I realized today at work that it’s been six months since Decimation hit the Marvel Universe and 90% of the Earth’s mutant population was de-powered, which using Marvel’s fuzzy math left only 198 mutants on the planet (198 remaining is closer to a 99.99% loss using Marvel’s claims that there were millions of mutants on Earth pre-M-Day). Last November when we X-Men fans were reeling from the news, it seemed enormous. Perhaps all the work the Marvel Hype Machine did promoting House of M as the crossover that would impact the Marvel Universe like no other was justified. However, now that there’s been time to put it all in perspective, it really doesn’t seem like it did much.
Yes, a lot of mutants did get depowered on M-Day. Yes, a lot of those mutants had actually appeared in the Marvel Universe at some point. But nearly all of the mutants that lost their powers were not appearing in monthly books. The cast of New X-Men took a big hit, but nearly all the characters were brand-new so depowering them didn’t make an impact for anyone that didn’t read the title. Most of the well-known de-powered characters had prominent roles in the X-titles 5 years ago (Chamber, Stacy X, Jubilee, Beak) but had since dropped off the radar. Out of the all the depowered mutants, there were only five someone could consider “big” names: Iceman, Polaris, Quicksilver, Professor X and Magneto. Let’s take a look at those.
Iceman- Depowered for two weeks. Repowered in the very first Decimation issue of X-Men. He continues to play a major role in Peter Milligan’s X-Men and will be a part of Mike Carey’s X-Men this summer.
Polaris- Depowered for 5 months. Repowered by Apocalypse in the latest issue of X-Men. She remained a major role in Peter Milligan’s X-Men while depowered, including starring in her own story arc, and will be a part of Ed Brubaker’s Uncanny X-Men this summer.
Quicksilver- Depowered for 3 months. Repowered by the Terrigen Mists in Son of M. He got his own mini-series out of Decimation, and is set to appear in X-Factor after it’s over.
Professor X- Still depowered, but Deadly Genesis still has an issue to go. It’s hard to imagine the founder of the X-Men going away. Short of killing him off, even if he doesn’t regain his powers, Professor X will remain a big part of the X-books.
Magneto- Still depowered. He’s only made a handful of appearances since he was depowered, but is anyone actually deluded enough to think the greatest enemy of the X-Men will never be a threat again?
So out of the five big names that were depowered, three have powers again less than 6 months later, and the other two will almost assuredly get them back eventually.
At least twice yearly, the Marvel Hype Machine promotes something as the biggest crossover of all time. In 2004 there was X-Men: Reloaded and Avengers: Disassembled. Last year there was House of M, Spider-Man: The Other and Decimation. This year we already have Planet Hulk, Annihilation and Civil War, with Onslaught Reborn (the return of the Heroes Reborn universe) yet to come. But less than a year later, it’s always painfully obvious that nothing really has changed at all.
And Marvel wonders why comic fans are disillusioned with them.