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Aug 6

Legion of X #4 annotations

Posted on Saturday, August 6, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

Cover of Legion of X #4LEGION OF X #4
“Pillow Talk”
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer & production: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. Hmm. Well, that’s Nightcrawler and Zsen in the foreground. Standing over them are Mother Righteous in the middle (who doesn’t appear in this issue), Loki to the right, and… presumably another trickster god component on the left, though I don’t recognise him. And in the background is the silhouette of Galactus, which has nothing to do with the content of this issue at all. It’s quite an odd cover. The actual solicitation text seems perfectly consistent with the published issue, though.

PAGE 2. George Pérez obituary.

PAGE 3. Switch is rescued.

We’re not told who his rescuer is, though since he has purple skin and custom speech balloons, he should be pretty hard to miss.

Switch’s psyche was trapped in this jar last issue. Considering how important he is, it seems odd that Switch has been entrusted to Paulie diCosta, who has no experience in this field at all and doesn’t particularly want to be there himself.

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Aug 5

X-Men Red #5 annotations

Posted on Friday, August 5, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN RED vol 2 #5
“The Hour of Uranos”
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: Cable, still with a twinkle in his eye even in adverse circumstances.

PAGES 2-3. Destiny’s warning is relayed to the Great Ring.

The lead-in for this scene is on page 9 of A.X.E.: Judgment Day #1, where Magneto, Cable and Nightcrawler decided that they would relay Destiny’s warning about an imminent Eternal attack to the Great Ring, while Storm joined the Quiet Council meeting on Krakoa. Abigail Brand wasn’t seen in that issue, so presumably Magneto and co went out of their way to alert her – partly because of the seriousness of the problem, and partly because this whole affair is completely unrelated to any of her schemes.

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Aug 4

Immortal X-Men #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

IMMORTAL X-MEN #5
“Meditations on the X”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Michele Bandini
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Exodus in action above Krakoa (with what looks to be one of the Hex visible on the ground below). Obviously, it’s Exodus’s turn for his spotlight issue.

PAGES 2-3. Flashback: Exodus has a vision of the Phoenix in the desert.

Black Knight: Exodus. The flashbacks in this issue heavily reference the 1996 one-shot Black Knight: Exodus by Ben Raab and Jimmy Cheung, because it’s Exodus’s origin story. In the original story, the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) and Sersi attempt to return to the mainstream Marvel Universe from the Malibu Ultraverse. They wind up stuck in the time of the Crusades, with Dane possessing the body of the period Black Knight, Eobar Garrington. (I’ll come back to that.)

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Jul 22

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #1 annotations

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colourist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Tom Brevoort

COVER / PAGE 1: Well, that’s the X-Men on the left, the Avengers in the middle and the Eternals on the right. In the background, the looming Celestial that forms Avengers Mountain.

PAGE 2. An ordinary day in New York.

This is the voice of the Machine, originally presented as the Eternals’ artificial intelligence, but which presents itself in the current Eternals series as “the Great Machine that is Earth”. It serves as the narrator of Eternals.

The woman with green hair on the bottom left might be Polaris, not that it really matters.

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Jul 21

Knights of X #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

KNIGHTS OF X #4
“The Seat of the Self”
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Bob Quinn
Colourist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. Betsy walks towards an (empty) Siege Perilous, surrounded by shards with images of the rest of the cast.

PAGE 2. Arthur’s forces continue their attack.

PAGES 3-4. Recap and credits.

PAGES 5-6. Jim Jaspers makes a portal to Mercator for the remaining Knights of X.

The sacrifice. We established last issue that Apocalypse’s grimoire predicted that a sacrifice would be required in order to get into Mercator; Rictor spent most of last issue thinking it could be him, until Gambit got killed in action instead. As Meggan reminds us, we established during “X of Swords” that mutants who die in Otherworld can’t be resurrected, except as rebooted blank slates.

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Jul 17

Wolverine #23 annotations

Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #23
“Old Haunts”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colourist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1. Danger impales Wolverine and Deadpool on swords. It’s a callback to Adam Kubert’s own cover for Wolverine #88 (1994), which has Deadpool impaling Wolverine in the same pose.

PAGES 2-5. Deadpool and Wolverine fight their way into the X-Men Mansion.

The page layouts echo the opening pages of every issue in this arc (though I’d struggle to tell you quite what the point of that is). Apparently Danger has mocked up a Sentinel for our heroes to get past.

This is interspersed with Wolverine reminiscing about the days when the Mansion was home, with images of the X-Men teaching pupils on the lawn, and having one of their signature baseball games. Wolverine, having been around for over a century, tells us that he has an all-things-pass attitude to the Institute, remembering it fondly enough, but recognising that attempts to recapture the past are bound to fail. Wolverine claims later in the issue that Danger and Deadpool are both making this sort of doomed attempt. It’s fairly obvious why that’s the case for Danger, who’s returned home to her place of awakening, and more of a stretch for Deadpool.

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Jul 16

New Mutants #27 annotations

Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #27
“The Labors of Magik, Book Three: Begin at the Beginning…”
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artists: Rod Reis (main story) & Jan Duursema (flashbacks)
Colourists: Rod Reis (main story) & Ruth Redmond (flashbacks)
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1: A rather unpleasant looking hare leads the New Mutants down a rabbit hole. I guess by a process of elimination that’s either Maddie or young Illyana in the background.

PAGES 2-3. Flashback: little Illyana reads a story to dead Colossus.

Colossus. In Uncanny X-Men #160 (1982), the story where Illyana is abducted to Limbo, the X-Men visit Limbo and, thanks to its wonky rules of time, encounter versions of themselves from an alternate future in which they have tried and failed to rescue Illyana. For the numbering enthusiasts among you, this timeline is apparently Earth-8280. Colossus appears in that story as a skeletal corpse, with serious damage to his chest, and said to have been killed by S’ym. However, since the second flashback scene tells us that Illyana “rais[ed] a shade of [him]”, this is presumably not the same Colossus corpse (and indeed, in Uncanny #160, Wolverine tells us that Colossus seems to have died as an old man). Belasco suggests on page 15 that he has met many alternate Piotrs, so it might be a completely different one, or just a slightly botched illusion.

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Jul 15

Marauders #4 annotations

Posted on Friday, July 15, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS vol 2 #4
“Extinction Agenda, part 4”
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colourist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: Tempo checks her phone while a battle rages around her (at a different speed).

PAGE 2. Neal Adams obituary.

PAGE 3. Deathbird fights the Kin Crimson.

We’ve seen brief subplots of Deathbird fighting the Kin Crimson’s allies in previous issues. According to Delphos in the previous issue, Deathbird was “cast … halfway across the universe”. But the opening caption here indicates that she’s fought her way back to the Shi’ar capital on Chandilar.

The Crystal Claws are a group led by Erik the Red from the 1995-6 Captain Marvel series, presumably being retconned here into allies of the Kin Crimson. In the original story, they were trying to install a brainwashed Adam X as the Shi’ar Emperor.

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Jul 14

Immortal X-Men #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

IMMORTAL X-MEN #4
“Part Four: Diamonds Are Forever”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Michele Bandini
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Emma in silk sheets, with one arm in the process of turning to diamond.

PAGE 2. Neal Adams obituary.

PAGES 3-5. Emma Frost at night.

Immortal X-Men is structured with a focus on a different Quiet Council member in each issue, and this is Emma’s issue.

Emma’s planned excuse for sleeping in her diamond form is that she is less vulnerable to psychic intrusion in that form. Originally, Emma’s diamond form was presented as removing (or at least reducing) her emotions and empathy and cutting off her access to her telepathic powers, but it’s been shown over the years as protecting her from telepathic attack as well. Her actual reasoning is that she doesn’t age in diamond form. This is setting up the motif that Emma won’t drop her persona in public but will admit her actual feelings to herself, and that there’s a degree of self-aware doublethink going on in her self-image.

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Jul 13

X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA #1
“Time Flies When You’re a Mutant.”
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artists: Kris Anka, Russell Dauterman, Matteo Lolli & CF Villa
Colourists: Rain Beredo, Frank Martin, Matt Milla & Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Associate editor: Lauren Amaro
Senior editor: Jordan D White

Although it’s billed as a one-shot, this is basically an extra issue of X-Men, with the new team roster being announced. It’s roughly equivalent to last year’s Planet-Size X-Men #1 but without the planet.

COVER / PAGE 1. Various X-Men in their Gala costumes for this year, with the picture burning up. Unusually, Scott is shown with Emma rather than Jean. Emma is holding what seems to be a dying Krakoan flower.

PAGE 2. Memorial page for Dijjo Lima (1988-2022).

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