Powers of X #5

Issue Date: 
November 2019
Story Title: 
For the Children

Jonathan Hickman (writer), R.B. Silva (artist), Marte Gracia (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), R.B. Silva & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Mike Huddleston; David Nakayama; Dustin Weaver; Valerio Schiti & Mattia Iacono; Skottie Young / John Tyler Chrtistopher (variant cover artists), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Years ago, Xavier meets with the inventor Forge and asks him to use alien tech to alter Cerebro, enabling it also to copy every mutant mind on Earth. Months ago, Xavier and Magneto recruit Emma Frost to their plans of a mutant nation, wanting her to become the legitimate face of trade with other nations. She agrees but is not enthusiastic when she learns that her partner will be Sebastian Shaw. Xavier later sends an invitation to all mutants – villains included – to join them on Krakoa. He has an argument with King Namor, who is less than impressed with his plans. In the far future, the Librarian and Nimrod discuss the plans of the world mind and that the Phalanx will essentially absorb their information and destroy their world.

Full Summary: 

They will think we are doing one thing. But the truth is we are doing something altogether different.”
- Professor X

X0, the X-Men year one:
Dallas Texas,
Forge’s HQ Eagle Plaza:

Surrounded by a three-dimensional hologram of an exotic underwater landscape, Forge and Professor X drink whiskey and discuss business. Showing him the Cerebro helmet, Xavier asks if it can be done. Forge replies it’s a question of feasibility. For example, what if the energy cost of the improvements he wants means they’d need access to a fusion reactor… would that really be a workable solution? Taking the glass Xavier replies, let’s say it would be, hypothetically. He is on his what, third generation of Cerebro? Fourth, Xavier corrects. But only the first was solely his design. Most of the improvements regarding range and sensibility have been Henry McCoy’s doing.

Forge spells out Xavier’s wishes. Now in addition to finding mutants Cerebro is also supposed to copy the mutant’s mind. To make up back-up of a sentient being. Xavier agrees and reveals that, when he gently broached the subject with Henry, he insisted it couldn’t be done. Forge points out that, despite Beast’s intellect, this kind of machine-building is beyond his expertise.

Forge sees two problems: Firstly, volume. There are a lot of mutant minds out there, and the number is growing every year. Then there is redundancy. In the micro he is talking about a database of all mutant minds. That is going to have to account for updated versions of each mind. For example, the difference between who you were last year and who you are this year… And in the macro, he is going to need duplicate versions of the entire system. Because they cannot afford to ever lose the data. You’d need at least one back-up. He would prefer five, is Xavier’s surprising reply. One main unit, three back-ups and one for unforeseen surprises.

Sure, why not, Forge shrugs. As far as he can see, all that’s stopping them is access to an unlimited power source and unlimited storage. Unfortunately, nothing like this currently exists on this planet. Not on this planet, Xavier agrees with a crooked smile.

Forge admits he should have seen that coming. It’s easy to forget Xavier has access to a higher power. There is a cloaked, antimatter engine of imperial design currently in Earth’s orbit, Xavier reveals, and he believes Shi’ar logic diamonds might be suitable for data storage. He’s not sure. Forge would have to tell him. Forge asks if he wants him to design a new system or integrate this into the existing one. Xavier stresses Forge is the only one qualified to make that call. The only question is, is he or is he not going to build this for him? Forge grins.

X1 – the X-Men year ten: the Louvre, Paris:
Emma Frost telepathically orders everyone out of the room, so she can look at the Winged Victory statue in peace. Without turning around, she orders Charles Xavier to come out and stop skulking. It’s unbecoming. Charles wearing the Cerebro helmet complies. Emma informs him she felt him looking for her at the Canova, but this seemed more appropriate. Why is he here? For the same reason he is, Magneto replies, stepping up from the other side. To see her.

So, they are together again, she observes. This is either going to be incredibly heroic or terrifyingly reckless. Dare she ask which? Xavier jokingly asks where her faith is. Can’t it be both?

Emma is getting impatient and remarks she is quite busy of late. Charles replies he has noticed. And because he knows her Hellfire Corporation is an international prime mover, he was wondering if she’s heard rumblings of a certain company being on the verge of delivering miracle drugs to markets? She neutrally replies she is aware of rumors. And is she aware that he is behind that company? Xavier continues. He was listening earlier when she pointed out his lack of subtlety, right? Is Emma’s tart reply. Fair enough, Xavier admits. But the move behind that move is they are going to use the need for those drugs as leverage for the establishment of a mutant nation state. Krakoa.

So not heroic at all, Emma replies horrified, just reckless. Let’s put all the mutants on an island again. Gather them in one place. Put a giant target on it. He should know better! She snaps at Magneto. And they think she’ll actually help them with this?

Looking at the Winged Victory statue, Xavier replies, not so much this… as help them to form a mutant government. Emma scoffs. For a nation that doesn’t exist, based on economic ramifications of an imaginary drug, in a world that would historically rather kill them than trust them? Aren’t they getting a little ahead of themselves?

Magneto calmly informs her that in one month the population of Krakoa will expand seemingly overnight from several mutants to well over 100,000. And by this time next year it could be as high as two million. They are not ahead of themselves. They are woefully behind.

They are serious, she sighs. Xavier tells her is the day she’s been waiting for. To make right all the things that went wrong, Magneto continues. What’s going to make it different this time? Emma demands. Magneto holds a flower and offers to show her.

Sometime later on Krakoa:
Emma sighs dramatically. Once more. For the children. All right, she’s in. Tell her what they need.

Xavier explains that the companies he created to crate and manufacture the drugs are operating at a scale and structure in a manner that makes intellectual theft almost impossible. Add the fact that the flowers only grow where Krakoa wills and any argument against them having a monopoly evaporates. Which is where she comes in, Magneto adds.

Emma realizes they cannot entrust the distribution to humans, and the Hellfire Corporation already has the international reach to do so. They want her to become the East India Company of mutantdom. She muses that she likes the taste of it. Magneto adds, they were thinking of a twenty year…

Emma harumphs. Magneto corrects himself that they were thinking of a fifty year exclusive contract with her as sole distributor. Better, she concedes.

Charles adds they are offering her two seats on the twelve-person council that will act as the first government of Krakoa. Emma agrees, but why two seats? Xavier and Magneto share a look then Xavier admits they want her to bring Sebastian Shaw back to Hellfire. She just got rid of him! She bursts out annoyed. Xavier explains they need her to be the legitimate face of trade. The consummate politician for the countries who they have relations with. And for those who don’t… they want a Black King to run the black book operations, she spells out. For operations in countries which reject their sovereignty. Get the drugs in, get the mutant out, Magneto agrees. Emma agrees but demands three seats.

X1, the X-Men, year ten: A summoning
Using his Cerebro helmet, Xavier on Krakoa calls all mutants as brothers and sisters to Krakoa. He wants to set aside all difference and extends an invitation. He invites the Acolytes, led by Exodus. As he does Mr. Sinister (who just got rid of some of his clones) as he does Omega Red and his offspring, to Gorgon and finally to King Namor… who is less than impressed.

Namor points out that Xavier’s seen reason, namely that he figured out that they are not humans, and humans will never accept or love them, not because they don’t deserve it, but because humans envy them. It’s good Xavier’s finally figured that out, but does he think Namor looks like someone who just realized he is better than anyone else? And does he actually think Namor believes Xavier feels that way, too? Go away, little man, he tells Xavier and don’t come back until he really means it.

X3 the X-Men – year 1000
The Phalanx have an answer for the citizens of Earth. Their envoy announces their terms met, then dissolves the Elder.

Later, the Librarian wonders why the Phalanx destroyed the Elder if they agreed. Nimrod the Greater points out it hasn’t enough data for an error-free projection The Librarian asks for its best guess then.

Nimrod explains that as humanity evolved, so did its machines, modeled as they were after humanity. Together man and machine harnessed the power of Earth and the solar system which is promethean, but not mighty in the Phalanx’ terms.

Nimrod, along with all thinking machines on the planet, is composed of smaller, self-replicating machines. The Phalanx operate in a similar manner. This is almost certainly not true for their masters. They are most likely machines made of fundamental matter. These theoretical constructs would be dense machine brains that would dwarf anything they can imagine. If they are dense enough, they could collapse space and time around them and become a singularity.

The Librarian is aware of the Titan Theory, which states that at the heart of every Black Hole there is actually a supermassive machine brain, each one containing the knowledge of a society so advanced it collapsed on itself.

Nimrod agrees but it’s more than that. What is a Black Hole? It’s a wormhole, a bridge from one singularity to the next. They have to consider the possibility each black hole isn’t a separate machine. It’s all a single machine that stretches its tendrils across the entire universe one giant intelligence so far beyond them it might as well be the god mankind sought.

The Librarian returns to his question. Nimrod explains they reached beyond themselves to build a Worldmind and attract a galactic suitor. The Phalanx are built to consume worthy societies and add them to their and by extension to their master’s. But this is taking work and the energy cost is high. They must eat to survive. They’ve accepted their overture. Converting matter to energy is how they thrive in service to their masters. Tomorrow they will absorb their collective intelligence, and the history and consciousness of this planet will live on forever. But in doing so they will feed on the entire planet and leave no living thing behind.

Characters Involved: 

Professor X

Professor X
Emma Frost
Cortez, Exodus, Unuscione, Voght (Acolytes)
Mr. Sinister
Omega Black, Omega Red, Omega White (Omega Clan)
Gorgon II
King Namor

Nimrod the Greater

Story Notes: 

text pages:
-Cerebro now runs on Krakoan tech, which has basically unlimited energy
- Once a week, Xavier copies the latest version of every mutant mind to multiple redundant cradles
- Once a year, he does a hard copy of ever mutant mind
- It is possible for a telepathic operator to replace their own mind with a previous version. Xavier has done so twice.

The Quiet Council: the twelve head ruling council of Krakoa. So far, the members known are: Xavier, Magneto, Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost. Additionally, outside the council are Cypher and Krakoa speaking for the island itself

Universal types of society are described from Titan to Dominion. The only thing a dominion fears are Galactus and the Phoenix.

Other notes:

In an interview, Hickman mentioned the costume and look were wrong for the Forge scene – hence the color change. Presumably, it takes place before Forge officially met Storm and the X-Men [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #185-188], but clearly after Xavier started his relationship with Lilandra (because of the Shi’ar tech).

The statue Emma looks at in the Louvre is the Nike of Samothrace.

The Canova Emma refers to presumably is the sculpture “Psyche revived by Cupid’s kiss.”

Emma’s lack of enthusiasm regarding another island mutant nation is understandable, considering she was one of the very few survivors of Magneto’s last attempt to create a mutant state on Genosha. [New X-Men (2nd series) #116]

Emma “got rid” of Shaw in X-Men Black: Emma Frost.

The East India Company was an English (and later British) joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with the Moghuls of India and the East Indies, and later with Qing China. The company ended up seizing control of large parts of the Indian subcontinent, at times being the only company legally allowed to trade there.

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