A History of Mutants on Mars
How did mutants end up on Mars? Read on to discover why the X-Men settled on the Red Planet and how it connects to 'Sins of Sinister!'
To build a better future for their people, the X-Men, their former enemies, and the rest of mutantkind came together and created Krakoa, a mutant society on a scale never seen before. Then, when an ancient mutant civilization resurfaced on Earth, Magneto and several powerful X-Men expanded that society by building an even bigger home for them on Mars, which they renamed Arakko.
With Storm and the other mutants of Arakko set to play a significant role in SINS OF SINISTER, we’re taking a look back at why mutants terraformed Mars and how some X-Men became leaders in Arakki society. Here’s what you need to know before jumping into STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD (2023) #1 by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Jay David Ramos, and VC’s Ariana Maher!
MUTANTS TAKE MARS
Although the sentient island Arakko and its mutant residents are originally from Earth, they sealed themselves away in the hellish dimension Amenth to stop an invasion thousands of years ago. After fighting Krakoa’s modern mutants in X OF SWORDS (2020) crossover, the battle-hardened mutants of Arakko and their living island home returned to Earth, more than doubling the global mutant population. To solve the numerous problems the Arakki's sudden presence created, Magneto proposed the idea of terraforming Mars, which became a permanent home for the Arakki during HELLFIRE GALA (2021) in PLANET-SIZE X-MEN (2021) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and VC's Clayton Cowles.
With the approval of Krakoa and Arakko’s leaders, Magneto worked with several ultra-powerful Omega-level mutants, who used their limitless power to transform Mars into a habitable world. First, Magneto drew in a massive iron asteroid from space, which Vulcan and Hope Summers used to create the molten core of Mars. With a power boost from Hope, Proteus primed the planet for life, and Arakko’s Sobunar of the Depths unleashed the oceanic ecosystem within his body to fill the world with water and sea life. While Iceman covered a sizeable portion of Mars with Ice, Storm used her powers to bring these elements together and give the planet a new climate with its own weather. Together, the mutant healer Elixir and Arakko’s Xilo refined and enriched Mars’s soil so the Arakki’s red vegetation could flourish in this once-barren world. Guided by the universal knowledge of Arakko’s Lactuca the Knower, Jean Grey and Exodus transported the living island of Arakko to Mars, along with its residents.
Once Mars was terraformed, the Arakko island generated the Lake Hellas Diplomatic Ring to serve as an embassy zone for intergalactic leaders. Building off of a design from Quentin Quire, Jamie Braddock used his reality-warping powers to create the Keep, an orbiting S.W.O.R.D. space station that could defend the planet. Finally, Braddock created Port Prometheus, a cosmic marketplace and spaceport for cosmic visitors.
At the inaugural HELLFIRE GALA, Krakoa revealed all of this to a stunned crowd of world leaders, luminaries, and X-Men allies. The mutants also announced that Mars would be officially renamed Planet Arakko in honor of its new residents. With support from Abigail Brand and S.W.O.R.D., Krakoa also declared that the mutant world would be the capital of the Solar System—the Sol System—and introduced Storm as its Regent.
To ensure that the various cosmic civilizations of the Galactic Council recognized Arakko and Storm’s leadership, Brand presented its members with 100 tons of mysterium, a rare metal with unique properties that could help stabilize the universal economy, in S.W.O.R.D. #6 by Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti, Marte Gracia, and VC’s Ariana Maher.
ARAKKO AND THE X-MEN
From the hellish dimension Amenth to the Red Planet, Arakko’s battle-tested society remains largely unchanged and informed by the philosophies of its former leaders Apocalypse and Genesis. In their self-proclaimed “broken land,” the Arakki look down on perceived weakness and place a great emphasis on one-on-one duels and fights. They even view offers of help as an insult.
Arakko is ruled by the Great Ring of Arakko, a 12-member council mostly made up of Omega-level mutants, including Storm and Magneto. Much like Krakoa’s Quiet Council, the Great Ring is divided into four sections of three members: Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Night. In addition to Arakki mutants like Sobunar, Xilo, and Lactuca, the Great Ring has included members like Isca the Unbeaten, Idyll the Future Seer, the power-dampening Tarn the Uncaring, the existence-erasing Ora Serrata, and the metal-creating poet Lodus Logos. Along with the powerless Fisher King and the teleporter Syzya, Sunspot sits on the Great Ring in the secretive Night Seats, which make an exception for non-Omega mutants and do not follow the Great Ring’s other customs.
When members of the Great Ring raised questions about their potential immortality, Storm and Magneto removed themselves from the Krakoan Resurrection Protocols, a move of solidarity that further endeared the X-Men leaders to the Arakki. Then, after Abigail Brand formed an X-Men team to police Arakko, Storm resisted her and even formed the Brotherhood of Arakko to stop them in X-MEN: RED (2022) #1 by Al Ewing, Stefano Caselli, Federico Blee, and VC’s Ariana Maher.
For her Brotherhood, Storm brought Krakoa’s Magneto, Sunspot, and Wronglslide together with Arakko’s Fisher King, Sobunar, and Lodus Logos to protect their world. In response, Brand enlisted the Omega-level Vulcan and S.W.O.R.D. members like Cable, Manifold, Frenzy, Mentallo, and Random. However, multiple members of the group quickly grew suspicious of Brand and her endless schemes, which included an unsuccessful attempt to get Vulcan on the Great Ring.
Thunderbird and Richard Rider’s Nova eventually made their way to Arakko, where they began working with their fellow heroes. Nightcrawler also saved the planet from colliding with its moon Phobos in WAY OF X (2021) #5 by Si Spurrier, Robert Quinn, Java Tartaglia, and VC's Clayton Cowles, although the mutant-hating Feilong eventually claimed that moon as non-mutant territory. Meanwhile, the Omega-level mutant Legion started meditating above Arakko’s Olympus Mons volcano, where he created the Altar, a psychic bubble-reality that serves as a healing place for mutants and a base for Nightcrawler’s peacekeeping Legionnaires.
When the Eternals launched an all-out attack on mutantkind in A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY (2022), Arakko became one of the conflict's first major battlefields. The Eternals have always had a biological imperative to wipe out the Deviants, and their leader Druig turned that compulsion onto the mutants when he suggested that mutants could possess Deviant genes.
As part of a multi-pronged attack on mutants, Druig unleashed the imprisoned Eternal Uranos on Arakko for one hour in A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY (2022) #1 by Kieron Gillen, Valerio Schiti, Marte Gracia, and VC's Clayton Cowles. In addition to being Thanos’ grandfather, Uranos wields a horrifying amount of power and had a seemingly limitless arsenal of weapons at his disposal for the attack. During his rampage on Arakko, Uranos devastated most of the planet and killed scores of mutants.
In an attack that nearly wiped out the Great Ring of Arakko, Uranos ripped Magneto’s heart out, fatally wounding him. The Eternal powerhouse even defeated Legion, although the Omega-level mutant later held the line against his armory in LEGION OF X (2022) #6 by Si Spurrier, Rafael Pimentel, Federico Blee, and VC's Clayton Cowles. With help from Iron Man and a power boost from Storm, Magneto defeated Uranos with his own arsenal in a valiant final act in A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY #4 by Gillen, Schiti, Gracia, and Cowles.
As Storm and the surviving members of the Great Ring regrouped, Abigail Brand tried to take advantage of the chaos. In an attempt to consolidate her cosmic power and influence, she unleashed a rampaging Vulcan, but the young mutant genius Wiz Kid, Cable, and the Brotherhood of Arakko stopped her plans. Wiz Kid then took over her role leading S.W.O.R.D. in X-MEN: RED (2022) #10 by Al Ewing, Stefano Caselli, Jacopo Camagni, Federico Blee, and VC’s Ariana Maher.
Although JUDGMENT DAY almost destroyed Arakko, the planet met an even darker fate in SINS OF SINISTER (2023) #1 by Kieron Gillen, Lucas Werneck, and Bryan Valenza. When Storm discovered she was the only member of Krakoa’s Quiet Council free of Mister Sinister’s control, she retreated to Arakko, where she and her allies held the line against Sinister’s ever-growing forces. But after unleashing chimera mutants with the powers of two X-genes, Sinister destroyed Arakko by blowing up the planet from the inside.
After his attack turned the planet once known as Mars into a new asteroid belt, Sinister returned his efforts to consolidating his power on Earth. Now, Storm and her surviving Arakki allies hide in secret as they plan how to strike back in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD (2023) #1 by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Jay David Ramos, and VC’s Ariana Maher.
See what's next for Arakko in STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD #1, on sale Wednesday, February 8!
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