The long-anticipated return to The Vault kicks off in today's X-Men #19 by Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar, following on from a hanging plotline from well over a year ago. The three X-Men sent into The Vault by Cyclops on a recon mission, in the anticipation of an encounter with The Children Of The Vault. And then not coming out. Knowing that in The Vault, time passes so much faster.
But they chose three X-Men who would be able to survive that. Laura Kinney, clone of Wolverine who has healing powers, Darwin who can evolve to survive anything, including the passage of time, and Synch who can copy the mutant powers of those he encounters – including Wolverine and Darwin.
And so, trapped in The Vault, they live, prosper and survive.
"The first ten million years were the worst, and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline." – Marvin, Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
As the centuries pass, it also means that Laura Kinney: Wolverine is now older than Logan. The years pass on her, though less than on others.
And as they survive, The Children Of The Atom also change. Turns out the current lot are not the previous lot encountered by the X-Men, but their descendants. And so, then, so are these.
As for where it goes, how it ends and moving forward? It will break your heart.
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) Mahmud Asrar (CA) Leinil Francis Yu
ESCAPE FROM THE VAULT! Rated T+In Shops: Mar 31, 2021 SRP: $3.99
X-Men #19 is published by Marvel Comics today. I bought my copy from Piranha Comics in Kingston-Upon-Thames. Piranha Comics is a small south London comic store chain with a small south-east store in Kingston-Upon Thames's market centre, and a larger south-west store in Bromley, with an extensive back issue collection and online store. With a new store planned for Watford, if you are in the neighbourhood, check them out. Call ahead, they are offering curbside service for the next two weeks until non-essential retail stores open up.