The X-Men’s recent Hellfire Gala has raised a lot of questions for reporter Ben Urich, who could expose the mutants’ secret resurrection abilities.
Warning! Spoilers for X-Men #1 ahead!
The X-Men‘s ability to resurrect dead mutants on the island of Krakoa is in danger of being exposed by The Daily Bugle‘s co-owner and star reporter Ben Urich. Ironically it’s the extravagant fashions worn at the recent Hellfire Gala, which were designed to attract attention, that will end up giving away the mutants’ biggest secret.
Since forming their own nation on the living island of Krakoa, the mutants of the world have essentially overcome death and turned it into more of an inconvenience than a permanent state. By utilizing the powers of a group of mutants known as the Five, the X-Men have devised a way of resurrecting any mutant who is killed by growing a genetic replica of their body and implanting backups of their mind into it. The establishment of the new mutant nation was loudly announced to the entire planet, and the mutants made even louder declarations of sovereignty by hosting the world’s leaders at the Hellfire Gala, where they revealed that they had terraformed Mars and claimed it as a mutant homeworld. Despite all the publicity that the mutants of Krakoa have sought, their resurrection protocols have remained a closely guarded secret.
In X-Men #1 by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, Clayton Cowles and Tom Muller, the mutants once more attract attention by growing a new Treehouse headquarters in Central Park. While surveying the new base of operations, Cyclops is approached by Ben Urich, who is perhaps the most prominent journalist in the whole Marvel Universe. Cyclops tells Ben that he admires the reporter’s work, and the two begin talking about the Treehouse. Eventually the conversation turns to Jumbo Carnation, a famous mutant fashion designer. Jumbo had been the victim of a very high-profile murder years before, but has since been resurrected and went on to create a lot of the ornate fashions that mutants donned during the Hellfire Gala. Ben mentions that he covered the death of Jumbo years before. “Lotta unanswered questions about that one, but not one of them was whether he was dead or not. ‘Cause he was very dead.”
Cyclops abruptly cuts Ben off and ends the conversation before any more can be said. Later when Jean Grey asks Cyclops if this is going to be a problem, he replies, “I hope not. He’s very talented.” He’s not wrong about that. Ben Urich is an incredibly skilled investigator who has deduced the secret identities of both Daredevil and Spider-Man. In both those cases, he decided it best to bury the story and not expose the heroes’ real names. But there’s no doubt that if he starts pulling at threads regarding the Jumbo Carnation story, he is going to arrive at the truth of how the fashion icon survived his own murder.
In an editorial by Urich printed in the pages of X-Men #1, he acknowledges that many people are upset by recent steps that mutants have taken, but writes that he does not feel threatened by them. He admires the beauty of the Treehouse and expresses doubts that the mutants mean mankind any harm. This may be an indication that, when he inevitably discovers the truth about mutant resurrection, he will keep it a secret like he did with Spider-Man and Daredevil’s real names. However, the ability to casually resurrect the dead is a much bigger story than any one vigilante’s secret identity. He may feel it his obligation to inform the public of what the mutants can really do. And as co-owner of a print newspaper in the 21st century, he may feel that he can’t afford to sit on a huge story like this. There is a very real possibility that Ben Urich is going to tell the world that the mutants can bring back their dead. And if he does, it’s guaranteed that story will attract more attention than anything else the X-Men have done so far.
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