Omega Level. We don’t truly know what it means, but I think we’re about to get a taste of the future – the rise of Omega Level mutants of insane power! SPOILER NOTICE: Do not read this article until after reading Uncanny X-Men #25!
Here’s a roll call of the candidates I believe we have:
It’s all beginning in Uncanny X-Men. In Uncanny X-Men #25, we learned one of Charles Xavier’s last secrets. Years ago, Xavier finally got Cerebro working, and he discovered a powerful new mutant: Matthew Malloy. An eight-year-old child with tremendous power, Matthew is a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma. At eight years old he has the power to shut Charles out of his brain and nearly kill him.
Using the psychic guise of ‘Charlie’, a fellow child, Xavier approached Matthew and gained his trust. He then proceeded to shut the child down, establishing powerful psychic blocks and rewriting his memories. Xavier would return every year to ensure the blocks held. Now, of course, time has passed and Malloy’s powers have gone out of control. We still don’t really know what they are, but they seem formidable indeed…
Over the years, Malloy had tasted tragedy. He lost his wife in a Skrull attack (the Marvel Universe equivalent of a car accident), and an encounter with her sister sent the still-grieving Malloy out of control. He’s now wreaking havoc on a scale that terrifies S.H.I.E.L.D. Yes, the Omegas are coming, and S.H.I.E.L.D. now know it. Xavier’s secret, kept for the safety of the mutant race for years, is out of the bag!
Meanwhile, there’s one Omega we’ve known about for a while; Jean Grey. I’m now going to speculate that, until he used Cerebro, Xavier had no idea Jean was quite so powerful; when he saw her scale, he was worried.
As we all know, ANXM Jean’s powers have changed dramatically. In my Power Profile, I speculated that Xavier had something to do with this; now I’m happy to consider this proven. It’s a matter of record that Xavier introduced psychic blocks to shut off Jean’s telepathy for a while, but we now know from Matthew Molloy that for powerful mutants such blocks need to be periodically replenished.
I’m theorising that, throughout Jean’s life, Xavier periodically strengthened the psychic blocks. Now, ANXM Jean has been brought to a time without Xavier, and the blocks are failing…
One question remains: Why would Xavier not mention this in his will? Well, simple. For Xavier, Jean is dead. The fact he made the recording after Jean’s death is evident given his instruction to take Rachel or whoever the current telepath is to keep Malloy safe. If Jean were still alive at this point, he’d have mentioned Jean.
Will Bendis bring Franklin into this?
In a brilliant continuity nod, Bendis used the persona of Charlie to approach Matthew Malloy. In the 1990s, when Xavier kind of went nuts, the psychic entity Onslaught used exactly the same strategy to get close to Franklin Richards. Of course, since Onslaught was a projection of all Xavier’s secret guilts and fears, it makes perfect sense that Onslaught would use something tied to another of Xavier’s secrets. It’s just one of the clever touches Bendis used to ensure his Matthew Malloy plot actually fits comfortably into Marvel continuity.
But are the parallels more exact than that? Is Franklin – quoted by Celestials as being “beyond Omega” – one of this wave of mutants? Are Matthew Malloy and Franklin Richards on a similar scale?
In All-New X-Men #31 Bendis has introduced us to Carmen, a young mutant whose emergence sent Cerebro haywire. Her powers are unknown, but she can certainly transcend the multiverse; she’s glimpsed Asgard and sent the ANXM to the Ultimate universe!
I’d initially feared she’d be nothing more than a plot device, but is Carmen yet another of this dangerous, powerful new wave of mutants?