|First appearance:||Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 521|
|Created by:|| Matt Fraction|
HX-N1, also known as Contagion X, was an airborne plague designed to target Mutants only and was created by Lobe of the Sublime Corporation. It was created to serve as a defensive weapon against Homo Superior and was part of biological mutagenic warfare campaign. The resultant plague was tailor-made to affect at least 134 known Mutants with a power dampening influenza super-strain. Its component parts were actually nano-machines that were designed to mimic a viral structure. On the micro level, the infected demonstrated symptoms similar to a cold and pneumonia whilst on the macro they showed the early stages of influenza though it was genetically engineered to affect Mutants. As such, in addition to the extreme cases associated with the flu, the affect of the plague was dampening the powers of the infected. This meant that Mutants with full body physiognomies suffered from profound breathing difficulties whilst those with added extra-biological powers had difficulty in controlling their abilities. The rate from infection to developing symptoms was also progressively fast with some Mutants suffering its effects within hours. As it was nano-virus with the capacity for increasing virulence made to affect only Homo Superior, it meant that it was incapable of affecting Humans who were otherwise immune to the disease. This meant that the Sublime Corporation had a cure that would remove the affects of the virus from infected Mutants without which the suffering members of Homo Superior would end up slowly dying from the disease. However, Lobe had created the plague to serve as a sleeper device designed to force Mutants to submit to his control and he had the ability to activate its Ebola-Plus functionality thus increasing its deadly affects on the infected. Furthermore, he had the ability to conduct a complete viral purge designed to eliminate the plague with the use of a special device.
When the X-Men along with Fantomex attacked Lobe's headquarters, the corporate executive in desperation unleashed his Contagion X. This forced Fantomex to use E.V.A. to cover his allies to prevent them from being infected whilst they escaped from SublimeCorp. Whilst on their way back, E.V.A. retained enough active samples so that a cure could be developed at Utopia for the plague.
Unknown to the X-Men, the five Predator X's dispatched against them earlier had the HX-N1 strain released upon their death thus infecting them all. This became apparent when Anole began to feel sick and show symptoms related to the plague. After examining Anole, Doctor Kavita Rao confirmed to Cyclops that there was an outbreak of the plague on the island. Fearing possible transmission to Humans, Cyclops placed the entire island under quarantine whilst they searched for a way to combat the disease. Warren Worthington III held a press conference at Worthington Industries in order to reassure the public about the existence of the plague with the C.D.C. involved in the matter. At the same time, the X-Club began to prepare a full workup on the viral strain. A number of X-Men was critically hurt by the introduction of the virus which had a power sapping affect on their abilities. Amongst these included Iceman who was unable to use his powers whilst Magneto began to lose fine control and Wolverine's healing factor was shut down leading to him suffering from blood poisoning due to his Adamantium skeleton. Namor also began to suffer from the viruses affects leading to fears that it could infect the Atlantean population stationed below Utopia. During this time, Lobe began "selling" Mutant powers to rich Human buyers thus creating a P.R. group which he called the "New X-Men" who were later apprehended and taken to Utopia. Whilst there, it was discovered that these Humans with Mutant powers began suffering from the affects of the plague within minutes of arriving at the island due to its increasing virulence.
To better control the Human public reaction, Superhuman P.R. Specialist Kate Kildare was put in charge to protect the Mutants of Utopia from any backlash. Whilst she agreed on the quarantinee, she suggested that further acts were needed to help reassure Humans. This led to Dr. Rao infecting herself with the HX-N1 plague to test its affects on Homo Sapiens. A test demonstration was made at the X-Press Conference at Graymalkin Industries in Marin where Kildare had the virus injected into herself to show the reporters that the plague was harmless to Humans as it was specifically made to target Mutants. Lobe later contacted Cyclops and offered a deal; exclusive commercial rights to the whole Mutant genome which they would sell to buyers in exchange for the cure. This led to Cyclops taking all Utopian Mutants to the X-Cess event at the Triumph Hall in San Francisco where its various buyers had gained Mutant powers by breathing from an inhaler. Whilst weakened, the presence of the Mutants and the fact that the Humans gained Mutant abilities led to them all becoming infected which included Lobe himself. This forced him to activate the purge mechanism thus saving himself and his investors from the viruses affects but led to his defeat as the X-Men were now free from the infection whilst the Human buyers realized the dangers involved in the venture which led to them pulling out from the endeavor.
- Though designed to be a Mutant plague, the HX-N1 disease is seemingly different from the Legacy Virus.
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