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May 26

X-Men #20 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 5 #20
“Lost Love”
by Jonathan Hickman, Francesco Mobili & Sunny Gho

COVER / PAGE 1: The face of a damaged Nimrod.

PAGE 2. “The Oracle”

This is Mystique’s underground home, which we last saw in issue #6. The floating mask with the energy effect, which we also saw in that issue, belongs to her late wife Destiny. As shown in that issue and Powers of X #6 (among others), Professor X and Magneto signed Mystique up for the Krakoan project on the promise that Destiny would be resurrected. But Destiny can’t be resurrected because of the rule against reviving precognitives: first, she would be able to detect Moira MacTaggert hiding on the island; and second, she would apparently see something pretty alarming about how things turned out. And so Professor X and Magneto have been stringing Mystique along.

Issue #6 included a flashback in which Destiny essentially predicted all this to Mystique. It ends with Destiny telling Mystique to bring her back – “And if you cannot… if they will not… then burn that place to the ground.”

The floating mask appears to be simply a shrine, rather than something that allows Mystique to commune with Destiny’s spirit.

PAGES 3-6. Mystique visits Forge.

Mystique is asking for a devastating weapon, and we’re presumably meant to wonder at first whether this is intended for Krakoa. But we establish soon enough that she actually wants it to destroy the Orchis space station (from House of X), where the Nimrod AI is though to be on the verge of manifesting. This continues a recurring theme in Hickman’s stories of drawing out parallels between Krakoa and Orchis.

Forge‘s argument for the moral acceptability of what he does boils down to saying that technology is inherently neutral, and it’s all about the people using it; weapons, he suggests, are no more inherently dangerous than any other technology. This is very much not the mindset that’s driving Professor X, Magneto and Moira; based on Moira’s knowledge from her previous lives, they apparently believe that all artificial intelligence is inherently dangerous and must be suppressed.

Despite this, Forge identifies the “worst weapon I ever built” as “a gun that turned us into them” – i.e., the Neutralizer which temporarily removed Storm’s powers, as seen first in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #184. It’s worth noting that the Neutralizer wasn’t designed specifically to remove mutant powers – it was a reverse-engineered copy of Rom’s weapon, originally intended for use against the Dire Wraiths. So it is, ultimately, an illustration of the morality of the weapon depending upon who’s using it.

Forge presumably asks Mystique for more details because his mutant power is intuitive invention; he’s not aware, at least consciously, of the thought processes involved. It makes sense that he would need a clearly defined goal.

PAGES 7-8. Mystique in the House of M.

Professor X and Magneto explicitly promise that Destiny will be fast-tracked for resurrection if she succeeds in her mission, which is “preventing Nimrod from coming online”. It’s not clear what they would have done if she’d succeeded; the calculation may well have been that she’d get killed in the process and could be conveniently revived without memory of the promise.

The secret gate to the Orchis Forge space station was planted by Mystique behind the scenes in House of X #4, as shown in flashback in X-Men #6.

PAGE 9. Recap.

PAGES 10-12. Alia Gregor revives her husband Erasmus Mendel as Nimrod.

The two characters watching from the balcony are Omega Sentinel (Karima Shapandar) and Orchis’ director Killian Devo.

As in X-Men #6, the parallels between the Orchis Forge and Krakoa are very obvious. Alia has created her own version of Krakoa’s resurrection, albeit with a technological body rather than a biological one. But the basic idea is the same – create a new body and restore the deceased from back-up. On top of that, Alia (like Mystique) is driven by an overriding desire to bring her spouse back to life, rather than showing any particular interest here in Orchis’ anti-mutant agenda. Presumably Orchis sees this whole exercise as having anti-mutant applications, or else they wouldn’t be funding it, but it’s certainly not at the forefront of Alia’s mind, and all the emphasis is on making her a parallel to Mystique.

Hence Mystique’s reaction in the final panel of page 12. (That’s her with the bag.) The parallels can’t be lost on her. For added parallels, we even had a scene with the Krakoan Forge earlier in the issue.

PAGES 13-18. Mystique is exposed, and Nimrod stops the bomb.

The technobabble here is on the heavy side. But the basic idea is clear enough: Nimrod can split into two bodies, one to pursue Mystique and one to deal with the bomb. He can contain the bomb, but that body gets destroyed in the process. And for convoluted reasons that boil down to plot convenience, if one of the bodies is destroyed too soon after his revival, the memories are lost. So Erasmus heroically sacrifices himself again to save his wife – just like he did in House of X #3, despite being a villain – and Alia loses him for good.

As in House of X, there’s a very strong suggestion here that Professor X and Magneto are actually accelerating the very disaster that they claim to be trying to avert. It was the rise of Krakoa that prompted Orchis to accelerate their plans in House of X. It was the X-Men’s failed assault on the Orchis Forge that led to Alia accelerating her Nimrod research in order to bring back her husband. And if Mystique had left him alone, they’d have had a Nimrod with a human mind and apparently a degree of decency – instead, they’ve got the AI Nimrod that they always feared, whose first and defining memory is of a mutant assassination attempt. Everything they’ve done has been counter-productive.

PAGES 19-20. Omega Sentinel and Karima Shapandar.

Devo mentions some equivalent tragedy having befallen himself in the past; I don’t think we’ve heard about this before. (We’ve been told that Devo was blind at birth, so it can’t be to do with that.)

Devo is correct that the gate was planted before he arrived on the station (in X-Men #1).

He clearly has a point that the Krakoans’ desperate attempts to get rid of Nimrod suggest that the fear and hatred has become mutual – but the obvious difference is that the Krakoans are specifically alarmed about Orchis and its activities, rather than humans in general. That said, the Krakoans have been developing an increasingly mutant-nationalist bent throughout the Hickman era, and are increasingly prone to talking about the humans as their inferiors.

PAGES 21-22. Mystique’s resurrection.

She didn’t complete the mission, so Destiny doesn’t get revived. It has to be said that even if you accept that Xavier has a legitimate motivation for trying to stall on her resurrection, he’s being incredibly callous here.

PAGE 23. Moira’s lair.

The narration is Destiny’s prophecy from the flashback in X-Men #6.

Moira is reading from Destiny’s Libris Veritorum, the books of prophecy which she wrote after her powers emerged at age 13. She wrote one volume a month for thirteen months before stopping. The books were a major plot point in the early-2000s X-Treme X-Men series, and are shown here as they were depicted in X-Treme X-Men #1, complete with the cover layout, the month, and the spelling of her name as “Irenie Adler”. Note that there ought to be 13 volumes, but the art only shows nine. It’s possible that the other four are obscured behind other books, of course.

PAGE 24. A trailer for this autumn’s “Inferno” storyline, named after the late-80s crossover, but apparently here referencing Destiny’s command to burn Krakoa to the ground. The Krakoan, obviously, just says INFERNO.

PAGE 25. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: TO THE STARS.

Bring on the comments

  1. they apparently believe that all artificial intelligence is inherently dangerous and must be suppressed

    Has there been any acknowledgement of the 101 other AIs running around the Marvel Universe? Are the Krakoans bothered about Machine Man or the Vision?

  2. Chris V says:

    I’ve begun to wonder if Hickman’s claim that Moira is not creating alternate realities was a misdirection.
    The evidence was wholly based on Destiny and Moira’s own beliefs.
    There’s no reason to think that Destiny would have absolute knowledge as to how Moira’s power works. Alternately, Destiny could have simply been lying to Moira.
    It makes one wonder how, exactly, Destiny could know to hunt down Moira in the different timelines.

    We have seen alternate futures introduced again during this run of X-titles, such as about Cable and Stryfe.
    So, Hickman’s changes have not done away with the concept of alternate realities, as seemed to be the case when Hickman wrote his Moira X story.
    That opens up a lot of other questions.

    It comes from a misreading of Life Six involving post-humanity and Ascension on my part.
    I read it that if post-humanity achieved Ascension, they would make Moira immortal as well, so that she could never die, and they would have their victory over mutants for eternity.
    That wasn’t in the text. It says that once post-humanity achieves Ascension, because the Dominion exists outside of time and space, the Dominion would always know about Moira and would work to stop her plans.

    So, what if the timelines don’t end due to Moira’s death?
    During Life Six, post-humanity still would have achieved Ascension after Moira died.
    I think that the Dominion did become aware of Moira at that point, and that is the reason why “mutants always lose”.
    I think that Moira’s first lifetime would have seen Xavier’s dream working. Moira has no idea she was a mutant and said she didn’t pay attention to those issues during that life, so she has no idea if “mutants were going to lose” during that life.

    Notice that it took so much longer for post-humanity to arise during Moira’s sixth life compared to the amount of time it took during Moira’s ninth life.

    It seems that there is an acceleration taking place over how quickly technological change occurs.
    Now, with Moira’s tenth life, it seems that this is happening far faster than in life nine also.

  3. NS says:

    @thekelvingreen: The Hellions did discover newly-born, friendly AI on a mission recently and killed them at Xavier & Magneto’s behest. But I think that’s the closest we’ve seen.

  4. Chris V says:

    I’m not sure that “Inferno” has nothing to do with the original crossover.
    Remember, Sinister hinted at another “Inferno” during “Dawn of X”, with his Sinister secrets column…I forget the exact comic.

    Mystique seems to be holding a baby in the promo art.

    So…Mystique goes to Sinister for help, to get around Xavier and (secretly) Moira. Sinister clones Destiny. Something along those lines, maybe?

  5. Dave says:

    Does it matter much if the past lives are still around in the multiverse? This is still 616, as it’s tied into Empyre and KiB.
    I’d say any perceived acceleration of technology is because that’s the point that the story has focused on. And even then, we know life 4 had most of the events play out closely right up to AvX, and that’s not a long time ago.

    This issue needed some kind of justification for NOT having a large scale mutant attack force used, or a team of omegas.

  6. Chris V says:

    Dave-It matters because of the warning given by the Librarian to Moira during Life Six about the Dominion, if post-humanity achieved Ascension.

    I think there has to be some sort of resolution to Hickman’s run, and it can’t simply be that Xavier’s dream is never going to work, mutants are an outdated concept, and they are always going to go extinct, because post-humanity is really next.
    Obviously, Krakoa isn’t going to work. Humanity isn’t simply going to be ruled by mutants in the Marvel Universe going forward.

    There needs to be some actual threat for mutants to fight with a way for Moira to achieve her goal in some form, opening the way for mutants to also having a future.
    The Dominion being aware of Moira and, therefore, Moira’s existence leading to the cause of mutant’s continual downfall; the Dominion steering evolution in a certain direction, namely towards itself, seems to be a good way for mutants to break the cycle at the end of this era.

  7. CJ says:

    Nimrod’s speech patterns (“I am SO sorry…”) were first seen in Powers of X too.

  8. K says:

    If Xavier and Magneto had wanted to make Mystique forget her deal through resurrection, they should really have done it during House of X.

    And the problem with the self-fulfilling prophecy theoy is that… It’s not like the AI Nimrod didn’t develop in the other lives, when there was no Krakoan escalation.

    On top of that, it is not clear that Erasmus Nimrod would be better than AI Nimrod, since Erasmus’s only defining personality trait that we’ve seen has been “more effectual at killing X-Men than most people except for Matthew Rosenberg”.

  9. The Other Michael says:

    Well, Mystique’s plan was a failure, and Xavier and Magneto are quite definitely assholes. I’m surprised they didn’t just edit Mystique’s mind while she was in the resurrection queue to remove her drive to have Irene back.

    Sigh.

    It’s painful watching the supposed heroes do everything in their power to self-destruct and sabotage their goals. Unless Moira’s ultimate aim IS to fast-track the inevitable confrontation so it happens far sooner than otherwise, thus preventing the enemy from having a chance to truly build up and prepare. Maybe her plan needs for a rush-job Nimrod to come into existence now rather than 10 years from now?

    I dunno.

  10. Chris V says:

    The problem is that Orchis has already escaped the Earth.
    Moira’s plan seems like it is already on the way to failure.
    She attempted to accelerate the conflict in lives eight and nine and both times, it led to defeat. So, I don’t think that was her intent in this life.
    They should have been working to stop this before humanity were able to move outside the confines of Krakoa’s supposed rule of the planet.
    The rise of post-humanity seems to be happening quicker each life, the more Moira does to stop it.

    Unless my theory is correct, and the Dominion is what has been working against mutants since Moira discovered she was a mutant.

  11. Luis Dantas says:

    Magneto and Xavier may attempt to remove specific memories from Mystique or even change her personality enough that she does not miss Irene as much anymore. But that does not solve anything, particularly now that there is another (potential) precog in Krakoa. It would be a stalling measure at best.

    At some point people would realize that Mystique had been deliberately tampered with. There are way too many witnesses and records of how much Destiny means to her – and many of them actually live in Krakoa, to boot. Moira was unconvinced that Magneto and Xavier could deal with Mystique, and I think she was in the right there.

  12. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    It’s a minor point, but Gambit destroyed the Destiny Diaries in the run-up to Messiah Complex to keep them from falling into Sinister’s hands (despite working for him at the time).

    I guess there always could have been more copies, but that’s not how Carey’s story presented it.

  13. Drew says:

    I never really thought about it before, but yeah, to kelvin’s point, the Marvel Universe has had human-level AI since at least 1939. I guess if you wanted to be charitable, you could say that since Phineas Horton was basically hounded out of the scientific community and Jim Hammond was buried for decades, his branch of AI was cut off at the bud, rather than “inevitably” leading to more and more advanced machinery.

  14. Luis Dantas says:

    On another note, has it even been addressed why exactly Destiny has the same name as the character from Arthur Conan Doyle?

  15. Chris V says:

    I found it. It is “Sinister Secrets Revealed #2”-
    “We don’t hear this word spoken very often, so when we do, it is best to pay attention, because when you square that circle, what took a long time to build can come crumbling down rather quickly.”
    (Inferno)

  16. Tim Maxwell says:

    To me, there is zero probability that Xavier isn’t goading Mystique into destroying Krakoa. He’s a goddamn psychologist, he knows he’s acting in a manner that will aggravate her, and I doubt it’s out of just weird meanness. They’re fucking with her to get her to do something.

  17. Tim Maxwell says:

    “This issue needed some kind of justification for NOT having a large scale mutant attack force used, or a team of omegas.”

    I wish Xenos were tied directly into Orchis (and for all I know, they might be eventually.) The cloning of Domino and Omega sort of points to the idea that if Omegas are Krakoa’s greatest natural resource, it’s very dangerous for them to potentially lose those Omegas on the field if humans are now able to weaponize those remains.

    Could go a long way for why they wouldn’t risk sending Magneto face-first past a planet of Sentinels to toss a space station into the sun.

  18. Si says:

    As much as having an X-Men Vs All The AIs event would be plain bad, it would be interesting to see what Cyclops would do if he had to face his old teammate Viv Vision.

    Viv’s face actually looks a bit like Nimrod’s …

  19. Col_Fury says:

    re: Si
    My favorite part of the War of the Realms crossover was Cyclops’ reunion with the Champions. “To me, my Champions!” And when the fighting was done they caught up on old times, because they’re friends. 🙂

  20. Luis Dantas says:

    Has Cyclops gained / kept the memories of his (alternate AFAIK) teen self that was a member of Champions and the X-Men: Blue team?

  21. Chris V says:

    More interesting tidbits from prior Hickman comics in regards to the similarities pointed out between Krakoa and Orchis, as well as Moira’s seeming self-destructive planning.

    Notice in Life Nine, Nimrod wonders why the mutants are attacking his Church (we know it was to gain information about the creation of Nimrod).
    He tells Omega Sentinel that the mutants usually attempted to free the humans, hoping for an alliance against the machines.
    Omega replies that it seems that it has developed so that the two sides barely have any common ground anymore.
    She goes on to say that the two no longer even seem to speak the same language.
    Omega:“Any hope of cohabitation died some time ago.”
    Nimrod:”Such a pity. The tragedy of it.”
    Omega:”…That’s what the mutants think is wrong with us-We do not dream.”
    -(Highly symbolic language in that last line, I’d say.)

    It definitely seems as if Moira hasn’t learned the correct lessons in her past life.

  22. David says:

    @Luis-

    Yes, all of the O5 have the memories of their younger selves that came to the present. They’re not alternate versions, they were sent back the past with their memories repressed, and then had the memories unlocked in the present.

  23. GN says:

    thekelvingreen > Has there been any acknowledgement of the 101 other AIs running around the Marvel Universe? Are the Krakoans bothered about Machine Man or the Vision?

    I’m quite certain that the issue that introduced this idea, Hellions 8, also mentions that this Hesiod Protocol only applies to anti-mutant A.I. Hence, things like Nimrods and the Grinners are to be monitored and destroyed, but the normal Marvel Universe A.I.s (Vision, HERBIE, …) should be fine.

    Chris V > I’ve begun to wonder if Hickman’s claim that Moira is not creating alternate realities was a misdirection.

    I think we can take the Librarian’s claim in Powers of X 6 that the world gets reset to the point of Moira’s birth when she dies as a fact. I don’t think it really matters whether her first nine lives were considered to be alternate timelines or previous versions of Earth-616. The important part is that they end with her death.

    I also think people generally misunderstand the purpose of these previous lives. They are a storytelling tool to help illustrate why several previous methods of mutant self-determination did not work. Each live (except maybe the first one) show a different method of tackling the ‘human-mutant’ problem, and they all fail due to flaws inherent in the method of solution itself. You can take this as commentary from Hickman on why all the previous mutant nation-states in Marvel Comics did not work. For example, Genosha failed because Magneto had no leverage except fear of war, and so on.

    This is a build-up towards Life 10, where Xavier and Moira come up with the radical idea for all mutants to work together, blending their ideologies to create something that could possibly work. Mutants of the world unite.

    Hence, I don’t think the mechanics of how the previous lives work really matters. We will most certainly not be seeing those specific versions of the characters again (except maybe for Cardinal and Rasputin IV). These lives provide a perspective through which the human-mutant conflict in Life 10 is to be viewed.

  24. Chris V says:

    Moreso, the past lives were actually about how Moira was supposed to learn from each of her lives, and how she applied what she had learnt to her new plan.

    Genosha didn’t exist in any lifetime except this life. Magneto kept trying to found island-nations (including Asteroid M under that rubric) in this lifetime due to Moira’s tampering with Magneto’s mind. He had the idea about founding an island haven for mutants, and thought he could accomplish the goal without needing Xavier or Moira’s help.
    He (unintentionally) has the idea for “strongholds” placed in his mind by Moira.
    Highly interesting terminology by Hickman, considering that Strongholds have relevance from Life Six too.

    See for example: Life seven.
    It has very little to do with Hickman’s commentary on the “mutant/human issue”, but rather what Moira learned from life six.

    Her first life is a mystery as far as mutants.

    I have some suspicion that life two may be something more than Hickman showing that death can be meaningless and random…but, we’ll ignore that life.

    Life three-Moira hates being a mutant, and is taught a lesson by Destiny. Destiny tells Moira that humans will always use Sentinels to kill mutants.

    So, life four-She takes up the mutant-cause. She decides she will embrace Xavier’s ideology. Her and Xavier found the X-Men and they become the world’s greatest superheroes. She learns that Destiny wasn’t lying. Even though they did everything to help humanity, the Sentinels are still sent to kill them.

    OK, life five-Instead of helping humanity, maybe it would be best to take an isolationist approach. Her and Xavier found an island to avoid humanity. The Sentinels are still sent to kill mutants.

    Life six-Apparently, Moira now wants to see why machines always seem to kill mutants, and to see exactly what will happen in the far future.
    She discovers about post-humanity and the Phalanx.
    Post-humanity reveals that the Sentinels are simply a distraction, to give post-humanity time to evolve.
    Also, apparently, Moira discovers that the technological acceleration that leads to post-humanity always begins with the creation of the Nimrod AI.

    Life seven-Based on what she learns about how Sentinels are used, she decides to stop the creation of Sentinels, and maybe that will allow mutants to flourish.
    She discovers that it seems that machines also evolve, and that the creation of Sentinels is inevitable after a certain point in technological change.

    Life eight-Since it’s pointless to try to stop the Sentinels, she takes up Magneto’s ideology, to use force to just conquer humanity.
    That goes very badly, as the world’s superheroes quickly stop Magneto.

    Life nine-She turns to Apocalypse, who will fight a war against humanity.
    This instead hastens the rise of post-humanity.
    Moira makes use of the long-life in this timeline to at least discover when the Nimrod is first activated.

    Life ten (currently)-Discovering that the ideologies of Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse on their own leads to defeat; and also realizing from her past two lives that turning to brute force and violence only hastens mutants losing, she is now attempting to combine the ideologies of the three ideologies.
    However, this seems to be hastening the rise of post-humanity even faster than siding with Apocalypse.

    Having said all that, there’s still the issue of the Dominions which Moira found out about in life six. The “machine gods” which exist outside of space and time. Meaning they each time Moira dies, her powers won’t effect a Dominion.

  25. Dave says:

    “The Dominion being aware of Moira and, therefore, Moira’s existence leading to the cause of mutant’s continual downfall; the Dominion steering evolution in a certain direction, namely towards itself, seems to be a good way for mutants to break the cycle at the end of this era.”

    Would (or should) a class of beings who live outside of normal spacetime care about speeding up a process that is most likely happening anyway? Or has already happened, if Moira’s past realities stay in existence.

    I could maybe buy that having omega bodies captured is a very bad thing that must be avoided, if there wasn’t already a Jean body presumably obtainable by Orchis after the X-Men’s previous attack. Plus, sending all the omega in a suicide attack would be almost certain to obliterate Orchis, so who would be there to do anything with the bodies?

  26. Chris V says:

    Dave-The Librarian seems to believe that a Dominion would feel threatened by Moira.

    In that context, it may be interested in speeding up evolution in order to prevent Moira from accomplishing her goal, which would subvert the direction that it wants to see evolution move…towards itself.

    My guess was that, perhaps, the Dominion became aware of Moira when her mutant power first manifested.
    A being like the Dominion would notice reality apparently restarting after Moira died and was reborn.

  27. Chris V says:

    Maybe “threatened” is the wrong word. More “targeted”.
    Actual line: “We would not tolerate something like you having any power over something like us.”
    So, the idea that she could try to stop the rise of post-humanity wouldn’t be tolerated.

  28. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Back to the issue at hand – damn, Xavier already had a long list of crimes and misdemeanors to answer for, but I don’t think he’s ever been as casually cruel as depicted here? ‘What about her?’. Damn.

    And we’re back to that old game of ‘is it a plot point or is it bad writing’? Could Hickman be so oblivious that this wasn’t intended?

    Well. I have a very bad opinion of Hickman’s grasp of character voices, or characters generally, so… I could believe. And he clearly wasn’t interested in writing the X-Men in the first place – I mean, he specifically didn’t write the X-Men this past 20 issues, however stupid that anti-reveal was, and he’s leaving the title as soon as the actual X-Men are supposed to appear in it. So…

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s a plot point. We’ll find out in 6 months. Maybe. Maybe not. This book is tiring.

    Also this is the first clear continuation of HoXPoX’s plot in a long time and it made me realize that in the meantime I’ve become invested in Krakoa’s status quo and I don’t care about HoXPoX’s plot.

  29. Jack says:

    “On another note, has it even been addressed why exactly Destiny has the same name as the character from Arthur Conan Doyle?”

    Coz she is her. Now guess who Raven DarkHOLME was when they met.

  30. NS says:

    Given that the X-Men’s efforts to stop Orchis are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and Moira is using Destiny’s diaries as a guide, isn’t this just the continuation of the similar X-Treme X-Men storyline? The team specifically stops chasing the prophecies in the diaries because they deemed them self-fulfilling and leading only to self-destruction. This would be a pretty deep cut for Hickman.

  31. Chris V says:

    I think that Moira turned to the diaries out of desperation because her plans are failing.

    She was using her prior lives as a guide.
    She came up with the plan to create Krakoa, just as she did in life nine, but this time as a home for all mutants, using the combined ideology of the Ruling Triumvirate. Before (life nine), Apocalypse killed Xavier and the X-Men.
    Except, founding Krakoa was the impetus for the Orchis Protocols to launch.

    Then, Moira’s goal was to stop the creation of Nimrod. She had the information from life nine as to exactly where and when a Nimrod would be completed.
    Except, Krakoa has failed to stop Nimrod’s completion.

    It seems that the rise of post-humanity is happening even quicker in this life than life nine.
    Since her plan isn’t working, I think out of desperation she is now turning to the diaries.

  32. Jerry Ray says:

    It’s a little puzzling why, instead of sending a super-powerful strike force to destroy the threat (since Krakoa has a bunch of the most powerful people on the planet at its disposal, and the ability to resurrect them if things go badly), they sent one woman with a bomb.

    It’s also unclear why Mystique stood around waiting to be discovered before actually attacking, and why the bomb had an “allow time for the bad guys to take action” fuse on it instead of just detonating instantly (and again, whoever set it off could be resurrected anyway if they died). All the drama of the issue hinges on what just doesn’t seem like a very good plan.

    Possibly dumb question – is this Nimrod meant to be explicitly related to the one from the 80s (a Sentinel from the future, IIRC)? Or are they just reusing the name and the look and handwaving the rationale?

    As an aside (and I’m too lazy to check if the facts align with my recollection), in my mind Nimrod seems like one of those character visuals that’s tailor made for an artist’s style (Romita Jr. in this case), not unlike Warlock and Sienkiewicz.

  33. Chris V says:

    John Romita Jr. was the original artist on Nimrod, yes.
    Nimrod was used by Claremont, after Romita left, when Silvestri was on art though.

    Hickman hasn’t explicitly stated the continuity issue of the fact that Nimrod had already appeared in the X-Men comic.
    That Nimrod came from an alternate future, so it doesn’t exactly matter with Hickman’s mythology.
    As Moira discovered in life six, the threat isn’t the existence of Nimrod.
    It’s that the discovery of the Nimrod AI by humanity leads to accelerated technological change which creates post-humanity. Once post-humanity rises, mutants can’t compete with them and are on the road to extinction.

    Since the original Nimrod was from the future, its existence wouldn’t cause the same threat as the creation of the Nimrod in Earth-616’s present by humanity.

  34. Chris V says:

    I still don’t understand why Destiny says for Mystique to burn Krakoa, if they refuse to resurrect her.
    Is it simply due to Destiny wanting to be with Mystique again?

    It seems to go against Hickman’s writing on Destiny and Mystique from prior in Hickman’s run.
    That was in life three, where Destiny was telling Moira to work for the mutant-cause, and if Moira decided to work against mutants again, they would hunt Moira down and kill her in each of her lives.
    It seems that Moira is following the directive given her by Destiny during life three, but now Destiny is telling Mystique to destroy Krakoa.
    It seems contradictory.

    I thought it was a clear sign that Moira wasn’t trying to help mutants, and that was why Moira didn’t want Destiny brought back, because Destiny would know that Moira had betrayed Destiny from life three.
    That doesn’t seem to be accurate, and I gave up on that idea.

  35. Evilgus says:

    … did anyone else feel like this issue was just treading ground? Again?

  36. CJ says:

    So with this issue, it seems Moira already knows how the future is going to turn out?

    I mean, what does Moira want? She was fine with her “serial immortality” until Destiny threatened her. It sounds like all she really wants is to be free of Destiny. I’m no longer sure what puts her on the backfoot.

    Add me in the column that this is superdickish even for Xavier. I’m okay with some flexibility in interpreting a character, but this is almost an inversion.

  37. Chris V says:

    She wasn’t fine with her “immortality”.
    When Destiny found her, it was due to Moira working on a cure for mutation. She had come to see “mutants as a cancer in need of a cure”.
    She only came to accept her “immortality” after Destiny and Mystique threatened and killed her.

  38. Thom H. says:

    Moira having Destiny’s diaries seems like it was supposed to be a big reveal, but I don’t get it.

    Maybe Hickman is just bad at mysteries? The forward motion on the Moira/Mystique/Destiny subplot is just too slow. And the developments somehow feel both obvious and obscure at the same time.

    It’s like Hickman set up a joke more than a year ago and just delivered a punchline that isn’t funny.

  39. CJ says:

    I reread House of X #2 and yeah, you’re right. I misread Destiny’s line of “You’re starting to realize the potential of your power” as a positive thing.

  40. ASV says:

    Hickman’s main approach to mystery seems to be writing everything down and then blacking some parts out.

  41. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Well, obviously now the mystery is going to be how Moira is in possession of books that were explicitly destroyed on page. It must be a big mystery and not a continuity error, for Hickman is a master planner.

  42. Chris V says:

    Could Gambit have tricked everyone and followed through on his deal with Sinister?
    It doesn’t exactly explain how Moira ended up with them.
    There is the question as to how Sinister knew some of the information in his “Sinister secrets” column, especially about the coming “Inferno”.
    Not all the hints were things Sinister could have discovered solely through being a mastermind.

    Maybe Sinister ended up with the diaries after all, and that was how he knew some of his secrets.

  43. Mathias X says:

    “I still don’t understand why Destiny says for Mystique to burn Krakoa, if they refuse to resurrect her. Is it simply due to Destiny wanting to be with Mystique again?”

    Several options.

    1. Love and spite — Destiny would rather everything burn than not be reunited.

    2. Destiny sees the future of Krakoa, and believes it should be stopped.

    3. Destiny sees Moira’s future plans and likes them, and knows the only way to bring them to fruition is to manipulate Mystique into playing this role.

    I don’t believe 1, 2 is the obvious answer and I lean 3 because it’s the most interesting.

  44. Mathias X says:

    I mean heck, when we’re in this wild Xanatos gambit territory, we can’t even rule out that Destiny knows that Moira will read her diary and wrote Moira some personalized notes indicating not to revive precogs and advising her on how to play Mystique.

  45. Si says:

    It probably is the obvious answer. Moira has an ulterior motive (whatever that may be) and is fooling all the mutants with dreams of utopia. The only hope to derail this is for a precognitive like Destiny to see the future, and expose Moira before it’s too late. If this can’t be done, then the next best option is to nuke everything.

    Assuming the end result is to put at least some of the toys back in the box at the end, the finale would presumably be Moira being exposed, her scheme will be beaten down in a major crossover event, and she’ll end up tossed in that Chekov’s Gun that they’re keeping Sabretooth in so she can’t be reborn.

  46. Chris V says:

    There seemed to be quite a bit of evidence that Moira was really working against the mutants.
    One big glaring question mark is, why if she thought of mutants “as a cancer” in life three and a mutant (Destiny) comes along and burns you to death, would you suddenly decide that mutants are a cause worth fighting for?
    Instead, it would seem to solidify your belief that mutants are horrible.

    As I said, I was sure that Moira didn’t want Destiny resurrected due to the fact that Destiny would see that Moira betrayed her.
    As Destiny said that if Moira ever betrays the mutant-cause again, her and Mystique would kill Moira again.
    It seemed to be an obvious clue.

    The more time has gone on though, the less I have continued to believe this idea.
    There is the matter of post-humanity and the Phalanx from life six. Moira seems to have been truly working to stop the rise of the post-humans.

  47. Si says:

    So what if Destiny says she can see about 30 possible futures and the only ones that involve machine gods and whatnot are the ones where Moira screws with everything?

  48. Chris V says:

    I think this is true, but I think it is based on the “machine gods” becoming aware of Moira after her mutant power first manifested.
    I think a reveal is going to be that Life One, before Moira knew she was a mutant and she didn’t care about mutants, Xavier’s dream was working.

    The thing is that Destiny was the one who convinced Moira that “mutants always lose”, so apparently Destiny saw it constantly happening.
    Destiny told Moira, “Humans will always use Sentinels to kill mutants.”
    Moira wanted to prove Destiny wrong.
    Life four-She took up Xavier’s dream and made the X-Men the world’s greatest superheroes. Nope. Sentinels still wiped out the X-Men.
    Life five-She decided that maybe if mutants went away to live on an island and totally avoided humanity, humans would leave them alone. Nope. Sentinels wiped out everyone.
    So, Moira became convinced that Destiny was right.

  49. Dave says:

    First manifested with her first rebirth/reset?
    Again, if the Dominion has been trying to accelerate the rise of AI/post-humanity in each life, why did life 4 get all the way to AvX with no obvious differences? Another thought I’ve just had – life 6 was the closest we’ve seen them come to absorbing humanity, and that was the life where Moira was around for the longest. They don’t seem to have any evidence that accelerating things will increase their chance of getting to their goal. Also, by what mechanism are they actually affecting events? It seems to be entirely through Moira’s actions, based on her knowledge of what machine intelligences will do.

    “It’s also unclear why Mystique stood around waiting to be discovered before actually attacking”.
    And also unclear how she’s surprised that the new super mutant-hunter can…detect a mutant. Who it’s in the same room with.

  50. Chris V says:

    Not manifested. The Dominion exists outside of space and time. Once it came in to existence, it has now always existed.
    I was speculating that the Dominion may have first become aware of something important in relation to Earth/Moira once her powers first manifested. It would have noticed time restarting.
    At first, Moira was a mere curiosity, not seen as an annoyance.

    Moira was unaware of post-humanity or the Dominions until life six.
    Before that, she sort of flailed around, mostly thinking that Sentinels or humans were mutants biggest enemy.
    As the Librarian told her, “You never knew the real threat. How could you hope to win?” (paraphrased)
    As the Librarian pointed out, post-humanity simply used Sentinels as a distraction to keep the mutants occupied while machine evolution occurred unopposed.
    So, Moira wasn’t an actual threat to machine evolution before life six.

    So, what happens in earlier lives?
    Life four…Moira is killed by a Sentinel.
    Life five…Moira is killed by a Sentinel.
    Life seven…Moira is killed by a Sentinel.

    Compare life six to life nine though…the rise of post-humanity occurs far more quickly in life nine than life six.
    Now, with life ten, it seems to be happening even faster.
    Could it be that there is some power working against Moira, in order to ensure that “mutants always lose”?

    How does a Dominion act? Well, it’s a “machine god”. I would guess that it can interact with technology, especially advanced AI after a certain point in development, which is my guess as to why the creation of the Nimrod is such an important jonbar point.

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