Marvel has finally revealed the true identity of a big new one X-Men villain – someone who has been operating from the shadows since the beginning of the “Dawn of X” era in 2019!
When Marvel’s X-Force (vol. 6) Relaunched after the “House of X” reboot, the book was immediately marked by a darkness in X-Men lore that we hadn’t seen before. A global anti-mutant organization called XENO was introduced as the main enemy X-Force battled; the leader of that organization was a masked man known only by the elaborate peacock-sleeved tattoo on his right arm. None of X-Force’s operations have succeeded in getting them any closer to apprehending or killing (or even seeing) XENO’s mysterious leader – who in turn has inflicted truly horrific pain and suffering on the mutants of Krakoa.
Well inside X-Force #37 we finally get the long-awaited reveal of who is behind the mask of the man with the peacock tattoo – and it turns out it’s a face associated with one of the darkest periods in mutant history!
Part of the story of X-Force #37 concerns The Man with the Peacock Tattoo trying to mentor Max, the young mutant telepath he stole from Krakoa’s Bowery (a safe haven for orphaned mutants) as a baby and accelerated to an advanced age through gene manipulation. As a telepath, Max can sense his ‘father’s true identity and history, leaving The Man with the Peacock Tattoo with little choice but to have an honest conversation with his ‘son’.
Who is the man from X-Force with the peacock tattoo? Explained
The Man with the Peacock Tattoo is revealed to be a clone of Dr. David Moreau – aka the infamous “Genegineer” of the former mutant slave state of Genosha. The original Moreau was responsible for taking alien lore from the Age of Apocalypse (provided by the nightmarish “Sugar Man”) and creating the “mutates” of Genosha: mutants whose memories and personalities had been wiped and their powers had been tampered with. to turn them into perfectly obedient super-powered slaves of the state.
As a government-sanctioned program, Moreau’s mutation process was protected by political and diplomatic powers; however, that all changed when anti-mutant extremist Cameron Hodge came to Genosha and took over. Hodge’s alliance with the Genegineer sparked the 1990s “X-Tinction Agenda” crossover storyline in Creepy X-Men, X-Factorand New Mutants, in which Xavier’s students must invade Genosha and free friends and/or teammates from Hodge’s capture. The climax of that storyline saw the original Moreau betrayed and killed by Hodge. However, one of his clones – who was disfigured to save Moreau’s son from a lab accident – escaped, fearing what would eventually become of him as a mad scientist’s experiment.
The Surviving Moreau clone eventually became The Man with the Peacock Tattoo, whose goal was to get revenge on Moreau – until Hodge killed him. The clone wanted to be better than his “father” by finally creating the perfect mutated specimen – which is apparently a Frankenstein’s monster built from pieces of the most powerful members of the X-Men. Yuck.
X-Force is for sale at Marvel Comics.