The X-Men reboot saved its biggest twist for last, establishing a bright new future for every Mutant in Marvel's Universe... only to see humanity strike back by murdering Charles Xavier. It's a heartbreaking, tragic moment... but why should fans even care?
That isn't meant as a callous dismissal to either readers or the characters forced to watch as he is killed before their eyes in X-Force #1. And certainly, the black ops team that violated a sovereign nation to assassinate a head of state will be aggressively interrogated (especially when you consider who is actually leading Krakoa's government). But once the shock of seeing Xavier gunned down wears off, fans should ask why this is a notable story beat at all -- since death no longer matters to the X-Men, anyway.
The politics of the story unfolding in Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara's X-Force is certainly going to be a massive game-changer, now that Reavers have infiltrated the (already suspicious) mutant nation of Krakoa to murder mutants indiscriminately. Again, shocking to behold in the moment, but a waste of effort considering the X-Men can already resurrect dead mutants anyway. Which really undercuts the impact of Xavier's murder, most of all.
For those who may have breezed past this mastery of mutant resurrection established as part of Jonathan Hickman's House of X and Powers of X relaunch, it is the one discovery that has permanently confirmed the X-Men are better off than Avengers. Using the united powers of five mutants, and DNA records of every mutant on Earth, Krakoa can incubate cloned bodies in a matter of hours. At which point, as explained in House of X #5, their minds are uploaded and started fresh:
A backup of every mutant mind on the planet exists. Once a week, Charles Xavier copies the "latest version" of every mutant mind to multiple redundant "cradles" located in several locations across the world. These backups are the essence of each mutant. How they think, how they feel, their memories -- their very being. When a mutant husk is ready, Charles Xavier injects this backup of WHO THEY ARE into their HUSK, and that mutant is reborn.
Given all these details, the idea of Xavier being assassinated, or indeed ANY mutant being killed, serves only to invite reprisal from Cyclops and his military strike team. It's a flawless system, since even if the Reavers targeted the most important X-Man, Goldballs, the stored 'eggs' would be used to resurrect him. In case anyone is worried the destroyed Cerebro will be an issue, it defies logic to believe Xavier would have a single version. Besides, Jean Grey is shown wearing Cerebro on the cover of X-Force #3, which makes perfect sense, since she would be the natural choice to upload Xavier's own consciousness in the event of his death. And Xavier himself is shown on the cover of X-Men #4.
So what was the real goal here? That mystery will have to wait, but in the meantime, the death of Charles Xavier is a good reminder to fans that, as a result of the new X-Men status quo, even important figures being killed is nowhere near as important as it used to be.
- X-FORCE #1
- Release Date: November 27th, 2019
- Written by: Benjamin Percy
- Art by: Joshua Cassara, Dean White
- Cover by: Dustin Weaver
- THE HIGH PRICE OF A NEW DAWN! X-Force is the CIA of the mutant world—one half intelligence branch, one half special ops. Beast, Jean Grey and Sage on one side, Wolverine, Kid Omega and Domino on the other. In a perfect world, there would be no need for an X-Force. We’re not there... yet.
X-Force #1 is available now at your local comic book shop, with the fallout of Xavier's death expected to begin in X-Men #2 arriving on November 13th.