Made sentient by nuclear experiments, the island Krakoa defends its utopian shores and lush forests from outsiders.
From One Land to Two
Thought to be the result of nuclear experiments, as confirmed by Sergeant Nick Fury during World War II, Krakoa is a sentient island in the Pacific Ocean in which all life merges with the land itself creating an enormous, singular entity. Krakoa nourishes itself by capturing animals that fly or swim too near.
It is eventually revealed that in ancient times, Krakoa is one half of Okkara: The one land. When an enemy tears through the island with the twilight sword, Okkara becomes two: Krakoa and Arakko. From the chasm between the two lands, the enemy enters into this world and the only warrior, the first mutant, En Sabah Nur, AKA Apocalypse, stands in their path of destruction. Using all his mighty powers, he places himself in the gap and pushes Arakko through the chasm. He then sends his four horsemen to sentinel the land, and then seals the chasm shut.
Krakoa possesses an instinct-based hivemind composed of the lifeforms that formed it. It can create moving, semi-humanoid and animal forms of various sizes out of its component earth. Its largest humanoid form possessed superhuman strength (lifting approximately 100 tons). It feeds on mutant energy, and drains that energy quickly, often rendering mutants powerless, and though it often traps beings using tentacle-like vegetation growth, it can feed off this energy as long as the being remains on the island. Krakoa can block the powers of telepaths trying to communicate with those on the island, and it can survive unaided in space.
While Krakoa is non-verbal, it can communicate in its own language with the hyper-linguist mutant Douglas Ramsey, AKA Cypher. Cypher who acts as an interpreter, and also builds an entire system to manage the traffic of the Krakoan network. Cypher also bioengineers it to run on light instead of electricity. Additionally, he creates a manufactured and autochthonous language known as Krakoan, but not native to Krakoa, for all mutants who are telepathically imprinted with it when they arrive to Krakoa.
Earthly Allies and Otherworldly Enemies
When Krakoa first encounters the X-Men, it sees them as food and acting as a predator, attacks them. The X-Men launch Krakoa into outer space where it is captured by the Stranger and held in its laboratory. Though some of Krakoa’s remnants remain on Earth, known as Vega Superior, and eventually reunited its separated parts. It isn’t until much later that Krakoa allies with the X-Men and all other mutants as they strive to live together as a sovereign existence from the humans of Earth. The mutants live on Krakoa in the Pacific Ocean and one of its spawn worlds in the Atlantic and travel in and out of the island by way of gateways.
When an enemy force springs forth from a chasm it creates in Okkara, separating the one land into two, Krakoa and Arakko, En Sabah Nur, AKA Apocalypse, defeats the enemy force with the help of his four horsemen. Though this act leaves Krakoa alone and without Arakko as Apocalypse pushes it into the chasm and seals it forever.
A Sentient Island’s Story
In the mid-20th Century, atomic bomb testing took place on the South Pacific island Krakoa. Possibly due to the use of materials beyond just nuclear energy, all life on the island merged with the land itself, creating one enormous, singular entity. For decades, the now-living Krakoa nourished itself by capturing animals that flew or swam too near. Though not a true mutant, Krakoa somehow registered on Professor Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X’s mutant-detecting Cerebro computer, and he sent his team of X-Men led by Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops, to the island to investigate. Seemingly finding a peaceful, uninhabited island, the X-Men were lured further inland, where it sprouted large humanoid forms from the earth and captured them, intending to nourish itself with their powers. Desperate to free his students, Xavier convinced his colleague Moira MacTaggert to release four mutants she was training into his custody and recruited them as a new team of X-Men. This team, led by Cyclops’ brother Gabriel Summers, AKA Kid Vulcan (now Vulcan), traveled to Krakoa and were met by a volatile reception, as Krakoa produced more, and larger, humanoid growths to combat them. These X-Men located the original team, but only managed to free Cyclops. Not realizing Krakoa was sapping their abilities, the X-Men continued to fight the island, but it created a volcanic humanoid form that quickly tore X-Men member Suzanne Chan, AKA Sway, apart with a lava blast. As she died, the last of her powers slowed time on the island, and as X-Men members Kid Vulcan, Armondo Muñoz, AKA Darwin, and Petra were being incinerated by Krakoa, Petra instinctively pulled the three far underground, below Krakoa’s control. Though Petra perished in the process, Vulcan and Darwin merged and survived, inert. Weak and powerless, Cyclops fled to the Blackbird jet, and returned to Xavier Mansion.
Distraught by losing these students, Xavier wiped the memory of the second X-Men team’s presence from Cyclops’ mind–letting him think that he was actually released by Krakoa to lure more mutants into its trap–and the two recruited yet another team to free the original. When this third team of X-Men arrived on Krakoa, they freed the original team, but were confronted by a massive semi-humanoid and (allegedly due to Xavier’s manipulations) seemingly-sentient incarnation of Krakoa, which shrugged off most of their assault. Her powers returning, Lorna Dane, AKA Polaris, magnetically severed Krakoa’s links to Earth, causing the island to lose its gravitational pull. As both teams of X-Men escaped, the majority of the island flew into the sky and outer space. However, the portion of Krakoa containing Vulcan broke off, remaining in orbit; Vulcan was later revived and separated from Darwin.
As Krakoa launched into space, it released spores, most of which fell back into the sea and died off, though one landed on a nearby island. As time passed, this spore grew and merged with the fauna and animals on that island as well, forming the creature Vega Superior, which came to be worshiped by the natives. While floating through space, Krakoa was discovered and captured by the enigmatic Stranger, who placed it within his laboratory world. It resided there within a specially-created prison, where Wendell Vaughn, AKA Quasar, encountered it while exploring the planet. Though Quasar and his allies the Squadron Supreme freed many of the prisoners, Krakoa’s fate is unrevealed.
On Earth, Excalibur member Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler, teleported to the safety of an island below him when a storm disrupted his plane. There he encountered Vega Superior, which–truly sentient, apparently unlike its progenitor–planned to avenge Krakoa’s loss to Nightcrawler and the X-Men and ultimately conquer the world. Nightcrawler lured the creature into the ocean where, unable to swim, it sank and presumably drowned.
Somehow, Krakoa’s Earthly remnants were used in constructing the Massachusetts Academy’s Biosphere training facility. Eventually, these remnants launched themselves into space and instructor Sean Cassidy, AKA Banshee–who had also been part of the third wave of X-Men to confront Krakoa–theorized Krakoa had called to them to make itself whole again. Much later, dozens of construction workers went missing on another Krakoa island; Roberto Da Costa, AKA Sunspot, and Danielle Moonstar, AKA Dani Moonstar, led a group of X-Men-in-training in a successful rescue effort, recovering the missing workers and escaping the island.
After Xavier eventually made a telepathic connection with the island, Krakoa’s true origin was revealed to him thanks to the omnilingual mutant Cypher. Cypher and Xavier learned that the sentient island was originally connected to another land mass—Arakko, now inaccessible and cut off—and that Apocalypse saved Krakoa from an unknown enemy by pushing Arakko and the enemy forces into a chasm, ostensibly back to where they came from. With Krakoa, the mutants worked to cultivate the island biome and by using the island’s flowers, they discovered they could grow Habitat, offshoots of Krakoa, connected by Gateways that allowed them to travel instantaneously from one area of Krakoa to another. Xavier, having purchased pharmaceutical companies, used these flowers to create drugs and offered them to the humans as a means of economy and in exchange for sovereignty. Krakoa, therefore, acted as an ally to mutants, no longer an adversary and helped them by providing a safe-haven and eventual nation-state recognized by the United Nations for all mutants.
Krakoa joined the Quiet Council of Krakoa and offered its opinions on the matters of mutants with the help of Cypher, who both made up the leaders of a section of the Council. Their section, while apart of the Council, remained outside of the Councils four main sections, or “seasons” of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer.