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Oct 17


Posted on Sunday, October 17, 2021 by Paul in x-axis

X-CORP #1-5
by Tini Howard, Alberto Foche, Valentine De Landro & Sunny Gho

Well. They can’t all be winners.

And look, that’s a more serious point than it sounds. X-Corp is not a well received book. Not among the commenters here, not more broadly, so far as I can tell. The consensus seems to be that it ranks with Fallen Angels as one of the Krakoa era’s few outright duds. Like that book, it ends after a single arc which was blatantly designed as a gathering-of-the-cast. Maybe it’s heading for a reboot in 2022, but the sales estimates for August at Comichron have it as the lowest-selling X-book by quite some margin.

But they can’t all be winners. They shouldn’t all be winners. If you’re taking risks to any degree then by definition some of them are going to go badly. And I can absolutely see why this got commissioned. In theory, it sounds promising. It probably looked great as a pitch.

A key part of the Krakoan premise is the inversion of power thanks to the mutants’ drugs. Sure, this requires us to believe that a public who can’t even be persuaded to get vaccinated against Covid will be absolutely on board for mystery drugs whose safety testing regime consists of a napkin signed “Trust me – Magneto”, but that’s the schtick. It’s still a premise that means the mutants’ unaccustomed upper hand is based on economic power, and (in part) on what they can do with mutant powers when they actually have the chance to do it right. It’s also an economic power that rests very narrowly on one product, so you can see why they’d want to diversify it given the chance.

Technically we already have an X-book about Krakoa’s trading operations, but it’s Marauders, which is a pirate-themed romp for which the actual trading is just a macguffin. X-Corp, at least potentially, is the book where you do the interaction of Krakoan products with humanity. The tension between the product and public trust. The disruption of mutant creations on mainstream society. And what’s more, it’s a place where you can write about business and multinationals and trade and all that important stuff… which, yes, sure, isn’t especially visual and doesn’t naturally lend itself to the superhero genre (though Iron Man does it from time to time). But if your premise is that Krakoa does things differently, and here’s another aspect of life where they can show a different way of thinking and challenge preconceptions and all that… it could work, right?

That’s the book which the cover seems to promise. It’s also a book which already exists: Wildcats 3.0, the corporate-era version that did stories about batteries that never ran out of power. Small products with big implications. It’s a flawed book in many ways, but it delivers on the idea far more than X-Corp.

In practice, there turn out to be a whole slew of problems with X-Corp. A big and central one is that it never gets to grip with, well, business or companies or all that. At no point does X-Corp feel like a corporation, or seem to be engaged in anything recognisable as business. It’s just some sort of techno-research monolith staffed by notional non-combatants which has a whole bunch of corporate jargon attached to it because something something business. Calling your core cast a board of directors doesn’t make it so. Having the only human corporation be an evil pharmaceuticals rival that hires literal mercenary soldiers is straw man stuff. The sudden appearance of a flying island in Brazil, in the Marvel Universe, is not going to be interpreted by anyone as a “corporate launch” no matter how much the plot desperately tries to wrangle it into corporate imagery.

The book can’t make up its mind whether the mutants have the upper hand through their superior power and technology, so that the hapless humans are beating impotently with their tiny fists, or whether Kol’s outfit poses some sort of actual threat, which is, after all, kind of essential in order for the plot to work. One thing that’s spectacularly lacking in X-Corp is any sense of stakes. You’d think the stakes here would be the need to preserve Krakoa’s pharmaceutical monopoly – on which national security depends – or at least to get some of the nation’s eggs into another basket. But instead we’re meandering around with broadband infrastructure, and launches that go disastrously, yet seem to be viewed as a massive success anyway.

Who owns X-Corp? Is it a nationalised industry? Is it the personal wealth of Professor X? What is X-Corp actually trying to achieve in the bigger picture? If it’s involved in making the drugs, how does it fit in with Hellfire Trading over in Marauders? None of this is especially clear, nor does it really feel like it’s been given much thought.

So we have a comic that doesn’t deliver on what seems to be its core promise. But the problems go beyond that. There’s a desperate lack of interesting and likeable characters here. Most of the core cast are just cyphers – you’d think that X-Corp ought to be a book where Trinary’s anti-capitalist views would give her plenty to do, but no, she fades into the background quickly. Selene and Mastermind are… there. Madrox is kind of rebooted to a new riff on the potential of his powers, but he does get the book’s strongest issue by far – issue #3, in which he’s using his duplicates to feign work/life balance and keep his wife happy.

The core of the book is meant to be the relationship between Warren and Monet, with Warren playing the cautious, establishment figure who wants to behave like a sensible business, and Monet as a bull in a china shop who wants to… well, what does she want, exactly? Is she just trying to throw mutant weight around as a show of power? Or her own weight? Does she just hate most of the people she’s dealing with and want to wind them up for the hell of it? Without there being any particularly concrete point to the way she acts, she just comes across as awful.

Now, again, let’s be fair. This is obviously designed as an opening arc, and the natural direction of a book like this is that Monet’s overconfidence and arrogance comes a cropper in the end, while Warren moves towards appreciating the value of a bit more spontaneity. Some of Monet’s more eye-rolling speeches about the glorious innovations of mutant culture should probably be seen in that light as well – after all, a key plot point of issue #2 is that an ideologically-driven failure to secure the base against fellow mutants is an absolutely terrible idea in the real world. Monet was an arrogant, unlikeable character in the early issues of Generation X, and this could be seen as a back-to-basics approach… if it weren’t for the general sense that we’re meant to like her.

At any rate, there’s an awful lot of “we, the mutants, are leaving human ideas behind us and doing things differently”, which is easily the single least convincing feature of the Krakoan era – not the bit where  the mutants themselves believe it, since they’ve got a lot invested in building a nation, but the bit where we’re suppose to think that a group of characters who have always been written as basically human in attitude aren’t just more powerful, but somehow equipped with a degree of philosophical insight that they have never, ever demonstrated. (More of that when I get to Way of X, though.)

Here, a lot of that angle comes in the form of characters loudly proclaiming their superiority over Fenris, which is… again, straw man stuff. Fenris are bad. Why are Fenris bad? Because they’re neo-Nazis. Well, disapproving of neo-Nazis is a pretty low bar for a new society, isn’t it? If the mutants are reinventing the wheel, they ought to have opinions a lot more controversial than that. And when you start having Selene, of all people, claim moral superiority over Fenris – that’s the same Selene who’s just come from a long run as a Captain America villain where she was allied with the Red Skull, mind you – it doesn’t convince in the slightest.

A lot of this could well have worked itself out over time – it could well be intended as the characters’ starting point. What it means in these five issues, though, is that the book is built around an obnoxious Monet who talks over, and overshadows, everyone else. There is nobody in this book you’d want to spend time with. They’re all either boring or annoying.

These problems are compounded by, bluntly, more basic failures of craft. Alberto Foche’s art is generally adequate, but it’s bland and smiley, and doesn’t really sell personality. Valentino De Landro’s fill-in art in issue #3 is miles better, looking more real, more grounded, and better connected to a world of actual corporate conventions. Perhaps the original thinking was to give the book a polished, PR-like look, but if so, it doesn’t come off.

Plot problems abound. Issue #1 has a bit that depends on you understanding that there aren’t any gates in Brazil, but it doesn’t set that up properly in advance. The whole thing about issue #1’s ending being viewed as a corporate launch simply doesn’t make the slightest sense. What actually happens in issue #3’s scene with Monet and Sara – not why, not what lessons should we draw for it, but quite literally what happened that made the hole in the roof? The plot of issues #3 and #4 simply don’t fit together. How can you set up Kol as the owner of his own company and then just declare that there’s a bunch of previously unmentioned shareholders that Monet can buy it from? That’s just gibberish.

Like I say, I can see why this was commissioned. I still think it sounds like a workable concept that could have added something to the line. It’s probably a plus that someone took a punt on it. But it’s not good, and pulling the plug after the first arc was for the best.


Bring on the comments

  1. Chris V says:

    Yes, if they are taking risks, but I don’t see more of the creators playing with Krakoa taking risks. Least of all this book, which squandered a lot of potential.

    I think there are two problems with this book:
    1.)Tini Howard.
    2.)More importantly, I don’t feel like the creators really know how far they can stretch things in the Krakoa-era without breaking the Marvel Universe.
    It’s the problem with Hickman’s direction, and probably why after “Inferno” Krakoa will be turned in to something much more like “mutant superheroes who now operate off of an island”. Hickman crafted a superb science fiction novel, and then has to shoehorn it in with a shared superhero universe.

    The obvious direction is that mutants can outcompete humans.
    Krakoa is a moneyless society.
    Mutants can create far more products at no cost.
    They can flood the market with merchandise far cheaper than any human manufacturers.
    The drugs should really just have been a carrot offered to humanity while Krakoa prepared to take over and transform human society.
    The drugs are certainly very problematic in a real-world context, but if mutants begin to offer more and more products for free, there is no way for current-day human economics to compete with Krakoa.
    It offers a very compelling narrative.
    How will Tony Stark feel when X-Corp is taking over his company because they are able to offer superior products for no cost to the public?

    Of course, that creates too many problems for the continued Marvel Universe…which, I think left Howard in an unenviable position where she wasn’t sure where she was actually allowed to go with the book’s remit.
    A better writer most likely could have found more ground to push the boundaries.

  2. Loz says:

    I don’t think there will be any retooling done just to make it fit in with the Marvel Universe at large because that kind of concern doesn’t really exist any more. Most Spider-man battles should be over before they’ve begun because the Avengers teleport in and kerb-stomp the villain of the day. The Punisher should have been taken down by now because he’s a supervillain. Stark, Richards, T-Challa all have the wealth and the technology to improve the world immeasurably and drive Doctor Doom to his knees. But these things don’t happen in order for us to have exciting stories and so the larger world will gently ignore what the X-Men are up to.

    It’s interesting that Tini Howard approached X-Corp in much the same way as Excalibur and yet that is apparently much better received outside of this website than X-Corp was. I wonder why?

  3. Ben Johnston says:

    I think it’s probably that Excalibur has a simpler premise, more likeable characters… and it’s just a better book in general (not good, but not outright terrible). Even commenters here tend to like Excalibur more than they liked X-Corp (or at least are more receptive to it).

    This is a very fair review, and I really appreciate the point Paul makes at the top about a healthy line taking chances, something I hope to see continue in the relaunch.

  4. The Other Michael says:

    I agree with so much of this. Epic misfire, waste of a good premise, muddled execution…

    And I still can’t get over the cast. I mean okay, Warren is about the best choice there is for running an X-Company. Monet -might- work. But… Selene? Mastermind? Really???

    Why not Anole, someone with an actual business degree who sat on the Worthington board for a while? Why not Karma, who ran a multi-billion dollar company? Why not Iceman, perhaps the only X-Man with a useful degree as a CPA? Why not resurrect Gideon, an immortal who ran his own company? Why not Sunspot, who has shown so much business acumen in his own right? Hell, why not Emma or Shaw, both of whom are immensely qualified?

    Yes, I know that most of them are claimed by other titles–superior titles, thank you–but still, there’s been enough claim jumping, character stealing, and double dipping in X-titles since the dawn of time to accept that some could cross over.

    The point is that if looking to create a board of directors for a corporation poised to take on the well, corporate landscape, they really went in a ridiculously confused, self-sabotaging manner. Instead of looking for people with the right set of experiences and skills, it’s like they held… tryouts? For whoever was most convenient and/or capable of blackmailing their way onto the board?

    Seriously: Selene’s business resume consists of “terrorizing lost Roman city as a vampiric goddess” before she came to New York to join the Hellfire Club, and there was never any indication that she made side jaunts to do corporate shit in the meantime. (Yeah yeah, she’s like 17,000 years old, but that’s like, 5 years worth of contemporary corporate experience at best)

    What this book really needed was someone like Joe Casey, capable of actually imagining a posthuman corporate structure, and a cast that actually reflected the concept.

  5. Allan M says:

    Between this and Excalibur, Howard’s X-books really have this odd position where they seem to buy into the premise of mutant superiority more than any other book in the line (short Hickman himself at times), and then do less to demonstrate that superiority than any other book short Hellions (which obviously isn’t trying). They’ve formed a global corporation with a management team who, short Warren, are either wildly unqualified (Trinary and holy crap, Wind Dancer), utter sociopaths (M, suddenly and without explanation), or both (Selene, Mastermind). This is mutant superiority? If so, I’m cheering on Orchis.

  6. Luis Dantas says:

    The broad concept is fascinating. But clearly the implementation failed.

    I don’t know that it could succeed without having a lot of pull with editorial, because I happen to think that the Krakoa era is glossing over the true significance of this status quo in the wider Marvel Universe.

    Still, Paul is correct. The end result is just too troubled, and not always for reasons that have a clear connection to any hypothetical lack of editorial support.

  7. Mark says:

    It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t dreadful like Fallen Angels.

  8. MWayne says:

    Yeah, nothing has been as bad as Fallen Angels; for me that series was just a vacant space.

    Excalibur and XCorp have much more interesting ideas built into their respective premises than FA, but the basic story-telling wasn’t there, and I never particularly liked the cast of mutants in either. Excalibur especially… I skipped 90s X-men comics, so I the only characters I felt any connection with (in either book) were those handled by Peter David in Layla-era X-Factor, but, as noted, Monet’s personality was way off in XCorp, and most of the cast came off as unlikeable. (By the same token, I had no connection to most of the Hellions cast, but the writing on that book has been good enough to capture my interest in those characters, just sayin.)

    I’d take more XCorp over more Excalibur, simply because the corporate premise interests me more than Otherworld, and I was interested in the exploration of Jamie’s abilities, but man… XCorp was a messy splotch of a book, playing with potentially provocative ideas poorly executed in a variety of ways.

  9. Dave says:

    Even with the case(s) made for it here, I still haven’t even been convinced that there was ever sufficient cause (for want of a better word) for this book to exist. And then, once it does exist, why would you invent new evil business rivals when Roxxon exists, or as mentioned you could have the mutants butting up against Stark… or Wakanda? Also, I’m all for the idea that SOME of the traditional mutant villains should have not been part of Krakoa and stayed as X-antagonists, but Fenris would not have been high on my list.

  10. Drew says:

    Not that I think Marvel would ever have gone down this road; but I would’ve loved it if the secret premise of X-Corp had been that actually, Warren and Monet have no clue how to run a multinational company and are quite terrible at it.

    Warren’s main business qualification is being born wealthy because his DAD ran a successful company. He went to a private school where his main courses included “aerial manueverability” and “Battling Magneto 101.” I guess he took some college-level courses there, but did Warren even go to business school?

    I know the X-books occasionally make casual mention of him running Warren Industries, but does he ever devote any appreciable amount of time to that, while he’s living in a mansion upstate dreaming up ways to kill Apocalypse, or joining covert murder squads, or being an amnesiac with no memory of his past life? I always saw him as a figurehead with a cushy do-nothing job who the people who run the company reluctantly tolerate because his name’s on the building.

    As for Monet, does she have even less business experience than Warren? I dare anyone to tell me what her family business is without looking it up. I’m sure her experience as a professional student and a private detective serve her well, but come on. She learned business acumen from a woman whose main corporate strategy is “read everyone else’s minds.”

    Granted, the last few years have shown us you can certainly succeed POLITICALLY if your main qualification is “was born rich,” but in business that can get you eaten alive. How many successful companies have been driven into the ground by the founder’s well-meaning but incompetent children or grandchildren? Again, would never happen; but I would’ve loved it if the secret premise of this book was Warren and Monet failing spectacularly because they confused being born into privilege with business acumen.

  11. Luis Dantas says:

    @Dave: the way I see it, XCorp as a pitch is between a rock and a hard place. It can neither have much consequence (because that would disrupt the major storylines even outside the X-bubble) nor fail to have significant consequences (for instance, logically Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost would want to at the very least keep updated on the XCorp front).

    @Drew: if memory serves, old RACMX FAQs state that of the original five X-Men only Beast has a college education. Was it Paul who mentioned a while ago that they achieved their High School certificates in issue #6 or so back in the early 1960s and that was it for conventional education at Xavier’s?

    What we have seen of Warren’s business management does not ensure me that he has significant actual experience. Most of the time he is portrayed as uninterested in the work, and often enough ends up failing at it.

    In published stories he could not ensure that the Champions HQ was built with proper materials; turned out to be less of a leader to the New Defenders than Candy Southern; was surprised to learn the extent of his inheritance from his parents; and left the actual work of the early days of running X-Factor as a corporation to Cameron Hodge and paid dearly for that.

    Come to think of it, wasn’t it established in the origin of the Champions that Warren and Bobby were attempting to start attending college at the time (until the Olympian Gods so rudely interrupted them)?

    The evidence is circunstantial, but points towards Warren being far more of an inheritor than a business man.

  12. Chris V says:

    I’m pretty sure Bobby also has a college education (I know he was attending college in the 1970s) and was working as an accountant for a time.

  13. Luis Dantas says:

    You’re correct.

    He seems to have taken some college classes off-panel since the 1970s Champions #1, and we saw a brief scene in the original X-Factor #1 of him storming out of his workplace, which was described as an accounting firm IIRC.

    I think there was some further elaboration in one of the Iceman series since.

  14. Chris V says:

    There was the solo Iceman short story in Bizarre Adventures which featured Iceman attending college, written by Mary Jo Duffy.

  15. Mathias X says:

    >> What this book really needed was someone like Joe Casey, capable of actually imagining a posthuman corporate structure, and a cast that actually reflected the concept.

    Last time Casey wrote an X-Corp story, they were a paramilitary group in Nazi cosplay.

    As probably one of the only people clamoring for an X-Corp book, Morrison’s conception of the organization — a global and franchised team of X-Men which he later re-used in Batman Inc. — was probably the book that needed to be written.

  16. Alastair says:

    The X-office ignoring the Capt Story is John Byrne levels of disrespect for what other writers do with “your” characters, but at least he wrote a get out clause to ignore the Doom story he did not like. Selene should be in the hole with Sabretooth, instead she is wondering round the Gala that Steve attended with not issue, and not really contributing to the story.

  17. Chris V says:

    That was the X-Corps, not X-Corp.
    It seemed like Casey was going in a direction similar to this book at the end of his run, when Angel was talking about starting a corporation, but he got taken off the book.

    More likely, Marvel didn’t reach out to Casey due to his run on Uncanny be there lowest-selling era on Uncanny X-Men up until that point.
    His run was badly received by fans and Casey admitted that he didn’t care about the characters.
    I think he only agreed to write the book as a favour to his friend Grant Morrison.

    Yes, when first announced, I thought this series would be similar to Morrison’s X-Corp. I was expecting a series that would interact with the human world and show how the existence of Krakoa had changed/effected human society.

    Either way would have been better than what we got. Anything do this book felt like it had an actual purpose.

  18. Chris V says:

    Alastair-I believe that Marvel originally made an announcement about the Coates Captain America run taking place before the contemporary events of the Marvel Universe.
    Coates’ run was heavily delayed.
    I think his run was originally supposed to take place prior to the formation of Krakoa.
    Due to the lag time, by the point he finished his use of Selene, he had her being turned back over to Krakoa.
    I think originally this was supposed to take place before Selene was used on Krakoa, so the implication was that she was being granted her one chance at amnesty by joining Krakoa.
    Due to the delays though, it was written differently, so it messed up the timeline, and contradicted the laws of Krakoa.

  19. Paul says:

    Iceman is indeed a qualified accountant, though he didn’t practice for long. That’s why he was looking after the school finances in the Jason Aaron run, though.

  20. Rob says:

    X-Men: First Class establishes that the original class of X-Men are completing college programs at Xavier’s for the bulk of the 1960s run (ie, after they finish high school around issue #7). It’s a major retcon, but it actually makes sense when you think about it — it allows Jean to transfer credits to Metro College like she did for a couple issues in the 1960s, and it establishes when Hank did his undergraduate degree (otherwise, there’s just no time for him to do it between when he leaves Xavier’s and when he starts work at the Brand Corporation).
    It also neatly compresses the time Bobby needs to become a CPA — he already had a Bachelor’s upon leaving Xavier’s, and was starting a professional degree/diploma program in Champions #1.
    Slightly aging Bobby up this way also has the benefit of explaining why all those college kids were openly drinking in Bizarre Adventures #27 — they were graduate/professional students (the real world explanation is the US drinking age hadn’t been raised to 21 yet as of the publication date).

  21. Michael says:

    Also, am I the person who thinks that Mastermind being here after his role in Hellions makes no sense? I mean, I get why he wasn’t punished for his actions in Hellions- the Quiet Council felt they still needed Sinister in case something went wrong with the resurrections or whatever but many Krakoan citizens are Sinister’s victims (killed by him, lost human relatives to him, experiment on by him, etc.) and the Council didn’t want them to know how badly they lost control of Sinister. So they covered up Sinister’s actions, and as a result Mastermind went unpunished as well. But Scott and Hank still know what Sinister did. You’d think they’d warn Warren about trusting Mastermind. (“Warren, the Quiet Council won’t let me tell you exactly what Mastermind did but you shouldn’t trust him.)

  22. Si says:

    The comments section here tells a much better story than the comic itself. Sincerely, thank you. To summarise the story I now have in my head:
    *Of course X-Corp should have Stark as a rival. Stark’s all about AI and robots. And the best thing is, it’s not generic Evil Inc., so you’d get to explore the concept of Krakoan superiority and the wisdom of their methods.
    *Stark Corp as a nemesis, and Wakanda as a third party that has some qualities of both corps, that broadens the scope of how one could explore the themes.
    *Exploring the “born superior” motif by asking if Warren and Monet are actually fit to run a company, and compare that to the Krakoan concept of mutant primacy. What if some less wealthy mutant picks up the slack, or even better, Northstar’s husband Kyle? He has a business background, you could fudge his skills easier than making a teenage vlogger being head of media. A human Krakoan outshining mutant royalty, imagine the plotlines! Of course Worthington would immediately compare him to Cameron Hodge.

    So yeah, you could have a story that is about how morality isn’t black and white, sometimes it’s not even grey. It could be fascinating. I’m still not sure I’d want to read a story based on boardrooms and business suits, but it’s fun to think about, and would have to be superior to what we got.

  23. Miriam says:

    “Hickman crafted a superb science fiction novel, and then has to shoehorn it in with a shared superhero universe.”

    That’s honestly the best description of this era I’ve seen. Is it a great concept for a one-off story? Yeah. But as a status quo reset for a large chunk of a shared universe, it doesn’t really fit. I think it needs the weight of the X-Men’s history to make the concept work, but whenever a book has to reconnect to the Marvel universe, things get awkward.

  24. Ceries says:

    I think that part of the weirdly enclosed nature of this title is the result of Tini Howard’s bizarre beliefs on race and nonwhite cultures, as expressed by her reluctance to give Trinary a name. She appeared to think it would have been racist of her to do so, and should be the job of an Indian writer. Obviously, this is insane, but I think it speaks to a crippling fear on Howard’s part of “getting it wrong” with a nonwhite character without much established history-Monet is British and Howard clearly has an interpretation of the character, but a near blank slate like Trinary has so little history that Howard could be writing a take that would be referred back to for years to come (provided Trinary isn’t lost in the dustbin like most X-men characters).

    This in turn would explain how incredibly limited X-Corp is. Howard doesn’t want to show any culture she doesn’t feel she can understand, which cuts out huge swathes of the globe until all that’s left is Fenris and a French businessman. Excalibur, while flawed in its own way, doesn’t have to deal with any culture other than that of the UK, which Howard probably feels less frightened of-this allowed Excalibur to cover more ground and interact with Otherworld, which of course is entirely of Howard’s design.

  25. Taibak says:

    Ceries: Monet isn’t British. She was born in Bosnia, her father was Monégasque, and her mother was Algerian.

  26. Chris V says:

    I thought Monet was born in Algeria?

    Cerise-What gave you that idea about Trinary? Did I miss something?
    The ideology on Krakoa is that an individual should use their mutant name and not their human-given name as part of mutant culture.
    It was addressed most recently and overtly in SWORD where Fabian Cortez was called out by Peepers for never taking up a mutant name.

  27. Ceries says:

    Fair point on Monet, the Trinary stuff comes from an interview with wordballoon podcast

  28. Paul says:

    Regarding the Silver Age X-Men’s higher education: X-Men: First Class is very dubiously canon. However, the idea that Xavier was (somehow) able to provide higher education, presumably under a deal with some university or other, is implicit when the Beast leaves the team in the early 70s and goes straight into a graduate job with Roxxon. The original X-Men Index then confirms the obvious implication that he obtained a degree while at Xavier’s.

    As for the others, they *do* all “graduate” quite early in the Silver Age, so it’s vaguely plausible that they did some further studies towards higher qualifications after that. But I don’t think Scott, Warren or Jean have any formal higher qualifications. Bobby has an accountancy degree, but he got it from a regular university, as seen in Bizarre Adventures #27. No doubt the University of Krakoa has now given them all an honorary leaf.

  29. Si says:

    I don’t know, maybe doctorates in Krakoa are basically just certificates of psychic knowledge download. “Oh yes, I got my PhD in the class of last Tuesday afternoon. I was given 40 years experience.”

  30. Mark Coale says:

    There is probably some mutant with the ability to transfer knowledge from person to person, allowing for some Algernon-speed leaning. If not, just day Emma or Jean dud it. Thus, people getting degrees in a fraction of real time.

  31. Paul says:

    @Alastair: The issue with the Captain America storyline is most likely a continuity error. That storyline ran for something like 2 years and began before the Krakoan era. If Krakoa hadn’t been mentioned then it would have fit in quite happily before House of X and before the amnesty, and everything would have been fine. Most likely, the Captain America team were just trying to be good team players and didn’t realise that handing Selene over to the Krakoans as a murderer caused problems for X-books that already had plans for her. It makes no difference to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ story who she gets handed over to in the epilogue, and if they’d realised it was going to cause problems, I’m pretty sure they’d just have used the regular US authorities.

  32. Rob says:

    It’s never actually clear when Bobby gets his accounting degree. He’s still in school through 1978-83.

    Then he joins the New Defenders, at which point, he just stops school. Then in X-Factor #1, he leaves the New Defenders and suddenly has a job as an accountant. Maybe he finished his program by correspondence?

  33. Joseph S. says:

    No, Taibak is correct. Monet was born in Bosnia. Not sure of there’s a reason why, it’s almost random enough to seem realistic. But I’m inclined to think Lobdell just f’d up and made her backstory more confusing than it needed to be. Honestly it’s pretty absurd that Marvel have their first prominent Muslim hero a surname that means Holy-Cross and a meaningless link to a Muslim majority country in Europe, but hey, the 90s.

  34. Si says:

    All of Generation X was bonkers though. Monet was actually two kids in a trenchcoat, but there was a real Monet, who was Penance. Mondo was an clone, cleverly grown to flawlessly impersonate somebody nobody had ever met before. There was a whole thing with Emma Frost’s sister that I can’t really remember. Gateway lived in their garden but ignored everyone. Every character and plot was six times more complicated than it needed to be.

    I think Monet is Bosnian because Penance was originally meant to be a different character, and hints about her Bosnian origin were put in the story. Who knows where the Muslim bit came from though.

  35. Joseph S. says:

    Very true, and I have good memories of that book, as I was a tween when it came out and it was the first junior X-book that felt contemporaneous to me. I’ve only gone back to read some bits of it, but Bachalo’s art holds up, Lobdell does lots of good character work, and honestly it was a refreshingly diverse and gender balanced cast for the mid 90s. I don’t know that I’d call it body horror, but lots of weird body powers and deformities going on as well, which was interesting. I think you’re right about Penance. The two-kids-in-a-trenchcoat and “autism” stuff was planned from the beginning, but I think you’re right that they changed plans for Penance.

  36. Josie says:

    Aside from the Mondo stuff (plans for whom clearly went askew at some point), Generation X was pretty straightforward under Lobdell. It only went off the rails when James Robinson (I think?) introduced the M twins, and Larry Hama made the worst attempt at resolving the issue.

    Honestly, though, as much as I like the original run, I was about to drop the book the first time Bachalo left. I don’t know if it’s just the art, or if Lobdell was particularly uninspired during Bachalo’s hiatus, but I absolutely hated all that Ireland and Sync-as-Emplate stuff.

  37. Si says:

    I thought that M was always meant to be two kids, and that’s why she was so strangely perfect (the best of both), had so many powers, and also why she liked to climb trees and stuff.

    Then the same thing happened as with Xorn a few years later. The identity was revealed as a facade, but the character was popular so they wanted to find a way of keeping her.

    There is a decent chance I’m completely wrong here though.

  38. Josie says:

    Si, you may be right that Lobdell did have this planned and plotted, but from his actual issues, his M was merely quirky and sometimes inscrutable rather than convoluted. There was that one issue where Beast diagnoses her as autistic, which may have been a hint at her “true selves,” but I took it as a more interesting attempt at inclusivity. Why wouldn’t mutants also possess a range of developmental disorders?

    In any case, I see that as Lobdell making M more interesting rather than the complicated mess that became of her under Hama. It’s entirely possible that the editor merely handed Hama the baggage that Lobdell had plotted.

  39. Mathias X says:

    >> But I don’t think Scott, Warren or Jean have any formal higher qualifications

    IIRC, Jean was regularly attending college before GSXM, and then went to Columbia during her stint in X-Factor. (And her father is uni professor as well.) It’s very likely she has two degrees.

  40. JCG says:

    Lobdell’s plans seemed better than what we actually got.

  41. Evilgus says:

    Wow. That Larry Hama interview is so aggressive. “Get over it” “Tired of whiny females”. I don’t think any of that would fly now!

    On X-Corp: glad I avoided it as just seemed all over the place.

  42. […] can’t all be winners.”: Paul O’Brien dissects Marvel’s recent X-Corp series and why it just didn’t […]

  43. Rob says:

    Jean does enroll in Psychology courses at Columbia, in X-Factor #5, but we’ve never seen her actually attend classes or study, and there doesn’t actually appear to be enough time in the entire run of X-Factor for her to finish her studies. ( It appears to be one of the dropped plots before Simonson took over the book. It seems like she enrolled on a whim and then dropped it fairly quickly.

  44. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Now I want an X-Men: GED book about them all having to go to night school because none of them know long division or the sides in the Vietnam War.

  45. Rob says:

    IIRC, The Generation X Collectors’ Preview from 1994 included a list of all former students at Xaviers and what their major or diploma was in. My copy is in a box 2000 miles away, but if someone wants to dig theirs up and look…

  46. Chris V says:

    My guess is that paramilitary ops showed up quite a bit.
    Jean’s was obviously costume design.

  47. Luis Dantas says:

    @Rob: looks like what is shown in the fifth image of

    Feels like… a not very canonical list, let’s say. Generally speaking there are just too many X-people who seem to somehow have managed to attend higher teaching classes off-panel despite leading lives that do not really allow for that and hardly ever mentioning those degrees.

    For instance, I have a hard time attempting to believe that Longshot and Wolverine have graduated acting and political science and international affairs, respectively.

    Also, isn’t Dazzler a graduate in Law? It was a major part of her background back in Dazzler #1 that refusing to play along with her father’s insistence that she went on in that area created a rift between the two.

    As for Havok and Polaris, they bonded in part due to a love of geophysics, not archaeology IIRC.

  48. Chris V says:

    Logan is over one hundred years old.
    He’s had plenty of time to attend university.
    Sometime in between running naked in the wilderness with wolves and getting abducted by Weapon X.

    Now, it’s time to reveal the untold story of Wolverine: The College Years.
    It’ll be like Animal House with that dastardly Dean Romulus always standing in Logan’s way of having fun.

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