X-Men Just Revealed The TRUTH About Evil Mutants | Screen Rant
This article contains spoilers for Hellions #1.
The latest X-Men comics have confirmed – some mutants are born to be bad. In Marvel Comics, mutants are generally considered the next step in human evolution. Certain people are born with a latent X-gene, which triggers when they reach puberty, granting them superhuman powers.
Mutation has always been presented as something of a lottery. Some mutants look completely “normal,” and are able to fit in perfectly well with human society; others are visually different, sometimes even monstrous in appearance. Some powers are difficult or even impossible to control, such as Cyclops’ optic blasts or Rogue’s power absorption, while others are easy to master. But until now, it’s never been clear whether the development of mutant powers could actually warp an adolescent’s development, transforming them into a monster.
This week’s Hellions #1 – by Zeb Wells, Steven Segovia, and David Curiel – settles the issue once and for all. It features a deep-dive on Manuel de la Rocha, the mutant named Empath, who has the ability to manipulate the minds and emotions of others. It seems he’s been wreaking havoc on the island of Krakoa, and as a result, he’s been assessed by the island’s scientists and psychics. To their horror, they learned Empath is not a violent sociopath with an X-gene; rather, his X-gene transformed him into a violent sociopath.
Empath’s X-gene activated at an unusually young age, coloring his natural development and psychological growth. Most people learn right or wrong by observing the reactions of others, swiftly realizing that negative behavior generates painful responses. Empath, however, had no way of learning these lessons. No matter what he did, no matter how much pain he caused, he only had to flex his mutant mind and he would receive love and adulation. There were no consequences of abusing his powers, of taking advantage of others, and so he never had a way to learn right from wrong. Environmental cause and effect, the emotional data the mind requires to understand others, disappeared.
This raises the disturbing possibility some mutants are literally born to be bad; it is their genetic destiny, coded into their X-genes. Indeed, the pattern holds true with other examples too. Take the parasitic mutant Emplate, who feeds on the mutant energy of others; he was born with that appetite, forced to indulge it, and so gradually came to see others as nothing more than prey. An even more disturbing example is Charles Xavier; his telepathy persuaded him he was superior to others, with better judgment simply because he had more points of reference, and his ability to manipulate the minds of others led to him abusing his powers on several prominent occasions. In all these cases, the mutant’s flaws – sometimes the very aspects of their character that led them to villainy – originated in their X-gene.
This discovery is sure to send shockwaves through Krakoan society. What do the X-Men do with the mutants who are cursed by their powers, genetically predisposed to violence, sociopathy, or worse? In a surprising twist, Hellions #1 reveals the answer seems to be: Trust them to Mr. Sinister. That’s a decision the X-Men are sure to regret.
Hellions #1 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.