- The X-Men are experiencing their most dire situation yet, as the mutant-hating organization Orchis openly declares war on their species, resulting in deadly attacks and massive casualties.
- Kitty Pryde, one of the beloved X-Men, has embraced her dark side and seeks bloody revenge, adopting the name “Shadowkat” and becoming a deadly killer.
- Colossus, known for his kind-hearted nature, has transformed into a remorseless killer, joking about his violent actions and showing little remorse. The X-Men as a whole have declared war on their enemies, even those who typically avoid violence, creating a tragic shift in attitude.
Since they were first introduced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the ’60s, the X-Men have long been the Marvel Universe’s premier team of mutant superheroes. Throughout the years, the team has valiantly stood beside iconic heroes such as Captain America and Spider-Man and even eclipsed the Avengers in popularity before the introduction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, despite their heroism, the mutant heroes have spent the majority of their careers in the unique position of being hated and scorned by the very humans they regularly risk their lives to protect.
Marvel’s “Fall of X” crossover has now placed the X-Men in some of the most dire straits they have ever experienced, as the mutant-hating organization known as Orchis has openly declared war against their entire species. Their resulting attacks against the heroes have been both deadly and brutal, with the most savage strike coming in the form of an assault during the mutants’ Hellfire Gala that resulted in massive casualties. The actions of the nefarious organization have been devastating to the X-Men, scattering their remaining members across the Marvel Universe and transforming the heroes into amoral killers.
Kitty Pryde Has Embraced Her Killer Instinct
One of the most beloved X-Men is now seeking bloody revenge
Kitty Pryde’s childhood was terrifying. Transformed by Belasco and manipulated by the ninja master Ogun, she barely survived but grew up strong.
Katherine “Kitty” Pryde was only thirteen years old when she joined the X-Men in Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men #129 and was quickly established as an easily relatable viewpoint character. She has served in this capacity in other media as well, making her one of the most recognizable and beloved members of the mutant team.
While the lovable Kitty has endured incredible hardships during her time as one of the X-Men (most notably being corrupted and remade into a deadly assassin by the ninja Ogun), she has usually retained her innocent spirit, genuinely fighting to make the world a better place for mutants. However, her optimism has been shattered by the events of “Fall of X.” She paved the way for the X-Men to take on a deadlier edge at the onset of the crossover, singlehandedly slaughtering a team of Orchis operatives, vowing bloody revenge on the traitorous Firestar, and taking the name “Shadowkat” to highlight the embracing of her darkest impulses.
Fall of X Has Transformed Colossus Into a Remorseless Killer
The kind-hearted X-Men veteran has revealed a sadistic streak
Marvel’s Fall of the House of X #1 marks the beginning of the end for the X-Men’s Krakoan era.
While the mutant Colossus is one of the strongest members of the X-Men, he has also been one of the most gentle – at least until the Krakoa era. Recent comics have seen the veteran X-Man attempt to enjoy a quiet life, only for it to be tragically interrupted.
Throughout the X-Men’s time on Krakoa, Colossus has been increasingly pushed to the edge, first being humiliated by Beast before being forced to betray his teammates by his brother, Mikhail Rasputin. “Fall of X” appears to have finally pushed the powerful mutant over the edge, as he is seen in Fall of the House of X #1 (by Gerry Duggan and Lucas Werneck) killing one of Orchis’ henchmen alongside fellow veteran Wolverine – and joking about the act, indicating that he has little (if any) remorse.
The X-Men Have Declared War on Their Enemies
The sentiment of the mutants ensures that more bloodshed is on the way
Thunderbird and Warpath fight Orchis to protect their home in the first of a twenty-chapter Fall of X tie-in story arc.
While mutants like Wolverine are accustomed to resorting to fatal tactics against their enemies, many members of the X-Men are known for refraining from such measures, making their decline that much more disturbing. Even worse, many mutants who have been known for taking less violent stances are now fully embracing deadly war tactics.
While this is a battle for survival for the X-Men, there is still something inherently bothersome about seeing these heroic characters operating in ways that are anything but. Kitty Pryde and Colossus have both seriously divulged from their normal natures, and leaders such as Cyclops, Professor X, and Storm have begun to accept that they are at war. Perhaps the most tragic shift in attitude comes from the normally devout and upstanding Nightcrawler, who solemnly declares in Fall of the House of X that the X-Men are off to war.
Fall of X Has Created a New Status Quo for the Mutants
Do the X-Men’s actions make them less heroic than other Marvel heroes?
Fall of X has made life hellish for the X-Men, and there are a few ways to bring the epic story to a conclusion that will prove satisfying for fans.
“Fall of X” has placed the mutants of the Marvel Universe in the fight of their lives, and there is no doubt that it has changed the X-Men. While the change is understandable considering the stakes of their battle against Orchis, it does pose the question as to whether this diminishes them as heroes. Superheroes are regularly placed in situations where their very existence is put on the line, but few resort to murdering their adversaries.
Even worse, the enemies who end up paying the ultimate price in the X-Men’s brutal crusade are not the masterminds behind their plight, but rather henchmen who, more often than not, are simply doing a job. This makes the actions of Marvel’s mutants even more questionable and begs the question of whether the X-Men can still be considered heroes once the smoke clears – or if they have become as bad as (or even worse) than the villains they oppose.
Since their debut in 1963, Marvel’s X-Men have been more than just another superhero team. While the team really hit its stride as the All New, All Different X-Men in 1975, Marvel’s heroic mutants have always operated as super-outcasts, protecting a world that hates and fears them for their powers.
Key members of the X-Men include Professor X, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, Iceman, Beast, Rogue, and Storm. Often framed as the world’s second strongest superheroes, after the Avengers, they are nonetheless one of Marvel’s most popular and important franchises.
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