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Jan 30

Marauders Annual #1 annotations

Posted on Sunday, January 30, 2022 by Paul in Annotations, Uncategorized

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

“Hellfire & Brimstone”
by Steve Orlando, Creees Lee & Rain Beredo

MARAUDERS ANNUAL. This is the first Marauders Annual, and something of an odd release in the Krakoan era, when the X-books haven’t generally been doing annuals at all. It seems to exist as a one-shot serving as the launch for the upcoming Marauders vol 2 – billing it as Marauders Annual #1 rather than as Marauders vol 2 #1 allows it to ship during the season break.

COVER / PAGE 1. Daken, Kate and Psylocke fight Brimstone Love.

PAGES 2-4. Daken is ambushed while investigating a mass grave.

Greenwich, Connecticut. It’s a wealthy, largely white area, something that Daken also notes on page 12.

Daken. Wolverine’s son is joining the cast of Marauders in vol 2, and this is his introduction. He was previously a member of X-Factor, which is why he’s looking for proof of death – his main job is to find evidence that mutants have really died, so that they can be safely resurrected without awkward doppelgangers resulting. Although he repeatedly calls himself “Akihiro” in this scene (his surname), the recap page still calls him Daken. However, he’s dumped his X-Factor outfit in favour of a variant of his costume from his Dark Wolverine days. To be precise, the opening panel seems to be loosely based on the cover of Daken: Dark Wolverine #1.

We see on page 12 that Daken specifically asked the telepaths he mentions to look out for his mental signals.

The Morlocks’ Alley. The underground tunnel complex where the Morlocks lived back in the Claremont era (and beyond, for those who survived). The Morlocks lived under New York, and Greenwich is 26 miles from Manhattan, but the “Mutant Massacre” had tunnels extending out as far as the X-Men’s mansion in Westchester county (which is even further out than that), so this is fair enough.

The voice speaking at the end is Brimstone Love, who we’ll meet later. His powers are responsible for the lava.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits. The small print now reads “Destiny of X”, making this the first book to carry that tag. (Lives of Wolverine doesn’t have one, and X-Men still says “Reign of X”.)

PAGES 6-7. Kate and Bishop talk.

Kate and Bishop were the two characters who stayed firmly in the cast when everyone else was being rushed out of the door in Marauders #27. This is basically the start of a “gathering the team” story.

The Marauder. The Marauders’ ship was destroyed on the night of the Hellfire Gala thanks to a scheme by Solem, but that’s a Wolverine plot which needn’t detain us further.

Bishop’s age. Kate suggests that he was born 15 years in the future. Leaving aside the technicality that he comes from a different timeline, it ought to be more than that – Bishop’s earliest appearances are understandably vague about precisely what time he comes from, but Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #287 says directly that he was born around 70 years in the future, and travelled back in time at around 100 years in the future. (To be fair, it also says that the criminals he’s pursuing was imprisoned 70 years in the future, so there’s a bit of wiggle room in these numbers, but not nearly enough to get you to 15.)

“Hellfire Trading’s held together by blackmail.” Not really what we saw in Marauders #27, when the Inner Circle was reshuffled, but maybe fair enough in terms of the general behaviour of some of the characters involved.

“[B]oth sides of our current [mission].” Early issues of Marauders did indeed set up the team as a group who were going to distribute Krakoan medicine through the black market, but also rescue mutants in danger in parts of the world where they couldn’t reach the Krakoan gates. That second part of the remit fell by the wayside in later issues.

“You’re Captain Commander of Krakoa.” The leader of the four Captains, who are broadly responsible for Krakoan defence. Bishop was appointed to the role in Inferno vol 2 #1. Kate isn’t one of the four Captains, but and referring to her as a captain (because of her nautical role) is wordplay, but Bishop is effectively deferring to her authority anyway.

PAGE 8. Kate approaches Psylocke.

“I did terrible things to get my daughter back and lost her anyway.” This is the plot of Hellions. A copy of the mind of Psylocke’s daughter survived in the possession of Mr Sinister; he used it as leverage to get her to collude in his manipulations of the Hellions; and eventually the copy was destroyed when the Hellions brought down Sinister’s New York operation. Psylocke is understandably still very upset about all this. Since the Hellions are no longer active, Psylocke is at a loose end.

PAGE 9. Bishop approaches Tempo.

Tempo. Heather Tucker was invited to join the Marauders in issue #23 (which is where she “gave Pryde a ‘maybe'”) but Gerry Duggan never followed up on that. Bishop is here to press the point.

Bouncer. This is Renata da Lima, a Brazilian mutant whose only previous appearance was in 2002’s Muties #4 (a miniseries which consisted of unrelated slice-of-life stories about ordinary mutants). Although Marvel Fandom lists her codename as “Bouncer”, so far as I can see, the original story actually just says she’s a bouncer – as in, that’s her job. But it’s definitely her, wearing her bar security gear from the original story.

The Green Lagoon. The only recognisable character in the background is Anole, working behind the bar.

“I don’t even know your chosen name.” A slightly odd comment. Not her given name, her chosen name. This can’t have been a very close relationship, even over three months, if Bouncer doesn’t even know what Heather prefers to be called.

“Plus, you were sort of a terrorist…” Tempo was a member of the original line-up of the Mutant Liberation Front in early 90s X-Force.

“[Y]ou betrayed them…” In X-Force vol 1 #28. Specifically, she stopped them from assassinating Henry Peter Gyrich and got kicked out of the group.

“[I]t’s been cool since then…” That’s debatable. Tempo joined the Acolytes after M-Day and showed up again as a villain in a few stories. This is largely forgotten stuff, though, and it’s understandable if Bouncer just doesn’t know about it. Or it might not be an issue for her, since that version of the Acolytes was led by Exodus, a respected Krakoan citizen.

PAGE 10. Kate and Psylocke visit Daken’s room.

The Boneyard is X-Factor’s headquarters.

Aurora was Daken’s partner in later issues of X-Factor, and presumably still is. We’ll see in the next scene what she’s been up to.

The photograph shows Daken’s genetic sister Laura (Wolverine) and Laura’s clone Scout, both of whom he regards as his sisters. “Thick-necked father” not shown.

“He won’t take a rescue from just anybody.” I mean, he will. He literally called out to “anyone in range” on page 3.

PAGE 11. Tempo and Bishop catch up with Aurora.

Stitch. This is Jodi Furman, who was a member of the proto-Alpha Flight team that appeared in 1992’s Alpha Flight: First Flight one-shot. Again, this is really obscure stuff.

“[S]urviving Department H.” The Canadian government department that sponsored Alpha Flight. Some versions of it were more abusive than others; it’s not obvious whether Stitch has as much to complain about as Aurora.

PAGE 12. Data page. A report that Daken filed just before the start of the issue, explaining what he was doing. We’ll see Bishop read it on page 18.

Carver. Orlando’s really been trawling the backwaters. Carver was the leader of a splinter sect of Morlocks who fought Wolverine in Wolverine vol 2 #157. He’s a Rob Liefeld creation, though his story was drawn by Ian Churchill. Daken suggests that Carver speaks with a woefully unconvincing Australian accent – that’s not a reference to the original story, where Carver spoke fairly normally.

“A Morlock living in Madripoor.” Many of the Morlocks moved to Madripoor in Marauders #19.

“My weekly shot with Marrow.” Marrow was indeed among the characters seen in Marauders #19, and this seems to confirm that she’s still living in Madripoor. It’s not clear what Daken’s “weekly shot” with her is, but maybe it’s a sparring session.

“Wasn’t happy in Arizona.” Before moving to Madripoor, the Morlocks (those who refused to come to Krakoa, at any rate) had been living at a private golf resort in Arizona.

Port Brimstone is another hidden city below New York, appearing in 2017’s Spirits of Vengeance #3-4.

Monster Metropolis is, you guessed it, another hidden city below New York, first appearing in Rick Remender’s 2009 Punisher run before becoming part of Deadpool‘s mythos.

Mr Clean was an anti-mutant mass murdered who killed a Morlock-like community in the United Kingdom in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #395-398. Either Carver is confusing two separate incidents, or Clean had some sort of mass attack on the US Morlocks which the X-Men failed to notice before fighting him in England.

“The First Marauders.” The capitalised First seems intended to distance the current Marauders from the current group, but Orlando is also reminding us that this is the re-used name of a death squad. Daken seems to approve, though.

PAGES 13-14. Kate and Aurora recruit Somnus.

Iceman and Christian Frost were effectively written out of the series last issue, but maybe they’re not gone just yet. Iceman is right that he never had a high school prom – he was with the X-Men by that point. Christian did indeed have a very bad relationship with his late father Winston Frost, who was more or less as shown here, but quite why Christian’s prom fantasy would be enhanced by adding Winston, even in this role, is a bit beyond me. Seems unhealthy.

Somnus. Carl Valentino debuted in Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1, which contains his back story (also written by Orlando). He and Daken had a one night stand in 1967, but because of Somnus’s dream-based powers, they subjectively spent a lifetime together. Carl went on to live an apparently uneventful life before dying of old age; Daken arranged from him to be resurrected in his prime. The premise of the Pride story is basically that Somnus is getting a second chance to live openly in the way that he couldn’t in 1967.

PAGES 15-17. Daken is tortured by Brimstone Love.

South Salem, New York. The X-Men’s Mansion was in the fictional location of “Salem Center”, but South Salem is a real place. “Part of the New York metropolitan area, the town centre has a post office, town hall, library and recycling centre.”

Brimstone Love makes his mainstream Marvel Universe debut here, but he’s a villain from X-Men 2099. It’s not clear whether this is the same character having travelled through time, or his counterpart in the main timeline. In the original stories, he ran a group called the Theatre of Pain, who basically ran sadistic entertainment shows for the amusement of the rich. On his own account, this seemed to be both a way of controlling his clients, and some sort of quasi-artistic endeavour. The Theatre’s “shows” seem to have basically consisted of a mixture of gladiatorial combat and psychic torture.

At any rate, it’s no accident that Brimstone Love shows up here in a gated community (and also in Greenwich). On the other hand, the wealthy residents at this point seem to be manipulated into following him, rather than acting as his customers.

His general angle to them is that they were loyal liberal allies who have been abandoned by the mutants, and that the mutants have become the elite that they always (self-)loathed. Obviously, Brimstone has a point about the mutants having embraced the sort of separatism that Xavier always decried – Krakoa is absolutely not the traditional “Xavier’s Dream” of humans and mutants living together in harmony – but the data page on page 31 confirms that this is just an angle he’s exploiting to foment unrest.

An obvious subtext is that the rich white folk rather liked being the good guys and resent being deprived of that self-congratulation opportunity by an underclass taking control of its own destiny rather than relying on their goodwill. However, that doesn’t really explain what people like Carver are doing in the group. Carver wasn’t an outright villain so much a mutant isolationist, but he certainly didn’t seem to be a fan of Xavier or the X-Men. Later on, Carver seems to tell us that he feels mutants like him are excluded from the new Krakoan society, and sees the placement of the Morlocks on Arizona and Madripoor (even at their own wishes) as evidence of that, which his fellow Morlocks are choosing to overlook. He claims that the exclusion of humans is the first step towards excluding undesirable mutants. Psylocke tells us later that the mutants in the group are formerly closeted mutants, but that doesn’t exactly describe Carver (except in the sense that he hid away from mainstream society altogether).

The reaction is also pushed to such a degree that you have to figure there’s a degree of mind-control going on here; that’s not among Brimstone’s normal powers, but he did have followers with those sorts of abilities. He refers to himself as “Brimstone Love and the Theatre of Pain”, but we don’t actually see any other followers – it’s unclear whether “the Theatre” is meant to be the people in the crowd, or the performance that Brimstone is laying on, or some people behind the scenes.

PAGE 18. The new Marauders are on Akihiro’s tail.

Kate isn’t here yet, apparently because she’s “secur[ing] our boat”. (Greenwich is on Long Island Sound.)

“I grew up in a neighbourhood like this.” The Pride story is vague about Somnus’s background beyond showing that his encounter with Daken took place in Toronto. There’s a montage of the rest of his life, but all it really tells us is that he had quite a large, loving family.

PAGES 19-30. The Marauders rescue Daken.

This is pretty straightforward. The fact that Brimstone loses part of his right horn strongly suggests that this isn’t just the X-Men 2099 villain at an earlier point in his timeline, though I suppose it maybe grows back. At any rate, Brimstone escapes. The art is rather vague about whether he takes anyone with him, but the dialogue tends to suggest not.

What does Somnus, who has dream-based powers, actually contribute in a fight scene? It’s not obvious.

PAGE 31. Data page. Brimstone Love writes to an unnamed ally about the footage obtained from his first Theatre of Pain – presumably the event we’ve just seen.

“The innovative mind of your Zaha Gehry.” Zaha Gehry is the head of engineering at Orchis, as named in a data page in House of X #1 (and never mentioned again, until now). So Brimstone is writing to someone at Orchis.

PAGE 32. The new Marauders toast their new vessel.

This is the shapechanging Mercury, previously used by Christian Frost.

PAGES 33-34. Kate meets with Emma and Sebastian.

This scene is a bit odd, since both Emma and Sebastian vacated their Hellfire positions in the previous issue in order to focus on their roles on the Quiet Council. So it’s not obvious why she would need to agree anything with them. But maybe she’s speaking to them in their role as Council members. At any rate, Christian Frost is appointed to do the actual running of the Red section of the Hellfire Club, leaving Kate free to get on with Marauders things.

Mysterium is a cosmic/mystical metal recovered by mutants in S.W.O.R.D. The Krakoan writing ont he side of the box reads PRYDE. The map is roughly the map of Krakoa from House of X #1, complete with the contour lines.

PAGE 35. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: SET SAIL. Note the small print here reads “World of X”.

Bring on the comments

  1. James Moar says:

    ‘Akihiro’ is a personal name rather than surname in real life usage, though the comics may not have stuck to this consistently.

  2. Ceries says:

    Love and Carver between them pull out a couple of arguments of varying levels of validity.

    First, Love points out that Krakoa is a gated community where mutants are free to be chauvinist and proclaim their superiority-as Magneto did in HoX 1, proclaiming mutantkind to be humanity’s gods in Jerusalem. He calls this specifically supremacist. This is broadly true-mutant chauvinism has been a staple of the Krakoa era. Love also claims that “mutantkind is not a monolith,” which is difficult to believe when the only mutants we’ve seen that don’t buy into Krakoa are insane supervillains such as himself or briefly Pete Wisdom, but would be true if the X-men comics had any thought for the sheer size of the mutant population they claim exists, and was true in the past before loyalty to the X-gene became the baseline mutant assumption.

    Second, Carver declares that mutants have become what they stood against, and elaborates that the exclusion of the Morlocks (because they don’t want to live on the same island as the death squads that massacred them) is an obvious sign that Krakoa will become increasingly exclusionist until it’s purely rule-by-the-powerful-and-pretty. This also seems entirely reasonable to fear-Krakoa is an oligarchy led by the strong with no democratic traditions and a cultural belief that they’re the superior race. A further slide into supremacism-taking it out on themselves if there’s no members of the inferior races around-seems entirely to be expected.

    Third, Love argues that human allies have been largely left behind by Krakoa, which we’ve seen is also true-the few humans on Krakoa are immediate family members, and so the paradise is only open to a lucky few of the “genetically inferior.” As we’ve seen previously in Marauders, Krakoa doesn’t even accept nonmutant refugees-they are segregated in camps on Emma’s private island until they can be forced to move to a human nation. Because in the Krakoan era coexisting in human countries is a clear failure, much of the work put into securing human-mutant relations has been abandoned.

    Their arguments are then devalued by being placed solely in the mouths of sadistic torturers and useful dupes. Orlando’s argument seems to be that chauvinism by the most powerful state on Earth is fine actually and only bigots would think otherwise.

  3. Daibhid C says:

    As ever, I haven’t read this (I am considering my options now the UK reprint mag has collapsed, and will probably be going for TPBs) but isn’t “chosen name” what mutants are calling codenames these days, or am I misremembering something? So I guess Renata is saying she knows Heather as Heather, but doesn’t know she also calls herself Tempo? Although, if she also knows her MLF backstory, I’m not sure how that works.

  4. Chris V says:

    Ceries-I broadly agree with you. I think Orlando (as well as Duggar and Howard) do harbour some problematic views on mutants, ones which this critique would broadly pass over their heads.

    However, I think Orlando is making a broader real-world point also, by putting the words in the mouth of Brimstone Love, about hypocrisy.
    Love is speaking on behalf of wealthy Liberal human elite who live in a gated community of their own, who are now casting aspersions upon Krakoa for being a “gated community”.
    There is something known as “radical chic” and it seems to me that Orlando is speaking on this subject as it applies to our world.

    Granted, it’s problematic when they fictional portrayal of Krakoa does become exemplar of everything being said by Love.
    In that sense, I give credit to Orlando for being so aware, even with those faults in mind.

  5. Michael P says:

    Is Love’s theatre the heir to the one from the Dazzler/Beast miniseries?

  6. Bengt says:

    Damn, that’s a 90’s design I didn’t need to see.

  7. Si says:

    I can’t like Daken. The evil Wolverine origin, the roofie power, the claws that make no sense, there’s just so much against him. I quite like Laura, and even whatsername the kid, for all of the “preteen scamp that everyone loves for no clear reason” trope, is okay. But Daken, only that blonde son transplanted from the Ultimate universe is a worse Wolverine legacy character.

    By the way, it might be a bit of a cliche, but I’d love Bishop to meet his grandad, who is just some random kid who’s nothing special. Or maybe his great-grandma, Kate Bishop. That would be fun.

  8. The Other Michael says:

    First… excited to see the return of Stitch after her one appearance 30 years ago (not counting a What If cameo and a one-panel cameo in Wolverine: First Class.) I wonder what she’s been up to ever since leaving/washing out of/being removed from the Flight Programs, given that she was on the roster up until the official Alpha/Beta/Gamma divisions were established. (Going by the Wolverine:FC and original Alpha Flight timelines…) Given that she had a hard time functioning due to her egophobia/neurodivergence, was she in a hospital or facility, or out on the street?

    I REALLY hope that Orlando doesn’t leave her as a one page cameo plucked from the Official Handbooks… but then again, Bouncer.

    @Si – didn’t they establish that Bishop is a descendant of Gateway? (Right… Great-grandfather as of X-Treme X-Men, apparently)

    Interesting but unsurprising to reveal that Tempo is queer. Lord knows her character is open to exploration given how little we know of her despite how long she’s been around. But if anyone is going to pull queer characters into a book, it’s going to be Steve Orlando. (Or Leah Williams…)

    @Michael P. The theatre from the Dazzler/Beast mini (The Beauty and the Beast) was actually a mutant gladiatorial arena, where participants were drugged up and sent forth to fight each other. It was supposedly run by the son of Doctor Doom, who turned out to be a robot. Sound familiar? It was revisited in New Mutants, where it was revealed to be run by the Shadow King, then possessing the missing-until-then Karma.

    And NOW I want to see the return of characters like Rocker and Ivich, especially with the introduction of the Krakoan Crucible. Surely at least some experienced mutant gladiators would be thrilled at a chance to perform for the masses, especially if “to the death” was an option.

  9. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I assume “shot with Marrow” as in shot of alcohol.

    Oh boy, did I hate this one. It’s not too bad on a technical level, but the actual content is maddening.

    For all his ridiculous fakery Brimstone Love never really says anything untrue and the X-Men reply with Twitter buzzwords. If you want to make a rebuttal maybe actually try to explain why he’s wrong? It’s so goddamn hamfisted.

    Ceries said it very well.

    This book was on my list to check out in the new line but not anymore.

    I like to think Bishop is Rogue and Gambit’s grand kid.

  10. Adam says:

    Got to agree with the others that Brimstone Love making every good point in the book feels rather icky, now that there’s not another shoe dropping (or at least, it’s now coming far too slowly to matter).

  11. Douglas says:

    It sure seems like the mysterium puzzle box is the Kara Kutuça (seen in X-Men #21) for which Emma sold her vote in Inferno–she even says it was “gifted with great mystique”!

  12. Si says:

    Does anyone else get Radar Love by Golden Earring playing in their head whenever they hear the protagonist’s name?

    Uh yeah, Bishop is apparently related to Gateway, and maybe Storm. Because of that one thing they have in common. I think we should sweep that under the rug and ignore it. Anyway, we all have two grandfathers and four great-grandfathers, so that’s okay too.

  13. Scott B says:

    I want a “Brimstone Love was right” t-shirt.

  14. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Si- Well now I will. It does make him 20% more fun.

  15. Dave White says:

    @Si: If only they still did cover blurbs! “THIS ISH: We’ve got a thing that’s called BRIMSTONE LOVE!”

  16. Karl_H says:

    Trying to imagine Daken digging that great big hole with those pointy but narrow claws.

    The faces on the dance floor gave me flashbacks to a particularly dire episode of Tennant-era Doctor Who.

    The first issue of a new run would have been a great place to clarify how a boat is necessary or useful to this team or to Krakoa in general, although a flying shapeshifting boat is a vast improvement.

  17. Mathias X says:

    Since Love is a sadist who literally runs a “Theatre of Pain,” I kinda doubt his origin is that he just really loves his human allies. He’s clearly playing everyone.

    But also God, the Theatre of Pain sucked. If they MUST bring that 2099 stuff in, the Theatre’s ability to turn people into edgy ’90s KISS cosplayers was way more interesting. The only thing that ever made Love interesting was Lunatica.

  18. alsoMike says:

    I agree with Douglas that the box is the mystery box Emma has been after since the Hellfire Gala. I’m glad to see it followed up on and not just some shiny never-to-be-sen macguffin. Looks like it’s gonna be involved in a time-travel plot where Kate leaves it in the far past or something.

    I thought this issue had a lot of interesting things it wanted to touch on and I am here for the ride. However I found Somnus’ contributions amusing. It seems they went to him in order to find Daken, cus he’d know how Daken would think. How that meant they found their way to the mass grave site, which they seemed to have gotten from Daken’s logs anyway, I don’t know.

  19. Joseph S. says:

    I loved that scene with Tempo tapping to fast-forward through their breakup. That’s a nice illustration of her powers.

    I kinda got Claremont vibes from this issue. Probably the wordiness. But looking forward to see how this series pans out. Definitely a weird cast, but has potential.

  20. Nu-D says:

    It bothers me how clearly Krakoa is meant to be an allegory for Israel, yet nobody seems to have much anything to actually say about it. Granted, I’m mostly reading these comics vicariously through this site and a few others, but it seems refreshing that somebody is actually interested in what the Krakoan ethno-state actually signifies.

    But it also sounds like Orlando has kind of missed the mark with the internal social stratification. If it’s meant to touch on the tension between the Orthodox and the less observant citizens, exclusion isn’t really what’s going on. If it’s meant to reflect the repression of the Palestinians, that’s clearly inapposite. It’s not really a fit for the clash between the European Jews and the Russian immigrants; that was better captured with the Krakoa-Arrakko setup. And it doesn’t seem to map very well on the relationship of Israelis to the diaspora either.

  21. Chris V says:

    It’s very clearly not an allegory for Israel, unless you squint very hard.
    It shares the idea of a persecuted race founding their own nation-State and…that’s where the similarities end.
    It could just as easily be seen as an allegory for any other group proclaiming their intention to secede from the wider society: from Queer nationalist separatism to white supremacist ethno-nationalism.

    Hickman quite obviously modelled Krakoa on Plato’s Republic. There are the Guardians (the philosopher kings or Quiet Council), the auxiliaries (the warrior class or Great Captains), and the producers (everyone else).
    Now, writers like Orlando are stuck trying to explain these less savoury aspects of Krakoa while simultaneously proclaiming Krakoa as eutopia.

  22. David says:

    @The Other Michael-

    Re: Tempo being queer, Mike Carey strongly implied that she was in Age of X (a throwaway line about Tempo and Feral being a couple), and more recently confirmed that was his intention, and that he considered Heather to be gay. So there is precedent.

  23. Nu-D says:

    @Chris V:

    Hard disagree here. I don’t have the bandwidth to thumb-type, so I’ll just link this article:

    While clearly the government of Krakoa is organized differently, the history, economy, and social structures are broadly analogous. The theme is “what do you make of an entho-state which is created from nowhere, accepts anyone of the ethnicity but nobody outside of it, and is based on a “chosen people” mentality who believe they have a special place in history?” It grapples with the clashes of subgroups, the relations between nation states, and the repression of outsiders. There’s an invented language and culture, black market exports, secret weapon developments, illegal black-ops. It goes on and on.

  24. Nu-D says:

    Even the invented religion is analogous. The Judaism practiced by non-orthodox Israelis is syncretic, and was literally fabricated by a committee from a variety of historical strains.

    No other enthno-state has created a language, religion and culture in such a planned way. And none have ever been founded in a geographic place where the vast majority didn’t already reside.

  25. Nu-D says:

    There are analogs for the Israeli/Palestinian tensions, for the Orthodox/modern/secular tensions, for the Aliyah/diaspora tensions, for the Sephardic/Ashkenazic tensions, for the mass emigration from the post-Soviet Russia.

    Clearly, some of its all mashed up and lots isn’t a perfect fit. But it’s not a history, it’s an allegory. And I’ve been disappointed the real issues haven’t been more deeply explored in place of more of the same superhero fare.

    Last thought. Sorry for the serial posts.

  26. Luis Dantas says:

    I don’t see it, personally.

    Then again, I don’t think Krakoa resembles even itself, given how sparse and feeble the attempts at answering the many interesting questions that arise from the setup have been.

  27. Chris V says:

    I don’t see it either.

    That article is really stretching coincidences.
    Orchis is supposed to be based around the fluer-de-lis and the…BJP…?
    I, personally, associate the fleur-de-lis with Quebec.

    Yes, those elements don’t fit with any other ethno-States because this is a work of fiction. Any similarity with real-events is unintentional.

    Further trouble making the allegory work is the lack of Israel declaring itself superior to any other nation or the fact that the Jewish people are not immortal.

    One major problem with creating an analogy between Krakoa and Israel is the fact that Krakoa really was a land without a people.
    Another problem is that Xavier’s propaganda to rally the people together was the genocide on Genosha, caused by Xavier’s parasitic twin sister, and Scarlet Witch depowering mutants. A far cry from the history of persecution face by the Jews.
    I’d say it’s terribly insensitive (on the part of Marvel if this truly were their intention) to try to create an analogy between Israel and Krakoa and that you’re trying beyond the straining point to makes pieces fit where the allegory doesn’t exist. This is bound to lead to disappointment when it was never Hickman’s intent.

  28. Chris V says:

    Also, the illegal black-ops team, X-Force, was explicitly created to pattern itself as the CIA. Mystique blatantly states this during the Quiet Council meeting which created X-Force, saying that the human world has the CIA, so they should create their own intelligence spy apparatus.
    Writer of the X-Force series, Benjamin Percy, has said in interviews, “X-Force is the equivalent of a mutant CIA”.

  29. Si says:

    Yeah I think the key here is that Krakoa is still a blank slate. You can see Israel in it if you want. You could see Jonestown if you want. Or modern China. We’re told there’s a culture and everything, but we don’t even see most people’s houses. Where are the houses?

    I don’t think the invented language was anything but a gimmick, it’s actually surprising they don’t give out plastic spy rings that break the cipher.

  30. Nu-D says:

    Sure, any one or two of these characteristics can be found in a hundred different real-world examples. But put them all together, and the modern state of Israel is the closest match by far.

  31. Nu-D says:

    “problem is that Xavier’s propaganda to rally the people together was the genocide on Genosha, caused by Xavier’s parasitic twin sister, and Scarlet Witch depowering mutants. A far cry from the history of persecution face by the Jews.”

    Are you kidding? You know that Israel was founded in the aftermath of the genocide of European Jewry, right? Six million dead.


    “…the lack of Israel declaring itself superior to any other nation or the fact that the Jewish people are not immortal.”

    Obviously we’re not immortal. We don’t shoot eye beams either. And no Jew has ever been named “Remy LeBeau.”

    But Israel certainly has baked into its myth the culmination of a prophecy for a chosen people, not dissimilar from Kraków’s sense that mutants are destined to inherit the Earth.

  32. Chris V says:

    I would agree it is the closest real-world example, yes, but that doesn’t mean that Hickman or Marvel’s intent was to write an analogy for Israel. If that is what you are looking for, you are going to be dearly disappointed with the comic.
    You have to ignore a great deal of the actual plot-points that Hickman put on the page, ones which are major themes Hickman was intentionally putting in to his narrative, which have no real-world example.

    Sometimes, these sorts of things happen unintentionally.
    If you read a X-Men comic today, Queer-peoples seem to be the closest analogy to mutants. That wasn’t the intent of Lee and Kirby when they created the X-Men, but it ends up happening.
    The difference is that some later writers picked up on this unintentional metaphor and made it more overt. I don’t believe there will ever be a time when a writer comes along who wants to consciously play out the ramifications of trying to make Krakoa an actual analogy for Israel.

  33. Chris V says:

    Nu-D-I think you misread my statement about trying to use a fictional situation to stand in for a real-world tragedy.
    My point was that it seriously undermines the factual event.

    Xavier’s propaganda rings hollow because he says that “humanity caused the deaths on Genosha”, but the reality is that Cassandra Nova caused the deaths, not humanity.
    There was an earlier X-Men comic, long before Hickman, where someone blamed the death of mutants from the Legacy Virus on humans, only to have Iceman respond, “That was Stryfe!”. That used to be how Xavier and the X-Men responded to such propaganda.
    This is Xavier after Moira “broke him”, turning him in to a mutant supremacist, part of her plan to set up a trap for mutantkind on Krakoa.

    In the real world, fellow-humans have attempted genocide against the Jewish people.
    The two are a far cry from each other.
    Hickman never believed in Krakoa. He was pointing out the flaws in Krakoa and Krakoan society.
    Now, a bunch of well-meaning, but seemingly deluded, progressive writers have taken over steering the direction for mutants with the intent to show that Krakoa is truly a nascent mutant utopia.

  34. Chris V says:

    Nazi Germany also had a myth that the Aryans were the “master race” destined to reign for a thousand years.
    The weak will be culled from the Earth to make way for the “new man”.
    If anything, Hickman’s presentation of Krakoa (as well as the opposing sides, which Hickman compares and contrasts with Krakoa throughout) is closer to Nazi Germany than Israel.

  35. Nu-D says:

    Israel has baked a lot of false propaganda into its founding myth too, particularly in regard to the. 1948 war. It’s used to justify the State’s aggressively hostile stance toward Palestine specifically, and toward Arabs historically. It’s not completely false or unjustified, but neither are Kraków’s reasons for being aggressive toward its neighbors.

    I see the creative process in the exact opposite terms you do. Hickman’s general layout for Krakoa is so strikingly similar to Israel, that it can’t be a coincidence. Some of the elements that add to that were introduced by other writers, but they happened early on and were likely part of his overall vision or a collaborative process that was aware of the allegory. Where they pulled back was on the hot-button issue of Palestine. From a creative point of view that’s wise, because they could explore the other themes without wading into treacherous waters.

    But sadly, none seem to have had much to say on those themes except to use them as plot points. I do wonder whether Hickman’s early departure may have stymied a plan to really hone in on some of these themes in his final act; perhaps Marvel was not willing to let him go there and instead decided to prolong the set-up. I don’t know. But I would be highly skeptical if Hickman denied he was using Israel as a model for his over-arching plans.

  36. Chris V says:

    Really, you seem to be the only one to see it, except in broad terms.

    Hickman was mostly playing around with science fictional concepts. Those are his main interests. Hickman has rarely had much to say politically on his stories.
    There are elements of Plato’s Republic, Russian cosmism, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and The Island. Those are the types of themes Hickman likes to reference in his work. He tends to be a very apolitical figure.

    There have been multiple interviews done with all the X-writers and the only mention of Israel may have been a passing reference, mentioning Israel as a homeland for Jews alongside African-American or LGBTG+ issues.
    Why would all of the writers decide to keep this a secret if they intended to write an analogy for Israel? Surely someone would have explained this.

    In the end, if no one has said anything on those themes, and you admit that they are oftentimes hard to fit, the most likely reason is that they were never intentional themes.

  37. Chris V says:

    And, yes, the United States has a lot of false propaganda in its founding myth also. It’s called creating a nation-State. Every nation is founded upon myths and propaganda about its own history. It’s not unique to Israel.

  38. Nu-D says:

    As to your last comment, of course. I was responding to your effort to distinguish Xavier’s propaganda from Osrael’s founding. Both used not-quite-honest versions of the history of oppression to justify aggression.

  39. Chris V says:

    Yes, but you’re having it both ways. You pointed out that the Jewish people had faced a very real attempted genocide by the Axis powers prior to the founding of Israel. I responded that Hickman’s use of Xavier’s propaganda was insensitive to the real-life events, serving to show how Xavier’s dream has been corrupted and manipulated due to Moira’s malign influence. To which you responded that Israel used propaganda after its founding too. To which I responded that Hickman was making a point about the establishment of a nation-State, rather than attempting to set up a real-world analogy.

    Mutants have no separate history or past as far as culture. Of course it had to be created whole cloth. Most of the things you pointed to are just obvious inventions which a people with no distinct identity would need to establish a nation.
    Israel looked to the past of the Jewish people and the historical Israeli nation.
    Krakoa declared that mutants have always been a separate species from humans and wanted to create their own culture specifically to show how they differed from humans and, in their view, were superior compared to human societies.
    However, in reality, Hickman made the point to show how much continuity there was between mutant and human culture. One major theme of Hickman is that humans and mutants are basically the same. He pointed it out multiple times with how the machines viewed humans and mutants as the exact same.
    There’s nothing that speaks specifically to the experience of Israel in any of it.

  40. Col_Fury says:

    I’m with Nu-D on this one. I never really thought about it before so it never occurred to me, but now that it’s been pointed out it’s all I can see. Huh.

  41. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I just wanted to say it’s very funny to me when Nu-D’s autocorrect changes Krakoa to Kraków.

    I want a whole story how Xavier and Magneto set up Kraków as a haven for mutants.

  42. neutrino says:

    Somnus is regarded as Orlando’s self-insert to carry on his crush with Daken. As such, his powers will probably increase. Orlando has outright stated it.

    @Nu-D: an analogy could be the rich white liberals turn against Krakoa the same way progressives turned against Israel when it became less socialist and less of an underdog.

  43. Ceries says:

    I have to say that if you consider Krakoa to be an allegory for Israel, the lack of counterparts to the Palestinians is deeply troubling. It smacks in some ways of erasure-a refusal to place pre-existing populations who don’t fit into the national myth as part of the story. A colonial fantasy. No, there was no one living there-and if there were, it was ours first.

    I’m not sure if I buy it. I would prefer to assume ignorance rather than malice on Hickman’s part.

  44. Luis Dantas says:

    @Ceries: that is one of the main reasons why I don’t see Krakoa as a parallel for Israel.

    Israel is a real world community that by all accounts went through a lot of time and effort to acquire control of the territory. It is quite a tale and a controversial one.

    Also, it is a continental territory that very much had people living there well before the nation was established. Some were aligned with the founding of that nation, many more were not, the numbers were changed in, again, very controversial ways.

    Krakoa is not nearly as well defined as I think that it should be, but we do know that it is an island nation (or several, apparently, although that is rarely even mentioned) and that it did not have any significnant human (or mutant) population before HoX/PoX back in 2019. It would be hard to even imagine what a parallel for Palestinians would be in that context.

    You would have to present some form of non-human and apparently easily dismissible population – and by that point the analogy breaks down and/or loses all reason for being.

  45. Ceries says:

    @Luis Dantas: I think that to add in a Palestinian analogue you would have to say “so it turns out all that highly fertile land in the Savage Land that was presented as morally fine settlement and exploitation for drug fields had people living on it after all.”

  46. Justin says:

    I haven’t read that article yet, but it always seemed like Hickman was using the structure of Israel as a basis for Krakoa. He clearly trimmed off things that didn’t work with his story (ie, Palestinians). That may be why it isn’t outright acknowledged by any of the other writers, its kind of problematic. The idea of Hickman accidently mirroring so much about Israel unintentionally is kind of silly if you’ve ever heard him talk about how he plans and structures his writing.

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