This is from House Of X #3, published three years ago. A look at what is known as the Omega Cycle, a way of transforming a human into a sentinel, or even hiding a sentinel in a human, until it is needed to take down and kill mutants – the aim of all Sentinels.
Not only can Sentinels can hide in plain sight, but so can plot lines. Especially in a Jonathan Hickman-helmed comic book title. Now, do we all remember the plot of the X-Men story Days Of Future Past by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin from 1980? Partially cribbed from the plot of Terminator (by time travel, obviously – Rich edits), it saw a dystopian future in which mutants are incarcerated in internment camps by Sentinels, and in which an adult Kate Pryde, courtesy of Rachel Summers, transfer her mind into her younger self, the present-day Kitty Pryde, who brings the X-Men to prevent a fatal moment in history that triggers anti-mutant hysteria. It was the basis for the 2014 feature film X-Men: Days of Future Past, in which Wolverine is sent back in time to prevent a similar event by Kate Pryde. That future, or versions of it, has been revisited numerous times in the comics.
Well, this time Jonathan Hickman does something different. Because people have asked if the X-Men are constantly tackling the big bad future, why does it never seem to change? Why is a version of Days Of Future Past always waiting? Welcome to Inferno #4.
In Powers Of X, we saw many of Moira Mactaggert's different future lives, with mutants falling to humans, to machines, to aliens. And the inference that this reality, the one with Krakoa, is the one that might let mutants survive the coming apocalypse. With Orchis, a team of human scientists from SHIELD, AIM, ARMOR, STRIKE, SWORD, HAMMER, Alpha Flight, Hydra, and more creating their new Sentinel technology like Nimrod, previously only seen coming from that far future. Created in the present day to defend against mutants. And Karima Shapandar, their Omega Sentinel.
Karima Shapandar was once a police officer from India who was transformed into an Omega Prime Sentinel by Bastion of the Operation: Zero Tolerance program. She had discovered she was a Prime Sentinel: humans transformed into Sentinels and set up as 'sleeper' agents, unaware of their programming until a nearby mutant activated them. Karima later resurfaced on the decimated mutant homeland of Genosha, where she encountered Charles Xavier and Magneto. The two were able to disable her Sentinel programming and restore her mind, but the technological modifications to her body remained. Karima stayed on the island with the others, working as a police officer to restore order while trying to adjust to her new form. Rogue officially recruited her onto the team to help fight the Children of the Vault. She then got possessed a lot. After one such possession, her tech was purged rendering her human. But in House Of X, for reasons unexplained, her sentinel programming was reactivated, travelled with the members of the Orchis group into space heading to a large space station called the Orchis Forge, built from a non-functional Mother Mold head, where she has worked with Orchis since. And it turns out she's done a Days Of Future Past for herself because she's not from around here anymore.
She has sent herself back into her own past to change it. And why? What is so wrong with the future?
The mutants won. It's vilification for the Krakoan experiment that, whatever happened, the mutants won, the humans and the machines lost, and so did the aliens too. It's a mutant paradise of the future, a revocation of the events of Days of Future Past.
But just as the mutants could send Kate Pryde back, so the machines and humans could send back Karima Shapandar. To awaken again as an Omega Sentinel early. To fight against the Tenth Life Of Moira Mactaggert and create yet another timeline for the Marvel Universe. And that is what the 616 now is. And she's been busy.
That's the problem with time travel, always one more swing of the bat in the House Of X.
INFERNO #3 (OF 4)
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) R. B. Silva (CA) Jerome Opena
Krakoa's troubles don't attack one at a time. Jonathan Hickman reunites with his POWERS OF X collaborator R.B. Silva for the penultimate chapter of his X-Swan Song.
RATED T+In Shops: Dec 08, 2021