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Aug 4

Immortal X-Men #5 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Meditations on the X”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Michele Bandini
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Exodus in action above Krakoa (with what looks to be one of the Hex visible on the ground below). Obviously, it’s Exodus’s turn for his spotlight issue.

PAGES 2-3. Flashback: Exodus has a vision of the Phoenix in the desert.

Black Knight: Exodus. The flashbacks in this issue heavily reference the 1996 one-shot Black Knight: Exodus by Ben Raab and Jimmy Cheung, because it’s Exodus’s origin story. In the original story, the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) and Sersi attempt to return to the mainstream Marvel Universe from the Malibu Ultraverse. They wind up stuck in the time of the Crusades, with Dane possessing the body of the period Black Knight, Eobar Garrington. (I’ll come back to that.)

The future Exodus, Bennet du Paris, is a fellow Crusader and apparently Garrington’s closest friend. He and Garrington have been hunting for “an ancient tower of power beyond the reckoning of man”, and have tracked it to Akkaba. At this point Bennet doesn’t appear to be particularly religious at all, and seems to be motivated by adventure and personal success. Disappointed by Garrington’s odd behaviour, Bennet heads off into the desert on his own. In the original story, he is on the verge of collapse when a voice challenges him to “risk your very life to satisfy your ambitions, to become one of the strong.” Bennet accepts the challenge and promptly has a boulder thrown at him, leading him to use his mutant powers for the first time to defend himself. Bennet has always suspected that he was different, contributing to his sense that he was destined for power. Bennet then fights a scarab thing, which tells him he is “the Exodus – the journeyman bridging the chasm between an ancient past and a distant, inevitable future”. Bennet responds by using his powers to kill the scarab thing.

By the time the Black Knight and Sersi make it to Apocalypse’s citadel in Akkaba, Bennet is hanging around with Apocalypse, wearing his familiar costume, calling himself “Exodus”, and generally saying all the survival of the fittest stuff that Apocalypse henchmen used to say in the 90s. Broadly, Exodus is just delighted to have his sense that he’s one of the strong vindicated. However, he rejects an order to kill the Black Knight and Sersi, and turns on Apocalypse, declaring that “I am Exodus, and I am slave to neither man nor a false god the likes of you.” Apocalypse then puts Exodus into a coma, from which he will eventually be woken by Magneto.

Returning to the issue at hand: this opening scene is not an accurate reflection of what we saw in Black Knight: Exodus. Bennet’s costume was completely different in the original story (where it didn’t need to say “crusader” quite so immediately), and he doesn’t encounter the Phoenix, which doesn’t feature in the original story at all. Exodus’s narration clearly signals that he’s an unreliable narrator, but leaves it ambiguous whether this is how he remembers things now, or whether it’s an accurate account of how he perceived matters then. Throughout this issue, Exodus seems to be a bit spaced out when it comes to keeping his attention centred on any particular time period – later on he attributes that to the Eternals’ attack, but he seems to be having issues already here.

Gillen’s Bennet du Paris is rather more obviously religious than he was in the original story, referencing Apocalypse as “revelation” in the usual explanation of the significance of the final book of the Bible. That said, the Exodus in the original story would certainly have agreed that he was a man of faith, even if his motivations didn’t entirely align with that self-image.

PAGE 4. Data page – a quote from Exodus’s own personal translation of the Book of Exodus. This is Exodus 1:12, but Exodus has changed “Egyptians” to “humans” and “Israelites” to “mutants”. Quite how Exodus could think that was the correct translation is unclear – either he’s delusional or he’s spelling out what he thinks is the original metaphor.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits. The title, of course, is a play on “Meditations on the Cross.”

PAGES 6-8. The Quiet Council discuss Judgment Day.

We saw a snippet of this meeting in AXE: Judgment Day #1, but the dialogue on these pages is new.

“My visions have coalesced.” Destiny recognises the Eternals as the coming threat at the start of Judgment Day #1, and immediately sets off to alert the Quiet Council – which is what we’re seeing here. Storm is here, so this is after Judgment Day #1 page 9; Nightcrawler is absent because he’s on Mars, as also shown in that issue.

“The abduction of Sinister.” Mr Sinister was kidnapped by the Eternals in the previous issue.

Little Hollow. The Eternals prevented a disaster in Little Hollow in Eternals #11-12.

“Apocalypse is gone.” Since “X of Swords.”

“Magneto is gone.” Since issue #1. If CEOs at the Hellfire Gala are conscious of this then apparently the membership of the Quiet Council is public knowledge to the wider world – or maybe the guy just picked up on the fact that some of the big names weren’t at the party.

“They have their own cities, locked off from reality…” Exodus is accurately describing the Eternals’ status quo in their own book.

“Shortly after Apocalypse tried to recruit me to his false church, I met [an Eternal].” Sersi, in Black Knight: Exodus.

“We fought in our minds and I won.” This is pages 36-37 of Black Knight: Exodus, which just shows Sersi attempting a telepathic attack and getting repelled. The idea that he picks up lots of information about the Eternals during this sequence is new.

PAGES 9-11. Flashback: Exodus fights the Black Knight.

Page 9: Bennet kneeling at Apocalypse’s feet and being transformed into Exodus is an original scene, but obviously implied by the original story.

“It would take me a while to reassemble my faith.” Presumably during his long sleep, which may not have done wonders for his sanity. (Pre-Exodus Bennet, in Black Knight: Exodus, seems completely in touch with reality.)

“I was to be … [f]or the first time, an acolyte.” Exodus was the de facto leader of the Acolytes for much of the 90s.

Pages 10-11: This is a basically accurate recap of the plot of Black Knight: Exodus, with the added retcon about Exodus reading Sersi’s mind.

Garrington. In the original story, Exodus picks up on the fact that Garrington is behaving oddly, but apparently never figures out that he’s being possessed by Dane Whitman. In fairness, Whitman himself is confused about that fact. Garrington was the Black Knight during the Crusades, who was possessed by Dane Whitman for some five years or so in a number of stories published in the 1970s; Black Knight: Exodus is a reprise of that. This is a piece of Whitman’s back story which has aged very badly and tends not to be spoken about much.

PAGE 12. Exodus realises that the Uni-Mind is attacking.

The Uni-Mind attack is shown in Judgment Day #1; the details of Exodus’s response are new.

PAGES 13-14. Flashback: Exodus joins Magneto.

We’ve been told before that Magneto found and woke Exodus, but I think this is the first time that it’s been shown. By talking about rolling back the stone from the tomb, Exodus seems to be comparing himself to Christ, but it’s clear that he sees Hope as the actual messiah here.

Page 14 panel 3 seems to be a generic image of Magneto and Exodus fighting the X-Men. I don’t think it can represent any particular fight, since Exodus was only with Magneto for a fairly short period of time before Magneto went into a coma (and Nightcrawler wasn’t even on the X-Men roster at the time – he was with Excalibur).

“Magneto was lost to me, time and time over.” Magneto enters a coma in Wolverine vol 2 #75, causing Exodus to become leader; he tended to delude himself that Magneto was still speaking to him, though. He finally gets separated from Magneto for good after the Acolytes’ space station base is destroyed in X-Men vol 2 #43.

PAGE 15. Wolverine interrupts Exodus’s reverie.

“The Eternals got some kind of shadow-walking killer. They’re going for the Five. Killed Egg, Nearly killed Hope.” Again, Judgment Day #1. The “shadow-walking killer” is Jack of Knives.

PAGES 16-17. Exodus fights the Uni-Mind.

Exodus sees himself as a crusader knight fighting a dragon, but makes sure to tell us that this is a deliberate visualisation technique to maximise his powers. He’s wearing a version of his crusader costume from the opening scene, but the crucifix symbol has become an X. The red and white colouring of the cross, plus the fact that it’s, you know, a dragon, alludes to St George fighting the dragon, which is supposed to be a Crusader-era story. The dragon is multi-headed because the Uni-Mind is a merger of multiple Eternals.

PAGE 18. Data page. An abstract depiction of the psychic battle (which is a nice way of making these things look less familiar).

PAGES 19-20. Flashback: Exodus considers throwing himself into the sun.

“There were two hundred mutants alive. The rest wiped away by the red witch.” This is the “Decimation” era that followed House of M, where the Scarlet Witch removed the powers of almost all mutants. The number of remaining powered mutants was usually given at the time as 198.

This scene of Exodus apparently considering suicide seems to be new, but it could be referencing the opening pages of X-Men Annual vol 3 #1, a Mike Carey story, where Exodus is shown floating in space and reflecting on his life.

“A child had been born. The first since the witch swept us all away.” If this is X-Men Annual vol 3 #1, however, then Hope hasn’t been born yet. But placing it right at the moment of Hope’s birth doesn’t work, because Exodus is already with his team of Acolytes by that point. Let’s assume Exodus means that he had a vision that Hope would be born imminently – as indeed she was, in the “Messiah Complex” crossover.

PAGE 21. Hope wakes Exodus up.

As in issue #2, Hope seems to be forming a bond with her worshipper. She doesn’t buy the religious angle but Exodus is a nice enough guy in his way.

“Wandering a radioactive wasteland…” Hope grew from infancy to adolescence in assorted post-apocalyptic futures under the care of Cable in the 2008-2010 Cable solo book.

PAGES 22-24. Exodus fights the Hex.

“An Eternal makes a speech to humanity.” Druig, the villainous Prime Eternal, at the end of Judgment Day #1. The actual fight with the Hex is new material which takes us beyond the end of that issue.

“The Nazarene mutant.” Jesus – Exodus referred to him in this way in issue #2 as well. And no, this is not Marvel claiming that Jesus was a mutant. It’s Exodus claiming that Jesus was a mutant, and Exodus believes all sorts of odd things.

“The rock in the hand of Cain.” The weapon that Cain used to kill his brother Abel, at least in some versions of the story – the Bible itself just says that Cain killed him.

PAGE 25. Trailers.


Bring on the comments

  1. Rob says:

    I felt like Exodus’ narration implied even more heavily than Black Knight: Exodus did that he and Garrington were lovers.

  2. Moonstar Dynasty says:

    I’ve got to give it up to Kieron for slowly molding Exodus–one of the flattest, driest, and most banal villains the X-Men’s Rogues Gallery–into someone that could finally hold a modicum of my interest over the course of this series.

    Really loved the Psychic Engagement Plan–definitely one of the most creative uses of the otherwise rote data page in some time.

    Katherine’s “bless that nerd” jab at Cyclops got a good chuckle out of me, and really digging the Unironically Overly Prepared Tactician angle that’s been playing out in Destiny of X.

    Anyone know if Immortal is meant to be a 12-issue maxi-series that ends with the final QC member? At any rate, I would love to see Kieron tackle an epilogue chapter with Krakoa and Cypher since they participate in the QC meetings.

  3. Si says:

    “Killed Egg”. It’s no use, even Wolverine can’t deliver that line and not have it sound ridiculous. Especially if you spent any time around New Zealanders in the 80s.

  4. Michael says:

    “This is a piece of Whitman’s back story which has aged very badly and tends not to be spoken about much.”
    The usual explanation- first mentioned in Dr. Strange 68- is that Dane was under the influence of the Ebony Blade’s curse when he fought in the Crusades. Which makes a certain amount of sense- the sword corrupts its wielder.

  5. YLu says:

    “Throughout this issue, Exodus seems to be a bit spaced out when it comes to keeping his attention centred on any particular time period – later on he attributes that to the Eternals’ attack, but he seems to be having issues already here.”

    The way I read it, the psychic attack had already begun by page 1. Everything prior to the page with bleeding Wolverine is flashbacks produced by the attack.

  6. Mark Coale says:

    Is Garrington before or after Sir Percy?

  7. Mike Loughlin says:

    I like the idea that Exodus is narrating the story of his life, as well as “correctly translating” scripture, to fit his preconceived notions about himself and his purpose. Of course he now knows who the true messiah is, just like he did the last time, and the time before that… I also like the idea of Hope warming up to Exodus, and wonder what will happen when she doesn’t match his idea of a messiah.

    I run hot and cold on the data pages, but the psychic battle page worked for me. The Unimind-as-hydra/dragon was another nice visual.

  8. Daniel T says:

    When did it become established that mutants existed in the MU before the Atomic Age? If I remember correctly, wasn’t it implied (or even stated outright) that nuclear bomb testing or whatever gave rise to mutants? Then they started saying Namor was a mutant, but he’s not a mutant in the same way the X-men are. But I don’t know how it expanded from there.

  9. Jenny says:

    Funny to see something even tangentially connected to the Malibuverse these days.

  10. Chris V says:

    Daniel T-I think the first time it was clearly delineated that mutants existed before the Atomic Age was when Chris Claremont introduced Selene.
    The idea was introduced haphazardly and piecemeal in the first place. There was the Merlin (Maha Yogi) character introduced in the pages of Thor by Lee and Kirby who was introduced as a mutant from the time of Camelot. That was later ret-conned as him being unaware of his true origin and he was not a mutant after all.
    Of course, the real change came about with the introduction of the very popular villain Apocalypse, when they revealed his origin during the time of ancient Egypt.
    Of course, you could make allowances by saying that there were a few mutants who lived in earlier times…Apocalypse, Selene…but that the vast majority of mutants were only born after nuclear testing. More recent revelations about entire mutant populations existing the far past have ruined the ability to explain this discrepancy.
    The sliding timescale has already hurt that idea though. It made sense in the 1960s, but now when the majority of mutants would have been born during the 1990s or later, it doesn’t apply any longer.

    Mark Coale-Sir Percy is older. He lived during the reign of King Arthur.

  11. Luis Dantas says:

    Never warmed up to the claim that environmental radiation was somehow decisive to the existence of mutants, myself. It felt like in the MU biology was akin to radioactive decay or something. Far too detached from reality even by superhero standards.

  12. Michael says:

    @Daniel T, Chris V- Toro was retconned to be a mutant by Roy Thomas in the 1970s. (He was later retconned to be an Inhuman after M-Day.)
    Wolverine was hinted at as having been around during World War II pretty early on- in X-Men Annual 4, he mentions having been to Monte Cassino, which was a famous World War Ii battle.
    The Elfqueen- the lady that Hank Pym attacked leading to his court-martial- was theorized to be a mutant but it wasn’t confirmed.

  13. The Other Michael says:

    I’m honestly a little amazed that anyone would bother enough to draw so much from the Black Knight/Exodus story in the first place. It’s not exactly a cornerstone of the canon.

  14. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I’m catching up on my back log, jumped to this because I like Exodus’s pointless giant shoulder blades.

    Really dug it.

    It’s fascinating to me that on Reddit the consensus is “badass Exodus is the greatest and he and Hope should have a buddy comedy book” where my interpretation is “horrifically insane massively powerful zealot takes massively powerful girl with potential to be history’s greatest villain under his wing.”

  15. Ceries says:

    It sure does say something about Exodus that he spends this entire issue recounting his backstory and never really mentions the people he was crusading against. I’m not sure they even exist to him. His world has room for mutants, and it has room for Christians as a kind of…predecessor to his Real Perfect Religion, but infidels? Not worth mentioning.

  16. Si says:

    Do they say which crusade Exodus was on? It might have been the Fourth, where they sacked Christian Constantinople for no valid reason. He probably wouldn’t want to mention that one.

  17. MasterMahan says:

    “Mutants have always been with us” works much better for the minority metaphor. LGBTQ people, nonwhite people, so on, aren’t new. They’re just more visible.

    Plus, if mutants are just something the MU humanity has always produced, that suggests they’re not going to replace humanity anytime soon. Which is probably for the best in a world where the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory is a thing.

  18. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I liked this issue. It wasn’t as revelatory as the Sinister and Destiny issues, but it’s a good showing of who Gillen’s Exodus is.

    Though considering how antagonistic Bennet’s been towards Sinister in this title, and how he zeroed in on Hope as his messiah-du-jour, it is a curious ommision that the flashback to the Messiah Complex era doesn’t mention Exodus was following Sinister’s orders at the time.

    ‘Give me your obeisance, as is right and proper’. I don’t know what it is about Carey’s writing, but I can still quote his Sinister to this day.

    (The only other Sinister I can quote is Clancy Brown’s version from the Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon; he gives an amazing, condescending speech to Cyclops in one episode. Peak Sinister).

  19. YLu says:

    I remember Marvel published a TPB of Apocalypse stories and it actually contained some pages from Fantastic Four #19, the first appearance of Rama-Tut, JUST to explain how there could have been radiation back in ancient Egypt to mutate someone. Not an Apocalypse story that featured a flashback to the events of F4 #19 or anything like that, but pages from the actual Silver Age Fantastic Four comic, an issue that has nothing to do with Apocalypse. Mixed in with all the 80s/90s X-book stuff.

    Kind of amazing that Marvel folks at one point felt pre-atomic age mutants demanded an explanation that badly. Needless to say, they no longer feel that way and clearly haven’t for a long time.

    @Mark Coale
    “Is Garrington before or after Sir Percy?”

    After. Percy is supposed to be the first Black Knight.

    @The Other Michael
    “I’m honestly a little amazed that anyone would bother enough to draw so much from the Black Knight/Exodus story in the first place. It’s not exactly a cornerstone of the canon.”

    Yeah, but the fact that it’s Exodus’s only canonical origin AND features an Eternal makes it pretty much perfectly suited for this issue’s purposes. That’s the kind of serendipity that makes continuity-minded comic writers fall to their knees weeping tears of joy.

  20. Luis Dantas says:

    Indeed, it is nice to see some reasonable use of Exodus by slightly extrapolating from a previously extant (if eminently forgettable) published story.

    Taking such a flat character and making him capable of useful exposition and perhaps even building some personality out of that episode is a fine example of unexpected gift.

  21. Dave White says:

    @Mark Coale: Percy of Scandia’s adventures are specifically set during the Arthurian age, which places him @6th Century CE, so centuries before the Crusades.

  22. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    The mutants as minorities metaphor has never worked anyway.

    Real minorities can’t single handedly destroy Manhattan.

    Mutants as cool edgy outsiders works.

  23. Michael says:

    @Si- Dane has mentioned meeting King Richard, so it was probably the Third.

  24. Thom H. says:

    “Real minorities can’t single handedly destroy Manhattan.”

    Not physically, no. But the majority fears that minorities (of pretty much any type) will destroy the moral and cultural center. And that gets internalized enough that minorities start to worry about it and sometimes want it.

    I guess I can only speak for myself, but when I came out of the closet as a teenager, I certainly felt like the revelation had the potential to end the world.

    So it can feel pretty cathartic to read a mutant “unleashing the full might of their power” or whatever. And I can sympathize when they’re afraid of destroying the people and things around them just by being themselves.

    I think Hickman and writers before Hickman have broken some parts of the metaphor, but it worked pretty well under Claremont.

  25. Taibak says:

    That’s because, with the notable exceptions of Jean and Illyana, Claremont didn’t power up his characters to ludicrous levels.

  26. Omar Karindu says:

    Luis Dantas said: Never warmed up to the claim that environmental radiation was somehow decisive to the existence of mutants, myself. It felt like in the MU biology was akin to radioactive decay or something. Far too detached from reality even by superhero standards.

    In fairness, that was a very Silver Age Cold War cultural context, playing off of the cultural sense of “new” era of human beings with much greater capacity to destroy or produce in a generalized sort of way.

    My take is that each generation of writers should be comfortable updating the metaphor as they like, down to rethinking the comic-booky, utterly un-biological motif of “mutants.”

    So it’s fine for it to be a general “genetics is the new power humans can abuse horribly/use properly” thing in one era, or become something more like “minoritized groups seen as destructive or as powerful cultural resources” notion, and so forth in another era.

    Playing with the topicality of the high concept by changing the metaphor — and the background plot mechanics — seems like the kind of retcon needed to keep a serialized, continuing franchise at least somewhat meaningful over time.

  27. Chris V says:

    Storm. Magneto. Proteus. Legion. Avalanche. Magma. Claremont sort of did.
    I’d say he started the trend for the first time, after it was the Lee and Kirby days which kept mutant powers at reasonable levels. Lee and Kirby also noticeably, outside the Sentinels story-arc, had no intention for mutants to serve as a metaphor, which is interesting. Although I’m unsure what it has to say about anything.

    I really like way Thom frames the issue.

  28. Chris V says:

    Almost everything in Marvel’s Silver Age revolved around radiation.
    Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider.
    Bruce Banner is exposed to gamma radiation fallout.
    Matt Murdoch is blinded by radioactive waste.
    Don Blake is hit in the head with a radioactive Norse hammer. Maybe not that last one.
    The idea that mutants were the result of environmental radiation shouldn’t be seen as surprising or unbelievable in the context of the 1960s Marvel Universe.

  29. Karl_H says:

    Well, according to the ludicrous “One Million Years BC Avengers” thing, mutants predated Homo Sapiens by about 700,000 years. Funny how the humans running around in that time period in those stories don’t look anything like Homo Erectus, like they should.

  30. Karl_H says:

    Exodus showed up during a time when I wasn’t reading X-Men, so I’ve had to learn about him in bits and pieces in newer stories. I assumed that somewhere back in his publication history, there would be an explanation, or at least an acknowledgement, of his unusual skin color. But I guess not? He’s just… pink?

  31. Mark Coale says:

    DC’s Silver Age mirrors that. (I once wrote a paper for an Atomic Age academic conference on such) although not as much with the radiation but with “science.”

    I think Captain Comet was their first mutant, but that was due to his mother being exposed to a passing meteor (hence his name).

  32. K says:

    Isn’t it wacky how the X-books have a major Christianity-themed villain for no reason other than the fact that Exodus starts with an Ecks?

  33. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Having read all of the BC Avengers, I don’t think it states mutants predate humans anywhere.

    Nor do their need to be Homo Erectus, because the MU is an insane magic place that only superficially resembles reality.

    How do Wolverine’s claws not just rip out of his hands!?

  34. Chris V says:

    We know that humanity was created by The Celestials in the Marvel Universe as part of their genetic experiments. I’m not sure how long ago that happened, but modern Homo Sapien Sapiens did no evolve naturally in the Marvel Universe.

  35. Jim Harbor says:

    The Data page is a merger of the X-Men and Eternals style data pages.

    Also one of the dragons of the uni-mind has classic Zuras’s beard.

  36. M says:

    @ Karl H
    There is one story with a fight scene where Warpath says to Exodus something about not wanting to fight him because he looks like he might be Native American.

  37. Karl_H says:

    Wasn’t there a BC Avengers story involving a mutant child who looked like Jean Grey and a tribe of other prehistoric mutants actualizing their potential/accepting their gifts/etc?

    There’s an awful lot about the BC Avengers that fits very poorly into the established MU, and to me it’s more egregious than “super-powers like Wolverine’s are not realistic” (which, come on, is part of the buy-in for reading superhero comics). If it works for you, then more power to you.

  38. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I believe by that point we have seen actual humans, Ghost Rider and Iron Fist.

    So at least OG mutants don’t seemingly predate baseline humanity.

    Eh I feel you, but it doesn’t bother me.

    MU humanity is already created by Celestials.

    Physics is already insane.

    Nothing works like it does in real life.

    I’m fine with a retcon bonkers timeline.

  39. Mark Coale says:

    I like to pretend the BC Avengers stuff just doesn’t exist.

  40. Jenny says:

    Personally, I’ve always imagined in my head since these “pre-Atomic Age” mutants have become more common that every generation has its outliers (which is true enough even going into stories like, say, the Marvel westerns where you do get occasional non-baseline humans showing up), and that it’s only in the modern era that mutants as a whole have begun emerging on a massive level.

  41. Michael says:

    Regarding pre-Atomic Age mutants, in Avengers 218, Tony Stark claims, without evidence, that the Forever Man might be a mutant, just like in issue 212, he also claimed without evidence that the Elfqueen was a mutant. It seems that whenever Tony encounters a pre-1945 superhuman and can’t figure out how their powers work, he assumes they’re a mutant.

  42. neutrino says:

    It was the other way around in Dr. Strange #68.
    The bloodlust was due to the people he killed affecting him through the Ebony Blade’s link with him.

    Are people going with the “Crusades were evil” canard?

  43. wwk5d says:

    “We fought in our minds and I won.”

    They also met and fought during the Bloodties crossover in the early 90s too. Neither of them commented on recognizing the other during that story, but then again, Exodus’ backstory hadn’t been completely thought out by that point. Though Dane did comment to himself that he thought there was something very familiar about Exodus, so at least that part of his backstory had been somewhat planned.

  44. Michael says:

    Sir Percy’s dialogue in Dr.Strange 68:
    “The evil that I wrought was visited upon the sword, where it grew like unto a living thing. The evil still lives on in the sword, striving to seduce and corrupt its bearer into acts of greater evil. It lured Dane Whitman into the greatest evil of all… war”
    The clear implication is that the sword forced Dane to fight in the Crusades.
    And yes, that story and other since then treated the Crusades as evil.And considering events like the massacre at Ayyadieh, can you blame them?

  45. Taibak says:

    Medieval historian here.

    No, I can’t automatically treat the crusades as evil. Yes, there were cases where the crusaders committed atrocities and Ayyadieh but for the most part the crusades were fought in accordance with the rules of war as they were fought at the time. I’d also argue that crusader forces weren’t any more brutal than Muslim forces.

    There’s also the not insubstantial point that the original crusaders went in response to a call for military aid from the Byzantines in response to the fall of Manzikert to Muslim forces – and that the crusaders themselves fundamentally saw what they were doing as a defensive war.

  46. Dave says:

    “It made sense in the 1960s, but now when the majority of mutants would have been born during the 1990s or later, it doesn’t apply any longer.”
    Blame it on Chernobyl.

  47. CitizenBane says:

    Modern accounts of the Crusades are subject to a lot of anti-Western revisionism and Saladin hagiography. Nothing was done during the Crusades that wasn’t done in other wars of the era, by Christian and Muslim soldiers alike.

  48. Taibak says:


    Yup. Richard gets a lot of well-deserved criticism for the massacre at Ayyadieh, but for some reason a lot of people are all too willing to overlook Saladin doing the exact same thing in retaliation.

  49. Taibak says:

    Meant to say ‘Ayyadieh is a good example.’

    Damned lack of an edit button….

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