Page 45 Reviews October 2010 week two

Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits 2000-2010 (£14-99, Oni Press) by Jen Van Meter & Christine Norrie, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Chynna Clugston Flores, Ross Campbell, Andi Watson, Vera Brosgol, Becky Cloonan, Mike Norton, Tim Fish, Catherine Norrie, Meredith McClaren, Terry Dodson.

Everything to date in one massive volume including bonus strips in colour.

PHONOGRAM’s Jamie McKelvie writes: “Every comicbook I make owes something to HOPELESS SAVAGES.”

Here’s a newly extended version of my review of volume two from 3007 BC:

The titular Hopeless-Savages are a family whose figureheads are two punk legends, each infamous in their own right before getting it on and really setting the world on fire. Now they’ve four children, the youngest of which is Zero, seventeen, with a fully formed band of her own. Rehearsing within earshot of her Grammy Award-winning parents proves a lot less daunting than falling in love with the only guy at college who doesn’t want to get straight into her pants. Ginger’s in love with her all right, and has been since early childhood, but he’s reticent to the point where she has to do all the courting (indeed to begin with he’s convinced that all she could want from him is a Platonic friendship which would cause him more pain than nothing at all), and Jen and Bryan both succeed in evoking all the awkwardness and frustration and desperation involved when confidence is low but there’s so much to gain. Complicating things further, Zero gets grounded just as an intrusive television crew descends on the Hopeless-Savages for a Fame & Shame “Legends Of Rock” type affair, furiously blurts out a confession of love for the boy she supposes at that point to hate her, and faces the prospect of this being a prime piece of footage when the programme is aired.

Van Meter’s set-up is smart: although no one seems capable of seeing past their clothes, names and reputations built by those who themselves couldn’t see past their clothes, names and reputations, each member of the family is a clearly defined individual in their own right, which constantly lands them in trouble in the Principal’s office – the proud, non-conformist parents included. This gives Jen has plenty to play with, yet she declines to force them all on us at once, introducing just enough history to illuminate the individual’s perspective on any given situation, should they care to share it. This is where the flashbacks come in, and her choice of artists proves perfect for each.

Bryan Lee O’Malley (SCOTT PILGRIM, LOST AT SEA) renders particularly squidgy versions of the characters – superdeformed as the description goes for Japanese figures – and lends a real passion to the confrontations. But I also particularly enjoyed Chynna’s tender sequence in which, when asked by Zero for advice, art-school brother Twitch reflects wistfully on his own prior love life, and feels that his succession of mistakes born of one big mistake make him wholly unqualified to comment. As it happens, they make him eminently qualified, for that one big mistake was to sacrifice his true love for Henry for fear of holding back his career. Zero follows her brother outside:

“I think you were brave. Like that thing? About if you love someone –”
“Set ’em free? Passive-aggressive crap’s what that is. You don’t need to set people free. They already are. Henry and I might not have been forever, but so what? Not every good important relationship is. I was afraid he’d regret the missed chance and come to resent me. I turned away, settled for less to avoid future pain. You do that, you’ll get nothing but what you deserve.”
“So I shouldn’t give up?”
Listen to me. If the one is right there… and you cheat or betray that in any way… everything that comes after will suffer. Everything.”

One of the bonus colour strips, by the way, sees Twitch and Henry first get it together which in turn catalyses Henry’s brother Claude getting it together with Twitch’s sister Arsenal… during a judo competition!

My only qualms are – once again – Zero’s made-up language. I don’t know if the device is for euphemistic purposes (i.e. to replace swearing) but some of the actual choices are less than convincing.

However, coming back to Ginger’s initial fears, this piece of dialogue really takes the biscuit, and if you’ve ever been there then you’ll join me in wishing we all had a little of the young lad’s self-knowledge:

“I don’t want to be the nice guy you hang out with while you repair the damage done to your self-image by egotistical thugs who wildly underestimate your worth. I don’t want your head on my shoulder while you tell me what a great friend I am, so sensitive, just like a brother. I don’t want to have to act happy for you when you go off with some charismatic idiot who – at best – thinks you’re an ordinary girl and not the treasure I know you to be. I don’t want to look at you wistfully every so often, but never dare admit I’ve been wild about you since first grade because it would complicate your life and ruin the friendship. I’ve seen it. I don’t want it. Sorry.”

Way to go, Jen.


King-Cat #71 (£2-99, Spit & A Half) by John Porcellino ~

John’s been a busy man this year. This issue of KING-CAT marks a subtle departure from the previous issues. In the year since #70, John’s toured twice, moved state again, this time to Florida, started a blog and reopened his Spit & A Half distribution; he’s even popped up on Facebook. What this brings to light, however, is the difference between writing personal and often profound comics compared with the loose and wily ways of the internet. If you were to read his blog (called amusingly “Maybe Blogging Will Help”) or befriend him on Facebook, facets of his personal life which he explores openly within KING-CAT merely become stark details in their online capacity. It really puts into perspective the argument of how blogs allegedly killed ‘zines over the last decade. The difference between the two media and the manner of how John communicates through them are in stark contrast to one another. On the one hand his blog is amusing but unremarkable (#43 in his own Top Forty), while his comics are succinct with an appreciation for the repose between images and words. They’re also very funny, thoughtful and often heart wrenching.

And for the first time in a long while the cover is a cartoon; ringing with irony, it’s a departure from the usual contemplative buildings and plants.

Sub Life vol 2 (£5-99, Fantagraphics) by John Pham ~

This is a beautiful object to behold, as an anthropomorphic nebula appears to be connecting with a spacewalking Captain Ho in a parody of the Sistine Chapel’s infamous fresco. With that the cover perfectly entices you to the main story, Deep Space for reasons that will become apparent. Themes of apocalypse, isolation and survival underpin all the stories in this series, even 221 Sycamore Avenue. It’s right there on the cover of volume one, L.A. falling off the end of the world, the ocean dragging everything over the edge. But there’s a sense of wonder that comes with that awareness of impeding doom. It’s the curiosity of the rubbernecker observing the pile-up on the road, but slowly driving on, insulated in apathetic denial.

Volume two continues the Deep Space adventures of Captain Ho, Commander Wallace and Alien guide, Deek. It’s a mind (and page) warping journey into oblivion as the crew of the lost ship attempt to utilise an alien energy source to jump home, with disastrous psychedelic effects as Cap. Ho, in a DMT-like state induced by engaging warp, sends the vessel into unknown space by addictively punching the button at random. Cap. Ho’s excitement at being reunited with his wife and child is displaced with crushing shame as the often trouser-less Commander assumes the voice of sanity. It takes a confident and skilled artist to convey subtle tones of unease and insecurity with such precision, let alone deliver this with a wry sense of humour. This succeeds where too often I’ve seen comics attempt and fail. Even when the actual narrative tricks employed are inherently entertaining, most comics fail to grasp the emotional spectrum involved when altering your brain chemistry, and even writing about having a trip at all is derivative and obvious, while through a solid allegory John has demonstrated the enlightening and devastating effects drugs take in a balanced way. The slow and inevitable effect of the fall of the industrial age always fascinated me growing up, as here it is happening all around us, and no other film encapsulated those feelings of future exhaustion then Mad Max. But Mad Max was the last thing I was expecting to find in the flip of this! John once again shifts his style for this unofficial sequel: wide-panel long-shots are scratched out of the paper in muted orange and dirty carbon line work as Max does what needs to be done in order to keep the V-8 Interceptor running until a discovery of a bunker and its young armed inhabitant send him down a different path, at high speed.


Saturn Apartments vol 1 (£9-99, Viz/Sigikki) by Hisae Iwaoka ~

The vanguard of this conveyer-belt culture exists in an annexed state, orbiting the circumference of Earth in a giant space station called The Ring. The planet which was once our home is now a cordoned-off nature preserve, while above in The Ring human nature survives along with its defining social divides. Across its three levels humanity perseveres, adhering to a simple design: in the upper level live the wealthy and the powerful, in the middle the civil services, schools and factories stand, while on the lower levels live the poor en masse. So unbalanced are the resources in this capitalist ideal that the lower levels are shrouded in perpetual night as no one can afford to clean the outside and let the sun in, despite the workers contracted to don pressure suits and clean the outer layer all living there.

Mitsu has just left school. An orphan from the lower levels, his father fell to Earth while cleaning windows years ago, and now he’s following in his footsteps. Naïve and impressionable, he’s partnered with cranky and cynical old master Jin, and the two of them strike a brilliant dynamic of enthusiasm and experience. Through the work Mitsu contends with the often contradictory echelons of his society, while learning something of his father, a man he barely remembers. Unlike most SF there’s no great nemesis here, no cause to strive for, nor rebellion to instigate or repel. Life in Saturn Apartments is like life anywhere, people striving to better themselves and to better the world. Sure there are some, like a few of Mitsu’s colleagues, who feel the world owes them something, but that attitude is the product of their personal insecurity. They’re the kind of jaded characters fed up with their lot that you can recognise in all walks of life. And quite often a change of perspective can clear even the most opaque views.

Hisae’s art is delicate, soft yet detailed. Her figures are predominantly round with bulbous heads, like some perfect union of Moebius and Tezuka’s styles. While the different environments they inhabit feel solid, the upper and middle levels remind me of the Barbican on a grand scale. Particularly the way its apartment’s sharp modern design is giving way to an individual lived-in look, while the lower level is a floor-to-ceiling shanty town of shady claustrophobic high-rises reminiscent of Michael Wolf’s photographs of Hong Kong architecture.

This is a contender for the Manga of the year for me. It’s just beautiful.


Hilarious Consequences (£7-99, Records, Records, Records, records) by Babak Ganjei ~

I must be honest, when Babak initially called to see if we would stock his comic I was sceptical, in fact I flat-out thought from the nervous description he was a crazy man who had most probably scrawled something crude on a piece of paper and gone at it with the safety scissors. But when I received this and read it I was blown away by how utterly hilarious it actually is. So, Babak, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I was either very wrong or you actually are so crazy, you’ve gone right through the whole spectrum of crazy and back into sane again. I think that’s to your advantage though, as starting a record company by releasing a book is quite unorthodox! Babak’s apparently autobiographical comic is genius. Channelling Chris Morris’ MY WRONGS #8245-8249 & 117 with the immediacy and charm of Jeffrey Brown’s CLUMSY, Babak paints his life as a failure, a washed-up hipster in a one-man band, suffering from an acute case of complacency. All of which would be unremarkable if it were not for the visceral monologues which he constantly finds himself making before quickly realising what he just said out loud to his girlfriend, infant son, or utter stranger is completely inappropriate and slightly frightening. We’re introduced to this hapless sad sack in a moment of weakness as he enters a Chinese herbalist and is promptly rinsed for all his worth over a remedy for stress. The remedy, a foul tea, some suspicious pills and rank soup, only stresses him out further as he can’t afford the £60 price tag so falls into debt with the intimidating hard sellers. This debt is further compacted by the fact that his jobless and his career choice is music. Prospects aren’t good when nobody listens to you when you’re alone on stage with nothing but a guitar and a beard to hide behind, but they go from bad to worse when electro-rockabilly outfit Robocow are on next. Events spiral and while he does find work in a hip bar, the care-free attitude of the younger, prettier members of staff only serve to confound him, so when he reluctantly partakes of cocaine during a Christmas Party (which typically of work parties is in May) he finds himself in an in-depth conversation about the weather for the duration of the high. It’s possibly the most realistic drug scene ever made, regardless of the medium. As stated above, this is actually the first release from Babak’s record company and comes with an Original Motion Picture Soundtrack! Featuring: The Bronsteins, Macks Faulkron, Wonderswan, Dignan Porch, Singing Adams, Round Ron Virgin, Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards, Cheatahs, Big Deal, Wet Paint, and Matthew C.H. Tong.


Recidivist (£12-99) by Zak Sally ~

Restocks! Graphic yet somewhat fractured collection of short stories from the ex-bass player of Low. [We have the new Zak Sally album! See merchandise section – Ed.]

Legend has it that Zak bought a printing press for just $200 and decided to focus on his first passion, comics. Thus La Mano was born and in 2005 year released the long-awaited second King-Cat collection, DIARY OF A MOSQUITO ABATEMENT MAN, which promptly won an Ignatz award for Best Collection. Not too shabby for a publisher’s first release!

I read an interview with Zak not too long ago where he explained how he would try and do what he could of his comic in-between tours and other band engagements, which goes someway to explain the fractured nature of these stories. Although, like a good song, any faults could perhaps be seen as self-analytical of the artist. An honest and graphic self-inspection of one’s own ethics and life. In that way it reminds me most of the early work by The Holy Consumption collective. Plus there’s a bit of a punk vibe about doing it yourself which I admire and respect. This is a gorgeous little hardcover which comes, as the cover depicts, from the heart.

On a slightly off-topic note, when I first started working here Mark told me how years back, Zak would come into the store and give him mini-comics in an effort to try and gain his friends in the states more exposure. He’d do this in every city with a comic store, I’m sure. Mark however, hadn’t got into them as a band yet, so in his own words “Ignored him because I thought they were ripping off Spacemen 3 a bit”. Lol.


A Sickness In The Family h/c (£14-99, Vertigo Crime) by Denise Mina & Antonio Fuso.

Generally I’m a very slow reader ( I’ve never learned nor had the desire to learn how to speed-read) but I whizzed through this, which racks in as my favourite in these pocketbook Vertigo Crime hardcovers alongside Azzarello’s FILTHY RICH. I didn’t even mind the typed, capital lettering too much which must be a first for me. I stopped noticing it the second I realised that the dialogue was going to be far from predictable.

Written by the author responsible for HELLBLAZER: EMPATHY IS THE ENEMY and RED RIGHT HAND, it kicks off at Christmas in a basement flat in what I take to be Glasgow as a battered Polish woman discharges herself from hospital and, much to the alarm of her taxi driver, returns home to her Scottish husband, then tries to placate him only to be met with further belittling:

“Before we move here you never talk to me like this. Why you talk to me like this now? You don’t love me more?”
“Many more?”
Anymore, I don’t love you anymore.”
“You don’t love me?”
“I’m correcting your English, ya Polish bint.”
“But I’m still loving you.”
“Sit down. Watch telly. Cheer up.”

Meanwhile on the floors above a family is enduring an already strained Christmas made worse by the household’s father’s insistence on making a truly excruciating speech. Although to be fair, his wife, his newly resident mother-in-law, his son and his daughter receive it with more ill humour than it deserves. His younger, adopted son, Sam, is the narrator recalling these events in what seems like a somewhat clinical environment. When they hear the sound of violence from below it’s Sam who thinks to break it up with the excuse of offering the couple burnt Christmas pudding. By which point it’s far, far too late…

The father’s just sold off the family business which his daughter was hoping to inherit, whilst his older son has just been expelled from Oxford University. And, much to his wife’s disgust, the man of the house insists on investing the proceeds from the sale on buying the basement flat so that he can knock through and install a staircase. The hole in the floor takes five seconds, but the staircase refuses to materialise leaving a gaping, thirty-foot drop which messes with the acoustics unnervingly. Then, in the middle of the night, the mother-in-law/grandmother screams and is found sprawled on the floor of that basement flat having fallen – or been pushed – through the hole in the floorboards. Miraculously she survives both the fall and the stroke (before or after the fall?) but is left both immobile and dumb, and consigned by the family to that very basement to be visited by Sam and Sam alone. He swears she’s trying to tell him something. How fractured or self-interested must members of that family be to neglect such a vulnerable old lady? Also, who’s next?

There’s little worse than racing through a graphic novel you’re loving (although plodding through one you’re barely enduring pretty much sucks; also being maimed, murdered or talked to by a Tory MP) than reaching a crashingly dull or anticlimactic end. Fear not: this one’s a killer.

If we haven’t made it clear before that these are black and white efforts, I do apologise. It’s peculiar perhaps but personally I don’t read black and white comics any differently from colour comics whereas I do absorb black and white films differently from colour ones given that, I guess, it signifies their age. (I’m still not sure which explanation I believe for Lindsay Anderson’s exceptional ‘If’, but there you go. Had he simply run out of colour film or is that a myth?) Certainly the art here is by no means the main attraction. It has neither the attractive individuality nor subtle prowess of Andi Watson’s or Nabiel Kanan’s, but you can’t fault Fuso in his ability to drive your eyes both across and down the page.

So far I’d compare DC’s Vertigo Crime imprint to it’s Minx efforts for young teen ladies: the former can’t compare to STRAY BULLETS (currently out of print), CRIMINAL, 100 BULLETS or THE KILLER when it comes to crime, whilst everything Hope Larson has ever touched trounces the Minx line effortlessly. Both imprints have proved predominantly average, but they’ve each had a couple of stand-out gems; this for me is one of them.


Hokusai s/c (£12-99, Astral Gypsy) by Al Davison.

Dreams: illuminating, baffling, frustrating, inspiring. Few conscious imaginings can match the sheer liberation that dreaming provides, and so it is here where Davison (THE SPIRAL CAGE) utilises as many styles per sequence as he deems fit. These are personal visions so not all with come with the same level of bona fide revelation at the end that the anti-war ‘Debt Of Gratitude’ does inside. Dreams do not come with a guarantee. They do all catalyse contemplation, however, as do some of the quotations. Here’s a Japanese proverb I enjoyed:

“Vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare.”

All bar one (‘Branches’ with its Jeremy Dennis-like first four pages) are pretty terrifying, be it the Alice In Wonderland/Gothic Lolita fusion called ‘Tea For Two’ or the spine-shiveringly ominous ‘It Will Return’ with its Muth-like photography on the last two pages.

Sleep tight, then!

“After all, we both know that daylight does not last as long as it used to.”

Introduction by Neil Gaiman.


7 Psychopaths (£7-50, Boom!) by Fabien Vehlmann & Sean Phillips.

The Special Operations Executive is open to, nay desperate for, an alternative strategy to winning the war against Nazi Germany. Many have been the attempts on Hitler’s life but one silver-haired inmate of the Bethlehem Hospital for the stark raving mad thinks the plan is still worth pursuing if those on the mission are far less predictable: those with ulterior motives or simply a deathwish. Those who think outside the box: narcissists, nobodies, and those who think the number seven holds far more significance and sway than simply being a number which amounts to, err, seven. One such is a former German officer clinically diagnosed as schizophrenic who believes Hitler is a) the Anti-Christ and b) communicating his telepathic omniscience directly into his brain. Another is an actor/impressionist. He’ll come in very handy, but not in a way you’ll anticipate, nor necessarily for whom. Not everyone is so keen to answer the call. In fact I worried about the ones who were, and it turns out I wasn’t far from wrong.

Sean CRIMINAL/SLEEPER/INCOGNITO Phillips’ art is well worth the price of admission alone. It’s as gorgeous as ever, but far cleaner than you’ll have been used to recently, perhaps because this was originally targeted at mainland Europe. I can’t see the man ever releasing a “How To…” book but if you wanted to study a single artist who might stand you in very good stead when it comes to sublime storytelling through sequential art, I can think of few others better.

As to the story, I persevered through what I initially judged to be a long-winded set up, and thank goodness I did. Many once more are the speculative fictions that have been written about attempts on Adolf’s life, but there emerges the most almighty irony towards the end that sets this book shelves apart before another one kicks in to secure its place in my smile-induced affections. No clues!


Artichoke Tales h/c (£16-99, Fantagraphics) by Megan Kelso.

Of the first three issues, Mark wrote –

Excellent epic of family, love, war and belonging. Within the two warring factions of north and south a boy falls for a girl. Duty beckons him to move on and her elders warn her that to give your heart outside of your village is foolish. I think that Kelso attempted this one in the early GIRLHERO issues but left it until she had the necessary skills to pull it off. Wise move, as each page is rich with mythology and belief in the players.

Whilst Tom recalled ~

It’s a gentle fantasy akin to CASTLE WAITING, about a community of people with Artichoke-esque hair and the tensions between the country-loving southerners with their agriculture and the bureaucratic northerners and their machines. I often find myself thinking about particular scenes, like when the young medicine woman’s apprentice is burying jars of fruit conserve, trying to fathom the reasoning behind it with a mix of laziness towards the task and passive rebellion against the previous generation. Feelings of apathy which manifest in potentially dangerous ways the moment she finds a nice young northern soldier.


Spleenal h/c (£18-99, Blank Slate) by Nigel Auchterlounie.

From the creator of (all those years ago!) SIMON CAT and DOLE SCUM. A sorry excuse for a husband, father and, frankly, human being flails about hopelessly trying to mind his kids for five seconds, dithers on the brink of adultery, then finally invents a time machine to escape the needs of a family he never wanted and create his great graphic novel. Instead he infests the planet with cacti. Also included: the adventures of Student Spleenal and Young Spleenal. He’s not much better behaved then, and you are hereby warned that this book contains scenes of a ‘testicles trapped in bike brake’ nature. Ouch. Your sense of humour needs to be on the rude if not crude side. Mark laughed long and hard at Auchterlounie’s earlier comics.


Sparky O’Hare (£4-99, Blank Slate) by Mawil.

Little pocketbook with a single, simple joke that grows cumulatively funnier so long as you laughed in the first place: an anthropomorphic hare is hired as in-house electrician for an office with but three other employees, involuntarily shorting out circuits wherever he goes. He is to electrics what Death Jr. is to pets: catastrophic. There are more electrical things in an office than you might at first surmise, and turning off your mobile phone in a plane or hospital will do you no good whatsoever!


Batman: Life After Death h/c (£14-99, DC) by Tony S. Daniel & Tony S. Daniel, Guillem March.

Reprinting BATMAN #692-699 and concluding the storyline Tony S. Daniel began back in BATTLE FOR THE COWL, this is far from self-contained. I know this because I tried reading it today and was baffled, bored and even mildly irritated, but you do finally discover who the Black Mask is.

The Black Mask, Fright, Professor Strange and Dr. Death (not the largest medical practice, I wouldn’t have thought) are holed up 100 feet below Devil’s Square, their grunts being picked off by Mario Falcone’s family. Reinforcements are required. Meanwhile Arkham Asylum’s Gene-Core project led by Dr. Singh and Dr. Jeremiah Arkham looks as if it may successfully and permanently cure mental illness using radio-wave technology, but it’s being sabotaged by young Kitrina Falcone, an escape artist who catches Catwoman’s eye. All parties plus the Penguin and Riddler are being investigated by Dick Grayson as Batman, Damian as Robin, the Huntress, Oracle and Commissioner Gordon, leading to further complications in Dick Grayson’s love life.

Daniel’s art is a lot more attractive than March’s in the separate two-parter which I confess I dropped in favour of reading another cracking instalment of Matt Fraction’s IRON MAN and a further magnificent piece of invention in Jonathan Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D.. Priorities, priorities…

Note: if you follow the link below, that’s not the actual cover art, curiously.

X-Men: Second Coming h/c (£29-99, Marvel) by Fraction, Yost, Kyle, Carey, Wells & Finch, Dodson, Roberson, Land, Choi.

“Hey! Summers! This is yours. You own this. Now and forever. Do you understand?
“Do. You. Understand?”

Successful sequel to X-MEN: MESSIAH COMPLEX (it successfully kept me reading, which is difficult when it comes to crossovers) in which the action runs freely through UNCANNY X-MEN, NEW MUTANTS, X-MEN LEGACY, X-FORCE and a couple of one-shots. And when I say “action”, I mean wholesale slaughter including one particularly popular X-Man biting the dust surprisingly early on. Read on a weekly basis the various artists, consistently fine, didn’t appear to jar at all.

In HOUSE OF M Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, effectively sterilised the mutant race until finally a new mutant they named Hope was born. Convinced that, instead of being mutants’ salvation, Hope would prove to cause its destruction, Bishop tried more than once to kill the child so Cyclops dispatched the baby under Cable’s protection into the future. Since then she’s grown into a teenager while barely a year has passed here. Now they’re back, materialising in the rubble that used to be Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters and immediately come under attack from shock troops dispatched by the anti-mutant Human Council coalition. Cyclops is forced to split his combined resources into four leaving Utopia, their base off the coast of San Francisco, perilously vulnerable whilst one-by-one their teleporters are being taken out, as are their other means of transport. Cyclops’ orders stem from a singular priority: keeping Hope alive. With Magneto weak from the nigh-impossible task of rescuing ***** ***** from ***** in UNCANNY X-MEN, Scott’s orders – and their own determination – are going to cost them very dearly indeed.

Also included, the ominous, after-the-event prologue originally given away as a freebie, friendships destroyed after the secret of X-Force leaks out, and if my original reading of the final few pages is right – when Emma Frost catches a glimpse of something she never gets to share – then Bishop may well have been right.


X-Men: Second Coming Revelations h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Duane Swierczynski, Simon Spurrier, Chris Yost, Peter David & Steve Dillon, Paul Davidson, Harvey Tolibao, Tom Raney, Valentine De Landro.

An add-on to the main event reprinting X-MEN: HOPE set before Cable and his young charge make it back to the present, X-MEN: BLIND SCIENCE, X-MEN HELLBOUND #1-3 starring Illyana which blatantly nicks a line from Mark Millar’s ULTIMATES (it isn’t alone) and X-FACTOR #204-206.

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