By Jim Beard
When Avengers Vs. X-Men explodes, few players will be more crucial to the proceedings than the young mutant “messiah” Hope Summers. As the drums of war beat toward AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #0 on 28, we will spend this week looking at all aspects of Hope in order to get you set for the biggest super hero conflict of all-time!
Here’s the most important thing you need to know about Hope: her name says it all. But whether that name signifies hope for mutantkind among humanity or a death-wish for those who would commit genocide, well, it depends on who you ask. And therein lies the tale of Hope Summers, perhaps the most important mutant of all-time.
The first person with the X-gene to be born after the Scarlet Witch’s reality-altering gutting of the mutant community, Hope swiftly became a trophy in the tug-of-war between the X-Men and the firebrand called Bishop. Possessed of the incalculable power to augment and mimic any mutant ability, the baby girl bounced from one faction to another, each one trying desperately to use her for their own agendas, until Cable whisked her into the timestream to safeguard her against those who would manipulate the child.
Bishop, hoping to prevent the girl from becoming the destroyer of mutantkind he felt her destined to be, followed Cable into the future and waged war against him to corrupt and destroy the man’s mission. After many skirmishes and tribulations, Cable named the child Hope after his own late wife, a casualty of Bishop’s world-wide manipulations. Eventually returning to the present-day, Hope, now a young adult, once again plunged headlong into the ongoing struggle between the various mutant dogmas.
Cable would sacrifice his life to save the girl he now regarded as his daughter from the mutant-murdering Bastion, with Hope manifesting powers not unlike the Phoenix Force and slaying her father’s killer in turn.
In addition to her power-mimicking, it turned out Hope could active the X-gene in dormant mutants, making her even more invaluable than ever. She soon found herself tasked with seeking out young mutants and bringing them into the fold. Her first successes in this mission netted what the X-Men call “the Lights”—five teenage mutants with raw abilities and even rawer emotions and attitudes. Together, Hope and the Lights fell into a series of adventures that both
Life unavoidably and inevitably throws curveballs, and Hope and the Lights saw their share of crazy pitches. Mutant suicides, rampaging god-like creatures, a rift in the X-Men’s ranks and a war with the Avengers; it all put a strain upon the girl called Hope, but she persevered and tried valiantly to live up to her name. Hope for the future. Hope for mutantkind. Hope for humanity. Hope for a weary world.
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