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Sep 3

New Mutants #12 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Paul in Annotations, Uncategorized

NEW MUTANTS vol 4 #12
“Monster Machine”
by Ed Brisson & Marco Failla

COVER / PAGE 1. Magik lashes out at the media (in general, rather than specifically Dox, but okay).

PAGES 2-3. Prologue – more monsters in Nova Roma.

This scene picks up on a plot thread from issue #8, where Magma, Armor and Boom-Boom dealt with a bunch of weird mutant-hunting creatures in the jungles around Nova Roma (Magma’s hidden anachronistic home town). “Senator Aquila” is Magma’s father. That story ended with the unnamed woman seen here showing up looking for revenge for the death of some of her creations.

PAGES 4-5. Recap and credits. The small print has changed to “Fair is fair” on the recap page, and “Real Monsters” on the credits page.

PAGES 6-7. Trinary gives Magik information about Dox.

I think this is the first time we’ve seen the Green Lagoon bar in New Mutants, but it features regularly in X-Force. Anole is the bartender here (um, isn’t he a bit young for that?), instead of the usual Blob.

Dox is an anti-mutant news site which has shown up repeatedly in the Ed Brisson run covering mutant-related stories with an obviously hostile slant. From most of what we’ve seen, its actual stories seem to be broadly genuine, within the limitations of the information they have available to them; the bigger problem is its insistence on revealing the whereabouts of individual mutants who aren’t on Krakoa. The name of the site obviously suggests that that’s the main selling point.

Trinary is a character from X-Men: Red who can connect with machines and the internet, basically. She’s not done much in the Krakoan era beyond deliver exposition, and here she is to deliver some more. As she points out, her powers would allow her to take Dox down from afar, but Magik evidently wants to make a big statement.

PAGE 8. Data page.

An extract from Dox’s coverage of mutants using public gateways. Bearing in mind that the gateways are all in public locations, and that most of the people listed here are public figures, you could just about make a case for this being news coverage, if it wasn’t for the tone.

It’s not clear why Anole and Blob have been visiting New York, but maybe they’re just getting supplies for the bar. Storm and three of the Stepford Cuckoos visited Washington DC in Marauders #11. (How Dox can tell the Cuckoos apart is beyond me.) Pete Wisdom is probably just a random name, but for what it’s worth we haven’t actually seen him on Krakoa before now.

PAGES 9-17. Magik, Mirage and Glob Herman at the offices of Dox.

Joseph Canning, the publisher of Dox, is a new character, as are all of the named victims. Obviously the dead victims could be resurrected, but that isn’t really the point. If Canning wasn’t giving out the details of individual mutants then he would have a reasonable point with parts of his speech, but for heaven’s sake, he’s running a website called Dox.

PAGE 18. Data page with Dox offline.

PAGES 19-21. More of Nova Roma.

The woman and her creatures have apparently slaughtered the Nova Roma public – although we’re specifically told that some people escaped by plane. Aquilla is kept alive to lure the New Mutants in for revenge.

PAGES 22-25. Glob and Magik talk.

Glob is clearly less than convinced that he did the right thing in letting his anger get the better of him. We’re probably meant to agree with Magik that he was in the right, although she’s a funny character to give that speech to, since her main role these days is to have a dodgy moral compass. Mirage would have been a more natural choice, if you wanted someone to unambiguously endorse him.

I think this is the first time we’ve been given Glob’s back story before he joined the X-Men. The “other kids” he mentions falling in with are Kid Omega’s Omega Gang, during their juvenile delinquent phase, from his earliest appearances in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men.

Glob is still raising chickens, a hobby he picked up during Age of X-Man.

PAGES 26-27. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: X OF SWORDS.

Bring on the comments

  1. Ben says:

    I honestly thought they’d reveal Dox was being run by someone on Krakow as a way to drive the remaining mutants out in the world to the island.

  2. Joseph S. says:

    As they point out in the scene at the bar, it is early, so perhaps Blob works nights. And Anole did spend several years trapped in a future IIRC, maybe even on more than one occasion, which would have aged him up. That said, I can’t imagine the drinking age on Krakoa is 21

  3. Joseph S. says:

    Brisson really loves Glob, and it’s been nice to have a slow simmering development of the character, so much so that his closing monologue was surprisingly poignant. Ilyana felt right to me, given her own trauma and on-going struggle with her own dark side.

  4. Kelvin Green says:

    It’s probably too obvious to mention, but there’s likely a second pun they’re going for in “Dox”, and the reason why it’s “Dox” and not, as you might expect, “Doxx”.

  5. Claus says:

    Magik’s moral compass has been dodgy ever since her abduction by Belasco, so I’d think that by choosing her to give the speech, Brisson is deliberately leaving the reader to decide whether to take it at face value or with a grain of (demonic) salt.

  6. Evilgus says:

    I’m also really enjoying the development work on Glob. From a one note background character with a distinctive design (which probably explains his longevity, he’s almost always in background scenes), he’s now been imbued a lot of pathos. And look! An X-Man with a genuine hobby that also tells us something about the character! Been a while since we’ve seen that too. Lots of love for Glob.

  7. Drew says:

    Surprising to see Anole happily tending bar for Illyana, since he (and Pixie and Rockslide) were openly hostile to her in the last New Mutants series for getting his arm chopped off. Guess he’s decided to embrace the spirit of Krakoa.

    It’s an interesting choice to have Dani upload the flash drive at Dox headquarters, and to have Trinary do the hacking… normally you’d expect both those plot functions to fall to Doug. But maybe they feel like he’s getting enough exposure these days. Brisson seems to be embracing the idea that it’s not JUST the classic New Mutants who star in the book. And with Illyana taking focus as a Captain, maybe they felt like Dani needs something to do. (Or maybe they’re setting up a future leadership struggle between Dani and Illyana, but Dani’s been surprisingly passive in recent issues.)

  8. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    To be fair, a lot has happened since Anole lost his arm in Limbo – the whole Utopia era for instance. And while there hasn’t been a reconcilliation scene written for the characters, it is possible that Anole has mellowed out about the whole thing.

    Also, artists started forgetting to draw him with one extra large arm, he mostly looks symmetrical when he appears now. (Though he does seem to have it here, even though we don’t actually see him from that side – but he has one spiked shoulder and hand.)

    But he also was aged up – and visibly grown up – after being stranded in the future in Lemire’s Extraordinary X-Men. He turned into a musclebound guy, not exactly Hulk-like, but closer to Hulk than most (though that series was drawn by Ramos, so how exaggerated that was is difficult to pinpoint). Glob was there too and he also looked different afterwards. And those changes have been dropped completely and without any explanation.

    @Joseph S I think that was the only time Anole was stuck in the future. I thought he also spent some time in pretend-AoA in the run-up to Age of X-Man, but I just checked and he wasn’t in the group that got stuck there. And maybe Age of X-Man itself lasted longer on the inside then on the outside, but that hasn’t been explicitly mentioned anywhere.

    Anyway, in Extraordinary Anole, Glob, Martha Johansson and Ernst were stuck in the future – wikipedia says it was for ‘only’ a year, though that makes little sense considering the physical changes they went through. Then again, see: Ramos, above.

    He was 16 when he enrolled at the Xavier Institute. The Weir/DePhilippis run covers a little less than a year (it covers most of a school year), but that’s about the only solid point of reference. How long did Utopia last? Who knows?

    Then again, if I recall correctly, in Wolverine and the X-Men Anole is among a group of students that get to finish the school (which would imply at least another school year having passed). He also starts running Worthington Industries with, basically, the same group of now former students? Another plot point that was completely dropped.

    Anyway, that would make him about 18, probably. Add a year in a postapocalyptic future and he’s 19, even though the physical change was mysteriously reversed.
    Oooh, and technically there were two 8-month timeskips for the whole Marvel Universe before and right after Secret Wars, which would make him 20. And there’s some time-skipping in HoXPoX as well, I think?

    To sum up this highly researched, detailed and unrefutable study, Anole is 16 or 21 or anywhere in between, depending on whatever the writer might take into account or need for the story.

  9. ASV says:

    The four mutants who were killed really draw attention to the fact that Krakoa is populated by ~200,000 mutants (per Reed Richards) and we never see any of them. Tiki lounge needs another bartender? Hire Anole!

  10. Si says:

    The problem with aging up characters in a team book is you have to keep introducing more kids to tell that sort of story, and in a few years they’ll also become vaguely 21-35 year old characters who aren’t as interesting to readers as the ones who were X-Men in the 80s, so don’t get used. And then there’s more kids introduced. It ends up cluttering the catalogue.

  11. Chris V says:

    How can these new kids who are introduced as teens end up the same age as the original X-Men, who were introduced in 1963?
    Scott Summers is vaguely early-30s currently.

    Are certain of the X-Men involved with time dilation?

  12. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Well, the Original Five are technically older now then they have been because Beast shunted them into the future and left them there for… huh. I’d say 6 years of publication would turn into mere ‘months’ due to the sliding timeline and story compression, but they actually caught both of those Secret War timeskips I mentioned above, which would make it closer to two years. Kid Cable could have shaved Angel’s fiery wings but he didn’t do anything about that extra age.

    And Scott and Jean have that 12-year raising Cable in the future experience on top of that. Their minds should be in their 40s. [Althouh Jean was dead for a long time. But then again she also has the added years (?) of Madelyne’s and Phoenix’s memories. And also all of this is pointless.]

    As for how this works out generationally – the adult X-Men are in their early 30s, the original New Mutants are… late 20s now? Generation X are in their mid 20s? And the ‘Hogwart for mutants’ era kids would be in their early 20s… or at least the Morrison/Weir&DePhilippis brigade would be, with Wolverine and the X-Men additions being now late teens, since they were introduced as younger?

    It kinda sorta works if you don’t think about it too hard. It’s basically the ‘how do you fit five Robins into five years’ conundrum.

    Also we’ve been explicitly told that Krakoa-revived mutants have their bodies matured to whatever perfect age they want for themselves or somesuch, so the physical age and appearance is basically a non-issue now. Especially since we have no idea who was revived and who wasn’t.

  13. Allan M says:

    This issue summed up the dilemma of Brisson’s New Mutants for me. On the one hand, it had genuinely good, emotional payoff moments for Glob, both his outburst of anger and then monologue. And we got to see Illyana show a bit of nuance and compassion for the first time since DoX began, where she’s largely been played for laughs. On its own merits, I think it’s the best issue of DoX New Mutants.

    Conversely, you could’ve replaced Dani in this story with basically anyone and nothing would’ve changed. Brisson is writing a series about Illyana, Glob, the twins, Boom-Boom, and Doug, and the rest of the cast have been doing nothing for 11 issues. Part of that is on Hickman, who wanted to write a Sunspot story and the others were window dressing. The original New Mutants had a plausible reason to be in the opening arc, but what are Chamber and Mondo doing in this book? The series doesn’t have a premise beyond “former trainee X-Men do stuff”, and the aimlessness is wearing on me.

  14. Claus says:

    Regarding Anole: his arm looks different because he regrew it in Limbo, whose demonic influences shaped it. But should he die and be cloned on Krakoa (he has not been, so far as I’m aware) he should come out with symmetrical arms, unless Limbo influenced him on a genetic level. Not a major point, though.
    By the way, his pal Rockslide reformed his body from demonic rock while in Limbo, but since his return he’s again using earthly rocks, so it wasn’t a lasting influence.

  15. Luis Dantas says:

    Come to think of it, since it appears that Anole has the ability to regenerate his arm in a way that somewhat resembles that of a reptile, independently of anything that happened in Illyana/Belasco’s Limbo, it would make sense for the arm to regain a more normal appearance if he lost it from a deep enough cut and allowed himself to regenerate it again.

    But I can see why he would hesitate to go through such a painful and ultimately uncertain procedure.

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