WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Contagion #2 by Ed Brisson, Stephen Segovia, Veronica Gandini and Cory Petit, on sale now.
For the past three months, writer Jonathan Hickman and artists Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva have been redefining the X-Men and their place in the Marvel Universe with the dual series House of X and Powers of X. The two titles have drastically altered the past, present and future of the X-Men in ways that will be felt for years to come. Both series have delivered their shares of shocking twists and revelations, from Moira MacTaggert's many alternate lives to the newly-implemented resurrection protocols of the mutant species.
While the X-Men went through big changes throughout House of X and Powers of X, there has definitely been something off about them, as Cyclops' encounter with the Fantastic Four revealed. Some fans would even argue they've been acting rather cult-like in recent issues of both titles. But while there are many more answers yet to come, for the time being, the X-Men remain somewhat of a question mark.
And that fact isn't lost on certain heroes of the Marvel Universe.
In Contagion #2, Iron Fist, the Thing, Luke Cage and other street-level heroes are dealing with a dangerous virus outbreak in New York. The virus, which originated from K'un-Lun and found its way to Yancy Street, has quickly spread throughout New York City. Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch first fell victim to it, and now the virus is infecting both heroes and civilians alike. In the issue, it quickly becomes clear to the heroes involved that this is an "all hands on deck" type of situation.
As Danny Rand, Sparrow and Ben Grimm discuss the possibilities of stopping the dangerous contagion, Iron Fist advises they need to bring in the big guns. "We need to bring in the Avengers or... the X-Men..." he says. Then, he offers a bit of meta-commentary about the mutant super-team. Speaking in a low voice, to indicate he's speaking more to himself than anyone else, Danny adds: "Even if they are acting like a bunch of weirdos right now..."
Nothing more is said of the matter, but the joke speaks for itself. Ever since the start of House of X and Powers of X, there hasn't been a whole lot of acknowledgement of the X-Men's new status quo in Marvel's other comics.
Outside of a mention in Invaders and the appearance of new costumes, we haven't seen much comics make direct references to both X-Men titles. But while we might not have seen the mutants interact with the rest of the world's heroes too much over these past few months, it's clear that Marvel's other superheroes are well aware of what is going on with the X-Men.
Better yet, Iron Fist's comment echoes the sentiment certain fans might have experienced while reading both House and Powers of X. Yes, the X-Men are being really weird right now. And since this is only the start of the mutants' new direction, they might even get a whole lot weirder.