SPOILERS: We’ll be discussing what occurs in Powers of X #3 and in relevant back issues
As the HoX/PoX train rolls on, we’re getting fewer new references, and Powers of X #3 is a bit lighter in that department. Still, there are some important concepts, and ones that could become even more more important as the series progress. Here are a few we though are relevant.
In Powers of X #3, we see a baby infected by a techno-organic virus. This virus has a long history in X-Men comics. We are first introduced to techno-organic beings, notably Warlock and Magus of the Technarchy who first appear in New Mutants #18 and #19. They transform other beings into this ensemble of organic circuitry via the Transmode Virus. The previously-mentioned Phalanx (see last issues) are an offshoot of a race created through this transmode virus.
There is a variant of the techno-organic virus thought to be created by Apocalypse. Nathan Summers, who would become Cable, was infected with this virus, and was then sent to the future by his father Cyclops in order to save him in X-Factor #65 to #68.
Xorn, like most X-Men, has a complicated back story. Originally revealed to be Magneto in disguise, it was later revealed the opposite: Xorn, a mutant with a star for a head, impersonated Magneto. Xorn has a twin brother, Shen Xorn, with a black hole for a head. Xorn first appeared in X-Men Annual 2001, while the most recent origin being explained in X-Men #157. Xorn was last seen active during the Secret Empire event, such as in Secret Empire: United #1 and followed up joining Magneto’s X-Men in X-Men Blue #25.
In this issue’s small print, Apocalypse is referenced as an External. Externals are a group of mutants who are, in addition to their powers, are immortal are associated with the rise of Apocalypse in that particular dystopian version of the future. Externals are explained in X-Force #36 and #37 (bonus Nimrod appearance!).