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Aug 23

Powers of X #3 annotations

Posted on Friday, August 23, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX, x-axis

As always, this is going to be full of spoilers, and I’ll be using the page numbers from the digital edition. But before we get to the detail, let’s look at the big picture for this issue.

After two issues following the same pattern – Year 1, Year 10, Year 100, Year 1000 – Powers of X breaks from that format entirely to give us an entire issue set in the Year 100 time frame. This issue has a straightforward plot: as promised last issue, the Year 100 “X-Men” embark on a heroic suicide mission to recover vitally important data, which turns out to be the details of when and how Nimrod came into existence. Moira is woken from suspended animation and given the data, and then she allows Wolverine to kill her. The narrator then reveals that this is Moira’s ninth life – the one before established continuity, where she was allied with Apocalypse.


Aug 15

Powers of X #2 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX, x-axis

As always, there will be spoilers, and page numbers reflect the digital edition.

COVER (PAGE 1): A montage of Magneto, Mystique, Toad, Sabretooth and Emma Frost against the background of Krakoa.  Most of these characters don’t actually appear in the issue.

PAGE 2: The epigraph quotes Magneto, and once again, it’s new dialogue.  Clearly, it’s superficially at odds with the next scene.  More to the point, though, is the contrast between Magneto’s opening quotation about unbridgeable differences and Xavier’s closing line about togetherness.  As we’ll see over the course of the issue, this story seems to be interested in a rather more permanent form of togetherness than Xavier would normally have in mind.

PAGES 3-7: Charles Xavier and Moira MacTaggert visit Magneto and form an alliance with him.  This is presumably the scene which was listed in the House of X #2 timeline as “Moira and Xavier recruit Magneto”.

The timeline: This issue repeats issue #1’s structure of having four scenes, set respectively in “Year 1”, “Year 10”, “Year 100” and “Year 1000” respectively.   This particular scene is listed as taking place in “Year 1”, but so was Xavier’s first meeting with Moira in the previous issue.  But according to the House of X timeline, Moira and Xavier met in Year 17, while their recruitment of Magneto didn’t take place until Year 43.  That’s 26 years apart, yet  for Powers of X it still hasn’t bridged the gap between Year 1 and Year 10.  So either the “Year 1”, “Year 10” stuff is figurative, or there’s something weird going on with time.  (Or Hickman has made a mess of his timeline, but that doesn’t seem very likely.)   (more…)

Aug 8

House of X #2 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX, x-axis

So this is the huge high-concept retcon.  Spoilers ahead, as if that wasn’t obvious.  (Again, I’m using the page numbers in the digital edition.)

COVER (PAGE 1): There’s quite a lot going on in this set of triangles..  There are six different versions of Moira in the centre, each presumably representing a different one of her lives, though some of the images would fit as well with more than one.  We’ll come to the big idea in detail later on, but the six Moira shown on the cover are (clockwise from top) Moira VII, the Trask hunter; Moira IX, the Apocalypse ally; Moira in a lab coat and glasses, which could be one of several incarnations; Moira X, the current version; Moira in the clothes we see her wearing in the Oxford pub in several of her lives; and a normally-dressed Moira who doesn’t seem to match any of the ones in the issue.  In the background, for some reason, there’s a picture of a fingerprint – perhaps just to emphasise that they’re all the same person.

Surrounding her are Magneto, in his current costume; Cyclops; Emma Frost, Professor X (classic version); Wolverine; and Marvel Girl.  Moira X is adjacent to Xavier, which seems to make sense, but the others seem more random, at least at this point.  In the outer spaces are the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Apocalypse, and what appears to be the face of one of his henchmen.  The two pictures in the top left are obscured by the House of X logo, but the solicitation art shows that it’s Nimrod and a Sentinel.


Aug 2

Powers of X #1

Posted on Friday, August 2, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX, x-axis

Alright, then.  Not a review, just thoughts as we go through the issue to … well, work out what’s going on.  As before, I’m using the page numbers from the Comixology edition, which count double page spreads as a single page.

COVER (PAGE 1): These are mostly new characters from the future timelines that we’ll be seeing later in the story.  Behind them are the faces of Charles Xavier, Moira MacTaggert (presumably) and Nimrod, all of whom we’ll come to.

PAGE 2: An opening data page, with a quote from Moira MacTaggert in a scene we’ll reach on page 8.  Obviously, the “dream” references Charles Xavier’s dream of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants, which the X-Men used to talk about all the time.  His separatist tendencies in House of X and Powers of X – assuming it’s really him – are arguably closer to Magneto’s vision than his traditional dream, although having said that, his actual strategy always boiled down to separating mutants away from the world until things got better of their own accord.  As I’ve pointed out before, this is now a rather unfashionable approach.

PAGE 3: Four panels representing the four time frames which Powers of X takes place in.  The title is pronounced Powers of Ten, and this page identifies the time frames as year 1 (“the Dream”), year 10 (“the World”), year 100 (“the War”) and year 1000 (“Ascension”).  All of them are labelled in terms of “the X-Men”, rather than mutants more generally.  Year One is represented by Charles Xavier; Year 10 by House of X Professor X; Year 100 by Nimrod The Lesser (who we’ll meet later); and Year 1000 by the Librarian (ditto). (more…)

Jul 25

House of X #1

Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX, x-axis

So I’m not ignoring the review backlog, but something tells me there’s a bit more interest in House of X #1 than there is in, say, the Wolverine vs Blade Special.  On the other hand, I don’t want to review this until it’s actually finished… and I don’t want to just post “open thread.”  So instead, since Hickman seems like the sort of writer whose stories are designed to repay scrutiny, let’s just unpick what’s going on here in continuity terms.

I’m using the page numbers for the digital edition here, which will be out of synch with a paper edition (since the double page spreads count as a single page) but I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

COVER (PAGE 1).  The X-Men step through one of those gateways we’ll be hearing so much about.

PAGE 2: This is a Jonathan Hickman comic, so we’re getting lots of black and white “data pages” between scenes – a fairly standard device in his comics.  The script at the back is heavily redacted for this page – despite it containing almost no information – but does reveal that this quote is part of a telepathic speech by Charles Xavier to the world, evidently announcing the way things are going to be from now on.