Reviving The X-Men Dangling Plot Thread For X-Men Legends

Marvel recently announced a new comic book series, X-Men Legends, with classic creative teams looking to pick up past storylines over the decades and revisit them. Which got quite a few folk excited. Back in the days before websites, there were message boards on a variety of different platforms, including Usenet newsgroups. That's how I first discovered and online internet community, specifically one focused on comic books. I joined as rec.arts.comics.misc was in full swing, along with one of the spin-off groups, rec.arts.comics.xbooks. Which is where I first read the X-Men Danglers, a list of plotlines in X-Men related comic books that had not been addressed.

Reviving The X-Men Dangling Plot Thread
Reviving The X-Men Dangling Plot Thread

Now with the new Marvel Comics series X-Men Legends seemingly addressing some of these, with Fabian Nicieza and Brett Booth kicking off with looking at just how many Summers brothers there might be, it drove me to find what still remained of this list online. Paul O'Brien seems to have been the most recent keeper of that list, and by recent I mean from 1995. There will be subsequent iterations of this, but this was the one I found mostly complete.

I pieced together the full list of X-Men Danglers that were still open and had not been closed. Permission was given for the list to be reproduced, but it notes all the people aside from Paul who contributed to it. Including, it seems, a misspelt me!

Laura Burchard, Tom Galloway, Connie Hirsch, Robi Karp, Pete Granger, James Robert Drew, Ken Arromdee, Subrata Sircar, Raleff the Wanderer, David Goldfarb, Kent Campbell, David Kidd, Ryan Matthews, Ted Ying, D. Scott Kitschen, Gary Lewandowski, Vaughn Clark
Gross, Mike Harrison, Jeff Leyser, Seth D. Kadesh, Douglas R. Oosting, Kris L. Cox, R. Travis Jones, Dennis Balagtas, Carl Rigney, Richard Johnstone, [o–te–t] at [ifi.uio.no], [e–i] at [midway.uchicago.edu], Kingston Arthur, Joshua Michael Wolf, Shurron M. Farmer, [w–lr–s] at [ccwf.cc.utexas.] edu, Richard Chlopan, [m–ll–s] at [nyx.cs.du.edu], Naomi Gayle Rivkis, P.J. Case, Sam Bratton, Craig H. Rettig, [rich bellacera] at [amail.amdahl.] com, David R. Henry, Lance Visser, Jason Rosenbaum, Ruthanna Gordon, Eivind Gladheimstreng, Martin Livingstone, Owen Erasmus, Shannon Pipik, Addison Godel, Jane Griffin, Kelly A Madsen, Alisdair Watson, Dwayne MacKinnon, "Greenstool", J. Wilson and Sara Berg.

Chris Claremont's run on Uncanny X-Men

1. General. Why did Eric the Red have the same name and costume that Cyclops used as a disguise way back in the original series?

Eric the Red was a character who hadn't been seen since 1977 until he showed up in a panel in X-Men Vol. 2 #41 in 1994. Fabian Nicieza's intended plot regarding Eric and X-Treme has followed him over to Captain Marvel Vol. 2, so answers may be forthcoming over there.

2. General. Who's responsible for Wolverine's adamantium skeleton?
The Weapon X project – but the Weapon X storyline makes it clear that there's somebody else behind the scenes.
3. General. Why did Xavier and Moira MacTaggert break up, and how did they become friends again?
It's quite probable that Moira left Xavier because she had met her first husband, but this has never been absolutely confirmed.

4. General. How does Wolverine's time in Japan, his skeleton implant, and him and Carol in Russia fit into his chronology?
5. General. Were Mystique and Destiny lovers?
Yes, Claremont intended them to be. See Marvel Fanfare #40. The intended plot was to have them as Nightcrawler's parents, with Mystique as the father. Marvel's policy on gay characters prevented this story from being run.
6. General. What exactly is Mister Sinister's plan involving the Summers family?
The combined brainpower of the net has been unable to come up with any entirely consistent explanation of Sinister's actions. Given his expertise in cloning and genetics, why did Sinister bother sending Madelyne out to marry Scott – why not just create the child through genetic engineering? How does Rachel fit into all this? The inconsistencies in Mister Sinister's plan have generally been ascribed to poor writing, but we all live in hope that one day the writers will wake up with a staggering and original idea to explain it all away.

7. General. Where did the Reavers' computer complex come from? Why did it keep doing such strange things when the X-Men were living there?

8. General. Who is Gateway, and what can he do besides teleport and play the flute?

Since Gateway is now a regular character in Generation X, this plot will probably be resolved there. Various readers have pointed out that some information about Gateway's powers is given in Weapon X #3, in which he was shown to be "the repository of the knowledge of humanity, the living index of every hard earned scrap of information gleaned in our ascent from mindless savagery." This might also explain where the Reavers' computer system came from.

9. General. Whatever happened to the X-Men's invisibility to mechanical sensors? It was used frequently and then totally forgotten about.

Several readers have suggested that it was wiped by the Siege Perilous. This is wrong. Storm, Dazzler, Colossus and Psylocke all retained their invisibility for some time after passing through the Siege.

10. Giant-Size X-Men #1 – issue #102. Colossus's love for Storm is built up in some detail, and then completely dropped. For example, in issue #99, Nightcrawler thinks "He's so emotional… like – a man in love!"

11. #98. Why are Wolverine's readings entirely different from Jean Grey's, Sean Cassidy's and Xavier's?

This was going to relate to Claremont's first idea for the origin of Wolverine, where he was going to be a real wolverine artificially evolved by the High Evolutionary. You can see why he dropped it, can't you? Anyhow, this was never referred to again. But X-Men readers never forget.

12. #122-124. Scott Summers' romance with Colleen Wing. Built up in some detail, and Colleen even gave Scott the key to her apartment. Then it got forgotten about in the aftermath of the Dark Phoenix Saga.

13. Annual #4. Is Wolverine referring to World War II when he talks about having been at Monte Cassino?
Quite possibly. Various other references place Wolverine in World War II in his own comic, specifically the Normandy landings.

14. #160. Storm picks up a magic necklace and silver arm cuff while the X-Men are in Limbo.
15. #169. Why was Mastermind interested in Mystique and Rogue? His plan was for revenge on the X-Men, and they weren't connected.
This was intended to be foreshadowing for a plot planned for Ms. Marvel, which Claremont also wrote at the time. When Ms. Marvel was cancelled, the plot was dropped. Mastermind wanted revenge on Mystique because her arms shipping business was siphoning profits from the Hellfire Club.

16. #171. What is Rogue's real name? How did she meet up with Mystique?
Classic X-Men ran a back-up which did not answer these questions. X-Men Unlimited #4 is somewhat more helpful, but since Mystique was feigning insanity at the time, her comments must be treated with extreme caution. The net consensus is that that issue was extremely badly written and breaches continuity in many places; consequently, it is of very little value in resolving danglers.

17. #172. Storm and Yukio's relationship. What happened to it?

It was picked up on vaguely in issue #314, but nothing was done about it. Yukio is now one of the multitudes who form the supporting cast of Wolverine.

18. #173. The Viper and the Silver Samurai exit uttering threats.
Well, the Samurai shows little interest in revenge these days. The Viper appears to be regarded as a Captain America villain,and current Marvel policy discourages crossovers between families, so we're unlikely to see a resolution soon.

19. #182. Where did Colonel Rossi go after this story?

According to the letters column, Rossi was infiltrating the Hellfire Club to find out more about their involvement in SHIELD. The stories have yet to confirm this, of course.

20. #191. The necklace containing Kulan Gath's essence falls into a subway tunnel. What happened to it?

Anyone picking up this necklace will be transformed into Kulan Gath, a powerful sorcerer who transformed New York into a Conan-type environment the last time he was released. The story clearly leaves these questions open.

21. #209. Phoenix is abducted by Spiral. What happens between this story and her appearance in Excalibur Special Edition #1?

A graphic novel was promised, but never appeared.

22. #215. What happened to Sarah Grey and her children?

Sarah disappeared a few years back and was never heard of until her essence showed up as part of the Phalanx in X-Men Vol. 2 #36. The kids, Joey and Gailyn, were rescued in a plot in X-Factor and were last seen in X-Men Vol. 2 #30.

23. #217. Alex & Lorna meet a Brood ship in the desert. This is then never referred to again.

24. #229. The Siege Perilous. Where did it come from? Why did it keep showing up by accident at important points? Did Donald Pierce really destroy it just by crushing it?

25. #234. What happened to the two Brood left alive in Denver?

Owen Erasmus suggests that it's probably them who went on to appear in the New Orleans Brood story.

26. Annual #12. It is clearly implied that Nereel's son Peter is Colossus's son.

Ken Arromdee assures me that several lines of dialogue make it clear that Peter knows this. Yet he's done nothing about it.

27. #236. Wipeout erases Rogue's powers, yet her eye colour changes from brown to blue when Carol Davners's personality takes over. In #239, Rogue, with Carol Danvers in control, has flesh-to-flesh contact with Psylocke with no apparent effects.

According to Claremont, this was deliberate. Tom Galloway puts forward the thory that Rogue's lack of control over her powers is psychological in nature, and that consequently Carol is not affected by it. This seems to be the most likely explanation.

28. #238. Wolverine refers to having been a slave. What's he talking about?

29. #242. Wolverine finds something familiar about Archangel's scent, in such a way that it seems that it's the difference he finds familiar rather than the base. Where had he met up with Apocalypse before?

Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure implied that Apocalypse gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton. However, that's by no means conclusive, and most of the stories suggest something different entirely.

30. Inferno. What were the changes in the X-Men caused by Inferno itself, and why did they stay around after it was over, unlike the changes on everyone else? The X-Men all become more demonic in appearance and commented at some length on the change. After Inferno, it was totally ignored.

31. #244. Why couldn't Psylocke detect Jubilee?

Psylocke fails to detect Jubilee on several other occasions, as do the Reavers and the X-Men's computers. This suggests that it was intended to be a superhuman power. Blindside of the Harriers also suggested that there was something about Jubilee's mind that made it particularly hard to interact with telepathically. Oh, and the cyborg dingos in issue #252 don't react to her either.

32. #245. Dazzler's "basic luminescence has been upshifting along the spectrum" from yellow into white. Any significance?

The original plot for this storyline had Dazzler die in battle with the Master Mold, and this was intended to be foreshadowing. Claremont changed his mind at the last minute, leaving this vision wholly unexplained. (Dazzler fans can thank Marc Silvestri for suggesting the movie storyline and thereby saving her.)

33. #246-7. Nimrod and the Master Mold merge and then explode. Both of them can recover from explosions, so what happened next?

Despite appearances in the art, Claremont claims that they did not go through the Siege Perilous.

34. #249. Zaladane claims to be Lorna Dane's sister, but offers no proof for her assertion. Moira MacTaggert later claims that for the power-switching procedure to work, Zala and Lorna must have highly related genetic structures. So what's the story?

Carl Rigney points out that they have the same last name. This is almost certainly what Claremont had in mind. Sadly, Lorna was adopted as a child, and Dane was the name of her adoptive parents, so there must be more to it.

35. #251. Was Psylocke under some sort of control when she talked the remaining X-Men into the Siege Perilous?

Her hallucinations under reprogramming by the Hand seem to lend some credence to this assertion. But then again, maybe not.

36. #252, page 18. The X-Men's computer appears to be alive. It's also been shown to be able to repair itself.

37. #257. Where did that photograph of Logan and Ruby in a futuristic city come from?

Some contributors have suggested that it's Uptown Madripoor. However, Jubilee's dialogue clearly shows that she doesn't think it's like anything on Earth, and Uptown has never been described as futuristic.

38. #257. The Harriers are given a big introduction, and then never heard of again. What was the point?

39. #260. Who tipped off Fenris that Forge and the Banshee were on the aeroplane that they attacked?

Probably the Shadow King, but this has never been conclusively resolved.

40. #261. How was Donald Pierce tipped off that Cylla Markham was in need of cyborg body parts? Did he know that she used to be friends with Banshee and Forge?

Since Pierce and Markham are both dead, this is no longer a live issue. However, it was never resolved.

41. #263. More of Forge's background is revealed, but still missing major details. What is his name? And how did he lose his hand and leg?

I think he lost it in the air raid that he called in Vietnam in issue #227, trying to kill off the demon hordes that he had summoned. By the way, isn't that a rather crude way to kill supernatural entities?

42. #266. Gambit clearly demonstrates in his early appearances that he has the psychic ability to make people trust him. This was dropped in a tacit retcon.

Mike Collins, who drew this issue, has confirmed that Gambit's psychic power was mentioned in the script.

43. #268. What sort of alliance did the Hand and Fenris strike while Wolverine, Psylocke, Jubilee and the Black Widow were chasing around after a fake meeting?

44. #270. Where did Dazzler go after leaving Lila Cheney's home in Malibu?

Yes, I know she showed up back in California in early issues of X-Men Vol. 2, but what happened in the interim?

45. Annual #14. Ahab briefly turns Cyclops and the Invisible Woman into hounds and sets them about hunting down their children (Rachel Summers and Franklin Richards respectively). The Invisible Woman has no problem following these orders, since Ahab's set them up to be able to psychically locate their children. But Scott can't trace Rachel. Why not?

A commonly voiced theory on this question Rachel's father isn't Scott, it's Logan. Obviously there's no conclusive evidence on this one way or the other. In case anyone was wondering, both Scott and Sue were trying to trace counterparts of their children from alternate timelines, so it can't just be that Rachel's not from this Earth.

Subsequent issues of Uncanny X-Men

1. #281, p.9: Why does Trevor Fitzroy hate the White Queen so much?
2. #283, p.20: Professor X worries about Jean having transferred her mind into the body of Emma Frost, given that she had never been able to do it before.

Well, she managed and nothing happened. Since our attention was specifically drawn to this, however, presumably some plot was intended.

3. #283, p.21: Did another telepath interfere with the mind transfer between Jean and Emma? Xavier's dialogue implies that there was.

The consensus is that they're detecting Emma Frost's mind, but strictly speaking this remains unresolved.

4. #287, p.16: Who is Trevor Fitzroy's father?

Well, he was mentioned so many times that he must have some significance.

5. #287, pp.18-19: Who betrayed the X-Men in Bishop's timeline? How were their powers negated? In short, who is the X-traitor?

Several correspondents suggest that it was Mountjoy in the Bishop limited series. Unfortunately, he doesn't meet the criteria – he never neutralised anybody's powers.

6. #287, p.24: Does the Witness (a counterpart of Gambit) know who killed the X-Men? Was it him? What is the Witness's status in Bishop's time? How does he finish Bishop's sentences? Can he read Bishop's mind? Does this mean that Gambit has extra psychic powers?

Regarding the status of the Witness, one plausible theory is that he is the ancestral head of the Thieves Guild. This is supported by Shackle's dialogue, "There is no such thing. Or we would have stolen it by now."

7. #287: How long has Trevor Fitzroy been hopping between the two times?

8. #290, p.14: When Forge asks Jean Grey about Storm, why does Jean give such a negative impression of Storm's feelings?

The most likely explanation is that the human mind is such a complex thing that neither Jean nor Storm were entirely sure what the true answer was. Given this, though, is it possible that Jean was trying to break them up?

9. Annual #16, back-up: Whatever happened to Amalgam? She was given this big build-up and then totally forgotten about.

10. #292, p.28: What happened to Brain Cell, the little Morlock kid? Surely Xavier didn't really just abandon him in the tunnels?

11. #294, p.20: As he attempts to kill Xavier, Stryfe says "The world will know me as the man who saved tomorrow." Why does he think that killing Xavier will change the future?

Addison Godel suggests that he's playing up to the role, but I suspect there ought to be more. What I'm getting at here is, what exactly was Stryfe trying to achieve with the whole X-Cutioner's Song scheme – aside from vengeance on Scott and Jean?

12. #298: What is Carmella Unuscione's connection to the original Unus?

13. #298, p.21: How does Gambit know Joanna Cargill?

14. #299: Some background information on the Gamesmaster would be nice. This is a man whose mutant power puts him in touch with every mind in the world simultaneously. How did he survive his power manifesting itself for the first time? How did he get involved with Selene? And so on.

15. #299, p.28: Bishop recognises a waitress in Salem Center. Who is she?

As we go to press, word comes in that it's Fatale, carrying out a surveillance operation on behalf of the dark Beast. Why Bishop recognises her is a bit obscure, but she suggests that her appearance was modelled on his ideal woman. So perhaps Bishop recognises her from his… well, draw your own inferences.

16. #299, p.29: We almost see a friendship flowering between Senator Kelly and the Professor. Obviously Xavier would want to develop this.

17. #299, p.30: Does Senator Kelly's aide talk telepathically tom Jean? What of him, then? Is he another major character, or just a friendly mutant?

His name's Noah and he has some sort of connection with Landau, Luckman & Lake, as seen in recent issues of Wolverine. But as to what he's trying to achieve…

18. #301, p.10: The Legacy Virus. When will the X-Men finally get around to curing it?

19. #302, p.6: Bishop refers to Genesis and the Summers Rebellion. Details?

Genesis is, of course, Forge. But that's all we know about him. I want more detail, dammit! How did Forge become Genesis and what was/will be the Summers Rebellion?

20. #304, p.3: Who is Exodus?

Several correspondents have argued that this is resolved in Amazing X-Men. I disagree. While that series has established that Exodus's real name is (probably) Paris Bennet, we have no way of knowing that his mainstream history is anything similar.

21. #304, p.34: Why did Magneto crash Illyana Rasputin's funeral? It's highly out of character.

The most likely explanation is that Magneto was at the time very, very powerful and consequently completely mad. However, we're still missing a plausible explanation of what Magneto hoped to achieve by this.

22. #307, p.19: Where does Dane Whitman know Exodus from?

23. #308, p.7: Bishop says that he spent his childhood in constant flight from the Emplates. What, there's more than one of him? Bishop mentions them again (in the plural) in issue #311, so it's unlikely to be just a coincidence.

Recent issues of Generation X make reference to Emplate being some sort of extradimensional entity, if that's any help.

24. #309, p.13: Moira MacTaggert's letter to Xavier says "I've met someone like me." Who?

Her husband, Joseph MacTaggert, would seem the obvious choice, but it remains unconfirmed.

25. #312, p.22: Yukio talks about being on the opposite side of a contract from Gambit, in Singapore. Details?

26. #314, p.14: Bishop claims that he killed Shard (or, in certain other stories, that he was responsible for her death). What are the details?

With Shard wandering around in X-Factor, there might be some hope of her telling us. Okay, so it's a hologram, but it appears to have Shard's mind.

27. #315: Colossus and Amelia Voght appear to be having their doubts about the Acolytes, and Magneto is waking up.

28. #316, p.1: What happened to "the twins and [M's] brother?" Why hasn't M spoken for three months?

Some very, very oblique hints can be found in M's diary in Generation X '95.

29. #317, p.21: Skin asks M why she didn't help them to escape from the Phalanx earlier. M replies that she can think of two very good reasons. They aren't obvious to me, or apparently to the rest of Generation X – so what were they?

30. #321, p.17: Why did Legion assault Gabrielle Haller?

Opinion on the net is divided as to whether this was or was not a rape scene. I believe that it was, but have opted for the lesser offence in deference to the minority view.

31. #322, p.21: Who is Onslaught? What did he do to the Juggernaut? And if Cain really was coming to warn the X-Men about Onslaught anyway, why did he land right at their feet? (Even Cain comments on the improbability of all this.)

32. #324, p.3: How did Gambit elude Psylocke's telepathy? She says he shouldn't be able to. In issue #325, he refers to psionic defences, but that's not really very helpful.

33. #324, p.22: Who are Clare DeLuc and Grey Crow, and how do they know Gambit?

34. #324, p.23: Why doesn't Emma Frost answer Bobby's phone call?

For that matter, how does she know it's him phoning? Isn't the effective range of telepathy supposed to be only a couple of hundred miles after Magneto mucked about with the magnetic fields?

35. #325, p.21: Callisto says that Hemingway has mutated further, and seems to imply that that shouldn't be possible.

36. #325, p.23: What did Gene Nation do to Mikhail Rasputin, and why is Callisto's story inconsistent?

37. #326, p.8: Meggan notes that the Legacy Virus acts like a Designer Gene. Moira MacTaggert seems to regard this as significant.

38. #327: An amnesiac Magneto sets off in search of the X-Men.

39. Uncanny X-Men '95, p.24: The leader of Humanity's Last Stand is called Trask. What, another one?

There have been two previous Trasks of significance. Bolivar Trask was the creator of the first Sentinels. Unfortunately, he's dead. His son Larry Trask, if I remember correctly, is a vegetable following events in an Incredible Hulk Annual. So who's the new guy?

40. '95, general: Who is Preacher and how does he know about the Age of Apocalypse timeline?

X-Men (Vol. 2)

1. #1, p.41: Rogue suddenly wakes up and finds herself in Genosha. Given that she was shot down over Soviet airspace and that Genosha is near Madagascar, how on Earth did she get there?

It has been suggested that the Genoshans abducted her from the scene of her battle with Magneto.

2. #1, p.45: Wolverine recognises Fabian Cortez's scent from somewhere. Where?

3. #2, p.29: How did Jean Grey know that the other X-team had turned against them?

4. #5: A whole load of questions regarding Maverick. Who is the Major? Why is he so young? What's the story with Janice and Logan?

5. #7, p.31: What happens to the C-synth now?

6. #8, p.7: A reference to Barrington, who is also mentioned in Wolverine's computer research a couple of issues earlier, and in the back-ups to issues #10-11. Who is he?

7. #8, p.22: How did Bella Donna Boudreaux find the X-Men's mansion?

David R Henry suggests, through gritted teeth, that Candra told her.

8. #9, p.22: What did the Brood intend to do with the Thieves Guild and the Assassins Guild's children? What were they being programmed for?

Presumably the Brood wanted them as host bodies, but they seemed to be going to a lot more effort than normal.

9. #11: Maverick refers to Isabel. Who is she?

10. #11: Who's the big guy in the back-up strip?

Actually, it's Warhawk, who fought the X-Men in a filler issue about fifteen years ago. But he seems to be referring to as-yet unrevealed events.

11. #11: Who is Mojo II? Do we really trust him?

12. #11: What about Dazzler's pregnancy? And is she really Shatterstar's mother?

Nicieza says that she isn't – that was why he gave Shatterstar a different real name and made it clear that he was genetically engineered with no real parents. However, the recent change of creative team on X-Force means that this is still open.

13. #12-13: This plot leaves several questions open. The major two are: was Xavier's mutation deliberately induced by his father, and is there a connection between Xavier's father and Wolverine's adamantium skeleton?

14. #14, p.15: The Dark Riders wake Apocalypse. The narration seems to indicate that this tomb has laid undisturbed for centuries. Are we to believe that Apocalypse has been buried for all this time? If so, who have the X-Men battled until now?

I'm toying with deleting this one on the grounds that it's probably just bad writing; but for the moment I'll let it stand.

15. #23, p.8: Mister Sinister refers to Scott having more than one brother. How many are there, and who are they?

Consensus is that Adam X is probably one, but this remains very open. Current issues of Captain Marvel are likely to address the question.

16. Annual #2, p.3: The Crimson Commando shows up having been transformed into a cyborg. Obviously this is a result of his disastrous mission to Kuwait a few years previously, but this major change in the character has never been properly dealt with.

17. Annual #2, p.45: What about Pyro's Legacy Virus infection and Empyrean in general?

Recent comments by Avalanche in X-Factor confirm that Pyro is still alive.

18. #30, p.30: Why does Moira think that Cable holds the key to a vaccine for the Legacy Virus?

19. #33, p.23: Gambit says that he's met Sabretooth several times in the past, and implies that those stories show him in a very different light. What's the story, and why didn't he just tell Rogue?

20. #34, p.20: What does Mister Sinister intend to do with his accumulated genetic material? Why does he want Brian Xavier? Does W. Wilson refer to Deadpool, or is he just another president? Who is K Creed?

One correspondent suggests that K Creed is probably Wild Child. Unfortunately, recent issues of X-Factor give his real name as Kyle Gibney.

21. #36, p.3: Why can't the Phalanx assimilate mutants? Hodge himself says that the stated reason is inadequate.

22. #36, p.19: Why have the Phalanx got Sara Grey, and what happened to her?

Jean implies that Sara is dead in issue #39, but no evidence is offered.

23. #38, p.12: Why is Adam X looking for "Milbury"? How did "Milbury" know Carter Ryking's father?

Note that Milbury is usually a pseudonym for Mister Sinister. Adam is looking for him because that's the name of the client who hired Arcade to kill him, and that bit will be deleted from the next edition of this FAQ.

24. #38, p.14: Xavier moans about his lost data and proposes retrieving it from Commcast. This has never been mentioned again.

25. #38, p.15: Is that really Destiny's ghost in Legion's dreams? If so, what on earth is she playing at? If not, why is Legion having hallucinations about somebody he met once (and, admittedly, killed)?

26. #39, p.22: Who are the two people watching Scott and Jean in hospital, and why are they doing it?

Well, one of them is probably Mister Sinister, but the otherone could be anybody.

27. #44, p.18: After leading the remaining Acolytes to the X-Men's former Australian base, Cyclops notes that somebody has been accessing the computers there.

28. #45, p.17: Graydon Creed runs for President.

29. #45, p.18: What is the significance of the theatre in Seattle?

It has been pointed out that the delapidated sign outside could once have read "Essex Theatre", which would suggest a connection with Mister Sinister under one of his recurring pseudonyms.

30. #45, p.36: What is the history of Gambit and Mister Sinister? How was Sinister there before in Remy's time of need? And what does Sinister mean when he says "Soon, it will be time to play the hand I dealt you?"

This was taken by many readers as implying that Gambit was the X-Traitor. It might be worth mentioning that various sources have told me that Gambit was going to be the X-Traitor when Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio originated the plot.

31. #46, p.9: What happened to the missing government scientists and how is Onslaught involved?

32. #46, p.20: How did Magneto end up in South America? His landing pod was programmed to head for his arctic headquarters, and it took Colossus there.

The New Mutants

1. Graphic Novel #4, p.46: This is one of the rare mentions of Wolfsbane's healing power. Last mentioned, as far as I can see, in around 1984. Whatever happened to it?

2. #2, p.7: Gyrich says that "We're establishing a facility for the containment and extermination of mutants." Is he talking about Project: Pegasus, or is this something that's been totally forgotten about?

3. #6, p.12: Well, I mean, where to start? Why did the Viper want to get that crystal from AIM? What caused the explosion? Who was the mutant who attacked Lilandra and Xavier? How did Team America survive?

[Owen Erasmus tells me that this is picked up on in Marvel Team-Up #82-86, but the plot is still unresolved. Claremont wrote MTU at that time, of course – Paul]

4. #9, p.11: Why isn't Amara affected by the drugged wine? (And no, I refuse to accept that it's a side-effect of her mutant powers.)

It's been suggested that she just drank less. But even so, the dialogue suggests that there's something more.

5. #12, p.4: Roberto asks Emmanuel da Costa why he wanted to get "the riches of the fabled Madeira", and suggests that it was money and power he wanted. Emmanuel replies that "my reasons are my own." So if he didn't want money and power, what did he want?

He could, of course, be lying.

6. #13: Why doesn't Professor X notice that Amara is under Selene's mental influence?

7. #16: Tarot appears to be in love with one of the New Mutants. Which one? And how _do_ her powers work?

Jeremy Bottroff's extensive research over on Genie suggests that Empath made Tarot fall in love with Magma. But no conclusive answer has ever been given.

8. #20, p.20: How and why were Dani's parents transformed into the demon bear?

The Adversary (from the Fall of the Mutants storyline) apparently had something to do with it, although I've been unable to trace the reference. The details and background remain unrevealed.

9. Annual #1: Where did Lila Cheney's Dyson Sphere come from? How did she find it?

10. p.39: Lila says that "Earth sold me." What does that mean?

11. #23, p.10: Magneto and Lee Forrester discuss whether their island base was built by aliens. This is never resolved.

More on this plot can be found in Marvel Fanfare #33 (also by Claremont, natch), but it doesn't resolve anything, and readers should be prepared to wade through a load of nonsense about the Chief Examiner and the Questprobe stories.

12. #26, p.1: Our attention is specifically drawn to the fact that Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander have developed borderline superhuman strength. This has been mainly forgotten about.

13. #29, p.16: Lila alludes to having participated in bloodsports. Details?

14. #31, p.22: The White Queen gives a hazy recount of Catseye's origin, leaving lots of gaps. Since Catseye is pushing up daisies, we're unlikely ever to see this resolved, but it's still a dangler.

15. Annual #2: Leong, Nga and the Bratpack seem to be mutants. This is never referred to again.

16. #43: This is the last appearance of the several hundred ordinary human students at the Massachusetts Academy, to the best of my knowledge (although there might have been a few in New Warriors). So this is as good a place as any to ask: where are they all?

17. #44: Rev. Craig makes veiled comments about Rahne's mother and implies that she was a prostitute. Details? (And what's Craig doing in Ullapool, anyway? It's miles away from where he lives!)

Recent issues of Excalibur suggest that Rahne's mother was a woman with whom Craig had an affair, although Craig seems to deny this. Whatever, Rahne's mother seems to have been a more or less normal person.

18. #46: Who kidnapped Leong and Nga?

One correspondent says that it was Nanny. Most references suggest that it was Nguyen Ngoc Coy, attempting to blackmail Karma back into servitude.

19. #50, p.39: What happens to Magus now that he's been returned to infancy?

20. #53, p.5: Cypher is infected with the transmode virus. Now, our attention has been specifically drawn to the fact that Douglock is _not_ Doug Ramsey, he's a genetically engineered being with some elements of Doug's memories. So what happened to Doug?

21. p.12: Strong hints are dropped of mutual attraction between Mirage and Thunderbird. Now that they're both appearing in X-Force, perhaps this should be picked up on?

22. p.15: Selene claims to be Amara's ancestor. This is still consistent with the Nova Roma retcon over in New Warriors, so what's the story?

J Wilson points out that Kulan Gath recognised Selene from before the fall of Atlantis. That would make her over twenty thousand years old, in which case she could be the ancestor of pretty much anybody on the planet.

23. #55, p.8: Lila tells Raek that she won't throw him out of the party for old times sake. Details?

24. #56: Why does the White Queen want Amara to join the Hellions?

It's consistently implied that she wanted more than just a powerful mutant.

25. #60: What happens to the Ani-Mator after Illyana dumped him in Limbo? (Hey, he _could_ have escaped during Inferno.)

26. #63, p.5: Why does the Soulsword affect the transmode virus?

27. #63, p.12: Why doesn't the cloned Wolverine have claws?

Yes, I know that plot wasn't going to start for another few years. I don't care, I'm asking anyway.

28. #63, p.23: What happened to the cloned X-Men after Magik left them?

29. #67, p.3: Why did Spyder go to all that trouble just to get legal title to Lila Cheney?

30. #69, p.9: The Bauble of Bable looks awfully similar to the Jewels of Ikerno (which we saw in issue #55). Any significance?

31. #70, p.20: How did Lila survive teleporting Gosamyr's family into the sun?

Actually, a better question might be "what on earth happened at the end of issue #70?" Lila couldn't have transported the aliens directly into the sun because she can't go to places that she hasn't been. So what exactly did she do?

32. #70, p.21: Gosamyr says that her family are in their penultimate form. What on earth comes next?

33. #73, p.38: What happens to Illyana at the end of Inferno? She can't have erased herself from history retroactively, because the Soulsword still exists.

34. #74, p.12: X-Factor's Ship tries to scan the child Illyana but can't be more specific than "my sensors do not indicate that she is not a mutant." Nobody ever had this problem before. What's up?

Actually, in X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, the Purifiers had the same problem.

35. #74, p.20: What happened to Gosamyr after she left Earth?

36. #75, p.20: What is Selene planning in the Amazon?

37. #78, p.7: Destiny predicts that arresting Rusty Collins will lead to survival for Freedom Force "and some of our kind." Why?

38. #78, p.16: Trying to persuade Rusty to come quietly, the Blob lets slip that the US government has been looking after little mutant kids. Rusty and Skids conclude that this must be the kids from Inferno, whom X-Factor turned over to the government after rescuing them from Nanny. Mystique seems to confirm this. What happened to them?

The biggest dangler on this list. When is it going to be dealt with?

39. Ann. #5: Whatever happened to SURF? (Closely followed by: who cares?)

40. #87: Why did Stryfe want to capture Rusty and Skids?

Addison Godel suggests that he wanted to keep them away from the Acolytes. Being from the future, Stryfe knew what was likely to happen to them. Seems a bit tenuous to me, to be honest.

41. #88: Cable talks about having worked as a government agent and fighting elements of the US government. Details?

42. #89: How did Moira MacTaggert get inside Ship? She isn't a mutant.

43. #89, p.20: How does Cable know Moira?

44. Ann #6, p.9: Franklin creates counterparts of the New Mutants of his timeline. Shouldn't these guys have counterparts in the mainstream reality too?

45. #93, p.8: How did Cable know Sunfire's father?

45. #93, p.22: Why do Cable and Wolverine hate each other?

46. #99, p.7: Why on Earth is Gideon monitoring a Central Park cafe? Bitof a coincidence that Cable should choose to meet Warpath there, isn't it?

47. p.9: Gideon says that he's been "busy getting my own house in order after mom died." Since Gideon has been alive since Columbus landed in the USA, this has obviously taken him a while. In all fairness, this might be part of his cover identity.

48. p.13: Who killed James's tribe? Why? Why did they frame the Hellfire Club?

49. #100, pp.14-16: Shatterstar tells the New Mutants at some length that he has come to Earth to get help in overthrowing the government of Mojoworld. Everyone sympathises and then forgets all about it for the next five years. Shouldn't Shatterstar be getting a bit annoyed by now? They did promise they'd help, after all.

X-Force

1. #5, p.1: Was there any particular reason why Tyler wanted to get the services of Black Tom Cassidy and the Juggernaut?

2. #5, pp.12-13: One of many examples of Feral's flirting with Shatterstar and getting extremely negative signals from him. A long-running subplot, this was dumped without any apparent resolution.

3. #5, p.18: "Project: Wideawake is ready to go back online", according to Henry Peter Gyrich. And "we've recently reacquired the financial backing we've needed since Shaw Industries collapsed." Who from?

This probably ties into the later Nimrod storyline, and to the discovery of Sentinels in X-Factor. However, the financial backing remains unrevealed.

4. #6, p.5: Who is Phantazia?

Some background details can be found in X-Men Unlimited #2, but not a great deal.

5. #6, p.7: Cable has been dealing with AIM. Is this still ongoing? Do X-Force know about it? Vanessa suggests that they wouldn't be very happy to find out.

6. #7, p.9: The Toad suddenly displays a new superhuman power to secrete resin from his hands. Where did he get it?

J Wilson points out that the Toad has, in the past, used a clinging power from time to time, and this might be a variation on that.

7. #8, pp.16-17: Cable is looking for Externals in the hope that they can be used to overthrow Apocalypse. But why Externals? Why not just get lots of very powerful people to fight them? Other than being immortal, the Externals aren't all that powerful – so why is Cable so convinced that he needs an External?

8. #10, p.7: Gideon claims that Nicodemus has endured "centuries of hardship." Details?

9. #10, p.12: Cable says that he has fought the Externals in the past. Again, what are the details?

10. #10, p.21: What happened to Rictor between his leaving the New Mutants and resurfacing in Toronto?

He was supposed to be going to Genosha to rescue Wolfsbane, which makes one wonder how he ended up in Canada.

11. Annual #1: What is the history of this alternate future? Is it what will happen in our reality? If so, how did Illyana become Darkchilde? Is Cyberlock the same being as Douglock? (Cyberlock's description of himself is not consistent with Douglock's.) Who is Powerpax?

12. #11, p.19: Garrison Kane says that the first line-up of Weapon: PRIME all have an interest in taking Cable down. As far as Kane and Rictor are concerned, this is fine. But why do Tygerstryke and the Wendigo have an interest in Cable? For that matter, is that thing really a Wendigo? If so, who is it?

13. #12, p.2: How is Gideon married to Crule?

14. #12, p.4: What was Crule doing in Nazi Germany? When did Gideon have the opportunity to kill Crule, and why did he pass it up?

15. #14, p.5: Why did Crule want to kill Cannonball? That wasn't his mission. Gideon sent him to stop Cable.

16. #15, p.11: Why did Gideon want Cannonball to stay out of External affairs?

17. #17, p.6: Stryfe produces a knife to attack Apocalypse. The knife is covered in carvings related to Apocalypse and appears to have been some sort of religious artifact. Apocalypse identifies it as the knife that he once used to kill Stryfe. How and why?

This is particularly important given that Stryfe's body was destroyed at the end of the X-Cutioner's Song, or so it would appear. So who did Apocalypse kill? Was it another temporal counterpart of Stryfe? Or was it Cable?

18. #17, p.11: Cable says that he first encountered Stryfe about eight years previously. Obviously there's a lot of unrevealed stories there.

19. #21, p.11: Why does Gideon consider X-Force a threat to the Externals' existence?

20. #22, p.19: Who is Sluggo? What was his connection to the Weapon X project?

21. #23, p.7: Who are Killjoy and Double Trouble?

22. #23, p.11: Tygerstryke declares that Weapon PRIME will track down Domino, Grizzly and Hammer. Obviously they haven't got around to it yet. Are they planning to?

23. #23, p.18: Deadpool says that he "never liked what you and her [Vanessa and Tina] had together." What's he referring to?

The words "Mystique and Destiny" spring to mind, for some strange reason.

24. #24, p.8: Rusty Collins and Skids were being sent by Valerie Cooper to the X-Men's mansion. Why?

25. #26, p.21: Reignfire refers to Wildside's "oh-so-proper upbringing." So what is Wildside's origin story, then?

26. Annual #2: What happened to Neurotap after this story?

The story leaves her fate open, as she elected to stay with Martin Strong and X-Force made all sorts of comments about not trusting him to go through with his side of the deal. I regard this as being deliberately left open, which is why it's here.

27. #27: Who is Locus?

Much speculation has it that she's Illyana Rasputin, or a counterpart. However, Fabian Nicieza is apparently quite convinced that she isn't.

28. #27, p.11: Moonstar says that she "fell screaming from the skies, an angel cast out of a heaven I didn't belong in." Lovely poetry, but what on Earth is she talking about? For that matter, what happened to her horse? [Annual #3 confirms that it's Brightwind.] And how did herpowers change?

29. #28, p.23: What happened to Locus and Sunspot after they disappeared?

30. #30, p.7: Windsong is introduced as Shatterstar's wife. What are the details?

31. #30, p.8: What happened to Tempo after leaving X-Force?

Again, a whatever-happened-to, but I got the impression that we would be seeing her again.

32. #30, p.18: Arcade identifies the people who hired him to attack Shatterstar and X-Treme as "Milbury" and Major-Domo. Why did they do it?

Note that "Milbury" is usually an alias for Mister Sinister.

33. #32, p.10: Domino mentions that she is married.

34. #34, p.12: Allison Crestmere heads off to England to find her parents. Did she? Meanwhile, Manuel de la Rocha stalks off on his own, muttering about how this being nice business isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

35. Ann #3, p.3: Moonstar observes that there doesn't seem to be any particular reason why Forearm joined the MLF. He doesn't reallylike the other members and he isn't all that committed to the ideology. So why is he there?

36. Ann #3, p.32: How did Sunspot become Reignfire?

In issue #50, Cable's comments seem to suggest possession. This still leaves the question, "who by?"

37. #37, p.6: Why is Apocalypse partly mechanical? What happened to him in the Celestial ship?

38. #37, p.7: Absalom has the Legacy Virus. Will he die of it?

God, I hope so.

39. #37, p.16: Burke – a precognitive – has predicted that Cannonball will save the Externals from the Legacy Virus. How will he do this?

40. #39, p.21: What happened to Prosh after leaving Earth?

Yes, I know – another whatever-happened-to. But they devoted an entire issue to turning him into Prosh. I doubt they'd do that just to write him out.

41. #40, p.15: How did Cable become a lawyer?

He says he graduated in the class of 1988. That seems awfully recent. How does it fit into his chronology? (In all fairness, Marvel claim that Fantastic Four #1 took place circa 1985, so Cable would have graduated contemporaneously with comics published in the late 1960s and early 1970s.)

42. #42: What's Emma Frost playing at? She seems to be trying to undermine Warpath's self-confidence. But why?

43. #42, pp.16-17: a subplot about a ninja trying to rescue his son Asahi from a biochemical research plant, and a reference to the Clan Yashida.

44. #43, p.12: Where have Locus and Sunspot been? How did he abandon her? Where did she learn D'Barian and Shi'ar?

Shi'ar isn't too difficult to envisage. But the only inhabited planet in the D'Bari system was D'Bari IV, the home of the Asparagus People, killed by Dark Phoenix in issues of Uncanny published some fifteen years ago. Locus's comments on p.13 suggest that she can travel through time, which would explain a lot.

45. #43, p.14: Some effort is put into introducing Priscilla Cole. So what's the story?

46. #43, p.16: Why is Reignfire attacking the MLF? And did Forearm survive?

47. #44: What happened in the last two weeks?

48. #45, p.14: The first of many hints that Shatterstar's origin is false. See also #46, where a man very similar to Shatterstar can be seen in the files of the Weisman Institute.

49. #45, p.21: What happened to the tracking station in Siberia and why does the survivor blame Professor X?

50. #45, p.21: How did the Mimic end up in Siberia and back in his original-X-Men form?

51. #46, p.19: What happened to the Mimic after his fight with Sunspot?

52. #47, p.22: Why does Jeremy Stevens appear with the Gamesmaster's shadow? And is anybody ever going to go and rescue Deadpool?

53. #48, p.13: Where has Sebastian Shaw been hiding all this time?

54: #49, p.2: When did Tessa become telepathic? (She describes herself as a novice in issue #50.)

55: #49, p.19: Marty Smith reveals that Boomer's mother is still alive.

Wolverine

1. #16: This story suggests repeatedly that there is some connection between Wolverine and the Hand of God, the warrior allegedly sent by God to destroy Ba'al back in pre-Atlantean times. What's the link?

2. #25: Does Logan's bedtime story to the brat have any resemblance to his own past?

Yes, I know what they said in the letters column. But the story fairly clearly indicates that Logan's story is auto- biographical.

3. #27-30: What exactly is the Master Form anyway? Aside from the fact that it's the key to the Lazarus Project, we are told virtually nothing about it. Karma says it contains a secret of some sort. For that matter, what was the Lazarus Project anyway?

Issue #30, p.2 suggests that the Project may have been something to do with building cyborgs.

4. #27, p.11: Coy's comments suggest that Leong and Nga have some connection with the Lazarus Project, or at least with the Broker. What? Does Coy have Leong and Nga? If he doesn't, what's the link?

5. #34, p.21: Logan appears in Normandy in 1944 as a member of the Canadian army. How did he end up there?

Yes, obviously he joined the army. But he was last seen in Madripoor earlier in the war, so what happened?

6. #35, p.12: How does Logan recognise Inez? Time hasn't been altered
yet.

7. #36, pp.20-21: Wolverine asks some very good questions: why has he remained in his 1992 form, while Puck has reverted to his 1937 appearance?

8. #37, p.20: Other than altering a photograph, what else changed as a result of Deathstrike's killing Hans Schlechter? Isn't altering the timestream supposed to be really dangerous?

9. #44: Who is Gretchen's child going to be, and why is that demon thing trying to kill her?

10. #49, p.16: The first appearance of the recurring motif of the fanged tree nursing some radiators within Logan's mind. What's the significance?

11. #49, pp.6-7: What were Logan and Creed doing in Cuba? Issue #50 confirms that this flashback is genuine and suggests that it has some significance.

12. #50, p.9: How did Silver Fox end up in HYDRA?

13. #50, p.21: Which other victim of the Weapon X project "never found his key"?

Wildcat is a safe bet, since the others have all been accounted for, but nonetheless…

14. #50, p.26: Who are the people on the Weapon X list?

Wolverine and Sabretooth are self-evident. Mastodon has been seen. Fox is Silver Fox. Kestrel is John Wraith. Vole is apparently Aldo Ferro, as seen in issue #64. Who is Wildcat?

15. #50, p.32: The Professor calls the cabin memory an implant. But haven't we seen the real cabin?

16. #55, p.4: How did Cylla end up in the packing crate?

Silver Fox's comments in issue #57 suggest HYDRA involvement.

17. #57: Why did Silver Fox want Mariko Yashida dead?

18. #61, p.6: What exactly is John Wraith's position? Why is Nick Fury taking orders from him?

19. #61, p.20: What happened to Mastodon to kill him? We don't get to hear Hines's explanation in full, but what little we do hear suggests that it was something to do with the Weapon X project. Why did it only affect Mastodon?

20. #64: What on Earth actually happens at the end of this story?
Aldo Ferro turns into a tree, swallows Sabretooth, and shrivels into a pod. Ri-i-ight. Why did Shiva show up? Why is it retargeted at Vole?

21. #65, p.17: Why does John Wraith owe Wolverine for Terry Adams? In issue #66, he claims that he wasn't even on the mission. And why is the site of the cabin classified?

And if it is classified, why do they just leave Wolverine in the forest? Won't he be able to work out where he is once he finds his way back to civilisation?

22. #67, pp.6-7: Maverick is investigating a serial killer who is stalking mutants. This is never referred to again.

23. #68, p.22: Elena Ivanova declares her intention to avenge her mother's death by killing Sabretooth.

24. #72, p.10: What happened to Gateway after the Reavers were slaughtered, and why is his portal still open?

25. #72, p.17: Who hired Reno and Molokai to kill Dr. Lee and why?

Note that Jubilee thinks they were hired to kill another Dr. Lee entirely.

26. #76, p.19: Without his adamantium, Logan's immune system won't work properly – or so he tells Heather Hudson. Never referred to again.

27. #80, pp.14-15: Jaime Munoz is carrying out experiments into rebonding adamantium. Apart from the obvious, he raises several other questions. Where did he get a tissue sample from the Weapon X project? How did he find out about the project at all? And what is the DNA flaw that he found in Logan?

28. #82, p.22: Logan leaves Amiko in Yukio's care.

29. #86: The Adversary escaped? How does this tally with current issues of X-Factor?

30. #86: Will Bloodscream, Elsie-Dee and Albert ever find Logan?

Well, Bloodscream won't. He was sucked into the dimension of the N'Garai in X-Men Unlimited recently.

31. #87, p.20: Maverick reveals that he has the Legacy Virus.

32. #93, p.21: Why did Zoe Culloden and Noah banish the Juggernaut to another dimension? According to Noah, Cain "knows too much". What about?

One interpretation of this would suggest a connection between Landau, Luckman and Lake and Onslaught.

33. #94: The point of this story appears to be that Wolverine has turned into a wraith. Uh?

34. '95: When did Maverick regain his mutant power to absorb kinetic energy?

Since the Legacy Virus causes mutant powers to grow in strength, it might be responsible.

35. #95: What the hell is Dirt Nap?

Zoe's comments in this issue suggest that it's an agent of Landau, Luckman and Lake.

Oh and a note about X-Force Annual #1 –

2. Annual #1: What happened to Artie, Wiz Kid and Leech after this story?

Artie and Leech are over with Generation X nowadays. Wiz Kid isn't, but let's be honest – who cares about Wiz Kid?

Who knew?

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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