Marvel Just Gave the X-Men Official UN Status – Which Is Quietly Terrifying

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marauders #26, now on sale

The X-Men’s nation of Krakoa has been trying multiple ways to cement itself as a piece of the world structure — with decidedly mixed results. This includes making new changes that improve their standing within long-standing institutions — and they’ve finally rectified a major oversight.

Marauders #26 (by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Rain Beredo & VC’s Cory Petit), Krakoa officially announced a Hellfire Club veteran as the mutant nation’s UN representative, giving one section of Krakoa’s ruling body more power than the rest.

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Harry Leland was a former member of the Hellfire Club and one of the more prominent mutants from that corner of the Marvel Universe who hadn’t been yet revived. Dying from a heart attack caused in part by a battle against Nimrod, Leland has finally been brought back to the land of the living by The Five. He was reintroduced to Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, who have both radically changed since their time together. Eventually having the facts of Krakoa telepathically inserted into his head, Leland becomes a quick champion for the island nation. He even accepts a very important position upon his revival: UN ambassador. Since Krakoa has gained sovereignty and official recognition from most of the rest of the world, Krakoa has earned a place within the United Nations.

Leland makes sense as a selection for this position. His experience with high society as both a member of the Hellfire Club and as a corporate lawyer in his civilian identity makes him an ideal statesman, capable of working around treaties and using charm to impart his own input. His mere arrival infuriates both Donald Pierce and Reuben Brousseau (enemies of Krakoa who’ve gained prominent positions in Madripoor and the United Kingdom, respectively), who are clearly leery of Leland’s return. But with the entire backing of the Hellfire Trading Company at his back and the Krakoan mutants at his disposal, Leland could become a crucial figure in the future landscape of the Marvel Universe on a diplomatic level.

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Taking to the UN also puts a new spotlight on Krakoa that it might have lacked before. As enemy governments are always looking for an advantage to press against Krakoa and the mutant population, a bureaucratic red string from the UN might prove a useful tool. It could impede the development and trade of major Krakoan creations, notably including the life-saving medicines that have helped ensure Krakoa’s recognition on a global scale. It’ll be interesting to see how Krakoa — or their enemies — use this new advantage, and what kind of new threats await the mutant population, especially considering Leland’s potential loyalty to his old allies over the entirety of Krakoa.

He could even potentially become a crucial figure in smoothing out the many international incidents the X-Men have caused since getting their own nation, possibly averting some of the conflicts they’ve been inviting to their island nation and shoring up alliances. But there’s another aspect of Leland’s ascension that is somewhat worrying: following his revival, Leland is seen exclusively with the other members of the Hellfire Trading Company. He’s seen complimenting Emma, celebrating with Sebastian, and embracing Shinobi as his son upon their first meeting. He’s clearly a Hellfire man through and through, even if he does seem to believe in Krakoa. This gives the Hellfire Trading Company — already Krakoa’s primary source of commerce — control over the Spring Branch of the Quiet Council’s ruling body.

While it could be argued the Summer Branch having Nightcrawler (now a seemingly more respected figurehead as the founder of the Spark) gives that branch a serious advantage over the rest of the council, Nightcrawler’s commitment to the Spark means it carries less weight in the material world. Leland’s Hellfire associates could lean on him to quietly press things on a global scale to better work with their designs. It’s a boon for Krakoa, but also a serious escalation of one ruling branch of the council over the others. With the current Krakoa system already in turmoil, this newfound potential soft spot might just complicate the situation even further and speed up the end of the First Krakoan Age.

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from Ultimate Comic Blog

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