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Published June 12, 2024

The Krakoan Age: Year 5

As the X-Men's Krakoan Age comes to a close, return to the place it began with this breakdown of Krakoa's fifth and final year, from 'Fall of X' to the finale.

Krakoa was meant to create a brighter future for mutantkind, but that was an impossible dream in a world that still hates and fears them. Despite Krakoa's best efforts, the anti-mutant organization Orchis devastated the fledgling nation in an attack that left most mutants missing or dead. While the world's remaining X-Men fought Orchis from the shadows, the mutants also faced Enigma, the omnipotent entity who was the true mastermind behind Orchis. 

As the Krakoan Era ends, let's look back at some of its most important moments. From the FALL OF X through Krakoa's stunning finale, we'll break down the most memorable developments from the fifth and final calendar year of Krakoa's existence.

THE THIRD HELLFIRE GALA

After numerous skirmishes with the X-Men, Orchis launched an all-out assault on Krakoa's third annual Hellfire Gala in X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA (2023) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Kris AnkaJoshua CassaraRussell DautermanAdam KubertPepe LarrazMatteo LolliJavier PinaValerio SchitiR.B. Silva, and Luciano Vecchio. Just as the new X-Men team was introduced, Nimrod, Doctor Stasis, Moira MacTaggert, and a fleet of Stark Sentinels attacked, killing several mutants, including Jean Grey, Iceman, Jubilee, Dazzler, Cannonball, Frenzy, and Prodigy

Orchis also forced Professor X to send most of the world's mutants through corrupted Krakoan portals that took them to an unknown destination. While a few X-Men resisted Xavier's telepathic command and regrouped elsewhere, Orchis launched a worldwide crackdown on Earth's remaining mutants.

MS. MARVEL JOINS THE X-MEN

Shortly after Ms. Marvel died helping Spider-Man, Kamala Khan learned she was a mutant when she was resurrected through Krakoa's Resurrection Protocols in a sequence from X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA (2023) #1 by Gerry Duggan and Adam Kubert. Although Kamala's size-manipulating powers are Inhuman, she also has a dormant mutant power to create hard light structures, as revealed in MS. MARVEL: MUTANT MENACE (2024) #4 by Iman Vellani, Sabir Pirzada, and Scott Godlewski

Although Emma Frost helped her slip back into her old life, Kamala joined the X-Men as they began operating underground in the wake of the Orchis attack. Kamala faced Orchis scientist Nikita Gaiha as she tried to stabilize her powers, starting in MS. MARVEL: THE NEW MUTANT (2023) #1 by Vellani, Pirzada, Carlos Gómez, and Adam Gorham.

EMMA FROST MARRIES TONY STARK

As the world's remaining mutants went into hiding, several X-Men turned to old allies like Captain America, Madelyne Pryor, and Iron Man. Since Feilong had used his technology to build the Stark Sentinels, Tony Stark was also as eager to take down Orchis as the X-Men. 

Under the identity of Hazel Kendal, Frost began working with Tony Stark and joined the Hellfire Club, now owned by Wilson Fisk, the former Kingpin. Posing as his human secretary, Frost married Stark to maintain her cover in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN (2023) #10 by Gerry Duggan and Juan Frigeri. After coordinating with Frost, Iron Man played a crucial role in stopping the Stark Sentinels.

FIRESTAR UNDERCOVER

In her dying moments, Jean Grey used her telepathic powers to ask Firestar to go undercover in Orchis as a double agent for the X-Men. Jean altered the memories of Orchis leader Doctor Stasis, successfully implanting Firestar within Orchis, where she tried to topple the organization and free her captured teammates from the inside. 

Firestar also faced Judas Traveller, the former Spider-Man villain who oversaw Orchis' media coverage, in X-MEN UNLIMITED INFINITY COMIC (2021) #112 by Steve FoxeSteve Orlando, and Guillermo Sanna. Judas forced Firestar to capture Justice, her former fiancé and fellow mutant Avenger. However, Firestar eventually foiled Judas' plans and replaced him as Orchis Head of Narrative, where she continued to help the X-Men.

NIGHTCRAWLER'S TRUE ORIGIN REVEALED

Reeling from the trauma of briefly becoming Orchis' mind-controlled assassin, Nightcrawler started operating as a Spider-Man-inspired vigilante in New York City during UNCANNY SPIDER-MAN (2023) by Si Spurrier, Lee Garbett, Javier Pina, and Simone Buonfantino. After Orchis attacked the Hellfire Gala, Nightcrawler found an ailing Mystique in X-MEN BLUE: ORIGINS (2023) #1 by Spurrier, Wilton Santos, and Marcus To. Although Nightcrawler thought he was her son with the demonic mutant Azazel, Mystique revealed she and her wife Destiny were his true biological parents. 

As she recounted how Destiny gave birth to Nightcrawler, Mystique explained that her metamorphic powers allowed her to change on a cellular level, an ability far beyond simple shapeshifting. Although Destiny had Professor X erase her memories of their relationship to Nightcrawler, she later had them restored and embraced him as her son.

BEAST VS. BEAST

After Beast went on a violent campaign with an army of clones in the name of protecting mutants, X-Force placed the mental backup of a younger Beast into his cloned body in X-FORCE (2020) #48 by Benjamin Percy and Robert Gill. While Krakoa's mental backups are regularly updated, this backup was created when Beast was a cheerful member of the New Defenders. 

The clone teamed up with Wonder Man, his old friend from the Avengers, to stop Krakoan Beast's horrific plans. When the original Beast tried to create a black hole, Wolverine and the clone tried to stop him. The villainous Beast ultimately sacrificed his life to save Wonder Man from his own machine.

THE SABRETOOTH WAR

After escaping from Krakoa's pit and taking charge of an army of Multiversal Sabretooth variants, Sabretooth launched his ultimate attack on Wolverine in WOLVERINE (2020) #41 by Benjamin Percy, Victor LaValle, Geoffrey Shaw, and Cory Smith. As Wolverine and X-Force regrouped in the Arctic, Sabretooth and his allies killed Daken, beheaded Kid Omega, and took Wolverine (Laura Kinney) hostage. 

After Sabretooth depowered him, Logan donned the Adamantium Armor, which Forge had previously built for him. As that suit restored his healing factor, Wolverine worked with the Exiles and X-Force to stop the Sabreteeth army and Graydon Creed, Sabretooth's cyborg son. With his powers restored, Wolverine faced Sabretooth and dismembered him in their final battle.

THE WHITE HOT ROOM

Sitting just outside the Multiverse, the White Hot Room has served as an afterlife for the Phoenix Force and its hosts. After Orchis attacked, it also became home to the mutants forced through corrupted Krakoan portals by Professor X, as revealed in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #17 by Kieron Gillen and Juan Jose Ryp

Under the leadership of Hope Summers, the mutants settled on a small piece of Krakoa that Mother Righteous, a villainous clone of Nathaniel Essex's late wife, had mystically teleported to that realm. After wresting control from Mother Righteous, the mutants in the White Hot Room coordinated with Professor X and his small team, who were located even further outside of reality.

MISTER SINISTER'S ENIGMA

To survive what he saw as the inevitable rise of the machines, Nathaniel Essex—a Victorian-era scientist—created four clones of himself, including Mister Sinister. He built these clones to study ways to turn himself into a Dominion, an omnipresent godlike being who exists outside of time and space. 

After absorbing the knowledge those clones accumulated over several timelines, Enigma—an artificial intelligence designed by Essex—emerged as a Dominion in RISE OF THE POWERS OF X (2024) #1 by Kieron Gillen and R.B. Silva. Despite his omnipotence, Enigma was threatened by mutants and the Phoenix Force. To eliminate both threats, Enigma sent the mind of one timeline's Omega Sentinel into the Marvel Universe to create Orchis shortly before the founding of Krakoa.

PROFESSOR X AND ORCHIS

As machines like Nimrod, the Omega Sentinel, and Moira MacTaggert seized control of Orchis and embraced Enigma, Professor X made a desperate last bid to save Krakoa by joining Orchis in FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) #4 by Gerry Duggan, Lucas Werneck, and Jethro Morales. In exchange for allowing mutants to live in peace on Krakoa, Charles Xavier agreed to help the machines wipe out humanity. 

After manipulating several world leaders and destroying a vessel carrying nuclear weapons to prove his loyalty, Xavier reached out to Moira as Orchis began losing. Xavier convinced Moira to help the Phoenix find Enigma before surrendering to human authorities to answer for his actions.

THE FALL OF ORCHIS

As Orchis prepared to unleash a world-killing Sentinel City, the X-Men and their allies made their last stand against Orchis in FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X (2024) #5 by Gerry Duggan, Lucas Werneck, and Stefano Caselli. After Storm traveled into the afterlife and helped Magneto return with a new outlook on life, the X-Men critically damaged Sentinel City by crashing the S.W.O.R.D. space station into it. Meanwhile, Psylocke freed Omega Sentinel from the vicious A.I. that possessed her. 

Although Nimrod continued to give the X-Men trouble, Storm ultimately struck the killing blow against the machine with a massive lightning bolt amplified by Magneto, Polaris, and Synch. The threat of Orchis died with Nimrod that day.

PHOENIX REBORN

While the fight against Orchis ended on Earth, the X-Men hatched a risky plan to defeat Enigma by killing and reviving the Phoenix Force. Despite Enigma's attempts to attack her throughout time, Hope Summers—a former Phoenix host—killed the Phoenix Force in the White Hot Room in X-MEN FOREVER (2024) #4 by Kieron Gillen and Luca Maresca

Although that act also killed Hope, the Phoenix Force was reborn and bonded to a resurrected Jean Grey. After fighting Enigma across time, the Phoenix defeated the Dominion by striking him with claws made of the focused totality of mutant power from across time and space in RISE OF POWERS OF X (2024) #5 by Gillen and Luciano Vecchio

KRAKOA LIVES

While the X-Men fought Enigma and Orchis, most of the mutant population remained stranded in the White Hot Room. Freed from feuding leaders and earthly threats, Krakoa thrived, as revealed in X-MEN (2021) #35. As they built a peaceful and sustainable mutant society, the residents of Krakoa continued to resurrect dead mutants, including all of the mutants killed on Genosha. 

After years in the White Hot Room, the Krakoans briefly returned to Earth, where some mutants stayed behind, allowing their piece of Krakoa to reunite with its other half. While the X-Men remained on Earth to fight for a better tomorrow, the Krakoans returned home to a world without hate or fear.

Behold the conclusion to the Krakoan Age in X-MEN #35, on sale now!

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

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