The following has MAJOR Spoilers for House of X and Powers of X. You have been properly warned!
Jonathan Hickman and artist Pepe Larraz have shaken up the world of Marvel’s mutants with the mini-series/relaunch of House of X and Powers of X. In the most recent installment, House of X #4, we get an incredible sequence where some of the most popular and beloved X-Men of all time go on a mission in space for Charles Xavier. Their objective: stop the next generation of robotic Sentinels from ever coming online, thus preventing mutant genocide.
It’s a mission from which they do not return. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Angel, Mystique, and more all die on the mission. These aren’t canon fodder mutants, these are iconic X-folks here. And they all kick the bucket.
Except we already know from advance solicitations for future comics that all of these X-Men will be back headlining their own newly relaunched X-Men series in just over a month. And besides, Marvel JUST brought back Wolverine, Jean Grey, and Cyclops from their own very long “deaths” recently. They didn’t bring them back just to kill them all off again. So what gives?
It’s All About Krakoa
Part of the premise for House of X/Powers of X is that the X-Men have found a new base of operations on the island of Krakoa. What makes Krakoa different from previous mutant nation states like Genosha and Utopia? Well, Krakoa IS itself a mutant. The so-called “living island” first appeared in Giant Size X-Men #1 back in 1975, the same issue that introduced the world to the “all-new, all-different X-men.” Krakoa was used sparingly over the following decades, but it plays a huge role in the current relaunch.
House of X #1 shows us that several months into the future, Charles Xavier has transformed Krakoa into a new homeland for the mutant race. Xavier is now shown as always wearing a portable Cerebro device on his head, seemingly always in telepathic contact with multiple people at once. With the help of his former student Cypher, Charles seems to have expanded what Krakoa fundamentally is. Its unique landscape creates flowers that can be used for various purposes, like creating portals across the globe. And more importantly, for creating super drugs which they can give to humanity, keeping them off their doorstep. But Krakoa might have one other very important function to for the X-Men—it might give them a means to cheat death.
Krakoa Is a Living Mutant Resurrection Machine
In one of the very first panels of House of X, we see what appears to be Cylops and Jean Grey emerging from what look like pods in the ground. The suggestion being that maybe these were clones of some kind, and not the “real” X-Men. But we think these are the real X-Men. At least in a manner of speaking. And Krakoa is the key to how the mutant heroes return to life. Not just this time, but every time.
One thing fans noticed right off the bat about House of X/Powers of X was how many dead mutants were running around. Banshee and Havok, to name but a few. Of course, X-Men die and come back all the time, but it was telling that these characters had just died and no mention was made as to how they came back. They were just there.
My theory is this: The reason Xavier always has his portable Cerebro helmet on now is because he is in constant mental contact with all his former students, at all times. And when/if any of them die, he can “plant” their bodies—or just their DNA—into Krakoa, and “regrow” them. And then essentially download their consciousness from his own mind back into theirs. It’s still them, just in new bodies. Bodies that resemble their original ones.
It’s not something Xavier could do without assistance, but with a Cerebro permanently attached to him now, he could pull it off. Krakoa could be the means by which mutants have permanently conquered death. It could also explain why members of the team are wearing older uniforms. Jean Grey in particular is wearing her Marvel Girl costume, an outfit she hasn’t worn since 1976. If Xavier regrew Jean and she emerged at a younger chronological age, she might want to wear a costume that reflects that time in her life.
Mutant Heaven Has No Pearly Gates, Just Revolving Doors
Yes, we do see Xavier crying over the loss of his X-Men in House of X #4, but we think that feeling their deaths is painful to him whether he knows he can bring them back or not.
Even if my theory proves correct, there are still many unanswered questions about it. Do the X-Men know they die and come back repeatedly? Or does Xavier mind-wipe them of the trauma of their deaths? Jean Grey especially should be used to it by now.
The notion of the X-Men dying and coming back to life has already become a bit of a running theme. Jean Grey and Professor X once joked to each other that “in mutant heaven there are no pearly gates, but instead revolving doors.” So instead of constantly coming up with convoluted explanations as to how X-Men keep coming back to the land of the living, they could simply use Krakoa as an explanation from now on. It would also truly elevate the mutant race over humanity, making them fear them even more. If Homo Superior has conquered death and become gods, what chance to Homo Sapiens even have? If we’re right, the door to a whole new paradigm shift in human/mutant relations might have just opened up, changing the comics forever.
Images: Marvel Comics