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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So Did the X-Men Fight a Talking Island or What?

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at the reveal that the island that led to the formation of the All-New, All-Different X-Men was not quite what they imagined it to be…

In Giant-Size X-Men #1, Len Wein and Dave Cockrum show us Cyclops escaping from an island where a powerful mutant has held the rest of the X-Men captive. Cyclops returns to Professor X. Professor X then puts together an All-New, All-Different X-Men team and sends them back with Cyclops to rescue the original team.

While there, though, they discover that the mutant in question is not ON the island, the mutant IS the island!!!

After a quick battle, things get dicier…

Years later, the island was captured by The Stranger and kept on his menagerie planet. Quasar encountered the island in Quasar #15…

However, thirty years after Giant-Size X-Men #1, Ed Brubaker, Trevor Hairsine and Scott Hanna gave us X-Men: Deadly Genesis #6, where we reveal that Professor X had a THIRD team of mutants that he sent in to rescue the original team BEFORE the All-New, All-Different X-Men showed up. Professor X then used his powers to plant false memories in Cyclops’ mind, like the island letting him go while also making the rest of the X-Men think that the island was alive because that would go along with Cyclops’ false memories…

Definitely WAAAAY up there on the most messed up things Professor X ever did. In this mini-series, the surviving member of that team (it later turns out that another one of the team also survived – just not in the X-Men movie) comes after the X-Men and his brothers, Havok and Cyclops.

So Brubaker abandoned an’ forsaked that aspect of the X-Men’s debut story (as well as the Quasar story) to make his Deadly Genesis story work.

That’s it for this week! If YOU have a suggestion for Abandoned an’ Forsaked, let me know by e-mailing me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

43 Comments

Wow, that feels like an incredibly forced retcon (not the first or, I’m sure the last time I’ve thought that reading this column) for very little gain.

Did Krakoa ever talk in its Quasar appearances, or just growl? Because Bru’s “collection of impulses” retcon still works in the pic you used.

Well, there’s another Abandoned an’ Forsaked related to that then. Or kind of.

In Excalibur vol. 1 #31, Scott Lobdell showed Nightcrawler defeating the SON of Krakoa – another “mutant island” – and sentient.

Ok, this is very previous to Brubaker’s X-Men: Deadly Genesis.

BUT… let’s deal with Wolverine & the X-Men by Jason Aaron (in the current continuity set)… well, the GRANDSON of Krakoa is settled under Jean Grey School! And it’s a “sentient soil”.

I tried to search for an explanation, and yes, it’s established that Krakoa wasn’t really sentient, though showed psychic rudiments and impulses.

But it seems that its offspring have developed certain degree of sentience – full in its son, and petlike in its grandson.

So, the “Krakoa” in the Stranger’s menagerie met by Quasar could be fitted in this condition too. After all, lack of sentience doesn’t preclude life, instinct and movements.

That is the stupidest, most convoluted, forced retcon ever, just to force in another Summers brother that frankly was yet another stupid idea. In a word, stupid.

Professor X is such a douchemayor.
Oh wait, WAS. I forgot, he’s dead this week.

Was it even necessary to change Krakoa into “impulses”?

Due to the retcon, Professor X is not just a sinister mind manipulator but a weirdo with his priorities: he can’t sustain the psychic attack on Krakoa but he’ll still spend his energies making 13 mutant heroes believe the island is talking… he just lost a team of X-Men and he’s distracting his students with illusions in the midst of battle.
Still not 100% sure why Brubaker felt the need to retcon that other than the cheesy villain dialogue… I don’t remember the Krakoa in Quasar speaking… it was just in those few panels, right?

Most unneccesary retcon ever IMO. It was the first time that I could say that I REALLY didn’t like something Ed Brubaker wrote.

This retcon kind of sums of the Quesada era of Marvel for me: Nothing could be left alone and if something was fun, it had to be broken so that it could become dark and deconstructed.

Isn’t Wolverine’s current school (Jean Grey School for Higher Learning) built on Krakoa Jr.? Also the grounds are defended by BAMFS, little versions of Nighcrawler. Great stuff, IMHO.

You’ve missed a bit, actually. The Krakoa is very well-established in continuity, meaning this makes zero sense – Generation X had a plotline where they washed ashore on a Krakoa, and there’s even another in Wolverine & the X-Men iirc. So this ‘Abandoned and Forsaken’ is… awkward!!!!

Ghastly. Head-hurting. Unnecessary. Everyone misfires sometimes, and I guess this was one of those times for Brubaker.

Everything that Xavier ever did will eventually be retconned to have been well-meaning-but-evil.

I didn’t know that Krakoa showed up in Quasar. (If he talked there, it’ll make this retcon all the sillier.) I remember once in the 90s, Bishop and Deathbird were standing on an asteroid in space that was suspiciously human-shaped. I always wondered if that was Krakoa. Any takers on that one?

have to admit the krackoa thing was kind of crazy at first a living island mutant. that wound up with a second xmen team formed that made the xbooks popular again. only to have deadly genius change it all into not only did cyclops get a mind wipe because xavier sent another team before the giant size x team that included cyclops brother vulcan . but also kracko was just a mind game by xavier proving how messed up xavier really is when it comes to the x-men

@Adam, the human-shaped asteroid was the Living Monolith body.

Halloween Jack

March 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Ed Brubaker is a talented writer who has made comics demonstrably better by the bulk of his work, and for his sake I think we should all forget that this piece of crap ever existed.

Glad Professor X got us rid of all that junk canon fodder. :)

This storyline pretty much killed any interest in Brubaker’s work for me. This, added to Whedon’s nonsensical “Xavier knew Cerebro had become sapient but deliberately kept it as a slave” mess did a lot of damage to poor Charles.

Happily, the current WatXM series doesn’t seem to include the notion of non-sapience in Krakoa, so perhaps that horrible retcon has been quietly brushed under the rug. If we never see Vulcan ever again (not because he’s a bad guy, but because of the character damage to Xavier from his backstory) I’ll be happy.

The question that comes to my mind is how silly and implausible is Krakoa being sentient when the Marvel U already has/had Ego, the Living Planet? Will Brubaker – or someone else at Marvel – retcon that, too?

@David: Even before this story, Charles was already “damaged” as a character.

He hid the existence of Havoc and Corsair hidden from Cyclops for a very long time.

He tried to use his powers on Amelia Voght to force her to not leave him.

He hired Changling to impersonate him, and when he died, let them continue to think he was dead (except for Jean, who would have found out immediately).

Left Magneto in charge of the New Mutants while he bailed to space to go bang Lilandra.

Was responsible for the Heroes Reborn crap because he allowed his lust for Jean and Magneto’s subconscious to fester in his mind instead of seeking help.

Hid the knowledge of Danger’s sentience from everyone else until she went on a killing spree.

I’m sure there’s a few other examples of Xavier’s Superdickery, but these are the only ones that currently come to mind. To quote Kitty, “Professor X is a JERK!”

“He tried to use his powers on Amelia Voght to force her to not leave him.”

For a split second and then he changed his mind. Don’t make it sound like he would’ve done it.

Did Krakoa ever talk in its Quasar appearances, or just growl? Because Bru’s “collection of impulses” retcon still works in the pic you used.

He’s not abandoning that, he’s abandoning the fact that it appeared since they threw it into outer space. In Deadly Genesis, it has been floating around dead since Jean flung it into outer space back in Giant-Size X-Men #1.

While this was a terrible retcon that served no purpose other than to ruin Professor X, it did give us one of Marvel’s best stories of the 2000s, War of Kings. I’ll give it a pass just for that.

Darwin is also being used pretty well over in X-Factor. In fact, with Vulcan now apparently deceased, he’s just about the only part of Deadly Genesis which had a lasting impact on the X-Universe.

I kind of liked Petra and Sway and wish they’d brought them back too. It wouldn’t even be too hard to retcon either. Just say that Sway’s powers took over and she jumped them forward in time at random, so they just pop up in the present day. Of course a very similar story to that has been used recently, unfortunately.

@Senhor–

…oh. That’s…disappointing, for some reason.

Just another reason why I HATED Brubaker being on the X-Books, you get this revisionist retcon BS, like Giant Size #1 HAD to be fixed; Brubaker thought it was too goofy, so we had to endure this crap because he knows better than Len Wein. FUCK OFF.

It wasn’t that they needed to “fix” it, but for the story to work, the island couldn’t be a sentient being.

@Brian- why couldn’t the island be a sentient being? It would have still worked if Krakoa “let” Vulcan rescue Scott.

Oh wow…
I’ve never read Deadly Genesis, just because the idea of a second team of dead X-Men nobody knew about sounds ridiculous to me, but I had no idea they had retconned Krakoa into not being an island!
How stupid is that??

And also, Prof Xavier was going around in Giant-Size #1 recruiting the team saying he has an URGENT NEED of mutants. But he was still taking his sweet-ass time doing it, then took even more time to try and train them before going to Krakoa, meaning that meanwhile the Original 5 were left there to agonize and maybe die… and having a second team means he prolonged their suffering TWICE??
He IS a demented screwed up jerk!

If he really cared so much about rescuing them, couldn’t he just go to the Avengers or the Fantastic Four for help, since they had experienced heroes with skills that could actually do the job, and do it NOW?

Remind me again why Scott killing Xavier in AVX is such a bad thing?

@ I AM FEAR
Because the people who wanted to kill him off were the ones who retconned him into doing this crap in the first place; Quesada admitted only one of the AvX writers didn’t want to kill him off, and I’m convinced that writer was the last good X-Men writer, Jason Aaron.

He probably could have redeemed Xavier, actually I think he planned on it since he used him early in his WatXM run and has expressed affection for the character. Hickman probably wouldn’t have cared, having Xavier around would interfere with Bendis’ “brilliant” ideas for his underwhelming X-Men stint, and it would have invalidated all the “work” Fraction and Brubaker put into their pet Gary Sue who-is-so-clearly-right-about-everything, Cyclops the Uberdousche.

Before this yutz got his hands on him, the only major douchey thing Xavier had done was “enslaving” Danger, another shitty retcon that was recent and came from a writer who, when it comes to comics, is pretty overrated and was a pointless attempt to make the X-Books darker, because darker always equals better with these hacks.

Personally, I’m waiting for Jason Aaron to retcon these retcons and say that every time Xavier did one of these things, it was is crazy cape-wearing alter ego at the wheel. There’s more story potential in a redeemed Xavier than morally-bankrupt-strawman Xavier that exists to justify every moronic fan-fiction thing the writers have Cyclops do.

@IAM FeAR: Krakoa’s retcon didn’t change him from an island, it just changed his status from fully sentient to barely sentient.

Also, Chucky didn’t take his sweet time training these kids. He gave them a condensed crash course in combat (say that fast 3 times!) via telepathy, the same way he taught Colossus how to speak English in such a short time.

@Martin Redmond: Prof Jerkface actually did try to use his powers briefly on Amelia (albeit in a moment of passion and panic) before he realized what he did and stopped himself, but it was long enough for her to realize what he did and bitch-slap him. Here’s a link to the panels in Uncanny X-Men #309 depicting what happened: http://uncannyxmen.net/images/spotlight/xavier11.jpg

Anon, it was actually Hickman who argued against killing Xavier.

Ed Brubaker was never good at mainstream superhero stories. His “The Authority: Revolution” story was incredibly boring. “The Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire” was a clunky mess. This retconn of Krakoa and Xavier was particularly stupid and not entertaining at all.

As long as Brubaker sticks to the stories he wants to tell, he’s an absolutely wonderful writer. Just stay away from X-Men and The Authority.

Thxkbye

Roquefort Raider

March 27, 2013 at 6:38 am

Gah! Please let someone retcon that retcon into oblivion!!! It’s got everything that can go wrong with revisiting history: characters not acting like themselves, plot-induced nonsense and contradictions, taking away the importance of a classic story, unraveling of continuity… and the payoff isn’t even a good story. (And didn’t Banshee die in that story? Add one more bad point: killing an old character).

Yeah, Banshee died, just to introduce how much of a badass “Vulcan” was. So you can add two more typically Quesadian traits to this story. Unnecessarily and anti-climatically killing an old character, and introducing a Mary Sue that “had always been there”.

@ RF

When was that revealed? I remember Marvel making a big deal about keeping the truth on that hush-hush because they wanted to downplay the fact that their “architects” didn’t quite get along.

Anon,
I think they got along just fine. But of course there are going to be back and forth debates when a bunch of people are beating out a story.

I can’t give you the exact interview (though I think he’s mentioned it a few times), but my memory is that Bendis and Aaron were for Xavier’s death, and Hickman resisted because of his plans for New Avengers. He wanted Xavier to be back with the Illuminati. As it happens, we got the business with Beast and the note, which was actually kind of cool so it all worked out.

So I don’t think anybody was making a big deal or keeping anything hush-hush.

@FuryOfFirestorm

As for the worst thing Xavier did, he killed literally billions of microverse aliens in X-Men vs Micronauts.

As it turns out it was just his evil side acting up again but still…

the world is better without him.

PietroMaximoff

April 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

i agree that retcon was unnecessary, krakoa being intelligent was irrelvant, maybe it didn’t let scott escape voluntarily, maybe it just got careless

Don’t forget the second retcon here…Jean getting all the credit for kicking Krakoa off of Earth.

Talking about Chuck enslaving Danger, didn’t X-Men Legacy abandon and forsake that? He explained that he *wanted* to free her from her programming, but since she *was* the program, he wasn’t sure how to do it without running the risk of lobotomising or killing her. (Although wasn’t “not running the program” an option? That’s the equivilent of leaving a human in suspended animation, not killing them, surely?)

@Kid Kyoto don’t forget during the Nicroverse mess he turned the New Nutants evil and the REALLY icky on-panel mind-rape of Moonstar.

As for Krakoa a chunk of him joined Generation X pretending to be Mondo.

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