Marvel Proved a Difference Between Two X-Men Superpowers Changes Everything

WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Inferno #4, on sale now from Marvel.

Tensions between the mutants of Krakoa have never been higher. After learning the truth about the founding of their nation, Emma Frost has gone behind the backs of Professor X and Magneto to try and steer mutantkind in a different direction. Choosing Mystique and Destiny to be her agents of change, Emma revealed to them a key difference between her powers and Xavier's.

During Inferno #4, by Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti, Stefano Caselli, David Curiel, VC's Joe Sabino and Tom Muller, she explained that, whereas Charles seeks out what makes a person strong, she targets what makes them weak. It was that difference that permitted Emma to discover what else was hidden from her, and it will be the defining trait that keeps her in power now that the Quiet Council has been informed of the truth.

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The revelation about their differences confirms something else: Even though Emma and Charles share similar powers, it is their fundamentally different worldviews that influence what those powers are capable of. It's the equivalent of giving one knife to a chef and another to a soldier; both would have uses for it, but their approaches would be extremely different.

Charles naturally wants to believe the best in people. It's why, during that same issue, he tried to trust that Nimrod would keep his word. That hope was quickly dashed, and was perhaps a portent that Emma's telepathy might be the more useful in the long run.

Both uses have their benefits. Charles is naturally someone who tries to lift up others; it's why he can connect with so many and bring them together as something greater. In contrast, Emma is a professional manipulator and deceiver. After years of working in the shadows, it makes sense that her more cynical perspective would enable her to employ her telepathy in different ways.

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That fundamental difference might actually protect her people, however. Now that Emma took the initiative to share the truth about Krakoa's founding, and the inevitable future awaiting mutants, Emma has made herself a permanent part of Krakoa's power structure. She took advantage of the weakness Charles and Magneto created, and shared the truth with the other councilors, ensuring that, moving forward, there will be no more secrets.

What's more, Emma has lost complete trust in both Charles and Magneto, now putting them on watch and making it known she will not be afraid to act as a counteragent if she deems their actions harmful to Krakoa. With her powerset and specific inclinations when it comes to telepathy, both men are now unable to shield secrets from her. While Charles and Emma may be on the same power level as telepaths, Emma's particular experiences have made her adept at seeking out the truth for her own benefit. In this case, what benefits her will probably benefit all mutants, as her refusal to trust Charles and Magneto will probably be a stabilizing influence as someone keeps them honest.

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Amer Sawan (661 Articles Published)

Amer Sawan is a reader, writer, and gamer and lover of all things nerdy from Florida. He is a graduate from the University of Florida with a B.A. in English. He has spent the past year writing for CBR. In his free time Amer enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends, both as a Dungeon Master and as a player. Follow him on twitter @AmerSawan3 and feel free to comment on article suggestions.

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