For Dawn of X to be a new beginning for the X-Men, a lot of things are going to have to change.
A lot has gone down since the Uncanny X-Men title returned this year. Disassembled left the X-Men just that. The vast majority were whisked off to the Age of X-Man, while the rest were left to the mercy of a world poised, positioned, and determined to wipe them out. By story’s end, the X-Men landscape was more screwed up and sparsely populated than ever. So, how is it that the Dawn of X is presenting us with a healthy X-Men universe with six announced titles and still two more to come? Well, if you’ve read House of X #2, you’ve probably got an idea by now. Without spoiling you on the how, let’s look into what’s going to get undone in the X-Men universe before the end of the Summer.
Cyclops’ Lost Eye
If you didn’t know by now, Cyclops isn’t dead anymore. After a teenaged version of his first-born son, Cable, journeyed back through time, murdered the adult-version of himself and sent the original five X-Men back to their time, that younger Cable resurrected his daddy. How? He used Jean’s resurrection via the Phoenix as a catalyst. The world Cyclops returned to thought he and just about every other X-Man was dead. Not one to leave dead enough alone, Cyclops, along with Wolverine began to rebuild the X-Men. They rescued friends from imprisonment and even recruited several more disgruntled-types. This included a couple that had reformed the MLF (Mutant Liberation Front).
Dead center of it all was none other than his granddaughter, Hope, who was not too thrilled to see him. Especially because he and his team had come to stop her from assassinating a political figure. Of course, a fight ensued and ended with Hope accidentally (or purposely) shooting her grandfather in the face! Cyclops survived, but the trauma cost him his eye. For the rest of the run, Cyclops had to contend with living up to his namesake. Since Uncanny X-Men, we’ve only seen Cyclops once (House of X #1), but he’s wearing a visor. Chances are, he’s still visually impaired. However, as I stated in the introduction, this universe is probably headed for a reboot. Something tells me, Cyclops isn’t going to be having depth perception issues for too much longer.
Matthew Rosenberg obviously knew more about the future of the X-Men than we did. Otherwise, I doubt he would have been able to get away with writing a story so full of death and character dismantling. During his short 12 to 13-issue run, we saw no less than 20 X-Men or X-Men related deaths! And, boy, did he let his imagination go. The most impactful demises had to be Blindfold’s suicide, Strong Guy’s sacrifice, and Wolfsbane’s racially motivated murder. Here’s a quick run-down of who died and where it happened. You know, if you wanted to see for yourself.
Blindfold; Suicide, Issue #11
Strong Guy; Explosion, Issue #12
Joseph; Decapitation, Issue #16
Wolfsbane; Murder, Issue #17
The Marauders; Burned, Issue #18
Chamber; Impaled, Issue #18
Vanisher; Murder, Issue #19
The Nasty Boys; Various Means, Issue #20
Shinobi Shaw; Suicide, Issue #20
Dark Beast; Decapitation, Issue #20
Velocidad; Prolonged Trauma (Mercy killed by Wolverine), Issue #214
Triage; Murder, Issue#21
Banshee; Sentinel Attack, Issue #21
Magik; Murder/Reverted to pure demon form, Issue #21
Juggernaut; Depowered and sent to hell by Darkchyld (Magik), Issue #21
Sinister Clone; Stabbed, Issue #22
Havok; Kamikaze, Issue #22
Fabian Cortez; Sentinel Attack, Issue #22
Warlock; Erased/Trauma, Issue #22
Madrox; Sentinel Attack, Issue #22
Now, why do we think that some or most of these are going to be undone? Well, for starters, Wolfsbane, Chamber, Warlock, and Magic will all be in this falls’ New Mutants book as they can be seen on the cover. It also included long-dead Generation-X member, Mondo. Another deceased character that is slated to return this fall is Havok (X-Men). Rachel Grey Summers may not be dead, but the last time we saw her, she had been transformed into a mindless hound and taken back to the future by the villain Ahab. Lo and behold, she’s front and center on the cover of X-Men #1. How do we explain that?
Rogue & Gambit’s Marriage
Not everything that went down during this past couple of years was a bummer. After suffering through a 6-issue mini-series of couple’s therapy, on June 20th, 2018, X-Men Rogue and Gambit were married in the pages of X-Men: Gold #30. Immediately following the surprise wedding (Kitty and Colossus were supposed to get hitched in that book) was an ongoing series starring the two. It chronicled an impromptu space honeymoon and culminated with a trip to Mojoworld.
The 3-book saga was a zenith of nearly 30-years’ worth of comic book angst. Admittedly, it would have had a bigger impact had it occurred 15-years or so ago. Other than the wedding portion, it was orchestrated by Rogue/Gambit superfan and Marvel writer, Kelly Thompson who handled the whole endeavor swimmingly. However, I fear all that effort is about to be undone. This is just a theory, but when this relaunch takes place, I don’t believe keeping these two love-birds together is on anyone’s list of priorities. Yes, they are on the cover of the upcoming Excalibur book, but how they are oddly positioned on opposite sides of the artwork, isn’t assuaging my concerns.
Another point of worry is Rogue’s outfit. One of the main storylines of their book involved Rogue gaining control of her powers. Upon further inspection of Excalibur #1, I noticed that she’s not just completely covered, but wearing a throwback version of her uniform. What’s the significance? We may be dealing with a reboot so drastic that it’s raising the dead and changing the outcome of events. From a publisher that gave us “One more day,” mangled Magneto’s family, and had Cyclops cheat on his wife (again)- is there no reason for concern?
After the deaths of Jean Grey and Nightcrawler, during the exile of Professor X and decimation of the mutant race- Schism occurred. The alliance of one Scott ‘Cyclops’ Summers and James ‘Wolverine’ Howlett was always shaky. One having the hots for the other’s girlfriend/wife would do that. But it wasn’t just that. Scott was a militant, by-the-book, leader and Wolverine was a natural loner and malcontent. While they always respected one another, they never quite liked each other. Their differences came to a head when they began to have opposing views on how to raise the next (or remaining) bit of the mutant race.
Cyclops adopted a more aggressive approach to ensure that his kind would never be victimized again. Wolverine, having lived through that type of life, wanted the opposite. In his view, being a kid for as long as possible was important enough. At first, it was just a matter of approach, but when Cyclops decided to take his students into the battlefield against a giant Sentinel, Wolverine had had enough. After an explosive battle, the two went their separate ways.
Wolverine left the island nation of Utopia and opened the Jean Grey School (using the name of Cyclops’ dead wife to add insult to injury) back in Westchester taking most of the kids and roughly half the X-Men. Cyclops and many powerful X-Men including Storm and Magneto remained and created the Extinction Squad. A proactive team constructed to defend mutant-kind at all costs. Since then the X-Men have bound back together, especially seeing as both men had died in between. With them both back amongst the living and have proved they can still work together; I doubt there will be any sign of the split remaining by the time the fall season comes around.
Recent Character Histories
Utilizing a relaunch that may both undo death and physical alterations probably also mean certain aspects that have built into characters will, in turn, be overthrown. Out of the 36 or so characters throughout the 6 covers for the Dawn of X relaunch, many of them will have to be reconfigured to fit into a new world. Not every character affected this year and further back was touched by death. Certain instances aren’t going to be touched. Examples of this are; Kwannon and Betsy regaining their original bodies, or Kid Cable retiring his older-self and replacing him within the present timeline.
Bishop is a victim of “I need a villain”-storytelling. Since returning from being trapped in the future, after murdering the population of a future Earth- he’s barely had to address the reality of his crimes. Uncanny X-Force made it known that he was possessed by the Demon Bear, but actions taken during that time are enough to drive a good man insane. What’s an easy fix? Say it never happened, or not exactly as we remember it.
Magik became another problem recently. Technically, she died, that was covered earlier in this article. But that’s not all that happened. She had a kill-switch implanted in her. When General Callahan flipped his switch, he killed Magik, but only her mortal-half. With her control-side gone, she transformed into a full-fledged demon. So, yeah, that’s going to have to get reset. Kitty’s another issue. I believe something is going to have to fundamentally change because the one we’re accustomed to is, for a lack of a better word, starchy. The version gracing the cover of Marauders looks nothing like Headmistress Pryde, the reigning leader of the X-Men.
Dawn of X is sure to bring with it a tidal wave of change. Heck, we’ve got little clue of what’s going to happen. I could be way off and nothing is going to happen the way I think. Hickman is a strange one and messing with time and space can be tricky. What other changes do you expect this Fall? Let us know below!