Marvel published two X-Books last week, the final week of 2020: X-Men #16 and Wolverine #8. But before we get into that…
Comics drama was pretty wild last week, wasn't it? Imagine being so thin-skinned as an industry that a banal criticism like "draw less talking heads" causes people to go absolutely ballistic on Twitter, including with actual professional editors implying that said banal, completely fair-game criticism could prevent people from getting jobs in the industry.
I'm not going to get deep into it because attempting to provide feedback to the comics industry is like shouting at a brick wall, except the brick wall may vanity-search itself on Twitter and try to get its fans to yell at you or worse. But I do want to address one thing: the discourse on what constitutes valid criticism, which, many industry "professionals" seem to believe requires that the criticism be either fawning positivity or "constructive." This stems from a larger belief in the comics industry that the press exists as an extension of comic book publishers' promotional and marketing teams, a belief that many in the press are more than happy to buy into themselves. And it's bullshit. Look elsewhere for the hero worship you crave and everybody will be a lot happier for it.
Welcome to 2021, people! Comics are still here (barely). We're still here. And it's time to recap last week's X-books! Some things never change.
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics for lovers of soap opera drama.
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) Phil Noto (CA) Leinil Francis Yu
X OF SWORDS FALL OUT !
The Captain Commander of Krakoa made a fateful decision. There's no going back.
In Shops: Dec 30, 2020
X-Men #16 Recap
Following the events of X of Swords, Cyclops, like any good dad, gathers his son and daughter to watch two islands copulate. Arakko Point, the portion of Arakko that appeared earlier in the series to have sex with the island of Krakoa, opens it portal and through it grow multiple phallic spires, Arakko pushing itself through from the other dimension, which the Summer clan react to as if they are erections.
But it seems that Krakoa is not a fan of Arakko's new look and the islands no longer want to get it on, so the Summers family is left with some major blue balls.
Later, Krakoa enlists Cypher to join it in meeting with Arakko to hash things out. Cypher visits the Quiet Council and informs them that Krakoa and Arakko no longer want to merge together. Magneto is all like, "what was the point of that whole crossover then?" Money, Magneto. The point was for Marvel to make money. Also the crossover got Doug married, which everyone congratulates him on.
Anyway, not only are the islands too different from each other now, but the mutants on each island are different too, and also there are twenty times as many mutants on Arakko. Later, Xavier and Magneto meat with Isca the Unbeaten to discuss what to do about their people now that the islands won't f**k. They give her a flower. She is shocked to learn they share the Earth with mutants. She warns them that there is "no peace" in Arakko and leaves to bring their offer of cooperation to "The Ring," the government of Arakko. That's a perfect time to burn up some pages with a partially redacted infographic about The Great Ring of Rakko.
Later still, Xavier and Magneto discuss plans with Cyclops and Jean Grey to get them both on the Quiet Council, Jean regaining the spot she resigned from and Cyclops taking Apocalypse's spot. But they both refuse. Instead, they're going to reform the X-Men and lead them, separately from the council, as a force fighting for the people of Krakoa. As such, they will hold an election to see who will be on the X-Men team. The issue ends with a poster for the election showing everyone, including Arakkii, can join, just not Quiet Council members.
So basically, sixteen-issues into this X-Men series, which doesn't include the 12-issue prologue mini-series or all the other Dawn of X books or all the X of Swords crossover issues, and we are just now getting to the point where they're thinking about putting together an X-Men team? This may be the most decompressed, self-indulgent comic book reboot of all god damn time. Bendis is reading this comic and he's like, "damn, this is decompressed." Maybe it was a fitting X-Men comic for 2020, which also mastered the art of dragging things out. In any case, the "return" of the X-Men in the climax of X of Swords was the brightest beacon of hope of this entire reboot, so I'm happy it's carrying through now to the book. It might even make X-Men feel like the core franchise book instead of Marauders or Excalibur. Once the team forms, of course, which I assume will take another twenty-something issues.
Next up: Wolverine.
Read more X-ual Healing here: