Comics
Published June 7, 2024

The Krakoan Age: Year 2

As the X-Men's Krakoan Age comes to a close, return to the place it began with this breakdown of Krakoa's second year, from 'Dawn of X' to 'Reign of X.'

As the X-Men entered their second year together on the island nation Krakoa, trouble was already starting to brew in the mutant paradise. In addition to dealing with the constant threat of mutant-hating groups like Orchis, Krakoa came close to all-out interdimensional war in the X OF SWORDS crossover.

When that conflict resulted in the return of a long-lost mutant civilization from the island Arakko, the mutants of Krakoa faced their greatest challenge yet, with consequences that echoed around the world and across the far reaches of the Marvel Universe. 

As the Krakoan era enters its final days, let's look back at some of the most critical moments from the Krakoan Age. From the end of the DAWN OF X era to the start of the REIGN OF X era, we'll break down some of the most memorable moments from the second calendar year of Krakoa's existence.

KRAKOA'S X-FACTOR

Although mutantkind could bring back the dead through the Resurrection Protocols, Krakoa did not have an official way to ensure that mutants were actually deceased before resurrecting them. While trying to prove his sister Aurora had died, Northstar assembled Polaris, Daken, Prodigy, Rachel Summers, and Eye-Boy as X-Factor Investigations to solve that problem in X-FACTOR (2020) #1 by Leah Williams and David Baldeón

After Aurora was resurrected and joined the officially sanctioned team, X-Factor investigated the death of Wind Dancer, brought Shatterstar to Krakoa, and freed Siryn from the curse of an undying spirit called the Morrigan. X-Factor also played a crucial role in investigating the apparent death of the Scarlet Witch.

APOCALYPSE AND THE LOST MUTANTS

After becoming an accepted leader on Krakoa, Apocalypse turned his attention to the mutants of Arakko, a long-lost civilization he once led with his family on the island Okkara. When they were attacked by daemons from the Amenth dimension, Genesis—Apocalypse's wife—separated Okkara into two halves, Arakko and Krakoa, as detailed in X-MEN (2019) #13 by Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar

Genesis, Apocalypse's children, and the rest of the Arakki sealed themselves in Amenth, where they fought a millennia-long battle against the Amenthi. After a High Summoner of Arakko contacted him, Apocalypse built an External Gate from the bones of immortal mutants, which created a path from Krakoa to Amenth through the mystical realm of the Otherworld.

THE X OF SWORDS TOURNAMENT

After attacking Apocalypse, Genesis—possessed by an evil spirit called Annihilation—and the Arakki planned to invade Krakoa by traveling through Otherworld. To save her realm, Saturnyne, the powerful ruler of Otherworld, arranged a tournament between the heroes of Krakoa and Arakko in X OF SWORDS: CREATION (2020) #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, and Pepe Larraz

The Swordbearers of Krakoa and Arakko faced each other across two dozen competitions ranging from one-on-one combat to eating and drinking challenges to an arranged marriage between Cypher and Arakko's Bei the Blood Moon. Once the tournament devolved into a full-on battle, Apocalypse won by taking control over Annihilation and conceding on Arakko's behalf, which gave Krakoa the victory. 

APOCALYPSE'S ARAKKO EXCHANGE

When the X OF SWORDS tournament concluded, Saturnyne forced Krakoa and Arakko to exchange one resident each as a show of good faith in X OF SWORDS: DESTRUCTION (2020) #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, and Pepe Larraz. Genesis asked Apocalypse to join her and their family in Amenth. In return, Apocalypse asked the living island of Arakko to return to Earth, along with its millions of mutant residents. 

Although many of Arakko's battle-hardened mutants left and became mercenaries, the rest of the island's aggressive residents struggled to exist alongside the Krakoans on Earth. Similarly, the islands of Krakoa and Arakko failed to reconnect after spending so long apart.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN'S DEATH AND REBIRTH

During the X OF SWORDS tournament, Captain Britain (Betsy Braddock) died in battle and shattered into glass-like shards. With the goal of rebuilding the Multiversal Captain Britain Corps following their demise in SECRET WARS (2015), Saturnyne put the broken pieces of Betsy back together in EXCALIBUR (2019) #15 by Tini Howard, Mahmud Asrar, and Stefano Caselli

Although Saturnyne tried to rebuild the Corps around her beloved Brian Braddock, the Captain Britain Corps was reborn with alternate reality versions of Betsy. After Excalibur went on a mystical quest to save their teammate's spirit, the original Betsy returned and took her place as the Corps' leader, which Saturnyne begrudgingly accepted.

S.W.O.R.D. RETURNS 

During X OF SWORDS, a teenage Cable restored the Peak, the abandoned space station that once housed S.W.O.R.D. After the tournament, Abigail Brand reformed S.W.O.R.D. as a cosmic branch of Krakoa in S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #1 by Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti. This incarnation of the organization was staffed by a large group of mutants, including Cable, Wiz-Kid, Frenzy, Fabian Cortez, and Manifold

In its early days, several S.W.O.R.D. members combined their powers to travel beyond the edge of space into the White Hot Room to forge a rare metal called mysterium, which Krakoa began stockpiling. S.W.O.R.D. also played a role in resolving cosmic crises like KING IN BLACK (2020) and THE LAST ANNIHILATION (2020).  

NEW MUTANTS' WILD HUNT

As most of the adult heroes on Krakoa focused on nation-building, some of the island's youngest and most vulnerable mutants remained directionless. Fortunately, Magik, Danielle Moonstar, and some other veteran New Mutants teamed up to mentor the next generation of heroes in NEW MUTANTS (2019) #14 by Vita Ayala and Rod Reis

The New Mutants grew especially concerned with the Lost Club—a group of young mutants including Anole, Cosmar, and No-Girl—when their friend Scout was found dead. As Wolfsbane and the Lost Club started falling under the sway of the Shadow King, the New Mutants intervened, rescued their friends, and freed Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King's long-time human host, from the dark psychic entity. 

NIMROD ACTIVATES

Based on Moira MacTaggert's observations from her previous lives, the activation of Nimrod—a hyper-adaptable Sentinel—marked a dark tipping point in mutant history. Across several timelines and possible futures, Nimrod pushed mutants to the brink of extinction. Despite Krakoa's best efforts, Orchis completed and activated their Nimrod in X-MEN (2019) #20 by Jonathan Hickman and Francesco Mobili.

As soon as Nimrod came online, the machine realized Mystique had snuck onboard with a singularity bomb. Although Nimrod saved the station and disposed of the bomb, the part of Nimrod that included the consciousness of Orchis leader Alia Greggor's late husband was destroyed. Nimrod sent a brutalized Mystique back to Krakoa and immediately emerged as one of Orchis' most dangerous leaders.

ARAKKO AND THE HELLFIRE GALA

Krakoa organized the Hellfire Gala, an extravagant state dinner and fashion showcase, to celebrate its first year of existence. Near the end of the event, Emma Frost revealed that several immensely powerful Omega-level mutants like Magneto, Storm, and Jean Grey had combined their powers to turn Mars into an inhabitable world in PLANET-SIZE X-MEN (2021) #1 by Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz.

The Krakoan mutants transported Arakko and its mutants to the newly settled Red Planet, which they renamed Arakko in honor of its new residents. In addition to giving Arakko natural features and advanced infrastructure, the Arakki and Krakoan mutants declared Arakko the capitol of the solar system.

THE X-MEN REFORM

Although most members of the X-Men were deeply involved in founding Krakoa, they did not become an official team again until the end of X OF SWORDS. During that conflict, Cyclops and Jean Grey decided to reform the team as a group of mutant heroes that operated beyond Krakoa. The X-Men held a telepathic election to fill out the team at the first Hellfire Gala in X-MEN (2019) #21 by Jonathan Hickman, Russell Dauterman, Nick Dragotta, Sara Pichelli, and Lucas Werneck.

In addition to Cyclops and Jean Grey, Rogue, Sunfire, Synch, and Wolverine (Laura Kinney) were elected to the team, along with Polaris, who won a real-world vote to choose a member of the X-Men. This group went on to operate out of the Treehouse base in Manhattan.

STORM: REGENT OF ARAKKO

When the rest of the universe's cosmic powers learned about Arakko, Storm stepped forward and announced herself as the Regent of Arakko and the ambassador of the Solar System in S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #6 by Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti. Just as Storm did that, Abigail Brand presented the Galactic Council with several samples of mysterium. In exchange for enough mysterium to avoid a universe-wide recession, the mutants asked for Arakko to be recognized on a universal scale.

With a few exceptions, the assembled cosmic leaders—including the mysterious Orbis Stellaris—accepted this offer. In addition to serving on the Galactic Council, Storm remained a member of Krakoa's Quiet Council, and she also won a place on the Great Ring of Arakko, where she helped shape the new mutant world.

THE DEATH OF THE SCARLET WITCH

After depowering most of the world's mutants during HOUSE OF M (2005), the Scarlet Witch became one of the most hated people amongst mutantkind. She tried to apologize to the citizens of Krakoa with an unsuccessful attempt to resurrect millions of dead mutants on the island of Genosha. Later, she accepted an invitation from Magneto, her adoptive father, to visit Krakoa after the Hellfire Gala.

However, Eye-Boy and Speed—the reincarnated son of the Scarlet Witch—found the body of Wanda Maximoff in X-FACTOR (2020) #10 by Leah Williams, David Baldeón, and Lucas Werneck. As Krakoan leaders began investigating the crime scene, suspicions immediately turned to Magneto, who had disappeared.

The Krakoan Age: Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5

Want to read more about the X-Men's Krakoan Age? Join Marvel Unlimited for instant access to 30,000+ comics on the Marvel Unlimited app or on the web, with digital issues spanning Marvel Comics classics to ongoing series!

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