Comics
Published April 12, 2023

The Secrets of Mutant Resurrection

Here's everything you need to know about the X-Men's Resurrection Protocols and their role in Krakoan culture.

The X-Men have always found ways to cheat death—and now, thanks to Krakoa’s Resurrection Protocols, every mutant can turn death into an inconvenience. Krakoa’s resurrection process is one of the cornerstones of the mutant nation. It has allowed heroes to respawn in the middle of battle, revived long-dead X-Men, and helped restore the decimated mutant population. 

Mister Sinister’s corruption of the Resurrection Protocols played a critical role in setting up the dark future of SINS OF SINISTER, and that twisted timeline debuted a new approach to mutant resurrection in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS (2023) #3 by Al Ewing, Alessandro Vitti, Rain Beredo, and VC's Ariana Maher. Now, let’s take a closer look at the secrets of mutant resurrection and break down how the X-Men and the rest of mutantkind mastered the art of coming back from the dead.

THE FIVE

By pooling their powers together, a group of young mutants known as the Five makes the Krakoan resurrection process possible. Since they first came together in HOUSE OF X (2019) #5 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz, the Five have played an indispensable role in establishing Krakoa by resurrecting mutants who died prematurely. The Five’s process involves creating cloned bodies of dead mutants, artificially aging them, and inserting backup copies of the late mutants’ minds into the husks to bring them to life.   

This process starts with Egg, who has the mutant power to generate gold balls of biological matter. After the spheres are injected with a genetic sample from Mister Sinister’s gene catalog, Proteus uses his reality-warping powers to turn these elements into a viable body. 

With his Omega-level healing abilities, Elixir essentially breathes life into the husks by kickstarting the process of cellular replication. Tempus then uses her time-manipulating powers to age the bodies. Throughout this process, Hope Summers uses her powers to amplify and synchronize the abilities of the rest of the Five. 

Finally, Charles Xavier or another telepathic mutant uses their powers to load the husks with a complete backup of their minds. This process restores mutants to their physical prime, and it can also repower mutants who lost their abilities. If any member of the Five dies, power-duplicating mutants like Synch and Mimic can take their place in the circuit, as Synch proved when he filled in for Hope in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #10 by Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck.  

The Five and their process are the result of decades of planning by Xavier and Moira MacTaggert. Before he formed the X-Men, Xavier theorized that several mutants with the right mix of powers could work together as a circuit to achieve things they could never do alone. Drawing upon their research, Moira and Xavier intentionally had powerful mutant children—Proteus and Legion—who could potentially help facilitate the resurrection process. Additionally, before they had their falling out, Xavier and Magneto turned to Mister Sinister and convinced him to build a complete catalog of mutant DNA in POWERS OF X (2019) #4 by Hickman and R.B. Silva.

BACKUPS

In POWERS OF X (2019) #5 by Jonathan Hickman and R.B. Silva, Xavier approached Forge about upgrading Cerebro, his mutant-detecting device, into something that could create psychic backups of every mutant mind on Earth. Thanks to Forge’s continued modifications and advanced technology from the Shi’ar Empire, Xavier started using this enhanced Cerebro to quietly create and regularly update digital mental backups of the world’s mutant population.

With routine weekly backups and more comprehensive backups every month, Xavier used Cerebro to create a complete psychic snapshot of the mutant race, with redundant copies stored in additional Cerebro units hidden in various mutant compounds. While Xavier wears Krakoa’s primary Cerebro helmet at almost all times, other highly skilled telepaths like Jean Grey and Hope Summers have also successfully used Cerebro as part of the resurrection process.

To try to atone for her role in depowering most mutants in HOUSE OF M (2015), the Scarlet Witch created the Waiting Room in X-MEN: THE TRIAL OF MAGNETO (2021) #5 by Leah Williams and Lucas Werneck. This mystical pocket dimension allows Cerebro to scan throughout time to back up the minds of mutants who perished before the machine’s activation, which added millions of long-dead mutants like Thunderbird to the resurrection queue. 

After the secret of mutant resurrection was made public, Captain America became the first human to undergo Krakoa’s resurrection process in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #7 by Kieron Gillen and Werneck. Shortly after that, Jean Grey formed the Phoenix Foundation to allow a small selection of vulnerable humans to go through the resurrection process.

ARAKKO AND RESURRECTION

While Krakoa’s mutants embraced the possibilities of resurrection, the mutant civilization of Arakko did not. After the Arakki mutants escaped the hellish dimension Amenth, Krakoa helped the battle-hardened mutants terraform Mars and establish the planet as the new Arakko. While the Arakki are an entirely separate society from the rest of the mutants, a few of Earth’s mutants found a new home on the Red Planet, including Storm and Magneto, who serve on the Great Ring of Arakko that governs their society. 

Due to the cultural significance they put on proving self-worth, the Arakki rejected Krakoa’s Resurrection Protocols on principle, seeing them as an affront to their way of living. When Storm and Magneto were confronted with this information, they both voluntarily removed themselves from Cerebro and all of its redundant systems in X-MEN RED (2022) #4 by Al Ewing, Juann CabalMichael Sta. Maria, and Andres Genolet. The Arakki accepted the two X-Men after that, but this meant Magneto could not be resurrected after he died in X-MEN: RED (2022) #7 by Ewing and Stefano Caselli.

RESURRECTION IN SINS OF SINISTER

Krakoa’s resurrection process played a crucial role in the Mister Sinister plan that led directly to the SINS OF SINISTER timeline. When Sinister gave Krakoa his genetic database, he inserted a genetic copy of himself into every mutant’s genetic code. While Hope’s power naturally filtered Sinister’s alterations out of mutant resurrections, Synch’s powers did not when he took her place in the Five following her death at Sinister’s hand. Accordingly, Hope, Xavier, Emma Frost, and Exodus were inadvertently resurrected as Sinister’s loyal agents in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #10 by Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck

Through the resurrection process, the Sinister-infected Quiet Council members brought most other mutants to their cause and took over the world in Sinister’s name, then launched a cosmic empire. Storm and a handful of Arakki mutants stood against Sinister’s forces, but she eventually died after a century of battling the Sinister Quiet Council

Having seen the horrific world he created, Mister Sinister turned on his once-loyal agents and dedicated himself to resetting the timeline and rebuilding Krakoa. By the time 1,000 years passed in this dark future, the members of the Sinister Quiet Council had fractured and devolved into feuding cosmic empires, and Sinister himself joined Storm’s last surviving allies. To stop the Cyttorak-powered Emma Frost, Sinister and the Arakki devised a plan to resurrect Storm by simulating the resurrection process with a new group of five mutants in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS (2023) #3 by Al Ewing, Alessandro Vitti, Rain Beredo, and VC's Ariana Maher.

Sinister started the resurrection process by inserting his last vial of Hope’s blood into a giant egg lain by the bird-like Old Oda. Craana the Commander gave the egg an undeniable command to bear life, while Bloodroot the Bone-Shaper used his power to sculpt the embryo into the new Storm’s body. Genas Mind-Flayer took the memories of Storm’s old ally Jon Ironfire to roughly shape Storm’s mind, and Khora of the Burning Heart amplified the group’s mutant powers. 

Although this group was able to resurrect Storm, she was shaped by Ironfire’s conceptions of her and did not possess the actual memories or personality of the original Storm. Just as other Sinister-infected mutant leaders used other variations on the resurrection process to further their cosmic agendas, this unrefined-but-effective revival proves how central the idea of resurrection has become to the X-Men’s world and SINS OF SINISTER’s future.

Witness the miracle of Storm's resurrection in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS (2023) #3 by Al Ewing and Alessandro Vitti, on sale now!

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