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Jan 12

Marauders #27 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS #27
“Bon Voyage”
by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Phil Noto & Rain Beredo

This is the final issue of Marauders vol 1; a new series with a different creative team launches in the spring. It’s the season finale, then.

PAGE 1. The cast pose on the cover. It’s a homage to the cover of issue #1. The inclusion among the cast of Tempo is interesting, since her only major appearance was in issue #23. Apparently she’s in the new volume, but her appearance on this cover has a distinct whiff of “plans changed”.

PAGES 2-4. Kate Pryde talks to Forge.

“You didn’t forget about my little problem, did you?” Kate’s inability to use the Krakoan gates was a major plot point in early issues, contributing to her depression, but it’s been largely downplayed since her resurrection. Kate is nodding to the fact that the plot has fallen by the wayside, as well as reintroducing it so as to set up the epilogue.

Forge’s “mission for the Quiet Council” doesn’t seem to be anything in particular.

“[Y]ou’ve disrupted every technology you’ve encountered…” Kate disrupts any electrical systems that she phases through. That’s been the case since day one.

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Jan 6

Inferno #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, January 6, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

INFERNO vol 2 #4
“The Death of Moira X”

by Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti, Stefano Caselli & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Mystique, changing into Destiny, stands over a gravestone. Nothing very much like this happens in the issue itself – it seems to be teasing that Destiny could die again, or perhaps that they both kill Moira. (It may be worth noting here that issue #3 had a cover of Professor X and Magneto fighting Nimrod, which doesn’t actually happen until this issue. That might suggest a bit of rewriting on the fly.)

PAGE 2. Opening quote from Omega Sentinel. This line comes from page 6, where it’s directed at Orchis. It could of course be read as a self-deprecating meta nod to this being Jonathan Hickman’s final issue, and the Krakoa status quo sailing on without him.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. There’s so much to cover in this issue that it only gets one page!

PAGES 4-11. Nimrod and Omega Sentinel turn on Orchis, then fight Professor X and Magneto.

We’re picking up from the end of the previous issue, where Professor X and Magneto had been lured into a trap by following a tracker embedded in Moira’s arm, only to find that the arm had been cut off. At this point, Omega Sentinel and Nimrod show their hand. As foreshadowed in many previous issues of Hickman’s run, going back to House of X and Powers of X, this is a three-way conflict between humans, mutants and post-humans. Omega and Nimrod are post-humans – a cyborg and a robot animated by fragments of the personality of a human – so ultimately, their agenda does not align with Orchis.

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Jan 5

X-Men #6 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 6 #6
“Whatever Happened to Captain Krakoa?”
by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz & Marte Garcia 

COVER / PAGE 1. A crowd of people photograph Captain Krakoa on their phones. We’ll find out during the issue who this guy is.

PAGES 2-4. Flash forward: Captain Krakoa debuts in New York.

He’s doing very conventionally heroic things indeed, and generally trying to be a welcome member of the New York community – precisely in line with the X-Men’s general approach to New York since they set up here at the start of the current volume. Obviously, rescuing a cat from a tree is an absurdly stereotypical piece of heroism.

“I’m kind of the greeter in these parts.” Particularly back in the 1980s, Spider-Man tended to show up at the start of a new series to cement it as being in the Marvel Universe.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits. The layout is modified to show the title in larger print, for some reason. The previous five issues were titles as chapters of “Fearless”, but this one isn’t. The solicitations say this issue is part of the first trade paperback, but you have to wonder.

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Dec 24

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #5 annotations

Posted on Friday, December 24, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN: THE TRIAL OF MAGNETO #5
“To Catch a Toad”
by Leah Williams, Lucas Werneck & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1. Magneto and the Scarlet Witch dancing.

PAGE 2. The Scarlet Witch names her murderer.

This picks up directly from the end of the previous issue.

“No matter how your magic may or may not have affected Krakoa today…” Northstar is referring to the kaiju attack over the last couple of issues, triggered by Wanda’s traumatic identity crisis.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits.

PAGES 4-8. The Toad is summarily tried and exiled.

The Quiet Council here consists of Professor X, Magneto, Mr Sinister, Exodus, Mystique, Kate Pryde, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Nightcrawler and Storm. This is before Destiny and Colossus join the Quiet Council in Inferno (which is obvious from the timeline, as this story takes place in the days immediately following the Hellfire Gala).

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Dec 23

Wolverine #19 annotations

Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #19
“The Old Mutant and the Sea”
by Benjamin Percy, Javi Fernandez & Matthew Wilson

COVER / PAGE 1. Well, it’s Wolverine on the surface with a monstrous sea creature below the surface.When I started doing these posts, I figured there would be plenty of X-books that weren’t that heavy on continuity and where the annotations would be pretty short. As it turns out, there weren’t. This one is getting there, though, so we might not be terribly long here.

PAGES 2-3. Wolverine hunts Krakoan wildlife while a corpse washes up on the beach.

Percy seems to be the only writer interested (however tenuously) in the idea that Krakoa has distinctive animals on it. Anyway, Wolverine is hunting this thing so that he can use it as bait in his hunt for the Leviathan later in the issue. This is the final issue of this volume of Wolverine and, perhaps rather tellingly, it opens with a callback to Wolverine’s first scene in X-Force #1. In that scene, he was also hunting Krakoan wildlife and arguing that the paradise of Krakoa would lead to people dropping their guard and becoming soft. (Intriguingly, with hindsight, the character he lectures about this theme is the Beast, who starts off X-Force much less paranoid than he eventually becomes.)

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Dec 22

S.W.O.R.D. #11 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

S.W.O.R.D. vol 2 #11
“Final Frontier”
by Al Ewing, Jacopo Camagni & Dernando Sifuentes

COVER / PAGE 1. Storm, Cable and Brand fight the Lethal Legion. Not quite what happens in the issue itself.

PAGES 2-3. Manifold prepares to deal with S.W.O.R.D. Station One falling out of the sky.

Apparently we’re not calling it the Peak any more (and it’s about to become academic anyway). Anyway, after being blown up last issue as part of Abigail Brand’s convoluted plan, the station is falling to Earth over Australia, and Manifold and Cable are going to their powers to stop is causing a disaster.

We saw Baz before in issue #3, Manifold’s solo story.

The Winter Soldier was “Captain America for a while” during Ed Brubaker’s run, circa 2008.

Abigail Brand has drawn our attention before to the fact that Cable’s powers and his techno-organic virus are kept in balance, so that stretching him to his limits like this causes problems for him. As we’ll see, this seems to be part of her plan to depower him and get him out of her way.

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Dec 10

Inferno #3 annotations

Posted on Friday, December 10, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

INFERNO vol 2 #3
by Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, Stefano Caselli, Valerio Schiti, Adriano di Benedetto & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Professor X and Magneto fight Nimrods. Or rather, just the one Nimrod, in his multiple bodies.

PAGE 2. Data page. Our opening quote comes from Omega Sentinel, and we’ll get to it on page 28. At this stage, the natural assumption is that she’s referring to one of Moira’s past lives, but that’s not the idea, as we’ll find out.

PAGES 3-5. Flashback: Professor X shows Cypher his plans.

We’ve seen this scene before, in Powers of X #4. Specifically, this is a repeat of page 19, which takes place after Cypher has already been introduced to Krakoa. The difference is that this time we get to see what Professor X showed Cypher. It seems to be the official vision of Krakoan society, rather than any of the secrets that the Professor learned from Moira.

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Dec 9

Hellions #18 annotations

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

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

HELLIONS #18
“The Losing End”
by Zeb Wells, Ze Carlos, Stephen Segovia & Rain Beredo

COVER / PAGE 1:: The Quiet Council judge the Hellions. (This doesn’t quite reflect the interior – in the story itself, Psylocke isn’t shackled, and Empath isn’t on trial with the others at all.)

PAGES 2-3. The Quiet Council prepare for the Hellions’ trial.

The Hellions are on trial after Orphan-Maker killed two park rangers after the fight with the Right in the previous issue.

The Council members present are (clockwise from top) Professor X, Mr Sinister, Exodus, Mystique, Kate Pryde, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Nightcrawler, Storm and Magneto. Since the other two seats are vacant, this presumably takes place before Destiny and Colossus join the Council in Inferno. On the other hand, Psylocke is acknowledged as a “Great Captain” later in the issue, and she was only formally appointed to that position in Inferno #1. So apparently we’re between pages 44 and 45 of Inferno #1.

Professor X’s opening comment – “We knew this day would come” – suggests they haven’t had to do this in quite some time, but Storm refers later on to “precedents”, plural. One is Sabretooth in House of X #6. The other is presumably the trial of Nature Girl and Curse in X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #12.

Mr Sinister is openly angling for the whole team to be got rid of, presumably because he no longer has any leverage over Psylocke (following the loss of the AI version of her daughter, which he was holding over her for the entire series), and because the team haven’t yet got their revenge on him for tricking them in “X of Swords” and again in the subsequent Murderworld arc. This incarnation of Sinister is not much of a schemer and is so glaringly unsubtle about it that the rest of the Council more or less ignore him.

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Dec 3

Marauders #26 annotations

Posted on Friday, December 3, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS #26
“Many Happy Returns”
by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli & Rain Beredo

COVER / PAGE 1: Iceman fights Fin Fang Foom.

PAGE 2. Data page. It’s an opening quote by Iceman, talking about how his participation in terraforming Mars in Planet-Size X-Men #1 has led him to rethink (again) the upper limits of his powers. This is a common theme for Iceman stories.

PAGES 3-4. Sebastian and Emma take Harry Leland to the Hellfire Club Mansion in New York.

We’ll find out in a few pages time that this is Emma helping to ease Harry back into life after his resurrection. Harry Leland was a member of the classic line-up of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club who debuted in the Dark Phoenix Saga; he died fighting Nimrod in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #209, as shown in flashback on page 4. By the standards of an Inner Circle member, he did show some genuine loyalty to his colleagues and he died semi-heroically fighting by their side; his depiction in this story as a basically genial fellow is broadly in line with his earlier appearances.

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Dec 2

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #4 annotations

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

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

X-MEN: THE TRIAL OF MAGNETO #4
“Verdigris”
by Leah Williams, Lucas Werneck, David Messina & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1: Three intertwined Scarlet Witches – one in the centre, one upside down, and one apparently made of branches.

PAGE 2. “Data page”, though in the magical designs used in this series (note the parchment effect). The spiral text is a description of the sensation of being reborn, with the narrator finally recollecting that they brought this about themselves. Presumably, this is Wanda describing the events of the flashback that follows.

PAGE 3. Flashback: The Five resurrect Wanda.

This presumably happens between pages 4 and 13 of issue #2. Hope takes the initiative to resurrect Wanda (just as she quietly ignored resurrection protocols to bring back Scout in New Mutants #21. As Hope points out, the Five are essentially untouchable because they’re vital to resurrection; they haven’t done much to use that political power.

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