Comics
Published January 10, 2024

'Fall of the House of X' #1 & 'Rise of the Powers of X' #1 Easter Eggs, References, & Callbacks

Here's your guide to all the biggest Easter eggs, references, and callbacks in 'Fall of the House of X' #1 and 'Rise of the Powers of X' #1!

The island nation Krakoa was supposed to be a paradise for the X-Men and the rest of mutantkind, a place where they could safely build a sustainable future… but the mutant-hating organization Orchis has turned that dream into one of mutantkind's darkest chapters. 

With most of the world's mutants dead or missing and the surviving X-Men forced underground, Orchis launched its final attack on mutants in FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) #1. Meanwhile, Professor X and his closest allies try to stop a future where Orchis and its mutant-hating machines win before losing to an even more terrifying power in RISE OF THE POWERS OF X (2024) #1.

As the end of the Krakoan Age begins, let's take a closer look at all the Easter eggs, references, and callbacks to X-Men history in FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Lucas Werneck, Bryan Valenza, and VC's Travis Lanham, as well as RISE OF THE POWERS OF X (2024) #1 by Kieron Gillen, R.B. Silva, David Curiel, and VC's Clayton Cowles.

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X and RISE OF THE POWERS OF X promotional artwork by Mark Brooks and Richard Isanove
FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X and RISE OF THE POWERS OF X promotional artwork by Mark Brooks and Richard Isanove

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X #1

THE TOWN OF TIMELY

As FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) #1 opened, Cyclops dreamed that his trial took place in an Old Western town called Timely. During SECRET WARS (2015), the town of Timely, New Mexico was part of Battleworld, a patchwork world made up of parts of alternate realities. It officially debuted in 1872 (2015) #1 by Gerry Duggan and Nik Virella

In this dusty corner of the Multiverse, heroes like Sheriff Steve Rogers, inventor Anthony Stark, and the Cheyenne warrior Red Wolf fought Wilson Fisk, the town's brutal mayor. In Cyclops' dream, however, Timely is populated by Professor X, Jean Grey, and the other mutants of the Krakoan Era.

THE TRIALS OF CYCLOPS

As Cyclops faced an Orchis-orchestrated trial in Paris for his perceived crimes, the proceedings included several callbacks to other trials from X-Men history. For instance, Cyclops wore his second X-Men costume for the trial, which he wore when the Phoenix was put on trial during "The Dark Phoenix Saga" in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #137 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne

Cyclops also recalled the similarities between his trial and the trial of Magneto, another highly publicized spectacle, from UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #200 by Claremont and John Romita Jr. Additionally, this situation echoes Cyclops' imprisonment in AVENGERS V X-MEN: CONSEQUENCES (2012) by Kieron Gillen and Tom Raney, where Cyclops was incarcerated for his crimes during AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012). Scott Summers saw himself as a political prisoner in that story, much like he does now.

FASTBALL SPECIAL

While trying to rescue Cyclops, Wolverine and Colossus performed their signature tag-team move: the "fastball special," where a super-strong powerhouse hurls Logan towards their enemies. Since its debut in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #100 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, the fastball special has evolved into the backbone of "mutant technology," a philosophy built around combining mutant powers in inventive ways. 

While the fastball special sees Colossus turn Wolverine into a razor-sharp mutant missile, this thinking also applies to more complex collaborations like the Five, a group of mutants who combined their powers to resurrect the dead during the Krakoan Era. Here, Colossus and Wolverine also invert the fastball special by having Colossus throw enemies directly into Logan's adamantium claws.

THE ORCHIS MESSAGE 

After Cyclops was found guilty at his trial, Orchis launched its final assault on the world's mutants with a global broadcast that echoes the start of the Krakoan Era. After secretly establishing Krakoa with his allies, Charles Xavier introduced the nation of Krakoa with a telepathic broadcast that started with the phrase, "Humans of Earth. While you slept, the world changed," in HOUSE OF X (2019) #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz

As Orchis kicks off its final effort to end the Krakoan Age, Orchis leader Alia Gregor began a similar worldwide address with the phrase, "People of Earth. While you slept, the world changed," while Orchis Sentinels attempted to exterminate the world's remaining mutants.

THE X-MEN'S ALLIES

As the X-Men prepared to fight Orchis, ShadowKat's unique ability to use Krakoa's global portal system allowed her to coordinate with the team's remaining allies. Kate Pryde checked in with Iron Man and Emma Frost, who married Tony Stark while undercover in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN (2022) #10 by Gerry Duggan and Juan Frigeri.

She also contacted Woofer, one of the mutants on the planet Arakko, and told him to get ready to help Forge, who has been assembling a fleet in deep space since INVINCIBLE IRON MAN. As Ms. Marvel and the Avengers took on one of Orchis' Stark Sentinels, Pryde also traveled to the X-Mansion to see Juggernaut, whom she freed from Orchis custody in X-MEN (2022) #27 by Duggan and Phil Noto.

EMMA FROST'S SPEECH

While telepathically rallying the X-Men and their allies, Emma Frost told the anti-Orchis resistance, "The whole world is at stake, and we must be nothing less than fabulous." This phrase references one of Emma Frost's most memorable moments from a speech she gave the student body of a newly reopened Xavier Institute for Higher Learning in NEW X-MEN (2001) #122 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Shortly after Professor X was publicly revealed to be a mutant, Frost told the school's students, "The whole world is watching us now. We must be nothing less than fabulous," just as mutants entered a new era of cultural significance and scrutiny within the Marvel Universe.

POLARIS' NEW MISSION

After starting up a team of mutant investigators in X-FACTOR (2020), Polaris traded her ornate costume with a cape for a more casual uniform with a jacket and an ever-present cup of coffee. While Polaris kept that look throughout her recent stint in the X-Men, ShadowKat found Lorna's costume abandoned when she tried to check in on her during FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) #1. 

To prepare for the oncoming war, Polaris has donned a new costume influenced by her father, Magneto, and her classic look from UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #50 by Arnold Drake and Jim Steranko. She has also recruited the alien X-Man Broo and his Brood loyalists, who have been hiding on Knowhere since X-MEN (2021) #21 by Gerry Duggan and Stefano Caselli.

RISE OF POWERS OF X #1

PROFESSOR SYNCH

In a RISE OF POWERS OF X (2024) #1 timeline where Orchis won and splintered, the X-Men are just a small team led by Synch, the power-mimicking mutant known as the Professor in this future. Even though this timeline takes place only 10 years in the future, Synch appears elderly because of his powers. 

In addition to copying the abilities of nearby mutants, he can also replicate powers that he previously borrowed from memory. However, this process prematurely ages him, as established in X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA (2022) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Russell DautermanKris AnkaC.F. Villa, and Matteo Lolli. After copying so many powers from memory in this timeline, Synch has prematurely reached old age.

IRON MAN AI

While Tony Stark is dead in RISE OF POWER OF X's future, his spirit lives on through an artificial intelligence that operates the Mark Nil suit, which he created to help the X-Men fight Orchis in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN (2022) #7 by Gerry Duggan and Juan Frigeri

On three separate occasions, Stark has created artificial versions of himself to operate in his absence. The most recent Stark AI activated after Stark fell into a coma during CIVIL WAR II (2016). The AI helped Riri Williams build the Ironheart armor and tried to organize Marvel's heroes during SECRET EMPIRE (2017). When the real Stark returned to action, the AI briefly served as his armor's operating system.

MS. MARVEL'S NEW NAME

Since learning she possesses an X-gene, Ms. Marvel has fully embraced her mutant status as a member of the X-Men. In this future, Kamala Khan took her mutant identity even further by assuming the name Captain Krakoa, an identity once used by Cyclops and a mutant-hating alternate reality Steve Rogers

To go along with her new codename, Kamala has also started wearing Captain Krakoa's suit, which debuted in X-MEN (2021) #6 by Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz. Designed by Forge to give less powerful mutants offensive capabilities, this battlesuit provides its users the ability to fly, generate tactical vines, and use enhanced strength. 

SHADOWKAT'S DEATH SEED

Since Krakoa fell to Orchis, Kate Pryde has leaned into her lethal martial arts training and revived her ShadowKat identity. Pryde has taken her dark instincts even further in this future by consuming the Death Seed to become ShadowTiger. 

Primarily used by Apocalypse and his heirs, Death Seeds have boosted powers and twisted the minds of its users to celebrate death since they debuted in UNCANNY X-FORCE (2010) #10 by Rick Remender and Billy Tan. In the same way one turned Angel into Archangel, a Death Seed has boosted Pryde's phasing powers to phase-shift through space, effectively allowing her to teleport.

THE DOMINION

Having split from Orchis and its human members, Nimrod led this timeline's other AIs in an attempt to summon a Dominion to assimilate the Earth. Existing outside of time and space, a Dominion is a sentient singularity that is essentially the final evolution of all machines, technologies, and AI within the Marvel Universe. 

Although Dominions exist in their final form at all points in time, they use the Phalanx as emissaries to scout advanced worlds worthy of assimilation. After machines wiped out mutants in one of the timelines Moira MacTaggert lived through, Earth was almost assimilated by a Dominion before Moira's powers reset the timeline in POWERS OF X (2019) #6 by Jonathan Hickman and R.B. Silva.

HUMANITY'S SUPREME INTELLIGENCE

For thousands of years, the Kree Empire was ruled by the Supreme Intelligence, a being made up of the minds of the alien civilization's greatest thinkers. In this timeline, Doctor Stasis—a former Orchis leader—brought that idea to Earth. 

To stop machines from making Earth part of a Dominion, Stasis fused human geniuses like Tony Stark, Blue Marvel, Mister Fantastic, and Valeria Richards together as a Supreme Intelligence inside the Vault, a protected area where time moves at an accelerated rate. Using this collective's ideas, Stasis extinguished the Sun to fuel his effort to overwrite the Dominion with his mind.

THE ESSEX ENIGMA

Over a century ago, scientist Nathaniel Essex created four clones, including Mister Sinister and Doctor Stasis, to investigate ways to help him overcome the inevitable rise of AI and other machines. After absorbing the knowledge the clones had gathered, Essex realized that the best way to survive would be to turn himself into an AI and become a Dominion called Enigma, as revealed in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #18 by Kieron Gillen and Juan José Ryp

After Stasis failed to overwrite the Dominion, Enigma consumed that Dominion and reset the timeline to ensure his rise, taking inspiration from the way Sinister misused Moira MacTaggert's power in SINS OF SINISTER (2023).

NO-PLACE X

After Moira MacTaggert quietly helped Xavier and Magneto establish Krakoa, she hid in No-Place, a bubble of space that was cut off from the rest of the island, as first seen in POWERS OF X (2019) #1 by Jonathan Hickman and R.B. Silva. Shortly before SINS OF SINISTER, Krakoa absorbed Cypher into the unoccupied No-Place during IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #13 by Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck

Cypher and Krakoa have transformed the No-Place into a small bubble outside of time and space. Free from Enigma's sight, Xavier, Cypher, and Rasputin IV—a powerful mutant hero from a lost timeline—are the last line of defense against a future where mutants seem destined for extinction.

It's the beginning of the end for Krakoa in FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X #1 and RISE OF THE POWERS OF X #1, now on sale!

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