Marvel fans thought that they were getting their heads around the scope of Jonathan Hickman's "Dawn of X" storyline - but then Powers of X #4 arrived. That latest chapter of the story has once again opened some big new doors from the X-Men mythos, but instead of looking at the threat of technology, it is the X-Men's battle with demons that Hickman is re-introducing to fans.
Not only does Powers of X #4 reveal a surprising new piece of Marvel history regarding the battle with the demon realm, it also teases that there are new stories coming that will reveal new facts about a pivotal character in X-Men lore: Jean Grey clone, Madelyne Pryor.
The opening scene of Powers of X #4 takes place before the X-Men were formed, when Charles Xavier and Magneto had a secret rendezvous with Mr. Sinister. Sinister and all his clones were hidden away on their Bar Sinister island at the time, and Hickman gives the community of Sinisters their own internal gossip mill, which takes the form of a Wendy Williams-style blind items newsletter. Each item in the list seems to correspond to a different X-Men character, and "Sinister Secret #3" is definitely a reference to Madelyne Pryor:
"Years ago, a deceased redheaded pretender made a pact with the devil. When she passed on, most believed that any secrets she had went with her to the grave. Won't everyone be surprised when they find out not only is this not true, but she left behind a whole lot more than secrets."
If you don't remember, Madelyne Pryor was a clone of Jean Grey that Siniste created and programmed to attract Scott Summers / Cyclops. The purpose fo the deception was designed to mix the Summers/Grey DNA lines, which occurred when Scott and Madelyne had a child, Nathan, who would go on to become Cable. When Sinister revealed Madelyne's true origins to her, the clone went mad and struck a deal with the demon N'astirh, becoming the Goblin Queen. With her mutant powers rekindled, and boosted by supernatural abilities, Madelyne became a powerful general in N'astirh's attempted invasion of Earth, during the late '80s X-Men "Inferno" crossover event. She would die during that same war, but was later resurrected in some of the more recent (and convoluted) X-Men storylines.
Powers of X has now turned the entire "Inferno" mythos on its head. We learn in issue #4 that there was also a prior demon invasion in ancient times, when a portal to limbo was exposed by the split between Krakoa and its twin land mass, Arakko. It was only Apocalypse (who was apparently a heroic warrior in ancient times) who prevented the demon realm from overrunning Earth - and now we're getting teases that Madelyne Pryor's legacy as the Goblin Queen is far from complete.
What secrets of Madelyne Pryor do you think we'll discover? Let us know in the comments!
House of X 1 - 4 and Powers of X 1 - 4 are all now on sale.