Warning: SPOILERS for House of X #4
The X-Men have battled enemies across time and space in the name of defending Mutants from hate, violence, and betrayal. But it's an Avenger, not a supervillain, who gets credit for one of the greatest crimes ever committed against Marvel's Mutants.
That's a sizable group, considering the number of government figures, military zealots, maniacal Mutant-haters, and religious fanatics who have targeted and killed Mutants. The arrival of Sentinels on the Mutant homeland of Genosha will never be matched, as the attack killed literal millions of innocent Mutants. But if comic book fans have ever wondered about the second most destructive act, or villain... that honor belongs to Wanda Maximoff. Also known as the Avenger Scarlet Witch.
In the House of X issue that sees the shocking deaths of multiple X-Men, the canonical numbers of Mutant victims are finally set in stone, singling out the two "extinction-level events" that have driven Mutantkind to their current situation. Take a look:
The actual numbers confirmed by the issue are staggering. The Genosha genocide of over 16 million Mutants forever changed Marvel Comics, but the population on Earth still held steady at almost 1 million (986,618 exactly). It wasn't until Marvel's "House of M" story line that Scarlet Witch was driven to her breaking point, ultimately restoring reality and uttering a single spell: "No more mutants." The result was known as 'The Decimation' to the world (a name the MCU used for the Thanos snap), but more importantly as "M-Day" to any Mutants who managed to survive. After Wanda spoke her infamous spell, the total population dropped to merely a fraction of that original: just 198 living Mutants.
It's no surprise, given the drop in total population, that Marvel history defines both acts as "mutant extinction-level events." In fact, one might argue that Wanda's acts are an even greater betrayal and outrageous violation. The enemies who make their desire to kill Mutants are bad enough, as Trask and his Sentinels deserve the top spot for the horrors perpetrated on the innocent. Wanda's decision to leave them living, and instead remove their biological abilities and identity as Mutants? That crosses into distressing moral and ethical grounds the other enemies can't touch.
In the years since Wanda has returned to the heroic side of things, typically given a pass after the new Mutant status quo was established and now canonized by Jonathan Hickman's X-Men relaunch. But neither Mutants, not their most devoted fans, will ever be fooled. Especially as more and more look to the coming of X-Men into Marvel's movie universe as serious cause for concern. For now readers can pick up this historic X-Men issue for themselves, and check out the full solicitation details and plot synopsis below:
- House of X #4 (of 6)
- Written by: Jonathan Hickman
- Art by: Pepe Larraz
- Cover by: Pepe Larraz
- Xavier’s dream turns deadly for some of his students as they fight back against the humans’ plan to eliminate them. Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (FANTASTIC FOUR, AVENGERS, SECRET WARS) continues his reshaping of the X-Universe alongside Young Gun artist Pepe Larraz (EXTERMINATION, AVENGERS). The Future of the X-Men begins here!
House of X #4 is available now at your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics. The story will continue in Powers of X #4 arriving on September 11th, 2019.