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Oct 20

X-Force #33 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #33
“The Hunt for X, part 4: Memento Mori”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Robert Gill
Colourist: Guru-eFX
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine squares off against Kraven and his Shadow Room dinosaurs.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Mike Pasciulloo.

PAGES 3-5. Kraven hunts the Beast in the Shadow Room.

All fairly straightforward. It’s the good old “a villain has trapped us in the Danger Room and switched off the safety protocols” story, an X-Men standard for decades.

PAGE 6. Recap and credits.

PAGES 7-9. Wolverine in the Shadow Room.

Wolverine spells out here what this story is supposed to have to do with Judgment Day: Kraven thinks it’s the end of days and he wants to go out by proving himself against Wolverine. Honestly, that’s a pretty token link to the main story, and though it’s more-or-less claimed on the recap pages of this issue and last, I wouldn’t be in the slightest surprised to learn that this was an already planned storyline that had a few Judgment Day elements worked into the background so as to justify the crossover tag. It is a crossover to the wider storyline, but nothing actually seems to turn on that fact.

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Oct 19

X-Men #16 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 6 #16
“The Mutant We Left Behind”
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. Forge, wearing his Caliban-based harness.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Mike Pasciullo.

PAGE 3. Data page. Quote from Mr Sinister, which I can imagine he might have said somewhere. Obviously, in this context it’s a reference to the living suit that he’s produced for Forge.

PAGES 4-6. Flashback: Forge and Mr Sinister.

Forge is asking Sinister to create a suit for him based on the powers of three mutants: Mystique, Caliban and apparently a third yet to be identified. The obvious candidate would be Tempo, given the time distortion involved in the Vault.

Port Genosha whiskey is a recurring background feature from Duggan’s Marauders run. Tempo’s powers are responsible for its 50 year maturation.

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Oct 17

X-Force #32 annotations

Posted on Monday, October 17, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #32
“The Hunt for X, part 3: Kraven Kills”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Robert Gill
Colourists: GURU-eFX
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1. Kraven fights Omega Red.

PAGES 2-4. Kraven enters Arbor Magna.

Kraven’s narration recaps his origin story from Amazing Spider-Man vol 5 #16 (2019) and subsequent issues. Basically, he’s one of a number of clones that Kraven created in a last ditch attempt to give himself a son. For most purposes this Kraven is just a reset version of the original, but he does have the added wrinkle of being a nature obsessive who is in some sense unnatural).

Arbor Magna is remarkably undefended considering its importance. Granted, there’s a major crossover on at the moment, but shouldn’t the Five at least be there, taking shelter because of their vital role? (Honestly, this arc feels like it would have worked better without taking place in the margins of the crossover.)

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Oct 16

Wolverine #25 annotations

Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

WOLVERINE vol 7 #25
“Hell to Pay, part 2”
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, with claws extended and the Muramasa Blade over his shoulder.

PAGE 2. Wolverine reflects on religion.

I’m not altogether sure that drawing a parallel between religion and a crossover that was already called “Judgment Day” takes us very far, but okay. The tone of this suggests that Percy’s Wolverine isn’t a member of any religion himself, or at least a practising one – he sounds like he’s talking about other people – which would be the traditional take.

PAGES 3-4. Wolverine and Solem approach the Progenitor.

When we left off, Wolverine had persuaded Salem to help him kill the Progenitor in exchange for Wolverine helping Salem against the Hellbride and the Beast.

“No other place will make you realise how weak and small you are than the brutal elemental forces at work here [sic].” This is very similar to Wolverine’s narration about the primal nature of the sea in issue #19.

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Oct 15

Legion of X #6 annotations

Posted on Saturday, October 15, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

LEGION OF X #6
“Holding the Line”
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Rafael Pimentel
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. An arrangement of hexagons with three showing Uranos and the rest showing the regular cast – Legion, Mother Righteous, Zsen, Nightcrawler, Pixie, Juggernaut and Banshee (in his “Ghost Rider” form). The significance of the hexagons isn’t obvious, since the Hex have nothing to do with this story – for that matter, Mother Righteous, Zsen, Pixie and Juggernaut aren’t in this issue either.

PAGE 2. The Progenitor confronts Legion.

Since the Progenitor is still in its day of judging people, we’re during A.X.E.: Judgment Day #4.

“Universe destroyer. Universe creator.” It’s not immediately obvious what the Progenitor is referring to here; he might mean Legion’s role in the events that created the “Age of Apocalypse” timeline, or the “Age of X” arc from Mike Carey’s X-Men run.

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Oct 14

Immortal X-Men #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, October 14, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

IMMORTAL X-MEN #7
“Part 7: Red in Blue”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Lucas Werneck
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen & Kieron Gillen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Nightcrawler teleporting around.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Tom Palmer (1942-2022).

PAGES 3-5. Nightcrawler is optimistic.

This scene takes place at the end of A.X.E.: Judgment Day #4, ending at the point where the Progenitor (as seen in that issue) renders his judgment and starts trying to destroy the world. Nightcrawler is characteristically optimistic about everything – he has faith, after all. More to the point, Nightcrawler always wants to see the best in people, and fundamentally believes (or maybe needs to believe) that people are decent. Therefore, he expects the Progenitor to be satisfied with humans as a whole.

“Erik is dead, and we cannot return him without disrespecting his legacy.” Magneto died fighting Uranos in Judgment Day #4 and X-Men Red #7. He and Storm deleted their backups in X-Men Red #4 out of deference to Arakkii sensibilities on the subject of resurrection, to make themselves mortal. Magneto reiterated in X-Men Red #7 that he didn’t want to be brought back. Professor X implies here that Magneto could in fact be brought back even without the backups that were deleted, as did Storm in X-Men Red #7.

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Oct 13

A.X.E.: Eternals #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

A.X.E.: ETERNALS #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Colourist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Tom Brevoort

COVER / PAGE 1. This is the third of the A.X.E. one-shots, and the cover forms a single image with the Avengers and X-Men one-shot covers.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits.

PAGES 4-7. The heroes inside the Progenitor.

The group are still fighting their way through the Progenitor’s body, which is where we left them in A.X.E.: X-Men. Jean ended that issue particularly determined to destroy the Progenitor.

“The gag we used on Sinister.” As seen in A.X.E.: Judgment Day #1, when he was a prisoner.

“The First Principle.” The Eternals are compelled to follow (or at least not to contravene) three principles, the first being “Protect Celestials.” The Progenitor counts as a proper Celestial to them, and apparently that extends to its immune system. In Judgment Day #5, the Eternals deliberately allowed the mutant psychics access to their minds in order to bypass the principles via mind control.

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Oct 7

Marauders #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, October 7, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS vol 2 #7
“Here Comes Yesterday, part 1”
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colourists: Rachelle Rosenberg & Matt Milla
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Kate Pryde (and Lockheed) look up at… well, presumably that’s Amass in merged form.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Mike Pasciullo.

PAGE 3. Stringfellow and Scratch argue.

This continues the Theatre of Pain subplot which has been running in the background and looks set to stay there for a while yet. The previous issue also opened with a page of Scratch addressing a Theatre of Pain audience, while being watched by Lockheed, who in turn was being watched by Dirt Nap (the rat). The previous subplot was placed in Philadelphia; this one is in Waterbury, Connecticut.

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Oct 6

X-Men Red #7 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 6, 2022 by Paul in Annotations, Uncategorized

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

X-MEN RED vol 2 #7
“The Winning Side”
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colour artists: Federico Blee & Fer Sifuentes-Sujo
Letterer & production: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Storm fights Isca in the Great Ring chamber. This is another Judgment Day tie-in.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Mike Pasciullo.

PAGES 3-7. The aftermath of Magneto’s battle with Uranos.

Issue #6 ended with Storm, Magneto & co setting off to confront Uranos. Magneto defeated Uranos in A.X.E.: Judgment Day #4, and this picks up directly from the end of that scene. (Despite what it says on the recap page, at least the vast majority of this story takes place during Judgment Day #4, not after Judgment Day #5.)

“You have new gods now.” This comes from the end of Magneto’s speech to the human ambassadors in House of X #1.

Resurrection. In issue #4, Magneto and Storm both destroyed their backups in order to disavow the possibility of resurrection, and prove themselves to their Arakkii colleagues. Magneto’s refusal to waver on this in his last moments was something that impressed the Progenitor in Judgment Day #4. Storm is clearly less wedded to the idea – at least when it becomes a reality – and immediately proposes resurrecting Magneto even without the benefit of a backup. She seems clear that this would work, despite having presented the backup deletion as a crucial factor in issue #4. Presumably she’s anticipating the return of a blank-slate Magneto in that situation.

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Oct 5

A.X.E.: X-Men #1 annotations

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

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

A.X.E.: X-MEN #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Francesco Mobili
Colourist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Tom Brevoort

COVER / PAGE 1. Jean Grey in front of the Progenitor. It’s part of a single image with last week’s A.X.E.: Avengers one-shot. As noted last week, these three one-shots are essentially part of the A.X.E.: Judgment Day miniseries, albeit with different artists.

PAGE 2. Obituary for Mike Pasciullo.

PAGES 3-4. Recap and credits.

PAGES 5-7. The heroes (and Sinister) discuss their next step.

This picks up from the end of A.X.E.: Avengers, where Iron Man was judged by the Progenitor and realised that the very fact that the Progenitor was still judging him proved that it hadn’t really made a final decision to end the world.

“I’ve stolen one Celestial’s power before and it ended very badly for me.” Mr Sinister is referring to the time he co-opted the power of the Dreaming Celestial, in the early issues of Gillen’s Uncanny X-Men vol 2.

Iron Man. Wolverine describes him as “an addict on a hope high, and I’m glad one of us is.” A few points from that. Firstly, Iron Man is the only traditional Avenger in the group and therefore the most conventional and traditional superhero here – but by Avengers standards he’s normally the morally dubious one. Of course, he’s also a futurist and in that sense all about optimism for the future. Second, Wolverine is presumably alluding deliberately to Iron Man’s long history of alcoholism (which has recently reared its head again over in his solo title with a stint in rehab). Third, note that Wolverine suggests that Iron Man is the sole optimist in the group even though Ajak just agreed with him. Since Ajak’s religiosity is partly pre-programmed, Wolverine may not take it very seriously – or, not being that religious himself (unless Jason Aaron’s writing), Wolverine may attach rather more weight to Iron Man’s secular optimism.

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