Comics
Published January 4, 2024

What You Need to Know for 'Fall of the House of X' and 'Rise of the Powers of X'

Here's everything you need to know for 'Fall of the House of X' and 'Rise of the Powers of X,' the interconnected series that will bring an end to the X-Men's Krakoan Age.

Five years ago, the X-Men changed the world while the Marvel Universe slept. 

Tired of living in a world that hates and fears mutants, Professor X introduced Krakoa, an island nation he and his allies built in secret to give mutants a permanent home in tropical paradise. Guided by the prophetic warnings of longtime ally Moira MacTaggert, Xavier, Magneto, and the rest of mutantkind attempted to create a sustainable society that could survive threats like the Sentinels and mutant-hating groups like Orchis

The establishment of Krakoa and the secrets of Moira MacTaggert's previously unseen lives were unveiled through two interconnected miniseries: HOUSE OF X (2019) by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz and POWERS OF X (2019) by Hickman and R.B. Silva. Just as HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X kicked off the Krakoan Era, FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) by Gerry Duggan and Lucas Werneck and RISE OF THE POWERS OF X (2024) by Kieron Gillen and Silva will bring this age of mutants to an end. 

Before the sun sets on the Krakoan Era, let's look back at how it all began in HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X.

MOIRA MACTAGGERT'S SECRET LIVES

As a scientist and close friend to Xavier, Moira MacTaggert appeared as one of the X-Men's most trustworthy human allies from her debut in Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum's UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #96 through her apparent death. However, HOUSE OF X (2019) revealed Moira was secretly a mutant who had guided Xavier for years thanks to her reincarnation powers, which allowed her to live through multiple timelines. 

Whenever Moira died, she was subsequently reincarnated as a child with full knowledge of her previous lives, and she believed this process would repeat 10 or 11 times before she died for good. After working individually with Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse in her previous lives, MacTaggert identified the rise of machines like the Sentinels—and specifically, the emergence of the endlessly adaptable Nimrod—as the greatest threat to the long-term survival of mutants.

After witnessing the extinction of mutantkind across her first nine lives, Moira quietly worked with Xavier and Magneto to establish Krakoa in her tenth—and presumably final—life. Moira approached Xavier with all of this information before he formed the X-Men, and the pair made preparations for Krakoa for years, even arranging her apparent death. 

Although Moira's dream of Krakoa was largely realized, she turned against mutantkind after the resurrection of her rival, the prophetic mutant Destiny, and planned to depower the world's mutants to spare them from eradication. While the twisted mutant scientist Mister Sinister cloned Moria and used her powers for his own ends, MacTaggert became depowered herself. She then transferred her mind into a cyborg body and joined Orchis as one of their leaders.

KRAKOA'S DEBUT

Having seen the rise and fall of other mutant nations like Genosha and Utopia, Xavier, MacTaggert, and their allies designed Krakoa to survive in a world that hates and fears mutants. So, when Xavier presented Krakoa to the world, he also unveiled three medicines that could only be produced by Krakoan flowers. 

Developed by Beast, these three medicines served as universal antibiotics, extended human lifespans by five years, and treated "diseases of the mind"—but they were only distributed to countries that recognized Krakoa as a sovereign nation. Although a handful of nations still did not recognize Krakoa, many nations accepted these life-saving drugs in return for accepting the mutant nation as part of the international geopolitical order.  

Krakoa welcomed all mutants within its borders, even former villains like Apocalypse and Exodus. To help mutants travel to and from the isolated island nation, the X-Men and their allies planted flowers that sprouted into Krakoan Gateways all over the world and throughout the universe. Thanks to the extensive work of the omnilingual mutant Cypher, Krakoa—a sentient being—grew self-sustaining living spaces called Habitats and produced food for its mutant residents.   

To govern Krakoa, Xavier and Magneto assembled the Quiet Council, a ruling body of 12 mutants from various factions of Krakoan society in HOUSE OF X (2019) #6 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz. Beyond Xavier and Magneto, the first Quiet Council included Emma Frost, Apocalypse, Exodus, Mister Sinister, Nightcrawler, Mystique, Jean Grey, Storm, Sebastian Shaw, and Kate "Kitty" Pryde. The Quiet Council also established three laws that served as the basis for Krakoan society: do not kill humans, respect the sacred land of Krakoa, and make more mutants.

THE RESURRECTION PROTOCOLS

While the X-Men have always been known for their teamwork, Krakoa's Resurrection Protocols took the idea of combining mutant powers to dramatic new heights, as revealed in HOUSE OF X (2019) #5 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz. In a process developed by Xavier and MacTaggert, a group of young mutants called the Five pooled their powers together to resurrect dead mutants at their physical peak. 

In this process, Egg—the mutant formerly known as Goldballs—generated an egg, which would then be made viable by the reality-warping Proteus. Using DNA from Mister Sinister's genetic database, the bio-kinetic healer Elixir turned bio-matter into a husk body, which the time-manipulating Tempus would then grow to the mutant's desired age. This process was facilitated by Hope Summers, who used her powers to help the rest of the Five align their abilities in perfect harmony. 

Once a resurrected mutant emerged from an egg, Xavier psychically restored their mind from a regularly updated backup kept in Cerebro. Where Cerebro once merely detected mutants, Xavier and the technopath Forge reimagined it as a psychic backup device capable of holding copies of millions of minds. Unbeknownst to the world, Xavier made psychic copies of mutant minds for years, which enabled the Five to resurrect dead mutants like Pyro. 

When one of the Five died, the power mimic Synch served as a substitute in the process, and experienced telepaths like Jean Grey can also restore minds with Cerebro. The Resurrection Protocols drastically changed the relationship between mutants and death. X-Men frequently died in battle, only to be resurrected a few hours later. Young mutants even began to see death as a rite of passage.

ORCHIS EMERGES 

Even considering Krakoa's accomplishments, the world still hated and feared mutants. Just as Xavier brought mutants together on Krakoa, the anti-mutant forces of the world joined forces to form Orchis. Drawing members from organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M., S.W.O.R.D., and Hydra, Orchis is the brainchild of Doctor Alia Gregor, who developed the idea to stop mutants from becoming the world's dominant species. Killian Devo enacted Gregor's plans for Orchis and led the organization on the orders of Omega Sentinel, a former X-Man possessed by her mutant-hating counterpart from an alternate timeline.

While Orchis developed plans to attack Krakoa and mutantkind on multiple fronts, mutant-hunting Sentinels also played a significant role in the organization's plans. In HOUSE OF X (2019), a team of X-Men destroyed an orbital Sentinel-making facility called the Orchis Forge, but they were killed during the process. After those mutants were resurrected, Orchis continued its efforts against Krakoa by successfully activating Nimrod, a hyper-adaptive Sentinel that marked a turning point in the war between humans and mutants in several future timelines. 

As Orchis grew, mutant-hating scientist Feilong joined the organization, bought Tony Stark's company, and used Iron Man technology to create Stark Sentinels. Orchis also brought Moira MacTaggert and Doctor Stasis, a mutant-hating clone of scientist Nathaniel Essex, into its leadership. After spreading anti-mutant sentiment and tainting the medicine that Krakoa supplied to the rest of the world, Orchis unleashed its full fury at the Hellfire Gala, which left Krakoa in ruins and the world's mutants missing or forced underground in X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA (2023) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Luciano VecchioR.B. SilvaRussell Dauterman, and Valerio Schiti.

DOMINIONS

In the timelines where machines prevailed over mutantkind, Nimrod and the other AIs made joining a Dominion their ultimate goal. Standing as the ultimate pinnacle of technological evolution, a Dominion is an interstellar intelligence with unlimited power that exists outside of the boundaries of time and space. Dominions are sentient beings made up of Titans, collections of intelligence dense enough to generate singularities. Through relatively less powerful agents like the Phalanx, Dominions can absorb or assimilate worlds to increase their intelligence or maintain the energy needed for their operations. 

As detailed in POWERS OF X (2019), the sixth life of Moira MacTaggert offers the clearest example of a Dominion in action through the Phalanx. In this timeline, mutants, humans, and machines were replaced by genetically-engineered post-humans. These post-humans created a planet-size AI to reach out to the Phalanx, who they hoped would absorb and assimilate their machine intelligence and make it part of the Dominion's larger collective. 

While this process would take these post-humans into what they considered a higher plane of existence, the assimilation process would also destroy every living thing on Earth. However, Moira MacTaggert was killed before this process could begin in earnest, and her death reset the timeline and wiped out this future in POWERS OF X (2019) #5 by Jonathan Hickman and R.B. Silva.

More recently, Enigma—a new Dominion—revealed himself in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #18 by Kieron Gillen and Juan Jose Ryp. This Dominion is a creation of Nathaniel Essex, the immortality-obsessed Victorian-era scientist who cloned himself to create Mister Sinister and Doctor Stasis. Hiding in the shadows beyond the Marvel Universe, Enigma is the ultimate threat to mutants and their continued evolution.

Witness the beginning of the end of the Krakoan Era in FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) #1, now on sale!

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