Why a Violent X-Men Leader's Superpower Is Key to a Marvel Baby's Survival

The X-Men's Cable wasn't always a grizzled old warrior from the future. Before he was sent forward in time to grow up and become the man who could defeat Apocalypse, he was Nathan Christopher Summers, Cyclops' infant son. Cyclops and Jean Grey initially cared for baby Nathan with the help of their X-Factor teammates.  X-Factor had a lot of enemies, so Nathan was sometimes put in dangerous situations by those who wanted to hurt his parents. Fortunately, Nathan developed a way to protect himself with his telekinetic mutant ability, a method which was later borrowed for Jubilee's infant son, Shogo.

Whenever he found himself in danger, baby Nathan would protect himself by forming a telekinetic bubble that prevented enemies from hurting him. He first manifested this ability as a reflex when being attacked by a troll that had kidnapped him and the other members of X-Factor in X-Factor #42 (by Louise Simonson, Arthur Adams, Al Milgrom, Tom Vincent, and Joe Rosen). Later, Jean taught Nathan to control this ability and to form a bubble whenever he was potentially in danger. Jean's telekinetic powers and her telepathic bond with Nathan allowed her to teach him to use his powers in this way, and he was able to protect himself anytime X-Factor's enemies tried to come after him.

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Many years later, in X-Men #15 (by Brian Wood, Matteo Buffagni, Paul Mounts, and VC's Joe Caramagna), Jubilee taught her adopted infant son Shogo a similar trick. Jubilee adopted Shogo after rescuing him from a disaster site, but Shogo's villainous father broke out of prison and threatened to kidnap him. To protect him in case of an attack, Jubilee procured a device that would form a small forcefield around Shogo when he activated it, much like baby Nathan's telekinetic bubble. Even though Shogo was just a baby, he was able to operate the protective device when his father came after him. Although this method used technology instead of mutant powers, it was no less successful, and Shogo remained unharmed.

The comic never specifically says that Shogo's forcefield was based on Nathan's telekinetic bubble from X-Factor, but the inspiration is obvious. This callback reveals an important truth about the X-Men, which is that it's always going to be dangerous for the X-Men to raise children of their own since their status as X-Men makes them targets. Therefore, these types of safety measures will always be necessary for infants associated with the X-Men.

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To some extent, this is true of all superheroes, and it's part of the reason why there aren't too many superheroes with babies. It's a dangerous occupation by nature. However, this is particularly the case for the X-Men, who are often the targets of anti-mutant bigotry and hate crimes. Mutants and their children are at extra risk.

Now that Krakoa has been established as a safe haven for mutants, the X-Men don't have to worry as much about the safety of their young children. This is true whether the children are mutants or humans. Shogo is a human baby, but Krakoa has granted Jubilee permission for him to stay with her on Krakoa. Still, as the mutants of Krakoa follow the law to "make more mutants," it would be in their best interest to remember the danger that the children of mutants once experienced and the safety measures that the X-Men took to protect them.

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Devi Singh (12 Articles Published)

Devi Singh has a bachelor's degree in English and loves writing about comics.

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