In Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men #5, we just not only saw the return of Grant Morrison era villains – the Children of the Vault – but also fan-favorites Darwin and Synch. Though Darwin, was just absent, Synch – a founding member of Generation X – was dead.
Like so many of our heroes that have returned since the introduction of Krakoa’s Resurrection Protocols, Synch was reborn via the efforts of several mutants called ‘the Five.’ Actually, he was among the first.
In Hickman’s book Darwin, Synch, and X-23 (calling her X-23 because calling her Wolverine is just confusing) are tasked with infiltrating the Children’s base of operations.
That base happens to be a Master Mold in Ecuador. The same one Cassandra Nova used to manufacture the Sentinels that attacked Genosha.
Inside of it, time moves differently than outside. The Children came to be after being artificially evolved inside such a space. In essence, they are humans – just evolved by 6,000 years, without the influence of the X-gene.
Similar to mutants, this evolution has granted them supernatural abilities. Though we could argue that it makes them no different than their Homo superior cousins (mutants) – they, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to wipe mutants and humans from existence as they don’t identify with either species.
Though only about twelve or so have been used – there are more than three thousand of them in existence. More than enough to be a problem for mutants now, or shortly. Which is why Krakoa wants to know what’s happening inside of the Vault. And that’s where their team comes in.
The reason X-23, Darwin, and Synch were chosen isn’t just because of their lack of plot-armor, but due to the nature of their abilities. So much so, that these three were chosen because they have the best chance of surviving what they assume will be an extremely volatile mission.
X-23 has a better regenerative healing factor than Wolverine and is just one of the toughest S.O.B.s they have.
Darwin’s mutant ability is simple, yet godly. He adapts to survive. Anything.
Synch’s ability allows him to mimic any mutant within a certain radius – so as long as he’s close to either of them, he’ll more than likely be OK.
Going inside the Vault is no joke. Remember when I said that time moves differently inside than out? Well, it’s a big deal. After the X-Men created a distraction, the three were able to slip in using some Orchis tech they acquired (see X-Men #1). Upon entering they are immediately identified and presumably met with resistance.
By the time the team makes it out, if they do at all – at least three months and five days will have passed in our time. For them… five hundred and thirty-seven years. Bummer. Chances are, in whatever condition they make it back in, they’ll be allowed to be reborn into new bodies.
What’s going to happen to them in there… that’s going to be something to hear about. The inside of the vault appears to be much larger than it is outside. If I didn’t know there were flesh and blood beings inside – I swear it was some sort of virtual reality. Perhaps a type of manufactured pocket-dimension?
Much of what the Children are, and how exactly the process works is still a mystery. The only real comparison that can be drawn is with the Weapon Plus program that ultimately produced techno-organic beings, such as Fantomex, to hunt mutants. To achieve this, a facility called “the World” where time is manipulated was utilized – not dissimilar to what occurs inside the vault.
How time is going to affect the team is up in the air. Wolverine has been seen surviving as much as one-thousand years from the present – so, X-23 should be able to do the same or better. Darwin’s powers may make him immune to the effects of aging, and if Synch can full-time mimic one or the other – he’d be able to do the same as they.
The threat the Children create for mutant-kind can easily play into one of the doomsday future scenarios Moira experienced in her past lives. Especially because at least one – Serafina – is a technopath that can manipulate and possibly merge with machinery and was being studied by Orchis.
This can easily be a step towards Homo novissima, the end result of humanity’s quest for dominance. It’s also the point where mutants are effectively extinct – at least within their home solar system.
What do you think are the chances all three get out alive? Let us know below.