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Jul 3

The X-Axis – w/c 1 July 2024

Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2024 by Paul in x-axis

X-MEN: FROM THE ASHES INFINITY COMIC #4. By Alex Paknadel, Diógenes Neves, Arthur Hesli & Clayton Cowles. Moving on to the book’s second arc – which still feels like weird timing when X-Men #1 isn’t even out yet, but okay. And it seems we have an actual regular creative team on this book now, which is a different approach. This arc, “What Charlie Did…”, is about journalist Sally Floyd trying to make sense of Professor X’s recent heel turn and his handing himself in to the authorities after Fall of the House of X. If you’re struggling to place Sally Floyd, then she’s the alcoholic journalist from Generation M, a miniseries from the Decimation period. After that, she got shunted over to the wider Marvel Universe as one of its cast of available journalists, but I don’t think the X-books have done anything with her since Generation M, and she doesn’t seem to have been used anywhere in several years. Still, if you’re looking for a viewpoint character to write about mutantdom, she’s as good as any.

This first chapter is really just restatement of ideas. Sally’s basic role as a talented journalist and recidivist alcoholic is set up again, and we get a recap of all the things Professor X has done wrong- specifically, the things that were turning points in how the character was interpreted – coupled with a reminder of his more straightforwardly heroic moments that have been downplayed over the years. The project here is apparently to explain how these conflicting versions of the character are meant to work together, but part of the angle is some weird Arthurian connection in Xavier’s self-image. Hard to say at this point where they’re going with this, and it certainly seems a bit early to be setting up Xavier for rehabilitation from the end of Krakoa, but we’ll see.

DEADPOOL VS. WOLVERINE: SLASH ’EM UP #3. By Christos Gage, Alan Robinson, Carlos Lopez & Joe Sabino. I know it’s the concept, and I know it’s an Infinity Comic, but this feels like it’s a bit high on the endless fight scenes and a bit light on the… well, everything else. It does have a detour to Wolverine telling Deadpool what it was like to regain his lost memories, and that leads to a genuinely creative cliffhanger – a silly one, but that’s fine, it’s a Deadpool story. But it’s hard to make anything emotional land in a story where Deadpool is co-starring because he tends to overpower everything he’s in. The current WWIII miniseries gets round this problem by having Deadpool transformed near the end of issue #1 so that he stops talking. This feels more like an extended fight scene that’s paying lip service to the idea of being a story, at least at this point.

X-MEN: BLOOD HUNT – PSYLOCKE #1. By Steve Foxe, Lynne Yoshii, Ruth Redmond & Ariana Maher. How many versions of “vampires are running wild” can you do? This issue’s solution is to interpret the brief very, very loosely indeed. Vampires? Well, what about any old supernatural monster? Sure, let’s go with that. It’s stretching the concept, but if you don’t stretch the concept, it’s not going to run to as many tie-in issues as Marvel want.

So here are Kwannon and Greycrow, still a couple, in Osaka when darkness falls. And instead of vampires, we’ve got Kuchisake-onna. Apparently there’s a difference of view about whether this is a genuine historical Japanese myth or a more modern story akin to an urban legend. Either way, the character is a maimed woman who goes around demanding to know whether people think she’s pretty, kills everyone who says no, and maims everyone who says yes. (According to Wikipedia, she will accept “middling” as an answer and leave you alone.) Foxe’s idea, of course, is that this character has some resonance with Kwannon, which makes some sense. There’s some rather good art in this too, and I like the fact that Kwannon seems to be using the Psylocke identity here precisely because she’s trying to save civilians and wants to present to them as reassuring. The issue stumbles towards the end by spelling out the moral far too directly: “I believed that for far too long. But now I’ve channeled my rage into making sure no one else must go through what I have…” Still, the idea is solid and nothing remotely turns on it being a Blood Hunt tie-in.

WOLVERINE: DEEP CUT #1. By Chris Claremont, Edgar Salazar, Carlos Lopez & Travis Lanham. Are we just doing an endless series of Chris Claremont continuity implant minis, then? There are certainly worse things you could do with him. For example, have you been waiting since 1989 to find out why Wolverine took a leave of absence from the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #246? Probably not but… sure, why not? It’s an anchor in history, and that can help this sort of implant story.

So we’re in the Australia era, and it’s Wolverine’s birthday. Wolverine assumes that since he’s meant to be dead, Sabretooth will attack Mariko Yashida instead, and he’s right. So he shows up to fight Sabretooth, since he assumes that if Sabretooth knows he’s alive, then he’ll leave Mariko alone and… hmm, that would mean that this story takes place before Wolverine #10, where Sabretooth did know that Wolverine was alive. How many birthdays did Wolverine have in this period? Oh well.

Much of this issue is devoted to an extended fight scene between Wolverine and Sabretooth, which ultimately turns out to be a reason to send Wolverine after Mr Sinister alone. Claremont’s vision for Mr Sinister was very different from the way continuity eventually turned out, so that’s an interesting area for him to revist. As a first issue… well, it’s an extended Wolverine/Sabretooth fight scene, possibly not well served by coming so soon after a ten-part Wolverine/Sabretooth storyline. But Salazar does a good classic Sabretooth, and Claremont’s Wolverine is still pleasingly familiar.

Bring on the comments

  1. Omar Karindu says:

    Maybe Sally Floyd will suggest Xavier’s fall from grace happened because he doesn’t use WhatsApp or ask, “Why should people listen to Charles Xavier over Charli XCX?”

  2. JBfaeDundee says:

    Charli XCX’s new album is banging.

  3. Chris says:

    Charles Xavier is just having his BRAT summer.

  4. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I liked Sally Floyd originally, but whoever wrote that “you don’t know what the modern America is because you don’t watch NASCAR” scene with Steve Rogers pretty much nuked that character.

    Paknadel seems to pretty much wind the clock back to Generation M regarding her portrayal.

  5. Jim says:

    Krakoa would have worked out fine if the Quiet Council had been a group chat.

  6. Si says:

    Once and Future King was referenced in the first X-Men movie. It feels like the kind of thing Claremont would make a big deal out of, but I’m not sure if he did (beyond paraphrasing the title in exposition).

  7. The Other Michael says:

    My impression of FTA #4 is that the destruction of the Agnew (and who, I ask, who the heck would ever name -anything- after America’s most disgraced Vine-President…) was possibly a false flag operation based on the correlation of crew names to Xavier’s favorite books, but…

    Wolverine had a lot of birthdays because he couldn’t remember his real one, so he just celebrated whenever he felt like it. That’s my answer.

  8. Omar Karindu says:

    But how did Sabretooth know when to stalk Wolverine on his randomized birthday?

  9. Chris V says:

    Because it wasn’t his unbirthday on that day.

  10. CalvinPitt says:

    We’ll learn Sabretooth just attacked Wolverine whenever he found him and claimed it was Logan’s birthday. With Logan’s shoddy memory, as Other Michael alluded to, Logan didn’t know any better to contradict him.

  11. Si says:

    And it turns out Wolverine is only 23 years old, he invented all those memories of the 19th century to justify how many birthdays he’s had.

  12. Omar Karindu says:

    All that “James Howlett” flashback stuff was just Wolverine drunkenly writing bad historical fiction after reading Wacousta and The Canadian Brothers.

  13. Michael says:

    @The Other Michael- I interpreted it that way too. But how is that possible? I mean, when Xavier first destroyed the Agnew, I wondered if he saved the crew somehow, like by teleporting them to Limbo or some other dimension that was outside of Enigma’s perception. But if the destruction of the Agnew was a ruse to trick Enigma, why not reveal it five minutes after Enigma was defeated? Moreover. Xavier had a whole conversation with Magneto in X-Men 700 and he acted like he really did kill the people aboard the Agnew. Also, Logan nearly killed him in that issue and he didn’t just tell Logan that it was a trick. And if it was a ruse, it would jeopardize human-mutant relations to let people think the founder of the X-Men killed humans.
    On a side note. why didn’t the X-Men explain that Xavier killed the people aboard the Agnew as a part of a plan to save humanity instead of letting the world think Xavier just did it to spare mutantkind? That’s not an excuse but it arguably would lessen human-mutant tensions.
    On a side note, note that Sally Floyd’s mutant daughter is still dead. That’s confirmation that the Four resurrected all the victims of the Genoshan massacre but not all the dead mutants.
    Also, note that Warren has nosebleeds when talking to Sally Floyd. Is this evidence that Warren is being mind-controlled? Or is this something that will be dealt with in X-Factor?

  14. Michael says:

    The continuity problems with Wolverine: Deep Cut 1 are worse than anyone has mentioned. In the original stories, Wolverine fights Sabretooth, and Sinister, who Sabretooth is working for, during Inferno, which is how Sabretooth learns that Wolverine is alive. Then, Wolverine seemingly kills Sabretooth at the end of Inferno. Then, in Wolverine 10, Sabretooth lets Wolverine know he’s alive. So how does this story make any sense whatsoever? Since this takes place after inferno, Wolverine should know that Sabretooth knows he’s alive. Or does he think the Sabretooth in inferno was a clone too? And if Sinister knows that Logan is alive, and Sinister created the clone, then why was the clone attacking Mariko because it thought that Logan was dead?
    This is a reference to a plot Claremont had- his idea was that all the Sabretooths except the one in his first appearance and the ones that attack on Wolverine’s birthday were inferior clones created by Sinister. But the editors never let him go through with it, and trying to implement it now would be nonsensical, since Sabretooth probably referred to all those appearances at one point or another.
    Also, why does Logan think Sinister is alive? Sinister seemingly died at the end of Inferno, this story takes place circa Uncanny 246 and the X-Men found out Sinister was alive when Madrox saw Sinister in X-Factor 75, which takes place after Uncanny X-Men 281. So Logan should still think Sinister is dead..
    But worst of all, the question of what Wolverine was doing after he left the X-Men was ALREADY RESOLVED almost 35 years ago. in Wolverine’s own series, a few months after Uncanny 246, we saw that Wolverine left the X-Men to rescue his enemy Roughhouse. In Wolverine 21, we saw Psylocke trying to find Wolverine and failing shortly before the X-Men went looking for Lorna in Uncanny 249, with a footnote to that issue, and then in Wolverine 23, we saw Wolverine driving to rejoin the X-Men, which is how he was ambushed by the Reavers in Uncanny 251.
    This series is a disaster continuity-wise, just like some of the other recent miniseries by “classic” creators. We had the Spider-Man series by Peter David where Spider-Man fights Smythe while wearing his symbiote costume, even though Spidey didn’t meet Smythe until after he got rid of the symbiote. And the Venom series by Michelinie where Eddie fights the original Melter and the original Porcupine, both of whom were dead by the time Eddie first appeared. The older creators have very poor memories at this point in their lives. And the editors can’t be bothered to check them.

  15. Michael says:

    @Si- Claremont had Jean say that the Once and Future King was Xavier’s favorite book.
    The Psylocke one-shot felt like it could have been better. The problem was that the monster was supposed to be a parallel to Kwannon because both of them had suffered betrayals but the story never mentioned what Kwannon’s betrayals were. (Matsuo trying to turn Betsy-in-Kwannon’s-body into Kwannon instead of trying to find Kwannon? Emma giving Empath a way to cause Alex to crazy in the event Sinister tried something with warning Kwannon, which resultsed in the destruction of the only way to bring Kwannon’s kid back? No, we’ve been trying to forget that last once since Hellions ended.)

  16. Jdsm24 says:

    No-Prize time :
    616-Continuity Discrepancies are due to missing memories everything 616-Sabretooth and 616-Wolverine hyper-heal from apparent death (it’s canonical in 616) and 616-Sinister transferring his spirit to new clone bodies when the old clone bodies get killed . Peter and the Venom symbiote briefly reunited at the time he fought Alistiair Smythe but split permenently afterwards . The OG Melter and OG Porcupine were resurrected when they fought Venom , but died again off-panel afterwards , and nobody bothered to resurrect them again later . Or they were secretly deep-cover Skrull agents (brainwashed w/ fake memories) in the 616-USAmerican professional-supervillain community

  17. JDSM24 says:

    Furthermore , Charles asked the X-Men not to tell the rest of everybody else the factual truth because Reasons: a) it’s too over-the-top even by 616-standards , b) it would be pointless and useless as the anti-mutant foes would just ignore it and the pro-mutant fans & friends wouldn’t really care either , c) he already has had for the longest time a bad rep among the global x-gene mutant community for being a sell-out Uncle Tom House Mutant to the global flatscans Establishment and this will give him some legit streetcred back among those who believe that he is merely a puppet / pawn / stooge / simp / sap / sucker of the human military-industrial political-economic complex (for analogy , see what happened with the PLO/Fatah and Hamas and the Palestinian Nation after the collapse of the Camp David Accords)

  18. Michael says:

    @Kryzsiek- It was Paul Jenkins who created her and Paul Jenkins who wrote the NASCAR line. A lot of Jenkins’s Civil War work was subpar- the most notorious example being Speedball being turned into Bleedball, um., Penance.

  19. K says:

    It’s like in Fantastic Four right now. “Why don’t the FF just tell everyone they made several blocks of NYC disappear for a year for good reasons.”

    There is no good way to screw with other people’s lives without even telling them.

  20. Skippy says:

    Sally’s speech to Cap about MySpace at the end of Civil War Frontline is the part of that book everyone remembers, but I recall her confrontation with Stark being much more egregious.

    It went something like: “I know you enslaved the Green Goblin and made him assassinate Atlanteans in order to bring America to the brink of war, but I know you did it for patriotic reasons, so rest assured we’ll bury the story.”

    Jenkins is a pretty good writer sometimes, but every time he delves into politics the result is incoherent and bad. Unfortunately he likes to do that a lot.

  21. Ronnie Gardocki says:

    I recall from Civil War Frontline the odd choice to juxtapose real letters/poetry written during Japanese internment with a Captain America Iron Man dustup.

  22. Michael says:

    @Skippy- to clarify, Sally explained that Tony wasn’t TRYING to kill any Atlanteans. She explains that Tony controlled Osborn into shooting at an Atlantean ambassador at a press conference with a gun whose caliber would kill a normal person, but due to differences in Atlantean physiology. only wound an Atlantean.
    Except that, the reporters at the press conference weren’t Atlanteans. If they had been hit by the gun, or if someone returned fire, they could have been killed. Why don’t Ben and Sally care about Tony endangering their fellow reporters? Ben should have been furious with Tony after what he went through with Elektra. This was an example of Jenkins’ subpar writing during Civil War.

  23. Chris V says:

    Paul Jenkins did a good job incorporating politics on his run on Hellblazer. Jenkins was a great writer, but it seemed to me he found Civil War a dumb idea, so he phoned it in writing anything related to Civil War.
    If I remember correctly, Jenkins took a hiatus from comics after the Civil War related books. He was also dealing with health issues at one point, and I can’t remember if it was around this time he had to take a break from comics due to his health.

    I’m sure that turning Speedball into Penance was editorially mandated rather than an idea from Jenkins. Jenkins was just given the unenviable task to do the heavy lifting. At the very least, Penance is one of the most unintentionally funny concepts in comic history. I’m not defending Jenkins’ work on the character which was subpar, considering Warren Ellis actually somehow made the character work.

  24. Michael says:

    @Chris V- Jenkins described the creation of Penance here:

    “That idea was literally created as Joe Quesada and I walked about six blocks in New York from his home to a pub where we were meeting with a few comic creators. Joe asked me if I felt I could do anything with Speedball. Apparently he had been teasing a few fans for a couple of years, saying he was going to kill Speedball. Naturally, I told him, “yes.” Then I asked him who the hell Speedball was.

    I pitched the story within about three minutes and he and I hammered it out by the time we got to the pub. Then we got drunk and forgot everything. What you read was the result of our drinking.”
    Obviously a lot of this is tongue in check but it does seem like he and Quesada came up with the concept of Penance together even though Jenkins knew little about Robbie and no one at Marvel had the courage to tell Quesada how stupid it was.

  25. Chris V says:

    Well, at least it wasn’t too far off as to how I envisioned the creation of Penance in my mind, involving lots of booze and Jenkins wondering why the Marvel editor-in-chief was offering him hard drugs.
    “Oh no, Joe. You aren’t tricking me into getting involved with one of those Marvel eyes-wide-shut parties.”

  26. Karl_H says:

    Earth 616222, the Earth where Wolverine accidentally stabs Storm in the head in Wolverine: Deep Cut, is one of the more awkward alternate Earths.

  27. ASV says:

    I get that you can’t pick at this kind of thing in comics, but the first page of Kwannon and Greycrow in the city is nuts. They go from outside the city to downtown (by train? car?) because “blood is being shed” and promptly go to the top of a building. Behind them are a bunch of taller buildings, and in front of them are a bunch of shorter buildings. Then they *jump to the ground* and are surprised to find a bunch of death and destruction.

  28. Sean Whitmore says:

    It may be best not to think of these minis as “continuity implants”, because they fit into continuity about as gracefully as a third row of teeth could be implanted in my head.

    It’s just some old faves playing the hits in a time period they’re more accustomed to. I’m more happy they’re getting the work than anything.

  29. The Other Michael says:

    “It’s just some old faves playing the hits in a time period they’re more accustomed to. I’m more happy they’re getting the work than anything.”

    Especially Peter A. David, who’s had a string of issues over the past few years. I feel like someone at Marvel is well-enough inclined towards these older fan favs like PAD, Claremont, Michelinie, etc, to throw them work that allows them to revisit their greatest hits without necessarily playing in the current sandbox. Get the nostalgia appeal, attract the older fans who remember their heydeys, and do just well enough to justify these minis.

    Is it cynical of me to see these continuity implant minis as Marvel’s way of helping out aging fan favorites? Maybe, probably not. I know it was said recently that Claremont was never gonna get to write the current X-Men in anything ongoing or serious because he had a very particular opinion/attachment/viewpoint about how they should be handled thanks to his own classic run, and those days were long over… so here we are. A Wolverine mini that will never affect anything other than to make Paul go back and retrofit it into his History of Wolverine column. 🙂

  30. Thom H. says:

    I assumed that Claremont still had his exclusive deal with Marvel or was on retainer or however you say it. So he gets paid whether he’s writing or not. Maybe PAD and/or others have the same deal? Which would definitely be a stand-up move by the company.

  31. Mike Loughlin says:

    Sure, it’s good of Marvel to continue to employ older writers and artists in order to give them a living.

    It would have been far better to have a health care & retirement program. If they still want to write or draw and Marvel still wants to publish their work, great! If not, that’s what gofundme is for, right?

    (None of the above ire is directed at any commenter, merely the comic book industry, the work-for-hire concept, the screwed up American health care industry, and late-stage capitalism)

  32. Mark Coale says:

    It’s also nice for a publisher to put out a variety of styles of books, including fans who may want a more classic superhero comic. We’re long past the need for someone to read an entire company’s output. Having a couple out of continuity or continuity implant books isn’t taking away the mainline X or Spidey or Avengers books.

  33. Chris says:

    “Late-stage capitalism” lol

  34. Chris V says:

    It’s just a Marxist-adjacent term, it doesn’t have any determinist connotations. It refers to the stage of Capitalism comprised of high-technology, speculative financial capital over productive capital, economic globalization, and growing income inequality. It’s used in opposition to early-Capitalism, classical Capitalism (late 19th to pre-WW I), and modern Capitalism (post-WW II to post-Keynesianism). Some people prefer neo-Capitalism, but that term seems to be less prevalent.

  35. Michael says:

    Breevort tried to explain what he meant by “no future characters” on his blog:;
    “Does Rasputin IV appear in this new phase of the X-Men, or was she shelved?”

    “I’m not going to make any bones about this, Alison. One of my first decrees to all of my creative teams as we started things up was that I wanted everything to take place in the here and now. And I wanted it to be digestible for ordinary people who hadn’t been following the books for a couple of years. So that meant momentarily sidelining any characters who came from the future or from an alternate timeline or any of that stuff. I made one or two exceptions—I permitted Rachel to be a part of X-FORCE because she was attached to Betsy. She’s also a long-established character, one that I think you can get into without even needing to immediately mention “grew up during Days of Future Past and was a mutant-hunting slave-hound”. Even relatively popular characters such as Cable and Bishop were sidelined for this reason. They’ll all begin to show up here and there as we get things established, but at the outset, i wanted a clean entry point, and there was already a ton of baggage from Krakoa that needed to be covered without trying to do alternate future origin or “a chimera made from the DNA of four other mutants”.”

  36. Mark coale says:

    I applaud putting a moratoria on multiverse characters. Once clever, now a plague.

  37. Salomé H. says:

    Reading Brevoorts’ Substack is so, so bizarre. A completely transparent lack of enthusiasm about any of the characters or understanding of the relations between them, and such a snide, nearly resentful tone in his response to fans in general…

    There is nothing about this relaunch that doesn’t sound terrible, with the possible exception of Gail Simone writing the X-Men for the first time ever – but even that feels very void of the kind of loud, surprising and exciting campaigning that surrounded Morrison, Whedon (ew) or Hickman…

    Genuinely: who are these comics *for*? Is there anything happening here that even remotely feels like the proper start of an era – and not a lazy retread on the X-Men Gold/Blue/Red set up…?

    I know we’ll all be having this conversation cone Wednesday evening, but, Jesus: this feels really. really uninteresting.

  38. Si says:

    There’s an interesting hint there, that Rachel Summers is ok to use because she’s an established character, while Cable and Bishop are out. Rachel debuted 43 years ago, while li’l mayfly Cable debuted a mere 34 years ago. Also Cable has been in print for the majority of his time, often in a solo comic, and was a central character in the second Deadpool movie, while Rachel is often out of print for years, and I can’t even remember what her current code name is.

    We’re being taken back to a very specific time period, it would seem.

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree completely that there’s too many alternate future goobers, and they should be portioned out. I just question the methodology.

  39. Michael says:

    @Si- The other theory is that it’s because Rachel is bi, while Cable and Bishop are straight. Hence, the “attached to Betsy” line.It looks like Breevort just managed to offend everyone and should have kept his mouth shut.

  40. Thom H. says:

    Tom Brevoort really can’t get it right, but what can you expect on the internet?

    I’m not here to defend the direction of his X-books. I’m pretty sure the retro-90s style isn’t going to be for me. But I enjoy reading his newsletter every week. It’s a no-nonsense peek into the editorial process, which I find interesting.

    And I like the way he addresses fans for the most part. Especially when he pushes back on people who hound him with the same questions over and over again, propound conspiracies against their favorite characters, or pass judgment on books no one’s read yet. Someone needs to keep things in perspective, and I’m glad he does.

  41. Michael says:

    @Thom H- I think what’s driving people crazy is his insisting people from the future shouldn’t be on the books at first because they’re confusing and then making one of the first villains in MacKay’s X-Men Trevor Fitzroy. it would be like if a Justice League editor decreed that there would be no aliens in the book and then making one of the first villains the League fights General Zod.

  42. Salomé H. says:

    @Si and Michael: Agreed. What an utterly bizarre little line of reasoning, even from a commercial perspective.

    Rachel remains given her proximity to Betsy, who im turn has been stripped of all the recognizable traits that rendered her most popular across the 1980s/1990s/2000s, in a peculiar turn in the direction of Claremontian lore and the Excalibur imaginary. Regardless of the complicated reception of Tini Howard’s work on the Krakoa era.

    Cable and Bishop, both of which distill 90s nostalgic bravado to a testosterone- and buckle-ridden t, who have figured heavily in the recent 97 cartoon, and who figured prominently on decisive storylines for the direction of the line over the last couple of decades (thinking especially of Messiah Compex/Hope Summers) get kicked into the “too convoluted” bin.

    I hope I’m surprised by the quality of the titles themselves, because none of these seem like very interesting decisions to me – even if you do want to follow through on the cartoon/90s nostalgia for maximum accessibility. But who knows.

    @Thom: that’s fair. But I’m not sure the (maybe accidental) level of derisiom that comes through is of any use whatsoever for anyone involved. His comment on the Eve Ewing title was especially bizarre: “she could have suggested otherwise, but she didn’t, so that’s that”?

    Honest rarely needs to translate into stand-offish – but I guess it comes down to taste.

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