Friday, December 4, 2020

HeroClix X-Men House of X: Captain Britain Revealed

The next HeroClix set, coming in December, is X-Men House of X and features Betsy Braddock as Captain Britain. Bricks will be sold at your favorite local game store, or you can pre-order through the WizKids online shop.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Cerebro Podcast: Tini Howards Talks Betsy Braddock


In the episode of the CEREBRO podcast dedicated to Saturnyne, Connor Goldsmith and Marvel writer Tini Howard talk Betsy Braddock, Captain Britain!

Cerebro: One of my favorite parts [in Excalibur #13] is where Betsy is in the dungeon and she’s trying to focus her energy and the butterfly almost appears. There’s been a lot of controversy about the butterfly.

Tini Howard: I’ve talked a lot about how this story is about loss and failing and the stakes, starting from a bad place and being in a bad place. Betsy split up with someone she lived with for a very long time and maybe when she was heading out in a rush, she forgot some things that were really important to her. It’s not an accident, it’s not a marketing thing. The feeling of loss you’re experiencing when you see her without [the butterfly] is on purpose. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Cerebro: I think it will come back eventually, and when it comes back it will be for a reason. The fact that she doesn’t have [the butterfly] right now is purely a character beat.

Tini Howard: Right. I think that I want people to feel that way. If you were a Betsy fan and if you lived on Krakoa and were her friend, you’d go to her and ask “Where is your butterfly? You’re not yourself without it.”

Cerebro: And she hasn’t quite been herself.

Tini Howard: Right. I love Betsy so much. I don’t put you guys through anything that I wouldn’t like to go through myself. I’m taking these characters through journeys I think it’s the right one, even if it’s not the easiest.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

After the Dawn, Comes the "Reign of X"


Marvel.com: “The Reign of X is upon us … and here's a sneak peek of what it will bring! Like Dawn of X and X of Swords before it, Reign of X has been meticulously crafted by Jonathan Hickman and all the other uncanny X-writers of our day, and we can’t wait for you to see what they’ve cooked up!” Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski explains. “In the meantime, eagle-eyed readers should take a close look at this magnificent montage of mutants drawn by Mahmud Asrar. Everything on this image was included for a reason and will have heart-pounding pay-offs in the near future for our favorite Krakoans. After the dawn comes the reign, and what a reign it will be!” 

It all begins in December as the X-Men deal with the fallout of X of Swords and look to the future. Here’s what’s to come next month: 

The search for Captain Britain is underway as Excalibur returns to Otherworld in Excalibur #16 by writer Tini Howard and artist Marcus To

Hellions #7 by writer Zeb Wells and artist Stephen Segovia will explore the aftermath of the team’s brutal massacre in X of Swords

Writer Leah Williams and artist David Baldeon continue to investigate mutant deaths and explore the complexities that come with resurrection in X-Factor #5

Kate Pryde and Emma Frost finally enact their long-awaited revenge on Sebastian Shaw in Marauders #16 by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Stefano Caselli

Mutantkind sets their sights on the galaxy and beyond in writer Al Ewing and artist Valerie Schiti’s groundbreaking S.W.O.R.D. #1

An old foe rises in New Mutants #14, the beginning of a wild new era for your favorite young mutants by writer Vita Ayala and artist Rod Reis

Wolverine reunites with Maverick and Team X in Wolverine #8, a special over-sized milestone issue written by Benjamin Percy with art by Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdanovic

X-Force will stop at nothing to protect Krakoa, even if it means interrogating their own, in the action-packed X-Force #15 by writer Benjamin Percy and Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Joshua Cassara

And Cyclops makes a fateful decision regarding the future of the X-Men in X-Men #16, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Phil Noto

The future of mutantkind is here! Don’t miss X-Men history in the making when Reign of X begins next week!

Excalibur #15 & X of Swords: Destruction #1 Art


The Final Chapters – X-Men #15, Excalibur #15 and X of Swords: Destruction #1 Spoilers

X-Men #15: Jean Grey lets Cyclops know that the Quiet Council is ready to receive them, even though Scott knows the Council will deny their request. Jean tells the Council that Cable reached out to her. She emphasizes that Cable is hurt and that Krakoa is at risk. Cyclops adds that Krakoa is losing badly. Scott proposes taking a team of X-Men to Otherworld, rescuing their mutants and destroying the External Gate with the technology of Hordeculture. Jean, Kurt and Kitty volunteer to join Cyclops; however, Shaw points out that If they die in Otherworld, the Council would not survive losing so many members at such a critical moment. Shaw proposes a vote: whoever leaves and joins Cyclops loses their seat at the Council. Albeit disappointed, Jean decides to leave, but she urges Nightcrawler to stay as he is the heart of the Council. Scott tells Kitty she cannot go through the gate, so she stays as well. Cyclops also asks Emma to stay, but she offers him the help of her Cuckoos. Lastly, the Council votes for closing the gates if they are to fail. Scott understands that they cannot put Krakoa at risk for a handful of mutants. A data page reveals that the Quiet Council has decided to extinguish the term “X-Men” and that the Council should be the only Krakoan authority. In Otherworld, Apocalypse and Genesis battle fiercely after she takes off her helm of Annihilation. Apocalypse doesn’t yield and stabs Genesis in the guts, but refuses to kill her. The God Annihilation influences Genesis to put on the helm. As Saturnyne prepares to declare Krakoa the winner, Annihilation summons the demon hordes of Amenth. 

Excalibur #15: As the demons of Amenth storm Otherworld, Ryl retrieves the shattered pieces of Betsy Braddock at Saturnyne’s behest. The Champions of Krakoa are kept busy fighting off the hordes of demons while Annihilations prepares to strike at Apocalypse. Storm stuns Genesis momentarily with lighting. Meanwhile, White Sword decides to leave the battle, for he was summoned for a fight and he won. In the Starlight Citadel, Saturnyne begins putting the pieces of Betsy together, one by one. On the battlefield, the remaining champions fight together, but Bei decides to kidnap Cypher and take him to safety. When all seems lost, Jubilee arrives with the Green Priestesses to help the Krakoans. Jubilee wants her son back; Shogo is still under Saturnyne’s spell in the Citadel, and the Priestesses hush to the Citadel’s defense. Elsewhere, Cypher talks Bei into changing sides and helping the Krakoans. Cypher rejoins the Krakoans while Isca accuses Bei of betraying the Arakkii. Annihilation says she will conquer Avalon and then Krakoa. As Saturnyne completes her ritual by putting the pieces of the Starlight Sword together, a call is sent to every reality. When the Citadel calls, Captain Britain answers. A new Captain Britain Corps is reborn; however, Saturnyne has come to a shocking revelation about them: the new Corps are mostly based on versions of Betsy Braddock. 

X of Swords: Destruction #1: Saturnyne draws the last card, the Wheel of Fortune, and sends her new Captain Britain Corps to fight off the demons and the Arakkii. Brian is pleased to see the army of Betsys. As the Corps gains the upper hand, Annihilation orders War to call their Summoners. The Summoners summon the beasts and monsters of Amenth to the battlefield. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Jean lead an army of X-Men to the Peak, S.W.O.R.D.’s headquarters. With the Cuckoos’ help, Jean reaches out to Magik telepathically, and Scott orders her to teleport the Peak to Otherworld. As the Peak floats above the Starlight Citadel, an army of X-Men head into battle. The X-Men slay a number of monsters and daemons alike, but Annihilation orders the Summoners to summon all of their creatures. Cable is still hurt and being tended to in the Starlight Citadel. Saturnyne reminds him he was dealt the Fool card, as only a fool would think the Light of Galador was a sword. Cable understands her message and asks Magik to teleport him to the Peak. Cable powers the Peak with his sword, and calls forth the Vescora, an alien race that acts like a virus given humanoid form. The Vescora manage to destroy a great number of Arakkii warriors and creatures. Apocalypse takes the opportunity to take the Helm of Annihilation off Genesis’ face. At that point, Isca stops fighting as she knows Arakko cannot win any longer. Apocalypse overcomes the influence of the Helm, kneels before Saturnyne and surrenders in the name of Arakko. It is decided. Saturnyne asks Shogo to breathe dragon fire on all monsters and aliens. Only the Champions of both sides remain. Saturnyne takes the helm off Apocalypse and turns it into a scepter. The scepter now won’t have direct dominion over the wielder. She hands the scepter to Genesis. Saturnyne declares Krakoa the winner and demands a show of good faith: one mutant from each side to leave their own land and live with the enemy. Genesis chooses Apocalypse to live in Amenth. Apocalypse, in turn, chooses the island nation of Arakko, with its millions of inhabitants, to live with Krakoa. As such, Apocalypse leaves with his family to Amenth and the mutants return to Krakoa. A data page reveals that the Captain Britain Corps was restored with the sacrifice of Captain Britain. The Captain Britain of Earth-616, Betsy Braddock, is deemed “missing” and “unaccounted for”. Later, Syl asks her master if she knew the outcome of the tournament; Saturnyne replies some signs were impossible not to see. As it stands, Avalon has now the only gateway to Earth. Summoners and the Vescora were sent to Blightspoke to tame things that refuse to die and mine the riches hidden in dead universes, which she plans to exchange with the Crooked Market to keep Mad Jim Jaspers under control. Meanwhile, the relentless appetite of the undead of Sevalith will be sated by the horseman Death. However, the return of a loyal Captain Britain Corps was the greater purpose of Saturnyne’s machinations. Saturnyne remains the rightful ruler of Otherworld; she won everything she had ever needed, but not the man the truly wanted. Long may she reign.

Monday, November 23, 2020

X-Men Monday #85 – Jordan D. White Answers Your X of Swords Week 10 Questions

AiPT!: Here’s X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White with answers to your X-Force #14, Hellions #6 and Cable #6 questions. 

AIPT: Why can’t Jamie Braddock just resurrect characters like Betsy and Gorgon who died in Otherworld for the X-Men? He’s been shown to resurrect characters before. 

Jordan: Great question. I mean, I guess he could. Jamie has been shown to definitely be able to bring people back from the dead. I mean, I think he did it in Excalibur when Brian died for a moment there. Although that was more of a resuscitating–a death of someone who just died through reality warping means rather than fully bringing back a person who’s been dead. First of all, that might be splitting hairs. But second of all, he’s also been shown, if I’m remembering correctly, to literally create people from scratch. Just be like, “Hm, there’s a person now. Aha. I’m crazy.” I don’t know that that’s the same thing for the people of Krakoa in the sense that–well, it all gets into the question of why they come back differently and what it is that has changed and affected them. I think even among the writers of the X-Office it’s been a discussion. 

You have slightly different theories and they all add up to the same thing because, you know, what happens happens. But the why is a bit of a mystery at this point, and I’m not sure that we’re going to fully define it. That said, something happens, right? So if we’re saying that if a mutant dies in Otherworld and they get brought back through resurrection, which is a means that Krakoa is fully on board with and believes in. I’m sure there are people who have their doubts. I’m not saying that every person is 100% onboard. But generally speaking, Krakoa is fully on board with and believes that this resurrection process brings back the person down to their essence and what makes them them. Right? 

But Otherworld interferes with that. Then I think that that would open up questions about the process that we all are subscribing to brings them back differently and this other process would bring them back normally, is it the same thing? Like would that Betsy that Jamie makes from scratch be the real Betsy if bringing back the real Betsy through the means that we have said would bring back the real Betsy doesn’t bring back the real Betsy, do you know what I’m saying? Is whatever that thing is that got messed up by her dying in Otherworld, is that essence in the version that Jamie makes or not? Definitely I know I can’t say the answer in an interview because the best place to answer that is in the comics. And at least to some extent, that conversation will come up. 

AIPT: I was listening to your recent appearance on the Cerebro podcast and it reminded me how much you love the original Excalibur run, which X of Swords has been compared to. As an editor and a fan, how does it feel to have brought a little of that magic you loved so much growing up to modern comics? 

Jordan: It feels great. Although, first thing I want to say is I don’t want to take all the credit. In the same way that I don’t stop people from using characters I don’t like, I also don’t force them to use characters. Obviously, if we’re putting together an ops team and there’s a question of who should be on it, I can go, “You know who’d be good? Sage.” Like, yeah, that’s because I think about Sage and I like Sage, but I didn’t say to Ben, “You have to use Sage.” He went, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” And then he used Sage. And the same is true for this. It’s not like I was like, “Well, guys–the clock’s ticking, when are we getting to Saturnyne?” 

But with Tini and Jonathan, these are characters that they’re into as well. Like I’m not the only person in the X-Office who loves classic Excalibur, not by a long shot. So I’m thrilled that the folks that I’m collaborating with love it as much as I do and want to bring it into things in the same ways that I do. But it feels terrific. Because it’s definitely something I thought about a lot–what makes Excalibur Excalibur, and is it possible to preserve that while still being part of the X-Men line? Because, you know, the most Excalibur Excalibur things that existed were very separate from X-Men. They took place in a time when the entire team of Excalibur thought the X-Men were dead for most of it. And then even when they found out, for another 20 something issues, they still didn’t really incorporate into ongoing X-Men continuity that much. 

And I mentioned on the Cerebro podcast that when they’re fully integrated into X-Men continuity, I thought, “Oh, this is going to be great.” But I ended up being real disappointed because it ended up robbing Excalibur of so much of what made it special. So how to keep Excalibur feeling Excalibur is something we’ve definitely thought about. So far, I think it’s going well and I’m thrilled to be able to bring in so much Excalibur and Captain Britain-related stuff because I do really love that stuff, but again, I’m not the only one. Tini does, Jonathan does.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

X-Solicits for February 2021

Excalibur #18
Tini Howard (W) • Marcus To (A)
Cover by: Mahmud Asrar
Variant Cover by: Russell Dauterman
The Woman on the Shore!
As the Council makes moves to protect mutants in the Otherworld, Excalibur must determine the fate of Betsy Braddock.

X-Men #18
Jonathan Hickman (W) • Mahmud Asrar (A)
Cover by: Leinil Francis Yu
Variant Cover by: David Finch
Variant Cover by: Peach Momoko
Black History Month Variant Cover by: Ernanda Souza
Inside the Vault!
It’s been a long time since the team went into the vault. A long time.

Marauders #18
Gerry Duggan (W) • Stefano Caselli (A)
Cover by: Russell Dauterman
The Past is not the Past!
The Marauder returns to Madripoor to pay tribute to a fallen friend… but all the while old enemies are being forged anew.

New Mutants #16
Vita Ayala (W) • Rod Reis (A)
Cover by: Christian Ward
To Be Reborn...
In the Wild Hunt, someone is looking for friends in all the wrong places. Someone else is missing without a trace. And plans which have long been in motion…begin to unfurl.

X-Force #17
Benjamin Percy (W) • Joshua Cassara (A/C)
Love and Death!
Death gives QUENTIN QUIRE a new lease on life. Long live Quentin Quire!

Hellions #9
Zeb Wells (W) • Stephen Segovia (A/C)
Have You Seen This Mutant?
Mr. Sinister is missing! Will the Hellions be able to put aside the tensions poised to split the team apart long enough to unravel the mystery? On the upside, at least Sinister found his cape.

X-Factor #7
Leah Williams (W) • David Baldeón (A)
Cover by: Ivan Shavrin
Who’s That Knocking?
A dark force is manipulating the lives of X-Factor just as a striking revelation about one of their deaths comes to light.

S.W.O.R.D. #3
Al Ewing (W) • Valerio Schiti (A/C)
Variant Cover by: Takeshi Miyazawa
Take a Trip with the Everywhere Man!
The Void-God has overtaken the Earth. Top-level mutants have been assimilated. Protocol V is in effect. But space is a big place... and a lot of things happen there at once. Walk a mile in the Manifold’s shoes, as S.W.O.R.D.’s Quintician takes a multi-artist journey across the universe and back... and comes face to face with S.W.O.R.D.’s deadliest enemy.

X-Men Legends #1
Fabian Nicieza (W) • Brett Booth (A/C)
Connecting Variant Cover by: Iban Coello
Variant Cover by: Leinil Francis Yu
Variant Cover by: Russell Dauterman
Action Figure Variant Cover by: John Tyler Christopher
Stormbreakers Variant Cover by: Pat Gleason
All-New Tales Starring Your Favorite X-Men, Spanning Classic Eras!
Break out the yellows and blues, fire up the Danger Room and snap on your pouches as legendary X-writers return to classic eras of the mutant super heroes in ALL-NEW, in-continuity stories set during their fan-favorite runs! Fabian Nicieza kicks off the series with a special saga of CYCLOPS and HAVOK, as the SHI’AR return to Earth in search of the FORSAKEN ONE! But what secret will the Summers brothers uncover, and how will its revelation change what you thought you knew about the X-Men?Get ready for a story decades in the making! And come back each month as we dive deeper to expand the X-MEN mythos!Welcome back, legends: Hope you survive the experience.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

X-Force #14, Chapter 17, Hellions #6, Chapter 18 & Cable #6, Chapter 19 – X of Swords Spoilers

X-Force #14: Saturnyne draws the cards and summons Magik and Pogg Ur-Pogg for a rematch, a hand-to-hand combat without weapons. Pogg Ur-Pogg swallows Magik; however, Illyana learns that the large alligator surface is just a “costume”. The actual Pogg Ur-Pogg is a small troll-looking creature that Magik drags out of the alligator costume and defeats easily.
Magik wins.
Arakko 5 – 3 Krakoa 

A number of non-sensical contests follow. 

Torture endurance: War vs. Cable, Captain Avalon & Gorgon
War wins.
Arakko 6 – 3 Krakoa 

Contest of pushing boulders: Death, Isca & Pogg Ur-Pogg vs. Magik
Arakko wins.
Arakko 7 – 3 Krakoa

Battle under the sea: Isca & The White Sword vs. Gorgon
Arakko wins.
Arakko 8 – 3 Krakoa 

Eating disgusting food challenge: Redroot vs. Cypher, Captain Avalon & Cable
Krakoa wins.
Arakko 8 – 4 Krakoa 

Dance battle: Bei & War vs. Cypher & Wolverine
Arakko wins.
Arakko 9 – 4 Krakoa 

Labyrinth escape: Redroot & Pogg Ur-Pogg vs. Captain Avalon & Storm
Arakko wins.
Arakko 10 – 4 Krakoa 

Puzzle contest: Death & War vs. Gorgon & Magik
Krakoa wins.
Arakko 10 – 5 Krakoa 

Fashion couture contest: Redroot & War vs. Storm & Wolverine
Arakko wins.
Arakko 11 – 5 Krakoa 

Navigation in Blightspoke: Isca vs. Cable & Magik
Arakko wins.
Arakko 12 – 5 Krakoa 

Saturnyne then summons Captain Avalon and Redroot for a foot race in the Crooked Market. Knowing full well Brian is faster, Saturnyne rigs the match again and sends the Furies after Brian. While Brian is busy fighting them off, Redroot easily wins the contest. The point goes to Arakko, but since Redroot shattered a valuable crystal by accident in the Crooked Market, Mad Jim Jaspers shrinks her and traps her in a jar. Saturnyne warns Brian that he too broke many items in the Crooked Market and that he’s in Mad Jim Jaspers’ debt unless he asks for her help.
Redroot wins
Arakko 13 – 5 Krakoa 

Spelling contest: Bei, Death & Pogg Ur-Pogg vs. Magik & Cypher
Arakko wins.
Arakko 14 – 5 Krakoa 

Watching all the people you killed without looking away: The White Sword vs. Wolverine
The White Sword winds.
Arakko 15 – 5 Krakoa 

Resisting a rock siren: Isca & War vs. Gorgon, Magik & Wolverine
Arakko wins.
Arakko 16 – 5 Krakoa 

Killing a kitten: War vs. Captain Avalon
War wins.
Arakko 17 – 5 Krakoa 

Death and Storm are summoned for the next battle in Sevalith. Whoever draws blood first wins. After drinking with Wolverine, Storm finds herself without her powers and dizzy. Nevertheless, Storms puts up a front and impresses Death. Death decides to take off his hood and show his death stare. Storm protects her eyes with her blade, and Death sees his own face in the reflection. Ororo takes the opportunity and stabs him in the guts, drawing blood.
Storm wins.
Arakko 17 – 6 Krakoa 

Hellions #6:
The Hellions finally reach Arakko through the Dryador gate. Tarn, the Uncaring, an Arakki mutant, welcomes them and warns that all of the ten swords have already been claimed and that the tournament is well underway. The Hellions realize Mr. Sinister played them when Tarn uses his psychic powers and learns that Mr. Sinister only intended to collect genes of Arakki mutants. Tarn then summons other mutants under his leadership and warns Mr. Sinister to back off; instead, Essex releases genetic collection drones in the air. A fierce battle ensues between the two groups; Nanny is the first to die. Empath releases his hold over Greycrow and runs away towards the Dryador gate while Orphan-Maker has his arms chopped off and dies. Havok has his hands cut off and Greycrow is gravely injured by shrapnel. Sinister orders Kwannon to take the genes collected to Krakoa with Havok and Greycrow. Wildchild stays behind to buy them time. Wildchild is stabbed to death while Sinister is dismembered. Kwannon, Greycrow, Havok and Empath all reach Castle Camelot in Avalon and lick their wounds. Greycrow stabs Empath in the guts and warns him to drag himself towards the gate to Krakoa; otherwise he will never be resurrected. In Krakoa, the actual Mr. Sinister releases a dark smoke and kills all of the last remaining Hellions. Kwannon, Havok, Greycrow and Empath all die in Krakoa. Sinister retrieves the genes and puts on an act while warning the others that his precious Hellions were killed in an attack in Otherworld. 

Cable #16:
Sinister lies about what had happened to his Hellions and asks the Quiet Council to destroy the External Gate. Xavier replies that harming the gate is not an option. Sinister says his choice will cost Krakoa everything. In Dryador, Saturnyne summons Cable and Bei, the Blood Moon to a fight to the death. Cable gets the upper hand, but he is hesitant about killing Bei in front of Doug. Bei gets back on her feet and humiliates Cable. Saturnyne stops the fight and awards the point to Arakko since Cable’s death of spirit was enough.
Bei, the Blood Moon wins.
Arakko 18 – 6 Krakoa 

Cable attempts to reach out to Jean and Scott, but Saturnyne servers their connection. Jean and Scott decide to take matters in their hands. Gorgon and the White Sword are next for a battle to the death. The White Sword summons his fallen soldiers, each representing one of his one hundred swords. Gorgon slays 13 of the White Sword’s champions, giving Krakoa a narrow lead of 19 to 18. The White Swords decides to fight himself and gives Gorgon the option to be healed and serve him eternally. Gorgon rejects his offer. The White Sword stabs Gorgon through the chest. Gorgon dies in Otherworld.
The White Sword wins.
Arakko 19 – 19 Krakoa 

The final contestants are summoned. Apocalypse and Genesis will fight the last battle and decide the outcome of the tournament.