WARNING: This article contains spoilers for X-Men Gold #25 by Marc Guggenheim, Paulo Siqueira, Jose Luis, Cam Smith, Victor Olazaba, Arif Prianto, Java Tartaglia, Juan Fernandez and Cory Petit, on sale now.
For decades, Marvel's X-Men have moved from one crisis after another, from Scarlet Witch’s “No More Mutants” declaration to extinction-level threats from heroes and villains alike and more. But one crisis that stands out from the rest was the airborne Legacy Virus, which infected and brought death to mutants by causing their own bodies to betray them.
For years, Legacy Virus wrecked havoc on Marvel's mutant population, claiming the lives of fan-favorite characters like Moira MacTaggart (the first human to contact the disease), Jamie Madrox, Pyro and many others. In the end, it was Illyana Rasputin's death that drove her older brother, Colossus, to sacrifice himself in order to develop a cure.
The steel-skinned X-Man would eventually return to the world of the living, but his resurrection didn't diminish how heroic his sacrifice was. However, the final pages of X-Men Gold #25 are planting the seeds of the deadly plague's return, and it appears Colossus may be the fulcrum of its planned re-emergence in the Marvel U.
Mutants Are A Problem You Can't Legislate Away
Once the original X-Men Gold team and their replacements defeat the Negative Zone god Scythian, the issue's story jumps to the home of Lydia Nance. The anti-mutant politician is shown watching a news report stating that since the X-Men saved Paris from total destruction, momentum has stalled for the Mutant Deportation Act in the Senate. Just as Lydia begins to express her disdain for the decision, a robotic voice off-panel reminds her, "It doesn't matter."
The cold voice belongs to the nanite-mutated Sentinel from X-Men Gold's "Techno Superior" story arc, who goes on to explain that mutants are a problem that can't be legislated away. Lydia is quick to remind the machine that it's already failed once at stomping out the X-Men. After referencing its new mutated form, the Sentinel displays an image of Colossus, promising to use him to kill every person on the planet who may possess the mutant gene.
While this could simply be a random threat, that's not how X-Men stories are built. With the knowledge of Colossus' past with the Legacy Virus, and how it was engineered by Cable's clone Stryfe as his lasting "legacy" to the mutant population, it doesn't take long before all the dots start to connect in the foreshadowing of the Legacy Virus' return.
The Sentinel has nanites flowing through its systems, meaning it's possible the villain may have implanted some in Colossus during their last encounter. What if the nanites discovered that Piotr Rasputin still has remnants of the Legacy Virus inside his body, with Lydia and the Sentinel planning on using the hero's mutation to kickstart the disease once again?
If that were to happen, the smartest minds the X-Men have to offer would have to work quickly to neutralize the threat, while also finding a way to save their teammate in the process. Colossus has already made the ultimate sacrifice once... it would break not only his friends' hearts, but also the heart of his fiance, Kitty Pryde, if he were to do it again so close to their wedding day.
Speaking of the "wedding of the century," the ceremony would be the perfect opportunity for Lydia and the Sentinel to strike with their new Legacy Virus. After all, the upcoming story arc is titled "'Til Death Do Us Part."