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X-Men’s Resurrection Is Officially Broken

Warning: SPOILERS for A.X.E: Judgment Day #5

The X-Men have officially broken all the rules of mutant resurrection, and the Marvel Universe will never be the same. Ever since the concept was introduced in the X-Men series Krakoa reboot, the mutants of Earth could die and return to life with remarkable ease, thanks to the powers of five mutants and Krakoa’s own unique properties. Up until now, this process could only work on deceased mutants, and humans could not resurrect at all – but A.X.E: Judgment Day #5 breaks the one rule of resurrection by bringing back a human leader, the Earth’s champion, and the most important Avenger.


The 2019 X-Men soft relaunch by writer Jonathan Hickman introduced an entirely new status quo to Marvel’s mutants in the form of an island nation called Krakoa. All mutants, even villains, worked together for the benefit of the entire species, and the result was a safe haven for mutants with advanced technology, protection from human laws, and a welcoming society that embraced the concept of a home for mutants – and only mutants (with few exceptions, humans are not allowed on Krakoa at all). Out of all the new concepts and ideas introduced in the reboot, mutant resurrection was the most revelatory – but when the secret of the process was revealed to the public, anti-mutant fires were stoked to such a degree that the resulting conflagration now threatens to erode all prior progress to lasting peace.

Related: The X-Men Are Using Murder To Achieve Their Political Goals

The X-Men attempted to pacify humans by revealing the fact that their resurrection technology only works on mutants – but A.X.E: Judgment Day #5, written by Keiron Gillen with art by Valerio Schiti, proves this assertion wrong in a dramatic fashion. The Progenitor Celestial, having judged the population of the Earth and finding them lacking, decides to destroy the planet for good. Krakoa is destroyed, multiple heroes are killed (Thor, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, and dozens of others), and the remaining defenders of Earth have few options against a Godlike Celestial. The mutants decide to use one of their last remaining eggs to resurrect the one superhero who, in Nightcrawler’s words, “Earth needs right now”: Captain America, the human leader of the Avengers.

As Captain America breaks out of his resurrection egg, so to have the X-Men shattered all previously-established rules about the concept. For years, the inhabitants of the Marvel Universe (and readers) were under the impression that resurrection simply could not work on non-mutant beings. This is clearly false, and thus three possibilities allow Captain America to return from the dead: either Steve Rogers is a secret mutant, the X-Men don’t know about their most important technology, or the X-Men have lied and resurrection was possible for everyone since the beginning.

Comic book characters have a habit of returning from the dead in regular fashion, but this is an in-universe method of cheating Death on a scale never before seen in the Marvel Universe. When (or if) the Progenitor Celestial is defeated, the X-Men must answer to humanity for their refusal to share the powers of resurrection. Captain America may be the first human the X-Men bring back, but unless the resurrection technology is destroyed, he will not be the last.

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