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Jun 18

X-Corp #2 annotations

Posted on Friday, June 18, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“A Shark in the Water”
by Tini Howard, Alberto Foche & Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1. A stylised picture of Monet at the gala, with the same mock pharmaceutical layout elements as we had in issue #1. The “mg” after the issue number seems to be standard, and the number of tablets is presumably the number of pages in the print edition (counting adverts).

PAGE 2. Monet prepares for the Hellfire Gala.

Sunspot was shown as being involved in X-Corp before he relocated to the Shi’ar Empire. We’re told later in the issue that he invested a lot of his own money, so he does indeed have a legitimate interest in what they’re up to.

Sebastian Shaw. Monet elects not to listen to his message at all. Again, though, Shaw has perfectly good reasons for contacting her – he’s the Black King of Hellfire Trading, with responsibilities for distributing the pharmaceuticals that X-Corp manufactures.

Professor X. Generally recapping the events of issue #1, and questioning Monet’s decision to reveal the X-Corp HQ at the end of the issue. He seems to be saying that she’s messed up the planned orderly release of a home office technology, and is exposing X-Corp to attention that it isn’t ready to deal with yet, since it doesn’t actually have the product ready to launch. Whether Monet actually has a proper plan, or whether she’s just arrogant, remains to be seen.


Jun 18

New Mutants #19 annotations

Posted on Friday, June 18, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #19
” Party of the Century”
by Vita Ayala, Alex Lins & Matt Milla

COVER / PAGE 1: The New Mutants arrive at the Hellfire Gala, presumably to be greeted by Emma Frost.

PAGE 2. Warlock arrives at the Hellfire Gala.

This is a “green carpet”, presumably because of the plant-themed nature of Krakoa. The rope and bollards seem to be made of Krakoan plants too.

The guy with the beard is named later in the issue as Barry thee Artist, and he’s a new character. Presumably he’s one of the celebrities who was invited to the event.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. As with most books this month, the layout is altered to suggest a Hellfire Gala invitation.

PAGE 4. Warlock & Mirage mingle with the guests.

I’ve no idea what Captain Marvel is referring to when she mentions Dani owing her a game of pool.


Jun 16

Planet-Size X-Men #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia

Planet-Size X-Men. This one-shot is the first issue to bear the name. It’s a play on Giant-Size X-Men, of course.\

COVER / PAGE 1: Marvel Girl, Iceman, Storm and Magneto hovering on a rock in the shape of the X-Men logo, in front of a (presumably Martian) red background.

PAGES 2-6. The omega mutants begin terraforming Mars.

What’s actually happening in this scene is fairly self-explanatory – really, the plot of this issue boils down to “the mutants terraform Mars and teleport Arakko there, and do it all live for the attendees at the Hellfire Gala to watch”. It’s an exercise in showing it at length to emphasise the scale of the endeavour.

Attentive readers may be asking “Hold on, doesn’t Krakoa have a presence on Mars already?” Indeed it does, and the fact that it’s not mentioned in this issue rather suggests that it’s regarded as an unwelcome complication. We saw a flower being planted on Mars in House of X #1, and the resulting Red Farm in Marauders #8. But the script for House of X #1 clarifies that the Martian presence is in the Garden, a very small area of Mars which was already terraformed by Ex Nihilo during Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run. This is the first time that the mutants themselves have tried to terraform the place.


Jun 14

Children of the Atom #4 annotations

Posted on Monday, June 14, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

by Vita Ayala, Paco Medina & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1: The Young X-Men – as I guess we’re calling them – in battle with the new U-Men. Since it’s his spotlight issue, Marvel Guy is front and centre.

PAGE 2. Benny wants to be left alone.

Peter Corbeau Preparatory. In issue #1, the school was simply called “Corbeau Preparatory” (and we saw the sign on the building). The establishing shot in that issue bears very little resemblance to what we see here. Peter Corbeau was a scientist supporting character who originated in Incredible Hulk but showed up from time to time in X-Men as a friend of Professor X, particularly in the early years of the Claremont run.

Benny basically doesn’t like the company of others beyond a small circle of friends he feels comfortable with. Following the pattern of the previous issues, we’re taking turns with each character getting a spotlight issue, and it’s now his turn.


Jun 13

X-Men #21 annotations

Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 5 #21
“The Beginning”
by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Russell Dauterman, Lucas Werneck, Sara Pichelli, Frank Martin, Matthew Wilson, Sunny Gho & Nolan Woodward

PAGE 1 / COVER. Simply a generic image of some of the cast members of the X-books during the first phase of the Hickman run, with Krakoan vines arranged in a (largely obscured) X-pattern.

PAGE 2. Tribute to the late John Paul Leon.

PAGES 3-7. Professor X and Magneto talk to Namor.

Namor seems to have no desire to be here, which begs the question of why he showed up. Presumably, for all his disdain, he thinks that what the Krakoans are up to is at least sufficiently important to be worth keeping an eye on first hand. At the same time, while the Krakoans are succeeding in their immediate goals, he seems to have no real confidence in the goals themselves.

Professor X and Magneto have colour co-ordinated costumes, down to the customised Cerebro helmet. They’re very clearly positioned as a pair here. They remain keen to get Namor on side, as they have been from the dawn of the Krakoan era. Professor X’s first attempt to recruit him was in Powers of X #5, where Xavier similarly framed the pitch as “come home”. But despite some short stints with the X-Men, Namor has never identified particularly as a mutant, and certainly not primarily as one; he’s an Atlantean first and foremost. At any rate, in that issue Namor suggested that he didn’t think Xavier truly believed in his new posture of mutant superiority, and told him “don’t come back until you really mean it.” Clearly he remains unconvinced – but equally clearly, he has no interest in a mutant-centric agenda. He goes out of his way to claim that he’s superior to everyone, mutant or otherwise.


Jun 12

Excalibur #21 annotations

Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #21
“Don’t Feel Like Dancin'”
by Tini Howard, Marcus To & Erick Arciniega

COVER / PAGE 1: Rictor storms out of the Hellfire Gala, leaving earthquake-related chaos behind him. It doesn’t happen quite so literally in the issue itself.

PAGE 2. Excalibur prepare to head to the party.

As we’ll see later, Rictor’s basic objection to the Hellfire Gala is that he sees it as another example of how everyone has moved on and forgotten about Apocalypse. When, clearly, everyone should be spending their days brooding about Apocalypse like Rictor does. He does have a point that nobody else appears to be especially bothered about Apocalypse’s departure, and you can see that by this point he might well be reading that as a personal insult too – not only has Apocalypse’s interest in mutant magic been sidelined by everyone else, but what must they think of Rictor’s attempt to keep it alive?

The butterflies hovering around Betsy’s dress reflect the butterfly image that appears over her face when she uses her telepathy.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. As with all “Hellfire Gala” tie-in issues, the layout has been altered to vaguely resemble an invitation. And there’s a big red circle, for reasons that will become apparent in this week’s X-Men.


Jun 6

The Incomplete Wolverine – 1989

Posted on Sunday, June 6, 2021 by Paul in Wolverine

Part 1: Origin to Origin II | Part 2: 1907 to 1914
Part 3: 1914 to 1939 | Part 4: World War II
Part 5: The postwar era | Part 6: Team X
Part 7: Post Team X | Part 8: Weapon X
Part 9: Department H | Part 10: The Silver Age
1974-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 
1980 | 1981 | 1982
 | 1983 | 1984 1985
1986 | 1987 | 1988

We’re deep in the Australia period, and we left off on the eve of…

UNCANNY X-MEN vol 1 #239-243 & X-FACTOR vol 1 #37-39
Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, Hilary Barta & Glynis Oliver
X-Factor by Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson, Al Milgrom & various colourists
December 1988 to April 1989

Wolverine isn’t particularly central to “Inferno”, which mainly focusses on Madelyne Pryor, the Summers family, and Magik (over in New Mutants). The X-Men return to New York in pursuit of the Marauders, only to get caught up in an invasion of demons from Limbo. This force is led by N’Astirh and S’ym, who have deposed Magik and formed an alliance with Madelyne Pryor, who now calls herself the Goblin Queen. Manhattan is demonically warped by the invasion, and the X-Men themselves become distorted, demonic and aggressive. They team up with X-Factor, after the usual misunderstandings, and defeat the invasion – specifically, Jean reclaims the part of her soul that animates Madelyne, Madelyne dies, and New York returns to normal. The X-Men’s costumes remain weirdly transformed.

The final two issues are a coda – still billed as “Inferno” – in which the X-Men and X-Factor team up to battle Madelyne’s creator Mister Sinister. This is the first time the X-Men actually encounter Sinister, who is seemingly destroyed by Cyclops’ optic beam. Of course, it eventually turns out that he was faking.


Jun 4

Hellions #12 annotations

Posted on Friday, June 4, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

by Zeb Wells, Stephen Segovia & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1: The Hellions cause chaos at the Hellfire Gala.

PAGES 2-4. Mr Sinister, Havok and Kwannon prepare to go to the Gala.

We’re not told directly why the rest of the Hellions didn’t get invited, but it’s pretty obvious. This is a diplomatic mission, it’s meant to build bridges with the humans, and you really don’t want Orphan-Maker and Wild Child running around. Ideally you wouldn’t have Mister Sinister either, of course, but he’s on the Quiet Council. Kwannon’s not a villain; she’s on the team as a supervisor. And Havok… well, aside from the fact that there’s a suggestion that he’s been put there for reasons he isn’t aware of, Havok’s a member of the Summers family and his absence would be notable.


Jun 3

X-Force #20 annotations

Posted on Thursday, June 3, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #20
“The Secret Garden”
by Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara & Guru-eFX

PAGE 1 / COVER. X-Force work security at the Hellfire Gala, which apparently means skintight tuxedos. Quentin has a psionic velvet rope. The invitation in the foreground is the same as the one shown as a data page in Marauders #21.

PAGES 2-4. Kid Omega greets guests.

This is an expanded version of a scene from Marauders #21. In this version, Iron Man gets a bit more space in which to explain why he isn’t wearing the Krakoan flower or using their portal – basically, he knows a tracking device when he sees one, and he quite understandably doesn’t trust the Krakoans an inch. This being X-Force, the book will go on to confirm that he’s absolutely right.


Jun 2

Marauders #21 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“You are Cordially Invited to the Hellfire Gala”
by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1. Emma Frost welcomes you to the Gala. Though really, by the time you’ve got this close, it’s a bit late to be offering you an invitation.

PAGE 2. Data page: the invitation to the Gala, which also appears on the cover of this week’s X-Force #20.

“On the evening of the summer solstice.” That would be 21 June. Apparently in the Marvel Universe you can see a starry sky on Mykines “a few minutes after midnight”, and enjoy a fireworks display, all on the summer solstice. But the Faroe Islands are so far north that it doesn’t actually get dark in midsummer. Let’s politely ignore that and move on.

PAGES 3-4. Kate, Sebastian and Emma await the arrival of the guests.

Mykines, which is a real place in the Faroe Islands, was acquired by Emma in Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1. The Faroes are actually an autonomous territory within Denmark.