Since the island nation of Krakoa was born, a sword of Damocles has hung over the newborn nation. Though we’ve seen threats in X-Men and other Dawn of X titles, the greatest threat to Krakoa comes from within…
Jonathan Hickman, Matteo Buffagni, Sunny Gho, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller tell the story of Krakoa’s greatest enemy in X-Men #6
Raven Darkholme agreed to aid Xavier and Magneto in the dream of Krakoa in exchange for one thing- restoring her wife, the precognitive Destiny. Her latest mission takes her back to the Orchis facility that resulted in her death. However, her patience for Charles and Erik is wearing thin, as she recalls one of Destiny’s warnings…
Hickman revisits one of House of X’s most powerful plotlines, the relationship between Mystique and Destiny, as well as the latter’s antagonistic relationship with Moira X, Xavier and Magneto’s unseen partner. This story weaves through the Orchis threat to all of mutantkind to tell an intimate story about these two women and the love they shared. It’s an exciting espionage story, but its also a love story that is uniquely Mystique. It also breaks her away from years of storytelling influenced by the X-Men movies, showing her as a strong character on her own.
Buffagni’s choices in the art are smart, changing small things in service of the story. On Orchis, his line work is extremely detailed, giving the space station plotline a very claustrophobic and paranoid feel. For Mystique though, he goes sparse, which adds to the emotion, especially with Gho’s dark and moody colors.
Add those elements together, and this makes this issue feel like the most important in Dawn of X so far. It furthers the mythology of Orchis and Nimrod, especially pointing towards the latter’s birth, which is clearly in the near future. However, it tells a crucial story for Mystique, one of the most important characters in X-history.
It’s highly additive to her current plot and state of mind, but it also makes explicit one of the most important bits of subtext in Raven’s history- her queer identity. Not only that, Hickman goes one step further, building on the confirmation of their relationship in last year’s History of the Marvel Universe series, and retroactively makes Raven and Destiny the earliest canon gay marriage in Marvel history. Though it’s coming years, even decades, later than it should have, it’s great to finally have it here.
So what’s next for Raven Darkholme? It can’t be good for anyone in her way, but it’s absolutely going to be a blast for readers.
X-Men #6 is available now from Marvel Comics.