Marvel Brings the X-Men's Greatest Threat Back Online

Marvel Comics just brought the biggest threat to the X-Men and the mutant nation of Krakoa back online. SPOILERS follow for X-Men #20 by Jonathan Hickman, Francesco Mobili, Sonny Gho, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Mueller. Back in the House of X and Powers of X dual miniseries that kicked off this new era of X-Men and introduced Krakoa to the Marvel Universe, Hickman revealed that Moira MacTaggert is actually a mutant, Moira X. Whenever she dies, the timeline resets. However, she may be in her last life now. She remembers her past lives, including that it spells doom for mutants whenever humankind creates sentient artificial life.

To prevent that from happening in the current timeline, Krakoa sent a team of X-Men to the orbital base of Orchis, a super-science organization comprised of human's worst minds who are all dedicated to destroying mutants. The X-Men team sacrificed their lives (and were reborn) to destroy the Mother Mold being built there. It was a victory, but only a partial one. The team failed to stop Dr. Alia Gregor from acquiring the technology she needs to build Nimrod, the ultimate Sentinel.

Marvel X-Men Inferno
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

In X-Men #20, Professor X and Magneto send Mystique -- who planted a Krakoan gate on the Orchis station during the first mission -- to finish the job. Professor X and Magneto have been dangling the resurrection of Mystique's wife, Destiny, as motivation for Mystique to take on these dangerous missions. Mystique doesn't know that, per Moira's command, Professor X and Magneto have no intention of bringing Destiny, or any other precognitive mutant, back from the dead.

Mystique is too late to stop Nimrod from coming online. Gregor implants the memories and personality of her husband, killed during the X-Men's original infiltration, into the Sentinel as she brings it to life. Nimrod quickly recognizes the incognito Mystique as a mutant. Mystique escapes, but Nimrod spawns a copy of himself to take Mystique's black hole bomb into space. The copy prevents the destruction of Orchis and the prime Nimrod, thus potentially ensuring Krakoa's fall, but Gregor's husband is gone for good.

This revelation may reveal the origin of Nimrod the Lesser, a version of Nimrod revealed in Power of X that had a childlike personality. It is possible that continued splits and destruction like the one in X-Men #20 destroyed more and more of Nimrod's original programming, resulting in a less mature version of its personality in the future.

Mystique returns to Krakoa but dies of her wounds. She's resurrected, and Professor X and Magneto are waiting for confirmation of her failure to stop Nimrod, which they use as an excuse to avoid bringing back Destiny. Later, Mystique recalls a prophecy Destiny told her before her death: "There will be an island -- not the first, but the last. This place will seem to be hope for our kind. When those days come, remember these words: BRING ME BACK. And if you cannot… if they will not… then burn that place to the ground."

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These captions end on a page of Moira in her "no place," reading Destiny's diaries, full of prophecies. The final page of the issue tease "Inferno," a new take on the major X-Men crossover event from the 1980s, this time based on "The Books of Destiny." Details are coming soon.

What do you think of the coming Inferno? Let us know in the comments. X-Men #20 is on sale now.