The X-Men’s greatest thief – and a Weapon Plus program graduate – Fantomex is going to be facing off against himself in a new novel from Marvel.
The X-Men’s greatest thief is battling his clone in a new Marvel novel. Fantomex has made recent appearances in comics, alongside characters like Wolverine. His adventures are always dangerous, but exciting. This new novel seems as though it will follow in that vein, as it promises thievery, secret plots, and lots of action.
Fantomex – also known as Charlie Cluster-7 or Weapon XIII – first appeared in 2002 within the pages of New X-Men #128. He has made appearances in Uncanny X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, X-Force, and last year in Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex. He was a part of the Weapon Plus program, which is famous for creating super soldiers, including Captain America, Isaiah Bradley, Wolverine, Weapon X, and Deadpool, among others. Now, his past seems to partially be catching up to him.
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Marvel has announced a third novel in the Xavier’s Institute novel line. This line – published by Marvel and Aconyte Books – tells stories about young mutants who attend the New Charles Xavier School for Mutants, in new adventures. The first was Liberty & Justice For All by Carrie Harris followed by First Team written by Robbie MacNiven. These novels center on some of the same themes that have made X-Men comics popular for so many decades: power, belonging, and one’s place in the world. Triptych – written by Jaleigh Johnson – focuses on Fantomex. Check out the summary here:
Former super-soldier and master thief Fantomex stumbles upon one of his clones, Cluster, stealing priceless artifacts from the Louvre. Outwitted and intrigued, Fantomex decides to beat Cluster at whatever game she’s playing. But something is different about these artifacts— they’ve all been infused with nanotechnology, very similar to the kind that originally created Fantomex. And they aren’t the only ones looking for them…
Their other clone, Weapon XIII, is on the hunt too. What begins as cat and mouse fun robbing museums around the world turns into a journey of self- discovery as the trio uncover a far deadlier game.
Marvel has spent a lot of time exploring the Weapon Plus program – including recently with the Disney+ original series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – which featured Isaiah Bradley and investigated super soldier serum development and use. The Weapon Plus program has turned out numerous super soldiers and experiments. However, in this novel, one former experiment is having to face his past – by literally facing himself. Fantomex has been cloned. Charlie Cluster-7 is going to be facing two clones, both of which carry parts of his name: Cluster and Weapon XIII. Clones of Weapon Plus beings are not inherently new, as X-23 (Laura Kinney) is a clone of Wolverine. However, Triptych promises double trouble and there doesn’t seem to be any adoption in Fantomex’s future.
Fantomex’s numerous abilities make him one of the best – if not the greatest – thieves. He has a healing factor, an external nervous system, super reflexes, a cybernetic intellect, and he can create hypnotic illusions. He was specifically designed to be good at infiltration. Fantomex is also a skilled fighter. His abilities make him good at what he does. Recently he tried to steal the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London in a competition with Wolverine. If his clones have gained the same mastery he has, he could have a lot of trouble when he must face himself. Conversely, knowing himself and what he can do could give him a better chance at getting the jump on his counterparts. Fantomex – the greatest thief the X-Men have in their community – is about to face his greatest challenge yet. Triptych will release September 7, 2021.
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