Marvel’s Three Dark X-Men Futures, Explained | CBR

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WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Inferno #3, now on sale

The X-Men have survived plenty of dark alternate futures over the years, always fighting on to set up a more ideal timeline down the line. But a host of new prophecies from Inferno suggests some surprisingly serious new directions.

Three major prophecies suggest dark futures for some major mutants in Inferno #3 (by Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, Stefano Caselli, Valerio Schiti, Adriano Di Benedetto, David Curiel, and VC’s Joe Sabino) — and they each paint a dark future of Krakoa’s future, even in triumph.

RELATED: Marvel’s X-Men Title Lineup Undergoes a Massive Shift Post-Inferno

The Children of the Vault have been one of the lingering threats against Krakoa that hasn’t been necessarily solved yet. Although a small team was sent to infiltrate the Vault, they were only able to operate as an observation group — with only Synch making it out intact enough to share what they found. According to Omega-Sentinel; revealed to be under the control of a version of herself from a future where the mutants overtook humanity and artificial intelligence completely, the final forms of the Children of the Vault should actually be returning to Earth relatively soon. Their powers fully amplified, the Children of the Vault will appear to be powerful enough to bring about the end of mutant and human dominion over the planet.

But that is when a former villain will return to save the day. Apocalypse is seemingly fated to return from Amenth, where he’s been living since the events of X of Swords. Reunited with his wife and (most) of the First Horsemen, Apocalypse is currently serving as Krakoa’s ambassador, having seemingly found some semblance of happiness and peace. But it appears the ancient mutant isn’t done yet with violence and will return (along with his family) to destroy the Children of the Vault. It’s unclear exactly what else Apocalypse could do following that victory, but it’s possible that given the pending end of the First Krakoan Age, he might see an opportunity to take power and authority in the mutant nation once again and even be set back onto the path villainy.

RELATED: A Dark X-Men Reality Proved Beyond Omega-Level Mutants – But Isn’t That Impossible?

After being summoned to visit Emma Frost, Destiny and Mystique find themselves confronted by the Stepford Cuckoos. Intrigued by the young women, Destiny ultimately delivers a prophecy about the five young women, revealing that in the coming years two of them will fall truly in love, while the others won’t. However, one of them may end up dying in Otherworld, making it impossible to genuinely resurrect them even with the help of the Five. This will leave the Cuckoos splintered, with one of them never getting over the loss of their sister. However, due to their earlier comments that they are one being split across five bodies, Destiny refuses to reveal which fate awaits which Cuckoo.

It’s a frightening possibility and suggests that the Stepford Cuckoos, now united as the Five-In-One, might have to one day return to their older status as the Three-In-One. It’s possible the future Cuckoos even are fully splintered apart, as an aversion to romantic relationships is what drove Phoebe to break up with Quinten Quire, a young man she’d grown to love. This means Phoebe could be one of the two who survives. The only Stepford Cuckoo who can’t die for sure seems to be Esme who fell in love with the time-displaced Cable during his time on Krakoa and has been shown to still be alive (and at least on good terms with Cable) in the future.

RELATED: Why Marvel’s Inhumans Failure Actually Works In The X-Men’s Favor

Omega-Sentinel’s revelations about the future also suggest a great battle between the mutant nation and their ultimate cosmic enemies: the Dominion, who seemed to be tied to the cybernetic threats like the Phalanx Collective. The X-Men have battled the techno-organic alien race before, but in the lives glimpsed by Moira MacTaggert, the Phalanx is ultimately victorious. A scenario that at best ends with the Dominion containing the last mutants as an exhibit, and at worst wiping them out across the galaxy. But in Omega-Sentinel’s revelations, it turns out that four figures would eventually confront and defeat these beings, shattering the possibility for a Machine Future. The description of the hero destined to wield the Phoenix Blade suggests they are “the child of the sun,” but doesn’t clearly identify them.

But the silhouette of the mutant wielding the blade is somewhat recognizable as Sunspot of the New Mutants. Alongside him are three others, including someone with bird-like features similar to Deathbird. Sunspot’s recent connections with the Shi’Ar could grant him access to something like the Blade of the Phoenix — making him a likely champion against the last vestiges of a technological enemy. If Sunspot has become a destroyer on that level in the future though, even in the name of protecting mutant interests, then he’ll have to embrace the ruthless “for the greater good” heroics that he fought against during the Incursions Saga. While this could be a big step forward for Sunspot in terms of universal importance, it is a heartbreaking change for the longtime hero.

KEEP READING: Are Black Panther And The X-Men Going To War For Marvel’s Future?

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