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Jul 1

X-Force #29 annotations

Posted on Friday, July 1, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-FORCE vol 6 #29
“The Hungry Mind”
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Robert Gill
Colourist: GURU-eFX
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Designers: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Mark Basso

COVER / PAGE 1. It’s a homage to the X-Men fighting Krakoa in Giant-Size X-Men #1, specifically the start of chapter 4 (“Krakoa – the island that Walks Like a Man!”)

PAGES 2-4. Kid Omega monologues while Black Tom gets attacked.

All pretty straightforward. The subtext is that Kid Omega seems to be reverting back to his more obnoxious persona following his break-up with Phoebe. Last issue he was more concerned about protecting Phoebe than anything else; getting rejected again appears to prompt him to go back to this arrogant “hero” persona. Consuming Black Tom gives Cerebrax access to his link with Krakoa.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits.

PAGE 6. Wolverine recaps the plot for Domino.

Apparently we really are going with the idea that magnetism can bend adamantium. Arguably there’s a precedent for that in the art in X-Men #25, where Magneto certainly doesn’t seem to be yanking solid lumps of bone-shaped adamantium out of Wolverine’s body, but I’d always taken that to be artistic license, since the whole premise of adamantium is that it’s indestructible. (The 1980s Official Handbook claims that even melting it doesn’t work, which seems…. questionable in the other direction.)

PAGE 7. Cerebrax consumes Black Tom.

PAGE 8. Domino briefs Sage.

PAGES 9-10. Sage speaks with Omega Red.

All self-explanatory. Sage is continuing her efforts to rehabilitate Omega Red, the subtext being that it’s a way of showing that she can overcome her own self-destructive tendencies. She flags that point on the data page (“That sounds like the sort of thing I would say.”) This also seems to be setting up a closer relationship between the two, as well as Omega Red potentially taking Kid Omega’s place in the cast.

PAGES 11-12. Kid Omega fixes Wolverine’s skeleton.

Kid Omega is being obnoxiously bombastic in a story that otherwise has a completely different tone. He’s being Green Lantern.

PAGE 13. Domino fights Cerebrax.

The idea that Cerebrax symbolises some dark side of Krakoa seems… a bit of a stretch, really.

PAGES 14-15. Kid Omega repels Cerebrax.

“You’re the one who’s been telling me to quit whining.” After Phoebe dumped him – specifically, in issue #26.

“I’ve been … testing out different skins…” Kid Omega was trying experimenting with new host bodies based on other people’s powers in the last issue.

“This thing wants me for a reason…” This was Kid Omega’s (understandable) worry last issue – that Cerebrax would aim to take over the powers of an omega mutants. But in fact, Cerebrax shows little or no interest in him in this story. It’s only in Kid Omega’s mind that he’s the centre of the plot.

PAGES 16-17. Krakoa attacks the Stepford Cuckoos.

The Cuckoos seem way out of character here. I get the idea that they behave like children when Quentin is in issue. Broadly, there are two main ways in which the Cuckoos are written – as a genuinely distant group who seem to be one mind in five bodies, and as a group of overconfident teenagers who put on that persona as an affectation. Grant Morrison’s original stories seem to have the latter idea in mind (particularly when they’re talking about Quentin, in fact), and so does Inferno. Percy is basically in line with all that. But what I don’t buy is that the Cuckoos would ignore a warning from Jean so that they could go to a party at the Wild Hunt. On either interpretation, the Cuckoos don’t go to teen parties. They’re either genuinely above it, or they like to believe that they are.

PAGES 18-23. Kid Omega defeats Cerebrax.

Kid Omega tells us fairly directly that he chafes at being treated as a trainee by Jean or Logan, and he’s determined to prove himself as their equal. The fact that his narration cuts off in mid sentence suggests that this does not go as planned. Presumably, it’s Cerebrax’s connection to the wider Cerebro network that (somehow) explains why his backups have been wiped.

“It’s not like it’s the first time this has happened.” Note that Phoebe is upset about Quentin’s death even before she learns that he can’t be resurrected. As Domino points out, Quentin has died and been resurrected almost incessantly during the Krakoan era, and in itself, another death ought to be of relatively little concern to Phoebe. She’s more upset about being confronted directly with Quentin’s feelings for her.

PAGE 24. Closing quote from Kid Omega.

PAGE 25. Trailers.

Bring on the comments

  1. SanityOrMadness says:

    Wait, they’re doing a “backups wiped, can’t resurrect” story AFTER the Waiting Room intro? Isn’t the whole point of that to bypass any problem with unavailable backups? (Ewing even had Magneto acknowledge that when destroying his own backups this week, saying he’d refuse to come back that route).

    At least the Otherworld (and Amenth) thing corrupting the backups invoked magic bs, and even then it’s questionable as a “naturally occurring” phenonemon.

  2. Michael says:

    Maybe the idea is Quentin doesn’t WANT to resurrect for some reason, since Ewing introduced that limitation on the Waiting Room this week. Although I can’t imagine why.

  3. Mathias X says:

    Not convinced that Percy reads other X-books, or that he’s had a book looked over by an editor in years. Or even a conversation with an editor.

  4. SanityOrMadness says:

    As for adamantium, two thoughts:
    1) Abortive as the plot may have been, there was the thing from Hama’s Wolverine shortly after Fatal Attractions where adamantium in the bodies of people like Wolverine was chemically altered into what the scientist called “adamantium beta”. We can attribute different properties to that (yes, it probably shouldn’t be so simple to chemically alter, but, eh… relatively small amounts with huge surface area over a long time, with Wolverine’s ludicrous healing factor attacking it? Hell, maybe primary adamantium vs a-beta is why Bullseye never had adamantium poisoning problems, with it staying in its inert form in his body…)

    2) The Handbook entry describes a resin, not a metal. Whoever wrote (or the story it was based on) was seriously lacking in chemistry knowledge anyway.

  5. Jenny says:

    It’s not entirely without precedent; Warren Ellis’ Astonishing X-Men run had a spin off series about various alternate worlds that were invaded via “Ghost Boxes”, and a Magneto hooked into a Sentinel as a makeshift Deathlok was used in one story to bend Wolverine’s bones.

  6. Joseph S. says:

    Quentin will be back. At the end of the Morrison run he turned into a sentient gas or whatever after “ascending to a higher plane of existence.” In this issue he makes reference to reaching his true potential, going beyond Omega, beyond X. I take this as telegraphing some future manifestation of the character. Perhaps he had to break the cycle of rebirth in order to ascend again.

  7. YLu says:

    Wasn’t it said that Magneto drew Wolverine’s adamantium out of his body through his skin pores? That would indicate the visual depiction was more than just artistic license and that he really was warping it into liquidy stuff…

  8. Bengt says:

    Magneto has in practice been a reality warper with a “limitation: metal only” tag since the start, probably because Stan Lee didn’t know how magnetism works. And subsequent writers either didn’t know themselves or just went with precedence.

  9. Miyamoris says:

    “Quentin will be back. At the end of the Morrison run he turned into a sentient gas or whatever after “ascending to a higher plane of existence.””

    That’s exactly what I was thinking, but I’m still confused by what exactly Percy is trying to achieve with Quentin in this.

    What was exactly the point of having a issue focused on him where he could take a deeper look at his deep-seated issues just to revert him to an asshole and narratively punish him for it?
    I don’t necessarily mind an unrepentant character but the way this is played (and it’s also of note how the root of the personal conflict is poisoned by the cuckoos being poorly written) kinda reads as edgy for the sake of being edgy. I’m bailing on this book at this point tbh.

  10. Joseph S. says:

    I don’t read it that way. It seems like Quentin isn’t reverting but growing and maturing. He’s self actualizing. Instead of playing with his skins, he quits whining. This is about Quentin accepting himself but also seemingly sacrificing himself for the group. Maybe he wasn’t the center of attention, but Cerebrax did indeed eat and absorb everyone they came in contact with. QQ puts them down and seemingly dies in the process (presumably to emerge like a butterfly).

  11. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I always thought the “Quentin Quire ascends to a hire plane” thing from New X-Men was a flat out lie.

    Xorn “aids” him into the higher plane.

    But of course it’s Magneto, murdering Quentin right in front of everyone because QQ is starting to babble about how “their true enemy was inside all along.”

    Then the terrible Phoenix Endsong came along and mucked everything up, Xorn became real, then Xorn became two Xorns.

    Oy vey.

    I genuinely don’t think a lot of Marvels writers and editors actually understood New X-Men.

  12. Chris V says:

    Wasn’t the Xorn ret-con because Marvel didn’t want Magneto turned into a drug-addicted, old, genocidal terrorist? So, that was basically how Marvel went into face saving mode, by saying that Xorn was real and “Xorn” was the name of twin brothers with one being the true identity of Morrison’s Magneto.
    I love most of Morrison’s New X-Men, but I hated that he wrote Magneto as the loony Silver Age version.

  13. Chris V says:

    Oh. I kind of lost my train of thought. I meant to say that the Xorn/Quire scene is one I find problematic with the reveal that Magneto was always meant to be Xorn. Yes, it seemed as if Quire was revealing future events from the end of Morrison’s run and, in hindsight, it seemed that Xorn was murdering Quire before he could reveal the truth.
    However, later in Morrison’s run, it seemed as if Quire really did achieve transcendence as he appeared to Jean in the form of the Phoenix and revealed to her that she needed to fix the timeline.
    So, perhaps Xorn simply did kill Quire in that scene, but it doesn’t change the fact that Quire did ascend to a higher plane of existence after he died.

    Also, my above comment does not speak to the quality of Phoenix:Endsong or the poorly done ret-con of Xorn/Magneto. I was just speaking as to my understanding of why it was done, rather than editors not understanding Morrison’s plot.

  14. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Oh yeah no sweat, I was just pointing out the looney stuff they did to New X-Men later on.

    Don’t even get me started on Ernst.

  15. Thom H. says:

    “So, perhaps Xorn simply did kill Quire in that scene, but it doesn’t change the fact that Quire did ascend to a higher plane of existence after he died.”

    It’s this. Quentin and Jean’s arcs in New X-Men run in parallel: enhanced powers –> suffering –> killed by an ally –> enter the White Hot Room –> become Phoenix.

    Magneto-as-Xorn was good at speaking the truth while also pursuing his own twisted agenda. He “helped” Quentin ascend to a different level of existence, but he also really helped him ascend to a different level of existence.

  16. Jenny says:

    Quire’s referral to an “enemy within” is likely supposed to be referring to Sublime, as it’s revealed that he’s what kick really is in Here Comes Tomorrow.

    But apparently no one at Marvel read that final story arc so now it’s up to debate.

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