DEATH IS MEANINGLESS
In the comics, the Krakoan resurrection protocols are a clever story beat that implied a ton of interesting ideas, several of which have been followed up on expertly by Hickman and Leinil Yu in the pages of X-Men and by Vita Ayala, Rod Reis and Danilo Beyruth in the pages of New Mutants. For those of you who aren’t up on it, here’s a quick breakdown:
Mutants can’t die anymore. Or, to be precise, they can die, but the X-Men have a way of bringing them right back. Professor X makes weekly backups of every mutant consciousness and stores it in Cerebro, while Mister Sinister keeps a DNA library of nearly every mutant ever. When a mutant dies, they go in the resurrection queue; Goldballs makes an egg of biological matter with his mutant power; reality warper and Moira’s son Proteus uses his powers to make the egg viable; the mutant’s DNA is injected into the egg, and then Elixir uses his power to kick start cellular reproduction; Eva Bell uses her time manipulation ability to let the egg mature; and Hope Summers uses her power mimicry to smooth everyone else’s talents. Then the mutant hatches, and Professor X restores their consciousness from a backup. Et voila! Cyclops is alive again.
Some mutants use this to come back exactly as they left – Cyclops still needs his visor to control his powers; Wolverine still has his adamantium skeleton; Karma still has her mechanical leg. Others, like Cosmar, use this resurrection ability to match their physical appearance to their self-image.
There’s no reason to bind characters so tightly to actors anymore. If an actor decides not to renew a contract, the resurrection protocols provide a very simple, in-universe explanation for changes in appearance. So good news, we won’t need any CGI Hugh Jackmans to keep Wolverine around the MCU. I hope.
ANTIHEROES ARE GOOD. VILLAINS ARE BETTER.
The X-Men universe is full of grey (GET IT LIKE JEAN?), but that doesn’t mean that it’s completely devoid of actual bad guys. And the line isn’t really that hard to discern: there are people who do bad things for good reasons, people who do good things for bad ones, and giant shitheads who invade and occupy foreign countries because they’re an old school cold war megalomaniac.
There’s nothing wrong with having villains make a point. It DEFINITELY leads to villains becoming anti-heroes: Apocalypse is good now! Magneto is a hero to the children of Krakoa! But the process by which you distinguish an antihero from an actual villain takes a lot more time than the MCU has been willing to invest. Moira MacTaggert’s arc took, conservatively, 35 issues to pay off, but when it did in Inferno, it was GLORIOUS. The same for Nimrod, repositioned as a terrifying, occasionally very funny, and faintly tragic villain, or Omega Sentinel, retconned into possibly the mutant’s greatest foe over three years and 50 issues.