Wolverine #13, SWORD #6, and Way of X #3.
X-Force is deployed to address the Terra Verdean ambassadors, who are now retaliating against Krakoa for monitoring and controlling them through Beast’s machinations. Deadpool inserts himself into the conflict, because of course he does. Beast accuses Sage of sabotaging his plan, who rebukes him for it and decides to fix the problem through diplomacy. A log from Sage details the conditions of their armistice: Terra Verde gains true independence, a large sum of monetary compensation, X-Corp’s abandonment of all pharmaceutical and technological copyrights in regards to telefloronic matters, and a declination of the Krakoan trade deal, in exchange for their full discretion and refusal to speak to the media about what had transpired. Later, Emma Frost chastises Beast for putting them in a mess, but he makes it clear that he is fine with being a scapegoat for the sake of mutant advancement. She then learns that The Marauder, which she sent her brother Christian to escort Shi’ar logic diamonds back to Krakoa with, is burning off the coast of Madripoor.
After the Gala, Captain America and Doctor Doom talk about the big revelation of Planet Arakko. Cap is disappointed that such a big move was made without input from humans like himself, while Doom promises there’ll come a day in which Cap needs his help and he won’t hesitate to give it. Elsewhere, Abigail Brand convenes with the Galactic Council about what was unveiled at the Gala. They introduce a new mutant-made artificial material called mysterium, which has a variety of potential uses and boasts strength on-par with adamantium. When Brand offers a large amount of mysterium to the council members, acting Earth representative Nova notes that it seems less an act of charity and more like a bribe. Brand confirms his suspicions, and declares that accepting a load of mysterium is a vote to recognize Arakko as the capital planet of the Sol System in lieu of Earth. When Doom unexpectedly appears and demands to speak with the ruler of this new capital, a portal opens: it’s none other than Storm, now identifying herself as the Regent of Mars and the Voice of Sol. A log from the Skrull/Kree diplomat notes that every attending member (except for Wakanda) accepted the mysterium.
Meanwhile, Magneto is surprised by the arrival of Scarlet Witch at his residence, whom he invited to the Gala, but she did not attend out of fear for her bad reputation among the Krakoans. He says that helping terraform Mars helped him realize that improving the lives of Krakoan children came at the cost of failing his own, and that he will always acknowledge Wanda as his daughter regardless of whether or not it’s biologically true.
After making a drunken ass of himself at the Gala to keep from spilling that Onslaught is corrupting Krakoan minds, Nightcrawler wakes up with a hangover. He then receives a telepathic message from Legion, who insists he has the Onslaught matter under control and that Nightcrawler should instead focus on helping others practice the three tenets of Krakoa: “make more mutants; kill no man, and respect this sacred land.” Nightcrawler runs into Stacy X, who is distributing contraceptives, and therefore breaking the first tenet of Krakoa. She explains herself, showing Kurt that she’s now running a den called The Bower (which he refers to as a “brothel”) wherein mutants can share intimacy with one another, sex or otherwise. He learns The Bower also serves as a shelter for abandoned mutant infants, which is a problem that has formed because of the “make more mutants” rule, and suggests a Krakoan adoption service for that very reason. Elsewhere, Legion helps Loa and Mercury (whose powers make them sexually incompatible) connect intimately by merging their consciousnesses, where he discovers the root of the issue: Onslaught. Legion drives the parasite out of their minds, but it then hops over to the Bower and infects Lost, their caregiver. They manage to expel Onslaught out of Lost, but it escapes before they can stop it. A log by Doctor Nemesis notes that, if Onslaught is something of a chimera formed from Xavier and Magneto’s psychic profiles, then neither of them can be fully trusted to be in their right minds.
EVENT IN REVIEW
In the penultimate week of the Hellfire Gala, the party may be over, but there are still aftershocks to be felt after the big “planet-sized” revelation last week. SWORD followed up with some details as expected, digging into the intergalactic implications of Krakoa colonizing a whole-ass world and how the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe would react (turns out, more sympathetically than assumed). But the real news coming out of this issue of SWORD is that we now know what Storm’s new role post-Marauders is: she’s running the joint. Love that for her. I think on some level we always knew Storm was capable of ruling a planet on her own, and now it’s finally text. If we ever get that long-rumored Storm solo title we started hearing about a few years ago, that’s one hell of a hook…
Back on Earth, Wolverine didn’t really offer much of an insight into the world of Krakoa as the other issues did this week. While SWORD obviously had a big fish to fry in the form of Planet Arakko, Way of X goes smaller in scale with Nightcrawler learning that “make more mutants” eventually results in “made more babies,” and I personally loved it. We haven’t really gotten much of a look at how encouraging Krakoans to bang without question could form a logistical nightmare until now. This notion even follows up on a question formed by Northstar earlier in the issue, pointing out that “make more mutants” is a heteronormative concept which ignores Krakoans in same-sex relationships like himself. Could we be seeing JP and Kyle adopting one of the babies glanced at in this issue? Certainly seems convenient. As for the whole Onslaught thing, I’m sure nothing bad will come of it….
We didn’t get a glance at very many outfits this week, but I will say I dug Manifold’s open tuxedo jacket look because I’m nothing if not thirstily predictable. As for worst dressed, sorry Cap. You couldn’t do better than your normal garb? At least Doom has a cape.
We wrap things up next week in X-Factor #10, which also serves as the final issue of that run. I sure hope we don’t stumble upon a murder that puts someone like, say, Magneto on trial or anything…
Hellfire Gala: Week Four
- Writers: Benjamin Percy (Wolverine), Al Ewing (SWORD), Si Spurrier (Way of X)
- Artists: Scot Eaton and Oren Junior (Wolverine), Valerio Schiti (SWORD), Bob Quinn (Way of X)
- Color Artists: Matthew Wilson (Wolverine), Marte Gracia (SWORD), Java Tartaglia (Way of X)
- Letterers: VC’s Cory Petit (Wolverine), VC’s Ariana Maher (SWORD), VC’S Clayton Cowles (Way of X)
- Cover Artists: Adam Kubert and Frank Martin (Wolverine), Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia (SWORD), Giuseppe Camuncoli and Marte Gracia (Way of X)
- Editor: Jordan D. White
- Publisher: Marvel Entertainment