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Aug 31

The X-Axis – w/c 28 August 2023

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2023 by Paul in x-axis

X-MEN UNLIMITED INFINITY COMIC #102. By Steve Foxe, Stephanie Williams, Noemi Vettori, Pete Panazis & Travis Lanham. Continuing our series of short solo stories with the members of the abortive X-Men team, this is Jubilee’s issue. She takes some of the Krakoan kids to the Savage Land on a field trip. They stop some poachers. That’s pretty much it. I honestly don’t understand what this run of stories is meant to be achieving. It just feels like generic filler, I’m afraid.

WOLVERINE #36. (Annotations here.) Part 3 of the “Weapons of Vengeance” crossover with Ghost Rider, which has essentially nothing to do with “Fall of X”. I mean, there’s some passing mention of the idea that there are fewer mutants around, but the plot says otherwise, with the demon Stitcher having no apparent problem finding an endless supply of backwoods mutants to mutilate. This probably isn’t the best issue to raise the point, but: this is actually a problem. We’ve had years where the dominant narrative was that all of mutantkind were together on Krakoa – that was the point, after all – but “Fall of X” keeps trying to do stories about people pursuing the supposed handful of non-Krakoan mutants who, it turns out, were apparently teeming worldwide all along. If this was the direction, why march the rest of the world through the gates? Why not just do it with the population of Krakoa? Or, y’know, do “Fall of X” storylines that are consistent with the premise of there being virtually no more mutants around.

But this isn’t really Wolverine‘s problem. It’s doing counter-programming. Percy’s Ghost Rider isn’t really my thing, being a grindhouse horror book, but it knows what it’s doing and commits to it pretty thoroughly. This arc is basically a Ghost Rider arc with Wolverine as a guest star, with Ghost Rider and Wolverine teaming up to stop a demon that leaves mutilated corpses strewn behind it. The Wolverine angle is that Weapon Plus, apparently associated with Orchis, are now experimenting with demons as a super-soldier enhancement, which I guess works in theory. It’s probably a mistake, though, to bring out Father Pike as the main villain without explaining who he is. The anti-mutant angle feels tacked on, though – the best stuff here is about the kid and his social worker treating the murderous demon inside him as a symptom management exercise, which is a really good opening sequence.

MS. MARVEL: THE NEW MUTANT #1. By Iman Vellani, Sabir Pirzada, Carlos Gomez, Adam Gorham & Erick Arciniega. Despite the repositioning of Kamala as a mutant, this is basically a Ms Marvel miniseries against the backdrop of Fall of X, but otherwise pretty much as we know it. Kamala and Bruno go to a university summer camp which is run by Orchis, and Kamala is hoping to get some spying in. There’s a bit about the public being against her now that she’s in an X-Men uniform, but “Kamala has to prove that an institution is full of villains” is a pretty normal Ms Marvel and Champions plot. And that’s fine – I don’t want this book to lose its identity in service of the X-Men. But yeah, it’s an issue of Ms Marvel with Orchis as the villains. It’s perfectly okay, it reads nicely enough, but I think I’d rather have read this creative team just doing a regular Ms Marvel story. It certainly doesn’t persuade me that the book is better off for being yoked to the X-Men.

DEADPOOL: BADDER BLOOD #3. By Rob Liefeld, Chad Bowers, Jay David Ramos & Joe Sabino. Yeah, it’s really not the strongest of weeks. So, hey, I completely missed issue #2 of this. Back when I reviewed issue #1, I said that it was unexpectedly coherent for a Liefeld Deadpool story. Well, issues #2 and #3 aren’t – they’re basically just unending random fight scenes about a completely different plot thread involving a woman who claims to be Arcade’s younger sister. She’s called Arcata. Chad Bowers gets in some good lines of dialogue, but this is what I was expecting issue #1 to be, and, yeah, it’s not good at all.

LOVE UNLIMITED INFINITY COMIC #65. By Preeti Chhibber, Carola Borelli, Carlos Lopez & Ariana Maher. Continuing the Rogue/Gambit heist arc. This is following up on the reveal last issue that the billionaire collector they were meant to be robbing is actually Maurice Fortuit of the ClanDestine, a pre-existing but quite obscure character. I kind of see what Chhibber is going for here, but I’m not sure it quite works. Because he’s immortal, he’s meant to be an icon of colonialist collection-building, and a thief in his own right, whose attempts to take the moral high ground against Rogue and Gambit are ultimately hypocritical. That’s fine, but… it’s really just restating the rationale for robbing the guy that Rogue and Gambit already put forward in part 1, so it doesn’t actually add anything beyond explaining why his last line of security turns out to be better than you’d expect. Still, I do like the way Fortuit is convinced of his own legitimacy.

Bring on the comments

  1. Joseph S. says:

    I think Percy’s Wolverine is at its best when it can lean into the absurdity a bit more, fighting on surfboards and all that kind of stupid thing. Maybe it’s that grindhouse tone of Ghost Rider but it’s all a bit too grim and humorless for me.I can appreciate wanting to sideline Logan, but it’s not very convincing.

    And while the Infinity stories do seem like filler, if we’re being a bit more generous, I can see the rationale in doing stories spotlighting the new X-Men, ,legitimating their election by showcasing how competent and heroic they are as individuals. Especially for new readers who may not be as familiar with them. And even if they’re dead for the time being,and if they aren’t resurrected or never become the official team, it kind of makes their demise more tragic. Though I’d wager we see that team sooner than later, once Fall of X concludes.

  2. The Other Michael says:

    The entire concept of the Infinity stories is just a little mindboggling.

    They’re digital only (for the most part), only available if you subscribe to the app, and both utterly disposable and yet oddly relevant to the more accessible print comics.
    (Karma’s name change, X-Men Green being small but relevant examples of things carrying over…)

    And a fair number of them are pre-existing print comics that have been chopped up for this particular format as well.

    There’s virtually no publicity or attention given to most of these–I doubt your average reader even knows many of these titles exist and some have even broken the 100 issues mark with no notice, fanfare, or f’s given. It’s kind of wild.

    Of, and of course the quality ranges from pretty good to utterly mediocre, from well-known authors to the unknown, in a bizarre dumping ground for all sorts of stuff.

  3. Jdsm24 says:

    It’s Marvel Comics Presents for the 2020’s

  4. ylU says:

    Never expected to see a ClanDestine reappearance by anyone not named Alan Davis.

    It’s a weird one, too. The guy looks -nothing- like Maurice, not even in the flashback scenes. Like, on any level. Plus, “Fortuit” was just his alias of the moment, not an actual name. And why even resurrect a guy who literally died in his first and EVER scene, in which he probably has less than five lines, especially when you’re portraying him in a way that has no connection to his previous depiction? Between all that and how his family keeps getting referred to as just “Clan Destine, no “the,” when they always had the definitive article in their stories… it definitely reads like a case of “creative team randomly picks someone from a Handbook.”

  5. Michael says:

    It might have been funny if Kamala had told the X-Men about the dreams:
    “I’ve been having these strange dreams. What’s the worst that could mean?”
    “You could be turning into a half-naked evil dominatrix.”
    Note that Emma mindwiped Bruno of his memory of Kamala’s death but later on. a bystander comments about Ms. Marvel’s death. Apparently Emma wiped the memory of Kamala’s death from Kamala’s friends and family but not the public’s memory of Ms. Marvel’s death. (Wiping the public’s memory of Ms. Marvel’s death should be beyond Emma’s power.)
    Kamala wearing her new suit with the X’s on it after being warned by both Emma and Bruno is not her brightest move.
    I’m dreading the confrontation between Karima and Kamala. Karima is Hindu and Kamala is Muslim. Those are two groups with a lot of conflict between them. I was worried they would reduce the conflict between them to a simple “Muslims good. Hindus bad” dynamic, which would be offensive in this day and age. (Arguably, there’s nothing left of the original Karima anyway. ) But instead we got some cringeworthy dialogue about “misplaced sense of sympathy for a fellow South Asian.” South Asians are not alike- there’s a big difference between HIndus and Muslims.

  6. Michael says:

    Re: the mutants outside of Krakoa- it does make sense that there would be a large mutant population outside Krakoa. Most people are reluctant to leave their home countries- the United States had more Jews than Israel for 55 years after Israel was founded. The idea that most mutants moved to Krakoa was one of Hickman’s ideas that made no sense- there would probably be at least a significant minority that refused to leave their homes.
    As for the people sent through the gates- remember. that only worked on people who could walk to the gates within a half hour or so.

  7. Chris V says:

    Omega Sentinel worships Dominions now.

    Of course there are differences between South Asians. The writer Sabir Pirzada is of Pakistani heritage. The idea that the two can’t share a common sympathy is not beyond reasonable believability. It’s not as if there are zero Hindu or Muslim activists who have spoken out about finding understanding.

  8. Moonstar Dynasty says:

    I loved this first issue of Ms. Marvel. I had mild reservations about the actor-turned-writer promotional stunt, but Iman Vellani (coached by Sabir Pirzada) really nails Kamala’s teenage voice and her reluctance with coming clean with Bruno about her newfound mutant status and recurring nightmare. The series of panels with her coming out to Bruno, in particular, is fantastic–tender, vulnerable, earnest. Also enjoyed her observations and interactions with the X-Men, specifically with Rasputin IV.

    For a character that has been brutally mishandled for the last year, I’m happy for Marvel to take a beat here to lay down the necessary groundwork, navigate Kamala’s new identity crisis, and properly integrate her into the X-books.

  9. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Pirzada’s Dark Web Ms Marvel mini was very good, for anyone who missed that. It felt like something that could have happened in the original run.

    I’ve recently noticed some, I don’t know, editorial mismanagment or just somebody being asleep at the wheel. In the Fallen Friend oneshot people were talking about an event that claimed a number of lives, Kamala and Ms Marvel being among them. But Kamala was stabbed to death in an alley. There weren’t bystanders caught in the crossfire or anything like that.

    And now Rasputin IV. That whole ‘golly gee you’re all legends to me’ bit she’s doing since the Hellfire Gala is nothing like the character she was in Sins of Sinister. And why would she even know about those things? A vat-grown Sinister chimera… Who even told her about Ms Marvel?

    It’s a cute bit – especially since Kamala was the fangirl for years since her debut, now she’s on the receiving end – but Rasputin’s a wrong character for playing that role.

  10. ylU says:

    Vat-grown Rasputin might be, but she’s also 900 years old by now. Plenty of time to learn her history.

    I think it works. She was specifically made to have a heroic personality, so it fits that she’d admire past heroes.

  11. Michael says:

    @Krzysiek- in fairness, Rabin created monsters to battle the Fantastic Four. It’s possible some people were killed in the battle.
    @ylU- But she spent that time on a ship with Sinister. Why would Sinister talk of Kamala with such reverence?I IIRC, he only met her in one panel in an Iron Man issue. Why shouldn’t she be gushing over people like Scott and Jean? It would be like if someone who was raised by Ra’s al Gaul in the future came back to the present and started gushing over Cyborg while ignoring Bruce and Damian.

  12. Mike Loughlin says:

    @Michael: Sinister could have done the research and decided Kamala was a good aspirational figure for a young woman who is supposed to live by heroic ideals.

    I thought the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel was fine (agree w/ Moonstar Dynasty, the scenes involving her friends and family were the best parts), but I thought the plotting was weak. Why send Ms. Marvel undercover, but not have her use her former costume? Why out her as a mutant at Orchis U. if it immediately complicates matters? I get why such a decision would be made as a source of dramatic tension, but not in-story. Also, I thought the nightmare scenes were tedious. There’s enough good stuff here to bring me back, but I was hoping for a better story.

  13. Miyamoris says:

    I like the idea of Kamala and Rasputin having a time-displaced and socially awkward supersoldier tagging along with the heroic zoomer teen but yeah, not a single writer is really getting the character she was at SoS.

    Back in the Gala I already thought it didn’t make sense for Kamala to be deemed a big heroine in that timeline – and Rasputin is already well aware everyone from that time was corrupted to hell and back, so her knowledge of many people should be unreliable.

  14. Miyamoris says:

    Oh I skipped Mike’s comment. I don’t think Sinister would have bothered giving her any sort of aspirational figure and I’m not sure he’s familiar or interested in Kamala enough to go straight to her.

  15. Ceries says:

    The mention of Emma claiming to Kamala that this time it’s different because the humans fear the Great Replacement is something of an incredibly fraught use of the metaphor. Kamala is a first generation Pakistani-American Muslim, and Emma is a heterosexual WASP billionaire. One of these demographics is already subject to the Great Replacement conspiracy theory. It’s blatant enough that I’m curious where Pirzada’s going with it.

    Also, it’s not like this is an unprecedented situation for Kamala. Back in Secret Empire Kamala’s fellow Inhumans were imprisoned in concentration camps by HYDRA and Kamala had to interact with the X-men’s vichy ethnostate in California, which Emma ruled as a dictator.

  16. ylU says:

    “But she spent that time on a ship with Sinister. Why would Sinister talk of Kamala with such reverence?”

    I don’t see why her knowledge would be limited to what Sinister told her, though. For one thing, while they ended up being the only two left, they initially had a whole crew. For another, she’d be able to pick stuff up the same way anyone else does, from historical records and so forth. She couldn’t have been going on missions 24-7.

    “I IIRC, he only met her in one panel in an Iron Man issue. Why shouldn’t she be gushing over people like Scott and Jean?”

    She stated Kamala goes on to become a huge hero in the future. Presumably in-between Year 0 and Year 10 in the Sinister timeline. DC actually did do a similar beat some time back, I believe, with the Legion of Super-Heroes gushing more over Superman’s son than Superman.

  17. MasterMahan says:

    It’s interesting that “Ms. Marvel” is going with Mindwiping Someone’s Family Is A Great Solution while “Jean Grey” is pointing out that it’s absolutely not.

    But I suppose Kamala’s supporting cast being traumatized by her death wouldn’t fit the tone.

  18. Diana says:

    Rasputin’s hero worship would make a lot more sense if Kamala had been part of Storm’s Brotherhood or Mystique’s Freedom Force

  19. Michael says:

    @ylU- But the crew came about in year 100- they probably weren’t born when Kamala retired. Besides, in Immoral X-Men 3, Rasputin seems skeptical that Kitty was once extremely kind, which suggests that she didn’t have any access to records about Kitty’s career as a superhero.
    Besides, the Sinisters had mostly taken over the world by year 5 or so. That’s not much time for Kamala to be renowned as the “savior of the tribes”.
    The real reason seems to be that the editors didn’t tell Duggan about Rasputin’s background before he handed in the plot for the Hellfire Gala.
    @MasterMahan- that’s been a problem throughout the Krakoan Era- writers can’t seem to agree whether using telepathy without consent is bad or not. In May we had “Xavier is a monster for trying to read Storm’s mind without her consent but Rachel and Betsy reading reporrers’ minds without their consent is just Rachel and Betsy being Rachel and Betsy”.

  20. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Just got around to watching the Ms Marvel show a few weeks ago.

    On the cutting edge of the entertainment zeitgeist, I am.

    Family and friends stuff was very cut, superhero/villain stuff was weak to awful.

    But boy, why did the saddle her with a magic bracelet/genie/clan destine/but really a mutant origin story?

    Who thought that was a good idea?

    And why attach that to the poor comic version?

    Has that direct synergy between movies/shows and comics ever really sold anymore books?

    I’ll be interested to see how this mini does compared to her other stuff.

    I think “Ms Marvel helps the mutants because she’s nice and friendly with Cyclops” would have sold just as well.

  21. ylU says:


    “But the crew came about in year 100- they probably weren’t born when Kamala retired.”

    The premise is she becomes some legendary hero, so knowledge wouldn’t be dependent on personal encounters. Plus, historic records.

    “Besides, in Immoral X-Men 3, Rasputin seems skeptical that Kitty was once extremely kind, which suggests that she didn’t have any access to records about Kitty’s career as a superhero.”

    I’d say that’s more because she has 900 years of personal experience of dealing with an evil Kate.

  22. Josie says:

    “Family and friends stuff was very cut, superhero/villain stuff was weak to awful.”

    Definitely, with one additional comment: all the special effects of scribbling/drawing/fantasizing of the first episode were fantastic, and they completely disappeared after the first or second episode. It’s like they immediately used up their budget.

    “why did the saddle her with a magic bracelet/genie/clan destine/but really a mutant origin story?”

    If I understood the explanation, she’s actually a mutant, but it’s the bangle that allowed her to manifest her powers? Or the bangle only works in tandem with her mutant powers? Okay, I didn’t understand it at all. I think the producers had two considerations: 1. Stretchy powers are not particularly interesting, not a good fit for her character’s personality, and don’t have anything to do with the Captain Marvel legacy. 2. The bangle allows the Captain Marvel (comics) connection and also sets up The Marvels and possibly the big Avengers stuff later on.

    For the record: I do not think those are great reasons for making those changes. But I can understand why they thought the changes were a good idea.

  23. Josie says:

    Can we not do the fan fiction stuff to explain a bad Rasputin scene? Just accept the comics didn’t sell it well. No need to bend over backwards to add context to the comics that wasn’t actually there at all.

  24. Taibak says:

    The basic idea is that the bangle is one of the nega-bands, but Kamala has a mutation that lets her access its power. The problem with that is it doesn’t really explain how her great-grandmother could use the bangle’s power, but whatever.

    And how that ties her to Carol and Monica, I have no idea. I guess that’s for the next movie.

  25. Midnighter says:

    Regarding Kamala’s death and people’s recollection of it, it was said in Fallen Friend that her death had not been confirmed, but she was among the “missing” from Rabin’s attack.
    The public probably still has memories of Ms. Marvel’s death; she is just yet another superhero who has come back to life.
    Emma Frost’s intervention was concerning only Kamala’s family and friends, regarding her death/missing as Kamala Khan. Evidently for those who knew her dual identity (such as Bruno) false memories must have been implanted, but for others it must have been enough to confirm the belief that she was alive (her mother had entered the mosque saying precisely that she believed she was still alive).

  26. ylU says:


    “Can we not do the fan fiction stuff to explain a bad Rasputin scene? Just accept the comics didn’t sell it well.”

    I don’t think “this 900-year-old learned some history at some point” is the big leap you’re making it out to be. But if it didn’t work for you, it didn’t work for you, and it’s fine if we disagree. No need to get all “Just accept I’m actually right” up in here…

  27. Aaron Elijah Thall says:

    Am I the only one that thinks Ms. Marvel’s come down with a case of the stupids? Why the HELL would she change her costume to announce being a mutant when she’d have so much more luck doing something about the big bads if everyone still thought she was just an Inhuman?

  28. Mathias X says:

    If you check page 24, she explains: “Maybe I can be an example that proves there’s nothing to hate.” It’s a conscious choice, despite the tactical and personal disadvantages it confers. There has been a lot of discourse about “passing” as a more privileged group in sociological circles for a long time, so it’s not that the idea of staying on the DL didn’t occur to Kamala–in fact, she didn’t even want to out herself as a mutant until after the events of the Gala. So her decision to be publicly an X-Man is deliberate and thematic.

    You can read more on passing here:

  29. Michael says:

    @Mathias X- yes, but in real life, I’m sure that people who pass are not trying to stop people who have teleported a quarter million people to who-knows-where and dosed millions more with a drug that enables them to control their bodies. You’d think Kamala would wait until the missing mutants are rescued and the poisoned people are cured to reveal that she’s a mutant.This would be like if when Kamala was keeping an eye on Norman Osborn, she wore a t-shirt saying “I’m spying on Norman Osborn”.

  30. Josie says:

    “No need to get all “Just accept I’m actually right” up in here…”

    I like how all I said was that we, in general, should avoid fan fiction, and you took it as a personal message.

  31. ylU says:

    I mean, you said it about a point that, as far as I can tell, I was the only one defending. If you actually weren’t referring to me but just some hypothetical behavior that you didn’t feel anybody was actually doing, my bad, but I hope you can see where the confusion came from.

  32. Jdsm24 says:

    Are you even a legit Marvel Zombie superfan?! “Fanfic”?! Au Contraire, Stan Lee , in a stroke of inspired genius , invented the No-Prize as The Marvel Way to crowdsource explanations & rationalizations from the Marvel fanbase for authorization & editorial plotholes , in order to preserve the continuity of the canon!

  33. Josie says:

    “I was the only one defending”

    Okay. Then I will say that you, specifically, should stop inventing fan fiction to cover deficiencies in storytelling.

  34. ylU says:

    Yes, I know. You said that already, and I already replied:

    To which you then responded with some weird tangent about how, haha, you were just making a general comment and I mistakenly assumed it was about me. Only now you’re saying, yes, it was about me. Big of you to admit I was right the first time, I guess, but now that you’ve taken us on that flat circle, you’ve just come around back to repeating your first comment. Which I already replied to.

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