How 'X-Men' #7 Confronts "No More Mutants"
Spoiler alert! Dig into a full breakdown of today's new mutant mag!
Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's X-MEN #7, so read on at your own risk, mutant mavens!
“No more mutants.”
Over a decade ago, HOUSE OF M changed the game for Marvel’s mutants when Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, summarily attempted to erase Homo Superior from the face of the Earth. Overnight, the population of mutants left with powers dropped to approximately 198. It’s estimated that 1 million mutants lost their powers on M-Day, including notable heroes and villains like Magneto, Charles Xavier, Rictor, Polaris, Jubilee, and most of the student body at Xavier’s School For Gifted Children.
Some of the most prominent heroes and villains have regained their abilities in the subsequent years. However, the vast majority of depowered mutants had no option to reclaim their heritage...until now.
In this week’s X-MEN #7, Jonathan Hickman and artist Leinil Francis Yu dive headlong into the HOUSE OF M fallout with Melody Guthrie, the heroine formerly known as Aero. In NEW X-MEN (2004) #20, Melody was among the student body who lost her powers. She’s barely appeared since then, although it should be noted that Melody did have a guest appearance in last year’s FEARLESS limited series. It’s fitting because Melody has to overcome her fear of death in order to reclaim her powers in something called Crucible.
As explained in the issue, the Five can’t simply resurrect the 1 million depowered mutants. It would tax even their abilities to the breaking point. Instead, Crucible was devised to make the former mutants earn their place back in the fold by facing their mortality. In Krakoa’s first ever Crucible, Melody fought Apocalypse. Although “fought” is too strong of a word for this one-sided battle. Against Apocalypse, Melody wouldn’t have had much of a chance even if she had her powers. But that was the point of this exercise. It was all meant to test Melody to see if she had the strength of character to lay down her life and be born again. Fortunately, the resurrection protocols worked like a charm, and she regained her lost powers. Now, the door is open for other M-Day survivors to reclaim their lost abilities as well.
It’s worth noting that not every mutant on Krakoa is okay with the concept of Crucible. Melody’s famous siblings, Sam (AKA Cannonball) and Paige (AKA Husk) had to be held back from interfering at the very end. Nightcrawler also found himself facing an existential crisis. He was among the X-Men who died in HOUSE OF X #4 before their resurrection in HOUSE OF X #5. That wasn’t Nightcrawler’s first death—which, for the record, was in X-FORCE (2008) #26. Nightcrawler actually went to Heaven before he came back in AMAZING X-MEN (2013) #5. That experience led Nightcrawler to believe that he sacrificed his soul to return to life. Now...he doesn’t know what to believe.
Nightcrawler was once a priest back in X-MEN (1991) #103, and he’s always been one of the team’s most spiritual members. UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #423-424 cast doubt on Nightcrawler’s priesthood by establishing it as part of an anti-mutant conspiracy. But that’s far too much to get into here. For now, the important thing to take away from this issue is that Nightcrawler may become a priest again. That’s because he’s realized that any answers he comes up with aren’t meant for him alone. It’s time for a mutant religion to be formed, and Nightcrawler seems eager to take up that task.
Meanwhile, there’s some movement on a subplot that’s been building since X-MEN #2, when Cyclops floated the idea of taking his children, Rachel and Nathan Summers, on a family vacation to Chandilore in the Shi’ar empire. Last week’s NEW MUTANTS #7 gave Cyclops a Krakoan gate straight to the interstellar vacation spot. This week, Cyclops invited Wolverine to go along with him and the rest of the Summers clan. So it seems that we may see this happen very soon. But we suspect that even a family vacation will be dangerous in the Dawn of X.
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