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Jun 9

Legion of X #2 annotations

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Let Us Prey”
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Sarah Brunstad

COVER / PAGE 1. Mother Righteous shows Nightcrawler and Banshee a vision of a nightmarish possible future Legion.

PAGE 2. Mother Righteous addresses Legion and Blindfold.

“All those years broken, sedated, dismissed as a liability…” Mother Righteous is referring in broad strokes to Legion’s back story from his earliest appearances circa New Mutants #25. For anyone just joining us, David is the son of Professor X and Gabrielle Haller. Getting caught up in a terrorist attack as a child led to him going into a coma and developing multiple personalities. He remains comatose until his early appearances, but for years after that tends to be treated in stories as an eccentric and unreliable figure best marginalised.

“You look at your dad now and all you see is coldness.” This is a recurring theme in Spurrier’s Legion stories. It’s slightly unfair to Xavier, who didn’t know that Legion existed until around the time of his debut appearance, and was then caught up in various storylines that prevented him spending any real time with Legion before the Muir Island Saga, at which point Legion wound up back in a coma. But Legion’s attitude is fair enough in a broader sense; Xavier, like everyone else, does pretty much forget about Legion when he’s not directly involved in a story.

Blindfold’s vision, as provoked by Mother Righteous, is oddly showing the present rather than the future. It’s not an easy image to understand and the dialogue patches it up on the next page, with Blindfold referring to a “horned god” and a “stolen hand”. On page 20, Pixie identifies the hand as “A Hand of Glory. A charm to open any lock.” Specifically, a Hand of Glory was the dried and pickled hand of someone who had been hanged. Various supernatural powers were attributed to them, one of which was indeed the ability to open any lock.

PAGES 3-4. Mother Righteous forces Blindfold to show a vision of a possible future.

This possible future depicts Legion having ascended as leader of the X-Men (delivering his father’s leadership catchphrase), but with what appears to be a burning skull-like head, reminiscent of Ghost Rider or, perhaps more likely, Xorn.

In the background, Krakoa seems to be partly converted into a techno-organic creature. The desk behind him is one of the four desks for the Quiet Council, though there are only two people sitting at it – presumably the third chair belongs to Legion himself. On the left is an aged Nightcrawler, accompanied by three Bamfs – Nightcrawler-like creatures from an alternate dimension who have cropped up occasionally over the years. To modern readers, they’re best known for infesting the X-Men’s school in Wolverine & The X-Men. On the right is a woman with long dark hair and what looks to be half of Destiny’s mask. Legion’s dialogue on the next page suggests that it’s an older Blindfold, though if so, she probably shouldn’t have visible eyes.

“You rule you” – or rather, “I rule me” – was Legion’s catchphrase/mantra in Spurrier’s X-Men Legacy run.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits.

PAGE 6. Data page. Dr Nemesis explains his theories on the Marvel Universe’s gods. Nemesis is basically suggesting here that the gods are created and sustained by the magical/psychic processes of worship; important enough gods can survive the demise of their underlying religion by living on as mythical figures, presumably sustained by simply being part of the mass consciousness. If you don’t mind rationalising gods away, this all works perfectly well in continuity terms and explains why the various gods all assert mutually inconsistent histories as fact.

PAGES 7-9. Nightcrawler, Zsen and Sage in the Green Lagoon.

The bar was smashed up last issue when the Juggernaut caught Paullie.

Black Tom Cassidy serves as X-Force’s monitoring system, through his link to Krakoa, over in their title. He’s written here in line with his behaviour in X-Force. He and Juggernaut have a long and close relationship as partners and best friends.

Nightcrawler is clearly oblivious to much of what X-Force get up to, and has a rather rose tinted view of the way that group behaves. He’s not going to be happy about it if he ever finds out.

Banshee was killed and skinned by Moira MacTaggert, his long-time lover, in X Deaths of Wolverine #4. Obviously, he’s been resurrected since then. He’s possessed by Switch in this scene, hence his shaky accent, ham-fisted mention of his Interpol back story, and confusion when his cousin Black Tom Cassidy addresses him as “kin” – Switch doesn’t seem to know who Black Tom is. Banshee is carrying a small bag at the start of the scene, but it seems to go missing on the page turn.

Juggernaut learned last issue that Professor X didn’t want him as a Legionnaire. He’s speculating when he says that it was because he’s not a mutant – but that was the reason that Xavier originally gave to him for excluding him from Krakoa in general, as seen in the Juggernaut miniseries.

PAGE 10. Lost, Forget-Me-Not, Pixie and Dust talk to Paullie.

Paullie is getting rapidly irritated with this touchie-feelie stuff.

PAGES 10-11. Nightcrawler and Sage.

We get the tail end of Nightcrawler’s musings to Sage about his philosophy; how much she really agrees with him and how much she’s just nodding along politely is hard to say, though she is the nice one in X-Force. Nightcrawler’s current idea is that if people just embrace his philosophy of experimentation, maybe they won’t need laws at all and they can get by with just good old conscience. Good luck getting the likes of Sabretooth and Mr Sinister to sign on for that, Kurt.

PAGES 11-13. Zsen breaks into the Pointe and fights the Beast.

Zsen is presumably looking for the monitoring devices that she mentioned on page 7. The Beast, in full paranoid mode, responds to this as an attack – probably not unreasonably, since she’s trespassing in a top secret area and he doesn’t recognise her.

PAGE 14. Data page – the Beast notes the Skinjacker incidents (i.e., Switch) but decides that it’s not a threat to national security, so it can be left “to Kurt and his Emocops”. This could be played as a perfectly reasonable viewpoint – it’s a police matter, not a national security matter – but Hank clearly comes across as thinking that the suffering of individuals is beneath his notice, and that it can be palmed off on a group that he plainly thinks of as a joke. Of course, Hank’s main function in X-Force is to be wrong about stuff, and since the Skinjacker has indeed come back to bite him, he’s characteristically wrong here too.

PAGE 15. Nightcrawler and Sage break up the fight.

Singing stones are a thing from X-Force – bugs disguised as ordinary pieces of stone – though I think this is the first time we’ve been told that they’re being used for surveillance on Krakoa itself.

The object that Kurt picks up in the final panel is apparently meant to be the Hand of Glory which he brings back to the Altar later in the issue, though it doesn’t really look like it in the art. We’re told later on that it’s been made from some of the body parts that Switch made people cut off. The suggestion is that Switch used the body parts to make a Hand of Glory, which he then used to break into X-Force headquarters through its magical ability to open any lock. Why it’s still here lying on the floor isn’t clear.

PAGES 16-21. The Legionnaires catch up with Switch, but he escapes.

I’m not sure there’s anything in Switch’s earlier appearances about only being able to jump bodies once a day. It doesn’t seem to be true here, at any rate. In his handful of prior appearances (X-Force #87-90), Switch swapped minds with his victim, who woke up in Switch’s body. Here, he seems to be a disembodied consciousness jumping from body to body. Juggernaut reports possession feeling “cold and dark”, which is certainly not what happened in the original arc.

On the other hand, Switch’s stated motivation as just having fun by screwing with people’s lives is broadly consistent with how he was written the first time around.

Nightcrawler must be correct when he says that Switch has learned sorcery, since there must be some magical component to a working Hand of Glory.

PAGES 21-22. Mother Righteous offers Legion power in exchange for appreciation.

This book seems to be consciously avoiding doing its scene transitions at the end of a page, perhaps to make the scene jumps more momentarily disorienting. Legion then seems to jump to the easy solution of wiping Paullie’s memories (since he appears to be innocent), which Paullie promptly rejects. Moreover, Legion is offering that as an alternative to the touchy-feely approach favoured by Kurt.

PAGES 23-24. Banshee meets Mother Righteous.

“You lose a vote, you lose your true love, you lose your own body.” The vote is presumably when he put himself forward for the X-Men at the Hellfire Gala. The other two are obvious – Moira from X Deaths of Wolverine #4, and Switch from this issue.

PAGE 25. Trailers.


Bring on the comments

  1. Si says:

    The theory of gods being made from the beliefs of the worshippers isn’t new, it’s a fun concept, but it doesn’t quite fit in Marvel cosmology. Odin was apparently around a million years before Germanic tribes existed, the Elder Gods were around before humans existed. But as I said in another thread, there seems to be a lot of fundamentally different entities that all fall under the “god” umbrella term. Maybe some of them are psychic parasites and others aren’t.

  2. Chris V says:

    I’m sure one could find some earlier textual evidence. During the Doug Moench run on Thor (which I wouldn’t recommend reading), in issue #303 Thor says, “For without the faith of mortals, a god is nothing.”

  3. Rob says:

    @Si, I think the way it works is that Odin’s past comes into being after he’s created by human societies. It would have to, since in nearly all mythologies the gods exist before humans (or even create them).

  4. Mike Loughlin says:

    Dr. Nemesis’s theories conflict with MU canon, but:

    The origin of gods presented in this issue is Dr. Nemesis’s theory, not cold hard facts. Also, belief could empower gods to the point that they come into existence retroactively. Or Odin started as something else but was reshaped by worship. Also also, Asgardians might be “ancient astronaut” gods, but not all gods fit that description and Dr. N doesn’t know that.

    I’m fine either way, frankly, as long as there’s a decent story in it.

  5. Devin says:

    Do you think there’s significance in how the levels of belief/worshippers are similar to the galactic societies back in HOXPOX, or is it just a bit of narrative callback?

  6. YLu says:

    “Here, he seems to be a disembodied consciousness jumping from body to body. Juggernaut reports possession feeling “cold and dark”, which is certainly not what happened in the original arc.”

    I took it to mean Switch is keeping his original body tied up in a cold, dark place so the people he’s switching with can’t do anything with it or report where it is. I think Sage even said something about how he likely went to the Pointe to erase data about where his real body is.

  7. Ceries says:

    Amusingly, Nemesis (or Spurrier) appears to be completely unaware that Asatru is a thing. You could absolutely find 100 Loki worshippers in our world-never mind in the Marvel universe, where it’s been repeatedly shown that Thor’s very existence has led to a massive Asatru revival.

  8. Taibak says:

    “You could absolutely find 100 Loki worshippers in our world”

    Which is odd since there’s no evidence of any Loki worshipers at any other time in history.

  9. Mathias X says:

    Completely taken out of this issue by the art. It wasn’t bad in most places, but the Pixie and Juggernaut scenes were… really weirdly scaled. How big does the artist think Pixie is? Because half the time he’s drawing her at approximately the size of Wasp or an actual child.

    Though I suppose it beats the time Greg Land aged her from the Youngest X-Man to a swimsuit model.

  10. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I guess maybe I don’t like Spurrier as much as I thought?

    I want to talk about the characters voices.

    The Arakki lady calls Banshee “Captain Sideburns.”


    Has she been watching YouTube or something since moving back from Hell?

    Also Lost seems like a totally different character who says things like “asshat” and Pixie calls Switch a “turd.”

    Bizarre stuff.

    I kinda hate Nightcrawler now. He’s a sanctimonious oblivious jerk.

  11. SanityOrMadness says:

    So, when did the title group change from being “Legionaries” (like the Roman soldiers) to “Legionnaires” (like the French Foreign Legion. Or the members of the similarly-named team at the Distinguished Competition)? Is it even deliberate, or is Spurrier just being careless and the editors not checking?

  12. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Uncanny X-Ben

    I had the same thoughts about character voices in those same instances. Really weird slip-ups.

    Though I guess Lost can be reasoned away – we’ve barely heard her voice before, in Way of X other people were mostly speaking for her or about her and we didn’t get much from her.

    I’m not against a mutant procedural book, but it’s a very weird swerve from Way of X. ‘We must find a new way, and the new way is cops, but nicer’ is… a thing that happened for some reason.

    I like Spurrier. I do. But increasingly I feel the full sentence should read ‘I like Spurrier’s other work’. Maybe it’s a matter of expectations – I’ve liked his work, I like the cast he’s gathered here, maybe I feel I should like this more than I do and that’s on me?

    I will stick around and find out. But I think my expectations will lower.

    Still, it would be nice if Mother Righteous didn’t completely screw Banshee. Sean’s been through enough. And he’s only just stopped being a walking corpse.

  13. Joseph S. says:

    To me, it seems Future Legion is meant to evoke both Xorn and Zorn, who accompanied him throughout Way of X.

    Bazaldua’s art seems a decent fit for this series, it can be a bit cartoony in the proportions but that’s long been the case with characters like the Juggernaut.

  14. Luis Dantas says:

    Have we ever met any on-panel evidence of the existence of Asatru in the MU?

  15. YLu says:

    Do people in the UK not use the word “turd”?

    @Luis Dantas

    I think during the Jurgens “King Thor” business there was stuff about modern Thor-worshippers, but I don’t know if they were Asatru or just a wholly fictional spin on modern Thor worship.

  16. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    “Turd” I’m sure is a thing some Welsh people say, I just thought it was weird for her character specifically.

  17. ASV says:

    Can’t believe the guy who just decided one day that Legion was Scottish would get characters’ voices wrong.

  18. MasterMahan says:

    @ASV: Good point. The Legion suddenly being Scottish thing still bugs me.

    Does Xavier still have an excuse for not knowing about David’s existence? One of the Hickman retcons was that Xavier and Moira deliberately sought out humans they might be able to breed an Omega with. Charles shouldn’t have been *too* surprised the woman he was trying to get pregnant got pregnant.

    Although that’s certainly a retcon they might want to just sweep under the rug, since A) he apparently abandoned the project and never checked on her despite having powers and a mutant detecting system that would have made it a cinch, and B) it puts Xavier in an incredibly creepy light.

  19. Si says:

    Yeah, it’s bad enough that Xavier got into a sexual relationship with a mentally ill patient of his. To retcon something like that and make it *much worse* is quite a feat.

    I quite like the idea of Odin existing retroactively because people believe he did. Does that mean at some point he found some proto-Germanic tribes, and taught them all about him and how to worship him, to ensure his own existence? In essence he’d have created himself. In which case, where does that circle start? Fascinating.

  20. Thom H. says:

    There are also those two(?) times that Xavier mind-wiped himself. So maybe the memory of David’s existence was a casualty of that. There’s not a comprehensive explanation for when those wipes happened or why, as far as I know.

    Doesn’t make the whole project any less creepy, but it might explain why Xavier was surprised it worked.

  21. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    A) I think Krakoa would be a lot better or at least more palatable without the enormous Moira retcon that makes Xavier and Magneto into even bigger assholes.

    B) I have no idea what Asatru is, which hurts my nerd cred.

    C) Aaron’s Thor does play around with the idea that people still worship Thor and he can explicitly hear those prayers. I’m sure Marvel doesn’t want to highlight that stuff too much. That’s why we got the MCU sci-fi Asgardians with a weird history of humans knowing about Loki and Thor in spite of them seemingly never going to Earth or being that old. Also Odin flat out saying “we’re not gods” which comic Odin would murder someone for saying. Gotta get that fundamentalist Christian and Chinese money.

  22. Chris V says:

    Asatru means “faith in the Aesir”. It’s one variant of modern heathenism involving the worship of the pre-Christian Norse pantheon.

  23. Scott B says:

    If belief could manifest gods in the past I would expect the present MU to be full of whatever weird gods get dreamt up by humanity in the far future.

  24. Devin says:

    Plot twist: that’s how Hope Summers came into existence.

  25. MasterMahan says:

    @Devin: Interesting. It would explain the weird amount of faith Utopia had that Hope would somehow restore mutantkind.

  26. Karl_H says:

    Fun fact: According to the Roy Thomas stories circa Thor 290-300, the current Odin has only existed since the birth of Christ, having been reborn after the last Ragnarok (Asgard on fire was the star the wise men followed), and he dreamed up all of the Norse creation myths to conceal the previous Ragnarok cycles. (These were my first issues of Thor, and among my first Marvel comics, and man was I confused.)

    Anyway, the idea that believers retroactively create ancient backstory for gods like Odin doesn’t fit with the current “one million BC” nonsense — last time I checked, Norse mythology didn’t contain hot Phoenix babes and flaming mammoths. (I believe there’s a lot of other backstory concerning Odin’s father and brothers that doesn’t make any sense being pushed back to pre-one million BC. Nor does the Star Brand existing in this reality for a million years. And Al, you’re an Iron Fist fan, was K’un Lun around and making Iron Fists a million years ago?)

    Aw man, I went and got started.

  27. Jenny says:


    Stuff like this is why DC should have embraced hypertime.

  28. Jenny says:

    Not that Marvel would have gotten to picking it up right away, mind you. But inevitably a few years down the line they would have modified it for their own use, as Marvel was wont to do.

  29. Karl_H says:

    I think the point I set out to make was that Doctor Nemesis’s theory is a viable fit with established Gruenwaldian Marvel canon. Odin was *not* around one million years ago, the Elder Gods Si mentioned are a different order of being, and it was all succinctly explained in the first 5 pages of Thor Annual #10 (1982).

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