The X-Men have become interdependent on the island of Krakoa but when something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for X-Force#16 by Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, Guru-eFX & VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
In 2019, Marvel did a massive relaunch of X-Men related titles, dubbed the Dawn of X. The mutants of Earth relocated to the island nation of Krakoa and found a peaceful place in the world where they can be who they are without fear of any retaliation. The land provides flowers that the mutants use to make medications out of, allowing them to have a foothold in the world economy. The Krakoa plants create most things the inhabitants need or want including egg bushes and bagel bushes. Some of the mutants find it strange but most eat the freshly grown foods without question.
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Krakoa seems like paradise for the mutants — but it’s too good to be true. In X-Force #16, Wolverine, Forge and Kid Omega dove to the depths of the ocean surrounding Krakoa and found the sealife infected with some kind of parasite. As they swam deeper, they discovered a monstrous creature controlling the sick fish that tried to capture the mutants. Namor appeared and saved them from their attackers. He told them that the creature watching them looked like the “heart of a parasite.” Continuing, Namor made a comment that the parasite might use him like “Xavier is using Krakoa…Or is the opposite true? Who is the parasite and who is the host?” Although his words may initially come off as a normal Namor jab at land dwellers, it does make sense that Krakoa may be up to something nefarious.
The X-Men team first encountered the island in Giant-Size X-Men #1 by Lein Wein, Dave Cockrum, Glynis Wein and John Costanza. While using Cerebro, Professor Charles Xavier found traces of a new mutant in the Pacific Ocean. When the team arrived at the coordinates, they found themselves on a tropical island. As they searched for the mutant, they discovered that the island itself was a mutant. Krakoa had lured the mutants there to feed off of them for energy. It wasn’t until Polaris and Storm combined their magnetic and lightning energies that they were able to damage the island enough to get away. After Krakoa’s encounter with the X-Men, the island was cast into space and eventually captured for study by an alien entity.
Years later, Krakoa mysteriously reappeared back in the same area that the team originally found it. This time, Professor Xavier approached the island much differently. He chose to make the island into a mutant haven, inviting every mutant — hero and villain — to live there. Jean Grey, now wearing the same Marvel Girl costume that she did when she first went to Krakoa, helped Cyclops deliver flower gateways all over the planet so that pieces of the island were everywhere — even the moon. It is interesting that they would want to interweave their lives so much with a sentient island that once tried to eat them.
All of this seems rather strange and sudden. This drastic switch from Professor Xavier’s lifelong mission to have mutants and humans live side by side has been abandoned for a separate mutant island nation. Not only is the change of scenery odd, but the citizens of Krakoa are not acting like themselves either. Professor X used to keep Cerebro in a room of his home base and now he always keeps a mobile Cerebro helmet on, obscuring his face. He has also allowed long time enemies, such as Mister Sinister and the Hellfire Club, to have leading roles in the island’s governing, leaving them free to their own devices. Mister Sinister, for example, is a mutant who always gets into trouble with his genetic experiments, so it does not seem wise to give him free rein.
Furthermore, many strange relationships have formed during mutantkind’s time on Krakoa. A long-running love triangle between Jean Grey, Cyclops and Wolverine has developed into a polyamorous romance. Jean Grey and Emma Frost have been enemies from the start, but now they are forming a friendship. Cyclops is finally taking an interest in his two children from different timelines, Cable and Rachel Summers. These are not necessarily bad changes, just a difference that only could have happened on Krakoa.
Other characters have behaviors that are changing the longer they live on the island. Beast was always a scientist who wanted to push things as far as he could as long as he stayed within his firm ethical guidelines, but since moving to Krakoa, he has forgotten to ask whether he should — only if he could. Kitty Pryde’s recent attack and torture of Sebastian Shaw, with the aid of Emma Frost, showed her embracing a darker side of herself that was rarely seen. With the use of the Resurrection Protocol on Krakoa, the mutants do not fear death anymore and can be brought back at any time. Siryn, who has had her fair share of trials over the years, has mysteriously fallen to her death after her most recent resurrection. All of this demonstrates that the island may be making the mutants act a little funny.
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