X-Force just revealed the identity of a major traitor to Krakoa, and it’s an absolutely tragic turn for one of the X-Men’s most iconic members.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for X-Force #24, available now from Marvel.
Inferno has been teased to be a major turning point for the future of Krakoa, with the X-Men and their mutant nation set to suffer multiple betrayals. One teaser ahead of the event even hinted that Psylocke, Bishop, and Colossus were all suspects for treason against their fellow mutants.
Now, it’s been confirmed in X-Force #24 by Benjamin Percy, Martin Coccolo, Guru-eFX, and VC’s Joe Caramagna that Colossus has indeed been forced to betray Krakoa — but by no apparent choice of his own, in perhaps one of the cruelest acts his villainous brother Mikhail has ever committed.
Since his brief tenure as a part of Krakoa’s X-Force, Colossus has been more or less removed from the main conflicts of Krakoa. Instead, he’s been content to work in the fields of the Savage Land, helping tend to the flowers that are used to create Krakoa’s miracle medicines. There, he lives a simple and happy life with the water-controlling mutant Kayla, relatively unbothered by the internal politics of the nation. His last encounter with X-Force was an unnecessarily cruel one, as Beast openly accused him of treason but all attempts to ferret out any information by Jean Grey and the rest of X-Force only enraged the rest of the group and seemed to indicate Colossus’ innocence. Afterward, Colossus was implied to just want quiet and distance from his former teammates, something they agreed to.
It turns out Beast was closer to the truth than he realized — but in a very different way than he could have ever imagined. In Russia, Mikhail Rasputin discovered the existence of the Chronicler. A mutant writer capable of forging a bond with another person, he can effectively “write” their story and control their actions. Trapping the Chronicler within a pocket dimension, Mikhail has forced him to manipulate Colossus into his spy on Krakoa. The former X-Man seems to have no true awareness of his choices and has been controlled into painting the secrets of Krakoa with the intention of sending them to Russia — giving Mikhail valuable state secrets about the mutant nation.
Tragically, Kayla discovers the paintings and intends to expose Colossus for the apparent breach of national security. But Colossus — still controlled through the narrative choices of the Chronicler — approaches Kayla and embraces her only to snap her neck and then hide her body. Although Colossus sheds a tear after the act, it appears that the writing of the Chronicler soothes his soul — until a knock at the door reveals Charles Xavier, who may have discovered this tampering with his former student. Mikhail’s actions — and his secret control over Colossus — opens a number of possibilities. Colossus suddenly just became a very potent leak of information, and there’s no telling what else he’s secretly been forced to do for Mikhail.
Colossus is as much a victim as anyone else on Krakoa, a pawn in the global games that people like Mikhail and Beast play. Hopefully, Xavier will be able to use his telepathy to discover the truth and put a stop to the Chronicler — or even potentially reach out to him and recruit him, giving Krakoa it’s own eyes within Mikhail’s plans. It also doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the only traitor — as Bishop and Psylocke’s recent actions and choices have revealed there are things they’ll follow before they adhere strictly to the laws of the Quiet Council. But Colossus’ forced betrayal comes as a stark reminder of what’s at stake for the mutant nation, and with the kind of enemies they face, and how their oldest friends and allies could turn on them with a moment’s notice. As Inferno heats up, that’s a lesson they’d be good to remember.
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