Spoilers below for X-Men #12, Excalibur #12, Captain America #23 and Giant-Size X-Men: Storm as everything begins to ramp up for the X Of Swords crossover event. And for the first time, we get an inkling of what is actually going on.
The Summoner, who first appeared in the most recent X-Men #5, was the son of Apocalypse's First Horseman of War. Born on Arakko, Krakoa's other half when part of Okkara, as part of the highest rank of creating-summoning mutants known as Summoners. But his relationship with Apocalypse may be a closer one.
Grandfather and grandchild? But wait, before reading today's X-Men #12, you might be minded to read Excalibur #12. I mean, you should probably read Hellions #4 first as that was meant to come out weeks ago, but you know what I mean. Excalibur #12 very much comes before X-Men #12 and it's all down to Apocalypse. Who has gathered the other Externals on Krakoa.
Including Selene – who has also been busy in today's Captain America. Who has been busy killing many humans, something that is meant to be forbidden for Krakoan mutants, even Externals.
So she's back on Krakoa and that word doesn't seem to be as strong as the one that Sabretooth has. Because she is needed by Apocalypse? Maybe she should have stayed with the humans…
Because Apocalypse wished to grind her bones to make his gate. Fee fi fo fum.
But it is only some of the Externals he has in mind, And it looks like Selene and Gideon get a pass, the gate is built from the bodies and remaining power sources of the Externals. When they return from the dead, as is their ability, it is possible they may have words.
He has built a permanent gate to Otherworld, the dimensional reality home to Merlin and Roma, to Satyrnyne and the Omniversal Matrix, the power sources for the Captain Britain Corps, with Jamie Braddock reigning, and the source of the tarot readings in the Free Comic Book Day that told the past, present and future for X Of Swords. And in X-Men #12, as grandfather talks to grandchild, it looks like he was successful. But why?
Planning to send all of Kakoa into Otherworld? But first we get a tale that… you remember when Marvel wanted Inhumans to be their Game Of Thrones? Recreate the whole franchise with a long back history, different factions and world within worlds? Matt Fraction was initially hired and bailed, as the series suffered from significant micromanaging and was ultimately a major flop, terminating from Marvel's internal war, and the dilution of the X-Men franchise while Fox still owned the film rights?
With X-Men #12, it does rather appear that Jonathan Hickman is doing just that kind of thing to the history of mutants. We have seen some of what was, the island split into two, the role of Apocalypse and the Horsemen in that, but X-Men #12 tells of many more factions and infighting over the centuries. With X Of Swords being summed up as issues caused by division – which is what a sword does. Just as we see the original Okkara island divided into Krakoa and Arakko, and populations divided – so it reflects House Of X, Powers Of X and Dawn Of X, humanity divided into human and mutant. Will X Of Swords further that dividing in twain, or begin to reunite the two halves? So we see the Summoner as the child of his Horseman and a child of Apocalypse.
We may also recall another of Apocalypse's children, by cloning, Evan Sabahnur, also known as Kid Apocalypse and Genesis, courtesy of the Clan Akkaba, then saved and nurtured by Fantomex, Ultimaton and The World.
Which is visited today in Giant-Size X-Men: Storm, where another lifeform appears to be generated, to be nurtured and developed inside The World. They really should get a handle on this place. Okay, back to the history.
Because we have another Genesis, the wife of Apocalypse. His clone was named after his wife? And she is the mother of his Horsemen? It does seem that Apocalypse put it about a bit, gaining him quite the nickname.
"The Great Reseeder". I suppose it beats "Complete Shagger", "Deadbeat" or "Babydaddy". But also that there is a whole other hidden mutant history beneath that of Apocalypse. Before he was the f And we get a better look at Genesis as the story of the islands play out, their battles, their histories, their deals.
That's the woman we saw in the Free Comic Book Day history. That we considered may be an ancestor of Storm – if so, she is not the ancestor we thought. And Genesis is not the individual in the other half of that picture either.
They have a very different battle.
Because that is Annihilation, a name hidden in other promotion for X Of Swords and named here for the first time.
These are just a few moments from a rich and full history that plays out from Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Yu across a very full X-Men #12. And, courtesy of Excalibur #12 and the remains of the Externals, it looks as if Apocalypse and The Summoner have plans to go find them all.
Using the External Gate to take a very long journey from Krakoa, through Otherworld…
…to Arakko. Crossing the great divide. And that division, or reunification, is X Of Swords. X marks the spot, it seems… and of course, everyone gets a sword. We have the Twilight Sword, the Cerebro Sword, the Soul Sword, The Light Of Galador, The Sword Of Might, and more to come.
X-MEN #12 EMP XOSP
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Leinil Francis Yu
THE SUMMONING BEGINS. A lead-in to the biggest X-story of the summer. Rated T+In Shops: Sep 16, 2020 SRP: $3.99
EXCALIBUR #12 XOSP
(W) Tini Howard (A) Marcus To (CA) Mahmud Asrar
SECRETS OF THE BOOK! With Rictor in his clutches, Apocalypse must survive long enough to begin the ritual he has waited on for eons. Rated T+ In Shops: Sep 16, 2020 SRP: $3.99
CAPTAIN AMERICA #23
(W) Ta-Nehisi Coates (A) Bob Quinn (CA) Alex Ross
"All Die Young" continues! A restoration! A resurrection! A bit of redemption! And the return of Cap's number one foe! Rated T+In Shops: Sep 16, 2020 SRP: $3.99
GIANT SIZE X-MEN STORM #1
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Russell Dauterman
In GIANT-SIZE X-MEN: JEAN GREY & EMMA FROST, Hickman and Dauterman took Jean and Emma into Storm's mind to learn what had happened to her. Now they take the X-Men's resident goddess to the far end of the world to save herself! Rated T+In Shops: Sep 16, 2020 SRP: $4.99