the Moon, and Wolverine is with the FF, but both are seen fighting on Krakoa.

    p.21: The Cotati general’s boasts don’t make much sense, since they’ve been rooted for millenia until Empyre. Either Exodus is embellishing or the X-office didn’t do their homework.

    The Cotati aren’t very impressive, just having numbers and melee weapons. The battles the mutants are fighting aren’t that important, just diversions. The vital areas are Wakanda, where Quoi threatens to plant himself and become godlike, and the Skrull threat to blow up the Sun. (So much for conquering death.) Ironically, Krakoa will owe its survival to the non-mutant heroes.

  15. Chris V says:

    Moira could see a lot of things coming, but even she couldn’t be prepared for the rise of the plants…

    This is why Krakoa existing in a shared universe just doesn’t work.
    It’s an especially egregious decision when they forced the X-Men to take part in this crossover that has zero to do with this new direction.
    Hickman has moved the X-Men away from being superheroes, then they just get shoved back in to the role of superheroes, and it makes this direction look worse.

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