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Dec 9

Hellions #18 annotations

Posted on Thursday, December 9, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

“The Losing End”
by Zeb Wells, Ze Carlos, Stephen Segovia & Rain Beredo

COVER / PAGE 1:: The Quiet Council judge the Hellions. (This doesn’t quite reflect the interior – in the story itself, Psylocke isn’t shackled, and Empath isn’t on trial with the others at all.)

PAGES 2-3. The Quiet Council prepare for the Hellions’ trial.

The Hellions are on trial after Orphan-Maker killed two park rangers after the fight with the Right in the previous issue.

The Council members present are (clockwise from top) Professor X, Mr Sinister, Exodus, Mystique, Kate Pryde, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Nightcrawler, Storm and Magneto. Since the other two seats are vacant, this presumably takes place before Destiny and Colossus join the Council in Inferno. On the other hand, Psylocke is acknowledged as a “Great Captain” later in the issue, and she was only formally appointed to that position in Inferno #1. So apparently we’re between pages 44 and 45 of Inferno #1.

Professor X’s opening comment – “We knew this day would come” – suggests they haven’t had to do this in quite some time, but Storm refers later on to “precedents”, plural. One is Sabretooth in House of X #6. The other is presumably the trial of Nature Girl and Curse in X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #12.

Mr Sinister is openly angling for the whole team to be got rid of, presumably because he no longer has any leverage over Psylocke (following the loss of the AI version of her daughter, which he was holding over her for the entire series), and because the team haven’t yet got their revenge on him for tricking them in “X of Swords” and again in the subsequent Murderworld arc. This incarnation of Sinister is not much of a schemer and is so glaringly unsubtle about it that the rest of the Council more or less ignore him.

Nightcrawler argues that Orphan-Maker is “a child”, and Mystique replies that he is “stunted” but “neither biologically nor psychologically a child”. That’s somewhat significant. Orphan-Maker’s whole deal is that his powers are apparently so dangerous that they must never be allowed to emerge. The suit of armour is supposed to arrest his powers. Prior to “X of Swords”, it was ambiguous whether Peter was a child in an adult-sized suit of armour, or an adult with the mind of a child (and his powers suppressed by the armour). When he was resurrected after “X of Swords”, Peter came back larger (implying that he was not fully grown before), but remained emotionally dependent on Nanny. Given his behaviour, it’s not obvious what Mystique means when she says that he’s psychologically an adult, but Professor X confirms later in the issue that “He’s had the body and mind of a man since Arakko.” At any rate, suggesting that he’s an adult with a learning disability – which seems to be what she’s getting at – is hardly an answer to Kurt’s point.

Greycrow seems sardonically unbothered by the whole thing, but then he’s had something of a depressed attitude throughout the series and might well be quite relaxed about the thought of going to the Pit.

PAGE 4. Recap and credits.

PAGES 5-8. Flashback: The X-Men meet the Hellions on their return to Krakoa.

Psylocke asks for assurances that Orphan-Maker won’t go to the Pit, doesn’t get them, and a fight ensues. Naturally, it’s Greycrow who throws the first punch, since he’s the one most consistently concerned with protecting his teammates; loyalty to his team is his defining virtue. Wild Child attacks next, because he’s defending Psylocke (whom he regards as an alpha female).

Havok and Polaris quietly greet each other while the scene is going on around them, in reference to their long-running relationship from the 1970s and 80s.

Empath steps in to subdue the Hellions in characteristically smug fashion. We’ve seen over the last few issues that this is an act and that he really wants to be accepted by the team but seems chronically incapable of acting accordingly. In fairness to him, it’s perfectly reasonable for him to step in here – all he’s doing is breaking up a fight in the only way that’s really available to him – but he still won’t openly align himself with his team.

PAGE 9. Emma acknowledges Hellion.

We established in issues #15-16 that Empath has been acting as a mole for Emma Frost, and that part of his role is to bring out Havok’s violent persona when required. Havok strongly implies here that Greycrow has told him about this. Last issue, Havok didn’t seem to be aware of that – he told Psylocke that Greycrow had told him what he did while in his other persona, but said he had no idea why he did it, and no memory. Presumably Greycrow told him about Empath’s role between the flashback and the main story, perhaps as a response to Empath finally distancing himself from the team altogether.

PAGES 10-12. Sinister argues for the Hellions all to go to the Pit.

“They harboured a mutant-hating A.I. on our island.” Well, Nanny did (and Orphan-Maker didn’t tell anyone). They picked it up from the Right in issue #8, and it only turned out to be mutant-hating last issue. But A.I. is a big no-no on Krakoa because of the fear of machine dominance that was set up in Powers of X (and more of that in Inferno this week). It was also alluded to in this book in issue #8.

Even allowing for the fact that it’s a gag, the fact that the rest of the Council are willing to literally shut Sinister up suggests he doesn’t have a great deal of credibility or leverage with them – despite the importance of his technology to resurrection. They might live to regret that.

PAGES 13-15. Orphan-Maker is sentenced to the Pit.

This is a weird scene in a lot of ways. For one thing, all of the Quiet Council seem to accept without question the proposition that Orphan-Maker has the mind of an adult, despite all appearances to the contrary. The possible exception is Nightcrawler, but he doesn’t actually make an argument that Peter is a child – instead, he makes the “abolish prisons” argument that violent tendencies should be seen as a mental health problem. But none of the Hellions regard him as a child; we’re clearly invited to see it their way; and Mystique described him as “stunted” earlier in the issue.

It’s also got some rather rushed-looking art compared to the rest of the issue.

The main problem, though, is that this is not much of an argument for the enlightened nature of mutant society. Even if you’re not up for the abolition of prisons, what we have here is an “advanced” society that hasn’t managed to come up with the defence of diminished responsibility, something which has been around for literally hundreds of years. So… the legal system of Krakoa is less enlightened on questions of mental health than 18th century Britain. Yay mutant culture.

Nightcrawler has been contributing quotes of wisdom throughout the series, but this is the first time he’s actually done anything significant in the book, and true to form, he’s trying to be supportive to the Hellions.

PAGES 16-20. Nanny goes to the Pit with Orphan-Maker.

Nanny died in the fight with the Right last issue, and hence isn’t implicated in the killing that followed. She absolutely insists on going to the Pit with Orphan-Maker, which she casts as evidence that she won’t abandon him. In fact, though she only alludes to it in passing here (“I failed him once”), she pretty much did emotionally abandon him after his resurrection, because she was focussed on the new Right AI. In that sense, she’s responsible for his tantrum that led to the two rangers getting killed.

The song that Nanny sings is a version of the one that she sang to Orphan-Maker back in issue #1, played less comedically this time.

PAGE 21. Greycrow, Havok and Wild Child leave.

With the Hellions finally disbanded, Havok is at last willing to acknowledge that he was a member and to accept Greycrow’s support.

PAGE 22. Empath with the original Hellions.

This begins a series of epilogues where we see how the characters have been changed by the last 18 issues. Empath winds up right back where he started, using his powers to stop the other (original) Hellions from yelling at him. The three seen here are Beef, Catseye and Roulette – he was making Catseye and Roulette (and Tarot) fight for his entertainment in issue #1. The difference for Empath is that he now sees this as empty, but he has no idea how to do anything about that, and is left trapped.

PAGE 23. Psylocke stops Greycrow from killing Empath.

Greycrow did pledge to kill Empath for his treatment of Havok, but Psylocke – whom he’s plainly in love with – encourages him to be better than that. Greycrow’s been killing Empath repeatedly as a running joke throughout the series, but now he moves on.

PAGE 24. Wild Child starts taking his pills.

Rejected by Psylocke, Wild Child apparently decides to try and regain his stability. He was taking medicine prior to issue #1 but has apparently been refusing them throughout this series. The unnamed doctor is (as usual) Cecilia Reyes.

PAGES 25-28. Havok is reunited with Madelyne Pryor.

Havok has been agitating for the resurrection of Madelyne Pryor ever since she died in issue #4. The original reason for refusing to resurrect Madelyne was that she was a clone of Jean Grey, and that there were strict rules about resurrecting doubles. Cyclops mentions “relaxed protocols” here, probably referring to the arguments raised by the Five over in New Mutants where they objected to the existing rules on the grounds that they excluded even clones who were plainly people in their own right, such as Scout. Apparently their lobbying was accepted.

Madelyne is wearing a version of the flight suit that she used to wear when hanging around with the X-Men in the 80s, positioning her somewhat as “good Madelyne” again – but she sees herself in the mirror as the Goblin Queen. Basically, Havok thinks he’s got the happy ending as a reward for his suffering, but he absolutely hasn’t. Madelyne seems to suggest that she didn’t want to be resurrected – “Were my feelings considered for a moment?” – though in fairness, we’ve not heard of anyone else being allowed to opt for permanent death. (In Excalibur, Malice had a new body forced on her.) On top of that, Madelyne recognises that she’s being cast as the prize in somebody else’s story, and she’s understandably resentful of that.

PAGES 29-30. Emma and Magneto discuss Mister Sinister.

This feels like it’s setting up plots for Immortal X-Men. Neither Emma nor Magneto wants Sinister on the Council but they’re stuck with him for now. Sinister, meanwhile, seems to be back to scheming about blending the DNA of multiple mutants – chimeras, in other words. We saw him experimenting with this in issue #15, and it was set up in Powers of X as a big historical development when he finally gets to it.

Magneto’s final line is a double meaning – Sinister is the cancer, and he knows how to grow mutants.

PAGES 31-32. Greycrow and Psylocke at the beach.

With Psylocke’s quest to recover her daughter’s AI no longer an obstruction, the team’s two noble warrior types are finally together. This seems to confirm that Greycrow is indeed the obscured figure whose hands Psylocke was holding in Excalibur #25 (which evidently takes place later).

Greycrow mentions that he “likes to cook” – I think that’s a reference to the Nightcrawler story in X-Men: Divided they Stand #1 from 2008, where one of Greycrow’s clones was shown working as a chef.

PAGE 33. Data page – a self-explanatory quotation from Nightcrawler. Unusually for a Krakoan-era X-book, it ends there, with no trailer page.

Bring on the comments

  1. Si says:

    Could they not just kill Orphan Maker before the next backup happens, so when he’s resurrected it’s as a guy who hasn’t killed those humans?

  2. Chris V says:

    Si-I don’t think it works that way as the crime already occurred. You can’t undo the crime.
    Xavier states that he was giving every mutant amnesty and one chance to change. The idea that you could just keep killing and resetting mutants to the point before they last killed a human would become problematic.
    “Sabretooth killed eighteen more humans today. Kill him and reset him to before his first murder while on Krakoa again. Let’s try this again.”


    It seems as if Zeb Wells is one of the few writers who remained skeptics of Krakoa and veered closer to Hickman’s vision of a rot beneath the exterior of Krakoa.

    Not really relevant to think book, but after reading Inferno #3, it really makes me wonder what direction the line and Krakoa is going to move in post-Hickman.
    The “working towards an utopian paradise” aspect embraced by most of the non-Hickman writers seems counterintuitive after the revelations of Inferno #3.

    While most writers are working to prove the idea of “mutant superiority”, here we have Wells treatment of Orphan-Maker and use of the Pit.
    Although, I’m sure there are probably revelations about the Pit coming in the Sabretooth series. I can’t see an entire mini-series based around Sabretooth being incapacitated by aware in the Pit for months.
    We’ll see that the Pit isn’t how Xavier described it.

  3. Evilgus says:

    A really strong wrap up to the series, marred by some execrable art. The writing shone through but I just wish the staging and body language was better.

    It did sell the gravity of Orphan Maker and Nanny ending up in the pit. 🙁 I like that his true power remains a mystery.

    On Madelyne, I wish it was more ambiguous if she’s going to be an out and out villian. And if we don’t get an on page reaction from Scott, Jean, and the rest, I’ll be very frustrated!

  4. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    On the whole, best series of the Krakoan Age so far. It has the distinct advantage over X-Factor by being almost double in length and actually resolving (most) story and character arcs. And a definite edge over Marauders by not spinning its wheels for half its length. And it was character-driven, which isn’t an objective advantage, but it makes it better for me than any plot-driven Hickman book because that’s just what I prefer.

    It made me care about Nanny, of all people. She had some of the best scenes in the series.

    I hope Wells gets invited back to the x-line, though that could be after he’s done with Spider-Man if that keeps him too busy…

  5. Daibhid C says:

    @Si: That’s … an interesting philisophical point. My take would be that he’d be ressurected as someone who doesn’t remember killing the humans, which isn’t quite the same thing.

    Beyond that, I’m not really sure what it achieves. I mean, I assume that the thinking behind “Don’t kill humans or you’ll be buried alive forever” is to discourage mutants from killing humans. “Don’t kill humans or we’ll respawn you from before that happened” doesn’t feel like it would have the same effect.

  6. Daibhid C says:

    @Chris V: Yeah, that. Should have checked for further replies.

  7. Si says:

    The way I’m thinking is that Sabretooth is an unrepentant psychopath, while Orphan Maker killed in the heat of the moment. And while the victims are still dead, it could be argued that as the resurrected are for all intents the original person as they were the moment of the last backup, the reborn Orphan Maker literally didn’t kill them. But the conditions are now known, and psychiatrists can work to resolve the mindset that led to him killing so it doesn’t happen again and young Peter can grow into a more stable person.

    By the way, my theory for ages is that The Pit is a Chekov’s gun that won’t be used again until it’s used on Moira herself. But now I’m thinking, with the Sabretooth series and all, how interesting would it be if everyone who’s thrown in the Pit is actually just met by Cypher at the bottom and shown to a boat a la Nature Girl? The council doesn’t even know, they think they’re torturing their victims forever, but Krakoa doesn’t believe in capital punishment.

  8. Skippy says:

    Whether the hypothetical revived Orphan Maker is philosophically a murderer or not, the victims are still dead. Every time a Krakoan mutant kills a human (except Shogo, I suppose), it is a major international incident. To maintain diplomatic relations, the Council need to do something.

    This is where an independent judiciary would be very helpful; then a diminished responsibility argument would have a chance of not being dwarfed by political concerns, and Emma or whoever could tell the Americans it’s out of the Council’s hands.

    I think the Pit is mostly a symbolic punishment to show human nations that Krakoa at least pays lip service to the rule of law. As an an actual penalty to dissuade wrongdoing, I think being put to the back of the resurrection queue sounds much more effective.

    Good book, Hellions.

  9. Chris V says:

    Why? The Pit is literally hell.
    Imagine being kept in suspended animation for decades, not being allowed to ever die, and kept aware of everything that is happening, as time continues to flow.
    I can’t imagine a more horrible torture.

    Being put at the back of the line means you get to at least rest, being dead, until your time finally comes around.
    It’s not as great of a punishment as the Pit…if the Pit works exactly as Xavier explained.

  10. ASV says:

    Has the memory experience of being dead and then resurrected been addressed in detail? Like, if you pop out of your egg thinking it’s been just a moment since your last recorded memory, going to the back of the queue isn’t much of a punishment as long as you assume eventually you’ll reach the front.

  11. Michael says:

    What bothered me is that we didn’t get any real answers. First, what is Peter’s power? When they were arguing about whether or not Peter was too dangerous and needed to go into the pit, nobody argued that someone with his power was too dangerous to be throwing deadly temper tantrums.
    Secondly, were Emma and Empath responsible for Havok’s multiple personality problems in issues 1-4 or did Havok have a preexisting multiple personality situation that they just took advantage of? This was the whole reason Alex got sent to the Hellions in the first place. (Note that Empath was dead and Emma was absent in issues 3-4 when his evil personality emerged.) It’s annoying because Scott and Alex discuss Alex being manipulated in issue 15 but nobody wonders whether or not the earlier incidents were also Emma’s and Empath’s manipulations.
    Finally, Maddie’s resurrection. Did they try to resurrect her as “good Madelyne” but fail or did they just try to resurrect her as the Goblin Queen without thinking it through? Is there a reason why Maddie has pupils as herself but no pupils as the Goblin Queen reflection in the mirror? Was Maddie in the jumpsuit to trick everyone into thinking she’s “good Madelyne” again? Or is she now part “good Madelyne” and part “Goblin Queen”? That would explain why she didn’t want to be resurrected- that would be “good Madelyne” speaking- she’s afraid she’ll start hurting the people she cares about again. What does Scott think is going on with Maddie? Part of the problem might be that New Mutants 23 was supposed to come out concurrently with this issue but got pushed back to February- we might get a fuller explanation in New Mutants.
    In short, most of the problems in this issue came from the fact that the characters didn’t talk about stuff they definitely should have been talking about. (“So was Emma responsible for me losing control alll along? Scott, is Maddie still the Goblin Queen?”) We didn’t even get to see Scott’s reaction to Maddie’s return.

  12. Skippy says:

    Chris V: we know from the real world that the threat of indefinite detention/torture/death doesn’t actually deter criminals. Nobody commits crimes assuming they’ll be caught, so the severity of penalty doesn’t enter the equation. If there is a deterrent effect, it’s from the trouble that comes with having a criminal record and/or having one’s normal life interrupted by a period of imprisonment.

    But everyone on Krakoa must know that by mishap or passage of time, they will one day die, and then their place in the queue will become very important indeed. Control of the queue gives the Council a tremendous amount of social control.

    I was going to add that being in the queue is also harder to escape from, since you can’t just convince Krakoa to let you out, but come to think of it we have seen two self-resurrections already, haven’t we?

  13. Chris V says:

    Most mutants don’t know where they are going to end up in the queue anyway.
    Certain mutants…like Quiet Council members or mutants who die in defence of the nation.,.are given priority.
    A random mutant who dies of a heart attack is going to end up at the end of the queue behind all the Genoshan mutants anyway.

    Either punishment is a “deterrent”.
    Putting someone at the back of the queue as a punishment would imply that the person expected to be caught too.

  14. Si says:

    I suppose being put to the back of the resurrection queue can potentially mean decades pass before you come back. The technology, fashion, everything will be unrelatable. All of your friends and loved ones will have moved on. It’s not as harsh as a long prison term where you have the same problems but you have to suffer through the years in between, and doesn’t have any hope of rehabilitation, but it would still be quite a deterrent.

    It is worth thinking about that super-types have been coming back from the dead without Fabio and his crew since forever. It might be a bit meta, but I can imagine people just shrugging about the queue and saying they’ll just come back some other way instead. You can see Gwenpool doing that.

  15. Skippy says:

    Hmm, you make a good point. All the mutants that we’re following in the books seem to get bumped to the front automatically, so losing those privileges would hurt them, but that is not going to be the case for the vast majority of Krakoans.

    This was actually an aside in Way of X, wasn’t it? Nemesis hypothesising that queue-jumping due to death in service of the nation would promote a warrior society? Lot of ideas that could have used more space in that book.

  16. Mark says:

    I’ll be genuinely bummed if Zeb Wells doesn’t have another x-book after this. This was excellent.

  17. Adam says:

    This was my favorite series of the era. Glad it went out late enough that it got to wrap up most of its plots.

    The only thing that rankles is how we were teased about Peter’s power and never learned what it is, but it can be argued that the mystery is an aspect of the character, like Wolverine’s past used to be.

  18. Si says:

    Honestly, I don’t see how anyone could write a satisfactory answer to what Peter’s powers are at this point. In a setting with Proteus and Legion and all those guys on Mars, what could possibly qualify as “too dangerous”? Best to leave it to the imagination.

  19. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Zeb Wells made me give a shit about Orphanmaker and Nanny and Greycow and Empath and New Psylocke.

    Who would have thought?

    It’s a bummer this is ending while so many other dreadful books live on, but that’s comics.

    At least this feels like a complete series.

  20. The Other Michael says:

    Peter’s power is to bring back Chuck Austin to write the X-Men. This is why it’s in everyone’s best interests if it never manifests.

  21. SanityOrMadness says:

    Michael> Secondly, were Emma and Empath responsible for Havok’s multiple personality problems in issues 1-4 or did Havok have a preexisting multiple personality situation that they just took advantage of? This was the whole reason Alex got sent to the Hellions in the first place. (Note that Empath was dead and Emma was absent in issues 3-4 when his evil personality emerged.) It’s annoying because Scott and Alex discuss Alex being manipulated in issue 15 but nobody wonders whether or not the earlier incidents were also Emma’s and Empath’s manipulations.

    Pretty sure Havok’s situation was exactly as presented, rather than a real mystery – Frost didn’t do a great job with his un-Inversion, so the alternate personality was only suppressed rather than unmade (which is actually suggested back in the issue of X-Men Blue where it happened – he still feels his inverted self under the surface. Plus, it was based on Polaris’ memories of Havok rather than an actual reversal). So, stress (the explosion/injuries in #1, the whole Madelyne thing in #4) can cause him to “Hulk out”. Empath just took advantage of what was there.

    Michael> Finally, Maddie’s resurrection. Did they try to resurrect her as “good Madelyne” but fail or did they just try to resurrect her as the Goblin Queen without thinking it through? Is there a reason why Maddie has pupils as herself but no pupils as the Goblin Queen reflection in the mirror? Was Maddie in the jumpsuit to trick everyone into thinking she’s “good Madelyne” again? Or is she now part “good Madelyne” and part “Goblin Queen”? That would explain why she didn’t want to be resurrected- that would be “good Madelyne” speaking- she’s afraid she’ll start hurting the people she cares about again.

    I don’t think the “her feelings” line is even slightly to do with her not wanting to be resurrected. Rather, go back to #3-4 – her defining trait in those issues was her anger at being ignored and treated like a non-person (and the unreasonable excesses that resulted). Her anger here is largely because in being brought back… she’s STILL being treated as a non-person, an adjunct to Havok. The more important part of the balloon is the interrupted second half – “Or did your quivering lip outweigh the whole of my–” (as Paul puts it, she “recognises that she’s being cast as the prize in somebody else’s story”).

    As for “good Madelyne” – I think she’s been brought back as the Goblin Queen, anything else would require them to use a backup from the mid-80s when Xavier wasn’t even on planet to MAKE backups! (Although I grant that the “I don’t know what happened” line makes it slightly ambiguous, it could easily just refer to her not remembering how she died, since backups are rarely so perfect). Now, it’s possible that The Five tried to tweak her to alleviate her mental issues (as has been talked about with other characters – they outright proposed trying to rewrite Omega Red to make him less psychotic, although that was refused because Beastinator had plans), but…y’know… magic is involved. Probably wouldn’t take.

    [And she has no pupils in the mirror because the Goblin Queen’s eyes are glowing. It was coloured with a clearer “glow” effect in #3-4.]

  22. Loz says:

    This was generally an okay wrap-up but I did bump on a few things like the muzzle on Sinister, really?

    The scene with Emma and Magneto was rather unfortunate, coming out in the same week as Inferno #3, but we will probably have to wait until Inferno #4 at least to see that, and to bring back the Inferno Madelynne if she’s not going to be involved in that seems clumsily timed.

    And I’ll say it now, I’m sick of evil Maddie Pryors. The woman has been seemingly damned for all time because the men of the MCU and working for Marvel saw her as a nuisance. When is she going to get her ‘By Friends- Betrayed!’ moment?

  23. Bengt Strand says:

    If the Pit thing is going to have any diplomatic impact they would have to actively publicise the trials and punishment. Generally Krakoa doesn’t allow people/press to visit so how does that work anyway?

    I mostly liked this series but I think Sinister was way too much comic relief. It would have been ok if we had seen him act clownish as part of of some scheme but he just seems to genuinely be an incompetent clown…

  24. MasterMahan says:

    It was interesting that Magneto notes on the first page that they need to show the humans they take the three laws seriously. So, humans know about the three laws? That’s interesting, given how secretive Krakoa is. I can’t imagine the actual three laws would be particularly comforting to most humans, given how little they cover.

    Or maybe Erik just means they can’t let mutants be seen killing innocent humans. The ban on murdering humans and only humans doesn’t make sense if you don’t know about resurrection.

    Aside, this is just the sort of thing I wanted from the Krakoa era. I’m going to miss Hellions.

  25. Michael says:

    @SanityorMadness- The issue with Alex is this- in issue 7, the Five revive him. And since then, the only time he reverts to his evil personality is when Empath uses his power. As you noted, the Five can tweak a person’s mind to fix mental problems. So, is there still a danger of Alex resulting to his evil personality spontaneously or only with Empath is around? If Alex can only revert to his evil personality when Empath is around, then the solution is simple- keep Empath away from Alex. If Alex can still revert to his evil personality spontaneously, though, then we have a problem. (And it raises the question of why the Five can’t fix that.) The lack of definite resolution to this will probably confuse future writers.
    Re:Maddie- she was turned into the Goblin Queen by Limbo magic. So if the Five can’t fix that, Illyana should be able to.Especially since Kitty was able to use the Soulsword to undo a similar transformation in Meggan. I could see Illyana being unable to fix a spell cast by Dormammu but she should be able to fix problems caused by Limbo magic. She was able to do it with the Man-Thing. But we’ll see in New Mutants.

  26. Rareblight says:

    It’s always about Emma’s “children”, yet I cannot ignore the fact that she caused the permanent death of Psylocke’s child over Sinister’s shenanigans, and ignored even a sincere apologize from her.
    I really would not mind if it is Psylocke who causes the Otherworld resurrection of one of Cuckoos mentioned in Inferno #3. An eye for an eye, and her name was Revanche for a while.

    Nanny deserved the Pit, not Peter. IMO, she is the most repulsive character in the series, not Sinister, not Empath. I wish Council redeemed Peter by teleporting him into ORCHIS Forge, and let his power loose upon them. Two birds, one stone.

  27. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Michael: ‘The lack of definite resolution to this will probably confuse future writers.’

    Yeah, well, they’ll join a long line of confused writers. Havok’s inversion post-Axis has been a mess. It was already basically dropped before Bunn used it again in Blue. And he already had a redemption arc post-Blue in Rosenberg’s short Astonishing X-Men run.

  28. JCG says:

    Seems like most writers struggle to find something interesting to do with Havok, hence why they always go back to the Axis-inversion.

    Well, something is bound to appear and replace it as a writer crutch at some point.

  29. Mark Coale says:

    Is the Pit worse than the (classic at least) Phantom Zone?

  30. Chris V says:

    I would say definitely, although the two are similar.
    At least you can move around in the Phantom Zone and interact with other beings.
    The Phantom Zone is like being a ghost (in the traditional sense): able to see the world and other ghosts, but never to interact with said reality. The Pit is like being buried alive but never being able to die.

  31. Evilgus says:

    I would also like a bit more show of Emma helping ‘the children’ rather than tell.

    I feel the concept of The Pit has been undercut somewhat by the fact Nature Girl was released. The fact that the second notable character to go in, promptly got out. Which is a shame, it is a hellish concept.

    I do think it’s a testament to this series there’s lots of chewy character stuff to discuss! Everyone got moved forward. And it leaned into the something-rotten-in-Krakoa undercurrent… Great humour and darkness together.

  32. Luis Dantas says:

    Continuity isn’t a deterrent for unexplained changes in characterization these days.

    One of the reasons why it is so common to end series and start them anew is because current expectations are that characterization does not have any duty to follow logically or organically from previous series. It is really a pick and choose situation.

  33. YLu says:

    @Chris V
    I’m not sure about this “Hickman’s flawed Krakoa vs. everyone else’s utopian Krakoa” premise. In her recent interview with the Powers of X-Men podcast, Leah Williams said her initial pitches for X-Factor were all about exploring the flaws in Krakoa, and that in fact Hickman was the one who steered her away from that direction.

  34. CJ says:

    By far the highlight of the non-event (HoXPox, Inferno) Krakoa books. I’d rather Zeb Wells return and write another book than something like Excalibur.

    I read the X-Men vs. Hellions scene as Empath both egging on AND stopping the Hellions just to be a jerk.

  35. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    It’s always been a question to me how much Hickman understands or cares how fucked up Krakoa is.

    Sometimes I think “he must be setting this up for disaster” and sometimes I think “he’s a robot who doesn’t understand morality and just likes puzzles.”

  36. Arrowhead says:

    When they announced this book, my first thought was “Zeb Wells writing an X-Men/Suicide Squad book? Sold.”

    My second thought was “seriously? Those are the characters he’s using?”

    I expected (and honestly, would have been more excited for) a bunch of edgy 90s rejects and ex-Brotherhood members. But I’ll be damned if Wells didn’t sell me on goddamn Nanny and the Orphan-Maker, and the book is all the more unique and memorable for it.

    And Marvel owes him a debt of gratitude for rehabilitating Kwannon/Psylocke. She was basically in the same position as poor Madeline Pryor – suddenly rendered a redundant husk by the restoration of the character she’d replaced. Wells put in the effort to make her a workable character, instead of just sending her to (literal) hell.

  37. Chris V says:

    Uncanny X-Ben-I don’t think that Hickman was ever setting Krakoa up for disaster.
    Based on Inferno, it does seem his intent was always that mutants finally win with life ten.
    I don’t believe he ever meant it be some sort of bad analogy for “a mutant version of Black Lives Matter” as Benjamin Percy said in an interview once.
    I don’t get the idea Hickman thinks in those terms or cares about that kind of commentary.

    I’m not sure what Leah Williams exactly meant in that interview.
    I would need more context.
    What were the flaws which Williams saw?
    What was Hickman’s reason for wanting her to go in a different direction? Is it because it would have contradicted or derailed some of Hickman’s planned revelations?

  38. sagatwarrior says:

    I was hoping that we would have gotten a Nanny (mutant) vs Nanny (Magneto’s robot maid). Ha. I man can dream. A man can dream….

  39. Ylu says:

    @Chris V

    You can hear it for yourself here:

    The relevant part is at the 37:50 minute mark.

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