A Hellfire Mastermind Just Earned a Vital Leadership Role

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The second issue of X-Corp finds a new member of the mutant corporation’s board of directors in a villain who changed the course of X-Men history.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for X-Corp #2 by Tini Howard, Alberto Foche, Sunny Gho & VC’s Clayton Cowles, on sale now

X-Corp has quietly become one of the more important organizations in Krakoa. Thanks to their ability to mass-produce the life-saving Krakoan drugs, they have helped establish the mutant nation as a genuine power player on a global scale. X-Corp has been further establishing itself as the capitalist arm of the mutant nation. To further strengthen their organization, they have to recruit more members to their expanding board of directors.

So far, the only two confirmed members of the group have been the major figures of the group — Angel and Penance. Meanwhile, two other members of the organization — Multiple Man and Trinary — have been offered positions but aren’t being treated at the same level as the others. But now, Mastermind has gotten one of the vacant seats — and it could spell some serious trouble for Krakoa going forward.

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During the Hellfire Gala, they decide to interview a number of potential candidates. This ranges from new faces in the human community, former members of the X-Men, and even a few previously established villains. One of the most promising of these candidates ends up actually being the former Brotherhood member, Mastermind. Having been restored on Krakoa, Mastermind reintroduces himself to Monet and Warren by showcasing his powers — creating an illusion of the gardens while merely speaking to them in the kitchens.  Jason argues that he’s a powerful expert on how to present X-Corp to the world, with his mutant abilities and skills as a manipulator potentially being a powerful public relations tool for the company.

He also quickly proves himself a useful ally during the inevitable fights that being a part of Krakoa often invites, including helping Angel sneak a confession of attempted theft from Andreas von Strucker away from the eyes of the public. He even quietly assists Warren, keeping his innate transformation into Archangel during the confrontation a secret, and helping him save face in front of Monet. The issue ends with the reveal that Angel and Penance ultimately agree to make Mastermind one of the members of the Board of Directors — with his new level of control over public relations likely to cause conflict with Wind Dancer.

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Mastermind’s history as an enemy of the X-Men notwithstanding, the mutant illusionist has repeatedly proven to be a powerful force — even recently defeating the Hellions all on his own and allowing them to be captured by Arcade. This also means there is still one seat available for the potentially world-changing X-Corp, as well as the undisclosed Chairperson position. With Mastermind’s help, the group might be able to truly sway public favor in the direction of the mutant nation.

However, there’s also a genuine threat hiding under this opportunity. Mastermind is secretly one of the mutants who has been working with Mister Sinister. As a result of their recent machinations in Hellions, Sinister now has access to an off-the-books cloning facility. Now, he has an ally as one of the heads of mutant technologies. Mastermind’s level of control over the perception of events — as he illustrates during his conversation with Warren and Monet — showcases just how dangerous Mastermind’s influence can be. With his help, Sinister might have a bit of a secret influence on the organization, and could even steal anything he requires for his future experimentation.

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