February 3's X-Men #18 will follow up on threads laid all the way back at the beginning of the 'Dawn of X' era by revisiting The Vault – an ultra-scientific facility where time moves much faster than in the outside world, populated by an advanced race of super-evolved humans called the Children of the Vault.(opens in new tab)
With the issue less than a week away from release, Marvel has now unveiled a black and white, unlettered preview of two of artist Mahmud Asrar's interior pages, featuring a haunting glimpse inside The Vault.
Back in X-Men #5, Laura Kinney/Wolverine, Synch, and Darwin entered The Vault on a reconnaissance mission, but never emerged – with Cyclops and Xavier estimating at one point that they had already spent the equivalent of over 500 years inside, with no sign of emergence.
Now, in X-Men #18, they'll emerge, and the secrets of The Vault and its children may be revealed.
"Earlier this year in X-Men #5, three of the X-Men entered a vault - and never came out," reads Marvel's description of X-Men #18 (opens in new tab). "What happened to Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch since then? Will the X-Men find the answers they're seeking?"
"Find out this February when X-Men #18, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Mahmud Asrar and a cover by Leinil Francis Yu, arrives in comic shops everywhere!"
The Children of the Vault, first introduced in 2006, see themselves as the true heirs of Earth, superior to both mutants and humans. They've remained something of a specter in the background of 'Dawn of X,' infecting Storm with a techno-organic virus in a storyline that ran through a series of five Giant-Size X-Men one-shots.(opens in new tab)
Given X-Men group editor Jordan D. White's statements that 2021 will see a big Storm story, it might be safe to assume that whatever's coming could tie directly into the opening of The Vault.
X-Men #18 is due out February 3.
Getting caught up on X-Men? Here's everything you need to know about 'X of Swords,' the current line-wide X-Men crossover.