Warning! Spoilers ahead for X-Force #37!A masked figure called the “Man With the Peacock Tattoo” has remained a constant enemy of X-Force for the past three years and now his identity has finally been revealed as one from X buta distant past. One of the original titles launching as part of X-Men’s new Krakoa Era, X-Force has seen its titular team of mutants tasked with serving as the island nation’s top intelligence agency. Their necessity was made clear after a terrorist attack by the anti-Krakoa organization XENO, led by the mysterious, masked enemy.
Little has previously been revealed about the man with the peacock tattoo, with little evidence of his origins only hinted at by his seemingly unparalleled mastery of genetic engineering. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that this iteration of the X-Force’s first and greatest foe has connections to X-Men history long before the founding of the Krakoan nation. X-Force #27 by Benjamin Percy and Robert Gill reveals that the Man with the Peacock Tattoo can trace his lineage back to the former mutant island nation of Genosha. The Man With the Peacock Tattoo is none other than a clone of David Moreau, aka “the Gene Engineer”, one of the architects behind the mutant apartheid state of Genosha.
The Man With the Peacock Tattoo: Unmasked
This new Genegineer, the same mastermind who has spliced the DNA of kidnapped mutants with human DNA to create his own army of super soldiers and launched a successful assassination attempt on Charles Xavier, has recently struck several blows against Krakoa. IN X-Force #26 from Percy and Gill, genetically modified XENO agents kidnap Maximilian, an infant mutant whose powerful telepathic powers have already manifested, from Krakoa. IN X-Force #37, The Man With The Peacock Tattoo reveals that he has used his own genetic expertise to rapidly age Max, taking the young mutant as something of a son. It’s more than his own father ever did for him: the leader of XENO is a clone of his father, imprisoned and used as a tool for genetic experiments. When an experiment went wrong and he saved the clan’s natural born son, the clone was punished for destroying the experiment. Seizing an opportunity, he eventually escaped and escaped his father’s laboratory/prison, though he carried the physical and mental scars of his treatment there with him.
This clone of Moreau explains that he would have sought revenge on his father if the real Moreau had not been murdered decades earlier. With this opportunity taken away from him, he has instead tried to succeed where his father failed. Mutations are biological chaos awaiting a guiding hand to refine evolutionary progress. His goal is to create a perfect specimen, a refinement of Homo superior grafted on Homo sapiens.
Who was the original relative?
Introduced in the 1988s Creepy X-Men #236 by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri “The Gene Engineer” David Moreau played an integral role Genosha. During this period, the small island nation was based on the slave labor of mutates, mutants who had been forced to undergo a process perfected by Moreau. The inhabitants of Genosha were all tested for the presence of the X gene, those found to be positive were handed over to Genegineer. Using Wipeout, a mutant capable of denying powers and memories, Moreau rewrote his subjects’ mutations to better suit Genosha’s needs and to make these mutant slaves completely obedient to their human masters. Moreau viewed this process as a necessary evil, the patriotic duty of Genoshan mutants to protect the small island nation and maintain their way of life. Moreau would eventually die in battle alongside the X-Men as he tried to prevent his work from being used by Cameron Hodge to exterminate the mutant race.
The Man With the Peacock Tattoo’s connection to Genegineer fleshes out his motivations while solidifying his importance in Marvel lore. The gene engineer’s legacy continues to haunt X but and X-Forceand to save Krakoa they will have to overcome a dark remnant of Genosha’s past.
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X-Force #37 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.