Warning: SPOILERS for House of X #1
The new age of X-Men has officially begun with the release of House of X #1, the first chapter in Marvel's epic event promised to forever change the role of Mutants in their comic book universe. And it's wasting no time in revealing how drastically the world of the X-Men has changed overnight.
While it's technically the beginning of writer Jonathan Hickman's X-Men relaunch, House of X #1 is already moving at full speed when the first page turns. Marvel has kept the plot of the event top secret since its announcement, even revealing the new line-up of X-Men comics and teams that will spin out of the event, without any details on exactly how they would be connected. Now that the first issue has arrived, fans can be sure that the days of Mutants being oppressed have officially ended. Mutants are finally ready to become the Gods they should have been. But humans won't give up Earth that easy...
The New Mutant Homeland, Krakoa
The mutant island of Krakoa is not just the home of mutants and the seat of their nation-state, it is also the only known producer of the primary economic resource of the mutant nation: the flowers of Krakoa.
It's an understatement to say that House of X is one issue fans will need to re-read twice, perhaps even several times to comprehend just how Hickman has set the table for his relaunch. But the most significant change to the status quo is the establishment of Krakoa, the mutant island the X-Men are turning into a homeland. And by "mutant island" we do mean the island itself is a Mutant, or at least an intelligent, self-aware being with powers of its own. Previously used as an antagonist to Marvel's Mutant heroes, Charles Xavier has apparently led a new mission to make Krakoa a force for good. Not just for Mutants, either.
Putting it simply, the otherworldly advancements possible with a sentient, conscious ecosystem have changed the game. As a peace offering and mission to put Mutant's trials with Mankind in the past, Charles Xavier has made Earth an offer. Krakoa is capable of producing medicine that can prolong human life, cure diseases of the mind, and act as a universal antibiotic. And these miracles are being offered to any nation that recognizes Krakoa as a sovereign nation-state, with all rights and privileges. But that's only scratching the surface of the Mutant home, more like Heaven than anywhere on Earth.
Mutants Have Achieved Their Genetic Destiny
Krakoa isn't the first Mutant island nation founded in Marvel's Universe, so this story may seem par for the course. However, it's Krakoa's connected consciousness, spread through specific flowers that makes it more than just a place. The island itself? It's located in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia. But thanks to the flowers grown as 'Gateways,' or pathways, its borders are limitless. Since Mutantkind extends across all nations, Krakoa is accessed by plating a Gateway flower, which allows any Mutant to pass from the location of that flower to its "twin" Gateway on the island.
The island itself is a veritable paradise, where Mutants are being brought day by day, to live in peace beyond the world of Mankind. It's Magneto who delivers this explanation of Krakoa as both a place and an idea to ambassadors from other nations, while making it clear that they will not be taken to the island itself. No humans are welcome there, nor are they entitled to pass from one flower to the next, traversing the Earth in ways mortal beings could only dream. And it's Magneto who informs them of his true message directly: "You have new gods now." With their powers, and now mastery over the world itself, it's hard to argue with that description. For some, it will be long overdue. For others...
Orchis: Humanity's Failsafe For Extinction
ORCHIS PROTOCOL: Initial establishment of doomsday network based on evolutionary research regarding the extinction level population density of Home sapiens superior... Absorption and adaptation of various organizational assets into next-generation infrastructure: BUILD FOR DOOMSDAY.
The world of Mutants on Krakoa is only one half of the story, as a separate, mysterious group of humans head straight for the sun. Or, more accurately, the superstructure in orbit around the sun officially designated 'The Forge.' This subplot is easily Hickman's most mysterious tease of the first issue, introducing 'The Orchis Protocol', a directive gathering assets from almost every strategic organization in the Marvel Universe: A.I.M., S.H.I.E.L.D., S.T.R.I.K.E., S.W.O.R.D., H.A.M.M.E.R., A.R.M.O.R., Alpha Flight, and even Hydra. Their mission is apparently to prepare for the end of the world, and with Mutants now rising to their evolutionary thrones, Orchis has been set into motion. Which sure can't mean anything good for Mutankind. Especially not when the true heart of the Forge is revealed to have a familiar face...
Mothermold: Doomsday For Mutantkind?
There she is. Built on the bones of a planet killer, the Forge is our best hope to survive the coming days. She's a Hail Mary for humanity, agent Mendel... so be gentle when you give her a kiss.
The appearance of a gigantic Sentinel head at the core of the Forge superstructure can only mean one thing: a weapon designed to hunt, and eliminate Mutants. Official documents tied to Orchis seem to identify the head as 'Mothermold' (an evolution of the Sentinel creating Master Mold, perhaps?). There is obviously more to this story, and we would advise readers not jump to too many conclusions just yet. However, text debriefs included in the issue offer an explanation for exactly why this 'doomsday' plan has been created to produce Sentinels on a cosmic scale.
The genocide of sixteen million Mutants tied to Genosha was a tragedy in Marvel Comics, presumed to have permanently set back the Mutant population and growth. But Dr. Alia Gregor--introduced as the leading lady in Orchis so far--discovered that without the Genosha tragedy, Mutants would have become the dominant species on Earth within ten years, due to "cascading biological and cultural mutant-positive variables." In the end, "Genosha bought mankind time they didn't know they didn't have." With estimates now claiming that only twenty years remain for homo sapiens, and Mutants unifying on a plane untouchable by humans, the Orchis Protocol is activated.
Is it as simple as creating a massive army of Sentinels to eradicate Mutants once and for all? Is there more to Krakoa than the Garden of Eden it appears to be? And how is all of this leading to a new, game-changing relaunch that will include the most important scene in X-Men history? For answers, readers must wait until Powers of X #1 next week... and then House of X #2 one week later, and then Powers of X #2 one week after that...
House of X #1 is available now at your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.