Now that Jonathan Hickman’s summer epic has concluded, there’s a lot to talk about. 12-issues of X-Men stories told over two books has led Marvel’s mutants down a whole new rabbit hole.
Many stories before now have used the tagline “It all changes here!”, but none have been able to cash in on it like House of X and Powers of X. Most of the story was told in pieces only to be assembled during the final pages of the Powers of X #6. Much of it out of order. To help you keep track of all that happened, here we’ve compiled a little refresher consisting of some of the biggest developments of these last couple of months!
10. Manipulation of World Leaders
Since the beginning, Professor Xavier has always been against using his powers to take advantage of others… except when it benefits his schemes, that is.
In the explosive fifth issue of House of X, the Krakoa nation had to go in front of the Security Council of the United Nations. Their appointment concluded with their bid being accepted. Though Xavier all but accused Emma of telepathically influencing a hostile French ambassador to abstain from the vote, he left the meeting very pleased.
There is bound to be more of this as we explore this new world, especially within the pages of Marauders where Emma and the Hellfire Club are positioned to play a large role as they seduce Kitty Pryde.
9. Mister Sinister’s DNA Banks
In Powers of X #4, we learned that in the distant past Magneto and Professor X together journeyed to Mister Sinister’s stronghold Bar Sinister. After negotiating a summit with the world’s foremost genetics expert, the two men convinced Mister Sinister to begin cataloging the DNA of every mutant on the planet, albeit through telepathic suggestion.
Xavier implanted Sinister with the task and then erased all evidence of their meeting. We later found out Xavier and Magneto did this against the wishes of their partner, Moira MacTaggert. We also found out that Sinister’s X-gene was harvested from the original Thunderbird, John Proudstar! I’ve got no @#$#%$^ clue why that matters…
8. Legion and Proteus
From the pages of Moira MacTaggert’s journal (shown to us in Powers of X #6), it was revealed that both David Charles Haller (Legion), and Kevin MacTaggert were not brought into the world by chance. Knowing that they’d need a mutant powerful enough to bend reality in a very specific way, Moira selectively chose her husband, Joseph MacTaggert and Xavier’s lover, Gabrielle Haller for them to breed with. Both children indeed became powerful mutants, but only Kevin’s powers proved viable enough to suit their needs.
Did Xavier use his powers to push the relationships along? And what of David’s whereabouts? Are he and Kevin still bat #&%@ crazy? Hopefully, we’ll find out soon.
7. The Formation of the Quiet Council
If the world was ever going to take the Krakoan nation seriously, then it would need a legitimate governing body. In Powers of X #5 and House of X #5 through #6, that’s exactly what was created. Consisting of 14 members spread across five tables this group is responsible for crafting the laws of Krakoa as well as passing judgment on those that break those laws.
Council members include Professor-X, Magneto, Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, Exodus, Mystique, Jean, Nightcrawler, Storm, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Cypher and Krakoa. The last seat appointment belongs to Emma Frost and will be named soon. Based on the covers and previews of Marauders, Kitty Pryde may have to consider an offer she can’t refuse.
Outside of the Council are four ‘Great Captains’ in Cyclops, The Gorgon, Bishop, and Magik.
6. Mutant Rx
With the track record that mutant communities have had over the years, it’s no wonder that there would have to be an X-factor to ensure that they wouldn’t be eradicated again. To help the notion along, Xavier and co. developed a trio of drugs to offer their human neighbors.
Debuting in the first issue of House of X, drug ‘L’, extends human life by 5-years. The second drug ‘I’ can cure just about any viral or bacterial infection, while the final drug remedies mental illness. With this, they have a solid means of sustaining an economy as well as having leverage in diplomatic situations.
Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), not all countries need that type of help, including powerful ones like Wakanda and Atlantis. If Krakoa is to see further international opposition, it may grow out of nations that do not need their miracle drugs. Krakoa’s protection, freedom, and sovereignty rely heavily on maintaining control of the drugs.
5. Apocalypse, the Ally
Since his debut in the late ‘80s, Apocalypse has been a thorn in the side of the X-Men.
In the beginning, he appeared to just be another evil for the sake of evil, mustache-twirling character. Over the years, however, he proved to be much more than that. Apocalypse was in fact following an edict passed down to him by the Celestials. His job was to protect the genetic integrity of their investment. Mutant-kind.
Apocalypse would take it a step or two further. He’d routinely pit mutants against others to have them prove to him, which was fit to survive. Obviously, this wasn’t always a popular means of ensuring mutant rule. Left unchecked he even once nearly ended the world during the Age of Apocalypse.
The only way he saw to accomplish his work was to ensure that mutants not only thrived but reigned supreme over their world. This ideology directly conflicted with those of the X-Men and put the two sides at odds for years. With the creation of Krakoa, all that has changed.
In House of X #5, under the guidance of Moira MacTaggert’s past life experience with him, Professor-X and Magneto extended a hand of friendship to the immortal mutant. Apocalypse has not just joined the nation but is also part of its Quiet Council. Come this fall he’ll also be a member of Betsy Braddock’s Excalibur team.
Krakoa is one of the more classic villains in the X-Men catalog. A living, breathing, thinking mound of earth. It’s responsible for defeating and capturing the original X-Men, forcing Professor-X to recruit a second team to save the first (… and a third).
Its existence created ripple effects throughout the X-Men mythos that made much of House of X and Powers of X possible. Jonathan Hickman’s entire story revolves around the being, which is considered a giant mutant itself.
At some point following the end of Age of X-Man, Professor-X, Magneto, and Moira managed to tame Krakoa, and not the little version around the Institute. This Krakoa is not just one large landmass, it’s two. One in the Pacific and the other located in the Atlantic Ocean. Through the use of flowers, which only grow upon it, there are also smaller versions of it scattered across the planet, Moon, and Mars. Each location is linked and able to transport people via a network of portals. These flowers are also the source of the human drugs.
As part of the Quiet Council, Krakoa takes part in the sentencing of the nation’s criminals. It acts as the warden of the guilty, imprisoning them deep within itself, much as it did with Sabretooth in House of X #5.
Another secret that’s yet to be addressed is its connection to beings that split Krakoa in two (the other half called Arakkos). This group of malevolent beings emerged from within it only to be beaten back by the likes of Apocalypse and his Horsemen. What this will spell for the inhabitants of Krakoa in the coming weeks, months or years, has yet to be seen.
3. The Resurrection Protocols
Every time mutant-kind has been on the verge of leaving their footprint on the planet, something would come along and nearly wipe them out. The massacre of the Morlocks, the Legacy Virus, the destruction of Genosha, and finally the Decimation at the hands of the Scarlet Witch. If the Inhumans had their way, the Terrigen Mist Clouds would have done much of the same.
In all, the loss of life is estimated to be well over sixteen million. After suffering for what seemed like an eternity, the X-Men have found a way to right the wrongs done to their kind over the years.
Through the combined efforts of Goldballs, Tempus, Hope Summers, Elixir, and Proteus, Professor-X and Magneto have developed a means of reversing the deaths which have devastated the mutant population. Goldballs supplies them with unviable eggs. Proteus uses his reality-warping powers to make them viable. DNA samples (provided by Mister Sinister) are then injected into the fertile eggs and Elixir then uses his ability to manipulate organic functions to jump start cellular division. Tempus then uses her time manipulation powers to mature the fetus’ to the desired age. Hope acts as the catalyst and amplifier for the group.
The final step of installing a mind into the new bodies is just as involved as the first five. Mister Sinister wasn’t the only person Professor-X approached to aide his quest to create a mutant utopia.
Forge was tasked with updating Cerebro in a very specific way. Using a Shi’Ar power source and memory banks, Forge built Cerebro out to continuously scan, record, and backup every mutant mind on the planet. He also built five redundant backups. They’re most likely located at sites fitted with portals such as Mars, The Blue Area of the Moon, The Savage Land, Washington D.C., and Westchester.
Since they began, hundreds of thousands of mutant lives have been restored. The Resurrection Protocol doesn’t stop short of the victims of the various mutant genocides. One of their most recent efforts included the resurrection of the strike team sent to dispatch the Mother Mold installation in orbit of the sun in House of X issues #3 and #4. They succeeded but all hands were lost during the effort. Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Monet, Mystique, Archangel and Husk were all brought back to life through Krakoa’s Resurrection Protocols.
Other previously dead X-Men which have been seen alive and well include Havok, Banshee, Mondo, Wolfsbane, Magik, and Chamber. The feat is amazing, perhaps bordering on divine. It’s probably why it’s created something of a religious following among the Krakoans complete with something of a Storm-led ritual ceremony to greet the revived subjects.
2. Moira MacTaggert
The lynchpin of the entire Summer event series is none other than Dr. Moira MacTaggert. Once believed to simply be one of the foremost experts in human mutation, Powers of X #2 revealed her to be much more than that. Moira is a mutant herself. After her powers catalyze at puberty, she gains the ability of reincarnation but starting from the womb. Upon death, Moira’s mind travels back through time and installs into her fetal body, but maintains her memory of her past life.
After going through the process a couple of times, she was able to properly grasp her situation and began to use it to her advantage. After being convinced by the Brotherhood’s precog, Destiny, Moira dedicated her lives to the betterment of mutant-kind.
She explored several avenues including assassinating the creators of the Sentinels and aligning herself with Professor-X (more than once), Magneto, and even Apocalypse. Every time it ended in blood and tragedy. But she learned from each attempt. Destiny also warned her that her lives weren’t infinite. She only foresaw 10 or maybe 11, total. As of the start of the Dawn of X, Moira is on her tenth life.
As far as the world is concerned, Moira MacTaggart died on Muir Island years ago. However, that was a ruse. She and Xavier used a Shi’Ar golem to fake her death. The act allowed her to slip into the shadows and prepare for what was to come. To those that knew Moira would remember her as a sweet and kind woman. Somewhere deep down, that may still be her, but for the most part, that was an act. Moira is cold and calculating. It’s the unfortunate result of living several lives of sacrifice, sorrow, and pain only to be capped off by a gruesome death.
1. They Always Win
House of X and Powers of X spanned more than a 1000-years, spread across 10 timelines and told through the scope of 4 lives. Since the end of sixth life, Moira has known one truth that has always come back to haunt her: they always win. By ‘they’, I mean man or man’s ambitions. Perhaps, it is less a problem with man-kind and more with what their existence breathes to life. Their hatred spawned something that has seemingly transcended space and time.
In the hopes of stemming the inevitable tide of mutant dominance of the planet, they created A.I. in the form of mutant-hunting Sentinels. With every iteration of the mechanical monsters, they became smarter, more efficient, and deadlier.
Nimrod, whether built by men or travel to the present from the future, would become a point of no return for mutant-kind. Centuries later, on Earth, mutants are little more than specimens. Man, or what they’ve evolved into with the help of technologically engineered bodies and mines, is so advanced they’ve garnered the interest of the Phalanx for assimilation. This would essentially spell the end of the entire world.
In the end, it’s not the Purifiers, Reavers, or the Friends of Humanity that put an end to mutant-kind, but that which inspired them. Man’s ever-expanding ambitions and desperate bid to defeat nature is what both doomed the mutant-race and eventually themselves as well.
What Moira, Xavier, and Magneto are fighting isn’t a singular villain, but inevitability itself. An ultimate truth that Moira has never been able to defeat. Not even with more than a 1000-years of trying. Everything that occurred this summer was just the beginning. As the X-Men enter the Dawn of X, the real fight for survival begins. Sadly, it may be as hopeless as running from the rise of the sun.