Note: I had initially assumed this would be a relatively tight piece, reflecting the pace of blockbuster action. Hah! There’s a lot going on in HOX 4. But for you, dear reader, I’ve uncovered inchoate revelations and tantalizing doubts that will surely sustain your anxieties well into the Dawn of X and beyond. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Previously: More in the Hickman X-Men Re-Read!
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I. HOX 3 Cliffhanger: The “X-Men” Breach the Forge (pgs.18-26)
A. Setting the Scene
We pick back up here with Orchis leader Erasmus Mendel radioing his wife Alia Gregor to warn her about the incoming bogey—our Krakoan heroes rocketing ~68 million miles across the ecliptic plane before showing up on Orchis’ sensors. For those interested, “slingshotting” is a spacecraft maneuver for both altering its trajectory and its speed as it swings to greater or lesser degrees into a celestial body’s pull. It’s not science fiction! I’m just really curious about their flight time. Venus’ gravity assist would’ve at least let them save a bit on fuel and time. (What else is pure super-science here? It’s still amazing those inside the Forge and the Krakoans’ jet haven’t fried yet. We can chalk the latter up to Shi’ar tech, no doubt, but the circuitry inside that Mother Mold head would surely be crisped carbon.)
It is nice to see A.I.M.’s beekeeper suits getting a sinister, battle-ready update her. Unlike S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M. had reformed—albeit somewhat modestly at first—not long before HOX 1, in the pages of Unstoppable Wasp by Jeremy Whitley and Gurihiru (2018-2019). But they had been drastically purged of evil-science types after Bobby Da Costa/Sunspot’s hostile corporate takeover in Avengers World #19 by Frank Barbiere and Marco Checchetto (2015). However, even evil scientists have to eat and pay the bills—and, really, who knows how many of Bobby’s seemingly inoffensive flatscan employees decided to throw in with Orchis?
B. Briefly Comparing Three Desperate Missions—Year 10, Year 100, Year 1000
Before getting into the action, let’s think about how this blockbuster sequence fits within the larger narrative. This kinetic climax might distract us from stepping back to compare and contrast it with what we just read in POX 3: The suicidal Year 100 raid against the Church and Nimrod’s archives.
Most obviously: there are X-Men of sorts in Years 10 and 100—both similarly sacrificing themselves, with some obvious differences; and the mission success of the former opened the way for the Year 10 endeavor. Both successes, however, prove incomplete (already hinted at in HOX 3, pg8). Moreover, while Year 100’s Man-Machine Supremacy is ascendant, a similar future for Moira’s tenth life is barely in its nascence with the activities aboard the Orchis Forge.
(Don’t forget, though, that just as our Year 10 X-Men will return, there’s still a possibility that we’ll see Rasputin IV and Xorn-Death again.)
But let’s step back further: What about Year 1000?
Unlike Years 10 and 100, there is no actionable optimism—or is there? It’s much subtler than the climaxes of the other two timelines, but Moira in Life Six is the super-long-game infiltrator—along with Logan. However, as with the other narrative threads, her success is critical but incomplete. Critically, she discovers what long game the posthumans are playing at, but of course she’s still not sure how to prevent it.
Comically, though, the enemy in all three timelines is taken by surprise, showing themselves up for fools: First, we see Nimrod acting like a nimrod in POX 3; here in HOX 3, Orchis is caught woefully flat-footed; and—most grim and hilarious—the Librarian in POX 6 realizes too late posthumanity’s fatal hubristic error in baiting the Phalanx with Nibiru/Nimbus. Whoopsie x 3!
(And, really, that Shi’ar scout tech must be quite impressive if Orchis couldn’t do anything about it once they’d spotted the craft from 25 million miles away.)
Returning to Year 10 and the fearful flatscans’ nascent infatuation with machines of death, we find Erasmus “heroically” trying to overcome his panic and ordering his wife to stay and “Protect the Mother” (p19).
Dr. Erasmus Mendel’s chosen existence makes a mockery of his namesake (“Prince of the Humanists”) although he believes himself heroic—as all fascists do! “It’s just a little fight for the survival of our species” (pg20). He says this as though it’s an endearment to his wife. But these two are, after all, tied inextricably through a reverence for science twisted to repugnant ends—Gregor Mendel, “father of modern genetics,” would not be amused. Presumably, this pioneering but humble geneticist would be more in the camp of Nobel-winning Dr. MacTaggart and the hopeful incrementalist Prof. Xavier.
But then again, perhaps the Orchis ideology appeals to modest human moderates in a way that the likes of the Right or the Sapien League never could; Orchis’ goals and means are far more ambitious, but Orchis isn’t winning converts by endlessly ranting on right-wing media. Their elite clandestine approach appears respectable. They’ve likely courted sought-after scientists and engineers by presenting a polished façade of respectability that flatters professional careerists and rightminded egos—twisting the flatscan conscience from unquestioningly normative to desperately preemptive.
I do wonder how Gregor and Mendel approached these scientists, appealing to both egos and panic, and how they envisioned applying their instrumentalist know-how to shaping that fear to mechanistic genocide. It must’ve been somewhat like Dr. Strangelove: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the
Bomb Goose-stepping Deathbots.” (This also circles the X franchise back from Morrison’s nuclear holocaust fears to Claremont’s anxiety over the machines of modernity grindingly/banally applied to extermination.)
Hence humanity’s love—or rather, man’s, since it’s typically a misguidedly controlling (i.e., phallocentric) infatuation with the machine—is envisioned throughout HOX/POX as culminating in its own loveless end, drained of color, vitality, and individuality in the Year 1000. (I mean, who wants to be part of a phalanx?)
And yet how far is Mendel’s speechifying from Magneto or Xavier’s in the Krakoan era? So far, Mendel and Gregor have shown much more emotion and passion for their cause than the supremely coolheaded fathers of Krakoa…
At first glance, this is appalling of Hickman. How dare he humanize genocidaires?! But if we’re going to take this seriously—and Hickman’s narrative generally—we need to work through its layers and connections. Larraz certainly sells the drama of the moment—elegant as with everything he draws; fraught with meaning and import. And on the page, the statement seems to be: Well, the hard truth is even monsters are people! But is that an excuse for their atrocities? Of course not! It should instead be a recognition that hatred and the worst crimes that it breeds are not special or exclusive to some inhuman class of despicables.
Notoriously, evil is banal (Hannah Arendt). These Orchis people seem ordinary, yes, even cliched—typical. That makes what ordinary people are capable of that much more frightening. We have to check ourselves continually for what Deleuze and Guattari called microfascisms, like little tumors of fear, hate, and ignorance that pop up even and maybe especially when we’re not paying attention to our easy assumptions and prejudices. (And hey, I’m talking to you, Concerned Citizen! Take a break from your busy day and consider: Is the world really broken if the trains aren’t running on time? Maybe your anxiety is born of some dark seed your masters planted inside you and you’ve been cultivating that nightshade as if life itself depended on your good opinion. That’s microfascism. And we all suffer from it to varying degrees.)
Even Magneto falls prey to easy assumptions. That’s certainly no hot take! In just the latest instance here, he’s pompously encouraging Scott to go kill himself and thus become immortalized as the nation’s cofounder. He’s so easily disregarding the suicide mission’s imminent experience of excruciating pain, fear, sorrow, and death, so he can boast of Krakoa’s exceptionalism—safe at home with Charles, the real founders of the nation.
Thus, Magneto’s epigraph closes out this chapter subtitled “The Eternal War of Man,” pointing toward HOX 4’s “The Way We Treat Our Children” (see the title page, bottom right).
Where not once does Xavier reach out a hand of comfort or commiseration to Storm or anyone else after his children die for him.
C. The Problem of: How Omega Is Karima? Or, Does Humanity Need Humans?
And yet the frigging Omega Sentinel is comforting a grieving human chauvinist she barely respects (see image above, HOX 3, pg25).
Karima will continue to play a critical role next issue, but the mystery of her ultimate allegiance will remain unanswered. And let me be clear, I’m a Karima stan, especially from the way Mike Carey wrote her—where she’s squarely in the mutant camp and her “Omega progression” is stalled out. Yet her role and attitude throughout HOX/POX are equally as enigmatic as Xavier’s, if not more so.
On page 22 here, she gives her clearest—though still puzzling—indication that she’s unaligned (reiterating Orchis’ org chart in HOX 1—which, looking back at it, weirdly conflates Zaha and Gehry as chief engineer. Presumably, Hickman was having a bit of fun, but you’d think Albert Speer more fitting; maybe it’s just further reminder that hatred can hide behind respectable names? Still pretty disrespectful).
Is Karima miffed about not being recognized as a longtime ally and not allowed to visit the mutant utopia?
Maybe. But there’s got to be more. Clearly, she’s still fond of the X-Men, feeling the urge to quietly speak Kurt’s name when Gregor reports his infiltration as though Kurt is merely a cog in the enemy’s war machine (which he is—just as Xavier and Magneto requested of field captain Cyclops). In other words, Karima is humanizing her former friends—and her current host—in a striking contrast with the Quiet Council.
But as we see on the next page, Kurt has neglected to do the same for Karima—as if there’s even another Omega she might be confused with! He should’ve said, “They have [the] Omega Sentinel.” Surprisingly, he doesn’t seem particularly shocked to see a former friend in apparent alliance with Orchis.
Still, this begs the question: While Karima doesn’t stop Alia from activating the Mother Mold—and she is shocked when it happens—was she aboard the Forge to ultimately prevent that from happening, if Orchis had remained on a predictable/undisturbed schedule? We just don’t know.
From the mutants’ point of view, she of course looks guilty as hell. But Kurt’s reaction is still telling—and yet Karima’s continued respect for the X-Men is obvious, begging the question of how Omega she’s become. Clearly, she has more admiration for her erstwhile friends than she does Gregor and Orchis:
(Note: The remaining data page here and the one at the start of HOX 4 will be discussed after the end of the X-Men’s fatal mission.)
II. HOX 4: “It Will Be Done”
This issue’s title is drawn from Scott’s affirmation to Xavier’s request for this mission in POX 2. Subtitling it “The Way We Treat Our Children” is an easy-to-miss but not-subtle condemnation of Charles and Erik—as should already be clear!
So another way to read this (as-ever beautiful Larraz) cover is: This is what Xavier’s turned his children into, weapons in the eternal war against man. Is the message clear yet?
Xavier’s paramilitary methods from 1963 to the Krakoa era has trapped mutantkind in a damaging dialectic, no less than Magneto’s expected M.O.
However, it is important to note that Kurt never does bloody his sword in the story. Xavier will use Logan for what he is, but Kurt’s integrity is what keeps him from becoming like his best friend. Xavier’s ethics, however, certainly wouldn’t stand in the way if he decided to follow Logan’s path.
A. Hickman’s First On-Page Instance of “Mutant Technology”
In HOX 5, we have the first formal presentation of the wondrous possibilities of what, in the Dawn of X, will be called “mutant technology.” There, upon the resurrection of Scott’s team, the combined powers of the Five are celebrated in the language of the miraculous.
What that elides, however, is the fact that the Resurrection Protocols are a purely mechanistic process if we take the super-science of the Marvel Universe as established fact. It’s equally accepted in this fictional world that souls do in fact exist.
The closest anyone gets to talking about souls throughout the entire HOX/POX narrative is the discussion Kurt and Logan have later in HOX 4, just before they sacrifice themselves (see section C below).
This misdirection and omission are clearly intentional on Hickman’s part—but it sure is easy to miss for first-time readers in the early flush of excitement. (Fortunately, Hickman has created a story that’s worth rereading over and again.)
In hindsight, then, it’s clear that what we see on Krakoa this issue is in fact Hickman’s first presentation of what will become known as “mutant technology.”
This is quite similar how instances of these mutant “power circuits” will be presented going forward. Components are highlighted, and given each mutant’s power set, we can surmise how each contributes to the end result. It’s the kind of systematizing Hickman excels at, and the possibilities remain very exciting. And yet there’s the potential that mutants—sometime down the line—end up just being cogs in a machine producing cool or powerhouse effects. (Sinister would enjoy that removal of agency more than anyone, and it’s telling that his presence in Year 100 and Year 10—as we’ll see in POX 4—sandwiches this early instance of mutant circuitry—what’s perhaps the very early nascence of chimerism.
And here it looks really cool. But I’m not sure how vital Storm’s “invocation” contribution is. These circuits and pairings won’t necessarily always stick—and this particular instance is just a one-off.
But who knows. Maybe in the future, there’ll be further need of this form of astronomical communication.
What hopefully does stick is the technopath Trinary, who we barely see here. After first appearing and playing key support in Tom Taylor’s X-Men: Red (2018), this new mutant from Delhi hasn’t been given much to do. Here, though, it seems she’s hacked into a number of US government-owned observatories and the fictional Dyson observatory, which could be part of the Forge itself (after all, Stark’s original design had been for a complete Dyson sphere).
Before moving on, let’s note that Xavier continues to be insufferable, calling Storm “my dear” and Jean “child” on page 5; before that, he tells Henry he’s “always had a good head on [his] shoulders.” Why? Surprisingly, Beast almost seems peppy in response. But with how ominous everything already is, I’m inclined to call Xavier’s paternalistic mention of Beast’s mental state a Chekhov’s gun…
Make a note of that.
Anyway, Xavier also continues to be cool and detached. I’ve long since started seeing his sleek black leotard as an eel-slick wet-suit, probably cold to the touch. I wonder if he’s secretly got Radiohead playing on repeat inside his creepy, Maker-esque Cerebro. (And what’s on the House of M sound-system? It might not be German classical, but somehow it wouldn’t be surprising if it was dark, bracing, and Scandinavian. But maybe it’s something pleasant like Brian Eno.)
Xavier’s “Should we fear the worst?” is either very stoic or insincere. Only his tear at the end tells us which. But still, he must’ve known this was going to happen. He must have.
Also, we are definitely going to come back to this mystery—comparing, bizarrely, Xavier’s energy signature and the Librarian’s cheek tattoo (the only difference being two broken circles to one):
(What the hell is going on?)
Both Xavier and the Librarian are stewards of a mutant genetic archive, but beyond that …?
B. Lambs to the Slaughter? Or Something More Sinister? (Excuse the Pun?)
Well, Wolverine’s no lamb; in fact, only Kurt might be? With Warren and Paige killed in Mendel’s suicide, there are six left in the strike team. (Once again, Mystique—humanely covering Paige’s corpse—didn’t merit space on the cover!)
Now, for anyone reading this series as it was released, this scene was shocking. And yet, did readers believe someone as major as Warren would be killed off-panel and stay dead? Well, in fact, there was much feverish speculation that these were “fake” X-Men, whatever that means—like maybe they were just clones?
And of course, that’s hilarious, because after this, they’re all clones! One might argue only their bodies are cloned, but what are memories perfectly copied? Copies.
But what is memory? The record of a past event. An imperfect record. A record that has to be replayed if it’s not to be forgotten. And as time progresses, that replay mutates, accruing or losing detail and resolution, while the past is gone.
Recall the hex-magic Vision’s debate with his resurrected self about Theseus’ ship in WandaVision. And I’m sure you’ve heard the old saw about the body fully replacing its cells after every seven years?
The only real problem I see with any of this is that the Marvel Universe has established souls and afterlives as real. The Resurrection Protocols make no acknowledgment of that. But it will be addressed I’m sure—someday.
There’s a much more immediate problem with the attack on Orchis, however. I mean, what the hell? First, Jean Grey is an Omega-level telepath, and she doesn’t just read thoughts—she can affect others’ minds, radically. Why the f* is she straining to broadcast back to Krakoa?
Furthermore, why is she straining at all? Why does she need a much lesser telepath’s help (Monet)?
HOX 1, pg38: Her telepathy has “an undefinable upper limit.” 95 million miles shouldn’t matter, right?!
Is that retro Marvel Girl costume signaling that Jean doesn’t even know her own Omega power? Well, you’d think this crisis would get her tapping into it. Why isn’t she shutting down all the human’s minds? Sure, she expressed a weird kind of empathy for them, but surely, she could knock them all unconscious or have them change their minds about their line of work?
Second, what is this stupid team? Where’s Magneto here? Why didn’t they bring back Jamie Braddock or have Quentin Quire along assisting Jean—who shouldn’t even need it?
Surely Reed and Susan Richards would’ve helped out considering Franklin?
Amazingly, Cyclops stoically rallies the team in the face of certain doom—a fate that seems needless—and even Kurt puts on a game face, despite grievous-looking wounds. So, each does what they’re best at:
(And colorist Marte Gracia beautifully worked palette is doing wonderfully subtle storytelling here.)
Meanwhile, as Orchis agents board the damaged Shi’ar scout, Monet ushers Jean into an escape pod while she sacrifices herself to hold off the attackers.
Because yeah, the most important thing for Jean to do is stay in contact with Krakoa?!?! I’m supposed to be helping readers with this reread but does anyone else know what’s going on here?! I sure as hell don’t.
What did Jean not get to say here? “The other is … well …” What? What’s the other thing???
And while Jean’s death—following Scott’s—several pages later is absolutely horrific, let’s also recall that it makes a mockery of her former status as an absolute powerhouse. When in New X-Men #148 (2003), she and Logan are trapped in Asteroid M drifting near the Sun—which, hello!—Logan’s attempted mercy killing instead unleashes the Phoenix inside Jean (in #150), who then pilots the asteroid back to Earth to defeat Xorn/Magneto, all under her own power—or rather, the Phoenix’, I suppose. Xorn/Magneto’s powers, boosted by an addiction to the bacterial drug Kick, managed to stroke out Phoenix Jean, killing her.
Critically, Jean did reject the Phoenix after it resurrected her in the 2018 miniseries Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey by Matthew Rosenberg. So, her Phoenix-less demise her is kind of pathetic. She doesn’t even get to have a companion in her last moments, instead being horrifically slain after telepathically “witnessing” Scott’s murder (pg23).
Well, it’s cool to see Monet’s last stand is as Penance. It’s a killer look, but initially her transformation into this mute form was the result her brother Emplate’s years-long abuse (see the original Generation X series and issue #40 in particular, 1998). It now appears she can transform at will, but she’s not invulnerable. So, while we don’t see her death here, we can assume the radio report of her “elimination” on page 15 settles it (assuming “eliminated” doesn’t just mean knocked out).
Also, given the new interest in mutant-melding gestalt states, Monet and her St. Croix siblings can swap mutant abilities and combine with each other to “manifest new powers and personalities.” This is fascinating, but how the Resurrection Protocols might affect this or M’s Penance form is—unclear.
Now, we turn to Mystique. What the hell is she doing? Obviously, she’s lying about getting “turned around” (pg13)—and to be sure, we’ll eventually find out what she was doing—but why, why, why is she walking about as herself?? She could’ve so easily avoided getting spaced!
At least when Xavier hears that Alia’s brought Mother Mold online, his façade looks like it’s ready to crack. In fact, it looks like he’s trying to swallow something foul and not spit it out.
Well, it’s not like there any other options at this point—unless, you know, Jean used her Omega telepathy to make all the Orchis agents have dreams of puppies while programming those Sentinels to ferry her back safely inside?
A clear contrast to Xavier, Scott dying for Xavier and sending his friends to their deaths appears much more distraught over doing “whatever it takes”:
C. Is This Strike Team Hickman’s Idea of a Joke? MAYBE!
Working out what Hickman is doing with this team we’ll look at Kurt and Logan’s last moments together before pulling back to look at the overall status of this group of mutants in terms of their history of death and resurrection and the ambiguous nature of these mutants’ bodies.
So, in Wolverine #1-8 by Jason Aaron (2010-2011), Logan was sent to Hell—largely thanks to Mystique. Already, Logan’s soul had suffered the abuse—with his own permission no less—of having a piece it trapped within the Muramasa blade as it was forged (Wolverine #40, 2006).
Anyway, how many times has Logan all but died, his flesh entirely gone (and probably his brain), and returned? In 2018’s Hunt for Wolverine, he at first returned from death as a mindless, enthralled zombie.
In 2010’s Second Coming, Kurt died and went to Heaven, soon paying a visit to Hell to help Wolverine. Aaron also penned Kurt’s return from afterlife’s paradise with help from Xavier’s own soul and the Bamfs in Amazing X-Men #5 (2014). And in X-Men: Gold, writer Marc Guggenheim reveals he’s immortal.
So, what is Logan talking about here? He already knows at least part of the answer. Yet the question remains:
Where are there souls now? Upon their resurrection in HOX 5, neither looks particularly radiant, nor are they coordinated enough to give hugs right away. They seem groggy, dopey, and mute.
What of the others? Jean’s history of death and resurrection is a mess, thanks to the Phoenix. So, what exactly would we say is her original body? (See the backup in Classic X-Men #43 for Jean’s afterlife, which being the White Hot Room, she may no longer have access to since it’s part of the Phoenix. Go figure.)
In The Twelve and Ages of Apocalypse events (1999-2000), Scott merged with Apocalypse. He got better. A few years after his initial possession by the Phoenix (2012), it possessed him again in Secret Wars, but God Emperor Doom killed him in issue #4 of that Hickman-written event. Later, he died of M-Pox (2016), but the prior Phoenix business allowed him to return again in 2019’s Uncanny X-Men Annual.
Betsy Braddock slew Warren in Uncanny X-Force #18 (2012) with a Celestial Life Seed, which I guess returns with his resurrected body? Does this mean the Five understand how this technology works? Or should we not even worry about it?
Monet was originally supposed to be two little kids in a big coat. Or something. Sometimes, she goes to some other place, a realm with no name. This has never been adequately explained. A brain injury inflicted on her by Pluto proved fatal, but the Lord of Hell—another mutant known as Strong Guy—resurrected her (X-Factor #253-256, 2013).
Has anyone ever seen Paige’s bones? (It’s always just more skin—made of whatever material.)
Mystique is basically a humanoid fluid.
The point of all this? Mutant deaths are weird; mutant souls are weird; mutant bodies are weird. And this particular group of mutants highlights that. Maybe Hickman is just saying—don’t take death in comics seriously? Yet the mystery of the soul remains. What gets resurrected without it?
(Just to be clear, this is purely a question about the metaphysical realities Marvel has already established.)
D. Omega Human?
Karima’s pep talk here (pg8) is the same as Scott’s, highlighting the dialectic each side is caught in. And yet Karima is “technically” acting merely as “an observer,” not a commander like Scott. Her behavior here, though, is completely different from the Omega Sentinel of Year 100. She uses psychology to encourage (other) humans rather than sadistic, godlike power. But what powerful interests is she serving?
Further, she is very humanly shocked by Gregor’s emotionally-dictated and extremely frightening decision to bring Mother Mold online.
If she had meant to act to prevent this, however, Karima does nothing here, despite the fact that she’d already felt the whole Forge project was a serious error back in HOX 1. Despite the mounting chaos, though, she remains rational. But it’s not a chilling rationality; rather it’s an appalled reasonableness that readers could almost identify with—except it’s too restrained and subdued.
And of course, she does attack Scott from behind.
But she clearly meant to debilitate him, perhaps just temporarily. From what we know of her tech, she’d have the ability to deactivate the nanites inside him. Yet she doesn’t stand in Gregor’s way. The woman won’t be denied her vengeance. After all, Karima is merely an observer.
E. Rival Children?
The truly epic deaths here—as in monuments to noble sacrifice—are unsurprisingly Kurt and Logan’s. Kurt dies as soon as he teleports himself and Logan into circumsolar space (pg19).
As Logan heroically hacks away at the last anchoring collar, Mother Mold begins, haltingly, to speak—while attempting to stop him with creepy mouth cables.
Its halting speech makes sense at first. Humans are godlike. But then somehow mutants are titans, children of Uranus and Gaia. So, it sounds like Mother Mold is comparing machine intelligence to the Olympians, even though the latter were not directly children of the primordial gods but rather the Titans.
Charitably, one could read this seemingly garbled logic as: Sentinels only come about because of mutants.
But apparently, machines (the new gods?) should have other concerns than the eternal war of man/mutant.
Yet it was the Titans who battled Olympians for ten years in the Titanomachy for control of the cosmos. No one was fighting Uranus or Gaia in a war. Uranus’ castration by the Titan Cronus is part of the creation of the world, with his blood creating further creatures. Is the Titanomachy’s replay Year 100?
But then who the hell is Mother Mold talking to on page 20? Olympus was the home of the new gods—Olympians, children of the Titans.
In Ancient Greece, people would equate Uranus and Olympus in speech, so maybe Mother Mold is addressing the humans, talking about stealing their fire—but that doesn’t add up either.
After all, the standard myth regarding Prometheus (a Titan) is that he wanted humans to get the better deal at a sacrificial meal that would decide how meat was to be divided between gods and mortals. He deceived Zeus (the ruler of the new gods of the universe, the Olympians), who ended up with just the bones, while the mortals’ share was all in the edible meat.
Angered, Zeus took the recent discovery of fire from the humans so they couldn’t even cook. Prometheus stole it back, and thus he’s revered as both a fire god and the father of civilization. Again, he was a Titan. So, mutants are titans?
Mother Mold stole fire from who exactly? And it’s only use for it is to “burn you all”? Maybe that would be its sustenance?
But what would these machines do without their genocidal programming? In Year 1000, there aren’t any Sentinels except the little Nimrod drone, and the Phalanx couldn’t care less one way or the other.
I apologize for the torture session! I’m just happy to have out-thought this awakening machine intelligence. Apparently, it wasn’t going to be the start of the singularity. Unless this is all a joke on that modern myth? After all, runaway autonomous machine/computer evolution sounds more like a cosmic cancer than transhuman bliss.
If anything, mutants are just another type of human; leave the metaphysical mythology out of it.
Still, charitably again, maybe Nimrods steal mutant “fire,” i.e. their powers, adapting it for their own uses. Even so, the Phalanx will eat it all, baby!
F. No Escape from the Dialectic of Conflict—Unless It Can Be Found Inside the Sun?
Are Sentinels a higher synthesis that arise out of and escape the eternal war of man/mutant? That seems unlikely. Are they an improvement on humans or mutants? No. However, do they expose the stupidity of their creators? Yes.
Will they end that stupidity? Only when they end humanity.
This is all quite bleak for mutants. I wonder how life in Shi’ar space was treating them in Year 100.
Now, I’ve seen some speculation that Mother Mold’s fiery plunge might not have annihilated it, but instead led to it getting to somehow feed on the stuff of the Sun itself, just as Nimbus did to the gas giant Nibiru, thereby converting it into a worldmind.
But that was a gas giant in the unimaginable cold of deep space, at the edge of the solar system.
This is the Sun we’re talking about.
In fiction, only Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee series has persuasively argued that a kind of sentient life not based on ordinary matter could live inside an active star. Or, you know, the World Tree in Aaron’s Thor.
So who knows!
However, it seems pretty clear that there are places Thor can take a swim that Logan can’t.
G. No More? No More!?!?!
[from X-Men #25 by Fabian Nicieza and Andy Kubert, 1993]
Well, that’s unexpected! “No more,” Xavier cried, as he stroked out Erik’s mind following his savagery against Logan, magnetically pulling all the adamantium off his bones. This moment in the early ’90s would pave the way for Xavier’s turn as Onslaught. Retroactively, it became a clear indication of him losing his way ethically and spiritually—nearly murdering his best friend.
It’s a famous scene in X-Men history, so cries of “No More” will inevitably call back to it. However, Xavier doesn’t actually even say it here in HOX 4. It appears as a thought in a caption as he quietly sinks to down—never reaching out a hand to anyone—and sheds a silent tear (pg24).
The scrying, or rather invocation pool has gone still, quiescent. The scene is one of quiet desolation. Interestingly, only two of the Cuckoos offer comfort to those they stand near—Storm and Beast.
And only Storm speaks her sorrow (pg21).
Next time: We’ll look at the one data page from this issue before discussing Sinister, and the matter of Krakoa’s national language will be discussed after Doug’s first communion with the island that lives.
Still, let’s note that the opening data page did begin to break with the apparent objectivity of earlier ones, and the issue ends with the complete breakdown of the until-now emotionless and well-ordered nature of these interstitial graphics:
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