WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Uncanny X-Men #12, by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Despite their fantastic powers and abilities, the superheroes of the Marvel Universe aren't really a lucky bunch. Characters like Spider-Man or Daredevil do seem particularly unlucky, but every Marvel hero has a history filled with challenges and tragedies.
That holds especially true for the X-Men. On top of all of the deaths, memory wipes and heel turns that every superhero has to deal with, Marvel's mutant heroes deal with all of this while operating in a world that famously hates and fears them.
While most of Marvel's mutants are currently trapped in a world created by a misguided, would-be mutant savior called the Age of X-Man, conditions are worse than ever for the handful of mutants who are still stumbling through the main Marvel Universe.
Now, Uncanny X-Men #12 adds another tragic, ostensibly final chapter to the astoundingly unlucky life story of Guido Carosella, the super-strong X-Man better known as Strong Guy.
While trying to round up any X-Men who haven't been sucked into the Age of X-Man reality, Cyclops and Wolverine break into a government-operated facility where mutants where being experimented on. After clawing and blasting their way though several Office of National Emergency operatives, they encounter a strange group of Sentinels covered in techno-organic matter. When Wolverine slices one of the Sentinels open, he finds Strong Guy, who's been bio-mechanically connected to the Sentinel.
In last year's New Mutants: Dead Souls, Guido was given a techno-organic transformation by the Transmode Virus that used to be the alien X-Man Warlock. Here, we learn that tech has been used to turn Strong Guy, and some other mutants, into unwilling Sentinel pilots.
After helping free several other X-Men and mutants who were being held at the facility, Strong Guy takes the brunt of the blast from a bomb that was implanted inside of a duplicate of Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man. He apparently dies in his teammate Magik's arms, and the assembled X-Men are forced to flee and leave his body on the battlefield.
While that would be a tragic death for any X-Man, it's especially harsh for Strong Guy, since it’s the second time he's died saving someone else.
With the mutant power to absorb kinetic energy and channel it into strength and durability, Strong Guy might seem like the ideal candidate to take one for the team, but his powers still have limits. In addition to giving him a massive top-heavy frame, his mutant abilities were the source of a serious heart condition and caused him immense physical pain throughout his life.
After a piece of space debris crushed his parents in a freak accident, Strong Guy's powers emerged when he was bullied and subsequently hit by a bus as a child. When he debuted in Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz's New Mutants #26, the then-adult Strong Guy was working as a bodyguard for the intergalactic mutant musician Lila Cheney.
Strong Guy operated as a tertiary X-character for a few years before he became a main player in Peter David and Larry Stroman's fan-favorite X-Factor run in the early 1990s. While on that government-sanctioned mutant team, he was a quick-witted joker who accidentally destroyed the Washington Monument and became close friends with Jamie Madrox, which adds a cruel bit of irony to Guido's most recent death.
After a massive heart attack took him off of active duty for years, Strong Guy joined X-Factor Investigations, Madrox's private detective agency, in the mid-2000s. While on a mission with the team, Guido died after taking a shot meant for J. Jonah Jameson, getting crushed by a robotic Mandroid and suffering a heart attack.
Thanks to her mutant powers, Layla Miller, another member of X-Factor Investigations, was able to revive Strong Guy, but she brought him back without his soul. Guido subsequently left the team, killed the son of his friend Wolfsbane, and took Mephisto's spot as the ruler of one of Marvel's Hell.
Strong Guy eventually abdicated his demonic throne, found his soul and rejoined the X-Men. However, in last year's aforementioned New Mutants: Dead Souls, he suffered another heart attack, forcing him to merge with the Transmode Virus to save his life.
Since it's not totally clear how the Transmode Virus affected Strong Guy, it could end up being the key to yet another potential miraculous resurrection. However, considering his life-long string of misfortune, Strong Guy probably won't be that lucky.
As the last page of this issue shows, General Robert Callahan and his O.N.E. program still have Strong Guy's body, and they could quite feasibly try to turn the fallen X-Man into some other new weapon that could be forced to hunt down his former friends.
While Strong Guy's fate is uncertain, the rest of the X-Men's adventures will continue in Uncanny X-Men #13, by Matthew Rosenberg and Salvador Larocca, on sale March 6.