Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New X-Men 115 - Close Reading and Thoughts

The following continues a close-reading of Grant Morrison's New X-Men. Issue 115 was written by Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely, with inks by Tim Townsend. It was published and is owned by Marvel Comics.

115.01.01 The Master Mold Sentinel whose head is seen here is processing skeletons, as well as the inorganic materials they traditionally use to make killer robots.

115.04.02 Another example of something more efficient being constructed out of something larger and potentially unnecessary now.

115.05.02 The subject of the finances of the X-lifestyle rears its head, once more.

115.06.02 Codenames, mutant names, superhero names, are forms of self-identifying as seen in practice here. Business calls for business names.

115.09.02 Wolverine will recover from taking those hits, but it’s still rather decent of him to play human shield.

115.09.04 This run is the first time blood in X-Men appears as fully-saturated bright reds, so a little goes a much better way to representing bleeding violence than seventeen gallons more of black splashes. That Ugly John lacks a noticeably useful mutation is nice.

115.10.05 The only other time I can remember seeing Cyclops lose his visor and the visual effect including Kirby Dots, was X-Men Unlimited #1, pencils by Chris Bachalo.

115.11.01 Beast doubts himself too much, and tries too hard. And, scene.

115.11.02 That spilled drink suggests another difficulty re manual dexterity, with Beast’s new body.

115.12.04 Jean knows she’s an equal of her former professor’s, a contemporary, and she also understands that her husband probably does not feel that way, and can be bossed, still.

115.12.05 … As can Beast, apparently.

115.13.01 More skeletons being processed. And, of course, what Cassandra is describing here, as far as the decimation of a virus, is very similar to what will happen when the Phoenix destroys Sublime.

115.14.03 Cassandra Nova is such an optimist, but, of course, as with many of her predictions, this one is likely to come true, as well, given the right perspective.

115.16.01 Cassandra is infecting herself with nanosentinels here.

115.17.04 This mercy killing slash assisted suicide is an incredibly mature and intense decision, but does the heroic Cyclops hesitate even for a second?

115.18.03 The contact lenses are new, though they had actually been dismissed before, for reasons of the eyes needed to breathe. As a temporary emergency measure, this seems less an issue, however.

115.19.02 Dialogue and visuals cue the reader in on location, as they did last issue.

115.19.03 Doop shirt! Mutant culture is a marketable commodity.

115.20.04 This is Magneto, President for life of Genosha, and lifetime enemy and ally of the X-Men.

115.21.01 This Sentinel, as a fist made of airplanes, will reappear later, with subtle differences. Of course, loads of people called out the absurdity, at the time of publication, of Magneto being killed by a giant hunk of metal, but they were silenced by a bigger mass of people coming up with excuses it could be plausible.

115.21.03 The signs and ads, from She-Mail to Mute Eight, GM Liquor, all add up to, well, the kind of morass of meaning and meaning-leading meaninglessness that any mass of billboards and advertisements do.

115.22.01 The Wild Sentinels, looking like giant bugs here, reiterate the infestation and biological-class-reversal motifs. Captions appear here, for the first time in this story, accompanied by a dehumanizing inevitability.

115.22.03 The decimation of Genosha is actually part of the psychic condensation while Xavier is thinking/working in Cerebra. How much of life is actually Xavier thinking? Plus, he apparently thinks himself as a giant overseer witnessing tragedy.

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