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Exclusive X-Men Preview: A Missing Marvel Mutant Returns - And So Does A Mystery

The X-Men's dream of creating a mutant paradise on the sentient island known as Krakoa is crumbling. The nation and its people are both fighting to survive as the war against Orchis and the threat of Dominion's recently revealed A.I. god loom over them. With the living island under attack by Stark Sentinels (a version of the mutant-hunting robots that are even more powerful due to their use of Tony Stark's tech), Marvel's mutant heroes are doing everything possible to save their people. In Xoop's exclusive preview of "X-Men: Forever" #3 (by Kieron Gillen, Luca Maresca, Federico Blee, and VC's Clayton Cowles), a key ally joins the fight in the form of a mutant released from his mysterious stasis in Krakoa.

Cypher, aka Doug Ramsey, is an integral part of the Krakoan Age. His mutant ability to understand and communicate in any language enables him to speak directly with the island itself. He has acted as its interpreter, earning him a seat on the mutant governing body, the Quiet Council. However, in "Immortal X-Men" #13 (by Gillen, Lucas Werneck, David Curiel, and Cowles), sensing Krakoa was sick, Doug called for the council's dissolution. When the act passed, Krakoa wrapped its vines around him, telling the council it was protecting the young mutant from what was coming but providing no further information in the months since taking this action. 

Now, chaos and calamity have broken out across Krakoa. While the X-Men take on the Sentinels and other evil forces looking to exterminate all mutants, Cypher has been released from his stasis. Krakoa explains to the X-Man that they sensed the current mayhem before it happened and wished to protect their friend, but now Doug has to figure out his role in saving mutantkind once again.

Cypher returns as the X-Men are in peril

In Xoop's exclusive first look at "X-Men: Forever" #3, Cypher awakens from his forced hibernation inside Krakoa. In the subsequent conversation with the living island, the hero learns about the death and destruction that occurred at the Hellfire Gala, leading to mutants being hunted as the public turns against them once again, and how Krakoa itself is on the verge of collapse. Making matters worse, when Doug is released from Krakoa's hold, he emerges to find the mutant paradise being actively attacked and overrun by Stark Sentinels. He watches in horror as mutants defend their home against the all-out Orchis assault. It remains to be seen why Krakoa freed Cypher amidst the attack, but the timing is obviously deliberate, and he will play a crucial role in future events.

Meanwhile, Hope Summers' quest to reactivate the Phoenix continues within the White Hot Room, where she was last seen confronting the fiery being. She communicates with Jean that she's searching for the powerful cosmic entity and needs to send a message home for potential reinforcements. When she's told that the Phoenix is scared, Hope quickly encourages her allies to join her in using Morse code to call for help with an S.O.S. signal.

Check out the full preview of "X-Men: Forever" #3 below.

The Krakoan era nears its finale

Unfortunately, the X-Men's battle against Orchis and Dominion appears to be heading for the nation's destruction, despite the mutants' efforts to prevent Krakoa's fall. The tease of the next era of X-Men stories, "From the Ashes," suggests Hope's attempts to use the Phoenix to help save mutantdom will be successful, but at the cost of the death of the Krakoan Age. But before that happens, Marvel's mutants will battle tooth and nail to ensure they live to fight another day.

Mark Brooks' cover for "X-Men: Forever" #3 features Destiny and Mystique in an action-packed fight while their son Nightcrawler BAMFs into the conflict, teasing yet another twist in the soon-to-end conflict. The text solicitation for the issue can be found below.

Now... War in Krakoa! A hunt in the White Hot Room! And a heartwarming family reunion (by which we mean "possibly involving setting fire to someone's heart with a flamethrower"). Spinning out from RISE OF THE POWERS OF X and IMMORTAL X-MEN comes a must-read for the conclusion of the Krakoan Age!

Cypher officially returns in "X-Men: Forever" #3, available in comic book stores and vial online merchants on May 8, 2024.