Nov 1, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 250: E is for Extinction #4, November 2015


As I started reading this issue, I wondered why Doom would ever let something like a Phoenix Egg sit around unattended considering the sort of power such things contain. Then I remembered that thing with Cyclops in Secret Wars. So, anyway, the Phoenix Egg hatches and inside is a Cassandra Nova-possessed Jean Grey, manifesting all the powers and fashion sense of Dark Phoenix.

Which, honestly, is a pretty amazing way for that showdown between Professor X (now possessing the body of Quentin Quire) and, as the title of the issue suggests, "Supernova." Though there's a divergence there, the battle between the two seems to have been fated, regardless of the version of the universe they exist in.

I've been thinking about this idea of "Secret Wars," and how Hickman is deploying it. It obviously hearkens back to the original, and the idea of the winner getting all they want, their hearts' desires. You know who gets that in this version of the story? Doom. He's got Susan, he's got Valeria and Franklin, he's got a people who fear and worship him, and a world that, aside from a few inter-zone skirmishes, the "Secret Wars," an ordered world.
But the Wars themselves, the mini-series, much as they're all nicely skewed toward telling us a satisfying story, are also providing a subtext to Doom's thinking that his world is ordered. Each of these minor skirmishes demonstrates the fundamental volatility of a collective like Battleworld. With so many versions of so many significantly-powered individuals who have vast amounts of experience with reality-shifting crises, how could Doom possibly keep things together?
Of course, in the actual series, we're seeing just how much he's not, as well as numerous other intrigues at the highest levels of Battleworld....I was going to say politics, but it's actually at the highest levels of existence in this particular reality. Doom fights a Secret War as well, and at the moment he's the only one aware of it.

But getting back to E. The wrap up is....odd. I got to the end of this series and I had a bit of a hard time telling if Burnham and Villalobos were offering an homage to Morrisonian storytelling, or taking the piss with it. Not that I'm suggesting that the two are necessarily mutually-exclusive, but things got so esoteric there at the end that I'm not sure where on that continuum the series sits. I think I'll consider it homage, with a knowing wink, and leave it at that.

It was really, really great to get a small glimpse back into that world, albeit slightly changed. A very cool era of the X-Men, and a very cool suggestion as to how it might have all turned out.

Not sure where we're going to go tomorrow. But it'll be somewhere. See you then.

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