This article contains spoilers for X-Factor #9.
The X-Men are beginning to turn on their own leaders. The mutant race has gathered on the living island of Krakoa, and they are ruled by a select group of key figures from the mutant community. This so-called “Quiet Council” includes a number of former heroes and villains, with prominent members including Charles Xavier, Nightcrawler, Magneto, and Mr. Sinister.
Some of the Quiet Council’s decisions have been controversial, most notably the establishment of the Crucible, a brutal and violent way for depowered mutants to prove they “deserve” to be reborn as mutants once again. Meanwhile, individual members of the Council all have their own agendas; Mr. Sinister is happily pursuing cloning technology independent from Krakoa, while both Xavier and Magneto are keeping their own secrets. And it’s important to note the Quiet Council are accountable only to one another; they were never elected, and there’s no indication the members can ever lose their place. Ironically, Cyclops and Jean Grey are forming a new X-Men team that has more democratic accountability, because its members have been chosen by the mutants themselves.
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X-Factor #9, by Leah Williams and David Baldeon, suggests the mutants of Krakoa don’t really trust their own leaders. Northstar realizes members of his team are more powerful than the Council realized, and that they can be synergized together in a mutant “circuit.” He texts Dani Moonstar for advice, explaining that “I am terrified of the misappropriation of their skills because I do not trust leadership to leave well enough alone. They’re probably going to look at these young people in my care and just see all the ways in which their developing abilities could be weaponized.” Dani proposes catching up over dinner.
It’s a fascinating conversation, reflecting the deep distrust some mutants feel for their ostensible leaders. It’s not hard to see why Northstar fears the powers of the young mutants in his care being abused like this. As Way of X #1 showed, the Crucible itself is fostering a martial tradition on Krakoa, with mutants encouraged to seek combat and find ways to use their powers offensively. Indeed, Dani herself has been unable to resist duplicating the old Danger Room exercises with young mutants. Meanwhile, SWORD has confirmed the Quiet Council expects all mutants to perform their assigned roles, and they’re particularly keen to experiment with these “circuits.“
Northstar clearly believes Dani Moonstar will understand his concerns, and that in itself suggests he believes they are quite widely held. The mutant community may not be quite as cohesive as the Council believes. Given Cyclops’ new X-Men team have a clearer line of democratic accountability than the likes of Xavier and Magneto, this new society may well be beginning to break apart.
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