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Here’s What Jonathan Hickman’s Dawn of X Cipher Probably Says

Comics creator Jonathan Hickman uploaded a baffling cipher to his Twitter account earlier today seemingly meant to advertise Marvel’s Next Big Thing Panel on Saturday. According to the Twitter caption, the cipher relates to the mysterious Dawn of X project first teased at the beginning of the week, which is likely tied to his House of X and Powers of X miniseries.

Well, the internet did what it does best and now the cipher is seemingly solved. So, everything has been answered, right? Well, not so much. But there’s plenty of new questions to be had.

The code appears to be a substitution cipher, meaning the symbols in the cipher are just stand-ins for English letters. Squeezed through the metaphoric sieve that is a code-cracking Discord server, the cipher appears to read:

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“XMEN MARAUDERS EXCALIBUR XFORCE NEWMUTANTS FALLENANGELS”

Some parts of the message make more sense to the casual observer than others. Word and phrases like “X-Men,” “X-Force” and even “New Mutants” need little explanation, after all. Marauders likely refers to the supervillain team introduced in Uncanny X-Men #210 in 1986, while Excalibur likely references the superhero group that serves the United Kingdom and debuted in Excalibur Special Edition #1 in 1988.

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Fallen Angels is a slightly deeper cut, and probably points to the superhero group by the same name largely made up of adolescent mutants. Created by Jo Duffy and Kerry Gammill, the Fallen Angels debuted in X-Factor #12 in 1987.

Perhaps the cipher goes even deeper than that, but for more information it seems that Hickman wants fans to attend Marvel’s Next Big Thing Panel this Saturday, July 20. The panel starts at 1:45 pm PST in Room 6A.

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