The Only Way to Stop the X-Men's Greatest Threat Is a Cruel Weapon From Their Past

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

The X-Men have been contending with a series of major changes to their place in the world since the formation of Krakoa. One of the largest silent threats though has remained Moira X, who helped unite the mutant nation in the first place. But her powers have also had the potential to undo all the progress that has been made.

Inferno #4 (by Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti, Stefano Caselli, David Curiel, and VC's Joe Sabino) reveals the ultimate way to end any threat Moira X posed to Krakoa. But doing so requires the use of a dangerous invention created years ago by a mutant genius.

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Having captured Moira X in the previous issue, Mystique and Destiny finally have the chance to confront their old enemy once again. Initially, Moira is convinced that they won't kill her, out of fear that doing so will reset the timeline and erase all of the recent gains made by the mutant race. However, it turns out that the pair have found a loophole: thanks to Emma Frost, the pair have ended up in possession of one of Forge's Neutralizers. A devastating device, the gun allows Mystique to effectively remove Moira's powers, rendering her a regular human and taking away any chance for resurrection. It's actually a brilliant move, removing Moira's most potentially devastating weapon against the current mutant population.

Forge's Neutralizer was introduced in Uncanny X-Men #184-185 (by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr.). After analyzing the Naturalizer used by the alien Spaceknight Rom, Forge was able to find a way to create his own version of the item. The device was capable of neutralizing any superhuman gift, rendering the target a regular human being. Despite Forge's protests, Henry Peter Gyrich ended up with the weapon and attempted to use it on Rogue. Instead, he hit Storm with a full blast from the device, depriving Storm of her Omega-Level powers. Forge swore to never create such a device again, arguing that it was too cruel of a weapon to be used on mutants, whose very identities are tied into their powers. But that hasn't erased the potentially devastating power of such a weapon, or that it was just used to potentially save the mutant race.

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The concept of the Naturalizer remained a potentially powerful counter to superhumans however and has finally been retrofitted for a new purpose. Forge may have done his best to keep the device from ever being rebuilt, and has resisted any temptation to do so out of regret over the creation of the original. But Mystique and Destiny may have just saved Krakoa from ever being reset, undoing all the sacrifices and progress made for the mutant nation. By removing Moira's powers, Destiny and Mystique are able to render her powerless in the truest sense of the word. No longer can she threaten to restart the timeline and her secrets stand revealed, namely that she wanted to erase the X-Gene entirely.

At the end of the day, the Neutralizer is a cruel weapon, possessing the power to forcibly remove a major part of a mutant's identity. But upon the discovery of Moira's true intentions and her machinations, it's a fitting end to the character's current role. In effect, one of the greatest existential threats to the modern era of mutant advancement has been eliminated, albeit in one of the most painful ways possible for a person who was once one of the X-Men's most powerful allies.

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About The Author
Brandon Zachary (4342 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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