Marvel’s 2019 Summer X-Men event House of X and Powers of X is almost done! Time sure has flown with having a new entry to pour through each week. Even with the wealth of comic covers we’ve been given for the coming Fall line-up, it’s been hard to figure out where writer Jonathan Hickman is ultimately going with his story. We’re at the center of a story where X-Men are being sent on suicide missions and then being cloned from stored samples of DNA and a saved image of their minds. How is this just going on without some sort of push back? Like from anyone. Everyone from Wolverine to Cyclops is just accepting the status quo without question, and don’t even get me started on Storm.
Something that’s making me and my circle of friends concerned isn’t so much who’s been on panel, but who hasn’t been. Some have only been seen in single-panel cameos, while others haven’t been at all. They’ve played zero part in a crossover event that’s sandwiched between eras they have been and will be a focus of. Could there have been some resistance to Xavier and Magneto’s plans? Is there a reason why the Mother Mold strike team was constructed the way it was? Let’s discuss the X-Men confirmed to still be alive, yet not present during either the House of X or Powers of X.
Though he’s always been the youngest and most brash among the original X-Men, Bobby, save for his brush with the Death Seed, has maintained the cleanest record. He’s gone through a lot in his life and had a lot of wrongs done to him. From growing up in an abusive household to having his heart broken by Polaris and a hundred others, or enduring having his chest shattered- he’s been able to hold onto his boyish charm, energy, and outlook on life. (Related: X-Men Spotlight: Iceman)
If Chuck and Magnus had anything but innocent ambitions, Bobby would definitely be among those that rebelled.
The last time we saw Cannonball he was on the verge of death. Following a less than inspired head-on attack on the god-like mutant, X-Man (after he merged with Legion), Cannonball’s body was left a broken mess at the end of Disassembled. And that happened while his “impenetrable” blast field was up! (Related: New Mutants: 5 Facts About Cannonball)
I don’t recall seeing him during the Age of X-Man crossover event, but there was a lot of ground to cover there with it being illustrated over several books. Assuming he’s still alive, Sam isn’t known for an acute ability to put up with actions or practices that could be viewed as less than savory. Cannonball is even more of a boy scout than Cyclops at his height.
Everyone’s favorite mallrat was featured heavily this past year. After being cured of her vampirism and regaining her mutant powers (she was one of the unlucky majority of mutants that lost their powers on M-Day) at the end of the last run of Generation-X, she was utilized in both the Uncanny X-Men arc, Disassembled, and the following crossover event Age of X-Man as a cast member of the X-Tremists title. (Related: X-Men Spotlight: Jubilee)
Basically, she was in heavy monthly rotation up to the six-month gap of the Year 10 era. Following orders hasn’t always been Jubilation’s strong suit. On more than a single occasion, she’s been known to disobey direct orders from the likes of Professor-X, Emma Frost, Cyclops, and Wolverine. Wouldn’t be out of character for her go against the grain if she didn’t like the direction her teammates were going in.
Despite the appearance of the X-Men’s towering mound of Russian metallic muscle, one of Colossus’ defining attributes is his massive, soft heart. He might be Juggernaut-proof, but he’s always been fairly on the sensitive side. Outside of being a painter and a romantic, he’s shown the softer side of his demeanor most when dealing with his little sister Illyanna. I’ve purposely used ‘Illyana’ and not her moniker ‘Magik’ (the name she’s best known as) due to how drastically different the two have interacted since she returned from Limbo as an adult woman. (Related: Marvel Comics 10 Most ‘90s X-Men Characters of All-Time!)
Anything involving his sister is met with an extreme response from the X-Man. When he found out that as an adult she allowed him to be left possessed by Cyttorak, he vowed to murder her. When she contracted the Legacy Virus and died as a child, Colossus quit the X-Men and joined Magneto. I dare you to convince me that this man would be OK with seeing his friends die and replaced by clones. He’s too much of a soft touch to just take that without question. He’s seen as one of the few planting the Krakoa seeds, but like Kitty, he’s nowhere to be seen since. What if he saw something that didn’t sit too well with his morals?
Laura Kinney has been on a long tear since her debut back in 2001. Since then I cannot recall an era that didn’t include Wolverine’s two-clawed, female, clone. Her absence from a story of this caliber might not just be a situation where Hickman didn’t have roster space. She undoubtedly would have played a better role during the Mother Mold mission than Husk or maybe even M. She’s a younger, faster, version of Wolverine. Can’t argue having two people who are the best at what they do. (Related: The 10 Best X-Men for Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Another point is the mindset she’s held since joining the X-Men. She was bred, raised and trained to be a living weapon. From childhood, she had sparing interaction with people outside of her taskmasters and ‘mother.’ It left her socially handicapped and very much a sociopath. With the help of her genetic father, she’s been making strides to recapture her humanity and make amends for her past deeds, whether she could be blamed for them or not. If she stumbled upon something she disagreed within Xavier’s plans, it’s quite possible her newly acquired moral center wouldn’t allow her to participate.
Don’t feel bad if this version of Cable doesn’t seem familiar to you. Earlier this year this younger version of Cable left his timeline and traveled to the present. And it sure wasn’t just for a friendly visit. Teen Cable had several missions upon his arrival. The first was to “decommission” the adult version of himself (the Cable we knew) via murder. His second task was sending the original five teenaged X-Men back to their place in time, in the same condition they arrived. Which meant surgically removing Mimic’s feathery wings and placing them on Angel to replace the fiery cosmic set he acquired in the present. The last stage of his mission was undoing Cyclops’ death. That took some effort indeed and involved the Phoenix Force and even more time travel. (Related: Cable: 5 Fast Facts to Get You Prepared for Deadpool 2)
Since then, like his older self before him, Teen Cable remained in the present. At the moment he’s tasked himself with being something of a timeline custodian. Being such temporal busy-body it’s hard for me to imagine that he’s OK with what Moira and company have been up to. They may not be time-traveling, per se, but her actions should have disrupted the timestream on several occasions. At least 9-times, actually. In House of X and Powers of X, the X-Men are actively undoing the Genoshan massacre by cloning the slain mutants of the incident. Not to mention more recent deaths. No telling how many times at this point. How much modification can the timeline endure before snapping into something horrific?
Since we first saw the cloning process revealed, there has been one nagging issue not too many comic pundits are talking about. The YouTube types are just now getting around to addressing it. I understand why this topic isn’t very popular. It’s spiritual, and most people shy away from that to not offend. Tough. I’m referring to the concept of a mortal’s soul. It’s a thing that does exist in the Marvel Universe. The characters have souls. It’s such a big issue that there are characters within the lore that thrive on them, sometimes even use them as currency and bargaining chips. For example, look at Black Heart, Mephisto, Selene, Dormammu, and the X-Men’s very own, Magik. (Related: The New Mutants Magik: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know)
In the Marvel Universe when characters die, their soul goes somewhere. Sabretooth has died and gone to hell at least three times. When the saintly Nightcrawler died, he ended up in a Heaven-like dimension. In X-Treme X-Men Storm, Rogue and Gambit all near crossed over themselves. If the character has been part of the Phoenix Force, they spend ‘eternity’ in the White Room. If they made a deal with Mephisto, then hey, you might be a Ghost Rider. The Five mutants that are involved in the cloning process have no background in sorcery, so they aren’t binding anyone’s soul to their new body. If Magik was present (and not the pure demon she was left as in Uncanny X-Men) she may view all these newly ‘reborn’ X-Men as abominations and would want no part of it.
8. Rogue & Gambit
If anyone was capable of rebelling it’s newlyweds, Rogue and Gambit. Neither one is known for their blind devotion to anyone, save each other, and even that has something of a spotty track record. We’re grouping the two of them together because there’s little chance of either not backing the other’s play. Over the past couple of years, they’ve shared two books with Rogue & Gambit and Mr. and Mrs. X, so having them just disappear right before a massive X-Men crossover is odd. Not unheard of, they weren’t part of the Age of X-Man either- but still odd. (Related: Rogue’s Top 10 Greatest Battles)
Both characters have some measure of telepathic defense, so if there was some sort of psionic Tom Foolery going on which allowed the X-Men to turn into pod-people, they may have had a way to resist it. Xavier himself commented on how hard it was to just read Gambit’s mind, much less alter it. Rogue’s mind has always been fluid, but even if that didn’t help, she could always borrow her husband’s natural psionic defenses. With Rogue being a former Avenger leader and Gambit being oddly honorable for a thief- if they caught wind of anything especially damning, they’d most likely voice their opposition to it in the way of exploding objects and balled fists.
9. Kitty Pryde
For reasons beyond my understanding, the X-Man Kitty Pryde is a big deal for the comic franchise. Since the onset of Schism, she’s been at the center of the X-Men for one reason or another. She became the headmistress for the Jean Grey School, went to outer space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and when she finally returned after Secret Wars, became the X-Men’s leader. She’s also the main character for a book debuting at the end of House of X/ Powers of X called Marauders. However, she looks oddly young. Like something-teen, at most. Giving this further thought, and considering some other glimpses we’ve been shown, like a de-aged Havok… what if she’s currently dead and while being cloned, the process is disrupted leaving her in a child’s body? (Related: House of X #4 – 10 X-Men Jonathan Hickman Should Have Chosen to Take Out Mother Mold)
With all that, she’s been nowhere to be found all Summer long. Her not being present might be a huge deal. Or not. She’s another X-Man we first saw handling the Krakoa seeds, but like Colossus, hasn’t been glimpsed since. Chances are if one of these two didn’t agree with what may or may not be happening on Krakoa, the other would follow. Not to mention, as overused as I think she can be, I think Kitty is known for calling a spade a spade, lest we forget “Professor Xavier is a jerk!” If she and the other missing X-Men didn’t agree, there might be a chance that they didn’t survive… but that’s crazy, right? Professor X might be a jerk, but he’s no murderer… right?
When you hear the name Psylocke, do you still think about Betsy Braddock, or her original name Kwannon? Doesn’t really matter in this instance because neither woman that utilizes this name has been present since the start of the Summer event, yet both have books debuting with Dawn of X. Kwannon is still trying to regain some semblance of the life she’s lost since she died of the Legacy Virus in a body not her own, so she might not even care much about the actions of the X-Men, to a point. However, Braddock has become more than what she started as.
In the past few years, she’s grown into a leader. So much so, it seems that even Apocalypse will be following orders from her in Excalibur. Having lived with impressions of Kwannon and needing to live up to her family’s legacy of justice, honor has been a big part of Betsy’s life for some time now. That sense of duty, barring any possible brainwashing, may not allow her to tow the X-Men company line if it were less than agreeable. If there was some sort of X-Man revolt, she may be one it’s leaders… matter of fact, Apocalypse is the only character we’ve seen from Excalibur this Summer. (Related: Who are the Remaining Mutant Council Members in Jonathan Hickman and Marvel Comics Powers of X??)
There are a couple of others that didn’t make the list but would probably revolt as well, such as Bishop. Something still isn’t sitting right with me about all this. Moira supposedly has one more life to burn and all these characters like Frenzy, Marrow, and Sabretooth rocking their old costumes seems a bit out of place. Or maybe Silva is just referencing old material while illustrating the books! What do you think? Are the missing X-Men gone for a reason, or is it just a matter of panel space? Let us know below.