Comics
Published March 16, 2023

It's Complicated: Hope & Exodus' Relationship, Explained

Behold the past, present, and dark future of Hope Summers and Exodus as the 'Sins of Sinister' timeline stretches on.

Hope Summers was always destined to be one of the the most important mutants of her generation. After Scarlet Witch depowered most of the world’s mutants during HOUSE OF M (2005), Hope’s birth marked the dawn of a new age for the X-Men. Since then, Hope has lived up to her potential as a leader in the mutant nation Krakoa, even earning the adoration of powerful ancient mutants like the former villain Exodus.

But one century into the future of SINS OF SINISTER, Hope and Exodus are just two of many mutants corrupted by Mister Sinister, and they have helped turn mutantkind into a galaxy-conquering force that threatens to overrun the entire universe. Now, let’s take a closer look at how the unique bond between these two mutants formed and then fell apart in IMMORAL X-MEN (2023) #2 by Kieron Gillen, Andrea Di Vito, Jim Charalampidis, and VC's Clayton Cowles.

WHO ARE HOPE AND EXODUS?

When he debuted in X-FACTOR (1986) #92 by Scott Lobdell, J. M. DeMatteis, Joe Quesada, Al Milgrom, and Cliff van Meter, Bennet du Paris had already been one of the world’s most formidable mutants for hundreds of years. Originally from 12th century France, Exodus began life as a medieval Crusader. While wandering through the desert, Bennet was approached by Apocalypse, who activated his numerous mutant powers, including his telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, and healing factor. But when Exodus refused orders to kill Dane Whitman’s time-traveling Black Knight, Apocalypse put him in a coma-like state and imprisoned him for centuries in BLACK KNIGHT: EXODUS (1996) by Ben Raab, Jim Cheung, and Andy Lanning.

Eventually, Magneto found Exodus and freed him in the modern day. Believing Magneto to be a mutant messiah, Exodus joined the Acolytes and quickly became one of Magneto’s most trusted lieutenants. When Magneto seemingly died, Exodus took over the Acolytes and established himself as one of the X-Men’s most dangerous adversaries. But after most of the world’s mutants were depowered on M-Day, Exodus had a crisis of faith and flew to the Sun, as revealed in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #5 by Kieron Gillen, Michele Bandini, and David Curiel. However, the Omega-level mutant was drawn back to Earth by the birth of another powerful mutant: Hope Summers. 

As the first mutant born after M-Day, Hope had inherent symbolic and practical importance when she debuted in X-MEN (2004) #205 by Mike Carey, Chris Bachalo, and Tim Townsend. Believing Hope to be a mutant messiah, Exodus and the Acolytes joined Mister Sinister, who tried to capture Hope for his own nefarious purposes in X-MEN: MESSIAH COMPLEX (2007). To protect her, Cable took the infant and raised her in the future. She returned to the present as a young adult, where she used her abilities to mimic mutant powers and stabilize the powers of others alongside the X-Men.

HOPE AND EXODUS ON THE QUIET COUNCIL

Hope and Exodus both took on influential leadership roles early in the Krakoan Era. When Charles Xavier and Magneto formed the Quiet Council to govern the mutant nation-state, they invited Exodus to join them as one of the island’s leaders. Meanwhile, Hope became one of the Five, a group of young mutants who pooled their powers together to resurrect dead mutants through mental backups and cloned bodies. 

With her powers, Hope optimized the Five’s process and served as the unofficial leader of the group. On Krakoa, Hope and the rest of the Five are treated with an almost-religious reverence. No one felt more reverence towards Hope than Exodus, who still saw her as the ‘mutant messiah’ that he had been searching for all his life. 

When Magneto stepped down from the Quiet Council, Exodus approached Hope about taking his place in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #1 by Kieron Gillen, Lucas Werneck, and David Curiel. After speaking with Exodus, Hope agreed that she belonged on the Quiet Council and interrupted a Council meeting to make her case. Hope argued that the Five were significant enough to warrant direct representation on the Quiet Council and that she was essentially too influential for the Quiet Council to ignore. After a quick vote, Hope was summarily elected to the Quiet Council. 

When the mutant mystic Selene attacked Krakoa, Hope told Exodus that the strength of his powers was tied to how much faith people had in him, which was a profound realization for him and made him even more protective of her. When Hope mimicked that power, the belief of Krakoa’s population supercharged her, and the two Omega-level mutants forged an effective combat team. When Hope decided to kill Selene and temporarily steal her powers without the Quiet Council’s permission, Exodus helped her, which cemented their relationship and his complete devotion to her. 

While on the Quiet Council with Hope, Exodus was fiercely loyal to her and frequently deferred to her. However, after A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY (2022), Mister Sinister killed both Hope and Exodus in an attack that also left Xavier and Emma Frost dead in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #9. When those four mutant leaders were resurrected, Sinister corrupted their genes, overlaying his personality on top of theirs. Under Sinister’s influence, Hope, Exodus, and the other corrupted Quiet Council members turned into warped reflections of themselves.

HOPE AND EXODUS IN SINS OF SINISTER

In the SINS OF SINISTER timeline, Sinister’s agents on the Quiet Council secretly infected more mutants with his genes through the Resurrection Protocols, which allowed him to take control of Krakoa. As they wiped out potential threats to Sinister’s reign, the Quiet Council effectively took over the world in Sinister’s name. 

Despite that, the Sinister-influenced Hope, Exodus, Frost, and Xavier pushed back against Sinister and his plans in SINS OF SINISTER (2023) #1 by Kieron Gillen, Lucas Werneck, and Bryan Valenza. Even with Sinister’s influence, the original four Sinister Quiet Council members retained aspects of their old personalities, which turned Hope’s readiness for battle into an appetite for violence, while Exodus remained zealously devoted to her.

Eventually, Hope realized the Sinister empire needed to grow beyond Earth before it could be destroyed by an alien force, so she convinced the rest of the Sinister Quiet Council to expand across the universe. Despite Mister Sinister’s initial hesitation, the Sinister Quiet Council forged a galaxy-conquering fleet with planet-destroying weapons. Over a century of cosmic conflict later, Hope and Exodus perfected their battlefield tactics as the leading edge of the Sinister Quiet Council’s attack. By mimicking Exodus’ powers, Hope embraced her status as a mutant icon and channeled the collective belief of the Sinister mutant fleet to make herself an unstoppable force that doomed numerous planets.

Despite their history together, Exodus and Hope’s partnership could not survive the harsh realities of SINS OF SINISTER. As the Sinister Quiet Council started to turn on itself, Exodus betrayed Hope in IMMORAL X-MEN (2023) #2. Leaving her alone on a hostile Chitauri world, Exodus moved just far enough out of range that she could not mimic his power. He explained she had outlived her usefulness and that she had more symbolic value as a martyr than as an active part of the Sinister Quiet Council.

With the belief that once flowed through Hope now only flowing through him, Exodus is more powerful than ever. But considering how much devotion Exodus showed towards Hope previously, this betrayal shows just how corrosive Sinister’s influence can be, even leading someone as zealous as Exodus to turn on his deepest beliefs. While this might be the most resounding betrayal on the Sinister Quiet Council so far, it certainly won’t be the last in SINS OF SINISTER’s grim future.

Witness the fall of Hope Summers in IMMORAL X-MEN #2, on sale now!

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