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Nov 26

X-Men #5 annotations

Posted on Friday, November 26, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 6 #5
“Fearless, Chapter Five: Don’t Piss Off Polaris”
by Gerry Duggan, Javier Pina, Zé Carlos & Erick Arciniega

COVER / PAGE 1. A close-up of Dr Stasis (presumably), holding a scalpel, while his faceplate shows a reflection of a monster fighting Cyclops and Wolverine. It doesn’t help that this is the first time we’ve even had a clear view of Dr Stasis’s faceplate, but some of the red trim was visible in issue #3, and we also see it at the end of the issue.

The original solicitation for this issue read “The X-Men’s new nemesis finally makes himself known to them, bringing his creations to bear. Mutants may have conquered death, but their foes are all too living…” This is not really what happens in the issue – which has a scene where the X-Men fight some of Stasis’ creations, but not where he makes his own involvement known – so you have to wonder if the cover is a hangover from an earlier story concept.

PAGES 2-4. The X-Men fight the Reavers in Mexico.

The opening narration is a straight recap of the premise of the new Reavers, as established over in Duggan’s Marauders. Although they’re mostly made up of former mercenaries, their main motivation is supposed to be revenge on mutants for their injuries – from the look of it, they’re also taking on unrelated mercenary work now, but they also suggest that they were deliberately trying to provoke a fight with the X-Men.

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Nov 25

Wolverine #18 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #18
“Auction of Secrets”
by Benjamin Percy, Paco Diaz, Java Tartaglia & Dijjo Lima

PAGE 1: Generic shot of Wolverine still standing after gunfire. Nice lighting and integration of the logo, though. (Remember the days when characters still standing after this sort of damage was something that only happened inLobo?)

PAGE 2. Jeff Bannister and Maverick at the hotel.

This continues directly from the end of the previous issue, when Maverick picked up the quarter that Bannister had dropped and returned it to him. Percy writes Maverick throughout this arc as if he’s mainly motivated by money, which isn’t really the traditional take on him – he’s a lifelong mercenary but he was hardly an antihero in his 90s solo title.

The final panel is probably meant to light Maverick so that the shadows on his face reflect the design on his mask, but it winds up looking a bit odd.

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Nov 18

X-Force #25 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #25
“The Edge”
by Benjamin Percy, Robert Gill & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine faces off against the surfers that he meets later in the issue. The fact that they’re all shooting at him kind of gives the twist away.

The previous issue ended with the under-the-influence Colossus killing Kayla and then being approached by Professor X. That storyline isn’t mentioned at all in this issue, presumably because it does indeed lead into the cliffhanger ofInferno vol 2 #2. Instead, we have something… completely unrelated.

PAGES 2-4.Wolverine collects his surfboard from Forge.

Apparently, this is what Wolverine asked Forge to make for him (or rather, was about to ask for before he was interrupted) way back in issue #4. It’s… an adamantium covered surfboard. Right. I’ll come back to that.

We’re told that Wolverine is still waiting for something else from Forge, so that’s a dangling plot.

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Nov 17

S.W.O.R.D. #10 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 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 #10
“Triple Threat”
by Al Ewing, Jacopo Camagni & Fernando Sifuentes

COVER / PAGE 1: Well, it’s a S.W.O.R.D. station exploding with Wiz Kid, Cable and Storm in the background.

PAGES 2-4.Wiz Kid starts his day.

Last issue ended with the revelation that Wiz Kid is Henry Gyrich’s man inside S.W.O.R.D.. He was sitting right in front of Abigail Brand when he was talking to Gyrich, though, so there was always a suggestion that it might be a bluff. Much of this issue is devoted to teasing the possibility that Wiz Kid might genuinely have turned on S.W.O.R.D., specifically because he sees no real difference between humans and mutants in terms of the way they treat him, in particular as regards his wheelchair use.

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Nov 11

Excalibur #25 annotation

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

EXCALIBUR vol 4 #25
“Come Fate Into the List”
by Tini Howard, Marcus To & Erick Arciniega

COVER / PAGE 1. Captain Britain and Arthur fight while falling from the Starlight Citadel.

PAGES 2-5. Betsy and Tom Lennox in the Green Lagoon.

Page 2 is intercut with flashback to the battle against Merlyn’s forces which was in progress at the end of the previous issue. As we establish in the next scene, Excalibur wound up retreating to the Citadel, and Betsy apparently takes some time here to return to Earth and check in on the newly-resurrected S.T.R.I.K.E.. Which seems a bit lacking in urgency, but I guess it’s a long-term siege, so why not.

S.T.R.I.K.E. were resurrected at the request of Pete Wisdom in a subplot in issue #22, and this is the first time we’ve seen them since. They were a S.H.I.E.L.D. equivalent from the supporting cast of old UK Captain Britain stories. Tom Lennox, in particular, was Betsy’s love interest. Specifically, this group were S.T.R.I.K.E.’s psychics – the organisation itself was bigger.

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Nov 10

Hellions #17 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

HELLIONS #17
“Trauma Response”
by Zeb Wells, Stephen Segovia & Rain Beredo

COVER / PAGE 1: Orphan-Maker rescues the Right AI baby.

PAGES 2-3.Psylocke decides to help Orphan-Maker.

Psylocke decided to leave Krakoa last issue, after Havok (under Empath’s influence) destroyed the A.I. copy of her daughter’s mind, which Mr Sinister had been secretly using as leverage over her. She told Cyclops that “I was tasked with keeping the Hellions in check. If only I’d known they also tasked another.” That referred to the clear indication that Havok and Empath had been put on the team by Emma Frost specifically for this purpose. This is the subtext of Psylocke and Emma’s exchange on page 2, which is alluded to in Psylocke’s line “I think you do know.”

Emma refers to Psylocke as a “Great Captain”, so this is after she was appointed in Inferno #1.

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Oct 31

Marauders #25 annotations

Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS #25
“Night of the Comet”
by Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto & Cory Petit

This will be very short. They show off their powers and then there’s a fight. It’s not an issue that cries out for annotation.

COVER / PAGE 1. Emma Frost with knuckledusters. Which seems a bit unnecessary when you can turn to diamond, but okay. The “Hell Fire” on the knuckledusters echoes Kate’s “Kill Shaw” tattoos.

PAGE 2. Opening quote. I think it’s original, but it presumably comes from the period when Ogun was training / brainwashing Kitty as a ninja in the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine miniseries.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. “Night of the Comet” was a cult sci-fi/horror film from 1984, with female leads.

PAGES 4-12. The Marauders combine powers to save themselves.

Iceman isn’t bothered by cold or lack of oxygen, since he doesn’t breathe when his body is turned to ice, but traditionally he does need a source of water with which to make ice. Let’s assume that’s changed, or at least that he can draw on a much wider range of materials. After all, he seems to transform his own body.

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Oct 30

Inferno #2 annotations

Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

INFERNO vol 2 #2
by Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli & David Curiel

COVER / PAGE 1. Emma Frost, in diamond form, holding the helmets of both Magneto and Professor X.

PAGE 2. Once again, the opening quote comes from Omega Sentinel. She’ll actually say it on page 25, but more generally, it refers here to some of Mystique’s impostures being exposed.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits. The individual issues of Inferno don’t have separate titles.

PAGES 4-6. Flashback: Mystique retrieves a Cerebro back-up from Island M.

This is a repeat of a scene from pages 32-33 of issue #1, with the added revelation that it was Mystique, not Magneto. The art is new, but the three panels of Magneto reaching for the helmet directly copy the layout of the original, presumably to make sure we recognise it as the same scene. It’s not entirely obvious why Mystique actually needs to pose as Magneto, since nobody seems to be around, but to be fair, she didn’t necessarily know the place would be empty. Nor is it immediately obvious how she got past whatever security systems Magneto has – surely he doesn’t just keep this important object in an unlocked room? Again, maybe posing as him helps with that.

(Note: As Douglas points out in the comments, Prestige uses her “chronoskimming” power in X-Men: Trial of Magneto #2 to see Magneto apparently removing his Cerebro helmet from its cradle. That might be intended as the same scene, though it seems to be – incorrectly – set in his Krakoan home the House of M, rather than Island M.)

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Oct 29

Wolverine #17 annotations

Posted on Friday, October 29, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #17
“Message in a Bottle”
by Benjamin Percy, Lan Medina, Cam Smith & Java Tartaglia

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine and Maverick as a playing card riddled with bulletholes and claw marks, showing them as intertwined opposites (or just partners).

PAGE 2. Jeff Bannister monitors Delores Ramirez.

We last saw Bannister in issue #8. His narration in this issue is apparently the letter to Logan mentioned on the closing data page, since its opening line is repeated there.

We last saw Delores in issue #10, where she met with Maverick in a diner. That scene took place in New York, though, and this is Baltimore – so apparently she’s meeting someone else here, or at least it’s a different meeting with Maverick. (It’s also drawn differently.)

“Ever since she tried to take you down in Madripoor”. Also in issue #10.

PAGES 3-4. Jeff returns to the diner.

We last saw Bannister’s daughter in issue #3. Oddly, she still doesn’t have a name. Her short hair is presumably due to her leukaemia treatment, though honestly, it was longer in issue #3.

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Oct 28

S.W.O.R.D. #9 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 28, 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 #9
“Friends in High Places”
by Al Ewing, Jacopo Camagni & Fernando Sifuentes

COVER / PAGE 1. Henry Peter Gyrich holds Abigail Brand, Manifold and Frenzy in a globe, with the Orchis symbol behind him. Don’t worry, it’s purely symbolic.

PAGES 2-4. Guardian and Gyrich talk.

Guardian. We last saw Guardian in issue #6, leaving the Hellfire Gala. He was overwhelmed by the terraforming of Mars, and Henry Gyrich was moving in to recruit him for Orchis. It’s interesting that Gyrich chose to make his pitch in the name of Orchis, rather than in his official capacity as commander of Alpha Flight. It’s still not exactly clear how much Guardian knows about Orchis, or what he’s been told about their agenda – we know from issue #3 that aspects of Orchis’s organisation are internally confidential and that even Gyrich has only seen a redacted version of their organisation chart.

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