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Jan 4

The Complete Moira: Part 1

Posted on Saturday, January 4, 2020 by Paul in Moira, x-axis

One of the big ideas of House of X and Powers of X is the massive retconning of Moira MacTaggert. Under Jonathan Hickman, Moira is no longer just the X-Men’s scientist friend; she’s actually a mutant with the power to start life over again, every time she dies, and with perfect recollection of her earlier lives. Plus, she has knowledge from those earlier lives of things like Nimrod, the Technarch and so on.

How well does any of this actually fit with the established history of Moira MacTaggert? On one level, it doesn’t really matter all that much. The idea that the Marvel Universe fits together seamlessly is a fiction; as long as it feels like it works, that’s probably good enough for most purposes. Which means it’s generally good enough to be consistent with the broad strokes, and with any details that the readers are likely to remember. It’s hardly a big problem if there’s an inconsistent line of dialogue in a long forgotten fill-in story.

Still – how does this retcon fit together with Moira’s established history? In this series of posts, I’m going to look back over every Moira MacTaggert appearance and see what emerges – both in terms of how it fits with Hickman, and in terms of whether it ever really fitted together in the first place. I’ve been working here mainly from the list of Moira MacTaggert appearances on the Marvel Chronology Project.

Basically, we’ll be running through Moira’s appearances in more-or-less chronological sequence, though I’ll skip her prior lives since they’re entirely documented in House of X and Powers of X, and I’ve written about that already. As it turns out, Moira’s back story is both quite detailed and full of enormous gaps, so it’s going to take us two posts just to get up to her first published appearance. This time round, we’ll follow her current life up to the formation of the X-Men. Since these are mostly appearances that were intended to flesh out her back story, there’s a lot to cover here; the pace will pick up in future chapters when we get to stories where she’s just hanging around in the supporting cast or explaining the plot. She does that a lot.

So we kick off with…

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Jan 3

Marauders #5 annotations

Posted on Friday, January 3, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Iceman and Christian Frost on Christian’s submarine.

PAGES 1-5. Bobby visits White Bishop Christian Frost on his submarine.

The Anthropocene is a proposed term (though the proposal is a very serious one) for a new geological epoch marking the period in which human activity is the dominant influence on geology and ecosystems. Bobby treats it as synonymous with climate change, which isn’t really correct.

Christian Frost, Emma’s brother, was a throwaway character from New X-Men #139 who was later expanded upon in the Emma Frost solo title (which established that he was gay) and the recent Iceman solo title (which established him as a mutant with vaguely-defined psychic powers). So Iceman already has an established acquaintance with Christian. Since Bobby is hanging around on Christian’s submarine and wearing Christian’s monogrammed dressing gown, the obvious implication is that their relationship now goes further than that.

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Jan 2

X-Men #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

PAGE 1-2 / COVER & RECAP. Professor X, Magneto and Apocalypse, apparently walking out of a Davos meeting (attended by rather more people than we see in the story itself).

PAGES 3-4. Professor X, Magneto, Apocalypse, Cyclops and Gorgon arrive at Davos.

Davos. Davos is a ski resort in Switzerland, best known for hosting the annual World Economic Forum meeting (which is what people normally mean by “Davos”). The World Economic Forum itself actually consists of corporations, but the annual meeting is routinely attended by politicians, celebrities and the like. This is, pretty obviously, a show of power by the mutants; they’re going through the motions of being normal global citizens, but at the end of the day, it’s Apocalypse in a suit.

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Dec 28

Charts – 28 December 2019

Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2019 by Paul in Music

Well, it’s that chart again. A week too late for the Christmas number one (that’s the record which is already at number one on Christmas Day). But still a week where everyone was hammering the Christmas playlists. This week Christmas fell on a Wednesday, so those playlists were in full effect for six days of the chart week. And with nothing else going on… well, it’s a very Christmas chart. (I may as well mention now that there’s nothing on the album chart at all. Rod Stewart is still number one.)

The Ladbaby single, always a novelty, turns out to be a particularly extreme sort of novelty, dropping straight from number 1 to number 57 in its second week. That’s not a record, but it’s second place behind “Three Lions”, which made number 1 during the 2018 World Cup and fell to number 97 the following week after England were knocked out. Instead, the slightly surprising number one is…

1. Ellie Goulding – “River”

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Dec 23

Charts – 19 December 2019

Posted on Monday, December 23, 2019 by Paul in Music

The Christmas number 1 is… less interesting than you might hope.

1. LadBaby – “I Love Sausage Rolls”

Apparently Britain enjoyed YouTuber Mark Hoyle’s sausage-roll-themed rewrite of “We Built This City” so much when it made it last year’s Christmas Number One that it’s decided to go with the same joke two years running. You’d think diminishing returns would be setting in here, but it’s had a pretty clear run to the top.

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Dec 22

Fallen Angels #4 annotations

Posted on Sunday, December 22, 2019 by Paul in Uncategorized

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers are by the digital edition. And to be honest, there’s not all that much to say about this issue, annotations-wise…

COVER/PAGE 1. X-23 and Cable on the run from… some sort of weird shadowy things.

PAGE 2. Flashback. Young Kwannon is shown a dying man who was poisoned while trying to broker peace.

The moral, presumably, being “nice guys finish last.”

PAGES 3-6. Psylocke and X-23 discuss what to do.

Reasonably enough, X-23 has concluded that the whole scenario is being engineered by Apoth to lure Psylocke/Kwannon in, and that this means Psylocke shouldn’t trust the vision that she had in issue #1. For some reason X-23 suggests asking the other Psylocke for help, though it’s not clear what Betsy could really contribute, and it feels more like an excuse to raise her name so that Psylocke/Kwannon can reject her again.

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Dec 21

X-Force #4 annotations

Posted on Saturday, December 21, 2019 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Domino fires a gun and Sage uses a computer. Generic solicitation art, really.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. This is “Blood Economics” by Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara.

PAGES 4-6. Soldiers attack a Krakoa drug station.

Xavier Pharmaxeuticals. The first time we’ve seen exactly how the legitimate drug channels operate. As you might expect, the handful of black market ships from Marauders aren’t serving the whole world; when they can supply openly, the Krakoans just go through gates. We’re told later that this station is 15 miles from the coast, in which case it’s (just) outside the US’s territorial waters. Presumably some regular US boats come and collect the stuff.

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Dec 20

New Mutants #4 annotations

Posted on Friday, December 20, 2019 by Paul in Annotations, Uncategorized

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Boom-Boom in a cornfield. The Krakoan letters are “NM” for “New Mutants”.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. This is “Fast and Furious” by Ed Brisson and Marco Failla. Most of this issue speaks for itself, annotation-wise, by the way.

PAGES 4-5. Boom-Boom learns that Armor has been gone for three days.

This version of Boom-Boom, like the version in the recent New Mutants miniseries, is clearly an alarmingly heavy drinker if not an outright alcoholic. The seemingly incessant partying of Krakoa allows her to fit in without being too obvious. And again… just how party-centric is this place?

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Dec 19

Excalibur #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2019 by Paul in Uncategorized

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Um… Captain Britain fights a dragon with flowers on it. It’s presumably meant to be one of the monsters that invades right at the end of the issue, but this doesn’t actually happen in the issue.

PAGES 2-3. Gambit checks in on Rogue, then goes to London to catch with Betsy, who is meeting the Queen.

All self explanatory. As Morgan Le Fey suggested last issue, the public is apparently not happy about the new Captain Britain being a mutant, so there are people protesting about it outside Buckingham Palace.

PAGES 4-5. Recap and credits. This is “Verse IV: Fall Back and Think of England!” by Tini Howard and Marcus To.

PAGES 6-8. Gambit gets into a fight with the protestors, and Captain Britain shows up to announce that they’re the new Excalibur.

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Dec 18

Marauders #4 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 by Paul in Annotations

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

COVER / PAGE 1. Storm, doing what Storm does.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. This is “The Red Bishop” by Gerry Duggan and Lucas Werneck. The “public humiliation” strapline on the recap page refers to what’s coming up in the issue, rather than the recap it introduces.

PAGE 4. Data page. Another memo from the increasingly exasperated writer on the X-Desk, who complains with growing prominence that he isn’t being properly resourced, that other countries are throwing much more effort at it, and that he’s not sure anyone is even listening to him. This might just be a running joke, but it does seem like a plot point that the US government (particularly the current US government) is being so weirdly co-operative.

Krakoan drug delivery. The author says that there must be at least three Krakoan ships in order to account for all the drugs being delivered. That seems woefully inadequate to account for the whole supply – Krakoa’s leverage is based on actually being able to supply its drugs to companies that deal with it – so presumably he’s talking simply about the black market. Countries that will deal with Krakoa probably just get a gate.

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