The X-Men’s Doctor Manhattan is About to be Unleashed

The following contains spoilers for Knights of X # 2, now on sale from Marvel Comics

The X-Men have been evolving in surprising ways during the modern era of Krakow. That includes numerous mutants finding new paths in life and resisting former temptations – as well as being accepted in unlikely places. But in an era where almost every mutant has either returned or been referenced, one lingering mystery might finally be on the verge of returning.

Knights of X # 2 (by Tini Howard, Bob Quinn, Erick Arciniega, and Ariana Maher) teases a coming conflict between Merlyn and one of Marvel’s most powerful reality warpers, Absolon Mercator, also known as Mister M, whose return has been long teased.

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Mister M debuted in District X # 2 (by David Hine and David Yardin) when he came to America and carved out a quiet life for himself in the mutant heavy District X. There he found out he was an Omega-Level Mutant, capable of complete matter manipulation, more or less making him a reality-warper. He can take power away from other mutants, make himself intangible, heal any injury, and even resurrect himself. Mister M is one of Marvel’s most powerful mutants, but unlike most Omega-Level Mutants in the current era, he did not carve out a position of power for himself in the Krakoa government. He has remained off the grid for the most part, but his presence has been noted by some.

He remains one of the few mutants Mister Sinister does not have a DNA sample of and therefore, can not be cloned or have his powers duplicated. He was approached by Magneto to assist with the terraforming of Mars into Arakko but declined to assist. Instead, he took control of the Otherworld providence known as Mercator, closing it off until he deems it safe. He’s been there ever since, with his representatives appearing before Merlyn’s council. Increasingly frustrated with him and currently, at war with a “witchbreed” like Mister M, Merlyn seems poised to do something about a mutant ruling a realm of the Otherworld.

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It’s notable though that Merlyn, one of Marvel’s most powerful magical beings, who has arguably reached the level of a Nexus Being, does not outright attack Mister M. Despite his own awesome power, Merlyn seems almost concerned about Mister M, which highlights just how powerful he is. With his mutant gift, Mister M technically has an entire host of amazing powers. If he were to fully utilize his abilities he’d be similar to Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen – capable of rewriting reality around him, healing any he chooses, and gruesomely killing anyone who stands in his way. The X-Men have been smart enough so far to recognize that Mister M does not seem to be a threat, and if he wants privacy he’s allowed it.

But Merlyn might not see things so clearly and might push for an actual fight against Mister M. This could be a real game-changer for not just Otherworld, but any X-Men on Earth, too. Otherworld has become a dangerous place for mutants, with Roma being one of their few firm allies. But Merlyn’s actions have pushed Sheriff Whitechapel and Mad Jim Jaspers into becoming allies, and if his actions give Mister M a reason to finally align with the rest of the mutant race, the X-Men might gain an ally powerful enough to bring down pretty much any enemy Krakoa could face. However, this could also easily backfire and leave them exposed to further whims of a reality-warper who almost no one is capable of matching. Mister M’s return has been long-awaited as a major moment – and Merlyn’s recent brutal actions might have brought it one step closer to reality.

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