Perhaps the title is a bit misleading. All X-Men are Krakoan, but not all Krakoans are X-Men.
Historically, before the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning turned into a legit boarding school (thanks a lot to the X-Men live-action movie franchise), the X-Men were always viewed as outlaws. Vigilantes at best. Yes, they’d often save the world and the lives of those in danger, but they’d also attack government installations, and violate the borders of sovereign nations, like on a weekly basis. Now that all mutants represent a nation, anything they do off of their soil can be looked at as an act of aggression; aka war.
The idea of this originally came from none other than Richard “ya boi Zack” Meyers. He recently posted a video critiquing the less than stellar opening issue of Marauders, written by Gerry Duggan.
In the 20-minute video, he compared the actions that Kitty Pryde and her group of “not-X-Men” to open terrorism. And he isn’t wrong. Since the start of House of X and Powers of X the Earth’s first officially recognized mutant nation has been on a bit of a tear.
Before we know what was happening, one of the first scenes we were shown was the Brotherhood of Mutants doing what the Brotherhood of Mutants normally do- that is, break into places they aren’t supposed to be and take things that don’t belong to them.
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Ultimately, they were able to get away even though they were engaged by Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, Sabretooth got pinched and it was left to Cyclops to attempt to negotiate his freedom using his newly acquired amnesty-card (didn’t work).
However, in reality, Mystique, Toad and Creed weren’t operating on their own. Xavier and Magneto had tasked them to steal the information using their known reputations as hardened criminals as an excuse for their actions. Smart, seeing as that could have easily been a declaration of war. Why? Again, because Krakoa is now a recognized sovereign nation. If every mutant represents their country, then their actions do as well, which is why they are requesting amnesty for their less enlightened citizens (villains). In this instance, they just used that as an excuse to get what they needed.
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And what they needed was information to launch yet another unprovoked attack on another human-control facility, the Forge. Orchis may be a rogue element and not an official international group, so that was more along the lines of two parties quarreling in international waters. The U.N. may step in eventually, but the only feathers that got ruffled were those of Orchis. The same can be said about Cyclops’ second attack on the organization in X-Men #1. However, the same cannot be said about their actions in Marauders.
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So, to facilitate safe passage for mutants around the world to Krakoa, the gateways were planted in various territories. The problem with that is, not all governments are on board with the United Nation’s acceptance of Krakoa. Much less willing to allow their citizens to leave their country to join the new island nation.
Among these are Wakanda, their surrounding protected territories and, as we’ve seen, Russia. The former core of the Soviet Union has no intention of playing nice with Krakoa. Iceman was the first to discover that the gateway is heavily fortified and being guarded by troops.
In reality, the first step the Quiet Council should have taken was to use their political influence to broker some sort of deal that would allow any Russian mutants to enter the gate in return for goods and/or services. Normal stuff. Maybe it would have worked, maybe not. Probably not.
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What countries aren’t supposed to do is invade each other’s borders and launch all-out unprovoked attacks on each other. The moment Iceman entered the gate he was trespassing. Bobby should have apologized and requested to speak with a representative. Or just stepped back through the gate chewing his veggie-drumstick and reported what he encountered. The Russians were indeed aggressive, but again, they had every right to be.
Kitty (literally drunk) alongside Storm, Iceman and the newly reborn, oddly youthful, original Pyro sailed to Russia and attacked the camp being guarded by a regiment of the Russian military. Their job was to defend their borders and repel invaders. Which the X-Men were.
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Kitty can call her team “Marauders” until she’s blue in the face, but Storm is a member of the Quiet Council. Perhaps the members of Krakoa’s ruling party aren’t public knowledge, but Storm, Kitty, and Iceman are years separated from the public not knowing who they are. Not to mention, Pyro is (was?) a known terrorist.
This isn’t even the first instance of this behavior this year. In Uncanny X-Men, Cyclops and Wolverine led a team of various X-Men against the U.S. government in several instances. This included a strike against a military base where most of their team was being held and experimented on. Not saying they were wrong, but legally, that made them a domestic terrorist cell. That’s without adding in the hijinks that Hope, Banshee, and the others were up to before the X-Men shut them down, and absorbed her team into their own.
The weird part about all this is, it’s just the beginning. We’re exactly 2-issues into the Dawn of X and the opening shots from both books have Krakoan citizens and officers of the state violating the borders of neighboring countries. In one instance, basically declaring war on a superpower, should they decide to accept their offer.
If this is any indication of how Marvel’s merry mutants will be operating for the foreseeable future, I’m going to have an increasingly difficult time buying that these are the same characters I grew up loving. They can’t have it both ways. The X-Men are either outlaw freedom fighters or they are representatives of a legitimate nation. Anything in between makes them criminals.
What do you guys think? Do you agree with ya boi Zack? Are the X-Men becoming unredeemable? Will this eventually lead to an all-out war? Let us know below.