Jonathan Hickman's relaunch of the X-Men franchise has unfolded in House of X and Powers of X, with each week delivering another hard-hitting moment or new clue to the mysteries readers are trying to piece together. Powers of X #5 was no different, as Hickman and artist R. B. Silva introduced the beginnings of the Quiet Council, the governing body of the mutant nation-state of Krakoa. Readers were given small bits of the full picture, with only a handful of seats on the 12-person council divulged.
The members of the Quiet Council include Professor Xavier, Magneto, Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, all of whom are listed on the otherwise-redacted data page included in the issue. There's one other name that hasn't been properly redacted: Mystique. That led some to wonder who else might be on the Quiet Council.
As we looked back through earlier material that had been released to tease the series, one promotional image stood out, as it featured not only the revealed members of the Quiet Council but also the appropriate number of other seat-holders surrounding an empty chair. Alongside the revealed leaders of the mutant age were Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, Exodus, Storm, Marvel Girl and Nightcrawler. If this was the Quiet Council, that left one more member, and as revealed in Powers of X #5, Emma Frost had bartered for the extra seat.
While that empty seat didn't mean much when the promo was released, it makes a lot more sense now. And with Emma Frost potentially holding the secret to the empty council seat, to uncover the mystery, we have to look towards her role in the "Dawn of X."
Emma Frost and the Hellfire Trading Company will star in the upcoming Marauders series by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Lolli. Duggan has been vocal on Twitter as to who the Red Queen will be in this new iteration of the Hellfire Club. As Duggan said, "We've been telling you for month's who the Red Queen would be..." That could potentially reveal the final seat on the Quiet Council.
We’ve been telling you for months who the Red Queen would be. Folks, get your orders in for Marauders. pic.twitter.com/7dsSe3PeMf— Gerry Duggan (@GerryDuggan) September 25, 2019
Kate Pryde makes sense not only due to her place among the X-Men and as a staunch believer in Charles Xavier's dream, but also due to her relationship with Emma Frost. While there is no love lost between the two, Kitty serves as a check to Emma's evil nature, as was best showcased in Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men.
With Shaw forced back into the Hellfire Club and Emma Frost's life, it's only fitting she would again bring Kitty along for the ride for peace of mind for both of them. Kitty -- or Kate, as we should all get used to calling her now -- is not only one of the best X-men for the Quiet Council, but probably the best person around to keep Shaw and Frost in check as the Red Queen.
So while all of the clues and teases are lining up, for confirmation of the Quiet Council's members we have to look closer at the redacted document. As first reported by The Beat, an apparent glitch in digital review copies sent to media outlets permitted the text obscured by the black bars to be copied and pasted into another document, thus revealing the names. The revelation of the entire Quiet Council was confirmed by CBR. It is a mixture of heroes and villains that will appear in the upcoming "Dawn of X" launch of new titles in the X-Men line.
It remains to be seen whether the redacted document from Powers of X #5 was meant to divulge that information. However, as we've seen from the previously released promo images, and Duggan's Twitter comments, Marvel seems to know exactly what it's doing in the buildup to this new era for the X-Men.