Early on the Dawn of X era of X-Men, the Jonathan Hickman-written X-Men series sent a small, specialized squad of X-Men, under Wolverine's leadership, into the Vault. There, they were to gather information and potentially disrupt the operations of the Children of the Vault -- past enemies of the X-Men and all mutants. It was to be a quick job, but time flows differently in the Vault. Even taking that into consideration, the team went missing long enough that the rest of the mutants suspected something had gone wrong. Now, the latest issue of X-Men reveals what exactly befell Wolverine's X-Men squad. SPOILERS for X-Men #18 by Johnathan Hickman, Mahmud Asrar, and Sonny Gho follow.
The Children of the Vault are a pretty deep cut from X-Men's past. For those who may not remember, Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo created them during the first arc of their run on X-Men, "Supernovas." The Children of the Vault are a divergent species that branched off from baseline humans while evolving in a hermetic society. That society was housed in a floating ship called The Conquistador. Technology capable of manipulating the natural flow of time accelerated time around the Children. Thus, they lived the equivalent of 6,000 years while inside the ship. By the time they emerged, genetic drift had made them a new species distinct from humans and mutants. The Children of the Vault believed themselves to be the true inheritors of the Earth. They planned to wipe out humans and mutants, but the X-Men stopped them. The X-Men believed the Children of the Vault were dead, but later discovered they were living in a floating city called the Corridor.
Seeing mutant building a new society on Krakoa likely didn't sit well the Children's plans to replace them. The X-Men freed one of the Children, Serafina, from captivity on an Orchis base and then were able to track her to the Children's new home, the Vault installed in a Master Mold base. With some effort, Wolverine (Laura Kinny), Synch, and Darwin were able to slip inside.
At first, the team thinks they may be able to complete their mission with ease, perhaps not even alerting the Children to their presence. That proves overly optimistic. They end up in combat with the Children and easily win, in part because Synch's recent resurrection seems to have unlocked new uses for his mutant power. Mutants may have found a way to out-evolve the Children of the Vault. When there is only one of the Children left standing, Aguja lets loose and blows up the entire city within the Vault with Wolverine's team still inside.
If anyone can survive that blast, it's Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch. That's why they were chosen for the mission. But this likely explains why they haven't made it out yet. Whether they ever do remains to be seen.
X-Men #18 is on sale now.
- X-Men #18
- (W) Jonathan Hickman (A) Mahmud Asrar (CA) Leinil Francis Yu
- INSIDE THE VAULT!
- It's been a long time since the team went into the vault. A long time.
- Rated T+
- In Shops: Feb 24, 2021
- SRP: $3.99