Karolinska Hospital, Sweden, 1957:
The hospital room of film director Ingmar Bergman:
Bergman sits at a desk, doodling into the margins of the script of The Seventh Seal and looking for a word. Dobby… Dobey… Doob…… Doof. Dr. Oop. Doop! he decides.
Outside the Jean Grey school, now:
Mama Doop turns away, but Doop pulls at her shyly, demanding she talk to him. Angrily, she calls him a little spud face and demands to know why he pulled her across the Margins. He stammers something about Raze. “Speak up, you little green turd!” Doop asks what dirty secret Raze knows about her.
There’s only one dirty secret that matters! she shouts. Papa Doop left them. He abandoned them both! She slaps him. Doesn’t he remember? And Doop remembers…
He was young in the deep Marginalia. Like most creatures here, the Doop family were marginal characters born from dreams or wild imaginings. But in the case of the Doops, they were the product of the fertile imagination of famous Swedish film producer Ingmar Bergman. At least this was the creation myth Doop was fed. From an early age, he was told that he ruined his parents’ marriage. He supposed this had to be true but, as far as he could remember, his folks never seemed to have much time for each other.
Doop hadn’t meant to split his parents asunder. He was an inquisitive child and wanted to see his roots for himself. So one day, he travelled to the real world beyond the margins. For a number of continuity reasons, Doop had always been forbidden to do this. He tried to enter the hospital but Papa Doop angrily dragged him away. He was so mad that he packed his imaginary novels and left, never to be seen again. Mama Doop didn’t like being a single parent and took it out violently on Doop.
The same person she still blames.
Mama Doop slaps him. They were Romeo and Juliet! she shouts, Adam and Eve, Abelard and Heloise— Shut up! Doop orders. How dare he tell his mother to— she fumes and tries to hit him again but he holds her fist away and orders her to get over his father leaving. It’s been years. Stop blaming him for the depressing Swedish crime drama her life turned into. Taken aback, she stammers she never blamed him. She made his childhood a Max von Sydow nightmare, he accuses her. The beatings, the guilt, the face paint! But maybe Papa didn’t go because of him. Maybe Doop was just a wild strawberry! Maybe it was her he wanted to leave. Furious again, she calls him an evil child. Unimpressed, he asks what guilty secret may Raze know about her.
The Jean Grey School:
In the lab Kitty looks up and asks: Doop?
In another part of the school, Rachel Grey also senses Doop. With Wolverine distracted, Raze, his son from the future, impales him with his claws.
Doop senses Logan is in trouble. Mama Doop throttles him and snarls that animal won’t help him. He summoned her and forced her to remember what she tried so hard to forget. Now he’s going to suffer, just as she suffered. He remembers how she suffered, doesn’t he?
He remembers the green buzz of excitement when he found the camera in the Marginal junk store. He remembers his decision to forget Mama and Papa Doop and the crushing guilt. He remembers his resolution that day. He’d be the chronicler of his world. The Bergman of the Margins.
In the deepest, farthest Marginalia reside echoes or ghosts of the living or once living. It’s here that Doop made his name, redefining the documentary film medium. Specializing in daring biographies. He thought these ghosts had almost chased his guilt and traumas away, until one day he met a remarkable man, C.G. Jung.
The psychoanalyst informed Doop that he believes the documentaries are helping him. But he’s seen them. They are dark. They are introspective. Doop has been horribly infected by European cinema. He needs to broaden his horizons, he needs a little sun. Has he ever been to California?
True, there was the messy affair on the casting couch. But after that Doop’s remarkable career took off. Mr. Sensitive, U-Go Girl, the Anarchist and the others. X-Statix. But unlike other members of that ill-fated, golden team, Doop wasn’t in it for the sex or the money. Or even the fame. For Doop, his entire time in X-Statix was therapy, pure and simple.
As the team’s fame grew, Doom’s mental health seemed to improve. He started to forget about Mama Doop and his guilt. He became an artist. Stills from his films hung in all the chic galleries. Beautiful women and men threw themselves at him. He ignored the question, whether he was male, female, straight, gay. The truth is he was Doop. And the therapy seemed to be working. A little loving can go a long way.
Until X-Statix ended. Its stars either dying or faking their own deaths and retiring to the deep hinterlands of the Marginalia. To a place where they could live with the dead, the imagined and the never quite born. Once more Doop found himself in the Slough of Despond (one of the most lugubrious bars in the Margins).
Mama Doop grins, he even considered suicide, a grave sin among the Marginals. How did she know that? he wonders. She can see right into his fat green head. He told himself he needed a new obsession and he found one.
Kitty Pryde, Doop mutters. Inappropriate! his mother judges. Unobtainable. He tried to ruin her life like he ruined his parents’ life. Horrified, Doop insists they had something. In the restaurant, he felt a frisson. Mama Doop grins nastily, pointing out a beautiful human girl like that could never love a sexually confused blob monster like him. He has made a fool of himself. But he can’t admit it. He wants to know what their secret is? He can’t handle the truth!
Doop stammeringly insists he wants the truth. All right, potato head, she grins. He asked for it…
In another part of the Margins, the Anarchist and U-Go-Girl are sharing a hot tub. Tike regales the bored looking Edi with the tale of how he told the president, he doesn’t care if he is a brother, he can’t wear—
Doop splashes into the tub and speaks his name in his own language, then disappears. Edie orders Tike to go. She is wasted.
Two minutes later elsewhere, Doop is horrified, believing everything he held dear and believed to be nonsense, while his mother laughs and tells him he can’t run from the truth. Doop tears open a hole in the wall and disappears through it.
Elsewhere a hysterical Doop tells himself it can’t be so. But it is, another voice replies in Doopspeak. Doop suddenly finds himself surrounded by dozens of doppelgangers who mock him. Leave him alone! he cries.
Finally, he is found by Tike, who announces he got his distress call. What is going on with his green ass? Bergman, Doop replies sadly. Tike doesn’t know what he means but tells him to pull his green ass together. It’s one thing him and U-Go Girl having their bath time interrupted. But a mental breakdown on this scale in the margins… That can be dangerous. It’s been known to infect the real world.
The Jean Grey School:
A panicked Rachel shouts at the injured Wolverine to stay with her, moments after he has been stabbed by Raze. Suddenly, the Doop personas rush into the room. Wolverine wonders if he is already dead. Rachel tells him this is really happening. This is all wrong! Xavier groans. Jubilee asks why there are so many Doops and Raze snarls he should have killed the little freak when he had the chance.
What the hell is he doing here? Logan suddenly snarls. Ain’t he supposed to be dead? he asks Tike Alicar aka the Anarchist. Something like that, Tike replies. He needs Logan’s help. He’s probably the only one he will listen to. It’s about Doop. You don’t say, Logan deadpans.
In the Marginalia, watched by some more doppelgangers Doop just keeps on repeating Bergman… Seventh Seal.
The Anarchist brings over Wolverine, who asks Doop what is wrong with him. Doop admits what he learned. He was not created by Ingmar Bergman. In fact, an orderly scribbled into the margins of the script of The Seventh Seal. Bergman did not make him.
Who told him this? Logan asks. Mama Doop, he is told. Where is the old bat now? Doop supposes there’s one place she might visit. It’d be like sticking the knife into him. And doesn’t he know how that feels, Logan mumbles. Any chance Doop can fix him up with something to stop him bleeding to death?
Sometime later, the Anarchist opens an entrance to Karolinska Hospital in Sweden. Logan declines Tike’s offer to accompany him but admits he’s missed them crazy bastards. Maybe it’s time X-Statix made a comeback. And maybe they will, Tike smiles. Maybe they will.
Logan enters a certain hospital room to find Mama Doop. What does he want? she snarls. One way or another, they are going to sort out the thing between her and his buddy Doop, he tells her. They can have a friendly discussion or they can get nasty. He unsheathes his claws. He guesses she knows which one he’d prefer.