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Apr 21

Way of X #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

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

“Way of X”
by Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn & Java Tartaglia

COVER / PAGE 1: Nightcrawler, in familiar swashbuckling mode, fighting two of the Orchis soldiers. The stained glass window behind him has the faces of his team from the opening mission: Blink, DJ, Loa and Pixie.

PAGE 2. Recap and credits. The recap sets up the general premise of Krakoa, and the vague disquiet which Kurt expressed in X-Men #7.

PAGE 3. Data page. An excerpt from a book (title redacted) evidently written by Nightcrawler in mock biblical style, but trying to set out the development of his philosophy.

A “florilegium” is a compilation of excerpts from other writings (an anthology, more or less). Literally, it means “gathering of flowers”, which seems quite appropriate for Krakoa.

Kurt presents himself here as having had reservations about Krakoa from the off, not something that’s been terribly apparent outside X-Men #7. A striking feature of the Krakoan era, though, is how few characters have shown any disquiet or reluctance about embracing the entirely new culture of Krakoa; dissenters have been practically invisible in the X-books (perhaps on the view that cynics like Pete Wisdom largely just don’t go there in the first place). This is the first book in the Krakoa line to really adopt the perspective of a character who isn’t convinced.

PAGES 4-6. Professor X talks to Nightcrawler as he starts his mission.

The opening panel shows a mystery figure in close up. It seems to be the same figure we see in shadow on page 33, who is presumably the Patchwork Man mentioned later in the issue. The Patchwork Man is strongly implied to be Professor X’s estranged son Legion, presumably speaking directly to Xavier in his dreams here.

Professor X is, unusually, seen here without his helmet – we very rarely get this in the Krakoa era, though I suppose it’s not really the sort of thing he can sleep in. Naturally enough, he keeps it next to his bed. Presumably it’s still linked to him, if he’s powerful enough to make psychic contact with Nightcrawler all the way over in Venice. Xavier backs out of his conversation with Kurt by saying that he simply wanted to wish him luck on the mission, but this obviously isn’t true, since he only remembered the mission after the call had started. The obvious implication is that Xavier is indeed looking for support from Kurt in his priest-like (or at least pastoral) role.

The photograph that Xavier looks at – and which triggers another flash of the Patchwork Man – presumably shows Gabrielle Haller holding baby David (Legion). Xavier didn’t find out about David until much later on, though, so presumably he’s not the man in the background whose head has been removed from the picture.

Of the two photographs on the dresser, I’m not immediately sure who the part-seen male is. The girl is Xandra Neramani, the genetic daughter of Xavier and Lilandra – another relative he’s had negligible contact with. Xandra is currently the Shi’ar Empress over in X-Men.

Kurt’s team consists of:

  • Pixie (with the wings). A major character for a few years who’s fallen into the background.
  • Blink (with the purple skin). She’s a member of the Teleport Team over in S.W.O.R.D., making her a slightly odd character to use here.
  • Loa, the one with the red marks on her face. A longtime background character.
  • DJ, an incredible obscure background student from the early 2000s who was dusted off recently in X-Factor for a cameo. He has different powers depending on what music he plays.

Loa and DJ are very junior characters to be taking on a mission with any degree of risk.

PAGES 7-8. Nightcrawler and the team explore the hate museum.

The museum seems to have exhibits showing Sabretooth, Dark Phoenix, Omega Red and Apocalypse – all legitimately outright villains, at least for significant portions of their career. So the museum may be selective rather than outright false. Some sort of altar is visible in the background, presumably part of the building’s principal use as a seminary.

The kids are discussing how to deal with death and resurrection. Pixie has not yet died and isn’t particularly looking forward to it. Blink, Loa and DJ all seem to regard it as a minor rite of passage. DJ was killed long before the Krakoan era and resurrected; Loa died during the Rosenberg run. If either of them has died again on Krakoa and been resurrected, we haven’t seen it. I don’t believe Blink has been resurrected at any point that we’ve seen, but her dialogue here tends to suggest that she’s died off panel at some point. This is all broadly consistent with the point being made, which is that resurrection has made everyone rather casual about death (and thus about risk).

As regards Orchis…

PAGE 9. Data page on Orchis, the anti-mutant organisation first introduced in House of X. Specifically, this is Orchis’s own internal structure chart. A more heavily redacted version of this document, as provided to Henry Peter Gyrich, previously appeared in S.W.O.R.D. #3. That version blanked most of the opening text and everything about the “oblique strategies” sectioon.

PAGES 10-12. Kurt’s team defeat Orchis.

Pixie gets blissfully killed – and mentions cheese toasties again just so that we remember her earlier dialogue about it for the pay off later in the issue. Nightcrawler finds this understandably disturbing – the kids simply don’t seem to care about getting killed. You’d have thought they might at least be averse to the pain, but then I suppose they’re confident that they won’t remember it.

But Kurt is unable to articulate a clear reason why any of this is a problem, given that resurrection does indeed work. Of course, that’s part of the story – his attempt to make sense of why all this troubles him.

PAGES 13-14. Nightcrawler puts Orchis’ Magneto display on show in the Green Lagoon.

Present in the Lagoon bar is a very traditional X-Men line-up (plus Blob behind the bar, as usual): Colossus, Dazzler, Marvel Girl, Forge, Wolverine, Havok, Jubilee and the Banshee.

PAGE 15. Data page. As you surely know, this is a newspaper article about the events of X-Men vol 1 #1, way back in 1963. The main point is that Nightcrawler’s attempt at levity involves reminding Magneto of the time he got publicly humiliated by some children, and 2021 Magneto is not particularly up for laughing at himself.

PAGE 16. Magneto speechifies.

This is Magneto taking back control of the narrative, of course – but it’s also the traditional speech of Krakoan superiority, something we get a lot in other titles, and here presented in a much less enthusiastic context. Everyone else seems to be quite keen on the whole thing.

Also visible in the bar here are Daken (from X-Factor), Z-list villain Mammomax, various Multiple Men, Strong Guy, and Dr Nemesis (of whom more later).

PAGE 17. Nightcrawler goes after Magneto.

Nightcrawler did indeed tell Cyclops that he wanted to found a mutant religion, in X-Men #7. His objections to the Crucible ritual were also flagged in that story, though he was more disquieted by it at that stage – if anything, Kurt’s views seem to have got firmer since then. Crucible is explained in the issue itself, but it’s all been established before. Magneto takes Kurt’s objections to be purely religious, and seems dismissive of religion itself. Spurrier, I suspect, sees the objections as being more philosophical in character, with religion simply being the way in which those issues manifest for Kurt.

Generally, this keeps up the theme of Kurt having all the perfectly reasonable objections to Krakoa and nobody really wanting to hear about it.

The girl playing by the stream in the last panel is Scout (and that’s her pet wolverine Jonathan in the background). The others seem to be randoms.

PAGE 18. Data page on Krakoa. We already know about the Pacific and Atlantic Krakoas, but the third “pending” isn’t clear. It might simply be Arakko, the twin island that arrived at the end of “X of Swords”.

“Respect this Sacred Land” is one of the laws of Krakoa, proposed by Kurt himself back in House of X #6.

PAGE 19. Kurt is approached by “lost”.

This is a new character. We find out later that she wants to be resurrected and is hoping for Kurt to kill her mercifully in Crucible, but he brushes her off to focus on something else. In the Crucible scene, she gives “Lost” as her name, but Kurt takes it as a statement here.

PAGE 20. Data page. Kurt is musing here about some of the obvious questions about how resurrection works and whether the resurrected mutant is authentic. He dismisses these as “stupid questions, because even if they could be solved, they would not change how we live.” That seems debatable – if people thought that they weren’t coming back whole, or indeed that they were being replaced by copies, they would surely be a lot less enthusiastic about dying.

Kurt claims that there are at least 23 different religions on Krakoa. Despite that, we’ve never seen any sort of church or communal worship set up, and you rather get the sense that it would be deeply disapproved of in some circles as human culture.

PAGES 21-22. Nightcrawler listens to Exodus and his kids.

In the opening panel, Nightcrawler is looking at a mysterious building with forked towers. He spoke about this building in X-Men #7; apparently it appeared spontaneously, and nobody knows what’s inside.

Exodus has been shown teaching (i.e., indoctrinating) young mutants in much this style in various issues. These particular kids seem a bit off brand, as they appear to be more interested in the Patchwork Man urban legend than in his usual tales about the horrors of the Scarlet Witch and M-Day. He seems a bit uncertain about how to deal with this.

Doctor Nemesis was imported into the X-books during the Utopia era, when he was a member of the science-themed X-Club. The character has a weird history, having been introduced to the Marvel Universe by Roy Thomas in Invaders vol 2 #1 (1993), but ultimately coming from the Golden Age Lightning Comics #6 (1941); he’s a rare case of a public domain character being imported into the Marvel Universe.

He didn’t have the mushrooms on his head before.

PAGE 23. Data page. Doctor Nemesis proposes himself as the expert on everything except “law/ethics”, which tells you all you need to know about the guy.

PAGES 24-25. Nightcrawler talks to Doctor Nemesis.

Nemesis claims here to be responsible for creating the pharmaceuticals that are the basis of Krakoa’s economy and its worldwide leverage. This hasn’t been alleged before, and Nemesis does have a tendency to talk himself up, but it certainly could be true.

Nemesis raises the awkward Marvel Universe question of why Kurt should believe in the Christian god when he is literally the only one that doesn’t appear on a regular basis to vouch his existence. Kurt would presumably claim that the likes of Thor are “gods” of a different type – and certainly on an individual level they’re merely very powerful. A Marvel Universe Christian might argue that it’s the difference between an unimaginably large number, and actual infinity.

Dunbar’s number is a real thing, though it’s worth noting that Dunbar was thinking of something more than mere acquaintances (he described it as “people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar”). The claim is that it’s an upper limit on the number of such relationships the brain can handle at one time. Still, the basic point made here is that societies extend far beyond people with whom any of us have actual relationships, and require shared abstractions and rituals to hold them together. Krakoa, needless to say, is building a society and therefore requires these stories to emerge. While Kurt has been dithering in traditional liberal style, the void has been filled by things like Crucible.

PAGES 26-29. Lost in the Crucible.

In contrast to X-Men #7, Nightcrawler is presented here with someone who doesn’t seem to be consenting to the Crucible ritual, which tips him over the edge. As elsewhere in this issue, our sympathy is clearly with Kurt, but everyone else is firmly on side with Magneto and the Krakoan society. Magneto plainly believes that he is making Lost into a better person by forcing her to be a warrior.

PAGE 30. Data page. Dr Nemesis’s notes on the Crucible. The stated rationale for Crucible comes from previous stories, in particular X-Men #7. He makes the point that those who (voluntarily) die in the Crucible are allowed to jump the queue for resurrection, and that the practical effect is to skew the resurrection programme towards the sort of people who are up for a bit of gladiatorial combat. In the long run all this is going to skew the population of Krakoa.

This was, of course, Apocalypse’s idea to start with.

PAGE 31-36. The resurrection of Lost and Pixie.

Professor X acknowledges the religious aspects of resurrection. It’s odd that more religious characters haven’t expressed reservations about it. For what it’s worth, Xavier indicates here that he is not religious (or at least not in any particularly serious way). Nonetheless, he seems to agree with Kurt that some sort of religious leadership is needed to steer the Krakoan society. He also asks for help with the Patchwork Man, whom he obviously suspects to be Legion.

Lost has weird gravitational powers that make everyone in the area nauseous, which will make her a tricky addition to Krakoan culture. Nightcrawler and Dr Nemesis seem to be the only two characters who can actually tolerate her presence – so we might be seeing more of her.

Pixie doesn’t remember the cheese toastie thing which Nightcrawler tries to call back to, because her memory has been reset to her last backup. This is playing up the discontinuity in resurrection; other books have played with this as well, most notably X-Force.

Page 36 panel 2 draws our attention once again to the forked tower.

PAGE 37. The Patchwork Man appears in Kurt’s dreams.

PAGE 38. Data page. Kurt explains that accepting this mission is what led him to see the way forward that he was looking for.

PAGES 39-40. Nightcrawler visits Blindfold’s grave.

Legion makes his first on-panel appearance of the series, unless of course he’s the Patchwork Man (which is a bit obvious, surely). Within the context of the X-books, Legion is Si Spurrier’s signature character, who he wrote in X-Men: Legacy. Traditionally Legion has multiple personalities, each with different powers, hence the implication that he would be the Patchwork Man.

Blindfold befriended Legion in X-Men Legacy. She committed suicide in Uncanny X-Men vol 5 #11. Legion suggests here that this was because she saw something terrifying with her precognitive powers. Legion has correctly picked up on the fact that there are no mutants on Krakoa with precognitive powers – we know that this is because Moira insists they have to be excluded. The official line is that they’re all just at the back of the queue. (Come to think of it, what happens if a depowered precognitive asks to enter the Crucible…?) Legion correctly suspects there’s more to it.

PAGE 41. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: CHANGE MY MIND.


Bring on the comments

  1. The Other Michael says:

    Good to see Spurrier returning to characters he loves like Legion and Doctor Nemesis.

    Also good to see both writer and character addressing some of the stickier issues about how Krakoa society works, including the resurrection queue and the Crucible… and the outright refusal to resurrect precogs.

    “Yes yes, we know, there are still 14 million Genoshan mutants waiting for their chance at resurrection, but guess what, we give priority to mutants we actually KNOW, like this one who got shot in the face for being an idiot, or to this depowered rando who showed up on the island asking to be killed…

    I’m sorry, Mystique, as you can see, we’re too busy to bring back Irene for you. I mean, today’s list includes Pixie, Wolverine, Quentin, Empath, Fabian Cortez, Quentin again, Four-Arm, Longneck, Spider-Breath, Gooey Acidface, Brute, 16 random Morlocks, and Quentin. Come back next week, maybe.”

  2. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    This was absolutely fantastic!

    Nice to have a book with a character acting like a semi reasonable human being.

    But beyond that, just very sharply written and enjoyable.

  3. Daly says:

    Great annotations ! I though Exodus and Cypher introduced the “respect this sacred land” law and Kurt introduced “Make More Mutants”.

  4. Caprice says:

    I think the third picture on Xavier’s desk is Charles Xavier II, his son with Mystique who’s a time-traveling supervillain. The scarf matches. His future version, anyway-according to his appearance in Bendis’ run, he and his half-brother Raze made sure to travel back after their births, so child versions of them may also exist somewhere(presumably Mystique raped both Xavier and Wolverine using her shapeshifting as part of some kind of insane long-term plot).

  5. Si says:

    How does the Krakoan workforce function? There’s no money, no need for building and maintaining infrastructure. The majority seem to just hang around being happy. Some rule, some are investigators or pirates or international superspies. And Blob works in a bar? I mean, sure some people like bartending and would do it for free, but there was nothing stopping Blob from doing that before Krakoa and he showed no interest. So what, is he the underclass? Paradise needs servants so it’s him and maybe Toad? I can’t see the character in that role.

  6. Chris V says:

    ^“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

    I don’t think Blob is being forced to work as a bartender. I would assume it was his decision.
    He chose to be a career-criminal before Krakoa. In a society where everything is free, there is no place for a criminal.

    Krakoa doesn’t really need servants because there are mutant powers to accomplish tasks.
    There is certainly a hierarchy on Krakoa. The Ruling Council are obviously the Alphas. The Triumvirate are certainly the Alpha Double-Plus.
    Then, the teams protecting Krakoa are the Betas.

    Most of the people on Krakoa just have non-stop parties, based on what we have seen of the society. It’s a pretty boring place, where the majority of the population have no real purpose.

  7. Ben Johnston says:

    Kurt lives inside the building with forked towers. Back in X-Men #7, he tells Cyclops that he teleported inside and found that it looked like the sort of dream home he would have wanted in his youth. He was disquieted by the way that Krakoa generated it spontaneously.

    It shows up on page 36, panel 2 as an establishing shot for the rest of pages 36-37. The art on page 36, panel 3 matches what was shown in X-Men #7.

    Obviously since nobody except a teleporter can get inside, it still functions as a metaphor for Kurt’s isolation from Krakoan society. Also, living inside something he’s deeply uncertain about is very much in line with his Catholic guilt.

  8. GN says:

    Paul > An excerpt from a book (title redacted) evidently written by Nightcrawler in mock biblical style, but trying to set out the development of his philosophy.

    I suspect the epigraphs in Hellions are meant to be excerpts from this book, though perhaps from a point later in time once Kurt has properly established his religion / philosophy / “Way of X”. In particular, what Magneto says to Kurt about snakes and Eden in this issue could have been the inspiration for the Nightcrawler quote in Hellions 1.

  9. GN says:

    Paul > … so presumably he’s not the man in the background whose head has been removed from the picture.

    The Marvel Wiki lists this man as Daniel Shomron, Gabrielle Haller’s husband, though I’m not sure how accurate that might be.

    Paul > Data page on Orchis, the anti-mutant organisation first introduced in House of X. Specifically, this is Orchis’s own internal structure chart.

    Now that we’re well into the second act of Hickman’s run, Orchis’s plans seem to be ramping up. I’m quite certain that Orchis (led by Nimrod and Omega Sentinel) is meant to be the endgame antagonist that will close Hickman’s overall run when he concludes it in another three or four years. Other people seem to believe that it would be the mutants vs the Phalanx and Technarchy or something but I disagree. Orchis was set up in House of X 1. In any case, I’m sure the Central Column redacted name is ‘Killian Devo’, who runs Orchis from the Orchis Forge.

    Paul > Spurrier, I suspect, sees the objections as being more philosophical in character, with religion simply being the way in which those issues manifest for Kurt.

    This is something that I noticed as well. It is clear to me that when Hickman was setting up this plotline over in X-Men 7, he was thinking only in terms of religion but when it was handed to Spurrier to spin-off into his own title, Spurrier broadened the remit a bit to make it about a way of living instead. Focusing too heavily on the religious aspects could also be alienating to an international audience, especially if it is heavily based off of Christianity and then subsequently promoted as being superior to human religions.

    Paul > We already know about the Pacific and Atlantic Krakoas, but the third “pending” isn’t clear. It might simply be Arakko, the twin island that arrived at the end of “X of Swords”.

    I don’t think this third Krakoan island is Arakko: X-Men 16 established that they are distinct entities (for now at least), “Respect This Sacred Land” is not one of the Arakkii laws (they have “Defend This Broken Land” instead), and Arakko is noticably bigger than Pacific Krakoa so it would not fit the smaller redacted slot on the data page. I think that this data page is meant to be foreshadowing that the Krakoans have planted or are about to plant a third Krakoan island, either on Earth or elsewhere.

    Paul > “Respect this Sacred Land” is one of the laws of Krakoa, proposed by Kurt himself back in House of X #6.

    I think it was Exodus who proposed this law back in House of X 6. Jean Grey proposed the “Murder No Man” law and Nightcrawler proposed the “Make More Mutants” law.

  10. GN says:

    Paul > Nemesis claims here to be responsible for creating the pharmaceuticals that are the basis of Krakoa’s economy and its worldwide leverage. This hasn’t been alleged before, and Nemesis does have a tendency to talk himself up, but it certainly could be true.

    In House of X 6, Professor X says the drugs were discovered by mutant scientists during his telepathic address to the world, without naming any names. From your annotations of that issue,

    Xavier’s speech. Xavier claims that the drugs “have been discovered by mutant scientists.” Who? Does he mean Moira and Sinister (who seems to be treated as a mutant for most purposes in this series)?

    Presumably, this is Spurrier giving an answer to that question.

    Paul > Kurt claims that there are at least 23 different religions on Krakoa. Despite that, we’ve never seen any sort of church or communal worship set up, and you rather get the sense that it would be deeply disapproved of in some circles as human culture.

    I think what he really means is that there are mutants from 23 different religions who have moved there rather than Krakoa is officially recognising 23 religions. I definitely agree that the more supremacist mutants would disapprove of it and there seems to be no faith centres of any kind (besides the worship of the Five at Arbor Magna) set up on Krakoa (though this can change in the future of this book).

    The religious mutants that come to mind are Nightcrawler (Christian), Exodus (Christian, though maybe no longer?), Dust (Muslim), the Xorn brothers (Buddhist), Storm (the Bright Lady, I’m not entirely sure if this is based on a real-life religion), Indra (Hindu, though this is just my assumption based on his religious name). Presumably these mutants either conduct their religious services in private (like Nightcrawler in this issue) or outside of the main island (the Xorn brothers live in a Krakoan habitat grown in a Himalayan monastery as seen in House of X 1, where they would presumably be able to practise their faith undisturbed).

    Paul > In the opening panel, Nightcrawler is looking at a mysterious building with forked towers. He spoke about this building in X-Men #7; apparently it appeared spontaneously, and nobody knows what’s inside.

    This building is definitely going to end up as the church / temple / faith centre for the “Way of X” philosophy that Kurt develops. I also think that Exodus is going to end up as an antagonist figure of sorts to Nightcrawler in this book, preaching the Crucible and supremacy fuelled dogma in opposition to Nightcrawler’s Way of X. This story might be why Hickman set Bennet up on the Quiet Council in the first place, but has not given him any other responsibilities as of yet. Kurt and Bennet both have equal authority on Krakoa (Summer seat vs Winter seat) so I suspect there will be some kind of faith cold-war where they each try to win the hearts and minds of Krakoans. Exodus already has a head start. The new Order of X religion amongst the humans and the dark, alien power that the Arakkii Summoners were said to worship could factor into this book too, albeit further down the line.

    Paul > Legion makes his first on-panel appearance of the series …

    With Legion’s appearance here, all of the Earth-born Omega Mutants have now been accounted for. 10 of them (Iceman, Elixir, Jean Grey, Magneto, Proteus, Storm, Exodus, Kid Omega, Vulcan and Hope) are citizens of Krakoa. Monarch is also Krakoan but has established himself as King of Avalon in Excalibur. Powerhouse was recently depowered and subsequently revealed to be a pseudo-mutant in Fantastic Four so I doubt that we will be seeing much of him in the X-Books anymore. Mister M was strongly hinted to be the unseen ruler of Mercator in Otherworld during X of Swords, and that will probably be explored in future issues of Excalibur. And now, Legion is revealed to be alive but not affiliated with Krakoa. Way of X will presumably explore his story.

    Of course, there are also the Amenth-born Omega Mutants to be explored (presumably in Hickman’s new book?)

  11. Si says:

    See the thing with Blob is while he was always an antagonist, he wasn’t always a criminal. And he was always anti-authority, even when he was working for the government under threat of prison, he was the one pushing the boundaries. It just seems strange that he’s now content making drinks for other people. He’d be a crooked bouncer maybe, always looking for an excuse to beat up someone.

    But fair enough. I do wonder what would happen if he decided not to serve drinks. Would anyone else do it? If not, all the parties would be crap. This makes him more valuable than Wolverine. You could find 50 mutants willing and able to stab people, but who else will wash glasses and hose the puke out of the urinals?

  12. Chris V says:

    Moira realizes that the end game is the Phalanx who do the bidding of the “machine gods”.
    The Phalanx are the end of all individual difference and life as we recognize it.
    That was what Moira saw in Life Six. She realized that the enemy is not humans or even robots, as such.

    Moira realizes that it “always begins with the activation of a Nimrod”. She is talking about the acceleration of technological change to the point of Singularity, and the creation of the true “next stage in human evolution”, which is post-humanity.

    Orchis will be a main threat, because obviously Orchis is that end-point leading to the creation of post-humanity.
    Once post-humanity is genetically engineered, the mutants are going “to lose”.
    From there, everything leads to the Phalanx and the eventual end of everything through a virtual immortality.

    Orchis are the biggest threat because they have already escaped from the planet.
    While Krakoa works to slow down human development through regulating human society and their drugs, Orchis sees mutantkind as an existential threat which must be prepared against.
    Krakoa might be (hypothetically) controlling the Earth, but Orchis have established their own society outside of the control of Krakoa.

    First, they will activate the Nimrod.
    From there, they will pursue genetic engineering to create a post-human society.

    There is a race on to create a World-Mind. If Orchis beats Krakoa in this goal, then post-humanity will be able to contact the Phalanx, and Moira’s plan will have failed again.

  13. Si says:

    @Chris V
    I wonder if that’s where they’re going with Cerebro’s backups of all the mutants. That’s basically what the Xandarian Worldmind was over in Nova after all. All they need to do is get Forge to whip up a computer that lets the personality files act without being imprinted on a brain, and you have a mutants-only singularity.

    Of course, the story will have to be why this doesn’t work, but still.

  14. The Other Michael says:

    GN – Rahne comes to mind as a religious mutant, as she always seemed close to her Scots Presbyterian upbringing (for better and worse). Amara, going by her Nova Roma upbringing, may very well still be an active worshipper of some Roman deities. If Thunderbird/Neal Sharra is around, he was described as being Hindu as well. Kitty is quite demonstrably Jewish. (Magneto and Iceman also, but not so observant of late).

    So the 23 religions mentioned almost undoubtedly represent several forms of Christianity, as well as Judiasm, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, and almost certainly some forms of Taoism, Shinto, Confucianism even if we haven’t seen them specifically practiced. If we’re to assume that the population of Krakoa has expanded beyond the commonly seen mutants to incorporate ones from all over the world, it’s not hard to assume a melting pot of religious beliefs as their population comes from all over the world. (Or even just previously unseen faiths of existing characters.) So that 23 cited may cover any number of other faiths–Native American, African, Asian, Aboriginal…

    Si – Maybe the Blob’s partner in bartending is Avalanche, who owned a bar during the San Francisco era. Maybe there’s a mutant whose power is to mix (transmute?) drinks…

    Frankly, if they’re trying to build a perfect mutant society, they need to work on infrastructure, economy, and employment more. You can’t tell me everyone is happy acting like it’s a permanent vacation. Some people -like- to work.

  15. Sol says:

    Love the focus on Nightcrawler here. But I will be massively disappointed if this just ends in six months or a year with him founding a mutant religion where everything that disquiets him now is basically okay.

    I’ve got to say, mutants distributing massive quantities of wonder drugs to the world THAT WERE DESIGNED BY DR NEMESIS is wildly ominous. Feels like the question now is how many of the backdoors built into the drugs does Xavier actually know about?

  16. Oscar Owens says:

    The Other Michael says:
    April 22, 2021 at 8:35 AMKitty is quite demonstrably Jewish. (Magneto and Iceman also, but not so observant of late).

    I believe this is incorrect – Iceman is not Jewish. He is Christian/catholic – he read a verse at Yuriko Takiguchi funeral in Matt Fractions run i believe.

    maybe one of his parents are jewish though?

    I did not enjoy Si X-FOrce run, or X-Men Legacy, i felt that they both started well and then got too confusing/boring and wordy.

    This issue was really good, i enjoyed it! everytime i think the lien is too big, they out another book out that is good.

  17. Fett says:

    Oscar> I believe this is incorrect – Iceman is not Jewish. He is Christian/catholic

    According to Iceman Vol 1 #1, written by J.M. DeMatteis, Bobby’s dad is Irish Catholic and his mom is Jewish.

    Here’s a link to the page in question.

    Uncanny X-men #524 also has Bobby claim to be Methodist when he’s giving last rites at Nightcrawler’s funeral. It would appear his religion isn’t set in stone.

  18. Daniel T says:

    The MU does have an analogue to the Christian God in One-Above-All. Whether this is the being MU Christians worship is debatable, especially as Yahweh exists in the MU (if I’m remembering Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck Marvel Max series correctly).

  19. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    This was good, interesting and took note of the many, many disturbing things about Krakoa. I believe Spurrier is an insightful writer, so I hope that whatever he has planned for Kurt will make it a worthwhile read – and that this will be a book to watch out for.

    For now though this is a very good first issue.

  20. The Other Michael says:

    Well, if Bobby’s mom is Jewish, that means he is too, even if he doesn’t follow or observe it. And he may just as well have chosen to observe his father’s Christianity instead. But he’s never been all that religious, so he’s probably not worried about it on Krakoa either. 🙂

  21. Daibhid C says:

    @Fett Yahweh definitely exists in the MU because He’s got a Marvel Wiki page. Which the page for every comic where someone says “Oh my God” or “Good lord” links to.

  22. Daniel T says:

    I am so happy to know that Yahweh page exists. I didn’t know God could create Ghost Riders!

  23. Rob says:

    In Iceman #1, Bobby says he went to Hebrew school as a kid, which suggests to me that he was raised Jewish enough to be bar mitzvahed (that being the main reason mainline Jewish people in America go to Hebrew school). It doesn’t mean he still practices, or ever practiced to a great degree. Lots of children of mixed-faith families end up blending faiths and traditions. They strike me as the sort of family that celebrates Christmas and the High Holidays but probably doesn’t go to church or synagogue regularly.

    (Also, to be clear, Bobby says his mom *is* Jewish, not *was* Jewish — so neither she nor his father has converted.)

    Coincidentally, I covered this on my blog ICEMAN IS A HOMOSEXUAL this week, where I cover the JM DeMattias period of The New Defenders, the queerest book Marvel published in the 20th century:

  24. Chris V says:

    The problem was always in later portrayal of Bobby’s dad as an intolerant, Right-Wing boor.
    You got the impression he was an Archie Bunker-type.
    I would be surprised if he didn’t want his wife to convert or if he’d allow his son to be raised Jewish.
    The guy had a problem with his son dating Opal.

    Ah, the DeMatteis and Peter Gillis run on Defenders. Such good comics.
    Added to the classic Steve Gerber Defenders.
    I was always a fan of the Defenders comic.
    It had long periods with three writers doing amazing stories on the book.

  25. Dave says:

    “Focusing too heavily on the religious aspects could also be alienating to an international audience, especially if it is heavily based off of Christianity and then subsequently promoted as being superior to human religions.”

    You really think this might result in Kurt being so satisfied with his own new religion that he decides it’s clearly superior to all others? Even if that happened, why would it be any more alienating than the whole concept of this mutants-only society, where regular humans are ‘already dead’ ?

    Glad to see this issue acknowledge that Kurt isn’t just the mopey religious guy he usually is in 21st century stories, but it could have been done in a subtler way than having him prank Magneto.

  26. Evilgus says:

    What a fantastic first issue. A real pleasure to read with so much thoughtful concepts to chew on. I’m really pleased that Spurrier is getting to play with some of his favourite characters (Nemesis, Legion) again.

    Characters truly felt like ‘themselves’ in this issue, not wooden puppet people. Nightcrawler, Pixie, Magneto and Xavier all spoke like personalities. Especially during Magneto’s pastiche of himself.

    And I particularly enjoyed just how dark this was, in terms of Pixie’s (effective) suicide and the Crucible scene. I’m really looking forward to how this book deconstructs the sinister side of Krakoa. It’s what we’ve been anticipating.

    I also like that Kurt is being more philosophical than hammer-on-the-head Christian. I also think Spurrier is working to backtrack somewhat on Kurt ‘making a religion’. It’s a better book for it. Though I wonder if Kurt is going to have his ‘time in the desert’ almost, questioning everything, before being convinced by Krakoa and being the biggest convert. That would be interesting and unsettling arc.

    florilegium – nice word!

    Oh and Indra is Jainist. I remember that as an unusual detail from Carey’s run.

  27. Luis Dantas says:

    That is kind of nice, IMO.

    Indra is indeed a Hindu name (AFAIK), but it is entirely reasonable that he may have chosen a different religion from that of his parents.

  28. Luis Dantas says:

    Ok, scratch that. I did not know the character and see now that he chose his codename.

    I suppose that he just happens to like Hindu mythology then.

  29. Benjamin says:

    Indra is a figure in Jainism. From the wikipedia page on Indra (the deity):

    “In the Jainism traditions, unlike Buddhism and Hinduism, Indra is not the king of Gods- the enlightened leaders (called Tirthankaras or Jinas), but King of superhumans residing in Swarga-Loka, and very much a part of Jain rebirth cosmology.”

  30. Ivo says:

    I thought the figure in Xavier’s nightmare was super obscure villain (but relevant to Xavier) Lucifer.

  31. Mathias X says:

    I suspect that Nemesis’s statement about Crucible leading to a more warlike breed of mutants might in some way contrast to the Nightcrawler-looking “Cardinal” in HoX; they indicated the Cardinals were a race of mutants who were genetically pacificists. Seems like a strong contrast to what Nemesis is describing, and I wonder if they’re related.

  32. Chris V says:

    Sinister tampered with the Cardinal chimeras.
    They were cloning mutants to be a warrior caste and fight the Man/Machine Supremacy.
    Sinister began to experiment with combining five different power-sets, and it led to the side-effect of that generation of the Cardinal chimera becoming a pacifist.
    They rejected individuality.
    It was said that their group-mind was obsessed with religious concepts though.

  33. JohanL says:

    I assumed the “Patchwork Man” is just the Shadow King – who has been turning up among the kids, is an Omega-level mutant, and most specifically feeds on negative emotions?

    Legion doesn’t do the feeding part at all, while it’s the SK:s signature move.

  34. Chris V says:

    Shadow King isn’t an Omega-level mutant.
    If you mean Farouk, he’s not that powerful when he’s not possessed.
    If you mean the Shadow King entity, it is not a mutant. It’s a primordial extra-dimensional being.

  35. Thom H. says:

    @Rob: Your blog is great. I’m excited to read more of it.

    Also, New Defenders was a strange and amazing series. I have fond memories of it. Looking back, I might have liked it in part because of the queer undertones. It was certainly exciting when [SPOILER] Cloud started gender-switching.

  36. Karl_H says:

    Chris V> “If you mean Farouk, he’s not that powerful when he’s not possessed.
    If you mean the Shadow King entity, it is not a mutant. It’s a primordial extra-dimensional being.”

    That’s how it should be, and it would explain how Farouk would be allowed to exist on Krakoa, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that most writers will remember it. I mean, he’s still presenting himself in Shadow King cosplay in New Mutants — at least lose the fez, man! Better yet, let’s see more of a Navid Negahban style; that was a fantastic interpretation of the character.

  37. CJ says:

    Absolutely great. I liked Spurrier even way back in the X-Club and X-Force days, so this was a treat. I can enjoy Krakoa a lot more if writers actually confront the weird things going on.

    The slang “krak” kraks me up.

  38. Rob says:

    @Thom: Thanks so much!

    And oh yes, next week I start the deep dive with Cloud, and the fascinating and occasionally problematic mess she/he/they are!

  39. sagatwarrior says:

    All told, Nightcrawler was dead at one point, existing on the outskirts of Christian Heaven, before being resurrected. So of course, he would be disquieted about this whole situation. The main point is are the mutants who being resurrected, are they just golems with memories installed into them, or are they the real deal? This of course brings up a range of philosophical questions. Since the dawn of comics, we have seen comic book characters resurrected, or brought back to life. But a lot time, they usually go to an afterlife, have their death reversed, etc. In this instance, it like they are making an end-around the whole afterlife question. You can back up a person’s memory, but can you back up their soul?

  40. neutrino says:

    @Chris V

    The Phalanx isn’t the endgame. If they were somehow totally erased from existence, the mutants in her sixth life would still be confined in a preserve and on the verge of extinction. The real enemy is post-humanity, and how do you stop an idea without killing or oppressing humanity?

  41. Dave says:

    I can’t remember – were there other mutants there besides Moira and Wolverine? Either way, it’s a star he argument to effectively say that if the Phalanx weren’t there as an endgame then they wouldn’t be the endgame. Are you saying post-humanity’s main goal is to have mutants in captivity?

  42. Dave says:

    star he = strange.
    Or circular, now I think about it.

  43. Chris V says:

    Moira is your dues-ex-machina though.
    Anytime events are at that point for mutants, she can die and start over again.
    In that sense, post-humanity was never allowed to be victorious.
    At any point during Life Six, Moira could have killed herself and restarted reality.
    She needed to live long enough to discover the end-game of post-humanity, which was to contact the Phalanx and achieve Ascension.

    The Phalanx planned to take Moira and make her immortal.
    Once that happens, there is no reset.

    Yes, the mutants are fighting against the rise of post-humanity.
    There’s no doubt that post-humanity is one of the main enemies of mutants.

    There is also the issue of the Dominions, which exist outside of time and space.
    The Dominions are influencing evolution in certain directions.
    There are questions as to whether post-humanity would even arise in a world with mutants, if not for the existence of the “machine gods”.

    Something we don’t know is what life was like during Moira’s first life, when she thought she was a human.
    She said she didn’t realize she was a mutant and she lived a normal life, not caring about the existence of mutants.
    Did post-humanity arise during that life?
    She says that “mutants always lose”, but she didn’t care about mutants at all during her first life. So, she doesn’t know if mutants were going to go extinct during her first life.
    She died of natural causes and that was the first time her mutant power manifested.

    There was a hint given by the Librarian in Life Six that Earth may have first come to the attention of the Dominions at the end of her first life, when reality was suddenly rebooted.
    The Dominions exist outside of time and space, so reality restarting would be noticeable to the Dominions.

  44. neutrino says:

    @Dave: What endgame? The Phalanx are there as a plot device so the Librarian can give Moira the information. There are other mutants in the Preserve, and they attack him. Judging by the food he brings them (, there aren’t that many, less than a thousand. The post-humans want to be the masters of the planet by defeating the mutants.

    @Chris V: Where are you getting this? The post-humans weren’t expecting the Phalanx, there were hoping for allies to help resist alien attacks. Merging with the Phalanx was also unexpected, and the Librarian had doubts about it.

    The Phalanx aren’t going to make Moira immortal; they don’t know she exists. The Librarian was going to send her off planet to prevent her death.

    There’s nothing about the Dominions directing evolution, or being aware of the resets. That was the thing about the Librarian becoming one with a Dominion: they would become aware and be able to stop them.

    The Librarian makes it clear that mutants real enemy is baseline humanity’s will to not be replaced. It uses genetic engineering and cybernetics to be something greater. nothing to do with machine gods.

  45. Chris V says:

    I read between the lines with certain ideas I presented, this is true, however I also must ask where you got some of your facts.

    Post-humanity did contact the Phalanx. Their goal was Ascension.
    The idea is that post-humanity wants to achieve the next step in evolution, which is to achieve immortality by merging with the Phalanx hive-mind.

    The post-humans created a world-mind, which led to them contacting the Phalanx.
    The Phalanx won’t communicate with any beings that are less than the level of a world-mind.
    Yes, it was initially a chance event, but once the post-humans found out that the Phalanx offered immortality to the chance to become something akin to “gods”, they realized this was the next stage in evolution.

    Yes, the Librarian had doubts about giving up individuality to merge with the Phalanx.
    He was the only member of post-humanity shown to have any doubts though.
    His hesitation to pursue Ascension allowed Wolverine the chance to kill Moira.

    The Librarian knew about Moira’s power. There was obviously a plan in place to make Moira immortal, as the moment she died, all of reality would reset.
    If they just removed Moira from Earth before it was scoured of all life, Moira would still die of old age and reset the timeline.
    The only reason she was still alive at that point was due to Wolverine’s blood transfusions, and post-humanity were going to kill Logan along with all other life left on Earth.

    You are contradicting yourself. If post-humanity didn’t contact the Phalanx, there would have been no need to remove Moira from the preserve.
    The only reason everything left on Earth was going to be killed was due to the Phalanx.
    So, if the post-humans didn’t contact the Phalanx, there would be no reason to remove Moira from Earth.

    No. It’s not baseline humanity’s will to not be replaced.
    Baseline humanity is going to be eventually replaced. Post-humanity makes it clear that they no longer consider themselves human.
    The remaining baseline humans left on Earth are going to be killed when the Phalanx scourge the planet along with the mutants.
    Nimrod makes the point about baseline humans very clear when he says, “Homo Sapiens. So glad to be done with all of that.”
    The implication is that post-humanity sees humans and mutants as the same thing and consider themselves a new species.

    No, the point is made that mutants are the next stage in human evolution, but that humanity has removed itself from nature, and so that no longer matters.
    The true next stage in human evolution is based on humanity’s creating technology and manipulating their own biology in order to steer human evolution.

    OK, moving on:
    I based my theory about Dominions helping to control evolution on Moira’s discovery about AI after Life Six.
    She discovers that post-humans used machines to distract mutants.
    So, Moira then kills the Trask family to stop the creation of Sentinels.
    Yet, the Sentinels arose anyway.
    Moira concludes that AI will also naturally evolve.
    This seems to point towards a higher power steering evolution in a certain direction.
    Also, look at Omega Sentinel in Life Nine. She talks about what exists at the heart of a black hole, referencing the Singularity.
    There is the question of how she knows this information.
    It seems that machine intelligence have some innate knowledge about the Dominions.

    As far as the Dominions, they exist outside of space and time.
    When Moira restarts time, the Dominions are not effected.
    So, one would conclude that the Dominions are already aware of Moira’s mutant power.

    I suspect that where this might be heading is that Moira is actually indirectly responsible for the reason that “mutants always lose”.
    Because the first time she died and her powers activated, it drew the interest of the Dominion, which now saw mutants as a threat to itself.
    I suspect that in Moira’s first life, Xavier’s dream was more successful than in any of her other lives.

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