WARNING! This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Powers of X #5 and potentially for future X-Men titles. Read at your own risk!
The review copy of Powers of X #5 that was sent to journalists this week may reveal major spoilers for the upcoming Dawn of X titles, which launch next month. On a heavily redacted data page listing the 14-person “Quiet Council of Krakoa,” just a few names are openly visible: Professor X and Magneto under the heading “Autumn,” Black King Sebastian Shaw and White Queen Emma Frost under the heading “Spring,” and Cypher and Krakoa itself under the heading “Krakoa.”
The other eight names under “Autumn,” “Winter,” “Spring,” and “Summer” are all blacked out. However, under “Winter,” one name is barely visible: Mystique, who has played a vital role in the establishment of Krakoa as a mutant nation-state, not to mention her involvement in Destiny explaining Moira X’s many futures to her in a past timeline. Since Mystique’s name is visible, it made me wonder — could the other blacked-out names be made visible through a simple copy-and-paste?
Turns out, they can. It’s unclear at time of writing whether Marvel intended for this page to be decodable or if the digital copy sent to journalists contains a file error that makes this possible. Once all of the text has been decoded, the “Quiet Council of Krakoa” seats the following 13 mutants, plus Krakoa:
- Professor X
- Mister Sinister
- Black King Sebastian Shaw
- White Queen Emma Frost
- Red Queen Kate Pryde
- Marvel Girl
There are plenty of implications to this list, starting with Kitty Pryde taking on the mantle of the Red Queen. Emma requested three spots on the council, which means she handpicks Kitty to oversee the black market drug distribution with herself and Sebastian. And although there is a note at the head of this data page — and Emma questions this in the issue as well — that the council may not be permanent, this selection of mutants reinforces the ideal that Krakoa can be for all mutants, no matter their alignment.
With two issues left to wrap up Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X and plenty of bombshell reveals already under his belt, it’s clear that whatever comes next is going to be just as explosive.