RSS Feed
Sep 14

X-Men Red #15 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2023 by Paul in Annotations

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

X-MEN RED vol 2 #15
“Nothing and Nobody”
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Yildiray Çinar
Colour artist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. Storm and Genesis fight, with the Fisher King in the background, suspended in Xilo’s worms.

PAGE 2. Flashback: The young Fisher King meets Azazoth.

In a passing line in issue #6, Fisher King said that his name had been “psychically amputated in the prisons to guard against the Vile Omnipaths.” In this version, the future Fisher King seems quite keen to be rendered invisible, something which will actually give him a power of sorts.

Azazoth is a new character, though someone quite like him was among Genesis’s forces in the previous issue. He’s likely named after Azathoth, one of HP Lovecraft’s gods.

PAGE 3. Fisher King briefs the Brotherhood.

The Fisher King merged with Xilo last issue; Xilo was partly destroyed during A.X.E.: Judgment Day, erasing chunks of his memory of Arakko history. The experience is evidently causing Fisher King to be distracted by memories from his own past; Fisher King indicates later that this is Xilo’s way of communicating with him, rather than a straightforward side effect.

The characters present for this talk, running left to right in panel 2, are Nova, Fisher King/Xilo, Syzya, Storm, Lodus Logos, Kobak, Sunspot and Jon Ironfire.

Argyre is an impact basin on Mars.

Isca’s mountains. As we saw last issue, the self-exiled Isca has set herself up in a mountain range and is killing combatants from either side who try to go in. Tarn’s followers were also mentioned last issue, and this confirms them as non-aligned.

“The Autumn Continent, mostly dead land after Vulcan’s rage.” The location of Magneto’s former home, the Autumn Palace, devastated in battle with Vulcan in issue #10.

Sobunar’s ocean. It was repeatedly mentioned last issue that although Sobunar was aligned with Genesis, he wasn’t willing to give her full access to the oceans, and she wasn’t pushing the point.

PAGE 4. Recap and credits.

PAGES 5-6. Flashback: Fisher King meets Zsora.

“I’m a blank spot to the Vile Omnipaths.” For the reasons noted in relation to page 2.

Solem is principally a Wolverine villain, but originally comes from Arakko. At this point, he’s in jail after killing War’s husband Bracken, as covered in Wolverine #6. He does indeed have adamantium skin – according to him, it’s more like microscopic chainmail, which is why he can still move.

Tarn was killed in issue #3, making his invocation of the “I don’t fear a life that ends” mantra somewhat ironic.

The unnamed white character with the black symbol on his chest is Summoner, who was killed by Wolverine in Wolverine #7 during the “X of Swords” crossover. He’s the son of War and Bracken.

Isca is mentioned as someone who normally accompanies Tarn – she took his death in issue #3 very badly.

Zsora, making her first appearance here, goes on to become the wife of Fisher King. She’s the sister of Syzya and the mother of Zsen and Khora. Zsora is evidently the “one born with eyes of fire that saw truths terrible and wonderful” referred to in issue #6’s data page about the Night Seats, and the previous holder of the seat currently claimed by Sunspot. As per her billing, her role here is to tell Fisher King that he’s misdirecting his efforts.

PAGE 7. Data page – a straightforward map of the state of the war.

PAGES 8-10. Genesis decides to create a sea monster.

Sobunar remains clearly unenthusiastic about all this; Lycaon continues to contribute absolutely nothing, despite his insistence that he has superhuman powers of insight.

Castor previously appeared as a generic thug in Cable #10. The unnamed woman next to her is her partner Pollux, from the same issue.

Satis Exotica previously appeared in Legion of X #1, as the generic loser of a challenge.

PAGE 11. The monster attacks Port Prometheus.

The Keep is still occupied by the two-man skeleton crew who were minding it during the Hellfire Gala: Peeper, who had a moderately prominent role in S.W.O.R.D., and Hairbag, a minor villain who used to be one of Mr Sinister’s henchmen, the Nasty Boys. Given his powers, Peeper is ignoring the monitoring equipment entirely and just watching events from space.

PAGE 12. Data page. We’ve seen before that these are written by Xilo, but perhaps that should be taken to mean Xilo / Fisher King. The material about Solem basically comes from Wolverine #6.

PAGES 13-14. Flashback: The Night Seats meet in Solem’s cell.

The relative luxury of Solem’s cell was covered in Wolverine #6. Al Ewing’s Solem is broadly in line with Benjamin Percy’s – primarily a cynical hedonist and prankster, but with occasional signs of standing up to really unacceptable behaviour.

The Night Seat holders are discussing a plan to overthrow the Great Ring. We’ll see how that worked out for them in three pages time.

PAGES 15-16. Storm kills the monster.

Obviously, there’s more to the scheme than that, as we’ll see.

PAGES 17-19. Flashback: The death of Zsora.

One day after the previous flashback, and the plan has failed spectacularly – though note that only Fisher King and Zsora are prisoners, not Syzya. The two children brought into the room are Khora and Zsen. Zsora commits suicide in order to save the kids – though Zsen evidently takes this as a lesson about what not to do.

The point of Xilo bringing all this to mind is to remind Fisher King that Genesis can control micro flora within people’s bodies, although by the time he figures it out, it’s really a bit late.

PAGES 20-21. The monster spawns the Okkara Gate and the Horsemen of Apocalypse invade.

“Before Xilo, before Stulgid.” Stulgid was Xilo’s previous name, as established in S.W.O.R.D. #8 (squaring away an apparent continuity error where different names had been given for the members of the Great Ring).

The Okkara Gate was seen before in issue #12, when Genesis used it to come to Arakko. She originally came alone – what’s changed to make her bring in the army? Simply a response to stalemate?

The Horsemen’s Army includes the White Sword and his Champions, who were placed under Genesis’s thrall in issue #12.

PAGE 22. Trailers. The Krakoan reads THE FOUR HORSEMEN.

Bring on the comments

  1. Michael says:

    “Tarn was killed in issue #3, making his invocation of the “I don’t fear a life that ends” mantra somewhat ironic.”
    Tarn’s remarks about “posthumous glory” and death being the beginning of change make me think that Tarn’s death isn’t quite permanent. Tarn is supposed to be the equivalent of Sinister, after all- and Sinister has cheated death by cloning, trying to hijack Xavier’s body, etc.

  2. Jim Harbor says:

    While Zsora offered her life, she didn’t die by suicide. She was killed by Famine. And Zsen’s lesson here is more resentment of her Dad’s weaponlessness.

  3. Mike Loughlin says:

    @Jim Harbor: I took Zsen’s disdain of her father to mean she thought he was too weak to sacrifice himself before Zsora did. It could mean she resented her father’s lack of power, or it could be both.

    I didn’t like the art this issue- it was okay, but nothing special. Still, Fisher King’s history was compelling. I hope he either gets a good death or survives the Fall of X.

  4. ylU says:

    Not sure I get how the Okkara gate works. If it can spontaneously generate the other gate that links to it — and that’s what the text seems to be saying — why did they need to Trojan horse the sea monster? Couldn’t they have just planted it in Amenth and have the other end spontaneously appear in Storm’s territory?

  5. CitizenBane says:

    So Famine’s mutant power is just a variation of Death’s mutant power? They both kill people by looking at them.

  6. MasterMahan says:

    As I recall, Famine could make water weapons in X of Swords. Presumably that was meant to be Death and using Famine instead was an (completely understandable) art error.

  7. ylU says:

    It was Famine sucking all the water out of her. You see the ball of extracted water floating in his hand in one panel.

  8. Jdsm24 says:

    So Famine is either a hydrokinetic or a hydrosiphon (water vampire)? Thats unexpected, and trivia , there are already 2 616 x-mutants with such water-vampire powers , CC’s OC Porous and Peter David’s OC Deluge

  9. Jon R says:

    ylU: “Not sure I get how the Okkara gate works. If it can spontaneously generate the other gate that links to it — and that’s what the text seems to be saying — why did they need to Trojan horse the sea monster? Couldn’t they have just planted it in Amenth and have the other end spontaneously appear in Storm’s territory?”

    From the Apocalypse one-shot, there are only three seeds. Apocalypse has one, one got used to take Genesis to Okkara, and the last is in Genesis’ hands. So at the very least, Genesis would have to get her seed back to Amenth. Which is definitely possible, unless Apocalypse made the first gate one-way-only, but I can see why Genesis wouldn’t want to do that regardless.

    Sobunar’s been trying to hold onto some control over the oceans. Pushing things this way lets her break his resistance while being the one with all the “logical” arguments. Sorry Sobunar, no choice, this is what has to be. Everyone around the two of you agrees that she’s right as always.

  10. GN says:

    Regarding the Okkara Gate,
    Both sides of the gateway needs to grow out of mutant remains, so Genesis used the fish monster to get a large mutant corpse onto Brotherhood territory.

    This is consistent with the method of mutant magic established by Tini Howard.
    The Avalon Gate was built on the bones of Apocalypse.
    The External Gate was built on the corpses of Candra, Crule, Nicodemus and Saul.
    The Voltus Glade was built from the remnants of Rockslide.

    In Amenth, Apocalypse had either created or obtained three Okkara Gate seeds.

    The first seed was planted in A’s blood in Amenth and grew a gateway that connected to the Uranos Massacre mutant bonefield on Arakko Prime. The second seed was planted in the fish-monster’s blood and grew a gateway that connected to the Ivory Spire in Amenth (where I presume the Horsemen provided the blood). The third seed remains with Apocalypse and I’m sure he will be making the journey to Planet Arakko in a later issue.

  11. John says:

    Lycaon remains my favorite character in this book. The Omega mutant of self-proclaimed-moderate blowhards.

Leave a Reply