WARNING: The following contains spoilers for X-Men #6, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
Recently, the X-Men have become more accepted by the public than ever, even as they've garnered fear from world leaders and several other heroes in the Marvel Universe. However, in an effort to keep their newfound popularity as well as their greatest secret, one major mutant has been effectively forced back into hiding.
X-Men #6 (by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and VC's Clayton Cowles) reveals that Cyclops is secretly the new hero known as Captain Krakoa. But the reason behind the change and the effect it has already caused is a quiet tragic for one of the original founding members of the mutant team.
The X-Men have been contending with a potentially devastating blow to their newfound public acceptance. After discovering evidence of Cyclops' resurrection, Ben Urich was poised to reveal it to the public. However, the mutant nation has responded by initiating a conspiracy to cover up the truth. The Quiet Council elects to hide the truth of Cyclops' resurrection and fakes his death. As the public mourns Scott Summers, Cyclops adopts the new identity of Captain Krakoa. Seemingly utilizing a different set of powers (no doubt thanks to Krakoan technology), this new hero "joins" the X-Men and is universally accepted by the public. On paper, the identity switch covers up Urich's research, and a subsequent mind-wipe erases any suspicions about the mutants' resurrection capabilities.
It's clear that this decision weighs heavily on Cyclops. The X-Men leader addressed the Quiet Council and did his best to argue against this plan, but due to a nearly unanimous vote, the conspiracy is enacted and Captain Krakoa is added to the formal roster of the X-Men. Seemingly using Krakoan technology and an image inducer, Cyclops adopts the new identity and gets to work in New York City, but it's clear that the veteran X-Man is unsettled by this development. Making matters worse, his call to Urich reveals that all knowledge of his former investigation has been erased from the reporter's mind. This also seems to weigh heavily on the heroic mutant, who no doubt feels somewhat betrayed by the nation he loves.
This is a heartbreaking development for Cyclops. After years of ostracization as a mutant and then condemnation for his actions during Avengers vs. X-Men, he had finally been heralded and accepted as a hero. Working to protect the Earth, he and the X-Men had finally gained the respect of the people they protected. But now, he's been forced to turn his back on the acceptance he's always fought for. Even if the people of the world love Captain Krakoa and honor the memory of Cyclops, it still feels hollow to Scott Summers. After years of embracing his identity and fighting for acceptance, he's been forced back into the shadows.
The erasure of Urich's memory also speaks to the lengths that the mutant nation is now willing to go to hide their secrets. While the telepaths on Krakoa crossed some ethical lines with their fellow heroes to conceal the truth about resurrection, their treatment of Urich feels different. As the reporter argued to Cyclops previously, the pursuit of truth and accountability isn't a sin. And yet, simply for doing his job, Urich had his memories taken away from him. It's an ethical line that Professor Xavier and his team have opposed in the past, but seem to have embraced in this new modern age.
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