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Jan 21

X-Force #16 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #16
“Into the Deep”
by Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine, Kid Omega and Forge fighting a giant sea monster.

PAGE 2. Memorial page for Mike Hobson.

PAGE 3. The Beast and Cecilia Reyes examine one of the zombies.

This is one of the zombified sailors that attacked the island last issue. Evidently they didn’t put up much of a fight.

“[Krakoa] is at once our protector and our destroyer.” It’s not immediately clear what the Beast has in mind by the latter point. Perhaps he’s referring to the fact that Krakoa still ultimately feeds on mutant energies. It’s unlikely he’s referring to any deep secret, given that he’s talking about it openly in front of Cecilia.

Cecilia’s force field is supposed to surround her body, though she can change its shape. That’s not really how it’s presented here – logically she should be inside the force field along with the zombie. Maybe she’s learned some new tricks.

PAGE 4. Recap and credits.

PAGE 5. Domino and Black Tom clear up the beach.

Pretty self-explanatory.

PAGES 6-7. Beast and Cecilia discuss.

They seem to conclude that Krakoa was shedding a tumour in the previous issue, which then happened to infect the passing sailors. Beast’s first thought is to wonder how this can be used; Cecilia is understandably more concerned about how to stop it happening at all, at least in the first instance.

Aside from anything else, the mutant society is heavily dependent on Krakoa, both as a living space and as a source of valuable pharmaceutical ingredients. The possibility of something happening to Krakoa is one of the events that could be disastrous for the mutant nation – and that includes ill health as well as attack.

PAGE 8. Data page. Sage’s report tells us that Krakoa is denying any knowledge of what happened, which is surely a bit worrying.

PAGES 9-11. Wolverine, Kid Omega and Forge prepare for their mission underwater.

Kid Omega was last seen in issue #12, where he seemed to be dying as a prisoner of Mikhail Rasputin. Mikhail was intending to use him as a source of genetic material for XENO’s experiments. It wasn’t absolutely clear in that story that Kid Omega had actually died, but presumably the Krakoans did indeed declare him dead and revive him. Since they can’t possibly have located the body, that’s an interesting call.

Phoebe of the Stepford Cuckoos was with Quentin in issue #11. The relationship is meant to be secret because the Cuckoos (as a group) are meant to be dating Cable.

PAGES 12-21. Wolverine, Kid Omega and Forge descend underwater.

This doesn’t call for much explanation.

“I’m too damn heavy.” Wolverine is heavy because of the metal lining his skeleton. Quite why he was chosen for an underwater mission at all is a bit odd.

“People say the same thing about the moon, but you made that work, didn’t you?” The Summer House, where Wolverine and the Summers Family live, mostly shown in X-Men and Cable.

“You stare into the abyss long enough, the abyss stare back.” Nietzsche.

“I saw a god.” I really don’t buy Wolverine being that impressed by a giant sea monster with an eye. Note though that this eye looks nothing like anything we see later on when Namor is fighting a sea monster – it seems to be a separate thing.

Kid Omega’s speech is basically making some of the points I made above about the riskiness of a society that’s dependent on everything remaining wonderful with Krakoa.

PAGES 22-24. Namor shows up to deal with the issue.

Namor makes a similar point about whether the mutants are using Krakoa or vice versa. As always, Percy is much keener than any other writer to push the idea that Krakoa might turn out to be quite nasty and dangerous beneath the surface.

“I don’t need your nation when I have my kingdom.” Namor was the only major mutant character who was shown refusing to come to Krakoa in Powers of X #5. He insisted in that issue that he didn’t believe that Xavier had genuinely adopted the mutants-first ideology that he was now proclaiming.

PAGE 25. Data page. Wolverine wants to kill the leviathan that he saw, because he can’t accept his insignificance next to its scale. Eh? I’m really not buying this in the slightest.

PAGE 26. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: OMEGA.

Bring on the comments

  1. Paul F says:

    IIRC, Cecilia projecting her force-fields like this is how it’s shown in The New Mutants movie, so that could be an influence on this, if anyone cared about that movie, which seems unlikely.

  2. Joseph S. says:

    Perhaps Percy has something in mind for this white whale story, but I agree it doesn’t seem at all plausible, especially after we literally just watched Wolverine fight across a collapsing psychedelic reality that would surely have been more of an existential trigger than the ocean floor.

  3. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Lots of pretty great art in this issue and I always enjoy Namor telling people how insignificant they are. Other than that this was as close to a dud as this run of X-Force gets.

  4. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I had dropped this, but that cover is sexy and I love Namor.

    Interesting that he once again calls bullshit on Xavier’s agenda. Namor is generally written as a perceptive asshole.

    Also the recent Invaders series (which was really a Namor and Friends book) explicitly said that Xavier accidentally caused Namor brain damage.

    So is he right or is he just bitter?

    The characters voices in this are off. Namor says “piss off mutants” which is bizarre. Forge is incredibly chatty and says “sweet ass.” He’s like a coked up used car salesman.

    Cassara’s art is lovely.

    Cecilia Reyes powers being mucked up annoys me.

    Forge being a turd here reminded me of the old BKV Mystique series he was in, going to have to reread that soon. With her profile being so high from the First Class movies, it’s really surprising she hasn’t been more high profile in the last ten years.

  5. Chris V says:

    I think Namor is correct. I don’t think Hickman would have included that line originally if it wasn’t a hint.

    I think it relates to the fact that Xavier is going along with this plan because he knows, like Moira, that if they don’t stop post-humanity than everything else dies when the Phalanx return. Plus, the future under post-humanity will be a nightmare for both mutants and humans.
    So, I think Xavier feels he must do this for the sake of the future, but he hasn’t given up in his dream completely.

  6. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Man I need to proofread my comments, I really overused “high profile.”

    I agree Chris V, the fact that both Hickman and now Percy brought it up makes it more substantial.

    Xavier is obviously running some kind of game.

    I just wonder how many layers it has.

  7. Col_Fury says:

    I liked the New Mutants movie!

    But I know you were talking about creators…

  8. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Uncanny X-Ben: Forge is consistent with Percy’s idea for him. For some reason he sees him as a machismo-obssessed jock-type. (See also his ‘The men are here’ line). Though so far it was most clearly spelled out on a data page in one of the early issues.

    It’s weird but it’s consistent within this run… for what it’s worth.

  9. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Yeah that’s a a pretty weird take on Forge.

    Though to be fair a lot of characters are acting odd currently, and I don’t know how intentional it is.

    Is the safety and unity of Krakoa making people act like brats?

  10. Karl_H says:

    Was… that the ending? It felt like neither a resolution nor a cliffhanger, but based on the transition from last issue we may well just be skipping the foregone conclusion of Namor winning the fight.

  11. CJ says:

    Beast reads so much like Dark Beast that I can’t really imagine this as 616 Hank McCoy. I guess the bouncey Beast from the 90s is long-gone.

    The best thing about this issue really is the reminder that Krakoa may not be a paradise after all. The art is great too; reminds me of the first arc of Uncanny X-Force.

  12. Chris V says:

    I miss being able to read this in the light of my original theory, that Moira still hated mutants and she had been working through her past lives to finally create the ultimate trap, where she would finally kill all the mutants.
    It would make mutants very sympathetic, because even though they were acting like mutant supremacists and so self-satisfied that they were now the dominant species, in reality, Moira was tricking them so that the humans would win.
    Krakoa would pacify mutants and slowly eat them.
    We’d find out that she blamed mutants in each of her lives for leading humanity down the path to becoming post-human and giving up what made them human. The only way to save humanity from that fate would be to kill the mutants and stop the war between the two sides.

    There seemed to be a lot of proof for my theory at first.

    Unfortunately, that interpretation of events has become untenable the longer this run had lasted.

  13. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    What has happened that you feel invalidates your idea?

  14. Chris V says:

    It seems more likely that Moira’s plan should be taken at her word.

    It seems like her plan is to create a world-mind using Krakoa, and then contact the Phalanx (since only a culture at the level of world-mind can gain the Phalanx’ attention) in order to defeat them.

    Plus, the fact that more characters have begun to be written as more autonomous characters again.
    Shaw being interested in pursuing his own agenda.
    Apocalypse going to Amenth.
    Like that.
    Many of the characters were acting mote drugged or mind-controlled when “Dawn of X” began, I thought.
    Some characters are still written out of character, but it doesn’t seem to fit with my original theory.

  15. Chris V says:

    Oh, I just noticed something in Powers of X #2. It says that it took post-humanity ten years to develop Nimbus as a world-mind during life six.
    Another reference to X, but perhaps showing how long Moira would need for Krakoa’s evolution.

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