The New Enemy of the X-Men
Get all the info on Orchis as the Dawn of X continues!
Warning! This article contains spoilers about HOUSE OF X, POWERS OF X, AND X-MEN #1, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!
HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X changed the game for the X-Men by revealing that their ultimate foe is the merger of man and machine in the far future.
Sentinels and Nimrods were only meant to give humanity enough time to undergo their own artificial evolution. In the present, that threat is represented by Orchis, a relatively new organization within the Marvel Universe—even though they've already proven to be very deadly. None of the X-Men who traveled to the Orchis Forge in HOUSE OF X #4 escaped with their lives. And while the mutants have mastered resurrection on Krakoa, their human enemies may have matched their achievement.
Following Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu’s X-MEN #1, we now know more about Orchis and the people behind it. If the X-Men were aware of Orchis’ true reach and power then they probably would have sent a much larger force! Elsewhere this week, the Dawn of X continues with its exploration of this new world in MARAUDERS #1!
Orchis may have been formed out of the fear of humanity’s impending extinction, but the scientific minds behind it are more than just hate mongers. They truly believe that Orchis is the only hope they have to keep mutants from ascending to control of the Earth within the next few generations. That belief has allowed disparate factions from Hydra, A.I.M., S.H.I.E.L.D., Alpha Flight, S.W.O.R.D., S.T.R.I.K.E., A.R.M.O.R., and H.A.M.M.E.R. to come together under a united banner.
Even aspects of Damage Control are involved in Orchis, as they were able to seize contested technology from Tony Stark and Reed Richards when both were either missing or presumed dead. Orchis used their tech to retrofit Stark’s Dyson Sphere, Sol’s Hammer, into the Orchis Forge. Subsequently, Orchis’ scientists nearly activated a Mother Mold, an advanced Sentinel model that can create Master Molds. Charles Xavier and Magneto also believed that Orchis was on the verge of activating Nimrod in the present.
But who, exactly, brought Orchis together? Here's a breakdown of those behind the new existential threat to the X-Men...
Doctor Killian Devo
X-MEN #1 marked the debut of Dr. Killian Devo, the leader of Orchis. Little is known about him at this time, but he appears to have cybernetic parts or enhancements. He was not present for the X-Men’s attack during HOUSE OF X #3-4. For now, Devo remains an enigma, but we suspect there’s more to his story...
Once, Karima Shapandar was a rare human member of the X-Men. She was an Omega Sentinel who fought her programming and reclaimed her humanity. Karima was truly an ally to the mutants. However, POWERS OF X #6 revealed that Karima’s Sentinel implants were reactivated by the time Xavier announced Krakoa’s existence to the world. It’s unclear if Karima joined Orchis of her own free will, but she displayed little to no emotion when Nightcrawler encountered her in HOUSE OF X #4.
The military commander of the Orchis Forge was also the husband of Dr. Alia Gregor, the head of Orchis’ science division. Walker Kin displayed his willingness to die for the cause when he committed suicide by triggering an explosion near the X-Men’s ship. His actions killed Archangel and Husk, despite their later return. And if X-MEN #1 is any indication, Kin may get a comeback as well...
Dr. Alia Gregor
Kin’s widow, Dr. Alia Gregor, was so incensed about his death that she personally killed Cyclops. We don’t know what motivated Dr. Gregor before her time with Orchis, but her vendetta against mutants has been intensified. In the cliffhanger of X-MEN #1, Dr. Gregor indicated that she knows how to bring her husband back to life. That potentially evens the balance between the humans and the mutants. She may have even learned how to do so by examining the bodies of the X-Men who were left behind on the Orchis Forge.
During Mike Carrey’s run on X-MEN, he introduced the Children of the Vault, a new species that were neither human nor mutants. Serafina and her fellow “Children” are the result of technology that allowed them to evolve separately in an accelerated time bubble that covered 6,000 years.
Serafina led the charge against the mutants in X-MEN (2004) #188-192. However, Serafina was seemingly a prisoner of Orchis in X-MEN #1. Whether that means Serafina will side with the X-Men or Orchis remains to be seen. She could potentially be a powerful ally for either faction.
We’ll learn more about Orchis as Dawn of X continues...
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