Warning: SPOILERS for Excalibur #1
The X-Men‘s new mutant nation was invaded by a mystical force in Excalibur #1 – and it could be a very familiar foe. Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men relaunch has seen the X-Men establish a mutant nation on the living island of Krakoa. And it hasn’t taken long for Krakoa to come under attack.
To the X-Men’s surprise, the first invader appears to be a mystical force originating from a realm called Otherworld. A mysterious portal has opened between Otherworld and Krakoa, and Apocalypse persuaded Rogue to attempt to drain power from it. Too late, the X-Men realized that there was some sort of entity inside the portal, a mystical being that was seeking a host. It’s left Rogue comatose, her body apparently transmutating. Disturbingly, Excalibur #1 subtly hints that Apocalypse intended this to happen.
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Excalibur #1 deliberately avoids identifying the magical entity, but it may have provided a clue. The same issue reveals that the X-Men have just used their Cerebro/cloning technology to resurrect Jamie Braddock, an Omega level mutant with the power to warp reality. Brother of Psylocke and Captain Britain, Jamie Braddock’s mind is twisted and broken. He was actually killed by Psylocke herself, in order to avert a future timeline… in which he struck a deal with a magical force that took his body as a host.
According to Uncanny X-Force #23, this quasi-demonic entity was a creature called Horo’amce. Psylocke described Horo’amce as “the goat devil of self-propagation,” and revealed that he exists purely to spread, to multiply and dominate. While the idea of a goat-demon seems a little left-field to American readers, Excalibur is heavily influenced by British mysticism, and they’re a lot more common in European witchcraft mythology. Some scholars point to the influence of Greek mythology (with gods such as Pan), or the Medieval demon Baphomet, who the Knights Templar were accused of worshiping in the 1300s. Marvel’s Horo’amce is an interesting and powerful foe, and he’d be fascinated by the idea of Krakoa, where potential clone-body hosts are being created by the thousands every day.
If this is indeed Horo’amce, then it suggests the X-Men have unwittingly reinitiated a timeline Psylocke had taken extreme measures to avert. The creature has arrived on Krakoa, but there’s absolutely no reason to expert it to remain inside Rogue’s body. Instead, it will seek a new host – and it will naturally look towards the most powerful Omega mutants like Jamie Braddock. Should Jamie Braddock’s power and the consumptive desires of Horo’amce combine, then Otherworld itself will likely fall under its sway – and from there, Horo’amce could spread throughout the entire Multiverse.
Excalibur #1 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.
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