Until just recently, Wolverine has been on a psychic mission through time to save the lives of Charles Xavier’s ancestors from Omega Red, who tried to delve into the past to end the Xavier family line before the X-Men’s patriarch could be born. But now that he’s back on present-day Krakoa, he’s got to deal with an even deadlier threat than Omega Red – himself.
Or at least, the Phalanx infected version of Wolverine known as ‘Omega Wolverine’ that’s been running through X Deaths of Wolverine. Now in March 23’s X Deaths of Wolverine #5 (opens in new tab), the series finale, the two Wolverines have their bloody showdown, while at the same time the next stage in Moira MacTaggart’s evolution as a villain kicks off.
Spoilers ahead for X Deaths of Wolverine #5
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In the finale of X Deaths of Wolverine, Logan himself returns from his time-tossed mission just in time to face off with Omega Wolverine as the Phalanx infected doppelganger from the far-flung future rampages across Krakoa with the now dominant Phalanx programming driving him to try and destroy Krakoa’s ‘Cradle,’ the place where all the psychic information that is used to restore the minds of resurrected mutants is stored.
With Logan stepping in, Daken, Laura, and Gabby (the other Wolverines) back off, leaving the two versions of Logan to duke it out. Just as the mainstream Logan seems like he may lose, with Omega Wolverine having been reduced to a Phalanx-driven adamantium skeleton with few weaknesses, Sage arrives with a specially programmed Cerebro Sword which Logan uses to stab Omega Wolverine.
Sage’s counterprogramming in the sword causes Omega Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton to become unstable, neutralizing the techno-organic Phalanx infection in the process. Omega Wolverine’s disintegrating remains are absorbed by Krakoa to be disposed of, while elsewhere Beast observes Logan’s victory and muses that Wolverine’s violence may be the only true protection Krakoa can ever have.
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At the same time, Moira MacTaggart, who was nearly killed by Omega Wolverine in X Deaths of Wolverine #4 (opens in new tab), reaches the next evolution of her plan to bond with technology and bring humanity into a state of superiority over mutants. Despite her lack of mutant resurrection power, Moira manages to resurrect herself as a techno-organic cyborg seemingly built from the DNA of her first life as Moira Kinross – with the cyborg Moira actually rising from Moira Kinross’s grave while vowing to end mutantkind by any means necessary.
So what’s next for Moira and her crusade against mutants now that X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine have concluded, with ‘Destiny of X’ coming up to relaunch and revamp the X-Men line?
That, of course, remains to be seen, but the hints of what’s coming next have already been laid out, including in X Deaths of Wolverine #5, and it may come down to both Wolverine’s interaction with the Phalanx and Beast’s interpretation of Wolverine’s role on Krakoa.
In the upcoming ‘Destiny of X’ era X-Force status quo, the black ops team will face a new villain called Cerebrex, a twisted, evil version of Cerebro with designs on mutantkind. Could Cerebrex rise as a result of Krakoa absorbing Omega Wolverine’s Phalanx infected remains?
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And as for Beast, he’s been making some morally questionable decisions as one of the organizers of the aforementioned X-Force team, and his newly nurtured obsession with Wolverine’s violent tactics as a solution for protecting Krakoa may indicate where the team’s encounter with Cerebrex could lead.
That also means that there may be a bigger, even bloodier clash between Moira and Krakoa coming up, with both Moira herself and Beast expressing that they’re willing to do anything it takes to achieve their goals.
These threads will likely be picked up in April 6’s X-Force #27 (opens in new tab), which kicks off the title’s ‘Destiny of X’ status quo.
Stay on top of everything coming for Marvel’s mutants with our listing of all the new X-Men comics planned for release in 2022 and beyond.