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May 22

Fall of the House of X #5 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 by Paul in Annotations

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

“The Turn”
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artists: Lucas Werneck & Stefano Caselli
Colour artist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Nimrod fights Cyclops and Storm, with the other X-Men defeated in the foreground.

PAGE 2. Opening quote from Nimrod: “We have woken up, and now wonder… how hard will you fight for your survival? Or is this finally the day that you accept your fate?”

This is from Inferno #4, where Nimrod and Omega Sentinel were fighting Professor X and Magneto, and had just revealed the existence of the AI contingent within Orchis.

PAGES 3-5. The X-Men fight Nimrod in multiple locations.

The opening two panels on page 3 are a flashback to Feilong negotiating with Dr Stasis to become a member of Orchis, after the X-Men colonised Mars. In Duggan’s X-Men #3, Henry Peter Gyrich asks Feilong to continue with his plans to travel to Mars, and Feilong reveals that he already knew about Orchis and (as here) asked for “a seat at the Orchis table”. By the next issue he’s on his way to colonise Phobos, so this must be between X-Men #3-4.

Most of the rest of the dialogue in this scene is just recapping the plot. Magneto returned to life in Resurrection of Magneto #3, went on to a side quest with Iron Man, and now joins up with the rest of the X-Men again, to the particular delight of his daughter Polaris.

This scene stresses that Nimrod has multiple bodies and exists in several places at once, so that taking out a single body doesn’t solve the problem.

PAGE 6. Recap and credits.

PAGE 7. Cyclops and Nightcrawler compare notes.

Nightcrawler is just recapping the plot.

Page 10 confirms that Colossus has been ejected into space specifically in order to lure Nightcrawler away from this scene (and it works).

PAGES 8-9. Rogue and Psylocke defeat Omega Sentinel.

Inferno established that Omega Sentinel’s mind has been overwritten by herself from a future timeline. Psylocke’s psychic knife breaks that and restores the personality of the present-day Karima, who has apparently been locked inside and aware of what was happening, and is understandably upset. Rogue and Psylocke apparently couldn’t care less about her distress, though Psylocke does at least generously stop Rogue from killing Karima, and you could certainly make a case that they have higher priorities than comforting Karima right now.

But Karima is treated as a villain who needs to redeem herself, rather than a victim, throughout the rest of the issue, even by people like Cyclops who claim to believe her. The other X-Men at least have the excuse that they don’t know yet what’s supposed to have happened.

PAGES 10-20. The X-Men defeat Nimrod and escape Sentinel City before it blows up.

There’s a big set up here about Nimrod having predicted that Cyclops would be the last X-Man standing and getting it wrong, because it’s actually Storm (who we saw flying off to join this fight last issue). Except… plenty of other characters are still on their feet at this point – Synch and Polaris, for example. They have to be, because the way around the multiple bodies set-up seems to be “they attack in two places at once”. So Nimrod’s really just wrong about having reached the “last X-Man standing” point. I suppose, since he loses, by definition he must have got his prediction wrong, but not in the specific way that the narrator tries to play up.

“Is this more prattle about your dead wife?” Cyclops was having dreams about Jean at the start of issue #1.

“The storm that Nimrod faced even wiped out the duplicates of himself he hid from combat.” Why? Because it’s the last issue, that’s why.

PAGE 21. The remains of Orchis collapse.

The Stark Sentinels literally fall out of the sky, which feels like it’s going to do some collateral damage.

Professor X is left alone on an apparently abandoned Orchis space station (since the AI contingent had already purged the humans). Shadowkat and Ms Marvel show up to try and rescue him, but he doesn’t want to be found just yet. Presumably, that continues into Rise of the Powers of X #5.

PAGES 22-23. Lactuca conceals the X-Men from Enigma.

Lactuca has treated Manifold as a brother before in X-Men Red. Basically, with the plot of Fall of the House of X out of the way, Lactuca is diverting the cast to go and sort out the cosmic threat of Enigma, which is on a scale that Lactuca actually cares about.

PAGES 24-25. The X-Men return to Krakoa.

Krakoa was restored in Rise of the Powers of X #5.

Cyclops concludes – not unreasonably, in the circumstances – that Lactuca’s prompt in the previous scene was pointing him towards a power of love ending where Enigma is defeated by Phoenix. He seems to take Lactuca’s reference to “your heart” as meaning Jean rather than his own qualities.

The flashbacks on page 25 are a generic image of Scott and Jean as X-Men in the early Silver Age, a shot of them (or strictly, Scott and Phoenix) on the moon for the climax of the Dark Phoenix Saga in X-Men #137, and a shot of them together in the Krakoa era.

PAGE 26. Closing quote from Jean. “We are mutant. We only know the fight. Resist.” Those are Jean’s last words to Firestar before dying in X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023.

PAGE 27. Trailers. The Krakoan reads RISE OF THE POWERS OF X.





Bring on the comments

  1. thewreath says:

    “The storm that Nimrod faced even wiped out the duplicates of himself he hid from combat.”

    This reeks of ‘somehow Palpatine returned’. I’d have bought if the combined mutants created some kind of ultimate circuit because that was set up throughout Krakoa, but this just seems to be Duggan name-checking a physicist and contriving some bullshit. Why couldn’t they have done this to Nimrod at any point in the last five years? This whole thing has felt simultaneously rushed and dragged out ad infinitum, really disappointing end to Fall of X.

  2. Chris V says:

    I expected this would end with the mutants beating Nimrod and Omega Sentinel with no problems simply because it’s the final issue and the goal was clearing Nimrod and Omega Sentinel off the board.
    There was even a happy ending where they were able to rescue this timeline’s Karima (regardless of Duggan failing to sell that properly too).

    Will Rise end with the Phoenix showing up and destroying Enigma and all the Dominions the same manner as Fall did with Nimrod and Omega Sentinel? Let’s hope hope for more, but I’m expecting that will be the case.

  3. Mike Loughlin says:

    The sad part is, this was the best issue of Fall…, despite its many flaws. When I finished reading, I felt a sense of relief- there won’t be another issue of this series. Sure, Duggan has a chapter or story in the X-Men 35, but so do writers I like. At long last, the worst part of the Fall of X is over.

  4. ASV says:

    There’s been a ton of telling and not showing throughout this era, but “The rest of the Nimrods died, too” really takes the cake.

  5. Si says:

    It always amuses me to see Cyclops getting in real close to the person he’s blasting. It’s like using a loaded rifle to club someone. I mean, I know why the do it, partly so the likes of Wolverine can be a credible threat, but mainly for the sake of making the art interesting. But still.

    Actually, you could do fun things with the Unlimited scrolling panels. I can’t recall them ever doing it though. They did something with Cannonball I suppose.

  6. Michael says:

    This issue and Powers of X/X-Men Forever are iinconsistent with each other in several ways:
    Let’s start with Nightcrawler and Manifold- they play major roles in X-Men Forever 3-4 helping to restore Jean and learn of the threat of Enigma. This happens after Wrongslide’s sacrifice and Xavier’s betrayal. So does it take place during the battle aboard Sentinel City somehow? Kurt and Manifold disappear during the battle, have their adventures in X-Men Forever and don’t mention anything to Scott when they get back?

  7. Michael says:

    Next, in Rise of the Powers of X 4, Omega Sentinel tells Xavier that the X-Men are attempting to destroy their weaponry aboard Sentinel City. And Moira is eavesdropping. When can this take place? Are we supposed to believe that Omega Sentinel took a break during the battle to teleport to Earth, chat with Xavier and Moira and teleported back?

  8. Michael says:

    Next, in Rise of the Powers of X 3, Enigma claimed “The previously existing Omega Sentinel’s intelligence is annihilated”. Yet here, we see that Karima’s consciousness was merely submerged. Was Enigma somehow wrong about this? Shouldn’t it have been able to see that Karima’s consciousness survived if it can see possible futures? It’s just odd that Gillen went out of his way to state that Karima’s mind was gone only for Duggan to reveal that it wasn’t two months later. Maybe there was a miscommunication and Enigma was supposed to state that DEVO’s original mind was gone, since Duggan was planning on killing him off without the characters caring? Or maybe Breevort told White at a late date they had plans for Karima and she needed to get her mind back?

  9. Michael says:

    Only Apocalypse is on Krakoa when the X-Men arrive. I guess all the other mutants in X-Men Forever are just out of sight?
    Manifold and Nightcrawler make no reference to having been to Krakoa since it was restored. in fact, Kurt even says “Krakoa lives! Your doing. Apocalypse?”

  10. Michael says:

    Psylocke restoring Karima’s personality with her psi-blade was a little anticlimactic, especially since Kwannon hardly had a role in the previous issue.
    I agree that it makes no sense for the X-Men to treat Karima like a villain, since she had her body stolen by an evil alternate reality version of herself. It’s even more ridiculous since Kurt and Peter were both mind controlled recently in killing innocents and discrediting Krakoa and everyone seems to have forgiven them. Plus, the only reason Enigma had the power to do this in the first place was because the Quiet Council was stupid enough to give Sinister free rein on Krakoa. Should Spider-Man have to apologize for everything Doc Ock did when he stole Peter’s body?

  11. Michael says:

    It does seem odd that Nimrod didn’t have better defenses against lightning. Especially since in Avengers 12 Thor had difficulty destroying an Orchis site because it was protected against Storm’s lightning.
    Xavier’s dialogue makes it clear that he planned for Scott to stop Nimrod and Omega Sentinel. That’s because his plan depends on Moira coming to see him in person. Without Nimrod and Omega Sentinel, Moira has to personally come see Xavier and he can activate whatever he implanted in her.

  12. Michael says:

    What was the point of Lactua hiding the X-Men for Enigma just to hint that Jean was the key to stopping Enigma? They already knew that.
    It’s weird that Apocalypse didn’t react to seeing Omega Sentinel with the X-Men. Then again, maybe Destiny warned him.

  13. Michael says:

    I did like Duggan having Scott acknowledge that it always go back to Nathaniel Essex. There was too much hate between Scott and Sinister not for Scott to have a major problem with Sinister on the Council- one of many problems with Hickman’s initial setup.
    What happened to the Cables? At the end of the Cable limited series, we were directed to Rise of the Powers of X for the next appearance of the Cables. But they never showed up, although Cable did have a brief wordless appearance in X-Men Forever 3.
    I have to wonder if a better way to defeat Nimrod would be have groups of X-Men kill off Nimrod’s bodies across many locations, not just two or three. That would have enabled them to work in more characters, instead of having so many characters fighting offscreen when Nimrod was destroyed.

  14. Chris V says:

    At least the Sinister stuff was a payoff from the beginning of the Krakoa era where Moira warned Xavier and Magneto to not allow Sinister on Krakoa, and they decided to go behind Moira’s back and make a pact with Sinister.
    Even if the QC decided to keep Sinister as their prisoner, there was no guarantee he wouldn’t have still sabotaged Krakoa, considering what occurred in Moira’s Life Nine with Apocalypse making Sinister his slave (the reason Moira mistrusted Sinister).

  15. Jeff says:

    Rogue about to squish Karima’s head seems excessive.

    I thought the art was really great this issue.

    Other than that, I don’t understand how the X-men made Storm’s lightning strike at multiple areas all over the Earth, either.

    I kind of liked the X-Men trying to give Nimrod a second chance but it just made their merciless slaughter of all the human Orchis members stick out more. Why don’t humans get a chance to redeem themselves?

  16. Jon R says:

    Michael: > Only Apocalypse is on Krakoa when the X-Men arrive. I guess all the other mutants in X-Men Forever are just out of sight?

    It was supposed to be a surprise party! With Xavier gone they finally thought they’d get to have one. That’s the real reason Lactuca grabbed everyone for few panels, to let Apocalypse finish setting things up. They were all going to jump out from behind the rocks to say “Happy End of Fall!”, but then one look at Scott being dour took all the wind out of their sails.

    Jeff: > Other than that, I don’t understand how the X-men made Storm’s lightning strike at multiple areas all over the Earth, either.

    I choose to believe that Duggan decided that if wired connections plugged in during a storm can be fried by lightning going through them, wireless must work the same way. (Not really but it’s at least something!)

  17. Luis Dantas says:

    I _think_ that it would be frustrating to have a time jump after the last Hellfire Gala and go straight to the new status quo.

    Which, I have to point out, is how the Krakoa era began. We skipped over quite a lot of the set-up and probably will never fill all the blanks.

    Is there any upside in having three whole series now when a time jump would probably work better at least far as plot goes?

  18. Luis Dantas says:

    … was this issue meant to feel like a whole issue of “No quarter was asked, and none given” tempered by a really disturbing Polaris expression?

    Also, I am already tired of Magneto again.

    I just don’t understand why Marvel publishes such issues.

  19. Michael says:

    I just thought of something- it’s possible that Karima and not Moira wrote those Fall of the House of X data pages, since she’s freed this issue.

  20. Karl_H says:

    Even if it were not demonstrably false *in this very issue* that Scott is the “last X-Man standing”, it has never been true, that has never been his thing, and if you had a poll one month ago, everyone would agree that that’s Wolverine’s job. I know this is supposed to be a big Cyclops moment but it falls flat on so many levels.

    If Nimrod were a pizza, would you have to eat all the slices at the same time to eat the whole thing? Or could you eat them one after the other until it was gone (and then… uh… go find all the hidden slices…)?

    The Rogue head-stomp moment recalls the last era’s final-days casual sadism under Rosenberg, and makes me happy that this is all nearly done.

  21. Thom H. says:

    I have fond memories of Nimrod from back in the day. The Central Park fight from UXM #208-209 is one of my favorite Claremont stories.

    I had high hopes for the Krakoa-era Nimrod and his sassy new attitude. But now I kind of hope we don’t see him again for a long, long time. Such wasted potential.

  22. Pseu42 says:

    Issues #4 and #5 of this series are both titled “The Turn”? Gotta be an editorial screwup where the credits page was copy-pasted between issues and nobody bothered to enter the new issue title. Embarrassing.

  23. […] OF THE HOUSE OF X #5. (Annotations here.) So there you go. We’re not quite at the end of the Krakoan era. There’s still Rise of […]

  24. Pseu42 says:

    Hey, at the end of X-Men #34, wasn’t a kind of a big deal made about Kitty leaving her Shadowkat persona behind, and Logan taking up the burden of being the one to hunt down the traitorous Professor X? So why, in this issue, is it Kitty – accompanied by Ms Marvel – who is shown hunting Xaviers?

    It’s almost like the writers of the two books didn’t communicate with each other, except they’re the same guy.

  25. JDSM24 says:

    No-Prize time!

    Karima gets a Second Chance* because she WAS an X-Woman in good standing (token non-X-gene-mutant “mutant”-according-to-her-own-creator-Claremont) during the Utopia Era in Carey’s run , and in fact was supposed to have become fully human again , and working as a freelance police consultant agent , with Sabra in Israel , during the Central Park Era , in Wood’s run , until Hickman brought her back as an evil cyborg in HOXPOX

    * actually Fourth Chance , remember the first time she became villainous when she was possessed by Malice during Messiah Complex , and was exorcised by Pixie’s soul dagger , also during Carey’s run? And then she became villainous again when her OG Prime Sentinel programming reactivated and was nearly killed and put into a coma by Omega-Level-adjacent Hellion during the aftermath of Second Coming pre-Age of X again , also during Carey’s run , until she became the host body (if I’m remembering correctly) for Sublime’s Sister Arkea and got fried by Storm’s lighting but survived because it was revealed by Beast’s medical exams that a dying Arkea somehow someway turned back into a fully organic human , during Wood’s run ?

    @Jeff , Nimrod gets a “Second Chance” because he’s both a Named Character * and an AI capable of theoretically unlimited/limitless capacity for change and growth and development (I.e. Face Heel Turn Redemption Arc ala Akira Toriyama’s DBZ) while its Marvel-616 canon that baseline humans , “flatscans” , such as Orchis Rank and File , are simply incapable of the type of spiritual “change” required for personal redemption since they after all lack even the capacity for genetic change , as they do not have the divine X-Gene gifted by the Celestials themselves , nor indeed any other metahuman genes ** that could would merit them a role in the Big Picture Grand Scheme of Things* beyond X-pendable cannon fodder NPC’s LOL

    ** in House of M , it was official HOM global propaganda , that the next best thing to becoming an actual X-gene mutant was to be a superpowered metahuman

    * seriously , this is also Marvel 616-canon as revealed by Stephen Strange himself in his recent series last year where/when he literally came back to life , to his own wife Clea that when normal Marvel humans die , as a general rule , they lose their own sense of identity enough so as to become content to stay dead while superheroes and supervillains , almost all of whom become metahuman in the course of the costume life , retain their sense of identity enough to want to come back to life

    @Pseu42 , maybe it’s because now ShadowKat ISN’T hunting him with the intent to kill him KEK

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