Marvel launched a new era of X-Men today. X-Men #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu offers a window into the life of Cyclops now that he is part of the mutants-only, island nation of Krakoa. The issue opens with Cyclops leading a team of X-Men on a mission against Orchis, the latest human group opposing mutant progress. The mission brought back an unexpected enemy from mutant history. It seems things have changed since the last time that the X-Men ran into this faction. So what comes next? Spoilers for X-Men #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu follow.
Cyclops leads the X-Men on a mission to liberate mutants being held in an Orchis laboratory. They’re surprised to find that one of Orchis’s test subjects isn’t a mutant, but it isn’t human either. Instead, it is a member of the post-human species known as the Children of the Vault.
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 so that they lived the equivalent of 6,000 years. 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.
While the Children of the Vault member appearing in this issue doesn’t give her name, she appears to be Serafina, a technopath and capable tracker. It's unclear why she has that distinct negative coloring.
The Children of the Vault were created by Mike Carey during his run writing X-Men with artist Chris Bachalo. They first appeared during the storyline “Supernovas” and appeared again in Carey’s X-Men: Legacy story “Collision.” Hickman has said that he’s a big fan of Carey’s X-Men work (it is arguably the most underappreciated X-Men run of the modern era). The Children of the Vault being a post-modern species touches on themes that Hickman played with during Power of X, so their presence makes sense here. Still, as a mostly forgotten set of characters, it was a pleasant surprise seeing them acknowledged again here.
What do you think of the Children of the Vault coming back? Let us know in the comments. X-Men #1 is on sale now.