With Nimrod threatening the X-Men’s future, Bishop and Krakoa’s other leaders think one late villain could help stop the highly advanced Sentinel.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marauders #22, available now from Marvel.
Orchis — the mysterious anti-mutant conspiracy taking shape in the dark corners of the Marvel Universe — have quietly created a new variant of the Nimrod. As one of the deadliest incarnations of the Sentinels, Nimrod is also a portent for many of the dark futures encountered by Moira X during her multiple lifetimes. Its activation is a serious cause for alarm for Krakoa, compounded by the attempt to prevent the activation by Mystique cost the Nimrod the last shreds of humanity within its programming.
The X-Men and their allies on Krakoa have been seemingly considering how to contend with the successful creation of one of their deadliest possible enemies — and according to a letter from one of Krakoa’s Great Captains in Marauders #22 by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Klaus Janson, Rain Beredo and VC’s Cory Petit, the key might just be reviving a long-dead former villain, Harry Leland.
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Bishop is one of the Great Captains of Krakoa, who effectively serve as the military commanders of any mutant army called into the protection of Krakoa. Having worked alongside the Marauders and X-Force, Bishop is privy to much of the information seemingly traveling through the higher echelons of Krakoa’s government, including the activation of Nimrod. Bishop is actively working on solutions, speaking with Forge on possible preparations. He also formally requests — with the seeming approval of his fellow Great Captains Magik and Cyclops — that Harry Leland be resurrected immediately.
Harry Leland was formerly a member of the Hellfire Club Inner Circle. Introduced in 1980’s X-Men #129 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne alongside the rest of his allies, Leland was a wealthy and high-ranking member of the group, and a mutant capable of increasing the mass of an object or person around him. He played a part in “The Dark Phoenix Saga” — facing off with Wolverine and crashing him through the floors of the Hellfire Club, which set up one of his most iconic moments in the sewers of the building. Leland remained a foe of the X-Men for some time, and eventually died in battle — specifically against Nimrod.
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Alongside Shaw and Selene, he attacked Rachel Summers and the X-Men in 1986’s Uncanny X-Men #208 and #209 by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr. However, the battle was thrown into disarray by the arrival of the Nimrod. When Shaw was blasted into orbit by Nimrod, Leland led the Hellfire Club into a brief alliance with the X-Men. During the battle, Leland suffered a heart attack — but kept up his offensive and even brought Shaw back to Earth with the momentum of a small meteor. This was strong enough to shatter Nimrod and force it to retreat. However, Leland was killed by the strain, as his heart finally gave out.
Bishop’s letter specifically cites this incident and argues that Leland could be crucial both in replicating that attack with Shaw against Nimrod, but also to assist in the drilling of parts of Planet Arakko, potentially giving Krakoa more resources or even an unexpected edge in their battles against Nimrod. Bishop’s letter also seems to convert some form of respect for Leland — positing that this time — Leland won’t have to be tasked with facing down Nimrod alone. Leland’s revival could give Krakoa a serious boon, but it could also cause drama within the Hellfire Corporation if Emma’s jabs about Shinobi Shaw’s parentage proved true.
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