We've got some big reveals in Powers of X #3, plus the penultimate installment of The Vigil as Wolverine goes to hell in Marvel Comics Presents #8, and Deadpool takes on child molestation in Deadpool Annual #1. Time to recap…
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, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
What Happened in Powers of X #3?
POWERS OF X #3 (OF 6)
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) R. B. Silva
As Xavier sows the seeds of the past, the X-Men's future blossoms into trouble for all mutantdom. Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (NEW AVENGERS, INFINITY, FF) continues reshaping the X-Men's past, present and future with breakout artist R.B. Silva (UNCANNY X-MEN)!
In Shops: Aug 21, 2019
The issue opens in X2 (100 years in the future) at the Temple of Concordance of the Church of Ascendency, whose priest is preaching about how much humans suck and machines rule. The X-Men show up — Xorn, Rasputin, Cardinal, and Magneto — to reign on their parade.
Except, all is not as it seems. An infographic reveals that these aren't the X-Men at all. In fact, Wolverine, Xorn, Magneto, and Krakoa/Cypher are actually the Horsemen of Apocalypse, and Rasputin, Cardinal, and the now-gone Percival and Cylobel, are a mirror horseman, connected to someone called Mother. Oh, and that's not the only mind@#$% from this infographic. It turns out the Magneto in green armor in these past few issues and in all the promo art for this series is actually a second-generation Chimera mutant called North, who appears to have the DNA of Polaris and Emma Frost. We also learn that Cardinal's DNA comes from Nightcrawler, Jean or Rachel Grey, and someone with the last name of Freeman. Okay, that's a lot to process, but by far not the biggest revelation of this issue, as that comes at the end.
At Nimrod's base, Omega Sentinel reports the attack on the Church, but Nimrod doesn't care. He's about done with humans. She decides to respond though. She arrives on the scene of the fight, where even Cardinal has joined the violence by swallowing a terminal apocalypse seed (is that a fancy way of saying he gave Apocalypse a blowjob) to overcome his genetic disposition to pacifism. But all of this is just a diversion, as Wolverine, Apocalypse, and Krakoa/Cypher are breaking into a vault to find out when Nimrod comes online.
Unfortunately, Nimrod is waiting for them, and he roasts Wolverine, melting off a bunch of his flesh. Back at the Church, Rasputin removes Xorn's mask, unleashing the singularity in his head and nuking everyone present. At the vault, Apocalypse his Horsemen have gotten the information they need. Wolverine wants to stay behind to hold off Nimrod, but Apocalypse tells him to travel through Krakoa/Cypher back to their Sol base instead. Apocalypse stays behind to be killed by Nimrod.
On Sol, Wolverine wakes up Akkaba, who is Moira MacTaggert. He gives her the information about when Nimrod comes online and then does what he does best, stabbing and killing here. This was all part of the plan, because as it turns out, this is Moira's ninth life, and she can now return to birth with the knowledge needed to prevent Nimrod from coming online in her tenth life. Wow!
Learning to Love (or Hate) the X-Men Relaunch (Part 5)
So that was a monumental revelation. To this point, we've been under the impression that the timelines in Powers of X — X1, the beginning of the X-Men, X2, ten years later around the time of House of X #1, X3, a hundred years in the future, and X4, a thousand years in the future — were all taking place in a linear timeline, even though that wasn't explicitly stated. However, the reveal at the end of Powers of X #3 changes everything, as we now know that the events we've seen in X2 are actually taking place after the events we've seen in X3 in the linear timeline of Moira MacTaggert's consciousness, and it's possible that these timelines actually span across all of Moira's lives, so anything we've seen so far could be "out of order." And while that calls into question all assumptions we've made about this story so far, it also explains a lot about what's going on with the X-Men in House of X #1.
At this point in the twelve-part series that Marvel insists on selling as two six-part series so they could publish two extra-priced number one issues instead of one, I'm pretty much fully on board. The Moira MacTaggert reveal in House of X #2 changed the game for this series, providing plausible explanations for everything that's been going on. Since then, the two issues of Powers of X (#2 and #3) have been filling in the blanks while still leaving us with more mysteries to speculate on. I came into this relaunch with a healthy dose of skepticism, but nearly halfway through, it's been earning faith. Could it all fall apart before the end? Sure, but thus far, the story is providing explanations for the behavior of the characters and the pacing of the reveals is quick enough to keep things interesting. And it's certainly got people talking about it. If all of that keeps up, House of X and Powers of X could actually succeed in their mission of returning the X-Men to their rightful place of prominence, and it's hard not to root for that.
What Happened in Marvel Comics Presents #8?
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #8
(W) Charles Soule, Sacks, Ethan, Emily Lerner (A) Paulo Siqueira, More (CA) Arthur Adams
The journey through Marvel history reaches the current decade as Wolverine's vigil takes a dark turn! Spider-Woman battles with disinformation on social media! And an all-new story featuring Korea's own super hero, White Fox!
In Shops: Aug 21, 2019
Wolverine wants his daughter to send him to hell, but she doesn't want to bother because he means nothing to her and she means nothing, her only purpose being to stop the demon Ron Killings every ten years when he tries to destroy the world. But when Wolverine presses her on it, her facial expression shows she might care after all. She opens the portal, which is a door, and Wolverine enters hell… only to be immediately imprisoned as Hell's royalty fights over who gets to torture him first. But Rien shows up and saves him, revealing that she's studied him and though he believes he deserves to suffer, he doesn't. Now they will get to fight their way out hell together… but there's a twist. Rien's mother, the woman Wolverine had sex with after first meeting her as a young child, is imprisoned there… alive!
This issue also features a pretty morbid story where a college student makes a YouTube prank video pretending to be Spider-Woman, forcing the real Spider-Woman to show up and try to save her from being murdered by all the villains out to kill Spider-Woman. She fails, and the girl is hit by a bus… which inspires even more copycat Spider-Woman identity reveal videos.
There's also a White Fox story where White Fox gets injured on the job and needs to use a magical marble to heal herself, but requires human energy to drain to do so… so she goes to a party with a guy who was being sexist to her in her civilian identity at work and kisses him, stealing his energy.
Thoughts on the Demise of Marvel Comics Presents
Marvel Comics Presents will publish its final issue next week. Bummer. What a waste of potential. First of all, the fact that the entire series, and particularly its lead story, appears to take place out of continuity is an odd and disappointing choice. It takes away a lot of the weight of the story to know that, in the grand scheme of the "real" Marvel Universe, none of it will seemingly matter. And while I don't know what Marvel's plans were originally, it sure seems like they intended for this to be an ongoing series, with The Vigil advertised as a twelve-part story. Instead, next issue, the ninth, will be the last, and it will be all Vigil, wrapping up whatever was left in one big chunk. That's unfortunate because an anthology series that tells stories set in the Marvel Universe that don't fit into other ongoing series could be a really useful tool for creators and a fun way to cross-pollinate and promote characters readers might not be into already. I hope Marvel doesn't abandon the concept altogether (and Fearless seems to be a girl-powered Marvel Comics Presents, so perhaps they won't).
What Happened in Deadpool Annual #1?
DEADPOOL ANNUAL #1
(W) Dana Schwartz (A) Reilly Brown (CA) Aaron Kuder
ACTS OF EVIL!
Eight-year-old Peter Quincy is willing to pay seven dollars to the person who can kill his bad dreams, and the Merc with a Mouth is on the case! But if Deadpool wants to earn that sweet, sweet paper, he's going to have to throw down with Nightmare himself!
In Shops: Aug 21, 2019
In Deadpool Annual #1, a child writes a letter to Deadpool asking him to come kill his nightmares. Actually, the kid is a big Squirrel Girl fan and sent her a bunch of letters, and Deadpool one, but Deadpool is the guy who showed up. Deadpool breaks into Doctor Strange's house and steels the Amulet of Agamotto, which he uses to visit Nightmare's realm. After some convincing, Nightmare agrees to show Deadpool the kid's nightmares, which turn out to be a reflection of the sexual abuse inflicted on the kid by his neighbor, who watches him while his parents away. Deadpool heads back to the real world, goes to the house, catches the neighbor in the act, beats the crap out of him, and ties him up for the police. Doctor Strange shows up to get his amulet back, but when he realizes what Deadpool is up to, he doesn't banish him to the dark dimension or anything.
There's not much to say about this story. On the one hand, it's almost a cliche way to deal with child abuse, but on the other hand, who can't root for Deadpool kicking a molester in the nards? It probably would have worked well as a Marvel Comics Presents story, actually, but I'm not sure it's worth five bucks on its own.
Adventures in Poor Taste and my frenemy Chris Hassan are celebrating 25 installments of their X-Men Monday Q&A column this week. If it were a Marvel title, it would have been relaunched at least twice by now and had Wolverine added to the roster, so kudos! The column contains a reveal of Mark Bagley's connecting variants for the Dawn of X titles, themed "Every Mutant Ever," as well as interviews with Bryan Hill, Tini Howard, Benjamin Percy, and the Gerry Duggan of comics, Gerry Duggan.
Xavier Files' House of X and Powers of X annotation column we've been telling you to read every week got picked up by geometry-themed video game website Polygon, which is good because it means they're getting paid well for their hard work and it will be in front of a larger audience. It looks like Polygon refused to put the column's official title, Hox Pox Tox, in the headline, which is probably for the best because it sounds like a sexually transmitted disease… though, this column should talk. Anyway, congrats to those folks on getting PAAAID!
Loot Crate is putting X-Men in their September back to school crate, but who knows if they'll actually ship the damn thing?
Next week, House of X #3 and the midway point of the Hicklaunch.
Read more X-ual Healing here: