The potential future of New X-Men’s Here Comes Tomorrow future timeline was even darker than the end of the world in Marvel’s Powers of X.
The X-Men have encountered numerous potential futures over the years, with many of them taking the Marvel Universe into strange, dark directions. One of the most striking though only appeared for a few issues before the power of the Phoenix Force reversed it, but it does have some major similarities with one of the most recent dark timelines glimpsed by the X-Men.
Now, we’re taking a closer look at what happened in the possible future introduced in the storyline “Here Comes Tomorrow” from New X-Men #151-154 by Grant Morrison Marc Silvestri, Joe Weems, Billy Tan, Steve Firchow, John Starr, Matt Milla & Chris Eliopoulos, and how this world could be seen as a dark portent of the futures revealed in Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia and Clayton Cowles’ Powers of X.
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The reality of “Here Comes Tomorrow” diverged from the history of the core Marvel Universe following the demise of Jean Grey at the hands of Xorn. In this reality, Cyclops was too broken by the experience and fully retired from heroic work. In his stead, Beast tried to carry on as the headmaster of the Xavier Institute. But the ensuing chaos and hardships broke Beast, with the hero resorting to using the power-enhancing drug Kick to try and stay ahead of his work. Unaware that the drug was actually connected to the sentient bacteria (and a major foe of that era of stories) John Sublime, Beast was taken over by the villain and corrupted by his influence.
By the time anyone realized what had happened, a new genetics war broke out in the ruins of the world: the remnants of humanity were largely wiped out, while the few remaining pure mutants left to honor Xavier’s teachings and legacy found themselves facing off against Sublime and his genetically-modified armies. Notably, this included clones that mashed together with the abilities of other mutants into deadly warriors — not too dissimilar to what the Chimeras created by Mister Sinister from one of the realities Moira X encountered in Powers of X.
But 150 later, allies to the X-Men discovered a potential game-changer on the Moon, a Phoenix Egg that contained a reborn Jean Grey. Sublime sought the power of the Phoenix Power and initially turned her to his side.
Meanwhile, the remaining X-Men moved into position to defend the world. The roster consisted of Wolverine, a reformed Cassandra Nova, the remaining Cuckoo sisters (now dubbed the Three-In-One), Beak (the grandson of the original hero to bear that name), EVA (who’d been forcibly disconnected from Fantomex), No-Girl, the human Tom Skylark, and his pet Sentinel Rover. Learning about Sublime’s plans to use Phoenix to become living gods, the X-Men spring into action and face off against his genetically-modified army. They stall long enough for Wolverine to get through to Jean, allowing the Phoenix Force to fully restore her and turn her back to the side of angels.
The arrival of a genetically-enhanced Sublime leads to the near-eradication of the X-Men, with the villain quickly wiping out most of the roster save for Tom and potentially EVA, who Tom promises to try and repair. Jean is eventually restored however and frees Beast shortly before his death at the hands of Sublime’s servant, Apollyon the Destroyer. In the end, this entire possible future was prevented by Jean Grey using her now fully-realized Phoenix powers to impact the time-stream — influencing Cyclops enough for him to stay an X-Man, begin a formal romance with Emma Frost, and help unknowingly prevent one of the X-Men’s darkest possible futures.
It’s notable how similar the world of “Here Comes Tomorrow” is to the ones glimpsed by Moira X in Powers of X. Both possible futures see a world dominated by darkness, with entire armies of powerful modified mutants causing untold death and destruction. The X-Men are reduced to a shell of their former power, with Wolverine and his healing factor ensuring he becomes the throughline between the past and the future. And ultimately, both futures are potentially halted by the actions of a mutant doing their best to change the final fate of the mutant race. But at least Powers of X introduced some hope with Moira’s new lives, whereas “Here Comes Tomorrow” showcased a possible final battle that even the last X-Men could do nothing but die against.
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