The Krakoan Age of X-Men has put the mutant race through its paces. With the upcoming X Lives of Wolverine/X Deaths of Wolverine series promising to chart a brave new path for the X-Men, it looks like the Krakoan Age is in for even more upheaval. But with a franchise built around the concept of evolution, that’s to be expected. Before fans embark on what writer Benjamin Percy has described as “the greatest Wolverine story of all time,” here’s a recap of how the Krakoan Age came to be. You can catch up on each of these comics with our ComiXology affiliate links below.
The Krakoan Age of X-Men began with the twin miniseries House of X and Powers of X, with both series being written by Jonathan Hickman. House of X, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, revealed the formation of Krakoa and every mutant ever joining the new nation-including former X-Men enemies such as Apocalypse. The formation of Krakoa was due to the knowledge of the X-Men’s ally Moira MacTaggert, who was revealed to be a mutant with the power of reincarnation. Powers of X, illustrated by R.B. Silva, crossed time and space to reveal mutants’ ultimate end and how Moira was present for all of it through her ten lives. The twin series also revealed that mutantkind has essentially conquered death, with a combination of abilities from five select mutants and Professor X storing their memories within Cerebro. And to govern Krakoa, a Quiet Council was formed consisting of twelve mutants, who formed three laws: Make more mutants; Murder no man; Respect the sacred land of Krakoa.
It was eventually revealed that Krakoa had a sister island, Arakko, where Apocalypse and his wife Genesis ruled over the first generation of mutants. When the Swordbearers of Arakko invade Krakoa, the Majestrix of Otherworld Saturnyne arranges a tournament between select champions from both islands. At the end of the contest, both Krakoa and Arakko were asked to exchange one inhabitant in order to declare peace. Apocalypse left with Genesis but chose Arakko and its entire population to take his place. The contest also led Cyclops, along with his wife Jean Grey, to reform the X-Men and act not just as champions of Krakoa but as Earth.
This decision led to the star-studded Hellfire Gala, where the new team of X-Men was chosen through election. The new roster of X-Men consisted of Cyclops, Jean, Wolverine (Laura Kinney), Polaris, Sunfire, Synch, and Rogue. In Planet-Size X-Men, a group of mutants including Magneto, Storm, and Iceman terraformed Mars into a hospitable environment, claiming it for the mutants of Arakko and installing Storm as Regent of the red planet. Tragedy struck when the Scarlet Witch was mysteriously murdered at the end of the gala, with Magneto being the prime suspect. However, she was resurrected with the Krakoa portals and eventually ensured that millions of mutants who died would have the chance at resurrection.
However, the darkest secret of the Krakoan Age was revealed. Though all mutants were supposedly welcome on Krakoa, Moira told Magneto and Xavier that no mutants with precognitive abilities would be allowed on Krakoa, in order to hide the fact that mutantkind faced failure in every life she led. This led to friction with Mystique, who along with other mutants attempted to stop the rise of the sentinel Nimrod in order for her wife Destiny to be resurrected. Fed up with the manipulation, Mystique arranged for Destiny to be resurrected and take a seat on the Quiet Council, and confronted Moira. Moira revealed that she had lost faith in mutantkind and was planning to “cure” the population of Krakoa, removing their powers—until Cypher stopped her and banished her from the island. Emma Frost, having learned of Moira’s deception, told the other members of the Quiet Council, leaving them all on equal ground for the time being.
The X-Men are set for another status quo shift with the upcoming Destiny of X storyline, which launches new titles such as Immortal X-Men focused on the Quiet Council and X-Men Red traveling to Arakko. With Destiny of X said to spin out of the events of X Lives of Wolverine/X Deaths of Wolverine, it remains to be seen how the clawed Canadian’s latest adventure will shape the future of the Krakoan Age. As always, change remains the only constant in the mutant heroes’ lives.
X Lives of Wolverine #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on January 19, 2021.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.