I had a whole thing typed out, but instead I decided to do something crazy and CHECK THE BOOKS.
You know what the characters actually say in XF #41? Instead of the paraphrasing that's been slung back and forth in this thread all day long?
X-Factor announces that they need to go to England, and that "it means we'll be gone a while."
The New Mutants say:
"Don't worry, you can trust us! We won't do anything dangerous. We'll take Dani to a doctor. And take Illyana home. And we'll even watch the baby."
They're not announcing that they have suddenly decided to drop everything and immediately take Illyana home. They're reeling off a laundry list of chores that they plan to do during the "long while" that X-Factor will be away!
"Sure, we'll do all that while you're gone. But first, a drunken party. How long did you say you'd be gone?"
(They end up not having to watch the baby, btw. X-Factor takes Nathan with them.)
It's worth noting that both teams spend a LOT of time in XF #41 chatting with each other. And all they discuss are the events of Inferno. Almost as if it's the most recent big adventure that they just went through. Nobody mentions Atlantis Attacks...
As for NM #77: Ship doesn't say that X-Factor is still in England
. He just says that "they're not home yet." Rictor
says that X-Factor is still in England. But that's in a different scene. And how would Rictor know?
It is entirely and completely plausible that X-Factor returned home from England, then Jean got kidnapped by Ghaur or whoever, and the latter half of Atlantis Attacks happened -- all without Rictor learning that X-Factor had come home and left again.
I do understand that there's a footnote in Rictor's scene, referencing XF #41-42. But footnotes are only a signpost of the creators' or editors' intent -- they're not immutable laws that must be obeyed. And we already know from Rictor's dialogue what the writer's intent is, rendering the footnote useless.
This issue doesn't explicitly say "X-Factor is in England." It says "X-Factor is away, and Rictor thinks they're in England."
(Though, here's something that I should check: does all of X-Factor leave Ship to rescue Jean in the X-Factor Annual? If not ... if, for example, they leave Iceman behind to mind the store ... then this proposed sequence would NOT work, because Iceman would be aboard Ship when the New Mutants arrived in #77.)
I've said it before, but it bears repeating: let's not forget that little snippet of dialogue in NM #88 where Rahne excitedly tells Jean that the New Mutants fought Atlanteans since the last time they saw X-Factor. If we place Atlantis Attacks before XF #41, then that's not true anymore. Rahne would have fought Atlanteans (in NM@5), THEN seen X-Factor (in XF #41, where they talked about Inferno for a long time and nothing else) -- then excitedly talked about their Atlantean battle the NEXT time they saw X-Factor (in NM #88).
It's awkward but it's not unbelievable. But, if we place Atlantis Attacks after XF #41-42 -- then the next time that Rahne sees Jean after the Atlantean battle WOULD be NM #88. And it would make perfect sense for her to excitedly info-dump stories of the battle at that point.
That's less awkward, less unbelievable -- and I like it!
Okay, now to specific replies:
I'm just finding it pointless to try and cram NM@ 5 (and by extension XF@ 4 and the rest of the Atlantis Attacks conclusion) in a spot where you have to justify the surrounding dialogue (and an editor's note) to mean something else.
Metaldragon -- you have to justify "the surrounding dialogue" to mean something else NO MATTER WHERE YOU PUT THE ANNUAL.
If you put the Annual before XF #41, you have to explain why the NMs think they just got back to Earth, why they think X-Factor is in space, why Ship is missing, and why Dani and Rusty and Skids are missing.
If you put the Annual between XF #41 and NM #77, you have to explain why the NMs think they just got back to Earth, why they think X-Factor is in space, why Ship is missing, and why Dani and Rusty and Skids are missing.
"Having to justify the dialogue" IS NOT A FACTOR IN MAKING THIS DECISION.
There is nothing directly connecting NM 76 to XF 41. There are already stories for Beast & Angel that are in that spot.
Yes, I'm aware that there's a gap there, as you know. I actually made a post on the last page of this thread arguing FOR a placement there, because it was "simpler." It sounds like you prefer the simple explanation too. There's nothing wrong with that.
I'm just increasingly attracted to the idea of using the specific circumstances of the post-XF #41 gap to explain some of the awkward references in the Annual. (Why do the NMs already think X-Factor is away somewhere? Because X-Factor said "we're off to England for a long while" and left. Why did Rahne infodump their Atlantean adventure in NM #88? Because it occurred after the last time she saw X-Factor.)
There IS dialogue connecting XF 41 to NM 77 (plan to take Illyana to parents while X-Factor in England which they are then shown doing)
Discussed above. They're not stating their immediate intent, and frankly Illyana isn't even the first item on their to-do list.
NM 77 makes specific references to X-Factor being in England, as well as an editor's caption to XF 41-42. Ship confirms X-Factor isn't back yet when they ask when the New Mutants return to it in NM 77.
Discussed above. Rictor thinks they're in England; this is not explicitly confirmed by Ship. Yes, this is a case of re-interpreting the issue's intent, but damn it's pretty easy to do.
(Though if you can find me evidence from other stories that either (a) not all of X-Factor left Ship to go rescue Jean/fight in Atlantis Attacks -- in which case, one of them would have been there in NM #77 ... or (b) the New Mutants encountered X-Factor during Atlantis Attacks -- in which case, Rictor WOULD have known in #77 that they were back from England ... then I'll happily reconsider!)
from the moment the New Mutants return to Ship from Russia, to the moment Ship launches itself into space at the end of NM 78/beginning of XF 43 there is not enough time for X-Factor to have other stories.
Agreed! Which is why I never once suggested placing Atlantis Attacks in that period.
I suppose you're now trying to justify the moment when the New Mutants return to Ship and ask if X-Factor is back and Ship's reply to mean something other than their trip to England?
Yes. Yes I am.
I'm a little disappointed that when I checked the books, I found plot points, clues and references that WEREN'T the way you've been describing them.
You: "XF #41 says that the NMs are about to go take Illyana home!"
XF #41: the NMs promise to do a bunch of things in an open-ended timeframe, one of which is taking Illyana home.
This makes it difficult for me to trust any of your other points -- I'm now wondering what other conclusions you may have drawn from misunderstandings or unwarranted assumptions.
I'd still love to hear other folks' takes on this. Before XF #41, in the "simple", larger gap where we have to invent a LOT of off-panel adventures to explain the various references in the Annual? After XF #42, in the smaller, less obvious gap that sort-of-kind-of resembles the Annual's references, meaning we'd have to invent fewer off-panel adventures?