WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for X-Men #1, by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu, on sale now.
Jonathan Hickman's House of X and Powers of X set the stage for a bold, new and radically different status quo for the X-Men. Feared, hated and the object of the world's scorn and violence, mutants are now set up not only to become the dominant form of life on Earth in the Marvel Universe, but are also protected on their advanced island Krakoa. Along with their own mutant powers, they also have an immortality machine, further nullifying the threat of the comparatively bumbling human race. A development in X-Men #1, however, may turn the tide in humanity's favor. A mysterious scientist working for Project Orchis may have in her possession her own resurrection device, or possibly even something far deadlier.
The beginning of the issue sees Cyclops, Polaris, Storm and Magneto attacking an Orchis compound to save captured mutant children, with Magneto taking point against the human soldiers. It is heavily suggested that Magneto is less than forgiving in how he handles the humans, confirmed later in the issue by the numerous coffins seen in the Orchis compound. One Orchis scientist is noted as missing the mass funeral, despite the fact that her husband, a brilliant scientist in his own right, was one of the fallen. Her nonchalant attitude toward the situation is quickly explained, as she reveals a mysterious red crystal, one which she claims will be used to bring her husband back. The question is, what is this crystal, and is it connected to previous objects in X-Men lore?
M'Kraan Crystal or Shi'ar Memory Crystal?
One potential connection is that this crystal is a shard of the larger M'Kraan Crystal. The M'Kraan Crystal is the nexus of all realities, once at home to the first world in the universe. That means that its existence extends to all of the known multiverses within the mainstream Marvel Universe. Tampering with it could have disastrous effects, as shown in its destructive wave spawned by the timeline changes of the Age of Apocalypse. If this is a shard of that same crystal, then perhaps Orchis' machinations with it could reverse certain events in the timeline, namely an individual's death. Another possibility could be that said individual is pulled from a point in time before a certain event, such as death. If time travel is involved, the humans may even attempt to go back to when to before the mutants had Krakoa, and were thus at a much weaker state.
Another possibility may lie in more recent issues. Not only has Professor X mastered the technology to easily resurrect his fallen X-Men, but he can also contain their souls within Shi'ar memory crystals for safeguarding until their new bodies are ready. This is possibly the most logical possibility, explaining why the scientist is convinced that she can so easily bring back her husband. If this is one of those same crystals, than what other technology does Orchis possess that is similar to Professor Xavier's? This imitation to the mutants' game changing advancements would quickly bridge the divide between the two species, allowing humanity to again strike against the mutant race. Fans will have to read future issues to see what the rogue group has planned for Homo Superior, but if they have even half of Krakoa's advancements at their disposal, fear and hatred may quickly become the status quo again for the X-Men.
X-Men #1 is available now.