Comics
Published December 3, 2019

How 'X-Men' #3 Introduces a Dangerous New Threat

Spoiler alert! Read through a breakdown of today's new Dawn of X mag!

Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's X-Men #3, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!

We have finally reached the day when three of the world’s most powerful mutants were just beaten up by octogenarians. As if the X-Men didn’t have enough to deal with—with Orchis or the faction that assassinated Charles Xavier—now there’s a new threat on the horizon. In X-MEN #3, Jonathan Hickman and artist Leinil Francis Yu introduced Hordeculture. And these little old ladies have proven to be far more dangerous than their appearance would suggest...

X-Men (2019-) #3
X-MEN #3 cover by Leinil Francis Yu

Augusta Bromes, Opal Vetiver, Lily Leymus, and Edith Scutch made an immediate impression by hacking into the Krakoan gate system and disabling the gate to the Savage Land. They also quickly incapacitated the mutants they encountered there. While the women of Hordeculture don’t seem to get along very well, they are a very effective team.

Hordeculture wasn’t afraid to use weaponize their age against their enemies. Cyclops made the mistake of assuming they were frail, and he was taken by surprise when they faked an injury to lure him in. Similarly, Sebastian Shaw underestimated Hordeculture when he attempted to strike a mutually beneficial deal. Shaw’s problem is that he assumes everyone is like him and that money is the ultimate motivation.

Hordeculture has a very different worldview. Unlike Orchis, Hordeculture isn’t predicated on an anti-mutant platform. Instead, Hordeculture is anti-humanity, and they want to cull most of Earth’s residents in order to restore the world to a more natural state. That’s why they can’t be reasoned with. They think they’re the heroes of the story...and they’re already winning. They couldn’t resist taunting the X-Men about their ability to hack Krakoa and eventually bend the island to their will.

If anything, this incident illustrates just how vulnerable Krakoa is at the moment. Xavier is still dead, and the New Mutants’ trip to Shi’ar space has left the X-Men without Doug Ramsey or Magik’s skills just when they need them most. Cyclops has accepted responsibility for making that call, and he realizes that something has to change. If Doug is the only person who can truly communicate with Krakoa, then he may never be allowed off the island again. And without Magik in the picture, Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Shaw had to rely on Gateway for transportation. But that required a side trip to the Australian outback, where the team lived from UNCANNY X-MEN #229 to #251.

The ancillary matter also sheds some new light on Krakoa itself. Apparently, it still needs to feed on mutants to survive. But with so many mutants living on the surface, Krakoa can get by with the donated energy from mutant volunteers. More alarmingly, the issue mentions that Selene and Emplate have a similar arrangement. Both Selene and Emplate were among the villains who moved to Krakoa in HOUSE OF X #5, and their methods of feeding on mutants tend to leave their victims dead.

As Emma succinctly put it in the last panel, “We have a bit of a problem.” The X-Men’s enemies are multiplying in the Dawn of X. And the serpents are already in the nest.

Read the issue for yourself at your local comic shop now!

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