The X-Men have already changed everything comic fans know about their place in the Marvel Universe. But thanks to one menacing threat made in the newest issue, it seems mutants are also the answer to one of human history’s greatest mysteries (time to update your textbooks).
The idea of the X-Men reboot re-writing history is nothing new, since that’s been a defining characteristic from the very first issue of Jonathan Hickman’s House of X. In recent issues the new line of X-books have expanded on the idea, revealing that mutants existed longer than people think, making the ancient examples not unique… just the ones who became the most famous. That description certainly applies to the famous mutant supervillain Apocalypse — the so-called First Mutant — but the immortal’s latest confession just gave a definitive answer to a mystery that historians and anthropologists have never been able to solve.
Readers can look to X-Men #4 for the explanation, as Apocalypse, Magneto, and the resurrected Charles Xavier accept an invitation to the World Economic Forum. While the human leaders pose those of Krakoa with questions, most of which asking how mutants can just do what they want, it’s Magneto who promises: mutants will never forget their history. But humans? They will. Because they always do. When pressed to elaborate, Magneto points out the Dark Age which followed Roman expansion, and the end of the Bronze Age. A historic riddle that’s never been solved… until now.
very broadly given to the period of human history from around 3300-1200 BC, during which bronze was invented, or traded. The combining of metals is just one of the defining characteristics, but advances in written language and other cultural practices mark the era as one of the largest ‘steps forward’ for humankind around the globe. Until the year 1200 BC, when a catastrophe struck that, were it not actual historical fact, would be too outlandish to believe. Within the span of fifty years, a ‘collapse’ led almost every major city throughout the Mediterranean and Near-East (seen as the cradle of the modern Western world) to be destroyed. Effectively, human progress in the region was halted and destroyed so quickly and thoroughly, no historical accounts were even made of what caused it to begin with. Now, in the world of Marvel Comics at least, we have an answer.
Honestly, the idea that Apocalypse, a single all-powerful mutant with designs of the entire planet is the simplest explanation. Especially now that mutantkind has been completely unleashed upon the world, with Iceman fighting global warming, and the mutants of Krakoa discovering a new method of stopping aging permanently. While Apocalypse’s confession is clearly a product of comic book fiction, it’s yet another melding of actual human history with the secret role Marvel’s mutants played in the story every step of the way.
X-Men #4 is available now from your local comic book shop.
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