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The cover of Immortal X-Men #14
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Immortal X-Men’ #14 reveals the aftermath of a deadly fall

No one survived the experience.

Professor X made a mistake at the Hellfire Gala. After working for decades to build a mutant safe haven, he made a fatal mistake. 250,000 mutants are either missing or dead. That’s a daunting prospect for anyone to consider even in the abstract. In Immortal X-Men #14, Kieron Gillen, Lucas Werneck, David Curiel, and Clayton Cowles zoom in on Professor Charles Xavier for an in-depth view of what that actually means.

SPOILERS AHEAD for Immortal X-Men #14!

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Kneeling on the beaches of a sleeping island, Professor X watches an empty sea. Flashbacks of unimaginable horror play before him, while he sits, transfixed, with a shocked face that looks remarkably like Keiron Gillen’s.

It has been X weeks since the Gala. Whether that means 10 weeks or an indeterminable amount is currently unknown, but the weight of time has been heavy on Xavier’s shoulders. It would be significant, and it is, but Xavier is not the only member of the Quiet Council left.

This issue revolves around Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost (now calling herself Hazel Kendal), Selene, Destiny, Hope Summers, and Exodus still live and breathe. Or do they?

Charles Xavier in Immortal X-Men #14

Marvel Comics

There is a lot to pick through in Immortal X-Men #14. Shaw’s business prospects tie back to his own point of view issue all the way back in Immortal X-Men #6. Shaw traded away his loyalty then, and he’s done it again here. Only, once more, his efforts have come back to bite.

Shaw is no longer a mutant, which is an excellent direction for the character. Having helped ensure the proliferation of sentinels across the world, Shaw isn’t wrong that his connection to his mutant nature is tenuous at best. While the Quiet Council viewed the X-gene as a rallying cry for culture — with Exodus going so far as to proclaim its religious significance — Shaw was never so profoundly tied to the gene. It was just a gene to him, and now it is no longer part of him.

But, really, what is a mutant without the X-gene? Shaw thinks he knows, but it doesn’t seem that he does. He plays his part as if he still has endless power, and it’s exactly why it is so thrilling to see Mother Righteous playing him for a fool. Shaw thought that he bargained for ownership of Krakoa, but a business deal with a magician was never going to go well for him. Mother Righteous has power, and Shaw has none.

To make matters worse for Shaw, business is not solely his domain. Emma Frost and Kingpin have also taken to haunting his life. The secretive deal between Emma and Kingpin from Invincible Iron Man has come to light. Kingpin owns the Hellfire Club. Shaw is on his own, and Emma is happy to appear, solely so she can mock him for it.

Xavier flashing back to the Gala in Immortal X-Men #14

Marvel Comics

In her telepathic appearance, Werneck adds a nice touch to Immortal X-Men by mimicking the costume from her first appearance. Directly tied to the Hellfire Club, Emma lands a lasting blow against Shaw. The mogul has been taking hit after hit since this era began, but it is especially nice to see him fall after the rest of the mutants suffered a collapse of their own.

Shaw isn’t the only call that Emma makes. She reaches out to Xavier as well, but her message doesn’t take her far. The Professor is content to spend the rest of Immortal X-Men scaring people off of this makeshift grave of an island. He doesn’t need a partner. In his dying moments, Magneto promised that Xavier was a good man who would martyr them all. The words have come true, and Xavier now needs to ensure the continued worship of his martyred mutants. It’s all he has left, and it is painfully tragic.

It’s hard to love a man like Charles Xavier, who has reaped so much devastation over the years. Half of the X-Men are traumatized, directly because of his actions, and Immortal X-Men itself directly charts the way that his actions caused the Fall of X. Yet, at his lowest moment, it’s hard not to pity him. Xavier has spent so many years as a morally gray — or downright morally inept — figure. Now, with Magneto dead and the mutants gone, the tragedy sits squarely on his shoulders. It’s a mark of Gillen’s talents that he really does feel sympathetic here.

Xavier flashing back to the Gala in Immortal X-Men #14

Marvel Comics

But Xavier’s actions haven’t killed his people yet. Somewhere in a desert in the middle of nowhere, Exodus, Destiny, and Hope stand with 250,000 mutants. They are confused, lost, and scared. They are the entire population of Krakoa, and they are afraid.

It’s what Exodus has been waiting for throughout Immortal X-Men. He is Moses in the desert, and he is ready to lead his people to the holy land. It’s an interesting visual allusion, and it is one that clearly doesn’t escape Exodus. After Immortal X-Men #13 easily could have been a swan song for the character, it’s nice to see that Exodus can continue to play a major role going forward. He’s a character who was often overlooked before this era, but he is so much fun, it’s hard not to find him compelling.

The sight of the missing mutants is also a welcome surprise. There was no chance that so many mutants were actually permanently killed in a one-off scene, but the reveal is still rewarding. Werneck also draws the scene beautifully and makes it painfully memorable.

There is so much narrative weight in Immortal X-Men #14 that it can be hard to fathom it all. Gillen manages to create a despicable villain in Shaw without rendering him a one-note supervillain. He manages to create a true tragedy in Professor X that could easily have been reviled. He even manages to give a new edge to Exodus and Hope. In just one issue, that is more than admirable.

The cover of Immortal X-Men #14
‘Immortal X-Men’ #14 reveals the aftermath of a deadly fall
Immortal X-Men #14
There is so much narrative weight in Immortal X-Men #14 that it can be hard to fathom it all. Gillen manages to create a despicable villain in Shaw without rendering him a one-note supervillain. He manages to create a true tragedy in Professor X that could easily have been reviled. He even manages to give a new edge to Exodus and Hope. In just one issue, that is more than admirable.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.5
Somehow, Charles Xavier is a touching and sympathetic figure.
Shaw has become a truly multifaceted villain with a brilliant arc.
The story and characterizations were impeccable and completely believable.
The completely white background issues in the art continue to run through the book.
9.5
Great
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