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Jun 5

X-Men #35 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 6 #35
“Dream’s End”
Writers: Gerry Duggan, Kieron Gillen & Al Ewing
Artists: Joshua Cassara, Phil Noto, Lucas Werneck, Leinil Francis Yu, Walter Simonson, Mark Brooks, John Romita Jr, Scott Hanna, Jerome Opeña, Luciana Vecchio, Stefano Caselli & Sara Pichelli
Colour artists: Romulo Fajardo Jr, Phil Noto, David Curiel, Laura Martin, Sonia Oback, Marcio Menyz, Matt Hollingsworth & Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGES 1-2. The Krakoan era cast, including some of the villains, make their way across the page, Official Handbook style – though at a gentle stroll. Some of the villains are included. I’m not quite sure how Gateway made the cut for this, but it’s nice to see him. (If you’re wondering why this is two pages in the digital edition, page 1 is the cover as it looks on the shelf, and page 2 is the entire gatefold.)

This is the final issue of X-Men vol 6, and the final comic of the Krakoan era – although some unfortunate scheduling means that Ms Marvel: Mutant Menace #4, which takes place before Fall of the House of X, also came out this week. The other X-book this week, Wolverine: Blood Hunt #1, is post-Krakoan, and comes from the new editorial office.

Applying “legacy numbering”, Marvel also regard this issue as Uncanny X-Men #700.

PAGE 3. A recap of the life of Professor X.

Nine mostly symbolic panels:

  • Panel 1 is Professor X apparently posing for a photograph or something like that.
  • Panel 2 is the original X-Men in the school library.
  • Panel 3 is the same five characters in their first Silver Age costumes.
  • Panel 4 is a generic fight against Magneto; the costumes would place it in the early 90s.
  • Panel 5 is the Treehouse, the X-Men’s New York base during the Krakoan era. It was destroyed by Orchis.
  • Panel 6 is Sunspot and Sobunar, symbolising the terraforming of Mars.
  • Panel 7 is a generic child enjoying life on Krakoa – specifically, Fauna, who debuted in House of X #1 being welcomed to the island.
  • Panel 8 is Jean Grey after being killed by Orchis in the 2023 X-Men: Hellfire Gala one-shot.
  • Panel 9 is Professor X with Omega Sentinel and someone who I guess might be Moira, as an unwilling ally of Orchis during Fall of the House of X. He has literal blood on his hands, because we don’t do subtlety round here.

PAGES 4-9. Wolverine tries to kill Professor X and gets cast aside by Magneto.

Professor X surrendered himself to the authorities at the end of Rise of the Powers of X #5, having killed various people for Orchis during their alliance.

I really don’t buy Wolverine thinking that this merits breaking in and killing Professor X, but it’s consistent with his attitude to Professor X’s actions in Fall of the House of X, but there we are.

PAGE 10. Recap and credits.

PAGES 11-14. Professor X and Magneto talk.

“For once, the name sounds natural.” X-Men Red laid some stress on the fact that Professor X continued to think of Magneto as “Erik”, despite his having reverted to his birth name of Max; it was used to indicate that Professor X had only really been close to Magneto at that earlier time in his life, and wasn’t as close to the present-day Magneto as he liked to believe, despite their co-founding of Krakoa. Professor X seems to see it as Magneto casting aside some of the personas he’d accrued over the years.

“I quit. I died… I saw what my choices had made.” Magneto quit Krakoa for Arakko at the start of Immortal X-Men, died in the AXE: Judgment Day crossover, and was resurrected with new insight in Resurrection of Magneto.

Magneto essentially restates here the conclusions he had reached at the end of that series: that his focus specifically on mutants was an error, and by extension that mutant separatism was an error. He intends to reposition himself as fighting for the oppressed in general. Arguably this completes his heroic turn by making him into a protector of everyone and not specifically of mutants (albeit an insurgent, revolutionary one). But Professor X rightly points out the irony: Krakoa was built on him abandoning his dream of mutant and human coexistence, and the lesson Magneto has learned from the experience is in a sense to come round to the fact that Professor X was right all along, however badly he may have botched the execution.

“We could not even imagine our paradise … not without a corresponding Pit.” The many flaws in Krakoan society never really played much part in its actual downfall, but they were certainly there. The Pit was originally established in House of X as a supposedly idealistic alternate to prisons, even though it was obviously much, much worse. Outside the Sabretooth stories, it hasn’t been an especially central part of line-wide storylines, but it seems to be getting singled out here as a symbol of the Krakoa that Xavier and Magneto built being compromised from the start, and in denial about that fact. Ultimately, Magneto was unable to maintain that denial. Xavier sees the whole enterprise as one of hubris, and himself as a martyr who ruined his life to dig mutants out of the hole; this would probably be a stronger point if Krakoa’s flaws had played more of a causally significant role in its downfall.

PAGES 15-19. Krakoa rematerialises on Earth.

Rise of the Powers of X ended with Krakoa and the backgorund characters who made up the vast majority of its population marooned in the White Hot Room, to start a better mutant society on their own. Now the Krakoans return after a 15 year gap from their point of view. A much shorter time has passed on Earth, but according to Cypher it’s still been “weeks” at the very least since Rise #5.

Kafka was the most prominent of the background characters in Immortal X-Men and Rise of the Powers of X, essentially serving as spokesperson for the masses. We saw him trying to get people to work together at the end of Rise. He’s now become a member of their version of the Quiet Council, which he claims doesn’t give orders. This version of Krakoa is meant to be the utopian mutant society that we were promised – allowed to develop for a generation without outside interference. (Kafka mentions on page 22 that “All we needed was to be left alone. At least we got that.”) In keeping with that, his Council apparently doesn’t give orders. Whether Kafka means that it has an open-minded style of government or simply that it’s an anarchy is left ambiguous.

PAGES 20-23. Kafka explains Krakoa’s return, and reveals that they’re going straight back again.

The X-Men gather on Krakoa – since the Quiet Council chamber is in order, this is presumably the White Hot Room’s version. It keeps the four benches and twelve seats, although there’s no X-logo in the centre.

“We had the Four.” The remaining members of the Five, minus Hope, who sacrificed herself to reboot the Phoenix in Rise of the Powers of X #5. Kafka clarifies later that Hope is now ubiquitous within the White Hot Room, so that the remaining members of the Five can continue to perform resurrections without her.

“All the Genoshan dead.” The population of Genosha – the first mutant island nation – was slaughtered by Sentinels in New X-Men #115 (2001). Particularly in the early days of Krakoa, various comments were made about the long term project being resurrect all of these characters. In the White Hot Room, the Krakoans have completed this project.

Exodus sees the return of Krakoa as a religious event on a par with the second coming. As it turns out, the Krakoans have only come back for a day to let everyone know that they’re okay. Exodus can’t tolerate the idea of losing Krakoa again, and holes himself up in the Council Room to try to stop Krakoa from leaving. Note that throughout this issue, it’s the villains (or once and future villains, if you prefer) who are unwilling to accept the end of Krakoa.

PAGES 24-27. Apocalypse beats up Exodus.

Apocalypse shows up in response to these events, and promptly beats up Exodus, whom he declares to be his “acolyte”. As Exodus points out, while Apocalypse did enhance his powers back in his origin story (Black Knight: Exodus #1), Exodus turned on him almost immediately, and was not in any meaningful sense a follower of Apocalypse. Apocalypse seems to be suggesting that he’s able to remove Exodus’ power enhancements here, though whether he actually does so is another matter.

Having brutally defeated a challenger, Apocalypse confidently expects to see a society built by his followers in his image, which of course he doesn’t get. In a sense, what we’re getting here is a fast-forward to the collapse of the alliance between Apocalypse and the utopian progressives which would have come at some point anyway.

PAGES 28-30. Kafka explains his Krakoa.

Kafka also throws in the information that Krakoa is actually unsustainable on Earth in the long term, so it Definitely Can’t Come Back, Okay?

This scene does acknowledge that at least some of the White Hot Room Krakoans do not share Kafka’s utopian view of the society he has built, and are planning to take the opportunity to return to Earth, even though they presumably remember it as a place of persecution and misery. Hmm. Kafka dismisses them as stuck in the past – he doesn’t even seem to contemplate that they might want to be reunited with loved ones – and we don’t come back to this theme again. Still, some of these Krakoans do apparently remain on Earth after 15 years in the White Hot Room, and maybe we’ll hear their side of the story in due course.

Despite Kafka’s apparent disdain for human society, he describes his people as “new kinds of humans”, suggesting that the mutant essentialism has gone out of fashion a bit – perhaps because there were no non-mutants to draw a distinction with. They see early Krakoa as a step along the way to their more enlightened society, but something that they’ve moved past. This is very much not what Apocalypse expected to hear: he hasn’t really changed his opinions in thousands of years, and he is mortally offended at being rejected in favour of a cuddly kibbutz in just 15. It doesn’t seem like a very long time, but then again they’ve been completely isolated from Earth culture (and presumably starting their own culture from scratch) throughout that period.

Kafka’s explanation of “survival of the fittest” is arguably rather patronising. The phrase was coined by Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) to describe Darwin’s theory of evolution, and was then adopted by Darwin himself. Both of them always meant “fittest” in the sense of “best suited”.

PAGES 31-34. Apocalypse throws a tantrum.

Apocalypse sees the Krakoans as having missed the point entirely. This is what he always stood for, and everyone has just been politely turning a blind eye to it since House of X. After all, the Crucible was his idea.

That said, Apocalypse is basically right in his list of claims. He did save Arakko in “X of Swords”. He did save Krakoa in Fall of the House of X. He “rekindled the flame of mutant magic” in Excalibur.

“When I let you seek it alone, did you bring the fire back from heaven? Or dull metal and cheap coin?” Apocalypse is referring to the collection of the metal mysterium in SWORD. As Apocalypse sees it, mysterium is not a wonder, but a case of the cosmic being reduced to something dull. He has a point. The mutants accessed the infinite, mined it, and created currency and trinkets. Apocalypse has made a similar point about mysterium before in X-Men Red #17: “Mysterium was brought into this plane as coin – base metal, imprinted to the material world and its material laws. The anti-magic. I would have made it a sword of holy fire.”

Apocalypse then talks himself into knots somewhat, by acknowledging that the Krakoans are going back to the White Hot Room to explore the higher cosmic planes, which is precisely what he claims they ought to have been doing all along. His conclusion is that they have the right agenda but have strayed so far from his worldview that they must be lacking proper leadership.

Rictor shows up to talk Apocalypse down, having been his dutiful and almost obsessive follower in Excalibur. He sees Apocalypse as backsliding into villainy and rejects Apocalypse’s insistence that this is what he always was.

PAGES 35-36. Volta steals a Krakoan seed for Dr Doom.

Volta is one of the Latverian mutants introduced in X-Men during “Fall of X”. Clearly, this is setting up a subplot for something in the future, or at least leaving a back door. Volta is basically loyal to Doom, but note that she lies to Doom about not having been scene – she knows perfectly well that Fauna saw her. (Fauna may not be staying around, but she presumably doesn’t know that.)

PAGES 37-40. Apocalypse fights the X-Men.

Much of this scene is splash pages by guest artists. Of note, the Beast is back with the X-Men. This must be the Beast clone from the final arc of X-Force, who was given a backup of Beast’s memories taken from the early 1980s when he was still straightforwardly heroic.

PAGE 41. Apocalypse calls for followers.

The characters who are shown reacting are mostly villains, but not all. Rictor is included because of his status as Apocalypse’s prime follower. Exodus is presumably just annoyed. The final panel shows Vanisher, Mentallo, both Fenris twins, Forearm, Fabian Cortez and Ruckus, along with a generic blonde I can’t place, and a hooded figure whose facial markings suggest that he’s Solem.

PAGE 42. Storm steps in.

I’ll be honest, I don’t understand what Storm is doing here. It’s not clear from the art what the characters on the previous page make of Apocalypse’s speech, or what Storm is trying to stop them from doing. Whatever the page was going for, it just doesn’t come across.

PAGES 43-47. Apocalypse fights Wolverine, Deadpool and Nightcrawler.

Given the casual use of ultraviolence by Nightcrawler, in a scene where he’s talking about how he doesn’t do that, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Gerry Duggan wrote this sequence.

PAGES 48-51. Emma and Jean persuade Apocalypse to leave.

Emma and Jean show Apocalypse telepathically that the Krakoans represent what mutantkind becomes when it no longer has to fight. He seems to accept that his conflict-based world view is simply not relevant to this version of mutantkind, which has escaped the battle.

PAGES 52-53. The X-Men decline the invitation to leave for Krakoa.

There are still mutants on Earth to defend – a lot of them – and so the fight goes on. But one day Krakoa beckons for blissful retirement.

PAGES 54-55. The X-Men watch Krakoa leave.

And there we go. That was Krakoa.

Oh, hold on. We’re not finished.

PAGE 56. Data page: a closing quote from Apocalypse. This comes from Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men #7 (2020), the issue that introduced the Crucible. He’s responding to Melody Guthrie, who’s thanking him for helping her to restore her powers (by brutally killing her). He replies: “I deserve no credit for revealing what was always there. What victory there is is yours and yours alone. All that’s left for you to do is claim it.” This is the more fatherly version of Krakoan Apocalypse who was happy to see other mutants fully embracing his worldview.

PAGE 57. Apocalypse returns to Arakko.

Apocalypse tells his sidekick Orc that the mutants didn’t want him any more, and he seems to be accepting that his time may have passed. He’s toying with choosing an heir.

The ruined statute of Apocalypse in the foreground was originally a giant memorial to Apocalypse and Genesis, created when Arakko was terraformed; it was destroyed during the Arakko civil war in X-Men Red.

PAGES 58-59. Mystique kills Mother Righteous.

Mother Righteous is still in the sigil-inscribed Orchis cell where we last saw her in Rise of the Powers of X #4.

She made Mystique stab Destiny in Immortal X-Men #12.

The real Dr Stasis – who did indeed love Mother Righteous – died in Fall of the House of X #3. Mr Sinister and his outer-space counterpart Orbis Stellaris are still alive, though.

PAGE 60. Data page: a quote from Professor X. I’m not sure if it comes from anywhere in particular, but it’s a statement of the classic 20th century X-Men set-up, which was more about doing the right thing and setting a good example while waiting for the world to get better of its own accord. In 2025, it’s become rather outdated. The irony here seems to be that Professor X is in fact back at the school, as the Prisoner X who was referred to in Free Comic Book Day: Blood Hunt / X-Men.

PAGES 61-65. Professor X in prison.

Professor X is apparently immobilised in a cell designed to keep his powers suppressed. Except, we learn, he subverted the creation of the cell. It doesn’t work.

PAGE 66. The final Krakoan logo.

“Getting to Know You”
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colourist: GURU-eFX
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan D White

PAGES 67-76. This is a Nightcrawler story, giving Chris Claremont the chance to write Mystique and Destiny as Nightcrawler’s parents. I’m not going to cover this in detail, because it’s essentially faithful to the way in which this story played out in X-Men Blue: Origins and X-Men Forever #4, with a bit of smoothing over to explain why Mystique didn’t do more to act on the information she did remember; the only other reference is footnoted. Essentially, Nightcrawler hasn’t yet forgiven Mystique and Destiny for abandoning him, whatever their reasons; Rogue initially misinterprets the situation as a happy family reunion which the relationship has not yet got to that point.

“From the Ashes – a New Beginning!”
Writers: Jed MacKay & Gail Simone
Artist: Javier Garrón
Colour artist: Morry Hollowell
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Tom Brevoort

And on we go.

PAGE 77. Professor X reaches out from his cell to see the X-Men around the world.

Because this is a trailer and that’s what you do in trailer stories. Professor X acknowledges that he is once again estranged from the X-Men, and assumes this will be permanent.

PAGE 78. Cyclops leads Beast and Iceman to his new base.

We’re in Merle, Alaska (and Cyclops has a new costume). This is a former Orchis Sentinel factory which was smashed up in Avengers #12. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a place called Merle in Alaska, although there is an airport near Cordova called “Merle K. (Mudhole) Smith Airport”.

PAGE 79. Rogue and Gambit in Mexico City.

They’ll be forming the team for Uncanny X-Men, but for the moment they’re just on holiday.

Their first honeymoon, which Deadpool did indeed interrupt, was in Mr & Mrs X #1.

Professor X is being a bit harsh in saying that “the world I have left them is unkind and becoming unkinder still” – it seems pretty clearly to be on an upswing compared to the Orchis domination of recent months.

PAGE 80. Kate Pryde returns to a normal life.

Chris Claremont also had her working in a bar in Chicago for a time, when she had largely dropped out of superhero work.

PAGE 81. A montage of what others are up to.

  • Wolverine is running with wolves, which is how we see him in the promo art from the opening pages of Wolverine #1.
  • Kamala has apparently moved to New York City; she’ll be in NYX.
  • Havok is having some sort of crisis in Malibu, and we’ll see him in X-Factor.
  • Forge’s panel is similarly uninformative, but we’ll see him in X-Force.
  • Storm is addressing the UN, though it’s not clear who she’s representing.
  • Dazzler is back to singing, and apparently back to being popular again.

PAGE 82. Professor X consults Phoenix.

Jean is going to be off in space doing cosmic stuff in a solo title, which is one way of handling the massive power disparity between Phoenix and the rest of the X-Men. She evidently knows that Professor X’s psychic prison doesn’t work.

PAGES 83-84. Professor X apparently kills himself.

The implication, at least initially, is that he is satisfied that the X-Men are in an acceptable state, and that Phoenix is out there doing good on a grand scale. He’s no longer needed, and there’s no point just sitting around in this cell.

Our attention is specifically drawn to a P logo on the guards’ equipment, which seems to be new.

PAGE 85. Corina Ellis puts herself forward to run an anti-mutant project.

We already saw Ellis running a prison in the school building in Free Comic Book Day: Blood Hunt / X-Men. This is her applying for the job, but we don’t know yet who she’s working for – beyond the obvious fact that they have some sort of official status.

PAGE 86. Professor X is transported to the new “Graymalkin Prison.”

Graymalkin being the name of the road where the X-Men Mansion is located. Professor X has either failed to kill himself or was faking for some reason. Either way, he’s evidently the Prisoner X referred to in the FCBD issue.

PAGE 87. Credits for the trailer story.

PAGE 88. Trailers for the July launches.

Bring on the comments

  1. Midnighter says:

    Well, Third Eye was guilty of arguing that people should think carefully before giving birth to a child.
    And for this he was sentenced to the Pit on par with Sabretooth….

  2. Jon A says:

    Thank you Paul for your annotations, week-in and week-out and for cultivating a thriving community here!

    “Emma and Jean show Apocalypse telepathically that the Krakoans represent what mutantkind becomes when it no longer has to fight. He seems to accept that his conflict-based world view is simply not relevant to this version of mutantkind, which has escaped the battle.”

    Ewing’s take on Apocalypse in the later X-Men Red issues was that the conflict-based worldview was from Genesis and Apocalypse was against that approach during the first war with Amenth. There was a whole dialogue about “what is strength” in that one-shot. This seems to be a backslide.

    Also kind of interesting that they left Jon Ironfire, Genesis, and the rest of the Arakki mutants just kind of hanging out? I hope they are not summarily sent to some other cosmic plane in the Heir of Apocalypse series, and that they can somehow work in Arakko in this new era.

  3. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Let’s be real clear about what happened to Sabertooth.

    He’s a rapist serial killer who was pardoned for all his crimes and invited to live on the island with children because he’s a mutant.

    Then the unelected ruling council sent him on a black ops mission against humans, where he murdered humans because he’s a psychopathic serial killer. Shocking.

    Then he was arrested by the humans, but the Krakoans played big dick to have him removed from the custody of the people he actually hurt, because mutant superiority.

    Then the unelected government retroactively find him guilty of breaking a law they just created. Without trial, without representation, in secret.

    For killing humans on a mission they themselves sent a known mass murderer on.

    Then the confine him to the Pit for all ETERNITY, alive and conscious but unable to interact with the world. Forever.

    Then they patted themselves on the back and forgot about him.

    Then later they threw people into the Pit in secret and without trial for crimes as various as advocating birth control/abortion and literally for snooping around too close to the Quiet Council chambers.

    Krakoa was an evil place.

  4. Dave says:

    But a whole lot of mutants did get away with not making more mutants. Gambit & Rogue should definitely have been pitted.

  5. Chris V says:

    Yet the vast majority of the mutants who did make more mutants were throwing their babies in a garbage heap. If you are immortal and you live in the pleasure dome, why would you care about raising the next generation? Which is, I believe, where Hickman was going with that unpleasantness, that immortality is the curse Moira had used to set up the eventual fall of mutants (once Hickman decided that Krakoa was Moira’s trap).

  6. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I’d have loved a comic where they tried to throw Rogue and Gambit in the Pit and she just let loose on everyone.

    Maybe call Carol.

  7. Mike Loughlin says:

    I was surprised that some readers didn’t get that Krakoa was a very flawed concept (in-universe) from the beginning, and destined to fail. I was also surprised that some readers thought it was too perfect. The creative teams had to establish that the premise was successful (again, in-universe) before depicting its failure. In hindsight, I think the creative teams waited too long to show the cracks in Krakoa in a main title. New Mutants, Way of X, Hellions, X-Force, and Sabretooth were all side stories. Also, making Orchis the big bad of the Fall of X instead of civil war or totalitarianism on Krakoa put the blame for Krakoa’s end on an outside agency more than the mutants themselves.

  8. Loz says:

    Just after ‘Sins of Sinister’ it all seemed at a crisis point, evil Beast had sowed mistrust, Colossus was on the Council but compromised by his brother’s schemes so voting to tell the world mutants had taken over everything, Mystique stabbed Destiny, Storm turned on Xavier and even Jean and Scott were estranged in New York.

    And precisely all of that was just forgotten in favour of Orchis going generically evil and us getting the standard ‘evil people crush good people but the goodies survive long enough to rebuild and fight back’. Without Gillen handling the Rise side of things it would have been an absolute trash fire.

    The story of #35 was always going to be a hard sell, because it was always going to have to be ‘the mutants explain why they don’t go to paradise’ and why they stay on the shitty planet.

    I will give the ‘Breevort classic era’ a go but there is nothing that I’ve seen or heard yet that makes me want to stay. It sounds less interesting and more compromised than the Krakoa people complain about.

  9. Michael says:

    @Loz- there was a good reason why the X-Men stayed on Earth- they stayed to watch over the new mutants whose powers manifested themselves.

  10. Oldie says:

    The earliest attempt at building a modern prison was Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. The basic concept was to lock inmates in a small cell with little light and as little human contact as possible

    This is correct, as far as it goes. Ironically, the idea came from the Quaker religious community. They believed that solitary introspection would allow the inmates to be opened up to revelation from the Divine Spirit. It was intended and believed to be a radical experiment in rehabilitation.

    Of course, we know now that it was deeply misguided. Rehabilitation comes from building community connections, not severing them. The more isolated a person is from their community, the less likely it is that they’ll be able to successfully reintegrate. Pro-social behavior requires strong, healthy social connections. Severing those connections with incarceration or isolation is always counterproductive.

  11. Moonstar Dynasty says:

    @Uncanny X-Ben:

    (As a minor note, Xavier *did* state that there might have been a future opportunity for redemption at a later juncture, but we never saw any of that play out before the Sabretooth minis came out.)

    While I don’t disagree that Krakoa’s justice system was terrible (and, by extension, their entire system of governance), I have to ask if you think the US is much better? Because, sans exaggerated comic book elements like the Pit’s “eternity” clause, I don’t see how Krakoa’s justice system is functionally more evil than the US, whose entire system is fundamentally racist, unjust, and inhumane–from its law enforcement (which in its 400 years of existence has always been racist) all the way to its forms of punishments (mandatory minimums, disproportionate incarceration rates of PoCs for minor offenses, existence of solitary confinement/state sanctioned torture and the death penalty).

    Echoing Mike Loughlin, I never once looked at Krakoa and thought, “Wow, what a great, thoughtfully-designed government and nation-state!” It seemed obvious that, very early on, Krakoa was being presented as a fundamentally and critically flawed concept from the ground up, destined to crumble under the weight of its own failure and hubris. (Xavier even foreshadowed this himself whenever he said that the business of running a nation could be “distasteful” or something like that after sentencing Creed to the Pit.)

    And while the story occasionally waded into those waters, that is *of course* not the story we ended up with, because it wouldn’t be a Big 2 comic if it didn’t tease the potential of breaking the norms and boundaries of its own self-imposed superhero conventions after introducing a paradigm-shifting concept like HoXPoX, only to get cold feet, reel it back in, and default to Falcon (Phoenix?) Punching faceless bigots and racist robots.

  12. Michael says:

    @Moonstar- I think the problem is that a lot of readers seemed to think of Krakoa as a good example of a state for marginalized people and tended to view suggestions that it was a bad idea as reactionary. It’s the same problem with Sarah Connor’s famous “men who build things” speech in Terminator 2. Sarah says that the reason men build weapons of destruction is because they don’t know what it’s like to give birth, while plotting to murder a man because she thinks it’s necessary. The point of course is that men build weapons of destruction for the same reason that Sarah is plotting to kill someone- because they rationalize it as necessary. But a lot of fans viewed Sarah as a feminist hero instead of a deluded hypocrite.

  13. Moonstar Dynasty says:

    @Michael: That is absolutely not the point of the Sarah Connor quote. She was specifically accusing men–particularly those in positions of power–of only knowing how to engineer death and destruction, and contrasting that with the creation of life through childbirth–a sensation and phenomenon that men will never know. Where’s the lie?

    Additionally, you are presupposing that the *only* reason men build weapons of destruction is “necessity,” which distorts the truth that these weapons are *always* a matter of power and control.

    But, *in spite of* this knowledge of the future, Sarah ultimately decides to spare Dyson’s life, avoiding any sort Minority Report-style dispensation of justice, so I genuinely don’t see the problem here.

    And even if you still disagree, why can’t Sarah be both a feminist hero and a character who makes mistakes? History is filled with celebrated male heroes who led–sometimes destructively–imperfect lives, so why the extra penalty against Sarah just because she’s a woman or “feminist hero?” Nothing you’ve outlined negates the fact that she *is* a feminist icon, particularly at a time where female characters who 1) were competent; 2) had their own agency; and 3) weren’t subjected to the male gaze were appallingly rare in cinema history. Seems to me you were just eager to draw an arbitrary line from Sarah’s unsavory pursuit of justice to her feminist status to invalidate said feminist status because, reasons? Feel free to illuminate.

    Addressing your larger point about readers who did celebrate Krakoa as an ideal: When has any readership or audience ever had a uniformly perfect interpretation of any thing in popular media? It’s certainly not unlike people on the alt-right accusing X-Men ’97 of being woke when that’s precisely the entire brand of X-Men. It just goes to show that even if you told the most perfect, unambiguous story of the dangers of the slippery slope of racism, the point is *still* going to sail over their heads. In these cases, we discuss, we debate, we shout and scream into the void until our faces are blue in futility on these forums/social media platforms. (And then, since sociology states that facts don’t actually change people’s minds, we wait a generation or two for these older cohorts to die off and for younger generations to adopt more modern, sensible approaches, which, good luck to humanity!)

  14. Dave says:

    Woke is different to old style ideas of equality and tolerance. That’s why it has a new name (not that I’m saying the cartoon is woke; I haven’t seen it).

  15. Oldie says:

    Woke is different to old style ideas of equality and tolerance. That’s why it has a new name

    The idea of being “woke” goes back to 1960’s African-American social activism. It simply means to become aware of the ways in which society is structured to privilege some people, and to repress others.

    It was hijacked by the right in the exact same way “politically correct” was hijacked thirty years earlier, and abused into representing a whole range of both reasonable and unreasonable ideas on the left.

    The anti-racism of Kendi and DiAngelo was very influential around the same time that “woke” entered the wider discourse. As a consequence, the term was exploited to refer to some of the excesses of that strain of progressive thought. Look at what Chris Rufo did with the term “critical race theory,” which had been around for decades and meant nothing like the meaning he gave to it in conservative media.

    “Woke” still simply means to become aware of structural inequities. What those inequities are, and how we talk about them can vary, and does change over time.

  16. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I don’t really want to get started on how fucked up actual justice systems are.

    I’m just highlighting how insane Krakoa’s is, and how so many readers seem to not have a problem with it.

    Gimme shitty U.S. justice any day of the week.

  17. Moonstar Dynasty says:

    Because Krakoa doesn’t exist.

    Just like mutants don’t exist.

    It’s possible to enjoy the fictional conceit of a mutant nation-state from a narrative perspective while not endorsing any of its accompanying policies or worldviews. Contrary to what you may believe, they are not mutually exclusive. (Not unlike the meltdown some people were having over Mystique and Destiny’s popularity in last week’s X-Axis roundup…)

    And look–we get it. You hate Krakoa. I’m surprised since you’ve only been mentioning it for 5 years straight.

    But if you want to continue to engage in a dismissive and intellectually disingenuous manner, i.e., drop in solely to be negative and dip back out without actually engaging in any of the conversation, free world, I suppose.

  18. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I started typing a big response and realized I was wasting my time.

    Once someone busts out “intellectually disingenuous” it’s over.

  19. Paul, I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention the three different versions of “To me, my X-Men” in the epilog. “To me? My Ex.” “Men.” is downright clever.

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