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Oct 1

X-Men #15 annotations

Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 6 #15
“Collapse Theory”
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Colourist: Guru-eFX
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. The Children of the Vault with the defeated X-Men. Don’t worry, it’s only a dream.

PAGE 2. Data page. An opening quote from Forge. Note that he’s treating Krakoa as a government like any other. When Forge was first introduced, he was a weapon designer for the US government, and he designed the neutraliser device that led Storm to lose her powers for a while.

PAGE 3. Forge and Cyclops make their way through the jungle.

This is apparently part of the simulation which Forge creates for the Children of the Vault (as explained later), but it’s repeated on page 16 in the real world.

“You wanted to know what I was doing for the Council so much that you put me on the X-Men.” Cyclops did indeed nominate Forge onto the X-Men without asking him in X-Men: Hellfire Gala, leading Forge to assure Professor X that it wouldn’t interfere with “Project Blackbox.” We’ll find out in this issue what Project Blackbox actually is.

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Sep 29

A.X.E.: Avengers #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

A.X.E.: AVENGERS #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Colourist: Dean White
Letterer: Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort

Although it’s billed as a separate one-shot, this is essentially A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5 1/4. Note though that it doesn’t have the Progenitor’s narration from the regular series.

COVER / PAGE 1. Iron Man in the shadow of the Progenitor.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits.

PAGES 4-6. Inside the Progenitor, the team make plans.

“For an Avengers, Eternals and X-Men get-together, this Avenger is feeling distinctly outnumbered.” This feels like a nod to the Avengers’ somewhat peripheral role in the crossover, which only has a peripheral tie-in issue in Avengers itself. It might be said that so far, this is more of a story about the Eternals, the X-Men, and the Avengers’ house.

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Sep 23

New Mutants #30 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 23, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #30
“Still Classic”
Writer: Vita Ayala
Framing story art: Alex Lins & Bryan Valenza
Moonstar art: Justin Mason & Bryan Valenza
Karma art: Jason Loo
Wolfsbane story art: Emma Kubert, Roberto Poggi & Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. Members of the cast pose – specifically, that’s Galura behind the logo; Warpath, Magik and Karma in the top tier; X-23, Anole and Dani Moonstar in the middle tier; and Cosmar, Wolfsbane and Sunspot at the bottom.

PAGE 2. Letter from the author. This issue is an anthology special celebrating the 40th anniversary of the New Mutants’ debut. It’s not connected to wider storylines and I wouldn’t have done annotations for it if it had been a one-shot, but it’s part of the regular series, so we’ll run through it quickly.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits.

PAGE 4. Data page. Sunspot invites us to the 40th anniversary celebration (or whatever it is in continuity).

PAGES 5-6. Sunspot is unhappy about the preparations for his party.

Cidade do Paraíso.” “Paradise City.”

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Sep 22

Legion of X #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

LEGION OF X #5
“A Canticle for Liebenden”
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Toom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. Legion, Banshee, Pixie, Nightcrawler, Juggernaut and for some reason Storm, standing around.

PAGE 2. Data page. Obviously, this is Professor X writing about his son Legion (David Haller). By likening Legion to something that he “crafted”, Professor X could just be referring to his status as Legion’s biological father – but it’s more likely a reference to the data pages in Powers of X #6 which indicate that Moira MacTaggert deliberately identified genetic partners for herself and Professor X to produce powerful reality-altering mutants. The obvious implication was that this was the genesis of Proteus and Legion. (Professor X’s continuing discomfort with Legion’s power and lack of controllability should probably also be seen in this light.)

PAGE 3. Recap and credits.

“A Canticle for Liebenden.” The title is probably a reference to Walter Miller’s novel A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959), about a monastic order preserving knowledge in the centuries after a nuclear war, until humanity is ready for it again. Liebenden means lovers or loving. A canticle is a kind of hymn. If this sounds familiar, the same book was referenced in passing in Immortal X-Men #3, though that’s probably just a coincidence.

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Sep 16

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #4 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 16, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY #4
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colour artist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Tom Brevoort

COVER / PAGE 1. Various characters look alarmed as the Progenitor poses with thumb poised.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits.

PAGES 4-5. Captain America tries to calm the crowd at the Treehouse.

The Progenitor’s narration here seems to confirm that everyone is being judged by their own standards, something which becomes even clearer as the issue goes on. (“They must decide what ‘hero’ means… He needs to believe the world is fundamentally a good place… The world may think differently.”)

“He failed his test…” Last issue. Of course, since Captain America is fundamentally modest, and aware of the gap between his values and reality, he’s going to judge himself as a failure. Clearly, he’s having little or no impact on this crowd.

PAGE 6. The Avengers Mountain cast make plans.

Left to right in page 6 panel 2, that’s Ajak, Iron Man, Sersi, Starfox, Makkari, Mr Sinister and Phastos.

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Sep 15

X-Men Red #6 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN RED vol 2 #6
“The Hour of Magneto”
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer & Production: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: Magneto’s broken helmet in the foreground, while Storm fights in the background.

PAGE 2. Data page. A transcript of Craig Marshall’s field recording, which continues into the following scene. As far as I know, he’s a new character. He’s also the first indication we’ve had that ordinary humans are welcome to explore Arakko beyond the Diplomatic Zone, if they’re actually able to get to Mars in the first place. (This being the Marvel Universe, it seems to be just taken for granted that NASA has access to technology that can reach the Moon – it’s possible that he got a lift to Phobos from Feilong, of course.)

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Sep 10

New Mutants #29 annotations

Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #29
“Fights and Feelings”
Writer: Danny Lore
Artist: Guillermo Sanna
Colourist: Dan Brown
Letterer & production: Travis Lanham
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. Warpath and Akihiro (as we’re calling him in this story) fight, with a looming villain in the background. The cover strapline is not what happens in the story, though it is Akihiro’s perspective at the start of the story.

This issue has a guest creative team, which means it’s what we used to call a fill-in issue back in the day.

PAGES 2-4. Akihiro attacks Warpath.

Akihiro is normally referred to as Daken, but his real name Akihiro is used throughout this issue, including on the recap page. Over in this week’s Marauders, he seems to be dumping the Daken name.

Akihiro is upset that his younger sister Scout is missing, and blames the New Mutants for reasons we’ll get to. Quite why that leads him to attack Warpath without explaining himself isn’t clear, nor is it really behaviour that’s consistent with the way he’s written in his home book Marauders. (Strictly speaking, Scout is a clone of X-23, who in turn is the lab-grown genetic daughter of Akihiro’s father Wolverine. But he and Scout – and X-23 – have treated each other as family for years now.)

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Sep 9

Wolverine #24 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 9, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #24
“Hell to Pay”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Colourist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine fights a pack of hellhound things with glowing eyes. The Hellbride has one of them later in the issue.

PAGES 2-4. The Progenitor challenges Wolverine to prove that his value is greater than the value of the people he killed.

The Progenitor. This is an A.X.E. tie-in, and the Progenitor is busily judging everyone on the planet. Like most people, Wolverine is confronted by the Progenitor in the form of people to whom he feels the need to justify himself. In Wolverine’s case, that’s obviously going to be all the people he’s killed over the years, since it’s practically a trope of the character anyway. The novel point is about him having to positively justify himself.

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Sep 8

Marauders #6 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 8, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS vol 2 #6
“Even Odds of Destruction”
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Andrea Broccardo
Colour artist: Matt Milla
Letterer & production: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: A group shot of the Marauders with the Progenitor looming behind them.

PAGE 2. Lockheed watches the Theater of Pain.

This is picking up on the subplot from the opening page of issue #2, where Lockheed found some mutilated corpses in a ruined church with “X” symbols on the altar, and “LOVE” spray painted on the walls. The same symbols appear on the wall here, confirming that Lockheed has been on the trail of the Theater of Pain. The Marauders fought the Theater’s leader Brimstone Love in Marauders Annual #1 (effectively the first issue of Steve Orlando’s run). That issue also saw Brimstone Love pushing the angle that the Xavier’s dream of coexistence was the right one, the point being that the mutant separatism of Krakoa was a betrayal of it.

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Sep 7

Immortal X-Men #6 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

IMMORTAL X-MEN #6
“The Devil’s Party”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Lucas Werneck
Colour artist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: Sebastian Shaw, apparently in the middle of the ritual from the end of the story.

PAGES 2-3. Mr Sinister tells Destiny about the plan to attack the Progenitor.

This is a significantly expanded version of a sequence on pages 8 and 9 of A.X.E.: Judgment Day #3. All we see in that version is Sinister making contact with Destiny and telling her “I have some most useful information… just time it right.” This version makes clear that Sinister tells Destiny about the actual risk, but encourages her to conceal it from the rest of the Quiet Council. Jean does accuse him of concealing the risks in Judgment Day #3, but he denies it and claims that she would have known the full picture if she’d been on the Quiet Council.

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