Warning: contains spoilers for Children of the Vault #2
Hope and heroism are not always what they seem, and the most dangerous enemies of the X-Men are using their new status as the saviors of humanity to slowly take over the world in Children of the Vault #2. The Children of the Vault have been around for years, existing in a subliminal world called the Vault that accelerated time and their evolution, meaning they have technically lived thousands of years longer than humans or mutants.
This has given the Children not only a great advantage in terms of technology and abilities but also a sense of superiority that will one day be their downfall. In Children of the Vault #2, from writer Deniz Camp and artists Luca Maresca and Carlos Lopez, the Children continue their campaign of heroism, saving the Earth from multiple catastrophes. Simultaneously, they have revealed to Cable that “The Message” they have infected humanity with will lead to 99% of the world’s population dying.
Humanity is in an incredibly delicate place during the Fall of X era, with many former heroes like the X-Men and Avengers such as Iron Man and Captain America being labeled traitors and terrorists in their fight against Orchis. The Children have easily been able to fill this gap in heroism, convincing humanity that they are their new saviors who will usher them into a safe and peaceful future. It helps that the Children are actually saving humanity, using their impressive post-human abilities to defeat major threats like zombie Avengers, the monstrous Shuma-Gorath, and former Herald of Galactus Terrax the Tamer.
The Children have surreptitiously infected all of humanity with “The Message,” a viral linguistic plague that is causing humanity to fall in love with the Children, spreading their message of “Become the Future!” After capturing Martillo and torturing him, the Child reveals to Cable that “The Message” is more than just words and belief. The plague is a transformative genetic affliction, evolving any humans who have enough faith in the Children into versions of the Children themselves. To Cable’s horror, Martillo tells him that less than 1% of humanity will go through this transformation, with the rest dying and being left behind as the Children inherit the Earth.
The Children’s goal has always been to inherit planet Earth, and while some more conservative factions of the society want to simply wipe out all of humanity, the newer generation pushed for the slow evolution of humankind through “The Message.” Thankfully, the iconic X-Men warriors Bishop and Cable are not currently impacted by the Children’s plague and are working together to take down the threat while other heroes are indisposed. What makes the Children such exciting villains is that they are legitimately saving the Earth from major threats, engaging in heroic feats that some of Marvel’s most powerful heroes would struggle with.
If Bishop and Cable are going to end the threat of the Children, they must also contend with the fact that Earth has become a safer and more peaceful planet because of the Children, even if their final goal is to rule the world. While the feelings of hope the Children of the Vault are instilling throughout Earth may be slowly killing humanity, the X-Men must deal with the very real heroism of the Children as they go about their plans to destroy them.
Children of the Vault #2 from Marvel Comics is available now in stores.