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Sep 17

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #2 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 17, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Welcome to Krakoa”
by Leah Williams, Lucas Werneck & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1. Magneto fights the Avengers.

PAGES 2-4. Professor X and Hope try to read Magneto’s mind.

They’re trying to put him at ease, presumably to lower his psychic defences in order to make it possible to scan his memories. Obviously, this is trying to close the potential plot hole of “how can there by a mystery when you can just read the subject’s mind”?

Despite what Hope says, this process is quite plainly not torture. Torture would be extracting a confession by inflicting, or at least threatening, pain and suffering. What Professor X is trying to do here is the exact opposite. That may be an invasion of privacy or an unacceptable violation of the right to silence, but it isn’t torture. In fact, if Hope has ethical problems with this, she should really have problems with most of the telepaths on Krakoa.

PAGES 5-6. The X-Men greet the Avengers.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t actually the newly elected X-Men, but rather Cyclops and Phoenix (who are on the team) and Wolverine (who isn’t). But they’re a natural trio to act as ambassadors to the superhero establishment. It’s also a somewhat retro-classic Avengers group, rather than the current regular line-up: Captain America, Iron Man, the Vision and the Wasp.

Note that Hope asked on page 4 why Jean and Emma hadn’t been asked to help with the psychic search. Xavier claimed that they were both “busy with an urgent matter of diplomacy”, but that seems to be true only of Emma. It also doesn’t really explain why Xavier is turning to the relatively inexperienced Hope in place of, say, one of the Stepford Cuckoos – or indeed Exodus. Is there some reason why he wants to carry out this scan without the rest of the Quiet Council knowing?


Sep 15

Marauders #24 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Date Night”
by Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto & Cory Petit

COVER / PAGE 1. Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost nad Kate Pryde face off against aliens in the Red Lagoon bar.

PAGES 2-4. Eden Rixlo arrives at Port Prometheus.

Port Prometheus is the main intergalactic hub on Mars/Arakko. This is the first time Marauders has spent any significant time on Arakko since the terraforming during “Hellfire Gala”.

For the most part, Port Prometheus in this issue is basically just Star Wars which… seems ill-advised when the place hasn’t really been defined very clearly yet. Doesn’t it have an identity of its own?

Eden Rixlo is, as far as I can tell, a new character.


Sep 10

X-Force #23 annotations

Posted on Friday, September 10, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #23
“The New Tsar”
by Benjamin Percy, Martin Coccolo & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1: Mikhail Rasputin drives the Cerebro Sword into the Beast’s head. A very symbolic rendering of the attack on Beast’s mind by one of Mikhail’s agents.

PAGES 2-6. The Man With the Peacock Tattoo brings soldiers to Mikhail Rasputin.

Mikhail’s very uneasy alliance with XENO – an alliance of convenience against Krakoa – was established back in issue #12. The artificial red soldiers seen here are the same type of XENO agents previous seen in issues #11-12 and, before that, Wolverine #3. We saw their “nesting doll” schtick in issues #11-12, which is of course a reference to Russian nesting dolls.

PAGE 7. Recap and credits.

PAGES 8-11. A nesting doll enters the Beast’s ear.

As usual in this series, the Beast is doing something both morally dubious and practically unwise. One of the issues with the way Beast is being written here is that he’s not hypercompetent but unethical – which would invite the obvious moral dilemmas about whether the ends justify the means. Rather, he’s both unethical and massively arrogant and incompetent. Then again, that’s not necessarily a problem, depending on where Percy is going with this. Arguably the “ends justify etc” character has been done to death, and if the idea here is to have a character who gets away with far more than he should because too many people assume he’s that character – including himself – then maybe that works.


Sep 9

Excalibur #23 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 9, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #23
“In the Service of Lord Doom”
by Tini Howard, Marcus To & Erick Arciniega

COVER / PAGE 1. Dr Doom leading a somewhat reluctant Excalibur. The composition loosely echoes the cover of Excalibur vol 1 #1.

PAGE 2. Betsy dreams.

Braddock Isle is now “several kilometres off the coast of England”. Last issue it was “Just off the coast of England” and the art showed the distance to be pretty much swimmable. Maybe Rictor’s been moving it.

Betsy’s dreams show a mixture of images from the series to date, most of them fairly generic. Merlyn and Morgan Le Fay are at the top. The woman emerging from the golden egg is probably meant to be Malice, upon her reincarnation in issue #20. The group above Betsy’s head are all members of Krakoa’s Quiet Council (from left to right, Magneto, Mr Sinister, Nightcrawler, Kate Pryde, Mystique, Emma Frost, Storm and Professor X). To her left is a silhouetted image of Pete Wisdom being killed by Marianna Stern of Coven Akkaba in issue #21. To her bottom right are her brothers, Brian (Captain Avalon) and Jamie (Monarch). And bottom left are Stern again, with fellow Coven leader Reuben Brousseau.


Sep 2

New Mutants #21 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 2, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #21
“Krakoa Welcomes Gabby Kinney”
by Vita Ayala & Rod Reis

COVER / PAGE 1. Magik, Mirage and Karma confront a shadowy Wolfsbane, which doesn’t bear much resemblance to anything in the issue. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn it was based on an early version of the plot.

PAGES 2-3. Warpath takes his trainees to the moon.

The Summer House is the home of the Summers family, seen extensively in X-Men and Cable.

Warpath’s class are apparently here to look at the space slugs and, er, clean the more senior X-Men’s house. Heaven only knows where the space slugs came from; maybe someone brought them back from the Shi’ar empire, maybe they just happened to be passing and fell to the surface.

The kids in Warpath’s class today are:


Sep 1

Hellions #15 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Don’t Look Back Part III: Fire and Brimstone”
by Zeb Wells, Rogé Antônio & Rain Beredo

COVER / PAGE 1: Just a straightforward picture of Psylocke with the rest of the cast behind her.

PAGE 2. Our opening quote comes from Tarn. The idea that Amino Fetus cannot be allowed to eat was established when he debuted in issue #6, and the rest of the Locus Vile have always been very keen to stop him doing it. The reasons haven’t been explained until now.

PAGE 3. The Right approach Krakoa.

These are the Right’s ZETA Team, who were introduced in issue #13, and were described by one of their own colleagues as “psychopaths”. They’re meant to be looking for the rogue AI that Nanny picked up from the Right in issue #8. They’re named here as Cobb (apparently the leader), Barker, Martinez and Susan. Susan appears to be a religious zealot, which Cobb (at least) doesn’t share.


Aug 26

Cable: Reloaded #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition – with a caveat that we’ll get to at page 22.

“Call in the Big Gun”
by Al Ewing, Bob Quinn & Java Tartaglia

This is a one-shot published as part of the Last Annihilation crossover. It could arguably count as Cable #13 or S.W.O.R.D. #7.5, and certainly contains plot points that are relevant for S.W.O.R.D. readers.

COVER / PAGE 1. Cable posing. Note that he’s carrying both the signature big gun and the Light of Galador sword that Kid Cable was carrying around throughout his recent solo run. Cable kept it behind in Cable #12 when his younger self returned to the future.

PAGE 2. Cable sets the scene.

Graymalkin II, the second version of Cable’s space station, was first seen in Cable vol 4 #11.

The Breakworld was an alien planet introduced in the 2004 Astonishing X-Men run by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. It’s one of those alien planets locked in constant war.

PAGE 3. Cable prepares to dive.

Belle, the AI which appears as a “tattoo” on Cable’s arm, was introduced in Uncanny Avengers and showed up again in the last couple of issues of Cable.


Aug 21

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 annotations

Posted on Saturday, August 21, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Dial M for Wanda”
by Leah Williams, Lucas Werneck & Edgar Delgado

This is a five-issue miniseries following on from the murder of the Scarlet Witch during “Hellfire Gala”.

COVER / PAGE 1. The body of the Scarlet Witch with Magneto in the background. To avoid spoilers, the solicitation art showed a chalk outline in place of Wanda.

PAGE 2. Opening quotation. The Scarlet Witch is talking about immortality being a curse, the irony being not just her own death but the pride that the Krakoans take in their resurrection technology. Note that over in Way of X this week, we’re also being told that resurrection has a major downside (specifically, it provides a route in for Onslaught).

Although the quotation is said to be from “years ago”, as far as I know it’s original.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. Wanda’s body was found in X-Factor #10.

The small print reads “murder investigation – trial of X” in the top left, and “Who killed Wanda?” in the central bottom. The choice of characters to highlight in the cast section more or less presents this as X-Factor #11.


Aug 20

X-Corp #4 annotations

Posted on Friday, August 20, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“A Carrot on a Stick”
by Tini Howard, Alberto Foche & Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1: Selene and Mastermind. By the way, that mock-pharmaceutical branding is already starting to look a bit odd considering that it only took three issues before the series moved on to broadband.

PAGES 2-3. Mastermind covers for the failed launch.

“It looks like we’ve got some intruders on board.” This scene plays as if the failure of the demonstration is something to do with Noblesse intruders, but that’s not what happened in issue #3. In that issue, Madrox just made an error in his calculations. At first glance you might think that Madrox is simply lying to cover his tracks, but we’ll see the intruders later in the issue. But they have nothing to do with the previous issue and they contribute nothing to the plot. See also pages 6-8 below.

Mastermind is using his illusion-casting for PR exactly as foreshadowed in issue #2 – though surely this only works for people who are actually in the room. Does X-Corp not do streaming?


Aug 19

Way of X #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“The Fall”
by Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn & Java Tartaglia

COVER / PAGE 1: Onslaught marches forward, dragging Nightcrawler behind him. This is pencilled by Giuseppe Camuncoli, but it really reminds me of Adam Kubert.

PAGE 2. Professor X is resurrected.

Legion and the Xorn brothers annihilated Professor X and a whole bunch of surrounding customers in the Green Lagoon last issue, when Onslaught started to manifest there. The first panel is Onslaught, in the “Patchwork Man” guise where he’s appeared as a bogeyman figure on Krakoa.

Resurrection requires a telepath to restore the memories from backup. Normally Professor X does this, but it’s all hands on deck here, so Emma Frost, Jean Grey and even Exodus are all visible joining in. Oddly, they’re all drawn with their own Cerebro helmets, and I’m pretty sure there’s meant to be only a limited number of those in separate locations.