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So, how does New X-Men #146 add up with Xorn's previous appearances?
Let's take a look.

NEW X-MEN 2001: The opening scene which recapped Xorn's history is
written as a demonstration for John Sublime of the U-Men and so it's
consistent with Magneto's claim to have falsified the whole thing. Ao
Jun, the Chinese government agent who's present at the demo, is a mutant
and is evidently in on the scam - he plants the clues that lead the
X-Men there. (He was killed by a U-Man at the end of the issue, so
we'll probably never know for sure.) The scheme was also trying to set
up the U-Men, and Magneto would be opposed to them anyway.

The flashback to Xorn being imprisoned is actually Emma Frost reading
telepathic imprints from a key which, in retrospect, must have been
planted by Magneto. The key is very, very important indeed, for reasons
that I'll come back to.

Xorn's first line of dialogue - in English, even though nobody should be
able to telepathically teach him the language - is this:-

"I could have built heaven on earth, if only they'd let me. I could
have laid the foundation stones of paradise here on earth." Entirely
consistent with Magneto's view of himself.

Xorn's fake prison was called Feng Tu. When asked about this name, Emma
Frost replies "It's from mythology."

NEW X-MEN #122: After that, Xorn is packed off to a monastery "for
healing." Cyclops picks him up in New X-Men #122 to help in the fight
with Cassandra Nova. This is where he suddenly devel 24124o1421y ops healing powers,
despite that having nothing whatsoever to do with the "sun in the head"

NEW X-MEN #123: Xorn and Cyclops are knocked out by the Imperial Guard
off panel without ever getting off the blocks.

NEW X-MEN #124: Xorn and Cyclops spend this issue as prisoners aboard a
Shi'ar craft. Of course, Magneto has a common interest in stopping
Cassandra, so there's no logical problem with him siding with the X-Men
here. Xorn dutifully plays naive throughout the story, and camps it up
tremendously ("He [Scott] is NOT mad. Scott is my friend! WHAT IS THIS

They escape when Xorn knocks out G-Type of the Imperial Guard as a
distraction; Scott attributes this to his suggestion to do
something-or-other involving the "sun for a brain" gimmick, but what
G-Type actually says is "My core is in flux. There is an unknown
gravitational source interfering..."

NEW X-MEN #125: As the fight continues, Xorn is shown to be affecting
G-Type with energy waves from his hands, not his head. He goes on to
save Lilandra, but then why wouldn't he? It's consistent with his
cover, besides which he has no issue with Lilandra, who isn't human.

When Xorn reveals that the spacecraft is about to blow up, his dialogue
is (emphasis added): "This superdestroyer machine is about to commit
suicide... I can hear its ELECTROMAGNETIC alarms."

NEW X-MEN #126: Xorn and Cyclops return to the Mansion, where
Cassandra's body is dying and Xavier has been downloaded into Jean's
mind - and she's also dying, because of the nano-sentinel infection.
Xorn pronounces Cassandra dead and says that there is nothing he can do
about her. Cyclops protests that Xorn said he could "bring the
Professor back" - and he was healing dead birds when we saw him in issue
#123, so Scott's response isn't unreasonable.

Xorn dodges the question somewhat. He replies "I can, but he is gone
from that body and my true task is now clear to me. I'm hear to heal
you [referring to Jean]." Xorn then "heals" everyone in the mansion by
killing the Sentinel infestations in their body. ("There. The
Sentinels in your bloodstream... they are dead now.") Of course,
Magneto would have no problem with that, because they're metal
creatures. Presumably this is where Magneto picked up the nanosentinels
which he claims to have used to fix Xavier's nervous system - the
mansion was overrun with them at the relevant time. Xorn then proceeds
to help in the fight against Cassandra, but again, why wouldn't he?

Issue #126 is the only time that Xorn the "healer" actually heals anyone
- and it's from a disease involving nano-Sentinels. Every other time
he's asked to heal someone from anything else, he makes up an excuse not
to do it.

NEW X-MEN #127: this is the Xorn solo story. As the penultimate page
makes clear, the narration is a letter written by Xorn to Xavier, in
character. Therefore, it's all lies and can be safely ignored. What
remains is in character for Magneto. He goes to Chinatown in accordance
with his cover story. He sees a teenage mutant who's unwell, and tries
to help. When the mutant goes nuts (in an area shown to be heavily
populated with other mutants), Magneto tries to calm him down. He
regrets the boy's death. Strip away the narration, which we now know to
be falsified, and the story makes perfect sense - albeit from a rather
different light. The narration happily replaces a large chunk of the
actual dialogue, so a lot of the time we're left with Xorn's highly
dubious account of what was said.

Note also that Xorn establishes in that issue that Xavier can't read his
mind - which he attributed to the "blinding" effect of the sun in his
head. Presumably the mask actually served a double purpose of
disguising Magnus' identity and blocking telepathic scans.

NEW X-MEN #135: Xorn's founded his Special Class. Of course, Xorn
remains in character as they go off on their field trip over the next
few issues.

In issue #135, Xorn is able to light a campfire by... well, doing
something with his head. We see it from behind and vaguely. Device in
the helmet?
All the other characters are standing behind him as well,


Meanwhile, back at the Mansion, the Riot is starting. Oddly, Xorn has
chosen to get the hell out of the way and go on a camping trip instead.
And just where was Quire getting his drugs from...?

NEW X-MEN #136: Xorn slaughters a bunch of U-Men - entirely out of
character for the pacifist. Angel finds him in the aftermath. Xorn's
comment is that "Sometimes the teacher must leave to make room for
learning," which in retrospect may refer to him dropping his persona.
Xorn then tells Angel that "this will be our secret." But why did Xorn
want to keep it secret? Now we know.

Angel quietly acquiesces; as we saw this issue, Xorn has extended some
sort of mental control over the Special Class, by hijacking Martha's
telepathy. ("Martha says we have to do what Mister Xorn says!",
according to Ernst. Martha, of course, is hooked up to a machine and
therefore at Magneto's mercy...)

NEW X-MEN #137: Xorn is present at the tail end of the Riot, but does
nothing of note.

NEW X-MEN #138: Xorn and the Beast head off to recapture Glob Herman.
Now we know how Xorn was somehow able to move a bloody great cement
mixer apparently using only his physical strength - it's made of metal.

Later in the issue, when Quentin Quire is dying, Xavier summons Xorn to
heal him. Xorn attends, but again makes excuses for not using his
supposed healing powers. He says that Quire is "only changing" and it
would be "wrong to interfere." Of course, he's lying. The final
exchange of dialogue reads very differently in retrospect:

XORN: When I was a boy, not much younger than you are, Quentin, a little
star opened like a flower inside my head.

QUIRE: What if the real enemy... was inside... all along?

XORN [saluting]: A flower made of lights is opening in you. I can help
you to let go of your last, painful attachments to this flesh where you
were grown. There is something in you that is like me. Do you see?

And then Xorn removes his faceplate, for only Quire to see. Quire
screams... and dies before he can tell anyone why.

NEW X-MEN #139: The Jean/Emma showdown. Xorn stands around and has a
couple of neutral lines. "I can feel such stress and pain here... like
gravity bending space." Hmm.

NEW X-MEN #140: Xorn is looking after the Special Class when Bishop and
Sage come round to visit. Sage asks him what he was doing when Emma was
shot; his reply is "Meditating, I believe." Near the end of the issue,
Sage sets out some of their unanswered questions in narrative captions.
One of them, "Who supplied the drug called Kick we keep hearing so much
about?" is positioned right next to a panel of Xorn and the Special

NEW X-MEN #141: Sage comments that "We shouldn't have come here, Bishop.
There's something rotten at the Xavier School. Riots, drugs, telepathic
adultery, murder..." I'll come back to that list later.

The Beak, one of the Special Class under Xorn's influence, offers
himself as the murderer but botches the confession. Is Magneto trying
to throw the investigators off the scent?

Later, Xorn accompanies Xavier, Sage and Bishop to the hut where Angel
and Beak are looking after their pupae. Dialogue:

XORN: Angel and Beak are not killers, Charles. I know these children
and trust in their goodness.

XAVIER: Sometimes even the best people will do terrible things to
protect their secrets, Mr Xorn.

Did Magneto have Emma killed by one of his Special Class because she had
worked out who he really was - or perhaps she knew he was the Kick

Xorn was, presumably, the man who pointed a gun at Sage's back. She
described him as male and "at least six foot two, possibly taller".
According to the Official Handbook, Magneto's height is... six foot two.

And Xorn makes no appearance in issues #142-145.

Now then...

Sage listed four things that were symptoms of something being "rotten"
at Xavier's school. Presumably Magneto is responsible for all four.

1. RIOTS. Magneto has been subverting the pupils - note that Quire was
pro-Magneto. And Quire was also on Kick.

2. DRUGS. Which he got from Magneto.

3. MURDER. Magneto tried to kill Emma, presumably because she either
worked out who he was, or found out that he was the Kick supplier.

4. TELEPATHIC ADULTERY. Hold on... telepathic adultery? Magneto was
responsible for Scott and Emma's relationship? Ludicrous, I hear you

But no.

Scott and Emma's adultery subplot started in... NEW X-MEN 2001, Xorn's
first appearance.
Emma is given a key which is supposedly the key to

Xorn's cell, but which we now know must have been created by Magneto as
part of the charade. Cyclops asks her to read it telepathically for
information. Emma replies "I'll try, but I hope you all realize this
could take hour upon tedious hour..."

To her immense surprise, she is instead bombarded with overpowering
images of Xorn's supposed origin story in the very next panel, and
doesn't even get to finish her sentence. Emma finds exposure to
Magneto's poisoned key so unpleasant that she collapses and then
switches to diamond form in order to turn off her telepathic powers.

That night (and a mere two pages later), Emma turns up at Scott's room
wearing an evening gown and holding champagne. "I couldn't sleep after
the traumas of the day," she says.

The key was clearly set up to deceive telepaths. Did it also poison
Emma's mind and put the idea of the affair into her head? Apparently

Paul O'Brien

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