Warning: SPOILERS for X-Men #3
It’s official; the X-Men are facing their weirdest enemies yet. Over the decades, Marvel’s merry mutants have built up a rogues’ gallery that includes some the most iconic villains in comics. Their enemies include the likes of Magneto, the Master of Magnetism; Apocalypse, an ancient mutant dedicated to an ideology of survival of the fittest; and the ruthless, murderous Sabretooth.
But, of course, they’ve also gone up against some pretty weird enemies. Who can forget John Sublime, a sentient bacteria from the dawn of time? And then there’s Nanny, an egg-shaped mutant who turned Storm into a teenager. Mojo has become something of a legend, a media mogul who rules an alternate reality called the Mojoverse and regularly kidnaps the X-Men to provide entertainment to the masses.
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Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men #3 has introduced the weirdest of the lot. Hordeculture is a group of four like-minded scientists; agrochemist Augusta Bromes, bioengineer Opal Vetiver, geneticist Lily Leymus, and botanical engineer Edith Scultch. These four elderly women have had enough of seeing humanity make a mess of the planet. Their goal is to find a way to render the human race extinct, so the Earth can return to a pristine and unspoiled state. Hordeculture may sound like an absurd threat, but they’re smart enough to hack Krakoa‘s portals and steal Krakoan flowers for research. The X-Men swiftly learn that they shouldn’t pull their punches when dealing with Hordeculture – but it’s a lesson they learn too late.
Apparently Hordeculture has been working in the shadows for the last two years, sowing their own seeds in with normal crops. As a result, in ten years’ time they expect to have total control of the world’s food supply. Apparently they’re still bickering over what should happen next; one of Hordeculture just wants everyone dead, another thinks the future should belong to the children, and the other two members are of varying genocidal intent. And then the X-Men showed up, with a living island and Krakoan plants, and Hordeculture realized their plans could be in ruins.
The first encounter with Hordeculture doesn’t go well, with the group successfully cutting off the Savage Land and harvesting Krakoan flowers for further study. Cyclops leads a small group of X-Men to Australia to pick up the teleporter Gateway, but they find themselves outclassed by the scientists, who’ve prepared the perfect tools to take out mutants. Soon Sebastian Shaw and Cyclops have both lost their powers, and Scott Summers is being beaten up by four elderly women who do water aerobics and yoga four days a week at the YMCA. It takes Emma Frost turning to her diamond form to force Hordeculture to retreat.
Let’s face it, this is weird, even for comics.
X-Men #1 is on sale in comic shops now.
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