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Jun 21

X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #35-40

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 by Paul in x-axis

“Eany Come Home”
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Julian Shaw
Colourist: Dono Sánchez-Almara

Letterer: Joe Sabino
Editor: Lauren Amaro

If you’re going to have an entire series that’s exclusive to Marvel Unlimited, and you don’t want to do anything too important to continuity that might infuriate non-subscribers, then you may as well take the chance to do stories about little-used characters. And lo! A Maggott six-parter! That’s not something you get to say often!

Okay, granted, it’s an Infinity Comic. So when we say “six-parter” we actually mean something closer to “two-parter” in regular comics. But still, Maggott’s usually lucky if he gets any parts at all. I’m not sure he’s actually done anything bigger than a cameo since being killed off in Weapon X in 2003. You kind of wonder why he was even brought back. Maybe he was so obscure that everyone forgot he was dead.

Or maybe people kind of like the guy and didn’t really want him to be cannon fodder. He’s got a reputation as an awful character, but there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with him. He’s a weird concept – a guy with an external digestive system in the form of two semi-autonomous slug thingies, Eany and Meany that can eat through anything and power him up afterwards – and it’s probably fair to say that the early stories trying to make this seem fascinating and tragic didn’t quite land. But the idea is fine. And maybe it feels a lot less eccentric in 2022 than it did in 1997.

So, what’s Maggott been up to? Well, he’s been marginalised. Obviously he has. Or else we’d have seen him.

Basically, Maggott is the guy who gets called in to clear things up after the fight if there’s a big mess that needs consumed. He’s not very enthusiastic about it, but he’s more or less resigned to it. This being the Krakoan era, the X-Men manage to get the poor guy killed halfway through the first chapter, and he’s promptly resurrected. But this turns out to be the long-awaited botched resurrection story: the original Eany is still alive, and they’ve accidentally resurrected her anyway. With no Maggott to feed, she’s very angry, she’s growing to kaiju size – well, what non-humanoid isn’t these days – and she’s on her way to Krakoa.

I like the idea. We haven’t done a botched resurrection yet (unless you count the X of Swords Otherworld stuff), and Maggott’s a good character to do it with, since he has the odd gimmick of a body split in three. Sure, you could do it with Madrox, but this is more interesting.

The story slows down a bit from there, though. The hook is that the solution is to kill the second Eany, who seems to be starving herself to death anyway and completely up for a bit of death. But Maggott is too protective to let that happen, and Wolverine – the Laura version – shows up to side with him on that. I’m not sure this strand really lands, and it’s about half the arc. But I see the idea. Because he’s marginalised, Maggott thinks he’s disposable, and sees the suggestion of killing Eany in that light. And Laura empathises with the idea that Maggott is the guy who only gets called in for the jobs nobody else wants. And Emma Frost, at her most unsympathetic, gets to be the character lobbying for “kill Eany.”

Except… does that angle work with Laura in 2022? It fits with her back story, and her time as a living weapon, and all that. But it’s not really where the character is today. She’s in the X-Men, after all. A particularly high-profile, superheroic version of the X-Men at that. I guess it still works as a reason for her to identify with Maggott, but the story feels – particularly in the ending – as if it’s trying to draw parallels with where she is now, and that doesn’t quite work.

Also, for some reason the story grinds to a halt in chapter five in order to recap Maggott’s origin story from X-Men #76. I guess the idea is to draw a parallel between New Eany trying to die, and Maggott viewing himself as a burden to his family in Joe Kelly’s story, but I don’t think it was really worth the detour.

Alex Paknadel gives Maggott a convincing persona that fits with his marginal position in the Marvel Universe. Julian Shaw’s art isn’t flashy but it has a few good uses of the vertical scrolling format; it gives everyone, including the maggotts, a bit of charisma and it’s very readable. The whole thing does benefit from a re-read, where it’s easier to see the structure of the thing, and the parallels in Maggot and Laura’s conversations in the first and last chapters. My big reservation is that Laura just feels off – she’s too informal, and she’s a big enough part of the story for that to be an issue. She even gets the final beat, which is weird.

Aside from that, though, this is pretty solid. X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic is not essential reading, but it’s not meant to be. For a series that could easily have been dismissed as bonus content, it’s turned out to be quite reliable.

Bring on the comments

  1. Si says:

    I liked it. And I’ve always said that Maggott is a good character with a bad name and a bad power set.

    I did kind of like the way Wolverine was trying to be besties and relating to Maggott, and he was just “we’re not friends, you’ve never even spoken to me before this. Stick to your social class, lady.” Especially at the end, but all the way through the story.

    Bit weird to see Emma in the amoral pragmatist role we’d more often see Beast playing these days.

  2. Zachary Q Adams says:

    I really got fond of Maggott under Joe Kelly and was thrilled to see him pop up in CotA last year even if he was just a representative of the D-list. This was a nice little story and I’m glad someone gave me a heads up to read it

  3. SanityOrMadness says:

    It’s curious that they did this with one of Maggott’s maggots surviving his death in the present day – wasn’t that the case with his original death in Weapon X too?

  4. Evilgus says:

    It’s been notable under internet X-Men “fan culture” that characters are now all cult favourites and get dredged up from the past, when at the time they were actively disliked. I gather that’s the same with Doug Ramsey – when I started reading, Doug was dead and letters pages and fan forums ‘wanted him back’. But I gather he was killed off at the time as he was the most unpopular with the ‘weakest’ or last visual/battle worthy power.

    Anyway, I do have a soft spot for Maggott, Marrow and Cecelia Reyes, as you had two gross difficult characters and one who simply had no truck with the madness of the X-Men world. And the stories had a bit of direction to them. It was a real shame how they were mostly unceremoniously booted off stage right for the return (and regression) of Shadowcat, Nightcrawler and Colossus.

    This mini sounds right for Maggott (and a better forum for reintroducing these characters rather than in cluttered main books which feel more big idea than character focussed). Lots more mileage in botched resurrections… Let’s have Proteus be secretly on Moira’s side, or some such 🙂

  5. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I think I liked the idea of this story more than its execution. Laura was very off-model. She’s much more well-adjusted nowadays, but this got her wrong.

    Still, I kinda like Maggot – I like that period when he, Marrow and Cecilia Reyes are on the team, though he’s my third favourite among them. It was nice he got any screen time, let alone a story of his own.

    I also like how this story implies he’s part of the social structure. I mean, a Maggot/Laura friendship? Sure, why not? Emma at least recognizes him – I’m not sure if she ever shared a page with the guy before. It’s nice to know the characters have a life off-page – they don’t always feel like they do and these implied relationships help with that.

    The last thing that sort of bothered me was the Krakoan school cafeteria that’s the setting of at least two important scenes in this story. What is that supposed to be? Why is that there? I have the feeling Emma Frost wouldn’t be caught dead in a school cafeteria, let alone an outdoors school cafeteria.

    Anyway. More of that style of X-Men Unlimited. This was fun and enjoyable, some nitpicks aside.

    By the way, the fourth and final installment of the Infinity Iceman miniseries released today and I guess the only reason it got a separate heading instead of being another Unlimited arc was that it could be marketed as a Pride-themed release.
    It was quite good, too. It is another ‘Iceman unlocks his true potential’ story, but it looks for a new angle and is at least partially successful in finding it.

  6. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I love Maggott but haven’t bothered to read these, so I guess I should rectify that.

    Si- his weird powers are what make him interesting imo. Flying and strength and laser beams have been run into the ground so hard they’re halfway to the molten core of this cursed earth.

  7. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    SorM- yup one of the maggots was in the care of a little girl he befriended, I guess they didn’t read that part. They could have already done this story.

    I always thought it would be an easy way to bring him back, have the surviving slug eat a bunch and spin a big cocoon.

    Boom new Maggott 2.0.

  8. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    To be fair, we never got an on-page explanation for his return. (He started appearing in crowd scenes back in the Bendis era, years before Krakoa).

    It could’ve been Necrosha – he was a cyberzombie in that – but they conveniently never said who stayed alive and who re-died at the end of that.

    So it might have been slug-cocoon because why not?

  9. Douglas says:

    Really enjoyed this one–it did lots of fun formalist stuff with the vertical-scroll format, and I appreciated this totally weird character (or… 3 characters) getting a chance to shine.

  10. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    You heard it here first, slug cocoon is cannon.

  11. Si says:

    I just reread this, I enjoyed it in instalments but it’s better in one go.

    I noticed something though. Eany broke at least two of the Krakoan laws. She killed a bunch of men, and destroyed big chunks of this sacred land. And it was resolved by making less mutants, though Eany probably doesn’t count as a whole mutant on her own.

  12. sagatwarrior says:

    Funny you should mention Doug Ramsey. He too went through years where he was marginalized, during his time as Douglock, then being revamped as Warlock again, dying, coming back to life with an enhanced powerset, only to become addicted to the Internet. It was only during the Krakoa era that Doug finally came into his own. I would imagine that they are creating a character arc for Maggot (hopefully, they will considering changing his name).

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