The Mothervine: X-Men's Secondary Mutation Enhancement, Explained

Talking about his future plans for X-Men Blue, writer Cullen Bunn recently told CBR, "Because of things that happen in the space adventure, you’re going to see a completely new team of X-Men take shape. That team will be dealing with some major story threads, including the revelation of Mothervine, the strange secondary mutations that are popping up with some long-standing mutant characters."

You would certainly not be remiss if you were unfamiliar with the concept of Mothervine, especially since its origins go back a number of years and started in an entirely different universe that no longer exists! With that in mind, we're going to fill you in on what, exactly, the deal is with Mothervine, and why it seems likely that it will play a major role in the reshaping of the world of the X-Men in the main Marvel Universe.

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It all started with the 2009 crossover event Ultimatum, which tore the Ultimate Universe apart. Almost all of the Ultimate U's X-Men, including Wolverine, were killed in battle with Magneto, who was also killed by the end of the storyline. The following year, Ultimatum writer Jeph Loeb began the next step in the future of the X-Men when he wrote Ultimate X with artist Arthur Adams...

In the series, Kitty Pryde, one of the few surviving members of the X-Men, visited Jimmy Hudson and left him a message from his birth father, Wolverine...

Jimmy would eventually join Kitty and Rogue to form a new team of X-Men, albeit one in a much different environment in the Ultimate Universe (where the reduced mutant populace left them in a precarious state, ripe for exploitation). They ended up living on a special reservation created for mutants. Any mutant outside the reservation was to be arrested at once.

In 2013, Cullen Bunn wrote a new Ultimate Comics Wolverine miniseries with artists David Messina and Gary Erskine. In the first issue, one of the remaining X-Men, the technopath (someone who can communicate mentally with technology) Black Box, revealed a secret message hidden in the message that Wolverine left for Jimmy...

Jimmy and Black Box left the relative safety of Reservation X and headed out to learn what this message was about.

As it turned out, it was part of an investigation that Wolverine was involved with years earlier involving Magda Lensherr, Jimmy's birth mother! Lensherr (code-named "The Witch of Wundagore") was working on the case for a rival private organization while Wolverine was working with S.H.I.E.L.D. The target of the investigation was a drug called Mothervine. The drug, when injected into pregnant women, would make sure that their children would not only be turned into latent mutants but that their latent powers could be weaponized. In other words, Mothervine helped to create the world's most effective sleeper agents. Children who didn't even know that they were mutants would be activated through an activation phrase "Mother is calling her children home", their powers would kick in and kill whoever their target was and then they would be returned to normal. Mutation on command!

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