Entry 069 – The Children of the Vault

Art by Clay Henry, Mark Morales, and Christina Strain

  • Name: Several
  • Code Names: Several
  • First Appearance: X-Men #188 (Jan ‘08)
  • Powers: Several
  • Teams Affiliation: The Children of the Vault

About

The first thing Marc Guggenheim did in X-Men Gold was to lay out an argument for the fear of mutants. Unlike the Avengers, or the Fantastic Four, or even the Inhumans, mutants represent the end of humanity as we know it. Morrison did the same thing in the opening of New X-Men. Mutants are hated and feared because they are better than humans, they will replace humans, they will inherit the Earth. In 2008 Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo decided to twist that idea and look at what happens when mutants are the ones who have become outdated. They gave us Los Niños de la Cámara Acorazada, The Children of the Vault.

In 1970, Chilean physicist Bella Pagan began working with biologists to develop solutions for potential eco-catastrophes. They developed methods of temporal acceleration and parallel evolution, much like Weapon Plus’ The World, but few believed their results. Their progress was enough for the government to lease them a tanker called The Conquistador for research, which they converted to an accelerated evolution chamber. When the recently elected Chilean president Salvador Allende was overthrown in 1973, the scientists ran off with the ship, waiting unnoticed in international waters.

As the years past, one of the scientists, Dr. Casales felt a pang of guilt over what happened on that ship. He hired Sabretooth to kill all the scientist involved, himself included. Facing his death, Casales rethought this course of action, bargaining with Creed with information about The Conquistador. It didn’t save his life, but Victor got curious and found his way to the ship. That’s when M-Day happened. The ship opened and released a group of individuals who knew it was their time to reap the planet. They were The Children of the Vault, six thousand years of evolution, not human nor mutant, they were something much deadlier.

Art by Chis Bachalo, Tim Toensend, and Antonia Fabela

Now let’s talk about The Children because they are essentially what you get when you distil the art and design sense of Chris Bachalo to its purest form. There was Aguja, the youthful energy manipulator with pigtails, huge gauntlets, and orbs up her sleeve. Perro, a mountain of a man with goggles, tribal tattoos, and the ability to manipulate gravity. Fuego, a flame elemental in a floor length duster. Serafina, the technopath dressed like Sandman’s Death filtered through the mind of Tim Burton. And their leader Sangre, the aquakinetic with a panache for bubbles. These five exemplified the style that Bachalo has become so well known for and the care put into their design is vital to making them memorable.

Art by Chis Bachalo, Tim Toensend, and Antonia Fabela

Sabretooth, having a very strong sense of self-preservation, got out of the situation as quickly as he could, ending up in Nogales, Mexico. He got a cold beer and tried to relax but couldn’t stay in one place long. The Children were on his trail and feared he had exposed them. They placed a black hole generator at the center of the town and let it open for two picoseconds. It was enough to destroy everything. Creed ran to the one place I thought he could get help, the mutant sanctuary at 1407 Greymalkin Lane.

Art by Chis Bachalo, Tim Toensend, and Antonia Fabela

The Children didn’t want to expose themselves more than they needed to and decided to use Northstar as a distraction. They manipulated him and his sister into attacking the school. Through the twins, Perro and Serfina broke in and searched for Sabretooth. Serfina used the opportunity make experience human love and intimacy. She made Cannonball experience twenty years of marriage with her in twenty minutes, but the surprise approach of Wolverine forced her and Perro to retreat. They regrouped with the other Children and decided to set The Conquistador (which could now fly because of evolution…) on the School.

Art by Clay Henry, Mark Morales, and Christina Strain

Rogue’s team of X-Men set the Blackbird to intercept the ship and snuck on board. They launched a brutal counter attack and destroyed the source of The Conquistador’s power. The Children postured, they stood unphased. They were the higher evolution, they were superior, they were wrong. Rogue’s hardened team, one that included multiple villains and soldiers, decimated The Children and Fuego, Sangre, and Aguja were killed in the aftermath. The X-Men took The Conquistador as their new base, unaware that a faction of The Children survived.

Art by Chis Bachalo, Tim Toensend, and Antonia Fabela

Cadena, and an electrically charged member of The Children, led the remaining ones into hiding. The stayed hidden in the Corridor, a hidden city powered by human batteries. Luz, one of The Children, wanted to explore the real world and escaped only to run into Rogue and some of the young X-Men. The Children went on a mission to capture their lost sister but the X-Men were able to neutralize their threat and send The Children of the Vault into limbo again.

Art by Clay Mann, Jay Leisten, and Brian Reber

Must Read

The Children have been in two stories ever, luckily one of them is fantastic. The X-Men arc Supernovas is a hyper-stylish action romp that did a lot to set the stage for the next few years of Carey’s run. The Children make a good threat to bring together this new, insane team. Check it out on Marvel Unlimited or in a really nice thick trade.

Art by Chis Bachalo and Tim Toensend

Ranking

The Children of the Vault have two things going for them, they are the antagonists of a memorable arc and they look sick. Beyond that, there isn’t much to them. This article is shorter than normal because it is difficult to talk about plot movers who have appeared in less than 10 pages. They are skin deep antagonists, and sometimes the story needs that, but they aren’t gonna stack up well against characters with some depth. All the way back when I did Avalanche I said about the same thing, but The Children are going to be better than him from sheer style alone. I enjoy them more as villains than Vulcan but I would be more excited to see Squid-Boy again. That puts them as the new number 61 in the Xavier Files.

The Children of the Vault were requested by my newest Patreon supporter /u/ShinCoal. Thank you for your support. If you have a request for how about you send it below? If you want to cut to the front of the two year long line, we have a Patreon you can support like ShinCoal for just $1 to get a line cutting reward.

Click here if you want to see the full ranked list, with links to every entry in the Xavier Files so far.

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