The X-Men now live in a world of Nimrod Sentinels – but what are these terrifying androids, and why are the X-Men really so afraid of them?
The X-Men have entered the age of Nimrod, the ultimate Sentinel – and here’s all fans need to know about the android mutant-killer. Created by various members of the Trask family, the Sentinels have long been considered the greatest threat to the mutant race. They have been responsible for countless atrocities, with rogue Sentinels slaughtering 16.5 million mutants on the island of Genosha.
But X-Men #20 has seen the emergence of a new breed of Sentinel – the Nimrod. The X-Men have gone to desperate lengths to prevent the creation of the Nimrod Sentinel, but they have ultimately failed, with Mystique bearing witness to the creation of the first Nimrod. Intriguingly, X-Men #20 drew a parallel between the X-Men’s attitude towards the Nimrods and the traditional hatred and fear with which humans view mutants; so why are the X-Men so afraid of Nimrods?
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Until now, the Nimrods have only ever been seen in time travel adventures. They were associated with the dystopian “Days of Future Past” reality, a timeline in which vast tracts of North America had been overrun by Sentinels, and mutants were kept in concentration camps. Kate Pryde and Rachel Grey attempted to disrupt the creation of the Nimrod prototype, but they were unsuccessful. The Nimrod was blasted back through time, encountering several groups of mutants, and forcing Forge to assist it in repairing it and developing its own time travel technology. It encountered the X-Men several times, and they were never able to truly destroy it.
The threat of the Nimrod Sentinels was revealed to the entire mutant race during the “Second Coming” arc. Scarlet Witch had rendered the mutant race almost extinct by deactivating the X-gene across the entire world, but data extracted from Nimrod’s processing core forewarned various anti-mutant factions that the mutants would be restored. They targeted Hope Summers, the agent of that restoration, and covered the entire city of San Francisco in a force bubble so she could not escape. They then created a portal to the future, bringing an entire army of Nimrods to the present day. The mutants only survived when Hope tapped into the power of the Phoenix Force itself. Even Omega mutants like Iceman were almost killed during the battle against Nimrod.
Jonathan Hickman’s Powers of X miniseries finally revealed the terrible truth about the Nimrods; in every timeline where a Nimrod has been created, the mutant race has been doomed to extinction. Charles Xavier and Magneto are aware of this thanks to reincarnating mutant Moira MacTaggert, and they have been going to any lengths necessary to prevent the creation of the first Nimrod. They have failed, and now the darkest days of the mutant race have come. The X-Men will be lucky to survive in a world with Nimrods, let alone to thrive.
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