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Nov 12

Legion of X #7 annotations

Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

LEGION OF X #7
“The Hand That Mocked Them, And The Heart That Fed”
Writer: Si Spurrier
Penciller: Netho Diaz
Inker: Sean Parsons
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1: Beast, Lost, Jean Grey, Vox Ignis, Pixie and Blindfold reacting in horror, while a thorned and horned Nightcrawler looks to be in pain.

PAGES 2-4. Nightcrawler briefs the Legion.

The two characters heading through the gate into the Altar are Maggott and Blob. Maggott’s getting an unusual amount of page time these days, albeit mostly as a background character.

The recognisable Legion members are Lost, Dr Nemesis, Chamber, Pixie and Fabian Cortez (standing separately from the others, but behind Kurt – without knowing his background, he’d look like a completely normal second in command). There are a couple more that don’t seem familiar, though I feel sure I ought to recognise the unnamed woman with the black hair and the cape. I’m completely blanking on her, though.

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Nov 11

Marauders #8 annotations

Posted on Friday, November 11, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS vol 2 #8
“Here Comes Yesterday, part 2”
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colourist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. A rather nice pin-up of Fang, Psylocke and Aurora by Peach Momoko. Nothing specifically to do with the story, but very pretty.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Tom Palmer.

PAGE 3. Flashback: The Threshold Three are sent into the future.

The unnamed character speaking here is Grove, who was named in the previous issue and identified as the leader of the uninfected Thresholders. The three characters that they’re sending into the future are Theia, Amass and Crave, the three Thresholders who were revived in the present day in the previous issue.

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Nov 10

Wolverine #27 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #27
“The Beast Agenda: Skulls”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan José Ryp
Colourist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine with Beast’s control collar around his next.

PAGES 2-4. Wolverine is resurrected.

We left off last issue with Wolverine imprisoned by Legacy House and the Beast bidding for the opportunity to kill him. We pick up that scene later on in a flashback, but for now, this is Logan being resurrected on Krakoa. It’s a routine enough event that only Hope and Tempus show up. When the Krakoa era started, resurrections were a huge deal with a quasi-religious ceremony (admittedly, mostly for the first return from the dead). Mind you, if they made a song and dance about every resurrection of X-Force, then it’d probably look a bit bleak to the mutant in the street.

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Nov 6

The Incomplete Wolverine – 2006

Posted on Sunday, November 6, 2022 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
 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991
1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997
1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003
2004 |2005

We left off in the aftermath of House of M. Almost all mutants have been depowered by the Scarlet Witch – though by a happy coincidence, almost all the main characters happen to be exceptions, including Wolverine. On top of that, Wolverine has regained all of his memories. That took us through to the “Origins and Endings” arc from Wolverine vol 3 #36-40, where Daniel Way kicked off his Wolverine: Origins storyline. That arc already took us through to March 2006, but it continues into Origins itself. And that arc runs for a good long while before allowing a break in the action. So…

WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #1-5
“Born in Blood”
by Daniel Way, Steve Dillon & Dan Kemp
April to August 2006

Origins is Wolverine’s second ongoing monthly series, running for 50 issues and attempting to tie his back story into a coherent whole. On that score, it was a failure. It ties everything into a byzantine conspiracy arc involving Romulus, which has barely been mentioned since, presumably because nobody finds Romulus very inspiring. But it would be unfair to say that nothing in Origins matters. It also introduced Daken, and he’s still appearing prominently today.

In the opening arc, Wolverine starts hunting down people who were part of the conspiracy that exploited him in the past. He feels that he’s done terrible things in his life, that it’s no excuse that he wasn’t in control of his mind, and that he’s beyond redemption – but that’s not going to stop him from taking revenge. We establish that Logan started as a thug for the conspiracy, but went on to become a handler who treated other people the same way in a cycle of abuse. One of his victims, Nuke, resurfaces to lure Wolverine out. Wolverine defeats Nuke, but Captain America shows up to stop Wolverine from killing him. Wolverine beats up Cap, then gives the Muramasa Blade (which he retrieved in the previous arc) to the X-Men for safe keeping. Finally, he heads off in search of his long lost son Daken, believing that the conspirators are planning to engineer a fight between them.

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Nov 2

X-Men Red #8 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN RED #8
“Mission to the Unknown”
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Madibek Musibekov
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Cable fighting Orbis Stellaris (or rather, Orbis serving as the head of the giant body).

PAGES 2-4. Cable and Khora recruit Weaponless Zsen.

Gosnell’s Bar is a bar which appeared in several issues of Al Ewing’s Guardians of the Galaxy run.

Weaponless Zsen was last seen in Legion of X #5, where she left Nightcrawler a letter and signed up to work as an interstellar mercenary. As she says, she managed to leave the planet just before a massive war broke out – Legion #5 ended with Uranos showing up to attack Arakko.

This scene confirms that she’s the daughter of the Fisher King and sister of Khora, as very strongly implied by a data page in issue #6. Fisher King “returned from his shadows” in issues #6-7 when the Night Seats members of the Great Ring resurfaced in the wake of Uranos’s attack. We don’t know yet why she and Fisher King aren’t talking.

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Oct 29

New Mutants #31 annotations

Posted on Saturday, October 29, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #31
“The Sublime Saga, part one: Fate & Consequences”
Writer: Charlie Jane Anders
Artists: Alberto Alburquerque with Ro Stein & Ted Brandt
Colourists: Carlos Lopez with Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1: Escapade as all of the New Mutants, while Emma Frost rolls her eyes.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Tom Palmer

PAGES 3-5. The New Mutants try to teach creative writing, and Emma comes to talk about Escapade.

This is continuing with the main theme of Vita Ayala’s run, with the New Mutants taking on the role of mentors for the younger generations of teen mutants. The depiction of an actual classroom is new for Krakoa; at the start of the Krakoan era, we were told that the place was running on some sort of experimental-progressive education model where everyone taught one another. That apparently didn’t go so well, leading to the New Mutants moving in to give the place a bit more structure – and now it seems we’re back to regular classrooms and English literature classes.

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Oct 28

Wolverine #26 annotations

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #26
“The Beast Agenda: The Off Days”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan José Ryp
Colourist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine, with Beast in the background, and Jeff Bannister and the Merchant in the foreground.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Tom Palmer

PAGES 3-5. Montage: Wolverine has glimpses of normalcy in the middle of fights.

The action sequences are generic and don’t represent any particular story. Page 3 is the late 1970s X-Men fighting robots; page 4 is Wolverine and Spider-Man fighting symbiotes; and page 5 is Wolverine and family (Daken, Laura and Scout) taking on Donald Pierce, Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers.

PAGE 6. Recap and credits.

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Oct 27

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY #6
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Valerio Schiti with Ivan Fiorelli
Colourist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Tom Brevoort

COVER / PAGE 1: Members of the X-Men, Avengers and Eternals giving the thumbs down sign (presumably their verdict on the Progenitor).

PAGE 2. Obituary for Mike Pasciullo.

PAGES 3-4. Recap and credits.

PAGES 5-6. Captain America brings Jada to the Eternals’ city.

Jada is still sitting in the place where she was talking to Captain America last issue (and still has the Starbucks coffee that she shared with him). Seems awfully quiet for New York, but obviously the scene works better when she’s not just a face in the crowd.

PAGE 7. The civilians react.

Everyone has some degree of turning point or realisation by the end of this, with the possible exception of Komali, who is just resigned to death. Tom finally and decisively realises that he’s got it wrong, albeit too late to do anything about it. Katrina actually does something instead of just talking about it. Daniela had already turned her focus to her family, even if she remains somewhat distracted by practicalities. Jada gets to reconnect with someone (which is another reason why she couldn’t be in a crowd in the last scene) and Kenta is forced to take the situation seriously.

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Oct 23

New Mutants #25-30

Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2022 by Paul in x-axis

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #25-30
Writers: Vita Ayala (#25-28 and #30), Danny Lore (#29) & Alyssa Wong (#30, Deadpool story)
Artists: Rod Reis & Jan Duursema (#25-28), Guillermo Sanna (#29), Alex Lins, Justin Mason, Jason Loo, Emma Kubert, Roberto Poggi & Geoff Shaw (#30)
Colourists: Rod Reis & Ruth Redmond (#25-28), Dan Brown (#29), Bryan Valenza, Jason Loo, Antonio Fabela & Nolan Woodard (#30)
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

It’s past time I started making inroads on the reviews, and what better place to start than the closing stretch of Vita Ayala’s New Mutants? To be honest, I was initially going to do the “Labors of Magik” arc separately, but the queue is building up, so let’s just bring the whole series up to date. We’ve got Ayala’s final arc, a fill-in issue, and a farewell anniversary anthology.

Taking them together does bring out one point: viewed as an ongoing series, there’s not much sense of direction here. Which is odd, since the earlier parts of Ayala’s run seemed to know well enough where they were going. There’s a built-in challenge in finding a role for the New Mutants, since they were the original trainee team. Promoting them all to the X-Men kind of misses the point, but at the same time, the characters are 40 years old and they haven’t been written as rookies since 1990 or so. Ayala’s approach was to make them into the mentors for the next batch of kids, which isn’t novel – it was basically the approach taken by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir in their New Mutants series from the early 2000s, where the original team had become the teachers at Xavier’s School. But it makes sense as a way to give them a foot in both camps.

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Oct 20

X-Force #33 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #33
“The Hunt for X, part 4: Memento Mori”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Robert Gill
Colourist: Guru-eFX
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine squares off against Kraven and his Shadow Room dinosaurs.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Mike Pasciulloo.

PAGES 3-5. Kraven hunts the Beast in the Shadow Room.

All fairly straightforward. It’s the good old “a villain has trapped us in the Danger Room and switched off the safety protocols” story, an X-Men standard for decades.

PAGE 6. Recap and credits.

PAGES 7-9. Wolverine in the Shadow Room.

Wolverine spells out here what this story is supposed to have to do with Judgment Day: Kraven thinks it’s the end of days and he wants to go out by proving himself against Wolverine. Honestly, that’s a pretty token link to the main story, and though it’s more-or-less claimed on the recap pages of this issue and last, I wouldn’t be in the slightest surprised to learn that this was an already planned storyline that had a few Judgment Day elements worked into the background so as to justify the crossover tag. It is a crossover to the wider storyline, but nothing actually seems to turn on that fact.

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