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Nov 18

X-Force #25 annotations

Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #25
“The Edge”
by Benjamin Percy, Robert Gill & Guru-eFX

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine faces off against the surfers that he meets later in the issue. The fact that they’re all shooting at him kind of gives the twist away.

The previous issue ended with the under-the-influence Colossus killing Kayla and  then being approached by Professor X. That storyline isn’t mentioned at all in this issue, presumably because it does indeed lead into the cliffhanger of Inferno vol 2 #2. Instead, we have something… completely unrelated.

PAGES 2-4. Wolverine collects his surfboard from Forge.

Apparently, this is what Wolverine asked Forge to make for him (or rather, was about to ask for before he was interrupted) way back in issue #4. It’s… an adamantium covered surfboard. Right. I’ll come back to that.

We’re told that Wolverine is still waiting for something else from Forge, so that’s a dangling plot.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits.

PAGES 6-8. Kid Omega collects Phoebe for their day.

I like the panel of them lying with their hair together; that’s a nice image for the five-in-one telepaths. Anyway, the other four Stepford Cuckoos are losing patience with Phoebe and Quentin’s relationship, apparently because they see him as a threat to their togetherness.

The Phoebe/Quentin relationship subplot started in issue #11, and she was initially keeping it secret (most likely because the Cuckoos, as a group, were dating Cable at that point). We haven’t seen much of the other Cuckoos in this book, but Phoebe did indeed say in issue #17 that they couldn’t stand Quentin. Issue #18 also has a scene where Quentin tells Phoebe that when they’re together, “I don’t need Jean, the same way you don’t need Emma or the Cuckoos” – not equivalent, and Phoebe didn’t seen entirely convinced at the time.

At any rate, the Cuckoos are basically correct to see Quentin as trying to prise Phoebe away from them, and their attitude has been foreshadowed, albeit a while back. It may or may not be deliberate, but the Cuckoos are all wearing identical costumes here; often, one of them wears a black version of this outfit.

PAGE 9. Kid Omega and Phoebe visit the Bower.

This is the nursery for mutant babies, previously seen in Way of X #3. That issue also portrayed it as a casual sex venue and most of the babies as abandoned; the portrayal here (unusually, considering it’s X-Force) is rather more straightforwardly sweet and plays down the intentionally uncomfortable elements from Way of X. Quentin, as we’ll see, views this as a utopian upbringing, and seems to be letting his guard down here (especially with Phoebe around). The arch in the background reads “Make More Mutants”, the first law of Krakoa.

PAGES 10-12. Wolverine goes surfing.

Mmm. Not a fan of this.

Let’s start with the boring points: metal doesn’t float, and while I suppose in theory you could have a really thin coating of adamantium that weighed almost nothing but was still indestructible, plenty of stories have told us that Wolverine doesn’t like fighting in water because all that metal makes him heavy.

I get that we’re going for the liberation of self-destruction or something like that, but come on. He’s a remote mountains kind of guy, not a surf guy; a metal surfboard is silly; and the idea that he’s going surfing in dangerous waves with other people nearby using a dangerously bladed weapon is… even sillier.

PAGES 13-14. Kid Omega tells Phoebe about his work in the Bower.

The message Quentin is trying to send is that he sees this as a wonderful opportunity to prevent any of these kids going the same way he did. The flashback in issue #17 is fairly vague about details; he says that he killed his biological parents and it’s implied that they were in some way abusive to him, but the story was ambiguous about precisely how, or about whether Quentin had acted consciously. Quentin seems fairly clear here that he simply lost control. However, that flashback strongly suggested that Quentin was a few years old than the babies seen here.

The message Phoebe gets from this scene is entirely different: Quentin has completed his journey of self-discovery and he no longer needs her support.

PAGE 15. Data page. The other Cuckoos tell Phoebe to break up with Quentin.

PAGES 16-18. Wolverine meets Pike and her surfers.

Pike is a new character, and this scene largely speaks for itself. The other surfing destinations that Pike’s group talk about are all genuine.

PAGES 19-20. Phoebe breaks up with Quentin.

Quentin’s house has a big Omega on the wall, presumably just as visible from outside.

This is a fairly standard “afraid of commitment” scene, as Phoebe presents it – she makes no mention of her sisters except in the final line about her “greatest commitment” being to them.

PAGE 21. Data page. Basically, Sage and Black Tom have noted that the waves in the surfing location churn up the waterborne plantlife that they use for surveillance, making it a weak spot for security.

The implication is that Pike and co aren’t actually mutants, and have sneaked on to Krakoa using their incredible surfing skills – which is why Wolverine had to tell Pike where basic landmarks were back on page 18. However, he wrote that off as being due to the island’s shifting geography.

PAGES 22-23. Pike and co steal the babies.

Speaks for itself.

PAGE 24. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: TOTAL BUMMER.


Bring on the comments

  1. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Huh. The one issue in all of X-Men where I expected Lifeguard and her brother to pop up and they’re not here.

    And yeah, surfing Wolverine is weird.

  2. Chris V says:

    Looks like Moira’s been proven wrong.
    Post-humanity is not the greatest threat to mutantdom. It’s surfers!

    The post-Hickman direction for Krakoa has been confirmed.

  3. Si says:

    Wolverine surfing is somehow a worse idea than Wolverine having hot claws. But I’m sure Forge could create a board with some kind of mass compensator, if he absolutely must surf.

    It’s not actually possible to surf in the open ocean. There’s a reason nobody surfs from Europe to America. But I suppose they could paddle the whole way, or kitesurf or something. Actually, since Krakoa is a floating mass with no seafloor, you probably wouldn’t even get surf on its coast either. Maybe the underwater bit is shaped just right.

    I’m certain that the cover is a homage to a movie poster or something similar. I can’t think what, but it looks very familiar.

  4. Adam Farrar says:

    Wolverine doesn’t surf when he goes to the beach. Psylocke surfs. Wolverine grills hot dogs using the claws, which go in and out of his body, as skewers.

  5. Paul says:

    I don’t think the story is claiming they surfed in from sea. They have some sort of off-shore base that they’re swimming to, after all. I think the claim is that the surf disrupts Krakoan security at that point, and they’re posing as Krakoan surfers to explain what they’re doing on the beach. How they *know* there’s a security problem there – or whether they’re just making a lucky guess – is another question, but we’ll find out who they are next issue. Maybe they’re connected with the Russians who have been getting information from Peter.

  6. Mathias X says:

    This book made me want Fallen Angels back.

  7. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    If there is a fringe cool guy zen hippie thing, Wolverine must be into it.

  8. Chris V says:

    You think mutant baby-kidnapping surfers are bad…wait until you see Russian surfers!

  9. neutrino says:

    Wolvie don’t surf.
    In this issue, does anyone jump over a shark?

    X-Force isn’t solicited for January or February, but there is a TPB in January collecting #21-26, so next issue might be the series finale.

  10. Josie says:

    Wolvie surfs. Charlie don’t surf.

  11. YLu says:

    Worth noting that the surfers have visible gills on their necks on the last page. So they’re post-human AND surfers.

  12. Mark says:

    Si said: I’m certain that the cover is a homage to a movie poster or something similar. I can’t think what, but it looks very familiar.

    It reminds me of the “Skeet Surfin'” musical intro to the movie “Top Secret,” an idea that makes almost as much sense as a surfing Wolverine.

  13. The Other Michael says:

    Wolverine surfing is one of the most ridiculous hobbies imaginable for him, and certainly not one consistent with his depictions to date. Not the least of which is because, as noted, he’s heavy as fuck and doesn’t float, and can, in fact, drown.

    Add to that the sheer ludicrousness of a razor-sharp adamantium surfboard, and I question Percy’s judgment even more than usual. Why the everloving fuck does Wolverine, a hand-to-hand combat man who likes swords, want an adamantium surfboard for a weapon? How do you USE that? Is he going to surf peoples’ heads off? Swing it around in battle?

    And I honestly expected to see Lifeguard and/or Slipstream in this. But no, just a bunch of random surfing “mutants” whose story Wolverine falls for with depressing swiftness. I mean he’s hot and hard for Pike within hours of their meeting.

    I just can’t even. Logic took a vacation.

  14. Joe Iglesias says:

    If they were going to go this far, why didn’t they include Fenris to complete the homage to Surf Nazis Must Die…

  15. Mike Loughlin says:

    Wolvie don’t surf, I don’t think he should
    Wolvie don’t surf and this here issue ain’t no good
    Wolvie don’t surf in a cove off of Krakoa
    Wolvie’s going to sink way down low-uh

    (Apologies to The Clash)

  16. Karl_H says:

    How does one handle a surfboard where every edge is razor-sharp? In the first panel where Wolverine’s staring out at the waves, his fingers should be sliced off.

    Next issue can guest star Cyclops, surfing on a board made of concussive force or something. Would make about as much sense.

  17. Thom H. says:

    @Adam: So gross.

    @Karl: Cyclops’ board could be a giant visor?

  18. MasterMahan says:

    Percy could have made this less stupid. Throw in something about Wolverine always thought surfing looked fun but his weight made it too dangerous before The Five. Maybe he used to surf a bit before he got his adamantium. Dump the murderboard for what’s meant to be a recreational activity.

    Alternately, use a character for whom surfing actually makes sense. What the hell does Sage do in her time off? She was around with Lifeguard and Slipstream.

    Or, finally, recognize that Point Break with mutants is kind of a stupid idea and don’t do it.

  19. Jon L says:

    Omg, I managed to actually forget about the hot claws

  20. Ben says:

    @Karl_H Only if Cyclops’ concussive surfboard comes from the surfboard dimension, wouldn’t want the law of conservation of energy to fall by the wayside.

    Has it been announced what Hickman is doing when he leaves X-Men? Maybe he could do a Thunderbolts retcon where Baron Zemo was actually Citizen XVII, and this whole time he was secretly training the T-bolts to fight the real enemy, humans with faces. You could call it House of V/Powers of V. Or even House of V/Powers of Pack, and the Power Pack were secretly villains the whole time. Free ideas here, Marvel editors.

  21. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Really though, can we go back to Zemo being a sociopathic antihero instead of a generic Nazi.

    The biggest bummer of the Brubaker run.

  22. Joseph S. says:

    Percy should have made this even sillier, keep the X-Force tone but lean in a little more. Shark-Girl maybe? Come on!

  23. wwk5d says:

    I generally like this title and usually enjoy it, but this issue…yikes. Not a good one.

  24. Ben Johnston says:

    A remarkably dumb issue, and one that makes me seriously question whether Percy understands Wolverine as a character. I’ve like his take, but this is bafflingly off.

    I read that beach scene as Pike getting Logan to give her the location of the Bower. She’s the one who brings it up. But the surfers obviously have some working knowledge of the island, so it’s not clear why she would need to run a scam. It’s not like the Bower’s location is a secret.

    If Pike isn’t a mutant, I’m not quite clear how she’s making a scale model of the island out of sand.

  25. The Other Michael says:

    @Ben –

    Oh. My. God.
    Citizen V.
    It was NEVER V for Victory.
    He was just the fifth iteration of the Citizen Plus Project.
    Just wait until we go back to see how they first developed the Citizen Plus Project during the Civil War using slaves as test subjects until one rose up to become an unsung hero of the era… and of course then later versions fought in various conflicts including WW1, where a secret Citizen worked with Freedom’s Five, and finally we got the first Citizen V during WW2.

    The Project was put on hiatus, and the identity mistaken for just another Golden Age mystery man during WW2 as it was adopted by the Watkins family and usurped by Zemo and so forth.

    HOWEVER, in parallel, the Citizen Plus Project resumed in secret some years later and little did you know, but at some point the Project started to experiment with symbiotes and ANNNNYWAY I’m just saying that CITIZEN VENOM is totally a thing coming next year, while the Canadian off-shoot of the program went with advanced technology and CITIZEN VINDICATOR is coming and did you know about the project’s hand in synthetic beings which is where CITIZEN VISION came from, and they’re all going to fight in…

    Written by Donny Cates and Jason Aaron.

    (Oh, and by the way, the project’s research was stolen by criminals and turned into the flying suit of CITIZEN VULTURE.)

    (And by Hydra, who of course created CITIZEN VIPER)

    Naw, this is all too ridiculous. I hate myself already.

  26. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I feel like the Bens and Michaels have really figured this whole thing out.

  27. Ben says:

    I honestly forgot that it stood for “Victory.” Wasn’t there a Citizen VI running around at some point? The whole Weapon X as a Roman numeral retcon has kind of ruined certain parts of the alphabet

  28. Ben says:

    They should do a 12-issue maxiseries to address the nine Havoks who were randomly transported to an alternate universe prior to Mutant X.

  29. The Other Michael says:

    Sorry Ben, but that was actually a case of using the alphabet.

    You need to be asking yourself what happened to Mutants A through W. Who were they? Where did they go? What happened to them? How many of them are still out there? And… what happens when they come back???

    Coming soon from Kurt Busiek: THE MUTANTS.
    “In this mindblowing new series, Busiek reveals the story behind the bizarre series of abductions which have plagued the Marvel Universe since the very beginning. Watch as Marvel’s most obscure and secret mutants are revealed for the first time, and see how their disappearances shaped Marvel history in ways you’ll never expect…”

    Only one has been revealed so far… Mutant D: THE DRIVER. Appearing in Fantastic Four #1 and never seen again, this seemingly innocuous cab driver inadvertently drove an invisible Sue Storm to her destination, neither of them realizing his power to be in the right place at the right time made him crucial for that moment in time. Now he transports and guides his fellow lost mutants as they fulfill their own cosmic destinies…

  30. Si says:

    I actually really like the idea of there being some interdimensional entity like the Watcher but who intervenes (The Fiddler?) trying again and again to insert a Havok into that one world who will work properly to achieve … something cosmic, but they just keep exploding and stuff when The Six aren’t looking. It’s like parents buying a new goldfish and pretending it’s the same one.

  31. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    500 Days of Summers

  32. Rareblight says:

    My guess is that Pike and her buddies are Atlantean, but I do not why Atlanteans are interested in Krakoan babies?

  33. Dave says:

    I can’t believe The Other Michael forgot to include how the Citizen Plus project realised it needed some mystical muscle, leading to a secret deal with Mephisto and the creation of CITIZEN VENGEANCE.

  34. Chris V says:

    Plus, let’s not forget the first crossover of this brave new era.
    Where the Citizens V discover a long lost realm of the Citizen Plus program dating back thousands of years, and their role in the creation of CITIZEN VARNAE!

  35. Rareblight says:

    “Rareblight says:
    November 22, 2021 at 1:54 AM
    My guess is that Pike and her buddies are Atlantean, but I do not why Atlanteans are interested in Krakoan babies?”

    Maybe a little on the nose, but these Atlanteans could be members of SURF, the Atlantean mutant terrorist group.

  36. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    And now we’re officially at a point where I have to google everything to check whether you guys are making jokes or actually referencing Marvel continuity.

    SURF. Really. Amazing.

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