RSS Feed
Apr 22

X-Force #19 annotations

Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #19
“Dead of Nightmare”
by Benjamin Percy, Garry Brown & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1. Marvel Girl is plagued by demonic images of X-Force.

PAGE 2. Phoebe calls Jean for help.

Jean is talking about the nightmare vision she had in the previous issue, one of a number of nightmare hallucinations that were presumably caused by XENO’s evil copy of Quentin Quire.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits.

PAGES 4-7. Quentin is pursued through his mindscape.

Last issue, Quentin went to the astral plane to confront the predatory thingy, and found himself in this laboratory setting – which he correctly infers later on to be the XENO lab where his copy was cloned. As in that issue, astral Quentin doesn’t have his regular glasses, but instead has a pink energy shape, the same effect as is used for any psychic weapons that he conjures up. What use a pair of psychic glasses is, it’s not immediately obvious. At any rate, this is clearly meant to be symbolic, because Quentin starts using a similar effect in the real world later in the issue.

Quentin’s narration establishes the basic (and very straightforward) point of this issue. Although the evil Quentin happens to have been created by XENO, Quentin sees it as a projection of his own worst traits and of his tendencies to self-sabotage. So this is a story about Quentin confronting the things he hates about himself.

The voices in the lab maintain the line from earlier issues that Quentin has died many, many times as a member of X-Force.

PAGES 8-9. Jean is roped in to help out.

Note that at this stage Quentin makes a point of putting on his physical glasses when he’s being determined.

Beast “died” in the previous issue, after being seriously injured fighting the evil Quentin. Sage killed him to get him ready for resurrection.

PAGE 10. X-Force compare notes.

Hmm. It’s one thing to tell me that Quentin recognises the lab as a real location from the highly specific details. But I really have trouble believing that he has a working knowledge of Danish plug sockets, let alone that he’s capable in mid-panic of telling a type K socket apart from a type F. Shouldn’t he at least be conjuring up the image and leaving it to Sage to know the obscure facts?

Nuuk is the capital of Greenland.

A monthly electricity bill of 156,000 Danish krone is roughly $18,600, which is on the high side for a factory but not outrageous.

PAGE 11. Data page. We haven’t seen one of these “Scribe” pages since issue #11, back before “X of Swords”. The writer is still preoccupied with Colossus, who is apparently now selling his paintings again.

Michaelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” does indeed feature a composition which appears to reflect the anatomy of the human brain, something that was only pointed out in 1990. It’s the shape behind God. 

Jan van Eyck’s “Arnolfini Portrait” (1434) is more notable for being ahead of its time in terms of its visual realism, but has also provoked plenty of debate about the symbolism.

PAGES 12-15. Jean gives Quentin advice.

Quentin seems to be destroying his physical glasses as a way of indicating a break from the past – perhaps because he always wore them as something of an affectation. This doesn’t really work, because he was randomly wearing the energy glasses earlier anyway, and the energy glasses seem at least as pointless as the physical ones. We also get a surprisingly sentimental (for this book) statement that Quentin’s insecurities are being addressed by his relationship with Phoebe.

Black Tom isn’t responding because he was attacked by evil Quentin last issue. Wolverine is probably just off fighting vampires in his own book, which is what he said he was going to do last issue.

Jean’s line about “someone you love … secretly spending their nights elsewhere” is presumably referencing Scott’s affair with Emma Frost back during the Grant Morrison run.

PAGE 16. Data page, which is really just more conversation from the previous scene. Jean’s lines about knowing what it’s like to lose control and become the worst possible version of yourself presumably reference the Dark Phoenix Saga, which she remembers even though (if you’re being technical) that wasn’t strictly her.

PAGE 17. Domino and Marvel Girl arrive in Greenland.

Somehow, Domino remembers being in a Xeno lab before even though she was restored without memory of it. This seems to suggest that resurrected mutants might have some form of access to their gap memories after all (perhaps something to do with the return of their souls, however that works).

The colourful houses shown in the art are a part of Nuuk called Myggedalen.

PAGES 18-23. The various X-Force groups defeat the copy Quentin.

Of most note is a line by Jean suggesting that Quentin has actually lost the anger that’s embodied in the copy. It’s not entirely obvious why a clone of Quentin’s body would have any of his anger in the first place, and perhaps the suggestion here is that XENO have inadvertently siphoned off some of his worst traits permanently. The fact that Domino has flashes of memory while in the presence of the lab might tend to support this too. Or maybe it’s just that clone Quentin hasn’t had the love of a good woman.

PAGE 24. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: HELLFIRE GALA.


Bring on the comments

  1. Type K sockets are adorable, so maybe that’s why he remembers them.

  2. SanityOrMadness says:

    Quentin had the energy “glasses” as part of his new costume when it debuted a couple of issues back (under a different artist). It was also part of his demands of the Five that they fix his eyesight so the glasses became just an affectation.

    Also, since Domino’s backup *had* those memories, they were just edited out (per Cokossus’ lie about her desires), perhaps they just did a shonky job of the edit.

  3. Evilgus says:

    “This seems to suggest that resurrected mutants might have some form of access to their gap memories after all (perhaps something to do with the return of their souls, however that works).”

    I’ve always had a pet theory that telepaths are really traipsing about in people’s souls when they use their mental powers. If Xavier is ultimately somehow capturing people’s ‘soul energy’ when downloading into Cerebro or whatever, Or psychic energy is the same as soul energy, then that gets around the ‘is this the same person’ question.

    I feel we’re heading somewhere in that direction when Jean does a bit of show and tell on the psychic plain. I always like it when we get a bit of pseudoscience explanation for mental powers.

    But then again on the soul thing, maybe I’m just looking at this from my antiquated, non mutant perspective and none of it really matters 🙂

  4. M says:

    “Erasing“ memories is probably just blocking access, especially conscious access, to them.

  5. Mathias X says:

    Something seems unusual about the Xeno clones in general. The Domino clones somehow “siphoned off” her luck powers; here they’re implying the Quentin clone might have ended up with some of his personality. We don’t usually see a person and their clone operating from a shared “pool” of resources, so why does that seem to be the case with Xeno?

Leave a Reply