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May 15

X-Men Forever #4 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 by Paul in Annotations

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

“No Hope”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Luca Maresca
Colour artist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen & Kat Gregorowicz
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: Hope enters a glowing portal, casting the shadow of the Phoenix behind her. This is the final issue of X-Men: Forever, which in turn is an extension of Immortal X-Men – although the story continues into Rise of the Powers of X #5.

PAGES 2-3. Destiny and Mr Sinister talk.

This is the former Quiet Council meeting chamber, in somewhat dilapidated condition. Even through Krakoa (the persona) is back on the island, it hasn’t taken its established position in the room. Unusually, Destiny has removed her blank face mask – dropping both her normal role and her usual distanced persona.

As in the previous issue, Destiny is in despair: all the timelines that she can see involve Enigma winning and her beloved Mystique dying. Sinister has two counter-arguments to reassure Destiny. First, as I pointed out last time, the Phoenix plan involves altering the timeline from the outside – so Destiny wouldn’t be able to see it until it happens. Second, Sinister claims that his own exploration of the future using his “Moira Engine” shows that Destiny vastly overestimates the chances of Mystique dying. He theorises that Destiny’s concern for Mystique causes her to pay disproportionate attention to those timelines.

If Sinister is right, then it tends to suggest that all Destiny’s longer-range predictions are potentially susceptible to the same flaw. She’s seeing genuine possible futures, but not necessarily representative ones, as she’s previously thought. This is very useful for people who want to use Destiny in future without breaking the plot.

Although Sinister isn’t breaking character as visibly as Destiny in this scene, he’s still acting somewhat unusually here, and seems to be trying to offer actual support to someone. When asked about it directly, he claims to be trying to form alliances in an anticipation of a post-Krakoan future, but you could easily read that as a distancing device on his part.

“Once, I constructed a model that could predict all the actions of mutantkind. It did pretty well, until the Phoenix arrived and burned. my lovely city to the ground.” Sinister is presumably referring to Sinister London from Kieron Gillen’s first X-Men run, which was destroyed by the Phoenix Five in Uncanny X-Men vol 2 #17.

“This is why love is a weakness. I know a man who can do something about that, but he’s a big, blue arsehole and I wouldn’t recommend it.” Sinister is referring to his – or rather, the original Nathaniel Essex’s – transformation into Mr Sinister by Apocalypse, following Essex’s rejection by his wife Rebecca.

“We must be on the…” Sinister references the “We must be on the same side” line that Destiny has directed at him throughout the series.

“I remember something a canny old broad once said… ‘There is no destiny.'” In Immortal X-Men #1, after Selene conjures up a monster to attack Krakoa, Sinister asks Destiny why she didn’t give a warning. Destiny replies: “I don’t know anything… I don’t see the future. There is no the future. There is no destiny.”

PAGE 4. Mystique and Destiny are reconciled.

“I don’t trust you.” “If every part of this world succumbed to dust, the last thing remaining would be my trust in you. What we have is immortal.” Destiny is referencing an exchange between her and Mystique in the flashback that opens Immortal X-Men #1. In that scene, Destiny asks “Do you trust me?”, and Mystique gives the response that Destiny quotes back to her here.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits.

PAGES 6-7. Hope and Legion hunt the Phoenix.

Jean confirms on page 9 that Hope is trying to kill the Phoenix, presumably in order to clear the way for its rebirth. It’s all a bit arbitrary, but that seems to be the idea.

Legion references his own dysfunctional relationship with his absent father Professor X, a recurring theme of Legion of X and other Si Spurrier stories. In her mind, Hope has no such issues about her father, because she regards Cable as her father, and her biological father as an irrelevance.

PAGES 8-10. Enigma tries to alter history to become Hope’s father.

The mechanics of all this are a little hazy, but hey, that’s time travel stories for you. Basically, as we established last issue, Enigma is trying to stop Hope from rekindling the Phoenix, but he can’t attack her directly while she’s in the White Hot Room (and thus outside normal time). So instead he’s going back to her personal back story and trying to alter it so that he becomes her father. As Hope’s mother toys with the idea, history is briefly altered and Enigma’s crown logo appears on Hope’s forehead, just as Sinister’s diamond logo appeared on the affected characters during Sins of Sinister.

Of course, quite how Enigma can alter Hope’s parentage without turning her into a different person entirely is unclear. But we’ll find out later in the issue that Hope doesn’t have a biological father, which may make a difference. And you might ask why he doesn’t just kill Hope, or her mother. But the whole logic of Enigma’s attack on Hope tends to confirm the theory that he too is potentially vulnerable to attempts to alter his back story and prevent him coming into being in the first place. So the idea seems to be that Enigma sees Hope’s father as something that can be safely altered because it’s been completely irrelevant until now; there would be no potentially unpredictable knock-on effects.

“You will be murdered along with everyone in the hospital out of fear of your child.” X-Men: Messiah Complex #1 (2007).

PAGES 11-13. Professor X restores Destiny’s memory.

Professor X removed Destiny and (up to a point) Mystique’s memories of Nightcrawler in a flashback in X-Men Blue: Origins. He unlocks the memories here. He also confirms that he has no memory of what he did, by which he presumably means that he removed his own memories of the event; it would have caused some awkward continuity problems if he had known all along about Nightcrawler’s connection with Mystique and Destiny. Professor X is clearly satisfied to be doing something useful in the midst of his current relucant alliance with Orchis.

Destiny’s mask has been broken somewhere during the fight to reach Professor X, and it remains broken for the rest of the issue, as we continue to get more direct access to her feelings.

PAGES 14-16. Jean persuades Louise to reject Enigma.

According to Jean – and confirmed later in the story – Hope was fathered by the Phoenix Force itself. Part of Hope’s role is to then participate in the Phoenix’s birth (which, thanks to the White Hot Room being outside time, can take place out of sequence). That’s essentially what’s currently happening: as a result of Mother Righteous’ interference, the Phoenix is dying, and Hope’s role is to help it die and restart the cycle all over again.

All this presents Hope as a very messianic figure indeed, complete with immaculate conception. There’s a recurring ironic theme in Immortal X-Men that even though Exodus comes across as a religious lunatic, he actually seems to have the most accurate understanding of who and what Hope is.

Enigma dismisses Krakoa as a mutant supremacist project, which isn’t exactly untrue. However, he doesn’t see that as a bad thing as such; he sees it as understandable self-preservation by the mutants, and simply rejects the idea that they’re better than anyone else. His reading of Krakoan values is not that far removed from Professor X’s.

PAGES 17-19. Hope is restored and rekindles the Phoenix.

With Enigma’s intervention thwarted, Hope duly kills the Phoenix, clearing the way for it to be reborn. The art is ambiguous as to whether the Phoenix rises from Hope’s body, or actually is a transformed Hope; this may be intentional, since Exodus essentially offers the second interpretation in the next scene.

Legion vanishes when Hope dies; more of that in the next scene.

PAGES 20-21. Destiny and Mystique are reunited with Nightcrawler.

Destiny now has the emotional reunion with Nightcrawler that he had been expecting in the previous issue.

The Hopesword – which in this story, at least, is Legion – reappears in Nightcrawler’s hands. Everyone basically agrees that this means Hope is dead, but Exodus interprets it as a sign that Hope has fulfilled her role as a messiah. He also seems to be hinting at his own post-Krakoa status: he’ll be waiting for the Second Coming.

PAGES 21-22. The Krakoans left behind discuss what to do.

Kafka, the voice of the ordinary Krakoan throughout this arc, takes the lead in telling everyone that the Quiet Council are gone and that they’ll have to take control of their own lives now. The paradise is over, the hard work of building their mutant society begins now.

In Rise of the Powers of X #4, Hope said that “everyone with X-training or any damn combat training has been resurrected and is ready to get back into the fray”. Despite that, there are recognisable characters still here – aside from background character Chlorophil, there’s Jumbo Carnation (admittedly a non-combatant), and the other four members of the Five. Perhaps they get rescued at the end of Rise. Or perhaps the idea is to preserve Krakoa-in-Exile as a way of taking it off the board without destroying it, in which case it needs the Five so that it can be the Krakoa that people remember.

I have no idea why Rockslide is there, though – he does have combat training. Let’s say something about his powers didn’t work with the technique they used to return to Earth?

PAGE 23. Trailers. The Krakoan reads RISE OF THE POWERS OF X, where the storyline continues. Only five future Krakoan-era X-books remain on the list.

Bring on the comments

  1. Chris V says:

    I knew we’d get a play on Heinlein’s “All You Zombies” here eventually.
    I don’t understand Enigma’s plan. How does Enigma becoming Hope’s father help anything? Wouldn’t helping to create Hope only set him up for failure? If Enigma wasn’t always Hope’s father, wouldn’t that change the timeline, if Hope grew up to become a different person because of Enigma’s actions? The reason Enigma couldn’t just go back in time and kill Hope is to preserve the timeline where Enigma comes into being, as Hope was necessary for the existence of Krakoa, and Enigma used Krakoa to help his becoming a Dominion. So, why wouldn’t tampering with Hope in this manner also change the timeline?

    I have to admit the ending portion with Krakoa (if this is truly the finale for Krakoa, the nation) made me sad.

  2. Diana says:

    @Chris V: I suppose the idea is that Enigma’s using Sinister’s trick of planting his own DNA in order to control Hope (since he can’t get at her directly as long as she’s in the White Hot Room). That said, the confusion is understandable – even Gillen seems to be cracking under the pressure to just end it all at this point. Expectations for Rise #5 have been suitably lowered.

  3. Evilgus says:

    Krakoa’s impossible to tie up nicely but I think Gillen has succeeded, in his corner of the franchise.

    Destiny has been such a fascinating character driving the plot throughout his run. The one good aspect to come from Inferno!

    He’s given Hope a satisfying send off. Let’s be honest, he’s the only one who paid an interest in her, all the way from Generation Hope. Inevitably tied to the Phoenix and I liked the short but strong pages with Hope’s mother.

    Shame that means that Rachel being immaculate conception by the Phoenix (my own head canon) has now “already been done”. I suppose it could happen twice…

    I’ve loved Sinister but please, no more of him for several years.

    And I think we’ll have to deal with the abandonment of the Krakoa populace at some point. That last panel with Kafka was justifiably foreboding.

  4. Michael says:

    The whole thing with Destiny was just too rushed and pointless. I mean, I get the point in theory- Destiny’s obsession with her visions coming true and her loved ones dying have made her and everyone else miserable, so her taking the risk of Mystique dying like a normal person was meant to be a chance for her to change and redeem herself. However. the entire sequence was rushed and didn’t affect the entire plot. Nothing in the plot would have changed if Xavier had just given Mystique and Destiny back their memories and Destiny’s ability to love at the start of issue 2. Plus, the entire plan to go to Xavier risked endangering the whole plan to stop Enigma, which relies on Xavier getting to Moira. If Xavier had been hit by a stray bullet. the entire plan would have been ruined. And yes, I know that Nimrod found them quickly, but it still seems too easy to get to Xavier considering he’s got the NUCLEAR LAUNCH CODES.
    So basically Jean had a child with a woman instead of Scott, 🙂
    I get that Louise making the right choice even though both she and her child would die was meant to demonstrate that Enigma’s dog-eat-dog view of humanity was wrong but it still seemed odd that the plot was resolved by the choice of a character who was essentially introduced this issue.
    Note that the Phoenix refers to Jean as “mother-me”. That confirms that (a) the Phoenix is part of Jean and (b) Jean created the Phoenix.
    Note that the Phoenix refers to Enigma as a creature of stagnation. Gillen also tried to convince us Stasis was a creature of stagnation. I didn’t buy it then and I’m not buying it now. Enigma’s goal is to absorb the entire universe into itself. It’s a creature of destruction, not stagnation.
    Note that last issue there was a character on Pacific Krakoa who looked like he might be either Iceman or Proteus. Paul thought it was Proteus. I guess it WAS Iceman, since Proteus is stuck in the White Hot Room. The question is how did Bobby get there since he didn’t actually die at the end of his limited series and left a message for his boyfriend. I guess he was following Apocalypse in Rise of the Powers of X 4, even though the art doesn’t show him. And then showed up for one page of issue 3, and proceeded to vanish without doing anything useful.
    Why would they leave Proteus in the White Hot Room? Not only is he a powerful reality warper but he’s related to Moira and might be able to get through to her. Also, Tempus and Elixir are also very useful, with time powers and healing. (Egg IS useless in a fight.) Why leave them behind?
    Again, it might have been useful to have a data page listing who was resurrected and who stayed behind in the White Hot Room.

  5. Michael says:

    @Chris V, Diana- I think Diana’s right that Enigma was trying to take Hope over with his DNA. Another possibility is that the ceremony to recreate the Phoenix only worked because Hope was born of the Phoenix. If Exodus, for example, had shot the Phoenix, it really would have died.

  6. Michael says:

    Also, what happened to Legion? He didn’t speak after the sword returned.

  7. Devin says:

    Man, what a depressing ending. I can understand why the story went this way, particularly with whatever’s going on editorially at Marvel, but still… They’re really going to just leave all the civilian mutants in limbo for the next X years? We’ve been waiting years just to MEET some of them!

    It’s too bad the comics depend on whether they can sell. It means the z-listers will keep getting pushed aside for a new issue #1.

  8. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    So we basically have the 198 again, which renders the X-Men basically pointless.

    Fucking abysmal.

    Resurrection was a terrible idea, but this was an awful way of undoing it.

    My interest in the relaunch as gone from high to very low.

    Yaaaaaaay, Mystique and Destiny get to be nice moms who get married when they aren’t out murdering people. Hurrah!

  9. SanityOrMadness says:

    Michael> Why would they leave Proteus in the White Hot Room? Not only is he a powerful reality warper but he’s related to Moira and might be able to get through to her.

    Well, in the HoXPoX interpretation of Proteus, he’s entirely dependant on a constant supply of clone bodies not to go mad, which might have something to do with it.

  10. Michael says:

    @Uncanny X-Ben- most of the named characters survived this time, as well as thousands of unnamed mutants. That’s what makes it different from the 198. And most importantly, unlike the 198, there are still new mutants manifesting.

  11. SanityOrMadness says:

    Also, if that’s Rockslide and not Wrongslide, how did they bring him back? The whole thing with Otherworld resurrections being broken was that all the backups magically corrupted (a plot point I hated, but…). Why would they be fixed now?

  12. The Other Michael says:

    I intensely dislike the idea of shuffling off Krakoa and tens or even hundreds of thousands of mutants like this, especially when it obviously includes a whole bunch of named characters. It feels wasteful to wipe so many of them off the board again, when it feels like we just got them back!

    (I mean, if you’re not lucky enough to be in the new titles, or otherwise namechecked in the Fall of X titles, you might just be stuck in the White Hot Limbo… and that probably includes tons of recently resurrected background characters.)

    I can see removing Hope and exiling the rest of the Five as the way of removing resurrection from the status quo and making death an actual obstacle again. But exiling Jumbo Carnation, Rockslide, and so many of those younger or random characters? Ugh. (The cynical part of me says that we’ll never see all those more diverse and queer characters that Vita Ayala spent so much time and energy creating for New Mutants, etc.)

    And also, exiling all of these characters… only to turn around and immediately introduce new mutants for Emma and Kitty’s school? Sigh. It’s the age-old problem of perpetually creating new generations of mutants of which 90% become cannon fodder… (Take Generation Hope, for example. Idie gets to be an X-Man, while Primal, Transonic, Zero, Velocidad become crowd-fillers or worse.)

    I’m just annoyed that after being spoiled by the return of obscure and overlooked characters, we’re now getting nostalgia and classic lineups, and a return to big names for the most part.

    I would TOTALLY buy a book about Krakoa-in-Exile trying to make it as a functional society based on that last couple of panels though.

  13. Luis Dantas says:

    It went about as well as I hoped for, I guess.

    I never expected the Krakoa era to properly address the many interesting but difficult questions that it raised, but I have lowered by expectations significantly when I first saw Fall #1. In retrospect, probably the right call.

    Of course, there are still at least two issues remaining before the next status quo is settled. But right now it looks like Nightcrawler, Mystique and Destiny, at least, will be in a good place. Most of the non-combatants are… ambiguously parked, I suppose. Plenty is left vague and ambiguous, probably intentionally.

    I do however feel even more strongly now that Marvel ought to reveal/decide that there is more than one Phoenix after all. I don’t think that I could convince myself otherwise if I wanted to.

    As for the Five… removing Hope in a nicely reversible-as-plot-demands way is probably a wise call. That creates the best sort of ambiguity, since it is so easy to reveal that the Four remaining can keep going with some limitations. Or, if the wind blows that way, to reveal instead that no, without Hope there are no Five to speak of. It is a nicely malleable setup and does not lampshade that trait too much.

    I liked the Xavier scenes as well. Superbly written. Gillen has a fine feeling of how he is and how he acts. A first class telepath _ought_ to easily guess that he might have used his powers in certain ways and not be too surprised that he did. His relief at finally doing something with no remorse attached after such a long time was properly understated, too.

    A bit too many pages, but not a bad issue given that.

  14. Michael says:

    @SanityOrMadness- Proteus’s reliance on clone bodies makes leaving him in the White Hot Room even dumber. If they bring him home with him, they can have Sinister or Reed or whoever just make him new bodies. If they leave him in the White Hot Room, he’s got nothing to do but feed on the people trapped with him.

  15. Luis Dantas says:

    In practice, it seems that Proteus’ consumption needs have simply been forgotten due to plot convenience.

    Much as have Selene’s, Sauron’s and Emplate’s, come to think of it. Sauron was even travelling with Nature Girl and Curse for a while.

    Alternatively, we have been told that the Five’s circuit has been beneficial to them all. It could be handwaved that Proteus’ need for new bodies is greatly reduced and/or that even without Hope he and Egg can still create proper empty vessels for him to take over.

    A bit gross, but workable. Too bad that this hasn’t really been explored in the Krakoa era.

  16. Mike Loughlin says:

    @Michael: I can give the Proteus needing bodies thing a pass because time doesn’t work the same in the White Hot Room.

    Wow, I know the Krakoa era was going to come to an unpleasant end, but leaving all those characters in a limbo-like space brought me down. I’m okay with the mutants are busy reforming their society, but it feels so final.Mutant society can’t work on 616 because outside forces need to status quo to return.

    As for the Enigma scenes, I still don’t get what’s going on. Hope’s mother rejected his schemes, but he (presumably) could have forced her to. Why didn’t he? Hope’s mother gets a cool heroic moment, but Enigma’s actions (or lack thereof) didn’t make sense.

  17. The Other Michael says:

    Yeah. I suppose as long as they have the dna needed to create bodies, the remaining four can still whip up new bodies for Proteus if needed. Or maybe handwave something about the White Hot Krakoa Room stabilizing him so he doesn’t burn out while there.

  18. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I have to say, I like the reveal of Hope’s conception. It finally pays off all the messiah stuff going back to, well, Messiah Complex (that title didn’t refer to Hope, but still), it lines up with all the ‘is she Jean reincarnated?’ and Phoenix teases that started a long time before AvX actually brought Hope and Phoenix together, and it’s just… it’s neat.

    And there was zero interest in Hope’s biological father up to this point, so this doesn’t mess with anything. And it made the Enigma possibility that much more convincing as a cliffhanger last issue, at least for me.

    The time travel elements, the why of Enigma’s approach to the issue – yeah, that’s a little murky, but I found the basic idea to be very solid.

    Shame about all those Krakoans, though. I don’t see them coming back anytime soon.

    But also – to have Wrongslide sacrifice himself in such a way, to clear way for Rockslide’s return (how? who knows! mysteriously!), only to leave him in limbo? That sucks.

    So maybe they won’t be stuck there after all. Which would make this ending a weird misdirect. Or maybe nobodody cares about Rockslide. Or maybe it’s actually just an art error. Who knows?

  19. Diana says:

    It’s worth noting that Hope’s spot in the Five *could* be taken by any kind of power amplifier who’s probably in the WHR now – Mimic, Cortez, etc. Now that they’re no longer reliant on Sinister’s database, they don’t need Hope to purify the DNA anymore.

  20. ylU says:


    “Destiny’s obsession with her visions coming true and her loved ones dying have made her and everyone else miserable, so her taking the risk of Mystique dying like a normal person was meant to be a chance for her to change and redeem herself. However. the entire sequence was rushed and didn’t affect the entire plot.”

    I’d say Destiny getting to the point where she’s willing to let Mystique risk her life *is* the plot, or at least one of them. Her whole deal since Immortal begin was about her overprotectiveness towards Mystique leading her to bad places. Tying up threads like that strikes me as a more important focus for this miniseries (which as many have pointed out is essentially the continuation of Immortal) than progressing the big Orchis war stuff, which already has two whole extra sized other miniseries addressing it.

  21. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    On the whole, the Mystique/Destiny(&Nightcrawler, up to a point, see below) thread is the strongest part of the whole Krakoan era for me. And a tip of the hat to Hickman – I don’t like his approach to character work or lack thereof, but his Mystique issues were very good. And it was the one part of Inferno that fully worked.

    But as much as I like Spurrier, the Nightcrawler part of that triangle was lacking. At least he finished on a high note – Uncanny Spider-Man and Blue Origins were the best part of his Krakoan run.

    And to bring this back to this issue – I’d say Gillen sticks the landing on that. It is rushed – as apparently everything about Fall of X is – and it could use another issue to fully breathe, but it works.

  22. Jenny says:

    It is….impressively stupid that we’ve managed to essentially pull another House of M by sidelineing all the non-superhero mutants again.

  23. Mike Loughlin says:

    @Jenny: Marvel has a bad habit of removing inconvenient mutants en masse: The Mutant Massacre (too many Morlocks), the Morlocks being sent to another dimension in the ’90s, the Genoshan massacre, the Decimation… I don’t think most readers like it, but Marvel editors and higher-ups can’t wrap their heads around leaving them alone. The shared universe/ illusion of change makes changing the status quo difficult. I’d far prefer another approach.

  24. Drew says:

    “It’s worth noting that Hope’s spot in the Five *could* be taken by any kind of power amplifier who’s probably in the WHR now – Mimic, Cortez, etc. Now that they’re no longer reliant on Sinister’s database, they don’t need Hope to purify the DNA anymore.”

    I could be misremembering, but I seem to remember there was an issue earlier in the Krakoan era where they experimented with having Mimic sub in for a member of the Five, and found he just Couldn’t Hack It for whatever reason. (Which feels a bit dismissive of the character growth he had in X-Men Legacy, but whatever, hoping for consistency in how Mimic is portrayed is a fool’s errand at this point.)

  25. Alastair says:

    I assume that a this will either be ignored or a backdoor created as soon a writer needs a refugee, for example Anole being in NYX may want to hook up with his best friend Santo, they will just hand wave his appearance away.

    Even in Fall they have made clear that these are not all the civilian mutants which is why orchis has been rounding up and deporting them, so there is still a large mutant population to play unlike House of M. The bigger question is how they deal with the millions of mutants on Mars. (who weren’t earth mutants to begin with.)

  26. FUBAR007 says:

    Evilgus: Shame that means that Rachel being immaculate conception by the Phoenix (my own head canon) has now “already been done”.

    Not just yours, but Claremont’s, too. After X-Factor #1 ruined Cyclops for him, he wanted Rachel to be the daughter of her timeline’s Jean and the Phoenix Force, making her unique in the Multiverse.

    I suspect that’s where Gillen and the X-Men editorial office got the idea and used it for Hope.

  27. FUBAR007 says:

    Mike Loughlin: Marvel has a bad habit of removing inconvenient mutants en masse: The Mutant Massacre (too many Morlocks), the Morlocks being sent to another dimension in the ’90s, the Genoshan massacre, the Decimation… I don’t think most readers like it, but Marvel editors and higher-ups can’t wrap their heads around leaving them alone. The shared universe/ illusion of change makes changing the status quo difficult. I’d far prefer another approach.

    Marvel wants the ability to swing back and forth between the pre-Morrison status quo of there being only a few hundred mutants on Earth and the post-Morrison status quo of there being millions of mutants as it suits them.

  28. Thom H. says:

    Honestly, even if there are millions of mutants spread across the world, that’s still a tiny minority. You don’t have to jettison most of them into an alternate dimension to whittle down the numbers. Just admit that a high percentage of them are Chinese or Indian and don’t set stories in those countries. Easy.

  29. […] FOREVER #4. (Annotations here.) Since X-Men: Forever is effectively the last arc of Immortal X-Men, this is sort of the end of […]

  30. Jim Harbor says:

    Someone on /co/ pointed out this makes Jean/Hope/Phoenix a matriarchal version of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

    Jean is Mother-Me, Hope is Daughter-Me and the “me” is the Phoenix

  31. Stuart says:

    I don’t think placing Krakoa and the remaining mutants in “exile” in the White Hot Room is about taking them off the board and whittling down numbers. I think it’s meant to clarify what the story of Krakoa is actually all about.

    Gillen very clearly discusses this using Sinister/Enigma earlier in the issue, where he articulates a cynical view of the lessons of the Krakoan era – mutants are just really humans, with all the same flaws. So you might as well pursue self-interest and who cares what any of it really means or what it’s all for.

    Gillen’s counterargument, made through Jean and then Hope’s mother, is that no, we don’t have to be defined by selfishness and cynicism. We can choose the greater good, even in the face of our own pain, or even our own ending. Hope’s mother makes precisely the opposite choices that Sinister/Enigma has – she chooses to accept her own death, and she chooses the best for the larger collective. She chooses both Hope and hope.

    So the point of Krakoa is hope. And the thing about hope is that is never really quite matches with reality, does it. It’s by definition based on wanting something better than what we have. So if Krakoa symbolizes hope, then Krakoa existing outside of time actual makes it more of a symbol than a reality, something to strive for or remember or wonder about. Hope is not a place you visit or that you can actually be, it is where you try to go, constantly and unendingly. If you think you’ve gotten there, you’re wrong – human failings do bring it crashing down, as we’ve seen all throughout the Krakoan era.

    Or in the parlance of X-Men comics – hope is not a place, it is a dream. The dream, if you will.

    And so: Krakoa was the great dream of mutantkind, to have a home, a place of safety at last. The dream now lives on outside of time – independent of any actual reality, always there in our minds and our hearts to point us to the direction where we’re really trying to go. Unlike the Krakoa that existed for the past few years, this Krakoa is not riddled with hierarchies and power plays and compromises – it is egalitarian and just.
    Also unlike the Krakoa we had for the past few years, this one – by existing outside of time – is *not* temporary. It is forever. And so we have loss and comfort in equal measures. Grief and hope as two sides of the same coin.

    Krakoa is ending because everything ends. But hope is forever, and thus so too is Krakoa and the dream.

  32. Stuart says:

    As long as, like Hope’s mother, we keep choosing it.

  33. Diana says:

    @Drew: That was in the lead-up to Sins of Sinister, when they were looking for someone to resurrect Hope specifically and Calvin caved under the pressure. Synch stepped in and got it done – the only problem is that because Hope wasn’t involved, she and the others were corrupted by Sinister’s genetic manipulation. That wouldn’t be a factor for the mutants currently in the WHR.

  34. Michael says:

    @Fubar007- Am I the only person who thought there were at least a quarter million mutants worldwide pre-Morrison?

  35. Jon R says:

    I guess with Wrongslide to Rockslide you could make the point that once they had the Waiting Room they could have always resurrected Rockslide “correctly”. If it lets them resurrect people who don’t have backups, then it should let them resurrect people who had backups corrupted. It’s just that with the clone protocols, they wouldn’t do that until Wrongslide was gone. Though the Waiting Room was abandoned so who knows if that matters now.

    Something mumble mumble special resurrection properties within the WHR where you need the cradle as a sympathetic focus for resurrection, but the Phoenix sees through any data corruptions to the truth?

  36. Jdsm24 says:

    But 616-Betsy B and DOFP-Rachel S already permafixed * the problem of OtherWorld Resurrection when they cured 616-Gambit from being 616-Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death after he was resurrected after getting killed by Marvel Multiversal Gestalt Merlin

    * with the use of the 616-Siege Perilous and the help of 616-Mr. M

  37. Loz says:

    “A’ight, It’s an old song, It’s an old tale from way back when, It’s an old song, And that is how it ends, That’s how it goes…”

    In many ways this was unavoidable, even before an editorial mandate. The one thing comics can’t do well is large casts of characters when you’ve only got about 30 pages a month. You end up with a Bendis book with most of them just standing around in the background. If Claremont had his way all the way back then we would have had no X-Factor, Xavier probably wouldn’t have returned from space, no Mr Sinister, maybe Wolverine would have died and stayed dead. Ever since Morrison outed Professor Xavier the X-Men books have been hamstrung by having to deal with loads of mutant kids in the mansion. Shuffling them off to the White Hot Room to be out of the way is probably the most humane solution to the self-created problem, at least for a couple of years, and then probably Benjamin Percy will come along and drop Sabretooth in there so he can slaughter them all to show how hardcore he is.

    So Mystique and Destiny can teleport to where Xavier is and no suggestion is made to either free him or kill him? Gillen is having to compress the story so much that they can’t even spare a few word balloons? And Nimrod doesn’t think it strange that they leave without Xavier?

    But even if the whole Jean-Hope-Louise-Enigma thing was a bit too rushed to really care about I did like the Mystique-Destiny stuff. It reminds me of what Gillen did with Loki and Mister Sinister back in the day, take characters that had pretty much become stale and predictable and reenergise them. Everything else is going to reset to a dull old normal, but at least we can leave with them.

    “It’s an old tale from way back when
    And we’re gonna sing it again and again!”

  38. Matt Terl says:

    Seems to me that setting Krakoa in the WHR makes it parallel to Arrako, and at some point all those mutants will be brought back into the main plot and we’ll learn how their ideology and society have evolved in contrast to those who remain on the 616.

  39. Michael says:

    @Loz- I think that Nimrod knows that Xavier is plotting to betray Orchis- he’s just planning on getting as much use out of him before that happens. (Note that the members of Orchis are careful to keep him away from Moira.)

  40. Loz says:

    One of the stories Marvel can’t really tell properly is that the X-Men have saved humans more than killed them and killed mutants much more than saved them.

  41. Jamil says:

    “A model that could predict all actions of mutant kind, until the phoenix arrived and burned my city to the ground”
    What is this referring to ?
    Bar sinister isn’t a city and it wasn’t destroyed by the phoenix and this “machine” isn’t the Moira engine

  42. Jamil says:

    I’m sorry, I hadn’t read the answer yet

  43. Dave says:

    Bit late to this, just want to say it’s all too vague. I really don’t know why ‘killing’ the Phoenix in the WHR should achieve anything in particular, let alone a specific aim for the X-Men. Jean and Phoenix are interacting in a different way because…it’s just been decided that’s what happens for this story. Mutants being in the WHR destabilizes it or something because why not? Enigma’s abilities are even more unspecified than Sinister’s have always been. Changing Hope’s father has no great effect on her mutant nature, because that’s what this story demands. Everything seems arbitrary.

  44. Rich Larson says:


    Way late to this, but I like you’re interpretation very much. It makes the whole Krakoa work with what have always been the core ideals of the X-books. Thanks for the thoughtful write up!

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