Ever since mutantkind became ascendant in the Dawn of X—and the establishment of the mutant nation state Krakoa—enemies of the children of the atom have been lying in wait to strike out at mutants all over the place. But one with sinister connections to mutantkind’s greatest foe has been revealed, and now poor Scott Summers has been put on quite the back foot.
The current arc of Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller’s X-Men series has seen the arrival of a new hero on the first official X-Men team of the Krakoan age, Captain Krakoa, a masked hero to give mutants their own nationalist response to the likes of Captains America, Britain (herself, Betsy Braddock, currently also a mutant of course), and so on. Well... more of a “new” hero, really, as it was revealed that Captain Krakoa is none other than Cyclops, Scott Summers—forced to adopt a new public identity in order to keep the secret of mutantkind’s ability to resurrect its fallen citizens.
Why? Because Scott died, very publicly. How? Well, as we find out in X-Men #7 this week, very, very messily—and because he and the X-Men have been played by someone close to uncovering the biggest mutant secret this side of the living island nation. X-Men #7 gives Captain Krakoa an “origin story” in so much that it shows the fallout of, and build up to, Scott’s fated death. We get to see his lingering frustration with the Quiet Council—which has much to be concerned about lately, having never been particularly supportive of Scott and Jean Grey’s re-establishment of the X-Men as a public-facing mutant team—in the wake of his rebirth. But most importantly, we get to see how Scott fell in battle.
Or rather, got murdered by a key architect behind the X-Men’s other concern: that investigative reporter Ben Urich got his hands on evidence leading him toward exposing mutant resurrection. When New York finds itself assaulted by enraged animal chimeras, Scott and the X-Men race into battle, despite being understaffed at the minute (mutants are very busy these days). Scott, ever the hero, finds himself gravely wounded defending a baby from one of the chimeras, but his injuries aren’t fatal... until a paramedic on the scene promptly walks up to him and slices open his carotid artery. The Paramedic is revealed as none other than Doctor Stasis, a member of the pro-human, anti-mutant science collective known as ORCHIS, the organization behind the attempt to create the next generation of anti-Mutant robot AI—the major threat forseen since the very beginning of House and Powers of X as the downfall of all mutantkind.
But this isn’t Stasis’ first run with trying to expose mutant resurrection—he was behind leaking information about autopsies conducted on Scott and several other X-Men after their initial assault on ORCHIS’ sun-orbiting Mother Mold station in House of X, giving Urich the seeds of his report in the first place. But now Urich has, for reasons still unknown, mysteriously forgotten that story—and Stasis publicly moving against the X-Men in an attempt to pick them off is just a more violent way to expose mutant resurrection. After all, not every X-Man can just simply don a Krakoan uniform and pretend to be someone else, can they?
Stasis’ move into publicly exposing the X-Men and their fellow mutants creates a volatile situation for Krakoa—one that isn’t going to be resolved by having Cyclops pretend to be someone else behind another mask for a while. And Scott knows that too, ending X-Men #7 grappling with his roiling frustration that someone’s ahead of him and his team. For now, Stasis’ plan has cost the X-Men its leader, but Captain Krakoa’s going to try their damndest to make sure that mutantkind wins the war.
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