Warning: This article contains spoilers for Powers of X #2, by Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, Adriano di Benedetto, Marte Gracia, VC’s Clayton Cowles and Tom Muller, on sale now.
When Marvel announced details on the dual X-Men miniseries, House of X and Powers of X, the latter was touted as “a story about the history of mutants in the Marvel Universe.” With its first two issues, Powers of X has lived up to its billing by jumping to various points in the X-Men’s history, from the most important scene in their past to the far-flung future’s war between mutants and machines.
In Year 100 of the X-Men, readers see just how things have changed for Marvel’s mutants with the creation of Chimera, a breed of mutants created by Mister Sinister with the DNA of up to five different mutants. Issue 1 introduced Rasputin and Cardinal, and only gave a brief glimpse at the now-deceased Cylobel and Percival. However, there were four more X-Men on Asteroid K who answered to a mysterious leader off-screen: Wolverine, Magneto in a green costume, a man we later learn is most likely a Doug Ramsey/Krakoa Chimera, and Xorn.
Although it’s pretty obvious the green plant figure is the Chimera amalgamation mentioned above, the odds of Magneto surviving a century into the future are slim. Despite Wolverine’s healing factor, which slows his aging process, he’s isn’t near-immortal. The only question is what stolen X-genes make up these future X-Men.
But all of that doesn’t answer the mystery of who is calling the shots for this diminished team.We quickly get our answer when Cardinal hands over a flash drive stolen from Nimrod’s stronghold to the large, blue armored hand of one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies, Apocalypse.
Covers for House of X and teasers for Powers of X have featured the longtime X-Men villain in a prominent role, although it was believed Apocalypse would be one of the miniseries’ many antagonists. It should be noted a teaser of Moira MacTaggert and Apocalypse locked in a loving embrace should have been a hint that not everything is as it seems.
This isn’t the first time Apocalypse and the X-Men have worked together. The weekly Uncanny X-Men “Disassembled” event forced the two enemies to unite against X-Man, and i’s follow-up in Age of X-Man saw Apocalypse lead his own team of X-Men in Age of X-Man: Apocalypse and the X-Tracts.
Of course, the Apocalypse we see in Power of X‘s future could also be his younger clone, Genesis (Evan Sabahnur). Ignoring that this would be a pretty wild twist, Apocalypse questioning whether the battle between mutants and machines is a test to determine whether they’re fit to survive echoes his “survival of the fittest” motto. We know there are just eight surviving mutants on Asteroid K, with only a few thousand more remaining across the Shi’ar homeworld. The reduced numbers can make for some strange alliances.
House of X and Powers of X have depicted the X-Men joining forces with a few villains in their rogues gallery. Sabretooth, Mystique and Toad broke into a Damage Control facility on orders from Charles Xavier, and Magneto is a trusted adviser. And while it hasn’t played out on the page just yet, we know sometime between House of X‘s present-day and the future in Powers of X, Mister Sinister will be brought into the fold as well.
So maybe it’s not the craziest idea to see Apocalypse leading the remaining X-Men in the future. If all else fails, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.