X-Men is Introducing a New, Permanent Cure for Mutation

Warning: contains spoilers for Inferno #4!

Several classic X-Men storylines have been based around the “cure” for mutation, and now a new type of cure has arrived, one that is permanent—taking the powers away before they even manifest. In Inferno #4, on sale now in print and digital, the X-Men learn Moira McTaggert has created a new formula that improves on previous cures.

Inferno has explored the cracks rapidly appearing in the foundations of Krakoan society. The island paradise, home to Earth’s mutants, was founded by Magneto and Professor X, using knowledge gained from Moira McTaggert. Krakoa was created to be a safe haven for mutants, where they could live without fear of oppression and violence. However, Moira was hiding a secret and Krakoa’s founders agreed to hide her away in order to preserve it. Recently, the precognitive mutant Destiny was resurrected, threatening to expose Moira’s secrets, which could unravel the foundations of Krakoa and all the mutants have worked to achieve.  And now Moira’s secret has been exposed—she wants to cure mutants, and has developed a new, and crueler way of doing so. Inferno #4 is written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Valerio Schiti and Stefano Caselli, colors by David Curiel and letters by Joe Sabino.

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Krakoa’s laws prevent mutants from killing other mutants, which puts Mystique in a bind. She wishes to kill Moira for what she has done but cannot. She brings this dilemma to Emma Frost, who reminds her of the law, saying Mystique cannot kill Moira “as long as she’s a mutant.” Mystique recounts a weapon devised by Forge that could rob a mutant of their mutation, making them human. Forge never used it, and never disclosed its existence to others. However, Emma Frost has it, and suggests Mystique use it. Mystique then captures Moira and threatens to use the weapon on her. She calls out Moira’s agenda, saying Moira wishes to cure mutation. Moira agrees, but calls Forge’s device “clumsy.” She explains her device, unlike Forge’s, takes away powers before they manifest. Moira goes on to explain that those it’s used on will never know what they missed.

The cure for mutation has been done in the X-Men comics before, most notably in the first arc of 2004’s Astonishing X-Men. It also factored prominently into 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand film. What separates these cures from Moira McTaggert’s is hers takes away the mutation before it manifests itself. While she feels this is an act of mercy on her part, sparing generations from what she deems unnecessary persecution, it is senseless and cruel, and she is seemingly unaware of this fact.

The cure for mutation stories has grown out of the changing political subtexts of the X-Men. Starting as a simple allegory for racism, it has grown to encompass other identities as well, including LGBTQIA+ and persons with disabilities. “Cures” for these populations have been pushed in mainstream culture, and storylines such as the cure for mutation reflect the insidious nature of said “cures.” Moira, a powerful mutant herself, pushing such an evil on the X-Men speaks volumes to her self-loathing.

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Shaun Corley (1207 Articles Published)

Shaun Corley is a pop culture enthusiast living in the Pacific Northwest. After stints in both customer service and academia, he's turned his attention to writing about comic books--his lifelong passion. He is a graduate of Radford University, with a degree in English. When not reading comics, he enjoys spending time with his fiance and their dog.

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