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Published November 27, 2019

How 'X-Force' #2 Handles the Fallout of That Major Death

Spoiler alert! Dive into a thorough examination of the latest Dawn of X ish!

Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's X-FORCE #2, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!

X-FORCE #1 shocked the brave new world of the X-Men by culminating in the assassination of Professor Charles Xavier. Unlike the other recent mutant deaths, this one reverberated throughout the Dawn of X—because without Xavier, the resurrection protocols may be worthless. Without Xavier, Krakoa may not even remain a united nation of mutants... And in X-FORCE #2, writer Benjamin Percy and artist Joshua Cassara depict the immediate aftermath of Xavier’s death.

X-FORCE #2 cover by Dustin Weaver
X-FORCE #2 cover by Dustin Weaver

For the first time since HOUSE OF X, readers see Xavier’s face without the Cerebro unit on his head—so we can lay to rest any rumors that it wasn’t Xavier under the helmet. However, it’s less certain that Xavier can be brought back to life. There are backup Cerebro units, but this is testing its limits. Xavier was always the one who restored the mind and soul to the recreated bodies. That appears to be the crucial missing step in the process.

The situation is so dire that Magneto openly admits that Krakoa can only go on if Xavier returns “to us.” Jean Grey even asks Beast to take it on “faith” that he can prepare the backup Cerebro unit because the alternative is too terrible to think about. The issue also confirms that Xavier was the assassins’ primary target, and that a tracker was slipped into his body during his side trip to Sokovia.

Who planned the hit on Xavier? Orchis may be building super Sentinels far from Earth, but the evidence suggests a more familiar adversary. As noted by Sage, the assassins resemble the Reavers, the cybernetically enhanced humans who made their debut in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #229. Former Hellfire Club member Donald Pierce was the man behind the Reavers. However, the current operation appears to be well beyond his scope. These assassins are also far more advanced than any previous Reavers—they may have just used Reavers tech as a starting point.

Although there has yet to be a formal X-Force team, Wolverine reluctantly joined forces with Kid Omega, AKA Quentin Quire. Quentin has been a rebel for so long that it’s easy to forget he was once Xavier’s star pupil when he debuted in NEW X-MEN (2001) #134. Kid Omega subsequently led a riot on campus, and he’s been causing trouble ever since. Quentin’s actions even led to the extended split between Cyclops and Wolverine in X-MEN: SCHISM (2011).

Quentin and Wolverine also have a long history between them that is far from forgotten or forgiven. Regardless, Logan is openly disturbed by Quentin’s ongoing mutant supremacy monologue; it’s more in line with Magneto’s worldview than Xavier’s. And yet when Quentin’s powers are stripped away, his bravado is gone as well. The only thing he has left is fear.

That brings us back to Domino. In the previous issue, Domino was captured by the enigmatic group behind Xavier’s assassination. Her fate was foreshadowed in this issue when it was revealed that the assassins had Domino’s skin grafted to their bodies in order to fool Krakoa’s defenses. The final splash reveals that almost half of Domino’s skin was harvested for that purpose. It’s a horrific fate for the woman whose mutant luck powers have allowed her to cheat death again and again.

The odds are no longer favorable for Domino. But who is pulling the strings in the Dawn of X?

Read X-FORCE #2 for yourself at your local comic shop now!

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