“Life Signs (Part 3): The Light of a Tainted Dawn”
Writers: Scott Lobdell & Todd DeZago
Pencils: Ken Lashley & Steve Epting
Inks: Philip Moy, Harry Candelario, W.C. Carani, John Floyd & John Livesay
Colours: Chris Matthys
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editors: Suzanne Gaffney & Bob Harras
Original publication date: October 1994
We’re back from the holidays and eager to discuss the very important symbolism of robot Velociraptors in wizard capes in the bafflingly titled Phalanx Covenant crossover issue Excalibur #82, “Life Signs (Part 3): The Light of a Tainted Dawn,” in which Nightcrawler saves the world through the power of life-coaching and everyone’s hair looks fabulous. But we’re focusing on the Forge of it all, discussing race, representation, and Indigenous Futurism with comics scholar Dr. Jeremy M. Carnes!
On origin stories:
Anna: “What drew you to the world of the X-Men?”
On messed-up mergings:
“There are so many panels and pages of gooey people merging into other people, and something happened but… I don’t know what it’s going for.” -Anna
On plot holes:
“It’s unclear why they need to climb the tower because… and I can’t stress this enough… Sam can f-ing fly.” -Mav
On Indigenous tropes:
“Native characters are often painted as anachronistic so that they’re never thought of as modern. If you can’t be modern, you can’t be part of the nation state. And if you can’t be part of the nation state, it justifies exclusion.” -Jeremy
“Characters like Forge and Dani Moonstar sometimes live in stereotypes. Other times, they push against them.” -Jeremy
On the violence of absence:
“Because Indigenous communities have been legally, historically, culturally, and systemically denied, in relation to the United States, by their absence… a lack of representation reiterates that.” -Jeremy
“The rhetoric of this moment is totally the rhetoric of settler colonialism… Forge is asked to erase his own people, and accept that it’s for the best.” -Jeremy
Want more Jeremy Carnes?
You can find him on Twitter (@jmcarnes).
We’ll hype the heck out of Jeremy’s forthcoming edited collection on X-Men: The Animated series, co-edited with past guests Margaret Galvan and Nicholas Miller, when it’s available (hopefully later this year)!
In the meantime, we recently spotlighted some of Jeremy’s article “‘The Original Enchantment’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, and Representational Logics in The New Mutants,” talking about X-Men and Indigenous representation, over at Sequential Scholars.