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Dec 23

The X-Axis – 23 December 2012

Posted on Sunday, December 23, 2012 by Paul in x-axis

It’s the week before Christmas, and the scheduling bunnies are on acid.  Perhaps it’s a rush to get all this month’s remaining books out before the holiday season hits, but the result is a full-on deluge of X-books if ever there was one – ten books in a single week, surely more than anyone could actually want.

A+X #3 – The stories in this anthology title have generally been pretty decent so far, but I still struggle to believe that it’s a format that will sustain sales once readers and retailers figure out what it actually contains.  If it does, so much the better – that would imply that it’s selling on entertainment value (of which it has some) rather than significance to continuity (of which it has virtually zero), and that would be no bad thing.

Some people might regard this issue’s lead story as having a bit of significance, though.  It’s a Storm/Black Panther story by Jason Aaron and Pasqual Ferry, and the first story that has to deal with their marriage being casually annulled during Avengers vs X-Men.  I never liked the marriage, which committed the twin sins of matching up two characters solely because they were African, and relegating Storm to the status of a supporting character in somebody else’s book, and I have no particular problem with the reset button being hit on it – but Avengers vs X-Men did it in such a throwaway fashion that somebody else was always going to have to try and unpack the consequences to provide a degree of resolution.

Jason Aaron bites the bullet and takes on the task, in a story which mainly serves to reconcile the two characters on a personal level.  He has the Panther take the line that the annulment of their marriage was a political inevitability once the X-Men attacked Wakanda, which seems a viable way of justifying the story while allowing some closure to the relationship.  It’s still a story that mainly seems intended to draw a line under a direction that one suspects has been belatedly recognised as an error, but it does at least do so while making the relationship between the duo themselves make sense.  It’s trying to satisfy both camps by validating the romance for those who accepted it while shutting down the marriage so that we never have to talk about it again if we don’t want to – a tricky balancing act, but I think Aaron pulls it off.

The back-up strip is a Hawkeye/Gambit story by James Asmus and Billy Tan.  Basically, the idea is that they’re trying to rescue a pretty girl from a nasty demon and competing with one another to impress her at the same time, which is a solid enough idea for one of these shorts.  Since Asmus is the regular writer on the Gambit solo title, it should come as no real surprise that his boy comes out on top.  The interplay between the two maybe doesn’t work as well as it ought to, since by playing the story mainly from Gambit’s perspective, Asmus ends up nudging Hawkeye towards the role of uptight foil, for which he’s not really suited.

All-New X-Men #4 – Four issues in, we reach the confrontation between the original X-Men and Scott’s new team.  Kind of.  What actually happens: there’s an inconclusive fight between the two groups, and the new team retreat.  This being a Brian Bendis comic, everyone on both sides then has a sit down to talk about what just happened, which leads to the original X-Men deciding that, hey, maybe they should just go home after all.  And then we go back to the storyline about Beast dying.

This is a rather better series than Bendis’ Avengers was, not least because he’s doing a far better job here of juggling his large cast and maintaining a sense of direction.  Nonetheless, he’s always been a writer more interested in the character scenes than the action side of superhero comics, and that’s very much apparent in an action scene where the action serves no real purpose; the point of the scene is simply for it to have happened, so that the characters have met and can proceed to talk about it.  Bendis needs the original X-Men to want to hunt down the new team so that that confrontation can happen; but as soon that’s been done, that motivation becomes an inconvenience and it’s instantly dropped.  This would be fine if it really did feel like a change of attitude that resulted from the encounter itself, but I don’t get that sense.

In fact, quite a lot of this feels decidedly forced, for reasons that are understandable but still leave the strings all too visible.  Bendis needs the adult Scott to accept the teenage Scott as genuine, so we get a page of internal narration designed to explain why he accepts time travel as the most likely explanation.  I see why Bendis needs to get there and doesn’t want to waste time on having the original team prove their authenticity, but the fact remains that the modern day characters seem all too easy to convince, simply because the plot would prefer to get to the point where they believe.  And it’s fair enough that this is where Bendis wants to get to; it’s just that it doesn’t feel as organic as it should.

Still, it’s a beautiful looking comic, and there are interesting ideas here in the direction of Scott’s new version of the team.  I’m not sure Bendis has really got a grip on Emma Frost, who appears to have lost much of her signature snark, but the basic idea of her being stuck with Scott for want of any better options even after things have gone horribly wrong is a concept with potential.

Astonishing X-Men #57 – Whither Astonishing X-Men?  It doesn’t sell all that well, and it’s being lined up for a crossover with Age of Apocalypse and X-Treme X-Men in 2013.  Since those two books both have sales figures that would surely seem to put them on the danger list, it doesn’t seem like auspicious company to be keeping.

But in the meantime, we have the opening chapter in a Warbird storyline that picks up on the origin story established for the character by Jason Aaron in Wolverine and the X-Men: essentially, that she’s been raised in a military culture which has driven her to suppress artistic tendencies that she sees as weakness.  In this story, she learns about an alien icon found on Earth and races off to investigate, because she recognises it as a creation of a race the Shi’ar wiped out long ago.  The idea is that this race were making art that the Shi’ar regarded as weapons of psychological warfare, though pretty much every other character instantly realises that the problem here might well have been more with the Shi’ar feeling threatened by something they didn’t understand.  The icon might be a weapon of some sort, though it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that, with the direction of this story, it’ll probably turn out to be something like a music box which is More Dangerous Than Any Bomb.

It’s picking up on the direction established for the character and helping to develop her beyond the strident comic relief figure she was initially presented as.  To use her as a main character, Marjorie Liu needs to play up another side of her character, and this is what she has to work with.  The long term direction is presumably that she continues to struggle between the values of her culture and her personal interests, and has to do so while living alongside people who think the values of her culture on this point are plainly wrong.  There’s a good story to be done with that, and Liu’s taking the classic approach of constructing a superhero story around an admittedly not too subtle metaphor for those immigrant themes.

Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Felix Ruiz provide some excellent artwork; Walta in particular seems by now to have figured out how to strike a balance between his personal style and a more conventional superhero approach, and even manages to accommodate Warbird’s faintly ridiculous costume without it seeming out of place.  A decent issue on the whole, if a shade heavy handed.

Cable & X-Force #2 – Crikey, this is slow.  It’s trying for a time honoured structure, where you have something seemingly inexplicable happening in the present and cut back to flashbacks showing how we got to this point.  The “something seemingly inexplicable” is the new X-Force having apparently attacked somewhere or other and killed people there – though it has to be said that the first issue didn’t do a particularly good job of selling this as anything other than a routine action sequence.  The flashbacks are an extended “gathering of the team” sequence which also help to establish that Cable is having visions of some sort of upcoming nastiness and wants to save the world one last time.

But it’s taking its sweet time getting to any sort of point.  About half of this issue is Domino and Hope fighting something techno-organic on a beach, a scene which is far longer than it needs to be given how little actually happens in it.  This is a series with real pacing problems; thus far it seems to be doing a long, drawn-out reveal of its own premise, but that means that two issues in, it has yet to provide any real hook for the audience.

Gambit #7 – You know the deal by now.  It’s a caper story; Gambit has been manoeuvred into having to fight Pete Wisdom but he outwits everyone and comes out on top in the end.  This is a series with a formula, and no mistake, but thus far it’s continued to come up with enough inventive variations on the story to make it work.  The art is a little patchy on this; Diogenes Neves’ fill-in art feels a little bit sketchy to start with, and then Al Barrionuevo crops up for a few pages to give us a Gambit who’s both slightly off-model and wildly overacting.  Still, a solid enough issue on its own terms.

Uncanny X-Force #35 – The final issue of Rick Remender’s run is an epilogue that caps off the character arcs of the main characters.  Wolverine buries Daken (who, it seems, is pretty definitively dead this time); Psylocke is reconciled with her brother; Fantomex is brought back, but with a change to his character that avoids giving the impression that the reset button is being hit; and Deadpool gets to be thanked by Evan for acting as a hero.  Actually, as Remender has acknowledged in interviews, Deadpool didn’t really have a character arc of his own in this series; he was the comic relief.  But putting him with Evan in the final issue gets round that problem nicely.

No sign of Nightcrawler, but then his story is being picked up on in the “X-Termination” crossover next year, so it’s probably for the best that this issue doesn’t qualify its happy ending by bringing him up.  And yes, the book does end on a happy ending, more or less, even if it does so with the inevitable acknowledgement that it’s going to be a transitory one.  More to the point is that, even if it is only a respite, it’s an ending that the story seems to have earned.  Remender’s run on X-Force is, I think, widely recognised as one of the best things the X-books have produced in years, and in part that’s because it really did find a way of taking its characters on a journey over its two year run, despite most of them being familiar and some of them, notably Psylocke, being outright damaged goods.  Nobody’s done a really good Psylocke-centred story in years, and while it has to be acknowledged that Remender was assisted by other writers doing some clear-up work to rehabilitate her before he got hold of her, the fact remains that he’s the one who’s finally got her out of the doldrums and back into circulation as a meaningful character.

Remender also found a way to make the black-ops premise of X-Force into something more complicated without betraying it, simply by taking a more nuanced approach to how the characters actually felt about what they were doing.  Where the previous volume had just cranked up the darkness and violence, this version of X-Force got far more mileage out of the premise simply by making sure there was light and shade at work.  Generally excellent art has helped too, also avoiding the easy option of murky bloodshed in favour of something a bit more graceful, such as Phil Noto provides on this final issue.

It hasn’t always been perfect – the Otherworld stuff didn’t really work, in particular – but as a largely successful and self-contained story, this ought to be one of the runs that should be selling in Omnibus form for years to come.

Wolverine and the X-Men #22 – Part two of the Frankenstein story follows largely along the lines you would expect.  The circus is trying to catch Max from the Hellfire Club, and since they don’t know what he looks like, they’re going after all the kids they can get their hands on. That means we have the circus versus the pupils from the Jean Grey School, while the X-Men naturally start to remember who they are, since it’s their book, after all.  And stuck in the middle is Max, who for the first time gets a chance to display some personality of his own separate from just hanging around with the other Hellfire kids.

This story does seem to be positioning the Frankenstein Monster as the driving force behind the whole scheme, preoccupied with tracking down and killing the Frankenstein family.  I don’t recall that being a part of his character before, and I still can’t help wondering whether it’s misdirection, since the previous issue did acknowledge that he’s generally supposed to be a misunderstood character, not an evil one.  There’s not much in this issue to hint in this direction, though, and what you’ll make of it probably depends on your tolerance levels for the crazier elements of Aaron’s stories.  I think it just about clicks – somewhat to my surprise, the stuff about Max wondering whether to help Idie works for me, maybe because it’s the first sign we’ve really had of any of the Hellfire kids developing beyond one dimensionality.  It’s not going to be for everyone, though.

X-Factor #249 – Not the beginning of the “Hell on Earth War”, which starts in issue #250, but clearly a preamble.  I’ve never quite been sold on the mystical storylines in this book, which don’t strike me as its strongest suit.  But Peter David does sell the idea that what’s happening in this issue is a big deal, with the cast making one of their rare appearances as a proper team in order to try and stem a demonic invasion of the Bronx while having no particularly clear idea of what they’re doing.  It’s an action story, though one mainly devoted to getting across the point that the threat here is Really, Really Bad and that our heroes are out of their collective depth – and that connects, together with the character points that David works into the story.  I’m still not all that interested in the concept of demonic invasion, but the sense of crisis here is strong enough to carry the issue and convey that what’s about to happen is a big deal.

X-Men Legacy #3 – Legion has had a vision of two mutant twins being help prisoner in Japan, so he’s decided to have a go at helping, since it’s the sort of thing his dad would have done.  As it turns out, though, they’re not really being held prisoner at all, they’re more fellow travellers of a cult that’s still worshipping Ogun, somewhat reluctantly agreeing to help out by using their powers in service of the deceased villain’s cause.

It’s another story where the metaphor isn’t exactly subtle, but that’s not necessarily a sin in superhero comics.  This is, after all, a whole book based around dramatising the arguments within Legion’s own mind.  Legion has come to Japan hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps, but ends up learning a lesson about the dangers of devoting your life to the teachings of a deceased father figure.  That’s a story worth telling as the book continues the theme of Legion hunting for direction, since copying Charles Xavier is both the most obvious and least interesting thing he could do – so it needs to be raised and disposed of, and this story covers the point in a single issue.

The cultists aren’t much of a threat, but then they probably shouldn’t be; after all, they’re there to symbolise the futility of living your life in the shadow of the deceased.  Besides, Legion’s main conflict is internal; if he could actually control his powers then he’d be crushing everyone in sight, and it’s the struggle to subdue errant parts of his own mind, and thus gain access to more of his own power, that really determines the outcome of these fights.

Okay, somebody is still going to have to sit down Si Spurrier and break the news to him that Legion is Israeli, not Scottish.  And I’m not entirely sold on the use of the X-Men as the notional villains; is Legion really going to have that much trouble persuading them about what happened?  Still, another solid issue as Spurrier continues to make strides on the difficult task of turning Legion into a viable lead.

X-Treme X-Men #8 – The focus moves away from the alternate realities as such, and on to the question of how far the team can trust their floating Xavier head, who says they need to kill a bunch of evil Xavier duplicates to save the multiverse.  While they’ve been separated from him, he’s recruited a team of his own, including a paramilitary Dazzler who’s the last survivor of a zombieverse, and is rather more willing to play along by killing everything in sight.  But it’s pretty clear that all is not as it seems here, and I’m glad to see the book turning its attention to that side of things, instead of just continuing the world-of-the-month format.

That said, we do get a world of the month: a My Little Unicorn world which Xavier’s new X-Force is all too happy to shoot to pieces.  Thankfully, it turns out that Xavier’s actually telling the truth about this world, at least, so the question of quite what he’s up to remains at least somewhat up in the air, even if it’s quite apparent that he’s trying to get shot of his uncooperative team members.

One of the stronger issues of the series, and one where the book actually seems to hit what it was aiming for.

Bring on the comments

  1. Zoomy says:

    To be fair, I can never remember the difference between Legion and Proteus either…

  2. Kenny says:

    I’m actually enjoying X-Treme X-Men at the moment, as it reminds me of Exiles (my favorite series EVER); I hope its sales figures improve. And while I’ve never been a huge Uncanny X-Force reader, I thoroughly enjoyed the character interaction and sense of closure in the final issue. Enjoying Wolverine and the X-Men, as always. I wonder how Marvel will make “X-Termination” work using AoA Nightcrawler without having Uncanny X-Force around…

  3. Greg says:

    “… ten books in a single week, surely more than anyone could actually want.”

    Nope, wrong, I was excited to get a big bunch of books to read.

  4. D. says:

    I like the premise of ANX quite a bit, but the execution is lacking. I turned the last page of issue #4 and wondered where the rest of it was. Almost nothing happens in 20 pages of story.

  5. Nick says:

    Man, am I going to miss Remender’s Uncanny X-Force! I haven’t enjoyed am ongoing series like this in years. I’m glad that he knew when to end it though and look forward to re-reading the entire run at once.

    In Cable and X-Force #2, did anybody else find it odd that the news reporter knew who Hope was and her role in AVX? I thought I remembered an interview where either Axel Alonso or Nick Lowe said that the general public in the Marvel Universe wasn’t aware that Cyclops killed Xavier or how the mutant gene got re-ignited.

    Also, did anyone catch the reference to Azazel in WatXM #22? In the witch’s trailer was a map of ‘Isla de los demonas,’ from the Draco. I never thought (hoped) Austen’s work would be referenced again.

  6. Suzene says:

    I’m really hoping there’s more Astonishing after the X-Termination cross-over, because three issues as a last trade is going to be one thin collection.

    Ugh, Warbird. She’s one of those characters I try to read around, mostly because I really just loathe her, and partially because I can’t help but think any development she gets in this book is going to be totally ignored in favor of Aaron’s interpretations anyway.

  7. Paul says:

    But this IS Aaron’s interpretation. The whole “frustrated artist” thing comes from one of his stories.

  8. Brad Curran says:

    I always felt like Deadpool was the unlikely voice of reason in Uncanny X-Force. At least when he was the only one who would acknowledge the elephant in the room after the first arc. At any rate, Remender wrote my favorite version of him ever, and I’ll miss his take on him and the rest of the cast, even if I’m happy with the way he tied things up at the end. That might honestly make it my favorite X-Book ever, depending on how you define Claremont’s run(s).

  9. The original Matt says:

    @ D. That’s every bendis comic ever. They always work better in trades, because he likes to write analytical character moments, he paces stories for 4-6 issues. Even then, that’s not a guarantee that anything much will happen in those 4-6 issues, but its usually a helluva lot more than what happens in one. (Helluva lot more talking)

  10. Suzene says:


    I know. I was speaking more in tone than in the character facet itself. In AXM, Liu is trying to give a lot of emotional weight to Warbird’s isolation and self-loathing, but I have a hard time caring (even outside of my feelings about the character), because as soon as we get back to WatXM, where her larger audience is, we’ll have a completely different tone and likely be back to her lines being about trysts that involve maiming and broken glass. There are ways to fanwank those two portrayals into alignment, sure, but it takes more mental contortion than it feels should be necessary. For my money, it feels like watching a tired romantic comedy where the female lead is trying to articulate how she likes the male lead for the sensitive guy she sees inside, and meanwhile the audience is watching him in the window over her shoulder trying to get a couple of fifteen year olds to do a beer bong.

  11. Si says:

    I … don’t care about any of those books. A glut week and there’s nothing I’m even interested in keeping track of for old times’ sake, let alone reading. Somewhere Marvel made a very wrong turn with it’s X-Men line, but I have no idea what. Maybe it’s that all the characters I cared about are so widespread, in limbo or unrecognisable that my interest has withered. That or the $4 price barrier that I just can’t make myself cross. Strange.

  12. kingderella says:

    this issue of x-force wasnt my favourite… it just felt a little flat to me. but remenders run was excellent, and this is the first time i ever cared about psylocke.

    i could have sworn eva was supposed to be one of fantomex’ three brains. anyway, im a bit bothered about him being brought back so flippantly after he was shown to be super-dead several times during the last story. at least we get a potentially interesting new villain out of it, which is always welcome.

    all-new x-men is pretty slow, but since its coming out so often, it works. im impressed by how well the gigantic cast is handled. some details tend to be a little off, though.

    it makes sense that emma would be angry with scott – he betrayed her during AVX, and he took her away from the school (she loves teaching).

    scott accepting the ‘little x-men’ as real could have been achieved so much more elegantly. “jean touched my mind. it was really her, i would recognize her mind anywhere.”

  13. Evilgus says:

    I loved almost all of Uncanny X-Force, the new iteration has some big shoes to fill (though that said: Spiral!).

    Remender had a really good ear for dialogue, the right level of characterisation, action, thoughtfulness (the shades of light and dark you mention in the review), all supported by excellent artwork throughout. Think it was all helped by being at least mostly self-contained, and a tight team. Everyone got a decent arc, Psylocke’s been awesome (I quite like the end with her and Fantomex, if I’m honest, and looking to see how that’ll unravel… something about it wasn’t quite right, too good to be true!), Deadpool even got some depth (brilliant comic foil but that springs from desperation for approval). It even expanded the Marvel universe with some solid new villians, but still built on continuity. It’s really hard to fault.

    I do hope the whole Fantomex using living bullets created by Psylocke’s father thing gets touched upon at some point, either in the new Uncanny X-Force or in Remender’s Avengers… I think it only began to lose steam at the end as Remender began to get pulled into writing duties for Secret Avengers/planning ahead for Marvel Now. Shame!

  14. ZZZ says:

    One amusing (to me) aspect of the quest to take down multiple Xaviers in X-Treme X-Men is that having to talk about Xaviers as something that there are many of led to a recent issue referring to “an Xavier” which I stared at for a long time trying to figure out whether I thought it was a typo or not. After reading about the character for literally decades, it was the first time I realized that I mentally pronounce “Xavier” as “Zavier” instead of “Ecksavier” whenever it doesn’t have “Charles” in front of it (in which case I do pronounce it “Ecksavier” because the “s” at the end of “Charles” makes “Zavier” sound awkward).

  15. Zach Adams says:

    The idea of the Shi’ar reacting to art and music like the Zentradi in SDF MACROSS is really baffling to me. The “art and music are so alien that it seems like a psychological weapon” story is a perfectly valid one (after all, it worked damned well in MACROSS) but it seems like a totally invalid direction for the Shi’ar.

  16. Matt C. says:

    I thought UXF #25 made a fitting end to the series. Yeah, stuff was tied up a little quickly, and the Fantomex thing was a bit weird (so now we have likeable Fantomex, Evil Fantomex, and uh… Femme Fantomex? Okay…) The scene that really made it work for me though was the Deadpool/Evan one. One of the reasons UXF worked for me was because Remender wrote the “Cable and Deadpool” version of Deadpool; a guy who made weird jokes with a taste for violence, but also was a caring and thoughtful guy when he concentrated. And he ignored the stupid “multiple voices in his head” thing that Daniel Way used and popularized. Ugh.

    Both All-New X-Men and Cable and X-Force are painfully slow. Cable’s action scene definitely felt overly stretched (and pointlessly so, since not a lot happened beyond getting a specimen and setting up the T-O stuff as a threat, I suppose). ANX is better, simply because it has more good character moments involved – but some hit sour notes. Emma seems very off, and Cyclops sounds like he’s 13 again when thinking about Jean.

    Is WAXTM officially the “younger kid” book now? Bleargh.

  17. Matt C. says:

    UXF #35, even.

  18. D. says:

    @ZZZ — that’s awesome. When I was a kid– 8 or 9 y/o –I was talking about my comics with a friend and my mom overheard me say “Ecksavier,” and she corrected me in front of my friend. I was so embarrassed, I stopped talking about comics. Period. Never discussed them out loud again. Even now I don’t like to mention comics except the most famous names — Batman, Spider Man, whatever. I’d probably gag on my own tongue if I had to say “Wolverine” in public.

  19. The original Matt says:

    @D. I had so many names wrong it wasn’t funny. I started reading Marvel about age 8 and had never encountered words like that before. Thank god the 90s cartoon came along not much later, or I’d have been an adult saying Mag-NET-o.

  20. errant says:

    I always pronounced Eggzavier. I assumed the X sound was prominently pronounced since it was the “X” men even though a friend of mine insisted it was Zavier.

    I did however pronounce it MagNETo until the cartoon and movies. Even in my head now, the correction has stuck.

  21. The original Matt says:

    I always said X-avier on account of it being X-men. And at that young age I didn’t know it should sound like a Z. All cartoon corrections stuck in my head though. That 90s cartoon was awesome.

  22. D. says:

    A mag-NEAT-o uses magnets to generate electricity. A mag-NET generates a magnetic field. He is, now and forever, mag-NET-o, regardless of what some silly cartoon says.

    I have spoken.

    (Actually, I have written; as you can see above, I would sooner gag on my own cud than pronounce the name aloud).

  23. Taibak says:

    FWIW, Stan Lee has pronounced it ‘Ecksavier’ in interviews. Admittedly, the context was exaggerating the X to explain how he came up with the name ‘X-Men’ (‘EX-tra powers, Professor ECKS-avier…’).

    And it may not be technically correct, but ‘Ecksavier’ is a very common and widely accepted pronunciation in the U.S. Never occurred to me to pronounce it ‘Zavier’.

    Also: Mag-NEAT-o is a random noun somewhat related to the character and his gimmick. It is a Marvel name.

    Mag-NET-o is sticking an ‘O’ onto the end of a word. It is a silver age DC name.

    (*evil grin*)

  24. Si says:

    I always assumed how you pronounced Xavier was down to whether you’re American or not. Americans say Ex-avier, everyone else says Zavier. Is that not the case?

  25. D. says:

    “Mag-NET-o is sticking an ‘O’ onto the end of a word. It is a silver age DC name.”

    “Electro” is a golden age Timely name.

  26. Anya says:

    Living in the US and I’ve known a couple people named Xavier and it was pronounced with an x and not s. And I’ve actually heard the word ‘magneto’ used in relational to computers and electronics and it was pronounced mag-neat-o. :p

  27. Robby says:

    Re: Frankenstein’s Monster tracking down Frankenstein’s family and killing them….

    It seems like an extrapolation of the Frankenstein’s Monster goal in Shelley’s novel , and I seem to remember that the 1970s Marvel comic about Frankenstein’s Monster went back to Castle Frankenstein to kill any descendants of his creator. Wish I could remember the title of the comic or the issue #.

  28. ZZZ says:

    I’ve heard the Mag-NET-o vs. Mag-NEAT-o debate before (which rarely gets as heated as the Darkside/Darkseed debate, in my experience), but I wonder if anyone’s ever though his name was MAG-net-o, as in what you’d get if you literally just stuck an “o” after the word “magnet.”

    Personally, as a kid, I always thought Rogue’s name was “Rouge,” like the makeup (in my defense, the friend who introduced me to X-Men comics pronounced it that way, and I was the one who eventually noticed that the “u” was in the wrong place for that pronunciation).

    I’ve seen characters in the comics actually comment on both of those – there was an issue of X-Men where Rogue admonishes a group of reporters to call her “Rogue, not rouge” and there was a Deadpool issue where two characters (I think it was Deadpool and Constrictor) argue about how to pronounce Magneto’s name. It always struck me as odd when you got those moments that clearly sprang from a writer being sick of fans at conventions pronouncing characters’ names certain ways, because you’d think people actually living in the Marvel Universe would hear the names more often than see them in print. If anything, people should be saying things like “It’s Psylocke with a ‘ps’ – I know it sounds like ‘Cyclops’ but it’s different … oh, and there’s an ‘e’ at the end.”

    One great thing about comic book podcasts though: you learn that there are ways to misprounounce character’s names that you never even thought of. There are people who honestly think Rogue’s foster parents’ code-names are pronounced Mystic and Density.

  29. Kreniigh says:

    “I always assumed how you pronounced Xavier was down to whether you’re American or not. Americans say Ex-avier, everyone else says Zavier. Is that not the case?”

    Cincinnati has both St. Xavier High School and Xavier University, and believe me, no one here pronounces them Ex-avier.

  30. Si says:

    Personally I’m looking forward to a teamup of Cycloss and Pisylocke.

    First time I saw Darkseid, I thought it must be “Darkside”, but it’s really funny that it looks like “Darkseed”. Then I thought, well these 90s characters always have stupid names, and he’s just a crappy Thanos ripoff anyway. Yeah, big Kirby fanboy, me.

  31. Si says:

    Also, I hope they give the name Psylock to the joint damage you get from dancing Gangnam style.

  32. D. says:

    Even more embarrassing, I suppose, is that I was 9 or 10, I realized I was reading about alternate “realities,” in What If…?, not alternate “realties.” I guess the Watcher doesn’t give good mortgage rates?

  33. Somebody says:

    The pronunciation I don’t get is Namor – to me, it seems like a clear-cut “Nah-Mor” since there’s no “e” or “i” anywhere. And yet people seem to say “Nay-Mor”.

    And I saw the 90s X-Men cartoon before I’d read many X-Men comics, so it’s always been “Ex-Save-ee-er” and “Mag-Neat-Oh” to me.

  34. The original Matt says:

    Good call on Namor. I’ve been saying it as nay mor forever. Mystic and density is my new favourite.

  35. kelvingreen says:

    I’ve always heard it as “NAM-or” in my head. I also go with “Zavier” but I think that’s probably because I encountered the X-Men after Action Force and they had Tomax and Xamot, pronounced “Zaymot” rather than “Ecksaymot”.

  36. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    I think the pronounciation of “Namor” really is up for grabs, depending on whether you see it as an anagram of “manor” (MAN-or, therefore NAM-or) or “Roman” (ROME-an, therefore NAME-or).

  37. sam says:

    What on earth is the origin of the name “Namor”? It’s not exactly mellifluous.

  38. Taibak says:

    Sam: It’s ‘Roman’ spelled backwards.

  39. Adam Farrar says:

    Si Spurrier has set up a tumblr to cover X-Men Legacy. Anyone want to ask him about the Israel thing?

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