Ever since the heady days of 2021, Marvel’s X-Men books have made a tradition out of a yearly big swing called the Hellfire Gala. In-universe, Krakoa’s mutant leaders throw a political soirée for the who’s-who of Earth’s leaders. Out of universe, Marvel artists design a book’s worth of high-fashion redesigns of superhero costumes, and Marvel writers invent the biggest wrench they can possibly throw into X-Men continuity.
In 2021, the X-Men terraformed Mars. In 2022 — well, it was actually pretty quiet last year, to make room for larger revelations in the Judgment Day crossover. 2023 makes up for that lull by having Professor X, at knifepoint, take control of the minds of the entire mutant population and force them to walk through teleportation gates to… well. Nobody knows where.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
OK, it wasn’t just a knife at Charles’ throat that made teleporting 99% of all mutants to a secret location chosen by their worst enemies seem like a good solution. It was also a credible threat to instantly kill anyone who’d ever availed themselves of life-saving mutant medicines.
The X-Men office has been teasing the Fall of the Mutants at the Hellfire Gala for months now, and this is apparently how it happens. Krakoa is empty. A smattering of (the most famous) mutants are in hiding in New York and a few other places. And Mars is in the midst of mutant civil war.
Are all the other mutants dead? Professor X thinks so. Then again, he’s exactly the kind of egoist who would assume that if his powers can’t reach them, they must be gone forever. (Editorially, this would be a buckwild thing for Marvel to do. Not sure if I’d be impressed or horrified if Chuck turned out to be right.)
But chin up, Charles. As of this issue, Kamala Khan is confirmed to be a mutant now, so maybe she can help.
Poison Ivy is one of my favorite books on the stands right now. It’s got an all-timer run of covers and variant covers, with some of the coolest artists in the business going all-out on the theme of botanical, monstrous, feminine horror. Good news for me, and you by proxy: DC has collected a bunch of those covers in one volume.
Rainbow Rowell and Andrés Genolet’s She-Hulk doesn’t always make it to Monday Funnies, but it’s a comic I’m happy to see every time it comes around.
As they did on Runaways, Rowell and Genolet are quietly nailing all the fundamentals of classic ongoing superhero adventures. Neat new villains, characters with problems they can and can’t just punch away, enough of an original supporting cast to stand on its own, but tied into the rest of the world enough that it doesn’t feel like it’s off in a bubble… it’s just a good time.
It’s weird that it’s going to get a new title and restart at #1 in October, but at least I still get to read it.