Warning! Spoilers for Wolverine #12 ahead!
The X-Men have taken their ability to resurrect dead mutants and turned it into a weapon against their enemies. Perhaps the most important development to Marvel’s X-Men books in decades is the formation of a mutant nation where a group known as the Five can bring mutants back to life. The Five combine their powers to grow a genetic duplicate of the deceased, and Charles Xavier then uses Cerebro to implant a backup copy of the mutant’s mind into the husk. While this secret resurrection ability has been used as a defense against death and those who hate mutants, the most recent issue of Wolverine sees it being used as an offensive tool against vampires.
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In recent issues of Wolverine and The Avengers, Dracula has been assembling the world’s vampires in Chernobyl with the goal of creating a sovereign Vampire Nation. Using the mutants’ Krakoa as a model, Dracula presents the Vampire Nation as a haven for a species that has faced discrimination and violence from the rest of humanity. However, behind the scenes Dracula has more sinister plans for domination. These plans include capturing Wolverine in order to use the healing factor in his blood to allow vampires to survive in daylight. Wolverine has combatted this by hunting down and slaughtering nests of vampires around the world. But now he and Beast are trying a different tactic.
Towards the end of Wolverine #12 by Benjamin Percy, Scot Eaton, JP Mayer, Oren Junior, Matthew Wilson, Cory Petit and Tom Muller, Beast devises a Trojan Horse strategy to take down the vampires. Rather than turning Wolverine over to Dracula, they use the powers of the Five to create a duplicate of Wolverine’s body, but without the backup of his mind implanted in it. They tamper with this body’s DNA, imbuing the blood with “photonic cells derived from plankton that produce their own luminescence.” As Beast puts it, this effectively turns the Wolverine clone into a “dirty bomb.” After getting their hands on the weaponized Wolverine clone, some elite vampires drink his blood, which burns them from the inside.
As head of X-Force, the mutant version of the CIA, Beast has shown that he is increasingly willing to resort to underhanded tactics in order to take down Krakoa’s enemies. When the House of X miniseries established the rules of the resurrection protocols, it was noted that there has never been a case of the Five creating a duplicate of a living mutant. Resurrection is an almost sacred ritual on Krakoa, and the entire team of X-Factor was established to investigate mutant deaths so that living mutants would not be mistakenly resurrected. But Beast does not play by the rules, so it checks that the first instance of “resurrecting” a living mutant would be during the creation of a weapon to kill the mutants’ perceived enemies.
Setting aside the fact that Krakoa’s “Kill No Man” law apparently does not apply to vampires, this sets a dangerous precedent for how mutants will be able to use their resurrection abilities. As someone who is always one step ahead of his enemies, Beast likely has more plans on how other mutants can be turned into weapons. The X-Men have been willing to let mutants like Wolverine go into situations where they could die, armed with the knowledge that they can be resurrected, but this is a case where a living being is created specifically to be offered up as a sacrificial lamb. It’s conceivable they could go even further and resurrect duplicates of living mutants with their complete minds intact, the implications of which are impossible to imagine.
Next: The X-Men’s Storm Was Dracula’s Mistress
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