RSS Feed
Jan 20

Immortal X-Men #10 annotations

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2023 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Hated and Feared”
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Lucas Werneck
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Professor X, with his helmet damaged to expose part of his face.

PAGE 2. Carlos Pacheco obituary.

PAGE 3. Mr Sinister creates a new save point.

We saw Sinister doing something similar to this with Moira VI in the previous issue – and then burning through all ten of her iterations before finally managing to be semi-successful in his assassination attempt on the Quiet Council. Once again, he uses Velocidad’s time warping powers to get this seventh Moira clone to a stage where she can be used as a save point. As seen in issue #1, Sinister’s scheme involves killing the Moira clones and using their powers to carry information back in time so that when their lives start over, he has access to the information from the deleted timeline. Hence, the absence of any information in the clone’s memory means this is its first timeline.

“I’m not going back to bloody Judgment Day.” Sinister used up all ten lives of Moira VI last issue. As he explained last issue, he does still have a viable save point in his Moira V – but that would mean retracing his steps all the way back to before Judgment Day, and he really doesn’t want to roll the dice on somebody saving the world from the Progenitor again.

“I really could do without being trapped helplessly in the Pit forever.” Does he really not know – even with the benefit of his multiple Moiras – that everyone in the Pit has escaped over in the Sabretooth miniseries? Then again, given where this issue is heading, maybe he’s being sarcastic. But… he does seem to put up a significant fight in an attempt to escape. Hmm.

PAGES 4-5. Professor X is taken for resurrection.

Sinister succeeded in wiping out all the Quiet Council’s telepaths, plus Hope, during his attack last issue. As the Krakoan security force, X-Force members Beast, Domino and Sage are duly investigating. That winged eyeball Beast is holding was part of Sinister’s attack last issue; it shoots eyebeams. Cable is also here, presumably because of his father/daughter relationship with Hope.

Note that Professor X has lost his helmet and his face is seen clearly.

Professor X is the spotlight narrator for this issue, continuing the structure of each Quiet Council member getting their turn.

The scene of mutants gathered around Arbora Magna recalls some of the particularly ceremonial resurrections of the early Krakoan era. It’s not the first time that Professor X has been resurrected, so it may be the scale of the attack on the Council that’s prompting this response. Maybe that’s why they’re all in traditional X-Men uniforms, too. They’re all carrying candles, so clearly this is a vigil.

The crowd art has been done by mirroring the groups on either side of the aisle (though the colouring is varied to make it less obvious). An unfortunate side effect is that in amongst all the generics, the very recognisable Glob Herman appears twice.

PAGE 6. Recap and credits. The title “Hated and Feared” is, of course, an inversion of the X-Men’s traditional “feared and hated by a world they are sworn to protect” tagline.

PAGE 7. Data page: the Beast explains the back-up plans for Krakoan resurrection. Basically, they’re quietly making a repository of DNA that doesn’t depend on Mr Sinister; plenty of psychics can use Cerebro to restore minds from backup; and most of the Five can be adequately copied by Mimic or Synch. Hope is the potentially tricky one. Beast says that there have been disastrous attempts to perform the process without her, by which he presumably means that the other Four members of the Five attempted it alone – it’s evident that nobody has tried copying her powers to take her place before (or at least, neither Mimic nor Synch have).

The three Krakoan letters are just G, H and M (for Genetic base, Host and Mind). These terms come from a data page in House of X #5, as does the idea that Synch and Mimic could step in.

PAGES 8-10. Hope is resurrected.

The Mimic was previously mentioned as a possible stand-in for Hope in House of X #5. I think this is his first actual appearance of the Krakoan era. He was initially presented as someone who had gained the power to mimic the X-Men’s powers through a lab accident, but later retcons do establish him as a mutant. He was a member of the X-Men for literally three issues in 1966. He’s a complete Z-lister and predictably fails to rise to the occasion.

Synch, fortunately, is made of sterner stuff. Of course, he’s a member of the X-Men right now.

The guy with the brightly coloured stuff growing on his head is mad scientist Dr Nemesis from Legion of X, and the Stepford Cuckoos are also present, as some of the more experiences psychics left. For some reason only four of the Cuckoos appear to be here.

“Even the monster who killed me had a hand in my upbringing, in a failed, foolish attempt to buy himself immortality.” This refers to X-Men: Legacy #211-214, which reveal that Sinister was involved in the Alamagordo project where Professor X’s parents worked, and engineered himself into the DNA of the Professor and other project children. Eventually Sinister tries to take over Professor X’s body and gets repelled. Scott Summers’ involvement with Sinister is much better known; Sinister secretly ran the orphanage where Scott grew up.

Note again that we get a clear shot of everyone’s forehead as they come out of the eggs.

“To me, my X-Men” has become an established catchphrase, even though it doesn’t actually date back to the Silver Age. It just sounds like it could have done.

PAGE 11. The X-Men arrive at Sinister’s base.

The X-Men assembled for this attack are:

  • The Quiet Council (Destiny, Mystique, Storm, Kate Pryde, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Sebastian Shaw)
  • The X-Men (Cyclops, Forge, Jean Grey, Magik, Iceman & Firestar)
  • Angel
  • Cable
  • Wolverine (Laura)
  • Rogue
  • Beast

Note that Professor X himself is not present. Magik is wearing her black costume, not the gold one that she acquired in the “Trials of Magik” arc in New Mutants and now wears in X-Men – that’s probably just an art error.

“The question … is if [Destiny’s] more or less sure than she was about the Celestial not exploding.” Referring to A.X.E.: Judgment Day #3, where Destiny manipulates the Quiet Council into launching an attack on the Progenitor by concealing the level of risk from them.

“Sinister had a city beneath Alaska…” This comes from Uncanny X-Men vol 2 #14-17, which was part of the Avengers vs X-Men crossover.

PAGES 12-18. The X-Men fight Sinister and his chimeras.

Sinister’s creation of mutant chimeras has been sporadically hinted at as a big deal throughout the Krakoan era, though these monstrosities are nothing like the otherwise-normal hybrid mutants we saw in Powers of X.

Professor X’s narration claims that he selected the first five X-Men not because they were the first mutants he could find, but because he thought they were especially useful to him. There’s some precedent for this idea, such as a flashback in Uncanny X-Men #300 which establishes that he was already well aware of various future members at the time when he recruited his first members. It’s also clear with hindsight that given the sheer volume of mutants out there, and the fact that Professor X has a working Cerebro from day one, he ought to have been finding loads of people. That said, the basic formula of Lee/Kirby X-Men is “oh look, Cerebro has detected a new mutant, let’s compete with Magneto to recruit him”, but maybe Xavier wasn’t seriously trying to recruit them.

The “ex-Interpol agent” that Professor X lists in the second wave of X-Men is Banshee. It’s maybe less clear how this pattern encompasses peaceful farmer Colossus (who, note, is right there but doesn’t get mentioned). If you’re going for a manipulative reading of Professor X, Sunfire and Thunderbird are possibly explicable as characters whose contribution is to bond the rest of the cast.

Professor X is basically making the point here that, yes, the X-Men do exist to protect humanity from mutants, because the more powerful mutants really are terribly scary and in need of being brought under control.

“I had a boy, and he nearly destroyed the world with runaway thoughts.” Legion. Professor X is probably thinking of Legion’s involvement in creating the Age of Apocalypse timeline.

“Moira’s child was a serial killer who could carve reality with his mind.” Proteus. He used to burn through host bodies and kill them, and never seemed that bothered about it.

“When Jean Grey lost control, a planet burned.” The destruction of the D’Bari homeworld by Dark Phoenix in X-Men #135. Technically Dark Phoenix isn’t Jean Grey so much as a cosmic entity drawing on a fragment of Jean Grey as a template for her personality, but… same thing.

Apocalypse’s “fancy name”. The weird symbol that he used as a name in Excalibur. It’s an A with a couple of things on either side, but sure, it does look a bit like an M, “if you squint”.

“When Magneto came out as a mutant, he killed a whole town in his grief.” In the back-up story in Classic X-Men #12, where he lashes out after the death of his daughter Anya. (Professor X gives her name as “Anna”, which is either a typo or an error on his part.)

PAGE 19. Data page. A quote from Exodus’s, er, unique translation of Mark 14:21. The correct verse doesn’t refer to Hope, but to a more orthodox messianic figure.

PAGES 20-23. Sinister is thrown in the Pit.

Again, Cable gets a prominent role to avenge his daughter. Meanwhile, Professor X’s narration continues his basic point: given his established power levels, he is insanely powerful and you should be grateful that he’s as restrained as he is.

“A useful monster is still a monster.” Taken literally, this would bode ill for the Beast. Nightcrawler certainly seems to take it literally.

Destiny, naturally, realises that something is horribly wrong and wants to get herself and Mystique to safety.

PAGES 24-25. Professor X privately unmasks.

Somewhere along the line, he’s apparently fallen under Sinister’s control.

PAGE 26. Trailers. The next issue is Immoral X-Men #1 (sic).

Bring on the comments

  1. The Other Michael says:

    Re: Angel’s wings

    *head ‘splodes*
    comics, everybody!

  2. The Other Michael says:

    The discussion of Things the O5 Did In the Present Before Going Back reminds me that Young!Hank learned magic to a degree.

    Now, we know that the O5 were subjected to a memory wipe to maintain the timeline, and it didn’t wear off until they caught up to present day (i.e. when the younger versions were sent back) but we also know the current versions still maintain that knowledge of their experiences… i.e. Cyclops remembers his time with the Champions as a time-displaced teen.

    So… does Hank still know how to do magic? And if so, you’d think it would have come up by now.

  3. Another Sam says:

    @Chris V: It’s probably just one of those things where your core idea of a character comes from when you first encountered them. I see lots of X-readers these days who consider Xavier’s core traits to be that he is a manipulative bastard, and assume they stumbled in amid any amount of Legion/Gabby Haller/Onslaught/Deadly Genesis/Danger (take your pick!) shenanigans were afoot, so I don’t really know if my expectations are in line with who he is now (or has ever been) anyway.

    I suppose that prior to this issue, I largely felt that setting up his own private island nation felt like a total abandonment of the dream, but then I also wholly acknowledge that it often does the franchise no good to keep spinning its wheels in lip-service to a vaguely defined quest for resolution.

  4. Drew says:

    The ambassador from Pennsylvania moves to strike everything about the 05 coming to the present day from continuity. X-23 dated, whatever, Aero or someone. Iceman came out on his own instead of being mentally coerced. The Champions were led by Ultimate Cyclops or whatever.

  5. Si says:

    I liked the O5 stories. The premise was terrible, but ignoring that, the comics were generally quite enjoyable. Autistic kid Cyclops, going to space with his dad, finding new peers, mostly not being tied to Jean, he was so much better than miserable old Cyclops and his MTV revolution.

  6. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    The premise was terrible and they never found a good story hook for Young Hank (and it seems they never even tried with Young Warren), but Scott, Jean and Bobby had some good stories.

  7. Mike Loughlin says:

    The good news for those of us that found the O5 plot stupid is that it almost never comes up. I’ve read almost every X-book since HoX/PoX and I can’t remember the premise being mentioned once.

    I’m sure good stories were written featuring the young O5. I didn’t happen to read any of them. I read the first 3 or 4 Bendis trades, and remember almost nothing about them.

  8. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I think since, what was that mini called that sent the O5 home, Extermination? Since Extermination the O5 spending time in the present were mentioned three times – twice when Cyclops met the Champions (once around War of the Realms, I think, and once near the end of the Kamala Law arc), and once when Bobby brought up Teen Jean outing him to Adult Jean in Sina Grace’s Iceman.

  9. ASV says:

    Speaking of Ultimate Cyclops, is Ultimate Wolverine’s son just out there wandering the Earth and nobody cares?

  10. Simon says:

    My personal explanation for why only 4 of the Cuckoos are present is that it’s a security protocol. The Council know that psychics are a major target, so they’re keeping one of the sisters in a safe place so that they can’t all be taken out in one blow if Sinister renews his attack.

  11. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @ASV: Yes, he hasn’t been seen since X-Men Blue, so he’s probably still out there, still bonded to another generic Venom knock-off.

  12. Stuart says:

    “Speaking of Ultimate Cyclops, is Ultimate Wolverine’s son just out there wandering the Earth and nobody cares?”

    Yes. Yes he is. As is 616 Wolverine’s other daughter from the most recent run of Marvel Comics Presents, I think.

    Re: O5 and however often they might be referenced… I mean, most old continuity isn’t directly referenced, even when it ostensibly should be a big deal. Remember how Cyclops and Jean Grey spent 10 years in the future in other people’s bodies raising Cable from a boy to a teen (The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix)? And this means the Cyclops and Jean we have are functionally 10+ years older than their peers in terms of life experience? And they actually know all about the future that Cable grew up in? And this actually gives Jean in particular a pretty viable claim to being Cable’s mom, at least as much as Maddy? But like, hashing that out on a date page or a recap page would be pretty difficult, so just no one does?

    The O5 stuff feels very much the same to me.

  13. Si says:

    Not only is there Ultimate Blonde Wolverine still hanging out in 616, there’s also Secret Wars Demon Queen Madelyne Pryor. The O5 left a hell of a mess behind, and I don’t mind if it’s all just ignored forever.

  14. sagatwarrior says:

    When the Goblin Queen was cast away by Beast in X-Men: Blue #12, the issue’s writer Cullen Bunn intended for her to die at that point, but left it ambiguous in case other writer wanted to bring her back.

  15. The Other Michael says:

    “I mean, most old continuity isn’t directly referenced, even when it ostensibly should be a big deal.”

    99% of continuity is ignored until some writer decides to make it relevant again.

    Next thing you know, someone’s found a single line in an obscure issue which puts everything into a whole new light when revisited after 50 years.

    Like Professor Xavier secretly yearning for Jean, or Peter Parker once being called Peter Palmer…

  16. Jerry Ray says:

    The stuff about Jean being Cable’s mom as much as Maddie was actually a central plot point in the last issue of the X-Men Dark Web tie-in mini.

  17. Stuart says:

    “The stuff about Jean being Cable’s mom as much as Maddie was actually a central plot point in the last issue of the X-Men Dark Web tie-in mini.”

    But actually, it wasn’t. All the images shown on panel are only of baby Nathan (before being sent to the future), and then of teen Cable (mostly Krakoan era). The story doesn’t reference or illustrate Jean’s ten years in the future at all.

    Knowing about that absolutely adds a lot of additional weight to the whole thing. But it’s not mentioned explicitly or even implicitly, as far as I can tell. Unless I missed something?

Leave a Reply