Prior to House of M and M-Day, there were millions and millions of mutants on the planet. I think. I don't really remember the "official" number. But there were a ton.
Now there is under 200. The editorial reason for shrinking the population was to make it something unique and special again and to stop writers from just cooking up a random mutant character to insert in a story.
Morrison's New X-Men was all about mutants as a burgeoning sub-culture trying to gain traction and legitimacy. You couldn't ignore mutants anymore. You couldn't hide from them. They were everywhere. According to Marvel, mutants are the next stage of evolution and what occurred in Morrison's New X-Men was the next stage of that. Eventually, naturally, they would take over as the dominant population on Earth.
Cyclops has been fighting to preserve the remaining mutant population at any cost. He's made some tough, questionable decisions. When Second Coming was all said and done, Hope had a Phoenix Flash and moments later five new mutant signatures appeared on Cerebro. Cyclops' position in AvX is the Phoenix is going to help reignite the mutant race.
What does that mean? In my mind, I picture Morrison's New X-Men all over again. I assume that's what Cyclops wants. But from an editorial standpoint, I don't think Marvel would want millions of mutants all over the world again.
I feel that Cyclops can't win, given his desire is in conflict with Marvel's editorial decree.
What do you guys think?
Also, controversial off-topic question. Mutants are supposed to be the next stage of evolution. Per Magneto, they're all Homo Superior and such. But in reality, they're just humans with laser eyes, claws, and funky skin conditions. They're no more or less susceptible to human foibles than a regular human, so what exactly is going extinct? If the mutants simply "die" out, then the world is just without a population of people born with super-powers. But they're still human, as much as either the MU humans or mutants try to distinguish themselves. If John Doe (random guy used for this scenario) was originally destined to become a mutant pre-House of M. But because of M-Day, his x-gene never activated, then what does it matter? He still gets to live his life. I know there might be some holes in my argument for this, but I'm curious what other people think.