Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jason Powell and Neil Shyminsky: X-Men: Created by Bad Guys (Comment Pull Quote)

[This is from Friday's Free Form Comments]

Jason Powell wrote:

This is a possibly interesting thing that I didn't realize till I read your Morrison reviews. When -- in one of Morrison's earliest "New X-Men" issues -- Professor X reveals to the world that he's a mutant, resulting in a large change in tone and direction for the comic, he does so while under the mental influence of Cassandra, a villain. This is actually a canny use of tradition on Morrison's part. In Giant-Sized X-Men #1, when Professor X recruits all the new X-Men, he does so under the mental influence of the villlain, Krakoa (this is explicitly stated in GSX #1). And when Professor X recruited the New Mutants, the first X-Men spinoff back circa 1983, he does so because he's got an alien egg growing inside him that is influencing his decisions and making him recruit superhuman hosts for more eggs. So it's like, every major decision in Professor X's life regarding the X-Men has come about because of an external, and malign, factor. I have to give Morrison credit for that one -- it was pretty shrewd.

Neil Shyminsky wrote:

That's a fantastic point, but also causes me to wonder - was Krakoa's influence taken into consideration when Xavier was villified for putting together that first team of 'new' X-Men? The one featuring Havok and Cyclops' other brother, the team that was thought dead and prompted Xavier to recruit the 'new' team in GSX #1? Because I think it would be pretty silly for Morrison to earn all of these reprimands from X-Men traditionalists that have since followed when the guys that have taken over seem, in fact, much worse at paying attention to some major continuity points.

Jason Powell wrote:

Krakoa's influence over Xavier has been tacitly ret-conned over the years. It's not mentioned in Classic X-Men #1, for example, and Scott Lobdell did a scene in X-Men #300, where we learn that Xavier had already found Nightcrawler, Storm, et al even before he founded the first team, and could "foresee them becoming the team's second generation." (Groan.)

But Krakoa's influence over Xavier is explicitly and entirely ret-conned in the story you mention, "Deadly Genesis," in which all of Krakoa's dialogue is ret-conned as having not really happened -- up to and including Krakoa's line about having "planted the suggestion to get more mutants into the mind of the crippled one," or whatever the line is in Giant-Sized #1. According to Deadly Genesis, Krakoa couldn't speak, and Professor X was fooling everybody into thinking he could as part of a cover-up. So all that dialogue of Krakoa's that the X-Men heard and we read was "actually" manufactured by Xavier.

I don't know the details of it beyond that, having only skimmed the trade at Barnes and Noble. I certainly don't mind ret-conning Giant Sized X-Men #1, because that story as originally published makes absolutely no sense. From what I understand, "Deadly Genesis" does cover all its bases as far as "continuity" goes, making sure that all the contradictions are addressed and smoothed over in some way. If it gets a pass from continuity buffs, it's probably earned.

As for whether it's a good story in its own right ... that, I can't really speak to. Seemed like a good example of a certain flavor of "contiuity porn," wherein continuity is trashed, but in a way that makes certain elements of past stories make more sense, rather than less, so continuity buffs really dig it. Ten years ago I probably would've loved it. These days I think it's just a bemusing curiosity.

1 comment:

neilshyminsky said...

"continuity porn." I should use that more often.