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Nov 27

X of Swords: Destruction #1 annotations

Posted on Friday, November 27, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

“X of Swords, Chapter 22”
by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Pepe Larraz & Matte Garcia

This is the final chapter of the “X of Swords” crossover, and the third one-shot – the others being X of Swords: Creation and X of Swords: Stasis. All three officially have a #1 attached, because that’s how these things work.

COVER / PAGE 1. Fighting.

PAGE 2. Epigraph from Apocalypse. Until now he’s been carrying the burden of losing Arakko and Genesis in his youth; he’s evidently willing, in this issue, to take on the burden of Annihilation instead in order to rescue them. Since Apocalypse was immortal even before the Krakoan resurrection protocols took hold, he assumes that he’s likely to literally carry these burdens forever.

PAGES 3-4. Credits and recap.

PAGE 5. Saturnyne reaches her final card.

Saturnyne is still accompanied by Ryl (the fish woman), Shogo (the dragon) and a couple of random priestesses. The narration suggests that Saturnyne couldn’t affect the eventual outcome, but only the route by which it was reached. It’s never clearly explained what she was trying to achieve by rigging the contests in the earlier issues (beyond the fact that she needed to shatter Betsy to create an ingredient for her love spell), but presumably she was trying to make it look as though Krakoa would lose, in the hope of bringing Brian Braddock to heel that way. Instead she grudgingly accepts bringing back the Captain Britain Corps that she’s stuck with – one based on alternate versions of Betsy, rather than Brian.

PAGE 6. The new Corps enters the battle.

The final card that Saturnyne draws is the Wheel of Fortune. The version she’s holding is a relatively straight rendition of the now-traditional design from the A.E. Waite tarot deck. It symbolises, well, fortune and luck and so on, though it’s also the card that draws together the whole tarot deck; the points of the wheel spell T-A-R-O-T. There’s a Roman numeral ten at the top of the card, indicating that this is the tenth card in the major arcana. So it’s not the X of Swords, but it is tarot card X.

The new Captain Britain Corps is (apparently) made up of versions of Betsy Braddock – some of them are men or animals, but they’re meant to be wearing variations of Betsy’s Captain Britain costume, and where applicable they have her purple hair. We’ll get names for some of these characters at the end of the issue, which also establishes that none of them is the “real” Betsy.

PAGES 7-10. The Arakkii respond by summoning up demons.

We’ve been told before that Summoner was one of a number of Summoners, all of whom had the power to summon up and control the beasts of Amenth. Despite their similar appearance, this apparently isn’t a mutant power but a magical skill.

PAGE 11. Saturnyne and Cable talk.

Cable was injured in his contest in Cable #6.

PAGES 12-13. Cyclops and Magik open a portal for the X-Men to reach Otherworld.

Cyclops and his forces are on the SWORD space station, where Saturnyne sent them in Cable #5. Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Magik telepathically discussed a plan to get through to Otherworld at the end of that issue – which they kept secret from everyone else. Cyclops’ reference to the weather is a callback to them talking about rain in that scene. Evidently the plan was for Magik to open a portal through which the whole station could pass. The practical value of the station is that it has the portal to the dimension of the Viscora (from Cable #5), who are brought in to fight the Amenth army – presumably this was Cyclops’s big idea to even the odds..

PAGE 14. The horde of X-Men attack.

We established in the previous chapter that the X-Men had officially been disbanded, so Jean is making a point by using the name. She’s also referencing the “To me, my X-Men” line that seems to have become associated with Xavier (though it’s more of a Morrison-era thing).

In the first panel, the three characters coming through the portal are Callisto, Bling! and Gwenpool – who moved to Krakoa after retconning herself into a mutant in Gwenpool Strikes Back #5. Callisto’s eyepatch is on the wrong side, if that sort of thing worries you.

In the big splash page, running roughly from left to right (and ignoring some unrecognisable background blurs):

  • Unus the Untouchable, evidently feeling better after his trip to Arakko in X of Swords: Creation.
  • Skin, once of Generation X.
  • The character with fire powers is presumably Magma, though she really shouldn’t be on fire when she’s off the ground.
  • Gambit from Excalibur
  • Forge from the supporting cast of X-Force.
  • Chamber from New Mutants
  • Polaris from X-Factor.
  • I think the uncoloured guy with the glowing eye above Domino is Vulcan.
  • Domino from X-Force.
  • M.
  • Rictor from Excalibur
  • Rogue from Excalibur
  • Glob Herman from the cast of New Mutants
  • Pixie
  • Warpath
  • Boom-Boom of the New Mutants
  • Jamie Madrox (he’s in there at least three times in the background).
  • The Stepford Cuckoos.
  • Mondo of the New Mutants
  • Kid Omega from X-Force – which might be a continuity error, since he was kidnapped by Mikhail Rasputin in the final issue of that series before the crossover hit.
  • Gwenpool
  • Amazing Baby, Prestige’s pet Warwolf.
  • Wildside of the Mutant Liberation Front, last seen in New Mutants.
  • Someone wearing purple who I don’t recognise.
  • Bling!
  • Callisto
  • Wolfsbane of the New Mutants
  • Marvel Girl
  • Cyclops
  • Iceman of the Marauders
  • Armor
  • Mirage of the New Mutants
  • Prestige of X-Factor
  • Doop, once of the reality-TV incarnation of x-Force.
  • Forearm of the Mutant Liberation Front
  • Bishop of the Marauders
  • Archangel
  • Pyro of the Marauders
  • Daken of X-Factor
  • The Beast.

PAGE 15. They fight.

PAGES 16-17. Apocalypse and Annihilation / Genesis continue to fight.

Genesis’s point seems to be that she believes that she has to fight on in order to avoid fully succumbing to Annihilation; Apocalypse seems to be getting through to her, and so Annihilation makes a last ditch attempt to wipe out everything.

PAGES 18-21. Cable opens the gateway to the dimension of the Vescora.

Saturnyne has to prompt him pretty heavily, but Cable finally remembers that – as per Cable #5 – his sword can activate the portal.

PAGES 22-26. Apocalypse takes the Annihilation mask.

The idea obviously being that he’s going to sacrifice his own identity to free Genesis. Apocalypse is apparently able to control the helmet and retain much of his own persona, because he’s motivated by the desire to save his people rather than simply by trying to beat Annihilation as an end in itself.

PAGE 27. Isca changes sides.

This echoes part of Arakko’s back story, in which Isca changed sides when the defeat of Arakko at the hands of Amenth became inevitable. The idea is that Isca’s mutant power is to be unbeatable, but this only enables her to actually win up to a certain point – at some stage, it simply compels her to defect to the winning team so that she is never personally “beaten”.

Isca is apparently just about to kill Pyro when she has this epiphany.

PAGE 28. Apocalypse surrenders.

Apocalypse effectively defeats Annihilation by overriding its wishes and ending the fight.

PAGES 29-31. Saturnyne tidies up.

She uses Shogo’s reality-melting dragonfire to get rid of the Viscora, and tones down Annihilation by turning it into a less controlling staff (which she gives back to Genesis). Apparently Genesis’s reign will be somewhat closer to her true personality from now on.

PAGES 32-33. Saturnyne insists that each side pick a mutant to live with them.

Genesis chooses Apocalypse, so he gets to be reunited with his wife and (effectively) written out of day to day X-stories. Apocalypse chooses the entire island of Arakko, which apparently qualifies as a mutant – thus bringing with it all of the mutants who were imprisoned when Annihilation’s forces overran the place. According to Saturnyne there are millions of them, which sounds like it should seriously destabilise the balance of power on Krakoa. If Krakoa’s attitude is anything to go by, the two island will presumably want to merge – but even if the Arakkans remain on their own island, they become a substantial power base with no inherent loyalty to the Krakoan establishment.

PAGE 34. Everyone heads home.

I think that’s Scout (X-23’s younger clone) talking to Glob Herman in panel 2.

PAGES 35-36. Data pages on the fate of the twenty swords – remember them? In practice, these serve as “what happened next” capsules on the champions who wielded them. Running through them quickly, we’ll start with the Arakko swords:

  • Vermillion was War’s sword, and it sounds like she’s predictably unhappy with the outcome of all this.
  • Purity, the White Blade’s sword, is back to business as usual.
  • Colony was Summoner’s sword, apparently lost when he died in Blightspoke.
  • Alluvium was Redroot’s sword, and poor Redroot is still stuck in the Crooked Market after being imprisoned by Jim Jaspers for a dodgy debt.
  • Muramasa was Solem’s sword, and we’re given to understand that he’ll be back to cross paths with Wolverine again in due course.
  • The Black Bone of Amduat is Death’s sword. Despite appearance, Death was apparently not killed when Storm threw him to the vampires of Sevalith, but “captured”.
  • Seducer is Bei’s blade, and she’s come to Krakoa to live with Cypher. Lucky Cypher.
  • Mercy is Isca’s sword, so evidently she goes back to Arakko.
  • Pogg ur-Pogg is back to mercenary adventuring.
  • The Twilight Blade was apparently the blade wielded by Annihilation/Genesis, though it was previously called “the Midnight Blade” in this story. Genesis seems to have abandoned it and someone has walked off with it, so it sounds as though we’ll come back to that.

And for Krakoa…

  • The Soulsword is straightforward.
  • The (other) Muramasa blade gets a mirror of its twin’s description, so Solem and Wolverine will indeed be returning.
  • Skybreaker, Storm’s sword, has apparently taken some damage, so the Wakandans are not likely to be happy.
  • Warlock is now going to have to share Cypher with Bei. What could possibly go wrong?
  • The Light of Galador, Cable’s sword, will stay with SWORD to keep the space station running. (I suppose Saturnyne somehow closed the portal to the Viscora’s world…)
  • The Sword of Might remains with Captain Avalon.
  • The Starlight Sword exists only as part of the Captain Britain mosaic.
  • The Scarab Blade was Apocalypse’s, and has been destroyed.
  • Gorgon’s two swords have been taken back to Krakoa, where there will apparently be an attempt to resurrect him and see what comes up. Since he died in Otherworld, the result will be scrambled. (Note, though, that if they’re willing to resurrect him, they should presumably we willing to take their chances with the Hellions who – as far as they know – may also have died in Otherworld.)

PAGE 37. A data page on the new Captain Britain Corps. Other than noting that Captain Britain Prime (our Betsy) is missing, this is the start of a very, very long list of members. Obviously, all of the specific members are new, because they’re the Betsy versions… but we’re told their Earth numbers (in the form of seats). Some of them are indeed the established homeworlds of previous Captain Britain Corps members with the same gimmicks. Some of them are either new or utterly random.

  • Captain Britain of Earth-6. Completely new.
  • Justicar Druidica of Earth-14. Again, new.
  • Captain Britain of Earth-15. Probably just a random choice of number, but Earth-15 was the home of the Spider, a Spider-Man counterpart who was a member of the rival Weapon X team in Judd Winick’s Exiles.
  • Captain Amphibian of Earth-22. The Earth is new, but presumably this is the frog Captain Britain from the group shots.
  • Alpha Briton of Earth-33. Another seemingly random choice of Earth, and probably an unintentional one – Earth-33 is the setting of Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules..
  • Sister Britain of Earth-65. This is the Betsy version of Brother Brit-Man, the hippy Captain Britain first seen in Excalibur vol 1 #14. His homeworld was indeed identified as Earth-65; either the Marvel Multiverse has two Earth-65s, or he shares a homeworld with Spider-Gwen.
  • Captain Krakoica of Earth-78. Completely new.
  • The Green Woman of Earth-99. Ditto.
  • Capitaine Angland of Earth-305. This was the homeworld of the French-themed Captain Angleterre, who first appeared in Mighty World of Marvel #13.
  • Captain Albion of Earth-523. Presumably a new one, though the previous Captain Albion was also a woman. It’s a modern Elizabethan Empire world.
  • Captain Britain of Earth-812. New.
  • Captain UK of Earth-839. This was the world to which Captain UK (Linda McQuillan) was reassigned in Captain Britain vol 2 after defeating Sat-Yr 9.
  • Captain Bretland of Earth-904. Probably meant to be a random choice, but Earth-904 was a timeline where the X-Men stayed in Asgard after the Asgardian Wars, as seen in What If…? vol 2 #12.
  • Captain Granbretan of Earth-1812. A new version of the character from Captain Britain vol 2 #13. It’s a Napoleonic Britain.
  • Captain Plumdragon of Earth-2112. New.
  • High Priestess Celtia of Earth-2113. New.
  • Crusader X of Earth-2122. A new version of the character from Excalibur vol 1 #21. It’s a world where America never gained independence.
  • Centurion Britannia of Earth-4100. A new version of Centurion Britannus from Excalibur vol 1 #24. A Roman Empire Britain, obviously.
  • Captain Baboon of Earth-8101. The world of Marvel Apes. The Captain herself is new.
  • The Violet Swan of Earth-8311. You might assume that she’s the ordinary-looking swan seen in this issue and at the end of the previous chapter – but Earth-8311 is the Larval Earth, home of Spider-Ham. So presumably the Violet Swan is Captain Britain as a cartoon swan. And the ordinary-looking swan is… either a breakdown in communications or a Captain Britain from a different, swan-based reality.
  • Elspeth Braddock of Earth-13059. Probably not a deliberate choice, but Earth-13059 is a Tolkienesque alternate reality seen in X-Treme X-Men vol 2 #9.
  • Britannica Rex of Earth-99476. A new version of Britainicus Rex from the dinosaur world that appeared several times in the original Excalibur series (most notably Excalibur vol 1 #51).

PAGE 38. Ryl asks Saturnyne to explain the plot.

Saturnyne denies complete knowledge of what was going to happen but says that the broad strokes were always clear to her.

PAGE 39. Saturnyne starts her wrap-up.

The “tenth sword” is presumably the SWORD station itself, since Saturnyne told Cable that the Light of Galador wasn’t really a sword.

We get a panel of Storm returning the Wakandan sword, which is evidently going to be more significant in future than it was in the context of this story.

PAGE 40. More wrap-up…

Avalon will now have the only portal to and from Earth, which Saturnyne seems to find acceptable because it’ll keep the deranged Jamie Braddock busy. Presumably we’ll pick up more of this in Excalibur.

The Summoners and the Vescora are now under Saturnyne’s control, and she’s using them to get Blightspoke under control. In the following panel, we see Blightspoke’s sheriff Gia Whitechapel bringing some of the produce to the Crooked Market to sell.

Death is indeed still stuck in Sevelith, where the suggestion is that he’s become a food source for the vampires.

PAGE 41-42. Saturnyne passes the Captain Britain Corps.

Ryl evidently wants to believe that everything turned out exactly as Saturnyne had planned, and Saturnyne is not going to disabuse her of that. Most of these Captain Britains are identically dressed, but the one with the flamboyant hat is probably Captain Albion (based on the costume of her predecessor). The one next to her seems to be wearing a tartan skirt and presumably represents a Scottish-themed Britain.

PAGE 43. Trailers (ish, since it doesn’t list any future stories). The Krakoan text reads NEXT: REIGN OF X. As pointed out in the comments, the loss of Apocalypse and Jean has indeed reduced the reigning Quiet Council to a membership of 10 (X).

Bring on the comments

  1. Maru says:

    You incorrectly say “X-23’s younger clone”—give Laura the respect she has earned and call her Wolverine! That and it was the most recent name used by her when she went into the Vault

  2. Dave says:

    “It’s never clearly explained what she was trying to achieve by rigging the contests in the earlier issues (beyond the fact that she needed to shatter Betsy to create an ingredient for her love spell)…”

    Not trying to acieve anything, is my reading of it, for all but 2 of the contests. She needed Betsy’s sacrifice for the spell(s?), and for Apocalypse to get the mask off Genesis, and that was it. All the others were pointless, and so most of the sword quests were pointless.

    I’d said in the Cable thread that I was expecting the Vescora part, but in this issue it definitely didn’t come across to me as Cyclops’ idea, since Cable needed the prompt about powering up the station rather than Cyclops asking him to do it when they were in telepathic contact. Then again, if it wasn’t the plan then I don’t really know what they needed the station for – just easier for Magik to make one big portal for it rather than for all the X-Men? Does she ever have trouble transporting large groups of people?
    Come to think of it, why was there so much in this story about the importance of gates being open or closed when Magik can transport everyone to Otherworld anyway???
    Having thought that the Vescora were going to be the thing that saved the day, I was disappointed to see it didn’t seem to matter all that much, on top of the army of X-Men, the new CB Corps, the priestesses, the dragon, and Apocalypse getting control of the mask.

    Team Krakoa having to choose a mutant to come over from Arakko was odd to me seeing as Bei was already coming.

    This concluding phase could have done with having more issues, rather than the pointless sword quests and tournament, as we didn’t get to see:
    Anything about what Solem was up to – did the other Arakki contestants not wonder where he was?
    Death being out of action – at first the cast list makes it seem like he just lost the fight and got fed on, then they remember to cross him out so you think he did die, then he’s there again for a panel to show you he did survive after all.
    The Twilight/Midnight sword being nabbed.
    Skybreaker taking damage.
    Any of the latecomer X-people, like her Excalibur teammates, finding out Betsy was gone.
    Some actual character fights when the X-Men turn up (and even before), instead of just ‘X-Men in group shots punching/throwing/shooting’.
    Some visible portrayal of the Vescora “tearing at the fabric of Otherworld itself”, where all we could see is that they’d piled on one of the Amenth monsters.

    More generally, I feel like the whole crossover came up with some interesting new antagonists (and it’s a long time since the X-books did that) but then didn’t do very much with them, when there was plenty of opportunity to do so.

    TL,DR: Padded out then rushed at the end out of 10.

    Oh, last thing – I saw online that some were disagreeing about whether Isca had given a beating to Pyro or Explodey Boy.

  3. Jim says:

    A bit disappointing that, after all of the build-up, Annihilation was not much more than an Egyptian-themed Malice.

    It does make me wonder if Malice would be allowed on Krakoa, though. Is Malice a mutant?

  4. Ben says:

    So much of what happens in this event was either pointless or arbitrary.

    What was really the point of the tournament? When it all goes to shit, the X-Men do just fine fighting the Amenthi hordes and not a single person dies. They didn’t even have to break out their big guns. Apocalypse beat Genesis and Annihilation without breaking a sweat. Every actual tournament fight the X-Men won.

    Like Dave said, if Magick can teleport them to Otherworld why the fuck do the portals matter? I guess none of the millions of Arakko mutants could do the same thing?

    So Saturnyne could have just beaten Annihilation herself at any point? So really Captain Britavalon should have just snogged her and saved all the death and destruction? Except of course the only real death was murderous Hydra leader Gorgon.

    It’s just all so baffling. The swords were
    mostly pointless. The tournament was mostly pointless. The characters mostly acted insane (which to be fair is common in the Hickman era.)

  5. Joseph S. says:

    All things considered, hats off the X-Office. Mostly produced during a pandemic, with just a few minor errors. It’s really an accomplishment. And I think the issues that shared two writers did a good job maintaining the event flow. It definitely worked better than Disassembled.

  6. Bengt says:

    Thanks Paul for covering this madness.

    I hope we get a Cypher/Bei/Warlock sitcom backup strip somewhere.

  7. Emmanuel says:

    With the current stand of the X-men on technology, I’m very surprised a space station, with a portal to another dimension inside, plays a positive role in this crossover.

  8. Evilgus says:

    For its ups and downs, and produced during a pandemic – I enjoyed it. It was a romp.

    Was not what it was set up to be though, with portentous amassing of swords and weight of death. Then comedy wacky races? Very odd. Apart from poor old Rockslide, have there been any genuine casualties from this? XofSwords was best when it put character front and centre (please, this is all I want from the X-books!).

    Can I also just say how fed up I am getting of story arcs ending with a splash of ten thousand X-Characters falling from the sky to save the day?? It’s dramatically lazy, and I keep thinking how much this must burn up the artist’s time…

  9. Andrew says:

    It’s funny you mention the “To me my X-men” line. I know it pre-existed the Morrsion era but I remember it becoming a frequently re-used line through that run and became heavily associated with the Xavier character after that point.

  10. Andrew says:

    It’s funny you mention the “To me my X-men” line. I know it pre-existed the Morrison era but I remember it becoming a frequently re-used line through that run and became heavily associated with the Xavier character after that point.

  11. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    According to the fansite Xavier Files the first instance is pre-Morrison, but barely – it’s Pete Wisdom making fun of Xavier in Ellis’s Excalibur.

    The line appears in the Silver Age spoken by Xavier, but as part of a sentence, not a separate call.

    The whole article is here:

    Moving on to XoS Destruction:
    The battle with all the Swordbearers, all the demons, all the space demons, all the priestesses, all the Captains Britains and all the X-Mens is certainly huge, but there’s nothing that would make it interesting. It’s not even a proper battle with an ebb and flow and some story of how the fighting is actually going, it’s just a fight scene montage. Less Battle of Helm’s Deep, more, well… actually it reminds me of the Rise of Skywalker finale – there’s some lights and noise and some people appear out of nowhere and then the battle’s won.

    But apparently I’m fully aboard the hype train because I don’t even care about XoS anymore, I’m just happy Ewing and Spurrier will be writing x-books soon.

  12. Mikey says:

    I’m so very sick of the data pages. They’re either filled with trivial details OR extremely important plot developments that should have been on-panel.

  13. Evilgus says:

    Oh! Spurrier on an X-book again? Love his brand of weirdness!

  14. Daibhid C says:

    Apart from being a regular swan, Violet Swan’s name does not appear to be a pun; shouldn’t she be called Captain Britswan or something to fit on Larval Earth?

    I wonder if she’s meant to be a reference to this?

  15. Ahri says:

    I think she rigged the score for Krakoa to be losing until the last minute in order to nudge Cable to use SWORD. She probably wanted the Vescora so she could start influencing what happens in Blightspoke.

  16. Adam says:

    Having never read Excalibur or Captain Britain, these notes have been highly educational for me over the last few months.

    Much appreciated, Paul.

  17. Taibak says:

    I feel like the Larval Earth version of Captain Britain should be a lion.

    And the Scots, Irish, and Welsh of that world won’t be happy about it.

  18. Chris V says:

    There just needs to be alternate-Earth versions which are an unicorn, a red dragon, and an elk. Then everyone will be satisfied.

  19. Si says:

    Captarmigan Britain.

  20. NS says:


    The only confirmed deaths are Rockslide, Nanny, and Orphan Maker.

    Wildchild is unconfirmed (but was trapped during a fight with enemies who had just killed Nanny and Orphan Maker) and of course, Betsy.

    But that’s it, I think.

  21. Chris V says:

    What about Gorgon?

    It’s pretty obvious now that Rockslide was simply a sacrifice to attempt to build more tension.
    A minor character needed to be killed to show that the resurrection process was going to be unreliable for the remainder of this story.
    Too bad for anyone who cares about poor Rockslide as a character.

  22. Mikey says:

    As a huge New X-Men/Academy X fan, I’m bummed about Rockslide, but those kids know better than anyone how to get sacrificed to increase stakes.

  23. K says:

    Another acknowledgement of the artists here. The wild ride of this crossover could not have come together without the entire assembled team pulling off the far-flung sense of the fantastic on every page in every part, no matter what nonsensical setting it might be.

    Actually, I think we have it backwards: it’s not that you need artists good enough to render crazy scenes, it’s that you need scenes that are crazy enough to keep the good artists interested. None of these artists were made to draw generic urban fights in alleys and sewers all day long.

  24. sagatwarrior says:

    Hopefully, Paul can do a review on this entire “event” and can make some headway on how this fits into Hickman’s larger narrative of the Krakoa era.Its just that the X-Men really doesn’t do magic (outside of the occasional stories involving Magik) or deal with parallel universes or obscure characters like Saturnye. It’s great that it happens and I don’t like the X-Men being pigeon-holed into “mutant at the brink of extinction”

  25. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Mikey – same here, the Academy X kids are some of my favourite characters. Unfortunately, ‘We already know how to die’ became their mission statement.

    (It’s amazing Hellion’s still alive, despite being the sacrificial lamb in two crossovers, losing body parts in both. Though who needs a spleen, anyway?)

    @sagatwarrior – Inferno begs to differ. I mean, you can say ‘X-Men don’t do magic stories’, but if you then have to clarify ‘outside of the occasional stories involving Magik’, and that clarification needs further clarification – ‘and Madelyne, and Naze/the Adversary, and Nightcrawler’s stepmom and stepsister/girlfriend’… well, you have to sweep a lot of stories under that clarification rug.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to admit that X-Men do magic stories, just like they do space opera and soap opera?

  26. Loz says:

    I’m always surprised when anyone pulls the ‘X-Men shouldn’t do stories in the genre of…’ for anything beyond a sort of racism/sexism/xenophobia kind of thing because that’s a good 80% of X-stories and what’s left behind other than that isn’t necessarily super-great either.

  27. Luke says:

    I flat out loved this.
    I don’t really know what the point was, it didn’t feel like a cohesive story, I don’t understand why the Arakii just followed Annihilation after millennia of fighting, I have no idea what the X Factor and Hellions issues added, I don’t understand why Saturnyne was so desperate for Brian, I don’t understand what the hell the Vescora are, but I don’t think any of that matters because I pretty much smiled my way through this entire crossover. And so much of the art was beautiful.

  28. Allan M says:

    The detail that broke me this issue was the last page, where Brian is standing there, applauding Saturnyne. She got your sister killed yesterday, Brian! She bragged about, and repeatedly demonstrated, that she had complete control over the terms of the tournament! It could’ve been a thumb wrestling match, not a fight to the death. Betsy’s death is 100% attributable to Saturnyne and Brian’s apparently cool with her now.

    The truly bizarre thing is that he doesn’t even need to be applauding for the scene to work. He could be looking grim and sullen, since again, he just saw his sister get killed. Saturnyne’s little reverie would work just as well no matter what real-Brian’s doing in that moment. Hell, it would make it more poignant, contrasting that she “won” the invasion but lost Brian. But no. Clap, Brian. Clap for your sister’s killer. It’s the Excalibur way.

  29. Kelvin Green says:

    Was “To me, my X-Men” a big thing in the 90s cartoon? I have a vague memory that they used it there a lot.

  30. sagatwarrior says:

    Let me clarify my statement because I was texting on my phone and I press “Send” without meaning too. I do like it when it when the X-Men is made apart of the larger Marvel Universe instead constantly being kept in their pocket of the universe. It is just jarring to see the X-Men proper being included in stories involving Otherworld and Saturnyne when those concepts have mainly been linked to the group Excalibur. Its is sort of like how the X-Men did a lot of space opera stories, then it stop. The Phoenix / Dark Phoenix Saga are probably some the best X-Men stories that doesn’t involve “mutants on the brink of extinction” stories that the series tends to turn to. The Krakoa era X-Men have become more xenophobic and speciesist, with Xavier acting strange (whether this Xavier is the real one or something completely different, we will have to wait and see). Whether this is apart of Hickman’s plan we will have to wait and see.

  31. Ben says:

    Allan M

    I mean the Krakoans cheer Apocalypse murdering teens in ritual combat.

    Brian is just trying to fight in with the psychopaths.

  32. Taibak says:

    @Kelvin Green: I just rewatched the whole series not that long ago. Xavier never uses the line.

  33. Person of Con says:

    I just caught up on the last three chapters of the crossover, and I wound up liking it a lot more than I thought it would, given the Hickman and Howard chapters of the first half felt like the most baffling. The Excalibur comics like they were hitting the tone of the original Excalibur run (superiorly smug neutral-chaotic/neutral-order characters getting comeuppance, madcap nonsense with the competitions, big heroic flex at the end). The X-Men heroes speech worked for me (and of course Hickman would put the big dramatic moment in a text page), and the wrap up was surprisingly coherent given the set-up.

    My question is (hopefully) a simpler one. I read all 20+ chapters of this, but I’ll admit, I could have been reading more closely. When was the Annihilation Mask established as… well, a thing? They spent issue after issue establishing a bunch of magical swords, but the climax of the story winds up hinging on a magical mask, and I’m not sure where its significance was established.

    As thanks, here’s a history of “to me my X-Men” that I stumbled upon.

  34. Adam says:

    Person of Con:

    Chapter 12. X-MEN # 14. The one with all the reused art.

  35. Benjamin R. says:

    The list of the Captain Britain Corps is fantastic fact-checking, and the possible conflicts or unintentional assignments would leave either a continuity or No-Prize nerd in feverish anticipation.

    Paul F. Tompkins has said that it’s never funny to describe how someone misread a word and generated alternative meaning out of it, but one of the “ditto”s flashed by my eyes as “Ditko”, and I think that would be a *very* interesting alternate reality.

  36. PersonofCon says:

    @Adam ahhhh. Thanks!

  37. CJ says:

    I definitely agree with Allan M here. I gather we’re supposed to be so impressed by the revived Captain Britain Corps: Betsies Unit that Brian is able to smile and applaud the loss of his sister–a non-resurrectable event that was a primary danger in this whole tournament.

    Replacing her (even if temporarily) with alternate versions of her seems to be the wrong direction for a character who desperately needs some stable characterization. I like her role and design, so I hope it works out.

  38. Loz says:

    As far as everyone who is not Xavier, Magneto or one of the evil mutants knows, what difference is there between what they are doing now and what they did when Cyclops had them living on the island off of San Francisco? I know they are all brain-washed by Xavier/being badly written, but the two situations are mostly the same just with grumpy tree Krakoa in the middle now?

  39. Chris V says:

    There are minor, but also important differences.

    Cyclops’ Utopia was a safe space for refugees, with mutants as an “endangered species”.

    Krakoa has opened up trade and diplomatic relations with other nations.

  40. Jpw says:

    This crossover was too damn long

  41. CS2-6 says:

    Do you think “X of Swords” is a pun… is it supposed to be pronounced “Cross of Swords”? As in crossed swords? Like all those crossing signs that use “X” as an symbol for “crossing”.

  42. Paul says:

    It’s meant to be pronounced “Ten of Swords”.

    Your comment had two links that were flagged by the filters – I think they may have been graphics or something, but at any rate, I’ve deleted them.

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