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Apr 13

X-Men #10 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN vol 6 #10
“Sisterhood of the Metal Bones”
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Javier Pina
Colourist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan White

COVER / PAGE 1: Wolverine (Laura) faces off against someone clawed. Anyone who’s been reading the X-books for a while will recognise her as Lady Deathstrike without too much trouble.

PAGE 2. Flashback: Wolverine is resurrected.

This page is plugging what seems likely to be a continuity error in issue #5, where Laura was shown as having a complete metal skeleton (as opposed to just metal claws). In issue #8, she said that this changed “after returning from the Vault”, so this is apparently an expanded version of the resurrection that we saw at the end of X-Men vol 5 #19. If so, Synch and Cyclops should both be here too, but let’s assume they’re out of shot.

The dialogue seems to confirm that Proteus is the member of the Five responsible for resurrecting people complete with their biological implants – which makes sense, since he’s the only one of the group who could logically do that.

“Is this a mulligan?” Um… no? A mulligan is a second chance at doing something that went wrong the first time.

PAGE 3. Rogue and her gun.

She’s scanning Phobos, as we see in the next scene. Why you’d disguise a scanner as a weapon is beyond me, other than the fact it looks cool. Which is a good enough reason for a lot of things in comic, I guess.

PAGES 4-5. The X-Men discuss Phobos.

Phobos, the moon of Mars, was terraformed by Feilong on behalf of Orchis in issue #6. Aside from being a human (and anti-mutant) outpost on the doorstep of Mars, it also represents a challenge to the claim that terraforming Mars was a uniquely mutant achievement, even if Feilong was working on a smaller scale. The teleportation link to Earth also maintains the usual parallels between Orchis and Krakoa. Since Orchis is a secret society, the civilians who visit Phobos presumably understand it to be a legitimate project of Feilong’s company.

Although Rogue describes Phobos as “occupied”, we’ve seen nothing to suggest that the mutants of Arrako had actually established a presence on the moon. Indeed, that’s why Feilong chose it, rather than just setting up a presence on the other side of Mars.

Nightcrawler’s body. Nightcrawler died in Way of X #5 while preventing Phobos from crashing out of orbit. His body was found by Feilong, and kept as a decoration, in X-Men #6.

“Logan’s left enough metal skeletons for Orchis to make a hall of Wolverines.” In Inferno vol 2 #1, we saw that X-Force had been sent on repeated suicidal attacks on the main Orchis space station, leading to Orchis acquiring a collection of duplicated corpses.

PAGE 6. Recap and credits.

PAGES 7-10. Wolverine sneaks into Phobos.

The narration plays up the idea that Laura suspects the X-Men don’t have as much faith in her as they do in Logan. The recurring problem with having legacy characters active at the same time as the original is that there’s always a nagging sense that they aren’t the real one; I’ve said similar things about Miles Morales on the podcast, but you can’t really call her “Wolverine” without going on to make clear which one you mean. And you don’t really have that issue with Logan.

“Many sisters…” This refers to the first arc of All-New Wolverine from 2015-16. As it says, a bunch of other clones of Laura were produced. Most of them are dead, though Scout and Bellona are still out there.

Earth-Arakko-Relay satellites were previously mentioned in issue #7.

PAGES 11-15. Wolverine discovers Lady Deathstrike.

Lady Deathstrike is a prominent villain of the original Wolverine. Her back story involves a quest for revenge after her father’s technique for bonding adamantium to human skeletons was apparently stolen and used on him; she knows perfectly well that it wasn’t his choice, but that’s not the point. She was turned into a cyborg by Spiral in order to become a match for him, making her an early example of a post-human villain (and thus part of the third force of machines in the logic of the Krakoan era).

I think this is the first time we’ve seen her in the Krakoan era. Her most recent appearance seems to have been in last year’s Legends of Shang-Chi #1, when she stole part of the enchanted Equinox Blade; that plot has presumably been dropped.

Deathstrike tells us that she turned to Orchis (specifically mad scientist Dr Stasis) for help after she began to suffer adamantium poisoning. Various stories over the years have claimed that Wolverine suffers from adamantium poisoning if his healing powers are switched off for some reason. Quite how that works, when adamantium is meant to be completely inert and indestructible, is a little vague, but let’s assume that its presence somehow interferes with other bodily functions and that “poisoning” is being used rather loosely here. Marvel haven’t exactly been consistent about this point – Bullseye has an adamantium skeleton too, and it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm.

PAGES 16-18. Wolverine is discovered, ejected and rescued.

Polaris apparently won the bet about how long it would take for Wolverine to be discovered.

PAGES 19-20. Deathstrike recovers and leaves.

We get another one-panel flashback to one of the X-Men’s pitches at the Hellfire Gala vote (from X-Men vol 5 #21), which has been a recurring feature of this run. Synch would have been voting for Laura because he was still in love with her after their (subjective) centuries in the Vault, which he remembers and she doesn’t. Laura doesn’t exactly lobby to be on the team but generally takes the line that she’s at Krakoa’s service and willing to do things that can atone for her past.

Oddly, Cyclops is wearing his regular costume in this scene, despite Lady Deathstrike being around (albeit unconscious). He’s meant to be Captain Krakoa when around non-Krakoans, to explain his apparent death in issue #7 without revealing the secrets of Krakoan resurrection. He was wearing the Captain Krakoa costume earlier in the issue, too.

PAGE 21. Rogue and Destiny.

Destiny is Rogue’s adoptive mother. Traditionally that was Mystique’s role, but the increased emphasis on Mystique and Destiny’s relationship has resulted in Destiny being positioned more explicitly in that role too. As usual, they disagree about the value of the X-Men’s approach. Given her powers, Destiny’s warning that Rogue “will come to see things my way” might well have to be taken literally, though Destiny only ever identifies the most likely futures.

Gameworld has been sending aliens to attack Earth for amusement purposes throughout the Duggan run.

Gambit‘s poker game is also attended by the Thing, Forge and a woman who can’t be clearly identified.

PAGES 22-23. Rogue asks Rocket about Gameworld.

This isn’t as random as it sounds. Aside from the fact that Rocket is an outer-space character from Guardians of the Galaxy and Duggan has written him before, Gameworld is run by Cordyceps Jones, who debuted in 2017’s Rocket #4.

PAGE 24. Data page. An exchange of messages within Orchis. The woman “M” who offers her services to Feilong and Dr Stasis is obviously Moira MacTaggert, who was resurrected as a post-human in X Deaths of Wolverine #5 – hence her reference to knowing about them from “past lives”.

Stasis’s “Oblivion Institute” was previously mentioned in issue #1.

PAGE 25. Trailers.

Bring on the comments

  1. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    *the key to unlock somebody’s mind.

  2. Thom H. says:

    I always liked “Mirage” for Dani, too. It even fit with the death’s heads she would see over people during her Valkyrie days.

    Emma probably already thinks of herself as “Lady Mindjob” regardless.

  3. Luis Dantas says:

    Claremont’s treatment of codenames may well be one of his best aspects of characterization. Early on even Kate herself does not really know what she thinks of her codenames (see for instance Uncanny #169, 1983, when she is talking with Storm in the underground passages), yet you can see that she hopes to find one that she likes.

    Meanwhile, Betsy has a much more direct attitude towards such matters and subtly refuses to lend significance to codinames. She does not even bother to dispose of the one that Mojo chose for her.

    Which I always assumed to be a play on “warlock”, by the way. A yielder of arcane powers that brings unease to the hearts of its oponents, except that the powers are psychic instead of magic.

  4. Moo says:

    Funny that after all of those years that Rogue went without a real name, when they finally decided to give her one, they fucked it up. How hard is it to give someone a first name *and* a surname?

    I’m a bit out of the loop. Has it even been revealed what her faimily/maiden name is as of yet? Not Howlett, I hope.

  5. Mike Loughlin says:

    I want Rogue’s last name to be “Rouge,” and she thinks she’s been going by it this whole time but she’s a terrible speller.

    I think I read that Psylocke is named because, as pointed out above, it goes with “psy-key.” No idea where I would have come across that bit of possibly apocryphal information, but other bringing it up here makes me think that’s the actual origin of the name. I always thought it was meant to indicate the character could “psionically lock” onto others. No matter the origin, it sucks as a code name.

  6. Voord 99 says:

    Well, I didn’t remember exactly where I read it either, which is why I said “apparently.”

    But a bit of Googling found my source, who themselves cited no source in turn. Further searching finds a lot of “probably.” So I don’t think it rests on more than speculation.

  7. Scott B says:

    Rogue’s solo book had a whole storyline about her birth parents and we still didn’t learn her surname. There’s not even any reason for it to be a secret.

  8. Moo says:

    I imagine the conversation went something like this…

    Rodi: “I came up with the name! You’re gonna love it. I spent weeks wracking my brain on this one. We call her Anna Marie! Anna as in Paquin, and Marie as in the name they gave her in the film. We combine the two! Awesome, huh?”

    Editor: “Sounds nice. What about the last name?”

    Rodi: “Huh?”

    Editor: “Her last name. Her surname, you know? What’s the–”


    Editor: “Hello? Rob?”

  9. Si says:

    I hope it’s Anna Marie Summers (no relation (or is she?(no.))).
    I’ll also accept Carosella.

  10. Josie says:

    “It annoys me when super-heroes & -villains don’t have codenames”

    Yeah, it feels like a failure on SOME level, either a failure of creativity, or a failure to get the names to stick in our consciousness.

    And in contrast, it feels like a success when creators get you to associate a codename with a longstanding character, or a new character with a longstanding codename.

    When I think of Batgirl, I still think of Stephanie Brown first. I still associate Barbara Gordon with Oracle. When I think of the Flash, I think of Wally West first. When I think of Dick Grayson, I think of Nightwing first.

    On the DC side, they haven’t had a major problem with female characters having codenames. The biggest offender is Donna Troy, but not many offenders besides her. “Wonder Woman” is more preferable than “Diana” because she hardly uses a surname. Starfire, Raven, Terra, Zatanna (okay, actually just her name, but her father was also just known as Zatara), Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Powergirl, Huntress, Stargirl, Black Canary . . .

    Why is this no problem for DC characters but such a problem at Marvel?

  11. Taibak says:

    Strictly speaking, Wonder Woman’s real name is just “Diana”. “Diana Prince” is technically an alias.

  12. Taibak says:

    I don’t think it was ever used on screen, but in the movies, Rogue’s last name was D’Ancanto. Which doesn’t fit the character either.

  13. Si says:

    Oh! Oh! They should name Rogue after Cloris Leachman. Man, I’ve never wanted to write X-Men like I suddenly do now.

  14. Moo says:

    @Taibak – If I’m not mistaken, I think the D’Ancanto name first appeared in the X2 novelization which was written by Claremont. He came up with that name, and if you go back to the tail end of his X-Treme X-Men run, he introduced an entirely new character named Marie D’Ancanto– a character that Evangeline Whedon eventually took under her wing.

    I don’t know why he does this sort of thing, because it just results in confusion. But the guy also created two unrelated characters named Madelyne Pryor for Marvel.

  15. Taibak says:

    Moo: He also gave Kate Pryde, Rachel Summers, and Catherine Summers the same middle name.

  16. Luis Dantas says:

    Claremont apparently likes to reference real people in his stories, often just by dropping their names somewhere.

    But Madelyne Pryor (whose name apparently is a reference to a real life rock singer) must have _some_ connection to the child in Avengers Annual #10, if Uncanny #238 is still canon. Even if it may well be a connection that Claremont never fully developed and perhaps never thought much about.

  17. Thom H. says:

    To be fair, Raven, Terra, and Harley are also just called by their first names or some version thereof. DC has the “strangely your name completely matches your powers” problem even more than Marvel does, I think.

  18. Mike Loughlin says:

    “DC has the ‘strangely your name completely matches your powers’ problem even more than Marvel does, I think.”

    I think that’s a feature, not a bug. Marvel has some good ones, though: Stephen Strange, Victor von Doom, Mar-Ve!!, Otto Octavius… Even if the names match the personalities or code names more than the powers.

  19. Mike Loughlin says:

    “Yeah, it feels like a failure on SOME level, either a failure of creativity, or a failure to get the names to stick in our consciousness.”

    Agreed, but I’ve been trying to think of good codenames for telepaths with no luck. Still, I’m not a comic book writer. Come on, people!

  20. Moo says:

    I like “Fury” as a possibie codename for Jean. She’s hot-tempered. She has those Carrie powers. I think the name occurred to me after reading the preamble at the top of the splash page in an issue of New Warriors where Marvel Boy was described as a “telekinetic fury”.

    I suppose the existence of Nick Fury might make that somewhat problematic. But I also remember Wein and Cockrum mentioning in an interview that they were somewhat apprehensive about naming a character “Storm” because of the existence of Susan and Johnny Storm.

  21. YLu says:

    The oddest thing about “Psylocke” is the random extra e at the end, surely.

    I’d say the character-who-really-should-have-a-real-name-by-now award goes to Forge. At least Rogue is someone who kind of abandoned her old life, so you can see why she’d abandon her old name. Correct me if I’m wrong but in-universe Forge’s real name isn’t even secret, right? He has a military record and everything. There is no good reason some folks wouldn’t call him by it. When he first showed up he wasn’t even a superhero, just a dude in a polo shirt!

    I’m convinced the only reason he never got a real name is that Claremont had no idea what an authentic Cheyenne name woud be. (Granted, that sort of thing never stopped him before, but maybe this one time it did.)

  22. Anya says:

    I’ve always wondered that about Forge, too…

    Rogue’s last name being Howlett (or Summers, lol) would be the reason to keep it secret for so long. At least Anna Marie LeBeau sounds good. 😉

  23. Allan M says:

    I always took Forge’s lack of a civilian name as a sign that he’d really fully remade himself (quite literally in the case of his hand and leg) post-Vietnam (Sin-Cong, I assume, nowadays). I don’t think he identifies with it anymore because his sins and failures would reflect on his family and/or people. He left it behind and made himself anew, hence the name.

    Rogue, I feel like the window to give her a normal last name came and went a while ago, and now they’re stuck. If it’s just Anna Marie Smith, it’s a total anticlimax, why even bother. If it’s Anna Maria Von Doom, it’s further complicating a character whose backstory is already messy. I don’t think there’s a winning move, so it just lingers.

  24. Moo says:

    “I don’t think there’s a winning move”

    What about Anna Marie Claremont? May as well. There’s still a vacancy where her maiden name ought to be, so fill it with an acknowledgement to her creator. I think he’d like that.

  25. Josie says:

    “To be fair, Raven, Terra, and Harley are also just called by their first names or some version thereof. DC has the “strangely your name completely matches your powers” problem even more than Marvel does, I think.”

    I don’t see that as a problem. If anything, it makes it that much harder to distance the characters from their codenames. Does anyone think of Raven as “Rachel”? Does anyone prefer “Harleen” over “Harley”?

    On a weird sidenote, I suddenly wish Lex Luthor had a codename, at least for one of his iterations. When he was just a nefarious businessman, he didn’t need a codename because he didn’t have any other identity. But when he wears a purple and green mech suit, I think he should be called something else.

  26. Krzysiek Ceran says:


  27. Thom H. says:

    “I think that’s a feature, not a bug.”

    It depends on your tolerance for puns, I guess. Mine is very low, so names like “Blackagar Boltagon” and “Julian Gregory Day” are just…ugh. At least to me. Although I’ve always liked “Edward Nygma” for some reason.

    I had no idea Raven had a civilian name. That happened during one of the DC reboots, I assume?

  28. Mike Loughlin says:

    I’m fine with Lex Luthor not using a code name because he’s LEX LUTHOR, above such petty concerns as the law and accountability!!!!

  29. CalvinPitt says:

    Thom, I know in Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans run (pre-Infinite Crisis), there’s an issue where Raven has a license or student badge or something that says Rachel Roth on it. I feel like the Titans figured out Roth was her mother’s last name, but I think Rachel may just have been the one she chose for herself.

    I’m no good at naming things, so I can’t help with good codenames for telepaths. As far as Carol Danvers, though, I was always partial to “Warbird”. Thought it fit with her being a pilot and her powers being flying around and blowing stuff up. I see Busiek gave that to a new character in The Marvels, which, might as well.

    I also think of Cassandra Cain when I think Batgirl, unless otherwise specified. Stephanie Brown’s Spoiler, because I think it fits the person who kept getting pushed away by the Bat-family to keep the codename she gave herself.

    As for Luthor, he strikes me as arrogant enough to fly around in a battlesuit and still just use his real name. “Sure, the entire city saw a guy named Lex Luthor try to kill Superman with a green Lexcorp battlesuit, but I’ll still wiggle out of any trouble somehow!”

  30. Si says:

    For me, Warbird is a fine name in isolation, but [X]bird is a feminine goto at Marvel. Songbird, Deathbird, Firebird, Hummingbird, etc. It starts to sound condescending, like the boys get named after scary things and the girls get named after Tweety. Disparaging slang for women in real life is “bird” or “chick”, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    It might be the same at DC, I don’t read much from them. And yes, there are exceptions such as Thunderbird, but still.

  31. Taibak says:

    Si: I get what you’re saying, but the problem is that all of those names were largely chosen in isolation and, apart from Hummingbird, the names all fit the characters. I’m also not sure that “bird” has quite the same connotation in the US that it does in the UK.

  32. Josie says:

    “so names like “Blackagar Boltagon” and “Julian Gregory Day” are just…”


    “I had no idea Raven had a civilian name. That happened during one of the DC reboots, I assume?”

    This was back during Wolfman’s run.

  33. Josie says:

    “Songbird, Deathbird, Firebird, Hummingbird, etc. It starts to sound condescending, like the boys get named after scary things and the girls get named after Tweety”

    But Raven, Phoenix, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk, Hawkgirl, Hawkwoman, Swift.

    Thunderbird, Robin, Nightwing, Falcon, Cardinal, Hawk, Dove, Hawkman, Hawkeye, Nighthawk, Blackhawk, Golden Eagle, Phantom Eagle, Peregrine, the Owl, Night Owl, Owlman, Talon, Vulture, Black Condor, Scarecrow.

    And while not bird-related, I feel Kite Man is worth mentioning.

  34. Voord 99 says:

    Well, I’d put men named after birds of prey in a different category. Nothing new about gendering birds of prey as male, especially eagles — that goes back at least to the ancient Greeks and Romans. And with eagles you also have the patriotic American connotations. Note that Hawkwoman, Hawkgirl, and Lady Blackhawk are all distaff versions of pre-existing male characters with hawk names.

    Robin is a child (and was originally named after Robin Hood, not the bird*). Dove is (very obviously in the original Ditko conception) the weak, feminized counterpart to the more masculine Hawk, so the fact that his name tends to gender him as female is I think part of the point.

    *What Americans call a “robin” is weird and wrong, and they should stop.

  35. Si says:

    Yeah, it’s not having bird-related names that’s the problem, it’s specifically [something]bird, where a male character might be called [something]man. It’s a thing that comes up again and again, and I can’t help but feel it’s a subtle way to feminise and weaken the character. Which is why “Warbird”, while not being weak or feminine in itself, still feels problematic to me personally. And I’m happy to accept that it’s just me.

  36. YLu says:

    Warbird’s a great name for her if you’re the type whose first thought hearing it goes to the planes of the same name. The problem is, if you’re not that type, it comes off as the very essence of generic 90s era codename.


    The truth about code names is they don’t actually have to be very good, at least in team books. Armor is an actively terrible name, or at least a terrible bland one, but no one’s really bothered by it.

    The problem with someone like Jean Grey is she genuinely had a great superhero name, Phoenix, so a new one has to be as good or else fans won’t buy in.

  37. Mike Loughlin says:

    I think Warbird is a good code name- she flies! She fights! She has a connection to the military! It says more about the character than Ms. Marvel” or (ugh) “Binary” did.

    Codenames don’t have to be great. After all, I bought several issues of “Spawn” in my youth. And a few comics called “Cable.” Even a handful of something called “Bloodstrike.”
    I just want them to be present.

  38. Josie says:

    Whoops, I forgot the Penguin.

    Anyway, I’m not disagreeing about the gendering of certain codenames. I just don’t think it’s as extensive a problem as it would seem.

    And yes, “Robin” is absolutely a bird, regardless of the Robin Hood origin. I mean his partner is named after a Bat. The animal naming is deliberate. And while there is no bird called a Nightwing, it’s clearly evocative of birds.

    Now they just need to change Oracle to Oriole.

  39. Daibhid C says:

    Regarding whether bird codenames, or certain bird codenames, are gendered, I’m reminded of two things.

    One is that the first time DC did Genderflipped Earth, they re-used the Black Condor codename for the blond guy with a sonic scream in the Justice League.

    The other is the time Hank Pym took on the Wasp identity, and seemed to spend much of his time trying to point out that there was nothing inherently female about wasps.

  40. Josie says:

    Pretty sure wasps aren’t birds.

  41. Marco says:

    Is Gameworld the same planet where Logan and Quentin went in Wolverine&theXMen #6?

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