Published August 9, 2023

Meet the Children of the Vault, a Potential Future for Humanity

Who are the Children of the Vault? Discover the origin of these superbeings, who have clashed with mutants and humans alike in their quest to inherit the Earth.

Ever since the X-Men debuted, their stories have explored the tension between humanity and mutantkind. While some believe mutants are the future, they're just one possibility among many, since human evolution can take several different paths forward… which is where the Children of the Vault come in. With the Children of the Vault headlining their own series, here's what you need to know about the group, who are neither human nor mutant.

The Origin of Children of the Vault

The Children of the Vault are the product of scientific experimentation, specifically with temporal acceleration. To preserve the future of life on Earth in the wake of any catastrophic event that might wipe out humans and mutants, scientists created a special vault on a Chilean tanker called the Conquistador. After the disaster, these people were meant to emerge from the Conquistador and repopulate Earth.  

Those inside this vault underwent time acceleration, which means that time passed significantly faster inside than outside. This time lapse resulted in genetic drift that made them no longer entirely human, even though they don't have X-Genes like mutants. As a result of this temporal acceleration, the Children of the Vault—as they came to be known—advanced significantly technologically and genetically. They also developed abilities equivocal to some of the most powerful heroes and villains on Earth.

Children of the Vault Vs. X-Men

Created by Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo, the Children of the Vault officially debuted in X-MEN (2004) #188 and immediately proved themselves formidable by nearly killing Victor Creed, AKA Sabretooth. As readers learned, the Children of the Vault's early release from the Conquistador stemmed from HOUSE OF M (2005). At the end of that event, Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, depowered most mutants across the universe, resulting in what came to be known as M-Day. The resultant energy from M-Day allowed the Children of the Vault to emerge.

Sabretooth was aboard the Conquistador on M-Day, and in the aftermath of his battle, went to the X-Men for protection. That set Marvel's premier mutant team on a collision course with the Children of the Vault, who wanted to stop Creed from revealing their existence. Led by Sangre, the Children of the Vault attempted to first attack the X-Men by proxy, unleashing a brainwashed Northstar and Aurora on them before taking more direct action.

While their original goal had been to repopulate Earth after the destruction of both humans and mutants, the Children of the Vault chose a third path: wiping both of those groups out instead. Believing themselves the true inheritors of Earth, the Children of the Vault attempted to claim their inheritance early. Luckily, the X-Men fought them off, and Mystique successfully killed Sangre.

Although the X-Men believed they'd destroyed the Children of the Vault, Sangre came prepared with a contingency plan that sent his people went to Ecuador. There, they moved their Vault into the same Sentinel facility from which Cassandra Nova launched her devastating attack against Genosha during 2001's "E is for Extinction" arc. A woman named Cadena soon took control of the group in Sangre's absence. 

Although the Children of the Vault remained dormant for a time, they returned as antagonists again in X-MEN LEGACY (2008) #238. In that story, the X-Men went to Mumbai for a wedding and found the city wracked by storms and an epidemic of people going comatose for no clear reason. 

The X-Men soon learned the Children of the Vault, now led by Cadena, had moved into a void between dimensions, believing humans had damaged the Earth too much to make inheriting the planet viable. From there, they dumped their fuel byproducts into Mumbai, which caused the aforementioned problems in the city. With help from a defector named Luz, the X-Men again defeated the Children of the Vault.

Krakoa and the Children of the Vault

Despite losing to the X-Men twice, the Children of the Vault are difficult to truly stop. In X-MEN (2019) #1, the titular heroes attacked a facility run by the anti-mutant organization Orchis. There, they discovered Orchis had captured Serafina, a member of the Children of the Vault. Serafina subsequently escaped and fled back to the Vault in Ecuador. Knowing the threat posed by the Children of the Vault, the X-Men sent a team composed of Laura Kinney, AKA Wolverine; Everett Thomas, AKA Synch; and Armando Munoz, AKA Darwin to investigate.

Inside the Vault, the trio learned much about its inhabitants. Among other things, the Children of the Vault had upgraded and evolved through resurrection and cloning. All of this was the result of a powerful artificial intelligence in the Vault known as the City. 

Knowing the threat posed by the Children of the Vault, Krakoa took steps to protect themselves against the group. This led Forge to use Krakoan technology to create a trap outside the Vault that essentially trapped anyone who came out in stasis. Inside this dreamworld, the Children of the Vault believe they've already conquered Earth, which has kept them content and out of commission—for a time, anyway.

The events of X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA (2023) #1 proved disastrous for Krakoa's containment strategy for the Children of the Vault. With most of Marvel's mutants either missing or dead, no one has been watching over the Children of the Vault, and that spells trouble for everyone on Earth.

To find out what the villainous group gets up to next, check out CHILDREN OF THE VAULT #1, on sale now!

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