- The X-Men’s Goblin Queen has made Limbo available to mutant refugees.
- The evil Goblin Queen of Earth-91240 returns in Dark X-Men #2, and she is a serious threat to the safety of mutants.
- Orchis wants to replace the X-Men’s Goblin Queen with her evil doppleganger, which would be disasterous for the mutants of the Marvel Universe.
The following contains spoilers for Dark X-Men #2, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
When Orchis sent mutantkind running for the shadows, Madelyne Pryor, better known as the Goblin Queen, wasted no time in opening the doors of Limbo to those in need of refuge. Unfortunately, it seems that even Limbo might not be safe from the reach of Orchis. Even worse, the Goblin Queen herself might not be safe for much longer, and if her throne falls to mutantkind’s worst enemies, there may not be much hope of getting it back.
While the eponymous heroes of Dark X-Men #2 (by Steve Foxe, Jonas Scharf, Frank Martin, Tom Muller, Jay Bowen, and VC’s Clayton Cowles) are reeling from losing Archangel in their latest fight against Orchis, their enemies are already putting the next part of their plan into motion. This means leaving Archangel in the hands of a version of Madelyne Pryor who was left for dead in Limbo years ago and is an evil doppleganger of the Goblin Queen currently serving as an ally to the X-Men and the mutants of the Marvel Universe.
Marvel’s Other Goblin Queen
Like the Madelyne Pryor of the primary Marvel Universe, the Goblin Queen of Earth-91240 began life as a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister. When she was introduced in 2015’s Secret Wars #2 (by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribić), this Madelyne had recently been replaced on her throne by Scott Summers at the behest of All-Father Doom. In spite of this setback, Pryor continued reigning over a portion of Limbo as its Goblin Queen. After plotting and bargaining to regain the power she lost, Madelyne reclaimed her throne, only to lose it all over again when she was seemingly killed by her world’s Mister Sinister.
However, these events were rewritten along with everything else that took place on Battleworld once the Multiverse was restored. Rather than being written out of existence, the Madelyne of Earth-91240 and her small army ended up being displaced to the primary Marvel Universe’s Limbo. Before long, this alternate Madelyne was leading the charge against the X-Men of Earth-616. Together with her Hex-Men and a mystically empowered Beast, this version of Madelyne very nearly took over the world. Fortunately, she and the rest of her Hex-Men were ultimately banished to the deepest pits of Limbo. From the looks of things now, however, that might not have been the best way to dispose of any of them, especially not the dimensionally displaced Goblin Queen.
Marvel’s Other Goblin Queen is More Dangerous Than the Original
The alternate Madelyne Pryor has always been more dangerous than the original simply for how desperate she was to carve out a place for herself in her new world. This drove her to measures more extreme than what her counterpart would ever consider. Not only did the alternate Madelyne prey on a young Hank McCoy’s crippling self-loathing, she was willing to sacrifice any and everyone necessary to reach her goals. This ruthlessness established this version of Madelyne as a dark and deadly shadow of the original, who is well past the point of possible redemption.
Worse still, that same sense of callous cruelty has only grown in the years since she was trapped in Limbo, and not even Orchis understands how deeply rooted this sentiment is within her. Although Orchis has effectively stripped this Madelyne of her mutant abilities, her connection to dark magic still makes her a very formidable opponent. Similarly, this Goblin Queen has lost all sense of the woman she once was. In her case, there is no longer any “alternate Madelyne” left to speak of, but just a vengeful Goblin Queen who is completely consumed with a desire to see the mutants who locked her away suffer.
Fall of X Makes Marvel’s Other Goblin Queen Deadlier Than Ever
All off this adds up to the kind of agent that Orchis is looking for in their war against the mutants. Their Goblin Queen and her armies will certainly provide a potent resource should they be unleashed on Earth, but her position within Limbo is just as important. Considering the primary Madelyne Pryor has taken every step she can toward turning Limbo into a safe haven for Orchis’ victims, any attack on those efforts from within Limbo would be potentially crushing. If this Goblin Queen were to replace her counterpart on the throne, the consequences would likely be worse than even Orchis could imagine.
As much as the dimensionally displaced Goblin Queen hates the X-Men and their allies, it is hard to believe she would side with Orchis willingly under any other circumstances. In fact, it doesn’t even seem as though she is necessarily working with Orchis of her own volition now. If anything, the hold they have over her is merely mutually beneficial to a point. Once that point has been reached, however, this Goblin Queen will almost assuredly take whatever opportunity she has to strike Orchis down, or at least to break free from their control. If and when that day comes, mutant refugees will hardly be the biggest problem Orchis has to worry about.
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