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May 16

The X-Axis – w/c 13 May 2024

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2024 by Paul in x-axis

X-MEN UNLIMITED INFINITY COMIC #139. By Steve Foxe, Steve Orlando, Phillip Sevy, Yen Nitro & Travis Lanham. Well, I guess at least it seems to be building to some sort of climax. But it’s still just throwing characters at the wall for no good reasons – Velocidad? El Aguila? This hasn’t worked; at least it must be over soon.

X-MEN: FOREVER #4. (Annotations here.) Since X-Men: Forever is effectively the last arc of Immortal X-Men, this is sort of the end of Kieron Gillen’s run… although it isn’t, really, because it leads into the finale of Rise of the Powers of X. I still think that labelling these four issues as a separate miniseries was an odd call – they make much more sense viewed as issues of Immortal – but the book does deliver a satisfying resolution to Mystique and Destiny’s arc, as well as paying off Hope’s messiah role. You can argue about whether the plot mechanics of Enigma’s attempt to alter history actually make sense, but that’s a standard issue with time travel stories. It works on a character level for Enigma and for Hope’s mother, and that’s what really matters.

The Hope/Phoenix stuff is… more arbitrary, let’s be honest. The Phoenix is in the Enigma storyline because Jonathan Hickman already set it up as something that could kill Dominions, but the details of what’s actually happening to it and why it matters are decidedly hand-wavy. The book just about gets away with it, by hitching it to Hope’s messiah role, but it’s not quite convincing. Luca Maresca draws it well, though, and he really makes the scenes with Enigma and Louise work.

It does look like we are indeed going with Krakoa being exiled to the White Hot Room, with most of its population, as a way of taking it off the table. To be fair, once you’ve got an editorial mandate to get rid of the place, the options are limited, and most of the other ones are significantly less attractive. I do wonder when this was decided on, and how far it might explain the staggering upsurge in Mutants Not On Krakoa which happened almost immediately after the Hellfire Gala, when instead of being a tiny minority who couldn’t make it to a gate, they were suddenly ubiquitous. Gillen spins it reasonably well in the circumstances, playing the angle that a remaining population of mostly background characters will now have to build a non-utopian, but more real, mutant nation. And I admit to finding something interesting in the idea that the post-Krakoa mutant population is presumably made up mostly of people who didn’t want to go to Krakoa first time round – though I struggle in practice to see how you work that angle in a way that won’t infuriate a large chunk of readers.

But Krakoa in Exile is a tough thing to pull off as a satisfying ending, because it’s unavoidably a down beat rather similar to the one we already had when Krakoa fell six months ago. It could yet be a fake-out, of course. With just three weeks left, I’m intrigued to see how they try to make this work.

MS MARVEL: MUTANT MENACE #3. By Iman Vellani, Sabir Pirzada, Scott Godlewski, Erick Arciniega & Joe Caramagna. This is mostly an issue of Ms Marvel hanging out with Red Dagger, and is all the better for it. Ms Marvel was a book with a strong identity – when it’s allowed to just do Ms Marvel things, this is a perfectly fine miniseries. Using Orchis as the villains is a drag on the book, because they don’t fit with what Ms Marvel does well, though I’ll give points for invention in an Orchis splinter group sending reanimated X-Men corpses after Kamala – after all, the X-Men have left an awful lot of them lying around over the last few years. The zombie Cyclops is just the right level of gruesome, and the art has some nice melodrama between the two leads. Still, I can’t help feeling this would have been a much better series if the book had never been forced into the X-Men’s orbit. Perhaps the less fraught post-Krakoa status quo will be a better fit for Kamala.

WEAPON X-MEN #4. By Christos Gage, Yildiray Çinar, Nolan Woodard & Clayton Cowles. Ah. I was figuring there’d be some clever reveal about why such a pointlessly random team had been assembled in the first place but, um, no. That’s disappointing, because the book really doesn’t make sense without one. And there are some reasonable ideas in here – I genuinely would like to see more of Jane Howlett, the rich Victorian female Wolverine, who feels like she might have an original angle to offer. The art does a solid job of keeping the various Wolverines distinct, as well. The tone of the book was good fun. But the core Phoenix/Onslaught plot is flat, and the book’s strong points can’t outweigh that.

Bring on the comments

  1. Michael says:

    The Ms. Marvel issue addressed the stupidity of Emma wiping the memory of Kamala’s death from her friends and family- it’s mentioned that some people were out of Emma’s range and therefore unaffected.
    The consensus on the internet is that the last zombie is Kamala herself.
    Re: the post-Krakoa mutant population- Breevort has said that there WILL be problems with people regaining their American citizenship, suggesting that a substantial portion of the post-Krakoa population consists of people who went to Krakoa but were off-island on the night of the Gala.

  2. Loz says:

    Interesting that you read the Krakoans in Exile as a down beat, I read it as the comic wanting us to believe that it was positive, rather like the whole ‘this is not the end’ at the end of The Dark Knight Returns.

    Which is not to say that because Marvel can never leave anything alone it doesn’t stop them all coming back in five years time as hard and edgy and convinced that the X-Men abandoned them.

  3. Paul says:

    I think the story is trying very hard to make it less of a down beat, but in the grand scheme of things, it unavoidably is.

  4. Luis Dantas says:

    If most Krakoans are now stranded on the White Hot Room, won’t they be joined by people who die? Or is that reserved to Phoenix hosts?

  5. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    It used to be that only Phoenix hosts had access to the WHR (and also Al Ewing’s Defenders came through there once).

    Meanwhile, Storm solo ongoing details:

  6. Chris V says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who is cynical enough to realize that in a few years Marvel will be doing a “big event” story about the return of the Krakoans as bloodthirsty villains coming to conquer the planet.
    That will probably also be where they bring in the alt-versions of popular characters from Moira’s past lives. “Only if we can bring together ten Logans will we be able to send Krakoa out of mutant heaven and straight to hell.”

  7. The Other Michael says:

    Thinking of Krakoa-in-Exile returning as dark and edgy has strong vibes of that time that the Morlocks were all sent to another dimension with Mikhail Rasputin for a while.

  8. Michael says:

    @Chris V- What makes you think that Marvel would use a major crossover to demonize people who have a legitimate grievance against the heroes? Yes, there was Inferno, but that was decades ago. It’s not like Jed MacKay would write a major crossover where Dr.Strange works tirelessly to save the world from a vampire attack while his brother Victor who Stephen turned into a vampire tries to steal his body. Um, never mind.

  9. Luis Dantas says:

    I like what I read in the article @Krzysiek Ceran links to above.

    I have to revise my expectations. If my understanding and a few assumptions are correct (a long shot, but still) then this Storm ongoing might be just what the character needs to regain a functional, engaging personality. I’m mildly interested already.

  10. Loz says:

    The Other Michael- That was definitely what I was thinking of .

  11. Adam says:

    Luca Maresca’s art strongly reminds me of Ron Garney’s old style, so much so that I re-checked the credits.

    Maybe the book was retitled X-MEN FOREVER because it ended up taking on plotlines that weren’t part of IMMORTAL’s purview. I was thrown by the Destiny/Mystique/Nightcrawler stuff because I hadn’t read the preceding issues that dealt with that whole matter.

  12. Luis Dantas says:

    I don’t know… most books don’t seem to care whether the reader has any clue of what he is supposed to have read before.

  13. Michael says:

    We finally found out what book Greg Capullo is doing- it’s a five issue limited series written by Jonathon Hickman called Wolverine: Revenge starting in August:

  14. Karl_H says:

    There is a story well so broad and deep that it is visible from space, and that well is called Wolverine Seeking Revenge.

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