Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

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Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by JephYork » Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:03 pm

Apologies if this has already been covered elsewhere, but I was thinking last night about where to place Astonishing v3 #13-24...

Marvel has stated several times that that whole arc occurs "now" -- that it can't occur any earlier than the publication date of the final issue, and we'll all understand why once we read it. Combine that with the in-story and promotional statements that not every character comes back from the X-Men's trip to space, and we can infer that the character that isn't returning is currently appearing in other books. Therefore, the arc can't be placed before those books.

However, these statements were all released before "Messiah Complex". At this point, with the mansion destroyed and the X-Men disbanded, it looks very unlikely indeed that Astonishing #13-24 can occur afterwards.

So -- working on the assumption that #13-24 occur prior to Messiah Complex, and that one character doesn't return -- which characters from that arc did NOT appear in Messiah Complex?

The answers are Kitty Pryde and Lockheed.

Kitty last appeared in X-Men #204 and New X-Men #43 -- and Messiah Complex started up in X-Men #205 and New X-Men #44. So, assuming that Kitty doesn't return from the Astonishing arc, forcing us to place this story between those issues -- can it be done?

Well, there's a fine break point between NXM #43-44, but we'll have to crowbar a gap into X-Men #204. As it reads, the X-Men (plus Kitty) go from debating the fallout of X-Men #200-203, immediately to a scene in the sickbay where Blindfold and the equipment react to the birth of the new mutant baby.

Blindfold's been in the sickbay since X-Men #202 -- and yet she appears up and around in Astonishing #13-18. So if we're to place Astonishing between pages of X-Men #204, we'll have to assume that she got better, then relapsed or was injured again in an unrelated incident. This, to me, is not a difficult assumption -- after all, she's just lying there on the cot in sickbay in the closing pages of #204 -- she's not hooked up to any medical equipment. Maybe she came in with Iceman to visit Cannonball, and just wanted to lie down for a minute.

So, with a little effort, a gap can be made between pp.18-19 of X-Men #204.

Now, that almost works. However, Astonishing #13 presents some problems. A lot of references are dropped that Astonishing #12 was very recent (it's the New X-Men's "first time" back in the Danger Room since #12, for example). Rockslide is shown in his original human-shaped rock-form (not the current "chunks of rubble" look he's been sporting for some time). Anole is shown with two human arms. And Maria Hill is the Director of SHIELD.

Ugh. To use the X-Men book as a yardstick, the Danger storyline from Aston #7-12 was first referenced in X-Men #171. And here we are trying to place #13-24 between pages of X-Men #204. THIRTY-FOUR issues of X-Men have passed, while only twelve of Astonishing have come out. Yikes.

I suggest we find a gap in Astonishing #13 -- lop the issue in half, and toss the half with all those dated references WAY back in the past. Wolvie makes a reference to "a lotta students gone", so we can probably place this just post-Decimation. And the rest of #13, plus all of #14-24, can be placed between those pages of X-Men #204.

I see a likely spot on p.17 of Aston #13, between panels 1-2. That's the end of the Maria Hill scene, and the beginning of the "Kitty sleeps with Colossus" sene (thanks for that image, Joss) that leads right into the bulk of #13-24.

The only problem I see with dividing the issue up this way is that Anole and Pixie are seen a few times after that point, each in their old looks (i.e. Pixie with the pink hair and face makeup, Anole with two human arms). But these are one-panel glimpses, and can be written off as art errors.

So, what does everyone think?

A quick breakdown of my suggestions:

Astonishing #7-12
X-Men #171-176 - Aston #12 referenced
House of M: the Day After - Decimation
X-Men #177-179 - immediate fallout from Decimation
Astonishing #13 p.1 to p.17 panel 1 - Decimation referenced, students in old looks, Maria Hill in charge of SHIELD
X-Men #180-203 - many changes, including new looks for students, Tony Stark taking over SHIELD
X-Men #204 pp.1-18 - Blindfold in sickbay, Kitty still around
Astonishing #13 p.17 panel 2-end
Astonishing #14-24 - Blindfold recovered, some students seen in old looks in brief one-panel art errors, mansion still standing
Giant-Size Astonishing #1 - Kitty doesn't return?
X-Men #204 pp.19-end - Blindfold back in sickbay or visiting, no sign of Kitty, mutant baby born
Messiah Complex - mansion destroyed, no sign of Kitty


Thoughts?

-Jeph!

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by JephYork » Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:18 pm

By the way, hopefully this placement will also solve a little bugaboo of mine: was Cassandra Nova really Ernst, or not?

Short version: Cassandra Nova was tricked into entering the malleable body of the Shi'Ar Superguardian named Stuff. Stuff was "programmed to learn", and the notion seemed to be that Cassandra was to be re-educated.

Shortly thereafter, a student named Ernst started appearing on-campus, looking like a cross between a little girl and a wrinkly old lady. No real backstory was ever given to Ernst, except that she was friends with Martha Johanssen (the floating brain-in-a-jar) -- until the very end of Morrison's run, when, in the far future, a reformed and benevolent Cassandra Nova tells Martha "of course you can still call me Ernst".

The implication seems to be that Stuff's malleable body was transformed into childlike form, and Cassandra was indeed re-educated, literally, as one of Xavier's students.

However, Astonishing #13-18 revealed that Stuff was still in alien-blob form, being kept in a tightly-secured box in the basement, and as Cassandra was being tricked into entering it, she had given Emma a post-hypnotic suggestion to free her. It also states that Prof. X designed the box.

We could, potentially, assume that both stories are still true -- that the "Ernst" experiment failed, Stuff reverted, and Prof. X locked it in a box. But Ernst was last seen in New X-Men #20-23, while Prof. X was away -- so we'd have to place this arc of Astonishing after his return, in Deadly Genesis #6, to make both stories work.

My suggested very late placing of Astonishing #13-24 allows both Cassandra stories to still be true. :)

Phew!

-Jeph!

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by Paul Bourcier » Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:35 pm

Jeph wrote:
Kitty last appeared in X-Men #204 and New X-Men #43 -- and Messiah Complex started up in X-Men #205 and New X-Men #44. So, assuming that Kitty doesn't return from the Astonishing arc, forcing us to place this story between those issues -- can it be done?
This will be a little challenge, but probably no more so than the bazillion other gaps we've had to wedge into seemingly continuous storylines. :roll:

NX 43 leads right into Messiah Complex, so the gap for the run of Astonishing issues you want to accommodate may need to be in NX 43, right before Predator X detects the birth of the mutant baby. Let's keep this in mind but wait for the Astonishing storyline to play itself out.

BTW, I can't help but note that I can't remember a time I've cared about a storyline any less than the current arc in Astonishing*. It's taken so long to get these issues out, and the story itself is dragging at a snail's pace even without the delays. I discovered I really don't care a wit about Breakworld, SWORD, or the whole Colossus prophecy thing. The welcome definitely is worn out for me. Yawn.

*Okay...Onslaught Reborn. Frankly, I had forgotten completely about this useless story long before the last issue came out.

Alright, griping over.
Paul B.

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by JephYork » Thu May 01, 2008 11:49 am

Gragh. Just saw some preview pages for Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1, and Cannonball shows up.

The other X-books have been pretty conclusive that this entire ASTONX arc, #13-24 and GS #1, will need to go after the last appearance of Shadowcat. However, Cannonball's in a freaking *coma* during the slot we were looking at previously ... between the last few pages of X-Men #204.

Mrrf. Thoughts? I'm thinking of reclassifying the power surge on the last page of #204 (just after Cannonball wakes up) as something *other* than the birth of the mutant baby, which would allow us to place all of X #204 before the Astonishing arc. That would also solve the similar problem of Blindfold being in the infirmary...

Hmm.

Bah. *brickwall*

-Jeph!

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by Somebody » Thu May 01, 2008 11:55 am

Cannonballs relapsed.

Seriously, there's no way around this. Sam's still in the infirmary *during* MCX (Someone - Beast IIRC - gets angry that he's on his feet while the Sentinels are hitting the Mansion), and doesn't get out until after the Sentinels are done. It's irreconcilable within sane parameters.

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by Paul Bourcier » Thu May 01, 2008 9:34 pm

Jeph wrote:
and Cannonball shows up.
Skrull. :twisted:
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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by Somebody » Thu May 01, 2008 10:15 pm

Paul Bourcier wrote:Skrull. :twisted:
Like I said, irreconcilable within sane parameters :-P

[Seriously, you KNOW that wouldn't help, since it would just be the skrull laid up for too long, rather than the real Cannonballs :evil:]

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by JephYork » Thu May 01, 2008 11:53 pm

Seriously, there's no way around this.
There's always a way. ;)
Sam's still in the infirmary *during* MCX (Someone - Beast IIRC - gets angry that he's on his feet while the Sentinels are hitting the Mansion)
I just checked that scene, and there's some wiggle room. Sam's not shown lying in a biobed, and nobody directly references *why* he's in the medlab. We see him on his feet and not acting injured at all, helping out Prof. X. The Beast says "you shouldn't be moving around", but that's it.

I still say, reclassifying the power surge at the end of X-Men #204 as "something else" and putting this ASTONX arc between X-men #204 and Messiah Complex is the way to go.

I *don't* feel okay pretending that Sam gets better, off-panel, halfway through X-Men #204, then the ASTONX arc occurs, then Sam relapses to the point of coma in the end pages of X-Men #204. (Not to mention, Blindfold apparently relapses as well.)

But I do feel okay pretending that the power surge is something else, then assuming that after Giant-Size Astonishing, Sam relapses to the point where he shouldn't be on his feet prior to Messiah Complex. (Alternate assumption: he gets injured in GS Aston, and *that's* why he's in the medlab.)

So yes, we'll definitely have to do some handwaves here and ignore some implied references. But it's not as irreconcilable as all that...

There's always a way. :-D

-Jeph!

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by Somebody » Sat May 31, 2008 8:05 am

Okay, in addition to all the above crap (and, with Storm in her Larroca costume, it certainly looks like its meant to be in X204 to me), we get an addition to the NA@ 2 steaming pile, thanks to red/blue Spider-Man appearing in the same story as Dr Strange (who, thanks to Colossus, must appear here before Last Defenders #3, where he has no spellcasting capability).

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by morwen » Sat May 31, 2008 12:20 pm

And, isn't that Havok I spy on page 21, dumbfounded with the rest of the heroes?

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by Somebody » Sat May 31, 2008 12:51 pm

morwen wrote:And, isn't that Havok I spy on page 21, dumbfounded with the rest of the heroes?
No, that's Angel.

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by TheDeuce » Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:16 am

gaaaaaah! want...to...help....figure....this...out. *doh*

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Re: Astonishing #13-24 and Messiah Complex [potential spoilerz]

Post by Col_Fury » Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:07 am

jephyork wrote:(Alternate assumption: he gets injured in GS Aston, and *that's* why he's in the medlab.)
Spider-Man beats Cannonballs into a coma BTS before he moves on to beating the tar out of Dr. Strange. Problem solved! :wink: :)
Somebody wrote:we get an addition to the NA@ 2 steaming pile, thanks to red/blue Spider-Man appearing in the same story as Dr Strange (who, thanks to Colossus, must appear here before Last Defenders #3, where he has no spellcasting capability).
According to Tom Brevoort, Dr. Strange will play a SMALL role in Secret Invasion. Whatever the plans for him are, I think it may just end up involving him being not very powerful. He's had, what, four or five appearances since he's declared seclusion? Maybe the reason he's not getting better is because he's not STAYING in seclusion...
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