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Mar 30

Immortal X-Men #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

“The Left Hand”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Lucas Werneck
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan D White

IMMORTAL X-MEN. Despite the name, this is a series about the Quiet Council – and not all of them are exactly X-Men. It’s the first series with this title, not to be confused with just-plain-X-Men, which is about the New York based superhero team.

The series logo – an X with twelve dots around it – represents the twelve members of the Council in their groups of three.

COVER / PAGE 1. It’s the Quiet Council doing Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, albeit somewhat compressed to get it onto a double page spread. The original painting, specifically, is meant to show the moment after Jesus has announced that one of his apostles will betray him. It’s probably not desperately important which apostle is represented by which Quiet Council member, particularly as most of the Apostles can only be identified by external sources rather than from the painting itself, but that’s no reason not to tell you anyway, right? More fundamentally, the original painting groups the apostles in threes, which mirrors the division of the Quiet Council – and that’s sort of reflected here. Working roughly from left to right along the table (and going by the rather more spaced out arrangement in the original painting):

  • Colossus is Bartholomew.
  • Storm is James the Less.
  • Nightcrawler is Andrew.
  • Mr Sinister is, of course, Judas Iscariot. He’s knocked over his wine glass; in the original painting, Judas has knocked over his salt cellar.
  • Exodus is Saint Peter. Befitting his religious bent, he’s the only character to be drawn with a halo.
  • Death – who is absolutely not a member of the Quiet Council and whose attitude to this whole “resurrection” thing remains unclear – is in John’s position.
  • The empty chair in the centre, with a Phoenix emblem on the back and Magneto’s helmet sitting in front, is where Jesus would be.
  • Sebastian Shaw is Thomas, the doubting one.
  • Emma Frost is James the Greater.
  • Kate Pryde is Philip.
  • Professor X is Matthew.
  • Mystique is Jude.
  • Destiny is Simon.

Note that Mystique is separated from the other two “villain” members and standing with Xavier and Destiny, her place among them taken by death.

The masks of Jean Grey and Cyclops are lying on the ground in front of the table. Scott’s glasses are also sitting on the table. I’m not sure who the insect things belong to.

In the background is a portal through which we can see Mars, with some sort of plume of energy coming off it, presumably connected with Arakko. The other figures in the background are members of the Great Ring, the Arakki equivalent of the Quiet Council. Specifically, the hooded figure on the left is Lactuca, the big purple figure is Sobunar, and the insectoid thing on the right is Xilo. Neither they nor Lockheed have any equivalent in the original Last Supper, which is a tremendous pity.

PAGES 2-7. The future Mr Sinister and Destiny meet in Paris in 1919.

This scene alludes to the sequence of Moira MacTaggert approaching Charles Xavier and revealing her past lives to him, which first appeared in House of X #2 and has been referenced multiple times since.

Mr Sinister, at this point in continuity, is already a super powered mad scientist type. He’s already met Logan by this point.

Irene Adler, the future Destiny, is already working with Raven Darkholme (Mystique) at this point. A flashback in X-Treme X-Men vol 1 #1 shows them working together back in the Victorian era. Adler is named after a character from the Sherlock Holmes story “A Scandal in Bohemia”, published in 1891, which gives you some idea of how old Chris Claremont thought she was.

Nimrod. Nimrod is the ninth of Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations”. If it’s twenty years to the day since it was first performed, then it’s 19 June 1919. Presumably, Nimrod disturbs Irene because it brings to mind a prophecy of the robotic killer of the same name.

What Irene tells Essex is presumably some sort of revelation about the future, but the very fact that she doesn’t anticipate his reaction is intriguing in itself. As she explains later, she doesn’t predict the future with 100% accuracy. That’s essentially because she sees all the possible timelines; she can tell which events are most likely but in some timelines they still won’t happen. Even so, in the very short term her predictions are usually highly accurate, and completely unexpected things should be very rare.

PAGE 8. Recap and credits. The tag line now reads “Hated. Feared. Forever”, which of course alludes to the old “feared and hated by a world they have sworn to protect” tagline from the early Claremont era. The small print now reads “mutants of the world”. In the first year of the Hickman run, it read “mutants of the world unite” – the “unite” is missing here.

PAGES 9-10. Mr Sinister prepares for a meeting.

Sinister has apparently been running multiple iterations of something – 25 of them by now – in order to learn about the future and leave messages for himself. We’ll find out at the end of the issue what he seems to be doing.

PAGES 11-14. Magneto announces his resignation from the Quiet Council.

“They and Moira had a plan for salvation of mutantkind…” This is the main arc of the Hickman run. Xavier and Magneto founded Krakoa as part of a scheme with Moira MacTaggert, whose knowledge from her nine past lives led her to understand that mutants were always eventually wiped out, and to propose uniting all mutants in their own island nation. Moira was apparently planning to gently sideline the mutants while pursuing the real goal of posthumanity, and got driven out of Krakoa in Inferno, which is where the rest of the Quiet Council found out what was happening.

“When she [Emma] discovered the true extent of Erik and the Professor’s schemes…” Again, Inferno.

“She’s focused entirely on the Council now.” Emma quit her day-to-day role in Hellfire Trading in Marauders #27, handing it over to the Stepford Cuckoos.

“[E]ntirely under Frost’s thumb now…” A pretty fair description of where Shaw ends up at the end of Marauders.

Ariel and Shadowcat are both former codenames of Kate Pryde. Nitpick: “née” doesn’t mean “formerly known as”, it means “born” (in the sense of “originally known as”). As Sinister says, Kate’s main title is Marauders, where she’s still running the team.

“I electively became a mutant…” Sinister’s current body (bodies?) incorporate mutant DNA, apparently gathered somewhere along the line from the original Thunderbird. He’s unquestionably a mutant in the sense that the body he has created for himself is a mutant body. Of course, he’s only tolerated by anyone because of his contribution to resurrection, but that would be the case however he had become a mutant. Exodus, as a purist who attaches religious significance to mutantkind, naturally takes great offence at this idea.

“Sinister Secret.” Various “Sinister Secrets” data pages have appeared throughout the Krakoan era, basically teasing future events in the form of gossip column blind items.

“As monarch of Mars…” Storm became the monarch of Mars – well, Arakko, which is the only inhabited bit of Mars – in S.W.O.R.D. after the place was colonised during “Hellfire Gala.”

“Colossus has been compromised by some naughty Russians.” This is a storyline from X-Force. The Russian villain in question is Colossus’ brother Mikhail Rasputin, working through his reluctant agent Chronicler – who seems to be more a reality-warper than a conventional mind-controller. Chronicler seems to steer people into acting in a particular direction, as long as he can rationalise it to himself as making narrative sense. This might explain why three telepaths on the Quiet Council (Professor X, Emma Frost and Exodus) have all failed to spot it. The fact that Sinister is aware of this is new, and begs the question of how he found out unless he’s got a contact with the Russians. (Or, of course, he picks it up in the way explained in the final scene.) For what it’s worth, Sinister voted against allowing Colossus onto the Council in Inferno #2.

Nightcrawler‘s activities refer to the recent Way of X book and the upcoming Legion of X. Sinister’s got a point about Nightcrawler’s contribution to the Council, which has mainly been to show up, look confused, make the occasional speech about morality, and vote on the spur of the moment about whatever happens to be put in front of him.

Mystique & Destiny. Erik and Xavier’s manipulation of Mystique, and the need to stop Destiny (as a precognitive) from existing on Krakoa, was a major storylline of the Hickman run. Mystique engineered Destiny’s resurrection anyway in Inferno.

“He abandons the cause once more.” Exodus used to be a fanatic worshipper of Magneto but has evidently become rather disillusioned with him over the years.

PAGE 15. Data page. This is basically recap for any newcomers – all of this is familiar to existing readers.

  • Item 1 is just a basic premise of the Hickman run.
  • Ditto item 2.
  • Item 3 is the plot of Inferno #1-2.
  • Item 4 is the plot of Inferno #3-4 (and Moira going on the run is the plot of X Deaths of Wolverine).
  • Item 5 is another basic premise of the Hickman run. The “AI consciousness from the future” is Omega Sentinel, possessing the body of her past self, as explained in Inferno.
  • Item 6 is a storyline from Gerry Duggan’s X-Men. The reporter is Ben Urich; the mindwipe was actually done by Synch acting alone.
  • Item 7 is a storyline from SWORD.
  • Item 8 is another basic premise of the Hickman run.

PAGE 16. Various mutants pitch to be on the Quiet Council.

  • Angel and Penance are the co-CXOs of X-Corp, which had a very short lived series last year. Their behaviour here is pretty much in line with their depiction there.
  • Gorgon has barely been seen since he died in Otherworld during “X of Swords” and got resurrected with a new personality. When we saw him in Way of X, he appeared to be childlike and naive.
  • Vulcan did indeed rule the Shi’ar Empire for a time, though his behaviour here is quite different from how he’s appeared in other Hickman stories, where he’s generally been something of a psychologically troubled mess.
  • Abigail Brand is a main character in SWORD.
  • The Beast is a regular character in X-Force, where he’s generally being written as wildly amoral.

PAGE 17. The Quiet Council discuss the contenders.

“Hank used to be fun. Remember that?” This gets mentioned occasionally in X-Force as well, but by suggesting that you have to go back to before he dated Abigail Brand, Kate really is going back a way – we’re going back to the Joss Whedon run here.

Legion is a close ally of Nightcrawler over in Way of X. It’s consistent with that book both for Nightcrawler to be pushing him, and Xavier to be rejecting him as alarmingly unstable.

Namor was tentatively invited to take a vacant seat on the Quiet Council in Hickman’s X-Men #21.

The Arakkii are a violent warrior race. The idea that you have to fight for a seat on their Council was established in S.W.O.R.D. #8.

Cypher always hangs around in the background at Quiet Council meetings acting as translator for Krakoa itself.

PAGES 18-19. Exodus asks Hope to stand for the Quiet Council.

Hope Summers. Exodus regards Hope as a messiah figure because she was the first new mutant to be born after M-Day (when almost all mutants lost their powers) and, after reaching maturity through time travel, was able to bring about the restoration of mutantkind generally. Exodus compares her directly to Jesus here, calling him “the Nazarene Mutant”.

The Waiting Room was introduced in X-Men: Trial of Magneto #5 and it’s still not precisely clear what it actually is. It seems to be some kind of limbo in which as-yet-unresurrected mutants can bide their time, including those who died many years ago.

PAGES 20-21. Selene Gallio pitches to join the Quiet Council.

Selene, formerly Black Queen of the Hellfire Club, was last seen in the cast of X-Corp. She’s not literally a vampire; she has energy leeching powers, though.

“You lost Apocalypse.” Apocalypse left the Quiet Council after the “X of Swords” crossover, and Selene has a fair point that he’s not really been replaced by anyone of equivalent stature.

“Krakoa has borders with mystical realms.” She means Otherworld. This, and Apocalypse’s interest in the topic, was the basic concept of the recently-completed Excalibur run.

“The giant magical beasts the Ex-Pretender threw at us…” The “Ex-Pretender” is the Scarlet Witch, formerly a hate figure due to her role in M-Day, but redeemed after she created the Waiting Room in X-Men: Trial of Magneto. The “giant magical beasts” also come from that series.

“How long until all of Genosha is brought back?” The millions of mutants living on Genosha were killed in New X-Men vol 1 #115.

“I brought back Genosha in a day.” X-Force vol 3 #22. This was part of the “X-Necrosha” crossover in 2009.

The Externals were a small number of mutants who were already immortal even before Krakoa; Selene was one, Apocalypse is another.

PAGES 22-23. Hope pitches for membership.

“There’s been enough stuff going on which the Five aren’t sure about.” The Five’s main plot role in the Krakoan era has been to hang around in the background resurrecting people. But we have seen them increasingly expressing disquiet about things like the policy on resurrecting clones, ethically dodgy requests from the Beast to modify people on resurrection, and things of that sort. Krakoan society is premised on the Five continuing to resurrect people and it was inevitable that at some point they would demand a voice.

“The External Gate that reached Arakko… Apocalypse made it from the bones of my fellow unaging Externals.” Correct. This was in Excalibur vol 4 #12. Presumably, the threat is that it will be difficult to reach Arakko without the gate – but since the mutants are already on Mars, surely they can just plant another gate?

“I love that cape!” Sinister’s obsession with his cape was a running joke in Hellions, his previous book.

PAGES 24-26. The Council vote.

Sinister expects Destiny to vote for Hope, presumably based on the messages he got earlier. When she doesn’t, he assumes that his own knowledge of how she was going to vote might have changed the timeline. Mind you, if Sinister knows that Hope’s membership is likely to lead to disasters, why does he expect Destiny to vote for it? Does he think that she can’t see it, or that she’d welcome that too – or has he just not thought through the paradoxes?

PAGE 27. Data page. This is one of the Red Diamond “Sinister Secrets” pages, though it goes slightly off the rails towards the end. Most of these are inscrutable at this point. Number 4 references the upcoming annual Hellfire Gala (apparently we’re getting one of these every year in publication terms, and don’t think too closely about how that works in Marvel time). Number 5 is trailing the upcoming “Judgment Day” crossover with the Avengers and the Eternals. In number 10, the Pit is the suspended-animation underground prison which is supposed to be where criminals go; it’s currently appearing in the Sabretooth miniseries.

PAGES 28-31. Selene has a tantrum.

Pretty straightforward.

PAGES 32-35. Sinister’s plan revealed.

Basically, Sinister has cloned himself some Moiras, complete with their power to travel back in time to the moment of creation when they die. His big idea is to harness this idea for himself, so he lives through time over and over, and when he decides it’s time to pull the plug and start afresh, he records data on a clone’s brain and then shoots the clone dead. Thus, Sinister obtains access to time travel and can send messages back in time to himself, allowing him to try this stunt over and over until he gets it right. Apparently, he’s already on life 26. There is apparently a limit to how many times he can do this, since he’s already worrying about the condition of the clones.

“There’s a lot of chat about mutant circuits.” Mutants combining their powers in a more-than-the-sum-of-the-parts kind of way. New Mutants brings this up a lot, but SWORD has used it too.

“I have worked on the idea of Chimera.” Sinister was working on this in Hellions – the idea of hybridising mutant powers. It alludes to a plot point from Powers of X where, at some point in the future, he created artificial mutants in this way. (In Moira’s previous lives, anyway.)

PAGE 36. Data page. A seating plan of the Quiet Council.

PAGE 37. A map of Krakoa. We’ve seen this before but it’s being brought up to date here. This is more recap stuff for new readers.

The locations on the map:

  • The House of X is Professor X’s home.
  • The House of M is Magneto’s home.
  • Arbor Magna is where resurrection takes place.
  • The Arena is used for gladiatorial combat in which depowered mutants can get themselves ritually killed in order to qualify for resurrection.
  • The Akademos Habitat is where the school-age teams tend to live.
  • The Oracle is Mystique and Destiny’s home.
  • The Grove is the Quiet Council chamber.
  • The Cradle (or at least, one of the Cradles) is where the Cerebro unit is stored.
  • The Reservoir seems to be just a generic residential area, in the handful of times we’ve seen it.
  • The Wild Hunt is an area used for training in New Mutants.
  • The Carousel is an area used for public celebration.
  • Bar Sinister is Mr Sinister’s home.
  • Hellfire Bay is where the Hellfire vessels dock.
  • The Red Keep is Kate’s home.
  • Blackstone is Shaw’s home (or was, when he was running Hellfire).
  • The White Palace is Emma’s home (with the same caveat).
  • The External Gate came up in the story.
  • Nanny’s Cove is presumably where Nanny lived in Hellions.
  • The Boneyard is X-Factor’s base.
  • The Bower is the nursery.
  • The Fort and the Crow’s Nest have never been explained before.
  • The Voltus Glade is the circle where everyone was gathering with their swords in the “X of Swords” crossover.
  • The Green Lagoon is seemingly the only bar on the island. Small print on the map gives the current population of Krakoa as 204,372, which is roughly equivalent to Aberdeen.

The Krakoan outposts:

  • The Altar is a kind of psychic pocket dimension run by Legion in Way of X.
  • Atlantic Krakoa is a related island which we never really seem to see.
  • Arakko is the long-separated ancient twin of Krakoa, returned to our universe in “X of Swords” and now based on Mars.
  • The Graymalkin Habitat is the former X-Men Mansion.
  • Island M is Magneto’s old island base.
  • Mykines is the location for the Hellfire Gala.
  • The “Summer Home” should read Summer House; it’s the Summers family home on the Moon.
  • The Treehouse is the X-Men’s base in New York.

The list of countries which don’t recognise Krakoan sovereignty:

  • Azania is a country from late 1980s Black Panther which obviously represented apartheid-era South Africa.
  • Brazil has shown up in New Mutants.
  • Canaan is another Black Panther microstate. Moses Magnum conquered it once.
  • I don’t think we’ve been given any particular reasons for Honduras or Iran.
  • Latveria is the home of Dr Doom, who crossed paths with the mutants in X-Men / Fantastic Four.
  • Madripoor, now run by the anti-mutant Homines Verendi government, has appeared extensively in Marauders.
  • North Korea speaks for itself.
  • Russia has featured extensively in Wolverine and X-Force.
  • Santo Marco is the South American country that looks like Switzerland that Magneto conquered back in the Silver Age. They haven’t forgotten.
  • Terra Verde has featured extensively in X-Force, though I thought the Hellfire Gala ended by striking a deal with the country, to keep quiet Beast’s interference.
  • The United Kingdom withdrew recognition as part of an Excalibur storyline involving Coven Akkaba, in what seems to be a rather clumsy Brexit allegory.
  • Not sure we’ve had any particular reason for Venezuela.

The three laws of Krakoa were adopted back in House of X #6, but note that they’re described here as the first laws. Maybe somebody’s finally figured out that the legal system needs to be a bit more developed than this if it isn’t going to be completely arbitrary…

PAGE 38. This is a reprint of a data page about Orchis that we’ve see in various forms before (with the addition of some material about where Orchis got their membership from; that comes from House of X).

PAGE 39. Trailers. Look, they’re in plain English now! (The Krkaoan in the top left just reads “NEXT”.)

Bring on the comments

  1. CJ says:

    I keep people referring to some sort of “X Lives/X Deaths” miniseries. I have no idea what they’re talking about. Going from Inferno directly to this was great.

    Seriously though: Gillen and Spurrier have me excited about this Hickman-less Krakoa. Gillen in particular seems to understand that drama is more than Idea 1 Versus Idea 2.

  2. Daniel T says:

    This is the first non-Hickman issue that’s really engaged me. Fingers crossed this continues.

  3. Dave says:

    The weird thing with Sinister is that his shape-shifting, at least, already had a mutant origin (Courier). They could have just said in House of X that he had an X gene from that point on, or that he’d gained one of his other powers from an X gene way earlier. I don’t see that anything was gained from the actual reveal (and it’s not as if the X-Men have that good a record of determining who is and isn’t a mutant anyway).

  4. Chris V says:

    The Krakoan gates wouldn’t have allowed Sinister access to Krakoa if he were not a mutant.

    I think that Hickman was unaware of the story from Gambit, and editors no longer consider that their job.

  5. Josie says:

    Maybe Hickman’s writing has lowered everyone’s expectations to such a degree that any writing that demonstrates mere competence seems brilliant, but I was very meh on this issue, as I’ve always been on Gillen’s writing. I’m still willing to see if he impresses me. I felt the same way about Matt Fraction for over a decade until I read his Jimmy Olsen series and thought, “Okay, so THIS is the Matt Fraction everyone’s been talking about all this time.”

    Gillen’s not there yet. He has the potential, but right now he’s just . . . competent. I guess that’s a pleasant change for a headlining X-Men title.

  6. Miyamoris says:

    See, this is exactly why I wasn’t too worried about x lives/deaths. I’m not super crazy about Gillen (for now; I’m still on the third issue of his Eternals run) but he sure is competent and makes his work hella entertaining.

    It was a packed issue – there’s a lot between thematic parallels, scheming and the twist by the end is just too fun.
    I like how Sinister’s arc is delineated – we expect him to fall for his own hubris but how that happens and what consequences it might have should makes this an entertaining ride.

  7. Diana says:

    @Dave: Destiny can’t “see” Moira unless she’s specifically looking for her – which, given the events of Inferno, she has no real reason to do

  8. MWayne says:

    @Josie: I’m very much a Gillen fan and loved this issue (so much promise, the man knows how to write characters), but I’m 100% with you on Fraction. After not caring much for his work, the Jimmy Olsen series blew me away, I can’t remember the last time a comic series made me laugh so hard and so often.

  9. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    It’s weird, I generally think of myself as a Gillen fan, though there’s plenty of his books that do very little or nothing for me. (His indie stuff, for example, even something that seemed tailor-made for me like Die).

    But I’ve loved his SWORD mini (should have been an ongoing!) and his Thor/Journey Into Mystery run blew me away. (And he was salvaging Straczynski’s interrupted run, and he had to steer his story through an editorially mandated event he wasn’t even the main writer of… and that last one happened like three times throughout his Loki story).

    There were other books that I found to be average to ‘only’ good – Generation Hope (av), Uncanny X-Men (g), Iron Man (av), Young Avengers (av)… but I still considered myself to be Gillen’s fan. It wasn’t until his Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra books that I remembered why – I loved those.

    And now he’s even managed to make me read Eternals.

    So I have high hopes for Immortal X-Men… even though there’s plenty of Gillen books I’ve found underwhelming in the past.

  10. Chris V says:

    The funny thing is that it seemed like there were quite a few books written by Gillen that he saved after the horrible work that Fraction did on the title. Gillen on Iron Man and Uncanny X-Men seemed so much better than they might otherwise if not for the horrible work by Fraction in the title beforehand.
    As far as Iron Man, Gillen did the best work he could on the character, as outside of Ellis, no one else has made Iron Man work as a character in the 21st century either. Gillen’s run came the closest as it at first gave me the feel of the classic Mantlo run. Gillen got stuck with the horrible “Tony’s parents weren’t really his parents” ret-con, which was just a horrible idea for a writer to be burdened.
    The same could be said for Uncanny. Mike Carey’s run was a stand-out, but otherwise, Gillen on Uncanny was definitely one of the better runs on one of the flagship X-books after Morrison and prior to Hickman.

    The major difference between Fraction and Gillen is that everything Fraction writes has a cynical feel of authorial voice telling the reader, “I’m too cool be writing stupid funny books, but I’m writing them anyway.” All his characters sound the same. Gillen, on the other hand, you can tell he is having fun while writing comic books.

  11. YLu says:

    “Gillen got stuck with the horrible “Tony’s parents weren’t really his parents” ret-con, which was just a horrible idea for a writer to be burdened.”


    Firstly, Tony’s parents are still really his parents. What you mean is that they aren’t his -biological- parents. Adoptive parents are just as legitimate parents, it shouldn’t need to be said. I know what you meant, but using the right kind of language for this stuff is important. (And I’d go as far as to say the fact that so many people still unthinkingly speak the way you did is all the more reason that Iron Man retcon was a -good- idea.)

    But mainly “huh?” because the retcon wasn’t saddled on Gillen. It was his idea.

  12. wwk5d says:

    “The major difference between Fraction and Gillen is that everything Fraction writes has a cynical feel of authorial voice telling the reader, “I’m too cool be writing stupid funny books, but I’m writing them anyway.””

    That sounds more like Mark Millar…

  13. Chris V says:

    First, no. It’s never a good idea to write a story simply to make a socio-political point if that plot fails to generate any interesting stories. Secondly, I highly doubt that was the point of Gillen’s story.
    You are 100% correct that it didn’t need to be said, maybe next time go with your first instinct instead of making summary judgments.
    Yes, I am perfectly fine with the idea of people having parents that are not their biological parents. Yes, not everyone monitors their every thought to make sure it is written in a politically correct manner. If you understood my wider point, then that’s all that is needed for the sake of conversation.
    I realize that certain people on this web-site have a problem with me, so decide to nit-pick the smallest word choices I make, but is that really a healthy form of debate or conversation? Perhaps for brevity’s sake at this point there should simply be a poll voting on whether other commentators would like me to stop adding my opinions to the conversation.

    Next. Are you sure that it was Gillen’s idea? It seemed like it was editorially mandated. Perhaps to align the Marvel-616 version of Stark with the Ultimate version. I remember Gillen saying that his ideas for Iron Man were changed by Marvel.
    It is a poorly formulated idea because it takes away from the character of Tony Stark without adding anything positive to said character. Stark is a genius inventor due to genetic manipulation. Why is this a positive idea?
    Bendis’ ret-conning of a ret-con was even worse. The fact that Stark’s birth mother never becoming an interesting character after shows why it was unnecessary (not to mention how convoluted the revelation of Tony’s genetic father). Bendis deciding that Tony’s birth mother should be a hippie was a terrible decision.

  14. Chris V says:

    wwk5d-Mark Millar’s view of comic writing would be “Superheroes are a juvenile and puerile genre. I am going to make a statement in the same manner as Alan Moore.” Then, he writes a puerile concept of maturity while thinking he is redefining the very concept of superheroes.

  15. Taibak says:

    Not to derail this, but I’ve never read the original Fallen Angels, so…

    What’s up with the lobster?

  16. Allan M says:

    Bill the Lobster’s a cybernetically enhanced lobster with a green shell who, along with fellow lobster Don (with a blue shell) have/had near-human intelligence, super strength, super durability, can survive outside of water longer than a normal lobster, and can communicate with humans somehow. Their caregiver while they were being enhanced was called Gomi, and they all escaped from the mad scientists doing the cybernetic enhancements and joined the Fallen Angels.

    Bill’s kicked around for decades, appearing sporadically, but he and Gomi duly joined the Avengers in Avengers: No Road Home #9, because of course Al Ewing would put a cyborg lobster on the Avengers.

    Perhaps he’s on the cover to represent that while the mutants are deeply focused on post-humanity as an existential threat, they have overlooked the perils of post-crustaceans.

  17. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Yeah boy, did I want to like Gillen’s Die but I ended up dropping it after like 8 or 10 issues.

    There’s a fun idea there, but like I said about Ewing’s Defenders it’s the kind of meta brainy stuff I just find tedious now.

    I’d rather read a story with an engaging… story.

    I don’t really need an issue about Tolkien/WW1 and another about the Bronte sisters.

  18. Si says:

    There’s a bit more to Bill the lobster. He was created by two dirty amoral engineering students who were both in love with Jean Grey. When she died (the first time), they were heartbroken and decided to build a new Jean Grey. They got as far as a technological telekinetic ram but couldn’t figure out any nuance. To test its viability before abducting someone who looked a bit like Jean Grey, they stuck it in two lobsters, then in the human Gomi against his will.

    The other lobster was accidentally stood on by Devil Dinosaur, and Bill sent some time on a vengeance-driven rampage against the oblivious tyrannosaur.

    As well as the telekinetic ram, Bill can for unexplained reasons survive indefinitely on land, is sapient, and can communicate in what looks an awful lot like emojis (quite the prescient feat, the comic came out in the mid 80s).

    To close off, I’ll point out that Fallen Angels was not a comedy story.

  19. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Superhero comics are a hell of a drug.

  20. YLu says:

    “Yes, I am perfectly fine with the idea of people having parents that are not their biological parents. Yes, not everyone monitors their every thought to make sure it is written in a politically correct manner. If you understood my wider point, then that’s all that is needed for the sake of conversation.”

    No one’s accusing you of ill intent, man. But referring to adoptive parents as not the real parents is harmful and absolutely something to be avoided. I know it was just a flub, but the only way there’s going to be less of this sort of thing in the world is if people correct the flubs when they happen. Words matter.

    I have no idea to what extent, if any, combating anti-adoption prejudice was part of Gillen’s decision to do the story. Maybe it wasn’t at all. Though he did say seeing the level of bigotry in certain quarters’ reactions made him all the gladder he’d done it.

    “Next. Are you sure that it was Gillen’s idea? It seemed like it was editorially mandated. Perhaps to align the Marvel-616 version of Stark with the Ultimate version. I remember Gillen saying that his ideas for Iron Man were changed by Marvel.”

    It was definitely his idea. He talked pretty extensively about it online at the time. (Some of his plans were changed, but they were ones about doing a hard science fiction-esque Deadwood-on-the-moon.)

    I also think you misunderstood the retcon. Tony Stark isn’t genetically engineered. It’s his parents’ biological son, Arno, who’s genetically modified to be a genius. Tony’s still 100% regular human.

  21. Jim Cramer says:

    Not really sure what the bee in Chris’s bonnet is here, but I guess it’s true what they say: today’s Internet-addicted youth are just too sensitive. Toughen up, buttercup!

  22. Jim Cramer says:

    Also, yes, Arno was genetically modified by Grey aliens or whatever. Tony was born a 100 percent ordinary dude, just like he was before.

  23. sinissster says:

    someone explain this –
    why does the timeline not reset when sinister kills one of these Moira clones to learn new things about the future? how does this work im confused… I know how he puts the knowledge into the clone to direct it into the future but why does the timeline not reset and it doesn’t really make sense to me how sinister knows it all afterwards…

  24. Rareblight says:

    Even though they do not use that title anymore, Kieron Gillen can be the new Head of X. I am truly intrigued with his Moira trick to be honest. And I actually liked Selene’s pitch, I’m sold 🙂

    I am not quite sure if it is the original Gorgon or the multiversal amalgam one? I asked in the AIPT’s X-Men Monday questions, let’s see if they will ask Kieron.

    About the centipedes on the cover, I think they represent Selene’s External Gate monster which looks like a giant centipede.

    I believe the end of Sinister Secrets is actually foreshadowing Sinister’s exile into the Pit. But then in the event of this outcome, either Moira resurrection is activated in Bar Sinister or another Sinister clone becomes the new Prime. First option is more viable, in my opinion.

    Those Sinister/Cyclops hybrid Sphinx cat and Sinister tortoise are super cute, and also it is nice to see Cyclops eye rifle from A+X series, again.

  25. Rareblight says:


    Essex regularly skims the minds of Moira clones, to see if there is new info there. If a Moira dies in the future, her consciousness and knowledge are transferred to the newborn past version of her. Since this is a clone and can be created as an adult, the clone does not necessarily to be a baby.

  26. Mike Loughlin says:

    sinissster: my thoughts exactly! Someone earlier in the comments explained that it did reset to the moment of the clone’s birth, now with knowledge from the near future. Now, Sinister resets the timeline to, I assume, the point at which he made the clone he just killed. I have questions, mostly about how long this has been going on. The most recent timeline was his 25th. Did he clone Moira pre-Krakoa? Are the Moira clones fully sentient, given that he was talking about viewing mutant powers as resources rather than facets of people? What happens if multiple clones die at the same time?

    Gillen set up a hell of a cliffhanger. I kind of want the entire rest of the series to be from Sinister’s perspective now, but I trust Gillen to continue to impress with the changing POV characters.

  27. Rareblight says:

    To clear the X-gene splicing of Sinister:

    The reveal was about the origin of his first X-gene, not about his status as a human/mutant chimera. It is known (at least by Gambit) that he has Courier’s X-gene.

    His first try was with the X-gene of deceased Thunderbird, and boy, Sinister Prime was not happy with the results because mutant chimera Sinister was quite, ehm, flamboyant. If you recall from the HOX/POX, when Xavier and Erik visited Bar Sinister, on the background there were both female and male clones of Sinister. After the takeover by mutant chimera, we did not see any female clones of Sinister anymore. As he says himself in Sinister London “I dont have anything against females, but I dont have anything for them either” with pinky finger up.

    But later on he also spliced Courier’s X-gene with his genome (hence his shapeshifting, malleable physiology), and even though it is not clearly stated I believe his telepathy and energy manipulation abilities come from Grey and Summers families.

  28. Josie says:

    “referring to adoptive parents as not the real parents is harmful and absolutely something to be avoided”

    It’s also exactly how Tony Stark referred to them in both Gillen and Bendis’s runs.

  29. Josie says:

    “I’m 100% with you on Fraction. After not caring much for his work, the Jimmy Olsen series blew me away, I can’t remember the last time a comic series made me laugh so hard and so often.”

    It’s just . . . so good. It’s good on a level that most superhero writers never achieve in their entire careers. It’s good on a level that I was certain Fraction wasn’t capable of. I can’t recommend it enough.

  30. YLu says:

    “It’s also exactly how Tony Stark referred to them in both Gillen and Bendis’s runs.”

    I don’t know about the Bendis run, which I’ve only read a bit of, but that’s absolutely untrue of Gillen’s.

  31. Ceries says:

    Nobody else has mentioned it but I love that Exodus is the mutant equivalent of the “Jesus was white” type. The man really can’t envision anyone unlike himself being touched by God.

  32. Josie says:

    “I don’t know about the Bendis run, which I’ve only read a bit of, but that’s absolutely untrue of Gillen’s.”

    Well, it is true. Tony Stark verbally rejects the Starks as his parents due to feeling betrayed by them. I mean, these comics exist. You don’t have to like them.

  33. YLu says:


    Nothing like what you’re describing happened. I assume you’re either confusing different runs or going on hazy memories.

  34. YLu says:

    Anyway, one interesting detail on the cover I don’t think anyone’s brought up is the Wolverine slash marks on the central chair. That’s way too specific and odd a detail to not mean -something-, yeah?

  35. Josie says:

    I can see that you have a lot of emotional baggage riding on the dialogue of a 10-year-old comic run, but you are quite mistaken about Tony Stark’s changed attitude toward the Starks.

  36. YLu says:

    Can you back up your claim or are you only interested in this weird posturing?

  37. Dave says:

    “today’s Internet-addicted youth are just too sensitive”
    Said to the guy being lectured to for using the phrase ‘real parents’.

    Mike Loughlin – I assume Sinister has only started using Moira clones after Inferno.

  38. Dave says:

    , when her power became known to the council.
    (last part got lost in an edit)

  39. Mrhig says:

    Two things –

    1) The Paris, 1919 prologue is, in part, a reference to the John Cale song “Paris 1919”. “You’re a ghost!” is the repeated phrase from the chorus.
    2) To me, the lobster/bug from the cover looks like two creatures; specifically, the detachable and endlessly hungry “maggots” of the mutant, Maggott. I appreciate this is quite niche so I could be wrong.

  40. Arrowhead says:

    UNCANNYX-MEN.NET character profile:

    Real Name: Jeshua of Nazareth
    Aliases: Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, the Son of Man
    First Appearance: Book of Mark 1:1
    Category: Mutant? (Contested)
    Powers & Abilities:
    Healing, precognition, liquid surface traversal, organic nutrient mass duplication (grains and seafood), molecular fermentation of nonalcoholic substances, psychic control of marine life, resurrection of the dead. Also a trained carpenter and craftsman.

    NOTE: In the 1990s cartoon, Mr. Sinister suggested that Jesus may be an External, but this has yet to be confirmed in mainstream 616 continuity
    NOTE: There’s a great deal of confusion and controversy about which appearances of Jesus Christ should be considered “canon”

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