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The X-Men Just Saved Mutants... in The Dumbest Way

X-Men Emma Frost with Cyclops Visor

Warning: SPOILERS for Uncanny X-Men #21

The X-Men and Emma Frost just saved the entire mutant race - in one of the strangest plots Marvel Comics has ever published. Matthew Rosenberg's Uncanny X-Men has seen the mutant race brought to the edge of extinction, in large part because the majority of the X-Men have been transported to an artificial Age of X-Man reality created by Nate Grey. Without the X-Men to keep humanity's fear and hatred in check, anti-mutant legislation has been passed across the world.

Cyclops has been leading the handful of surviving X-Men in an attempt to clear up their messes so the last few mutants aren't just villains. The last few issues have revealed that he his fellow X-Men have been manipulated every step of the way, both by Mr. Sinister and Emma Frost. Emma has been subconsciously encouraging Cyclops to choose very specific targets, getting the more problematic evil mutants out of the way. And in this week's Uncanny X-Men #21 Emma reveals her endgame.

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Emma Frost is an Omega level telepath, and in Uncanny X-Men #21 her powers are amplified by both Cerebro and Fabian Cortez, a villain who can boost the abilities of other mutants. Emma's enhanced telepathy allows her to erase all memories of mutants. No human is aware mutants even existed, nor are they able to recognize any of the world's most famous mutants. In theory, it should be the perfect way to create a lasting peace between men and mutants, and it's easy to understand why the desperate X-Men would opt for it.

There's only one problem; it's absolutely ridiculous. Emma Frost is just a telepath, which means she's unable to alter any records that refer to mutants. That means all newspaper articles, footage, and TV shows will remain; given mutants are supposed to be a natural part of evolution in the Marvel Universe, they'll be covered in everything from high school text books to genetics classes. Everybody who's been working in a field affected by mutants - say, researching or distributing the mutant cure, or developing Sentinel technology - will suddenly have huge gaps in their personal history, which they'll naturally want to fill in. At best, Emma Frost's solution is a short-term, stop-gap exercise, one that will be reversed at speed.

At worst, it will cause a lot more problems down the line. The X-Men comics operate around a classic trope, that people fear what they cannot understand. Now literally nobody understands mutants, because every human being who'd ever heard of them has had their memories erased. There are no mutant advocates, only people who discover that mutants exist and react in fear when they realize an entire planet's memories have been wiped. Way to save the mutant race, X-Men.

Uncanny X-Men #21 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.

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