We have to love the look of the new X-Men Big Bad, Cordyceps Jones, as seen in today's X-Men #1 by Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz. As the X-Men have terraformed another planet, turning Mars into Arakko, and launched a new intergalactic currency Sol, made from their new metal mysterium, they have become more of a player on the intergalactic stage, and worthy of note from all people – or not-quite-people such as Cordyceps Jones.
Who appears to be a fungal-like being by way of Audrey II emerging from the corpse of a human astronaut, from where Jones appears to run the big intergalactic gambling den, and responsible for sending certain… challenges to the X-Men in order that people might bet on them. But what's in the name?
Cordyceps on Earth is an endoparasitoid fungus, parasitic mainly on insects and other arthropods. Basically, it grows on, or in, animals, from caterpillars to, well, astronauts. When a cordyceps fungus attacks a host, the mycelium invades and eventually replaces the host tissue, while extending outwards, and infecting others. You may have come across them in The Last of Us.
Krakoa is a society formed by vegetation, including the new New York headquarters in X-Men #1. But in X-Force, they have been weaponising plants and fungi to attack Terra Verdea. with unanswered questions about how Krakoa may be affecting its own mutants. Could they have all been infected by spores, changing the way they think, like ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus forcing ants to climb grass stems in order that they can be eaten by birds and their spores be spread.? Just a thought…
I wonder what Cordyceps Jones will make of that?
(W) Gerry Duggan (A/CA) Pepe Larraz
THESE X-MEN ARE… FEARLESS! The heroes of Krakoa are here to save the planet! Things might be complicated between the nation of Krakoa and the rest of the world, but to the X-MEN, things are simple – you do what's right, you protect those who need protecting and you save the world we all share. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Sunfire, Rogue, Wolverine, Synch and Polaris are the chosen champions of mutantkind, and they will not shrink from any battle for their home planet. Writer Gerry Duggan (MARAUDERS, DEADPOOL, UNCANNY AVENGERS) reteams with superstar artist Pepe Larraz (HOUSE OF X, X OF SWORDS, UNCANNY AVENGERS) to chart the course of the X-Men in a world of the Reign of X! Rated T+In Shops: Jul 07, 2021 SRP: $4.99
(W) Ben Percy (A) Robert Gill (A/CA) Joshua Cassara
FEAR OF A GREEN PLANET!
Beast plants the seeds; X-FORCE pulls the weeds. But not if MAN-SLAUGHTER has anything to say about it! Parental AdvisoryIn Shops: Jul 07, 2021 SRP: $3.99