What happens when someone's past is our future, yet he lives in the present? Sounds like some time-traveling is in order, which is what X-Factor teammates Jaime and Layla have done in order to speak with a time-displaced member of the X-Men in his youth.
Sound confusing? Well, if you've read Marvel's "Uncanny X-Men" #494, it should make perfect sense – but still leave you with a lot more questions. Thankfully, X-Editor Nick Lowe is here to preview exclusive pages from this week's X-Factor #27 and respond to the many emails you've sent my way.There were loads of intriguing "Messiah CompleX" theories on characters' actions and the baby, so let's get to them!
Our first question comes from Giggity, who is curious if one of the X-Men was falling down on their duties in light of last issue's revelations. "Can't Emma read minds? Wouldn't she be able to tell Bishop a traitor? Or is she just not looking?"
Emma can indeed read minds. But you try reading Bishop's mind and see where that gets you. But for real, Giggity, Bishop is too experienced to go to all this trouble and not either develop a way to mask his thoughts or acquire tech to block his mind. I mean, come on, this is a guy who trained himself to know exactly where he is and what time it is at all times. For real. Look it up. I don't know why that's useful, but he's done it.
Bishop is a human GPS! And as long as we're talking about his abilities, Andre4000 had a question about the character's mutant powers. "Bishop can absorb energy and redirect it, correct? Wouldn't he be able to absorb Sunfire's power? And why does it seem that he never uses his power?"
Bishop's powers are very complicated. I think he did absorb some of it, but it still burns him. As for why he never uses the powers, he does from time to time, but you have to imagine it takes a lot out of him, so it's understandable why he'd use something like a gun.
And in case you're curious, the size of the gun isn't a form of Bishop trying to compensate.
Here's another query about powers from Brazilionnaire. This one concerns our favorite multiple-making mutant Madrox (say that five times fast!).
"I'm kind of confused as to the nature of Madrox's powers. Can his dupes make their own dupes, or do they only come from Madrox prime? Additionally, when the Master Chief look-alikes from the future use the power dampener on the Jamie dupe, shouldn't he have disappeared along with the others?"
You aren't the only one, Brazilionaire. Jamie's powers are indeed mysterious. But his dupes have been known to make dupes of themselves. As for why the dupe doesn't just disappear when the dampener was turned on, there are a few ways to reason this out, you pick your favorite:
1) A dampener doesn't stop powers from ever being used. If you used a dampener on a pre-"M-Day" Marrow, it wouldn't cause her bone knives to disappear.
2) The person who used the power is 80 years away, so he's not affected by it.
3) The dupes are people in and of themselves, so they can't be affected like this.
Next up, dddeity wanted some clarification on the emotional rollercoaster that Warpath is riding. "Why was James so worried about Hepzibah? Because of what happened to Caliban?"
You are exactly right on the why, dddeity. He's got feelings for your favorite cat/skunk lady. He doesn't want her to get hurt. She's pretty much all he's got left.
I have never thought of Hepzibah as a skunk until now. I feel a Pepe le Pew joke creeping up, so let's move on quickly.
Creyes had a few questions about Bishop and his perspective on the mutant baby…
1) From the events in this issue, it would seem that the baby grows up to be the dictator that locks all mutants up and creates the horrible future Jaime and Layla are trapped in. If that's the case, wouldn't they be better off letting Bishop kill the baby in the present?
I don't want to give away details here, but I'm going to go ahead and bet that, no matter what, Cyclops isn't just going to optic blast any baby, much less the first mutant baby and hope for the species.
2) Are Bishop and Cable's futures so different, that the baby means something good in one of their futures (where Cable needs to save the baby) while in the other, it means something horrible (and thus, Bishop needs to kill it)?
You might be onto something here, Creyes.
3) And considering they Bishop and Cable both know their futures diverge, how can they each be so sure of where this baby will take mutantkind?
It comes down to what you are willing to risk. You'll see more of Bishop's motives as the series goes on. At that point you can judge this for yourself, I think.
On the subject of motives, Manolinator was wondering about Cable's actions on the final pages of the last "Uncanny" issue.
"Cable contacting the Professor left a lot of questions in my mind. Why does Nate think Xavier will listen to him better than his own father? Is there anything Xavier knows about the future (or the baby) that will prove particularly helpful?"
Xavier doesn't know anything about the future (except that bald will always be beautiful). As to why Nate would contact Xavier instead of Cyclops, he does have his reasons. It is probably tied to why he didn't contact the X-Men in the first place.
Red Lotus sent in a couple of questions regarding MC's bad guys, including some who used to be good guys. It's just so hard to tell anymore…
1) Gambit questioning why Bishop would turn on the X-Men was a good way for the character to question his own actions. How much does Sinister trust that he and Gambit are on the same page?
I don't think Sinister trusts anyone much. The guy's so powerful, I don't think he's too scared of betrayal.
2) Are there any plans for Sinister and the Marauders post-"Messiah CompleX?"
At least one Marauder has plans after the crossover.
Eric-Michael Bauer is a thinker, and the thought he "thunk" is a doozy: "With all of the focus on the new mutant baby, wouldn't it be a crucial step in the equation – particularly for Beast – to find the parents of this baby?"
That's something we wrestled with a lot, Eric. As of right now, there hasn't been much time to look into this and the life-or-death situations involved in the story take priority. But, rest assured, that story will be told.
When that occurs, might I suggest the title "Oedipal CompleX?"
The next query comes from Dionne, who was looking for some Layla-love. "As far as 'Messiah CompleX' is concerned, is Layla only meant to be Jamie's wing-man (-girl), or is her role more reminiscent of the one she held in 'House of M?'"
She's mainly Jamie's wing-girl. But her power to know stuff will come in handy.
Dionne also sent in a theory that would explain why Layla "knows stuff." And when you tie this into the fact that Cerebra flickers in and out on the baby's identity – and that the future mutant scanners had a hard time picking up Layla – well, it makes a lot of sense. I'll allow Dionne to explain:
"Even though I've been hoping that 'Messiah CompleX' would somehow give our beloved Jean Grey an opening for a return, I noticed that while the baby girl has green eyes, she has a little shock of blonde hair. These are also the highly-prominent features of a currently time-displaced force of chaos (by the name of Layla). Anything to this?"
I wouldn't call that hair blond. At least strawberry blond. Trust me. I know hair.
In light of that response, Fam.de Boer suggests another possibility regarding the baby's identity:
"Since the crossover is called 'Messiah CompleX' and a baby has been born, can we assume any similarities between the baby and the Biblical events? Since, in the Bible, the baby is God reincarnated, can we assume this baby is also something bigger than the eye can see?
I think you can assume there's more to the baby than meets the eye.
"Of course it's a powerful mutant, but can it be a Celestial? This makes sense to me because they were the ones who created the dormant structure in the human DNA so one day mutants would rise."
It's certainly not a Celestial. They're gigantic and metal (or at least are metal housing). I think you meant Eternal. But that's a negative on this one, Fam. Mutant.
"Franklin Richard was said to have power-levels close to the Celestials. And Death told Jean that mutants would one day evolve to a point that they would replace the fundamental beings of the universe (including the Celestials). Am I onto something?"
Sorry, but no. But I wish that the baby were a Celestial. Then it would have looked like this:
And that wraps up another fun-filled X-POSITION – complete with doodle art courtesy of Marvel editorial! Since we're out of holidays, "X-Factor" #27 (the latest chapter of "Messiah CompleX") will arrive in your local comic book shops this week, January 9, 2008. Get it, read it, and write to me with your questions ASAP.
Super-scribe Peter David will be on hand next week to answer all of your lovely-worded emails. Be sure to include "X-Position" in the subject line, and remember - grammar counts! (Not really, but wouldn't it be nice if it did?) See you in seven!