Comics
Published August 25, 2023

'Fall of X' Declassified: Torunn Grønbekk Deciphers 'Realm of X' #1

Writer Torunn Grønbekk breaks down the events of 'Realm of X' #1 and teases what's to come as this unlikely group of mutants tries to survive Vanaheim and the 'Fall of X.'

'Fall of X' Declassified banner

Thanks to FALL OF X, MagikDani MoonstarMarrowDust, Curse, and Typhoid Mary are bringing a little mutant mayhem to Vanaheim. 

In REALM OF X (2023) #1 by Torunn Grønbekk and Diógenes Neves, this unlikely group of mutants crashed a battle between the Vanir and a mysterious entity known as the White Witch. When the dust settled, they learned their arrival in Vanaheim wasn't entirely unexpected. In fact, they belong to an ancient prophecy, which means the Vanir believe their coming heralds the Realm's rise to riches—or its fall to ruins.

Speaking to Marvel.com, Grønbekk explained how she assembled this unique team of mutants. She discussed the impact of Magik's missing powers, as well as Typhoid Mary's place in the group. She also teased the arrival of "an old, helpful horror," the potential ramifications of Curse's upcoming moral dilemmas, and so much more.

MARVEL.COM: REALM OF X boasts quite the motley crew! How did Magik, Dani Moonstar, Marrow, Dust, Curse, and Typhoid Mary become the core team?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: Through a process of pure joy and delight!

The story calls for a certain friction within the team, and we needed a cast of characters who wouldn't be on the same page about everything. Especially given how they ended up in Vanaheim in the first place—it would be weird if the group were too harmonious.  

The fact that they are six of my favorite mutants is purely by coincidence! Cough. Cough.

MARVEL.COM: While Typhoid Mary is most certainly a mutant, she's been a villain far longer than she's been a citizen of Krakoa, so I'm particularly interested in the decision to include her. What does she bring to the team? Also, how does she respond to this sudden separation from her husband, Wilson Fisk?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: Listen, Mary is not happy. Or particularly helpful—not exactly a team player, you could say. But she is not one to suffer in silence. Unlike some of the others trapped with her, Mary's emotional state will be pretty obvious to anyone who comes along on this journey!

MARVEL.COM: When this group arrived in Vanaheim, they left something behind: Magik's powers! How do Magik's missing powers impact not only her confidence and sense of identity, but also her dynamic with the rest of the team?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: Magik has the most dramatic personal arc out of all the cast. She begins the story without mutant powers and is thrown into a realm where she can't use her magical abilities. She is, in other words, powerless in more sense than one and quite vulnerable. 

This is in itself wildly out of her comfort zone, and she is forced to step back in situations where she would usually take charge and be on the front lines. The others (with the notable exception of our Mary) give Illyana time to figure things out, but it certainly affects the group dynamic! 

But I love Magik and would not put her through this misery if we did not have a plan for her. 

MARVEL.COM: Poor Curse! As powerful as she is, REALM OF X leaves her in a pretty vulnerable position. How worried should we be for her?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: Honestly, if we should be worried for someone, it should be Vanaheim! 

I joke—you're entirely right to be worried about Curse. She is powerful, but she's also a wild card, and here, she is forced into some moral dilemmas that she might not be equipped to deal with. The consequences of which could have disastrous outcomes not just for her, but for her fellow mutants and the realm itself.

MARVEL.COM: Out of all the Ten Realms, how did you arrive at Vanaheim as the setting for REALM OF X?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: The Vanir have a certain chip on their shoulder after the war with Asgard (eons ago, but they're not ones to let go of a grudge that easily), but they are too wise not to have a sense of humor about it. Combined with the spectacular beauty of the realm itself, and the odd creatures that call it their home, there is a lot to love. And there are some other reasons why Vanaheim is the perfect setting for this story in particular, but I don't want to give too much away here!

MARVEL.COM: The team landed right in the middle of a major prophecy. What did that allow you to do with the story, that perhaps you couldn't have if the characters didn't have this "foresight," so to speak?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: Vanaheim is a place of divination, and prophecy is a part of life in the realm. Knowing something of the future affects and informs the Vanir's life from childhood. But, there is a moment in the future no one can see past—one that the Vanir has never been able to see past, and the unknown is coming closer with every hour that passes. 

When the mutants arrive, they are surprised to find that the Vanir are expecting them. They have, in fact, seen their arrival for centuries. It marks the beginning of this great uncertainty for Vanaheim, and not everyone is happy to see them—some even blame the mutants for what they think will be the destruction of the realm. 

It is always interesting to play around with destiny in a story. Wanting to control one's own fate is in our nature, after all.

MARVEL.COM: While this group has been flung far from Earth, how do the events of the Hellfire Gala and the FALL OF X continue to impact them?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: I think the isolation and lack of information is the thing that affects them the most. All attempts to contact Midgard go unanswered, and the not knowing is taking a toll. 

MARVEL.COM: What are the odds we'll run into any other Marvel Universe guest stars during this story?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: I can't really go into details, but I would say there is a reasonable probability! 

MARVEL.COM: Tell me a little about working with Diógenes Neves on this book. What did he bring to the title?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: We wanted someone who could handle the wild beauty of Vanaheim, and Neves was the perfect fit. He adds so much detail to the world and is such a master of expression and action. Seeing the pages come in is a joy!

MARVEL.COM: What's your favorite moment from this first issue? Why? Break it down for us!

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: Ah, it's hard to choose! I love every Curse panel. And every Mary panel! But I wonder if my favorite page is when we see Dust in action for the first time. It is a spectacular piece of art!

MARVEL.COM: What are you most excited for readers to see from the rest of REALM OF X?

TORUNN GRØNBEKK: There is a moment in particular I'm very excited about. An old, helpful horror

REALM OF X (2023) #4 cover by Stephanie Hans
REALM OF X (2023) #4 cover by Stephanie Hans

Join Vanaheim's battle against the White Witch in REALM OF X #1, now on sale!

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