Friday, December 2, 2016

Post-DEATH OF X: Why Is Cyclops Public Enemy No. 1? // Plus, Will Someone Help Me Mourn Alchemy??

Marvel Comics recently had a SECRET WARS event. Once it ended, all of the company's comic books shot ahead eight months. We learned that the Inhumans were becoming more numerous and popular, thanks to their roving Terrigen Cloud. We also learned that something really bad was happening to Marvel's mutants. Terrigen was found to be toxic to most mutants. It infected them with something called M-Pox, which caused infertility and boils all over their skin. Those "lucky" enough to survive to avoid immediate death were instead treated to a long, lingering painful death. Cyclops was universally hated for doing something awful against the Inhumans and everyone hated the mutants even more

DEATH OF X was supposed to show us what Cyclops did to become the most hated mutant around, and that mini-series just wrapped up over Thanksgiving Day weekend. I finally sat down and read DOX #4. And I'm left confused.

Here's what happened. The mutants went to Muir Island and found countless mutant researchers -- including former X-Factor leader Jamie Madrox AKA Multiple Man -- dead, killed from exposure to one of the two roving Terrigen Clouds. Of the team of X-Men that initially investigated the incident, Goldballs immediately became ill and -- we discovered -- Cyclops became fatally infected by the Terrigen Mists. Beast confirmed that Terrigen is toxic to mutants.

Nobody showed any concern. The Inhumans were only concerned about protecting their precious Terrigen Clouds. The Avengers, SHIELD, and all of the other Heroes of Earth were indifferent to the effect that Terrigen was having on their X-Friends. So Emma Frost -- using a psychic projection of Cyclops to motivate Earth's mutants -- led the fight to neutralize the Terrigen Clouds.

They recruited a young mutant named Alchemy -- who incidentally held a precious spot in my creative heart -- and made plans for him to use his transmuting abilities to neutralize the Terrigen Cloud. Which he did! One of them anyway.


However, Alchemy didn't escape unscathed. His briefly exposure to the toxic gas left him bloated and puffy and sick. In fact, he died within minutes of exposure to the gas.


Not that the Inhumans or their Royal Family cared. They are all about the Terrigen Cloud that was lost to them. But they are completely indifferent to the mutants who are beginning to sicken and die from that very cloud. Black Bolt "murders" Cyclops with one stray whisper and the world decides that they are okay watching the genocidal death of a race of humanity.


This is the thing that annoys me about the Marvel Universe. They are okay with robotic Sentinels going out and slaying mutants. They don't care when villains blow up busloads of mutant children. They don't care about the Legacy Virus or the M-Pox. They're okay with mutant concentration camps.

And it's not just the common people -- who could understandably be unnerved by humanity's next stage of evolution. What what about Iron Man or Captain Marvel or Captain America or the Thing or countless other heroes who supposedly like the X-Men and yet do little to help out when they or their children are routinely exposed to threats?

So DEATH OF X happened. Cyclops was killed by Inhuman nerve gas and his psychic image was used to push back against the Inhuman's cloud of mutating mists. That's why people hate him and all other mutants even more today than they did eight months ago. That's why they are indifferent to those with festering symptoms of M-Pox. That's why they don't mind that Avengers such as Sunspot and Rogue and Dazzler are covered in weeping scabs.

Does this make sense to you, because it really doesn't make a bit of sense to me.

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