X-Men’s Hottest Hero Finally Heals From The Tragedy Of His Mutant Origin
Sunspot was forced to deal with a devastating tragedy in his youth, but a story from Marvel’s Voices: Comunidades finally helps him heal.
WARNING: WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Marvel’s Voices: Comunidades de Alex Segura, Alba Glez, José Marzan Jr., Cris Peter and Ariana Maher de VC
The X-Men’s Sunspot is known for being a suave and confident billionaire, but his life hasn’t always been so rosy. When Sunspot first manifested his mutant powers to draw strength from solar energy, the Reavers—cybernetically augmented humans who hunted mutants—immediately targeted him. They shot Sunspot, but his girlfriend Juliana jumped in front of the bullet and died in his arms. Only fourteen years old at the time, the tragic loss affected Sunspot deeply. As he grew from a teenager to an adult, joining teams like the New Mutants, X-Force, and the Avengers, he continued to carry that loss.
Sunspot blamed itself for Juliana’s death. As the Reavers fired the fatal bullet, he couldn’t help but think that if only her mutant powers didn’t emerge or if he hid them better, she would still be alive. Or if he was smarter and stronger with his gifts, she wouldn’t have needed to step into that ball’s path because he would have covered her.
Guilt has weighed heavily on Sunspot for years. What he perceived as a personal failure motivated him to train harder. What had happened to Juliana would never happen to anyone else if he could prevent it. However, no matter how hard he trained, no matter how many lives he saved, Sunspot couldn’t shake his guilt.
In the new anthology comic “Homecoming” Marvel’s Voices: Communities, Sunspot visits the stadium where his powers first appeared and decides to drop by Juliana’s family house. As he approaches, he sees two Reavers, the same ones who killed Juliana all those years ago, breaking into the house. This time, the Reavers target Juliana’s little brother, Javi, who has begun to demonstrate mutant abilities. Sunspot unleashes his fury on both Reavers. Even after taking a painful outburst, he refuses to stop. In the end, he fends off their attacks and protects Javi. Finally, Sunspot gives Javi a Krakoan flower so the boy can open a door to Krakoa at any time.
The encounter, even years later, feels like a second chance for Sunspot. Once again he found himself in a situation where the Reavers threatened someone he loved because of a genetic difference. This time around, however, it wasn’t Sunspot itself that was targeted. He’s older and more experienced, a fighter more than ready to take on the monstrous hate-turned-violence of the Reavers. This time the playing field was a little fairer.
Taking a breather for Javi to save his life mirrors the choice Juliana made years earlier. Doing the same for her brother doesn’t bring her back, but it does affirm that Sunspot is using his heroism as inspiration. Plus, it helps her see how and why someone might make that choice. It wasn’t something he had done wrong; it was something she did for love. Now he can do the same for people important to both of them.
Juliana’s death was an extremely traumatic event for Sunspot and shaped her thoughts and actions for a long time. Although he still cherishes his memory, the events of “Homecoming” allow him to move on and finally heal from the tragedy.
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