3 X-Men Utopias That Ended in Disaster
In the wake of 'Age of X-Man: Alpha' #1, we revisit previous attempts to create a home for the X-Men.
Almost as soon as Professor X’s dream of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutant took shape, another competing idea rose to oppose it. No, we do not speak of Magento's dedication to mutants dominating humanity; we're referring to the concept of a mutant utopia. A separate land for mutants in which the needs of humanity are of no concern. Mutantkind living only amongst mutantkind without the necessity to convince humans of their right to live. A home.
Alas, this has remained a largely unrealized reality. However, just as with the concept of utopia in our world, there have certainly been attempts to bring it about. And in the aftermath of this week's AGE OF X-MAN: ALPHA #1, in which the dream of a new utopia appears, we thought we'd look back at previous experiments.
Here, we consider those efforts at bringing forth a mutant utopia...and how they went horribly wrong.
It makes sense to start here, given the name and all.
Utopia actually began its life as the orbiting base of intimidation for Magneto known as Asteroid M. After multiple attacks on Asteroid M, including at least one trip into the sun, Magento abandoned the more trouble than it proved worth rock to its fate. It plunged to Earth and sunk under the water near San Francisco.
Seemingly forgotten there for a time, eventually the X-Club discovered and surfaced it. Before long, it gained the name and goal of Utopia—a self-sufficient home for mutants everywhere to start anew, to seek asylum, to live a life free of fear.
Alas, a singular mutant nation automatically becomes an easy target. The likes of the U-Men, Bolivar Task, Norman Osborn, and vampires all took aim at various times on the island. While a giant Super Sentinel nearly destroyed Utopia, it still managed to recover and soldier on.
It would eventually be mutants themselves to bring Utopia to ruin. When the Phoenix Force split into five parts, the recipients—Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Colossus, and Namor—remade Utopia as a glimmering floating island. The power, however, corrupted each wielder and they soon attacked one another to increase their own slice of the Phoenix. When even Cyclops fell, Utopia fell back to the ocean where it slowly but steadily began sinking under the waves.
In a perversion of its original purpose, Hydra seized Utopia, stabilized it, and made it its new capital. When Hydra eventually ended up vanquished, the resulting battle left Utopia utterly desolated and destroyed.
A small African island nation off the coast of Madagascar, Genosha enjoyed stability, independence, and success throughout the years. However, the secret to Genosha’s success seemed to lie predominantly with its use of mutants as slaves. When the X-Men became aware of this, the current regimen’s reign quickly ended. And while subsequent governments claimed to be dedicated to making amends for historical misdeeds, Fabian Cortex disrupted the fragile place by pushing the country into civil war for his own purposes.
With the island increasing violence, the UN readily agreed to turn it over to Magneto and allow him to declare it a mutants-only safe nation. It would not be long before Magneto crushed the human resistance and, fueled by a cure for the Legacy Virus, established a healthy new nation.
However, he then attempted to weaponize it against the wider world. Thankfully, X-Men interference derailed this plan and injured Magneto, effectively ending his time as solo ruler.
The next blow, though, would be far more devastating; Cassandra Nova unleashed her Wild Sentinels on the island, and those that remained there were almost uniformly slaughtered.
Several attempts to re-establish the nation as a mutant sanctuary followed, each with devastating results. Most recently, the one-two punches of Red Skull using Genosha as a prison nation and the Inhumans spreading Terrigen Mists effectively rendered Genosha a ghost island—abandoned but for a terrible legacy of mutant death, fear, and slavery. Magneto nailed the last stake into its proverbial coffin, sinking the island into the ocean with a series of explosives.
Age of Apocalypse
It may be hard to believe, but the AGE OF APOCALYPSE all started with an attempt at improving the world for mutantkind. Legion, looking to give his father, Professor X, an advantage in the struggle with Magneto’s vision, traveled back in time looking to kill Magneto. Instead, he slayed his own dad by accident.
The resulting timeline ripples created the so-called AGE OF APOCALYPSE. In Apocalypse’s mind, his Age does yield a mutant utopia. Mutants have become rulers of the world, with Apocalypse at the top of the heap. Humans are increasingly hunted down and killed on a genocidal level, resulting in world that seems nearly, if not completely, devoid of homo sapiens.
After the human population ended up effectively extinct, Apocalypse next turned his eyes on mutants who possessed mental abilities to further ensure the security of his reign. Still, he considered his new world a utopia. His actions led to a universe-wide crystallization, effectively spelling the end to all life—even mutants, even his own.
While the timeline has continued to exist and survived the crystallization, it remains a dark place. Even without Apocalypse to oversee it, it has been clear that the timeline is irrevocably decimated. While the X-Men may soldier on there, never can it ever truly be “healed.”
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