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Dec 30

X-Men #16 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-MEN vol 5 #16
“Sworded Out”
by Jonathan Hickman & Phil Noto

COVER / PAGE 1: Cyclops in the Quiet Council chamber, in front of the face of Krakoa.

PAGES 2-6. Cyclops, Cable and Prestige watch the appearance of Arakko.

“So how’s this going to work?” There’s some very tongue in cheek technobabble here, for those who really care. Basically, Arakko is brought back to Earth via the External Gate (which doesn’t really make sense, because the External Gate connected Krakoa with Otherworld, not with Amenth – let’s assume Saturnyne is helping out somewhere). The mechanics don’t matter, of course. But this does explain why Krakoa was so keen for the External Gate to remain open, in “X of Swords”.

“The Arakko Point is a small dormant piece of Arakko that joing with Krakoa.” In issue #2.

“The two halves of what was once a single island.” The history of Krakoa and Arakko as parts of a single island (Okkara) that was split in two to defeat the invasion from Amenth in ancient history has been covered ad nauseam in earlier issues.

Arakko towers over Krakoa. We’ll see later that the population is also much bigger. The key point here is that Arakko drastically changes the political situation for Krakoa. Until now, Krakoa has spoken for the overwhelming majority of mutants on earth, with a position of economic power over humans. And they’ve been pretty cocky about it too. Now, they speak for only a minority of the mutants on Earth – albeit an overwhelming majority of those actually born there – and the dominant mutant force is a larger, rather unpredictable and intimidating bunch. On the other hand, it’s Krakoa that has all the flowers and drugs, as far as we know – does Arakko have anything similar to offer the world, and do its leaders have any interest in gaining influence that way?

Despite all these downsides, it’s clear from the Quiet Council scene that the Council were expecting the two islands to merge, and saw that as desirable. It also seems that they didn’t appreciate just how large the Arakkan mutant population actually is.

“I don’t want to watch this again.” Calling back to a scene in issue #2 where Prestige seemed to be suggesting that the merging islands were making love.

PAGE 7. Recap and credits. The title, “Sworded Out”, is presumably a reference back to “X of Swords” and a pun on “sorted out”.

PAGES 8-10. Cypher helps Krakoa and Arakko to talk.

Both Krakoa and Arakko appear as giant humanoid trees here; they don’t often do this, but we’ve seen Arakko do it in the flashback in issue #13, when it wanted to pass through the portal.

Cypher is no longer wearing Warlock as a cybernetic arm. The right arm of his costume is now simply coloured black. His counterpart from Krakoa, Redroot, is missing; she was imprisoned in Otherworld in X-Force #14 and evidently still hasn’t been released.

Krakoa’s dialogue doesn’t use the substitution cypher from X of Swords: Creation; it’s just symbols.

PAGES 11-14. Cypher reports to the Quiet Council.

The whole of the current Council are present. The two empty seats belong to Jean Grey, who resigned in the previous issue, and Apocalypse, who left for Arakko in X of Swords: Destruction #1. Their seats haven’t been filled. Sebastian Shaw appears in normal health and isn’t in a wheelchair, so presumably this issue takes place before Marauders #16.

“Then what was the point of this?” Magneto’s question is a bit odd. Even if the two islands don’t want to merge, they succeeded in bringing Arakko back to Earth and rescuing its millions of inhabitants from a hellish dimension. Why does that become pointless, just because the two islands don’t merge? Was there some particularly pressing reason why the islands had to form Okkara?

“I’ve got a wife now.” Bei, whom Cypher was forced to marry in Excalibur #14.

“I’m not.” Mystique is referring to the fact that her own wife, Destiny, still hasn’t been restored to life by the Krakoan resurrection process. As we’ve established in previous issues, Moira MacTaggert is adamant that Krakoa must not have any mutants with the power to see the future; Destiny cannot be brought back, but Mystique is being strung along with promises.

“What about you, Sinister? You must have some insight into all this since you are, in fact, the only person in this room with experience on that island.” In Hellions #5-6, the Hellions were sent on a suicide mission to Arakko at Mr Sinister’s suggestion. Supposedly he was leading the mission in person. In reality, he sent a clone in his place, which got killed there. Sinister seems to have picked up some information about Arakko from the Hellions who did make it back (just before he killed them), but he’s dodging Magneto’s question because he hasn’t actually been to Arakko.

“So easily forgotten when you’ve never matched a name to a face.” Nightcrawler flags up the fact that we’ve heard a lot about the vast number of mutants on Arakko, but we’ve seen very, very few of them. And note that that remains the case in this story – when Magneto and Xavier visit Arakko, they meet Isca, alone, and that’s it.

“What are we going to do with all of them?” That sounds like a callback to Angel’s “What are we going to do with fourteen X-Men” line from Giant-Size X-Men #1.

PAGES 15-19. Magneto and Professor X visit Arakko.

The demon. We’ve seen creatures like this in Amenth before. Evidently, Arakko has returned to Earth complete with some of the fauna that it picked up while in Amenth (and Isca specifically describes it as a “creatur[e] of Amenth”, not of Arakko). That seems unhelpful.

Professor X has brought the Krakoan plant for a practical reason – to create a gate between Krakoa and Arakko – but he really does look out of his depth, standing there with his pot plant to greet the neighbours. Note that Isca leaves without taking it.

Isca is the only character still carrying her sword from “X of Swords”, because it was an everyday part of her life. Much as we’ve seen her in “X of Swords”, she’s hard but seems perfectly constructive. At the same time, she strongly implies that the mutants of Arakko opposed the reintegration with Krakoa, not just Arakko itself. The suggestion seems to be that Magneto and Xavier are (for some reason) very keen to see Okkara reformed, but the Arakkans are culturally so unimpressed by the Krakoans that they want nothing to do with it.

The Great Ring, the Quiet Council’s counterpart on Arakko, is named here for the first time – though we do see it briefly in the flashback that appears in issues #12 and #14. When Isca says that it has ruled for thousands of years “beyond the fallow years”, she presumably means that its rule was interrupted when the city fell to Genesis/Annihilation and got absorbed into the Amenth/Annihilation forces.

Magneto’s response to the Ring’s pedigree is painful, attempting to claim the same sort of pedigree for a group that Isca instantly realises has been cobbled together very recently.

Humans. Magneto and Xavier give Isca very mixed signals about the place of humanity and their relationship with mutants. Isca is surprised that they survived alongside mutants, but assumes that technological advance is to do with it – which ties in with Hickman’s general cosmology from Powers of X. Magneto seems keen to shut down any suggestion that humans might be equivalent, perhaps thinking that it makes Krakoa look weak in Isca’s eyes.

PAGES 20-21. Data page on the Great Ring.

The obvious point here is that the Great Ring follows precisely the same structure as the Quiet Council – four groups of three, although in Arakko’s case the fourth group is secret. Both islands have group names based on time as well, with Krakoa using the seasons and Arakko using the time of day. The obvious explanation is that Krakoa played some part in prompting the Quiet Council to take the form it did, and both share a common inspiration that dates back to Okkara. But it’s also possible that this is something that Moira picked up in an earlier life – she did retrieve the Horsemen in one of them, which implies she made it to Arakko.

The members of the Ring who actually get named are:

  • Isca herself.
  • Idyll, the mutant prophet who predicted the fall of Arakko in the flashbacks in issues #12 and #14. That could be important – if Moira doesn’t want precognitives on Krakoa, she can’t be thrilled about having one in the government of Arakko.
  • Tarn the Uncaring, the mad scientist who fought the Hellions in Hellions #6.
  • Ora Serrata the Witness. A new character. The ora serrata is a part of the eye.
  • Stulgid. Another new character, and the name has no apparent meaning.
  • Lodus Logos. Ditto.
  • Lactuca. Again, a new character. Lactuca is the technical name for lettuce.
  • Sobunar. And again, a new character. It appears to be an archaeological site near Sarajevo.

The symbol in the middle of the floor (where the “X” is in the Quiet Council chamber) isn’t a Krakoan symbol; the Arakkans have their own language, just as Cypher indicated.

We’re expressly told that all of these people are Omega Mutants and that nothing less would command respect on Arakko. That’s a dodgy basis for a society in the first place, but it hardly suggests that they’re going to be impressed on learning that the Krakoan Council includes Nightcrawler and Mystique.

PAGES 22-24. Cyclops and Marvel Girl decline to join the Council.

Despite the division of the Council into its four groups – intended to represent different strands of Krakoan opinion – Magneto and Xavier want to put Cyclops on the Council in place of Apocalypse. That would clearly tilt the balance in favour of the X-Men. When they say that they have the numbers to push it through, presumably they mean on the Council. That would require six votes, and the obvious ones are Professor X, Magneto, Storm, Nightcrawler, Kate Pryde and Emma Frost. Exodus might vote for them too, given Magneto’s endorsement.

As foreshadowed in the previous issue, Scott and Jean want to formally re-establish the X-Men as something separate from the Krakoan government. They want the X-Men to serve as the Krakoans’ national heroes and to represent the masses; the proposal is to have an election to determine the members. Though they don’t quite say it, they seems to be building a competing political power base – and one which, thanks to the election, may have more legitimacy than the Council.

PAGE 25. A data page with a poster announcing the election. Note that the Quiet Council are the only group specifically not “eligible” – presumably that means ineligible for membership, rather than ineligible to vote.

The “Hellfire Gala”, at which the new team will be unveiled, has been mentioned repeatedly as an upcoming event in Marauders.

PAGE 26. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: TYRANTS.

Bring on the comments

  1. Chris V says:

    Great! Lots of new characters with no personality, in order to stand around in the background. Because that’s exactly what was needed in the Krakoa-era.

    I expected that an important reason to bring Arakko back was to increase the mutant population on the planet.
    Mutants are still a major minority compared to humans.
    Bringing in a huge population of mutants would help.

    I’m assuming that Xavier and Magneto are following Moira’s plan for Krakoa to become a world-mind.
    In order to do so, Krakoa would need to grow and expand, one would have to guess.
    So, Okkara reforming is important to Moira’s plan along the way to becoming a world-mind.

    This book is just losing me now. I didn’t want to give up on the Hickman title, but this direction doesn’t interest me.
    This new status quo isn’t what I was interested in reading after House/Powers.

  2. Richard Howe says:

    Starting to wonder if the third act of Hickman’s X-Men, The Fall of X, will be caused by the arrival of the Arakkans. Also, I 100% expect a team called The Strong to emerge from their population.

  3. Si says:

    Unlimited hasn’t caught up to all this yet, but aren’t the Arrako mutants cross-bred with demons? Sounds like part of his plot that he salvaged from Eternals, and the Arrako mutants were Deviants.

  4. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Yeah why wouldn’t Xavier and Mags want 20 times the powerful warrior mutants under their thumb?

    It helps both their surface Krakoa shtick and whatever secret plan they’re working on.

    “Then what was the point of this?”

    Magneto saying what I’m thinking.

    So we have to wait until the next crossover to actually get the X-Men team?

    Good god, this is a slow moving book.

  5. Salomé says:

    So, given that the next issue is focused on a trio of core characters (Cyclops, Storm, and Jean) and the following one picks up on the disappearance of Wolverine & co. into the Vault, *when* exactly can we expect an X-Men team to take shape?

    I’m fine with this issue, but as so often, I don’t really understand its standing within an overall narrative. There are just too many shifts and twists that feel arbitrary, because they don’t render meaningfully in the stories being told…

    The next solicitation features the Children of the Vault on the cover. I wonder if Hickman is aiming for another kind of inter-species drama, in place of the usual human/mutant divide? That would at least create some curious conflict amidst different factions: the post-human Children, the ancient mutants, the contemporary mutants, the modern humans…

    I’m fine with this story. I particularly enjoy that it portrays Magneto and Xavier as novices of sorts, alienating from a long-standing history of warriors, survivors, and competitors. But it’s so difficult to grasp the actual narrative consequence…

    How long is Hickman running the book, anyway? Are we going to end up with the newly-formed X-Men as an anti-climatic false start, and then transition onto the next reboot? Generally, I’m a bit confused.

  6. Chris V says:

    I believe Hickman signed on for three years.
    His run is being divided in to three roughly one year chapters.
    “Dawn of X” was chapter one and ended with “X of Swords”. Now, we are starting chapter two, “Reign of X”. This chapter should last until about the end of 2021 now. Followed by a final roughly year-long chapter.

    Thanks for reminding me about the Children of the Vault story though. I forgot about that after being disappointed with the Arakko focus in this issue.
    I do want to read Hickman using the Children of the Vault.

  7. Jerry Ray says:

    Can’t say that I find anything to be interested in regarding some kind of aloof warrior race that outnumbers all the mutants on earth 20:1 hanging out on an island. Like, it just CAN’T matter, and it also sounds extremely tedious.

    I’m also not sure of the wisdom of having a team called the X-Men (even an elected one) in terms of unity with the society on Krakoa. Either it’ll end up some kind of elitist status quo, or it will be a team unrecognizable as X-Men.

    I dunno, none of this feels like any kind of X-Men story I’m actually interested in reading.

  8. The Other Michael says:

    “Sorry, Mystique, we can’t bring Destiny back because… reasons.”
    “So far, you’ve managed to bring back Logan 5 or 6 times, every single student who died at the school, thousands of random Genoshans… tell me again why it’s so hard to slot in Destiny?”
    “Ummm…” *mind-wipes her*

    Seriously, the longer they go without fulfilling a perfectly reasonable request, the worse it’s going to turn out.

    Meanwhile, I look forward to voting for whoever joins the X-Men, and I hope it’s an absolute nightmare of a team.

  9. Josie says:

    I think we should all be giving Jonathan Hickman heaps of credit for finally creating some new characters who aren’t monochromatic.

    Baby steps.

  10. Evilgus says:

    Magneto’s “then what was the point of this” was a bit on the nose for me, as a reader surrogate.

    Also Mystique’s “I’m not” – did we need that spelled out too? Surely just a reaction shot would do the trick.

    It’s structurally odd to bring in this new mutant society alongside and as counterpoint to Krakoa, when we haven’t yet mined the story potential of Krakoa itself.

  11. SanityOrMadness says:

    @the Other Michael:

    At this point, if Xavier is hell-bent on not bringing back Destiny, he should stage a failure to do so. Pretend her powers cause Otherworld-style problems.

    (Or throw Mystique down the pit with Sabertooth. Either way.)

  12. Daniel Lourenço says:

    That’s something that bothers me a lot, as well. The refusal to ressurect Destiny is a key plot point for this entire paradigm do function, and an entire issue focused on Mystique’s situation and the latent tensions with the Quiet Council – but especially so, Professor X and Magneto. For her then to have absolutely no narrative role to play, in any of the ensuing storylines… It’s feels absurd to take a character with such a complex history (and part of an older generation of mutants, to boot) and reduce her to a plot device, and some background noise.

    Thanks for the info on the Hickman run. It kind of makese optimistic to think this isn’t even halway through – but then again, this slog of a year and the use of Reign of X to mess around with the worldbuilding even more.. Fingers crossed.

  13. neutrino says:

    I thought there were 14 million mutants on Arakko, as opposed to 200,000 on Krakoa, making the ratio 70 to one?

    What are the new X-Men going to do if the Arakkiins decide to conquer the weak humans or go after the Avengers?

    @Salomé The next solicitation has Storm in a Shi’ar story. The Children of the Vault are two issues after that.

    Since X of Swords was supposed to be a summer event, will the Hellfire Gala mark the end of Reign?

    Do you think there will be some kind of fan voting for the X-Men, like the Legion of Superheroes used to have?

  14. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    The Mystique stuff I was looking forward to, but like a lot of the plot hooks that have been introduced so far it hasn’t been acknowledged or moved forward an inch since it was introduced.

    Hellfire Gala seems to be a summer mini event, so there won’t be an X-Men team for another six months or more


  15. Chris V says:

    Daniel-It definitely seems like Hickman is a guy with too many toys with which to play.
    He has a full toy box already, but he keeps wanting more and more toys. So, the quality older toys he’s been using are being forgotten with new toys.
    Unfortunately, the toys he wants to play aren’t the best toys available either.

    I agree that the writing isn’t the best. Hickman introduced this great character motivation for Mystique and then hasn’t exactly followed through on the premise.
    However, maybe there is a major plan for the Mystique/Destiny plot within the next two years.
    I know that’s something I’m much more interested in following, rather than more Arakko stories.
    My hope is that Moira’s plan involves going to outer space in order to find immortality and the introduction of the Arakko characters is in order for mutants to colonize other planets.
    Marvel might have told Hickman that he can’t use any previously creased X-universe mutants in that role, because they need to be kept available for future use.
    So, he created all these other mutants for that purpose.
    I can only hope.

  16. Luis Dantas says:

    Arakko is supposed to be a huge game changer.

    Logically, if literal millions of new Omega Level mutants suddenly turned up on Earth (even Marvel Earth) that ought to have very noticeable consequences. It is just not believable that not a single one will want to travel abroad and cause some sort of meaningful reaction.

    Come to think of it, wasn’t there a Dazzler one-shot some three years ago where it was mentioned that there were several times more Inhumans alive than mutants? I found that surprising at the time, but if it is an established fact in Marvel reality, it would make sense to have them show some sort of reaction to the arising of Krakoa as a political entity. And to this news of Arakko as well.

  17. Adam says:

    The real problem with this issue is that anyone at Marvel thought their primarily American audience wanted to spend the next six months on a story about an election…

    While I agree with the criticism that Hickman doesn’t even try to keep his subplots simmering, I like the unexpected twist of Arakko being a new, potentially huge problem for the Krakoans.

  18. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I think the real twist is why Xavier and Magneto thought that the Arakkans wouldn’t be a disaster in the first place.

    They’re a culture of mutants from ancient times led by Apocalypse and his family. They’ve spent thousands of years trapped in hell waging a war against demons. They shouldn’t be able to speak any current Earth language, they’ve never heard of Jesus, they’ve never seen an episode of The Office.

    Why would they do anything Krakoa wants?

  19. SanityOrMadness says:

    Uncanny X-Ben> I think the real twist is why Xavier and Magneto thought that the Arakkans wouldn’t be a disaster in the first place.

    Because they didn’t think. They bought into their own Krakoa-era “mutants are different from humans, but all the same as each other” hype (not much of a leap for Magneto, moreso for Xavier). Not considering everything else you say.

  20. Chris V says:

    It would seem like mutants would know better in 2020 considering that the X-Men seemed to spend more time fighting amongst themselves and killing each other than humanity.
    Mutants started to seem more like their own worst enemies during the 2000s.
    I kept wondering if Marvel was trying to show Morrison and Millar’s idea (“Who says what comes next will necessarily be better?”) as true.

    That’s something that appealed to me about the Krakoa-era, at least Hickman was setting up a clear and present danger for mutantkind (post-humanity, machines), instead of mutants spending all their time fighting each other.
    Lo and behold, here we are back to mutants probably going to be fighting with other mutants…only less interesting mutants from ancient times.

  21. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    They’ve absolutely seemed to have drunk their own kool aid.

  22. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    The idea that the real evolutionary struggle isn’t mutants vs humans but mutants vs machines is I think very interesting.

    We just haven’t actually seem much if it.

  23. MasterMahan says:

    “They’ve absolutely seemed to have drunk their own kool aid.”

    Pretty much. Chuck and Erik already decided being a mutant was more important than, say, being a genocidal monster (which was probably very stupid of them). Thus, it’s perfectly in-character with the party line to say “Millions of mutants crossbred with demons and twisted by millenia of unending war? You had me at ‘mutants’!”

    Arrako really shows its origins as an Eternals concept. A forgotten offshoot from Eternal society is a very Eternals idea, since A) They have a long history, and B) They already have one of those. An ancient mutant society is very different.

    Interesting that Isca is an Omega. Omega mutants are defined by having limitless potential, not just being strong. Isca’s power is handy, but notably limited. Perhaps Arrako’s definition of Omega is just “these guys are tough”.

  24. Evilgus says:

    I wonder if conceptually, bringing in the Arakko evil death mutants will force the X-Men to once again become ‘sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them’, i.e. save the humans from the really bad mutants. Bringing everything full circle.

    Not sure if that fits Hickman’s scheme though.

  25. Chris V says:

    Not unless everything with Moira was pointless, since her point was that the humans, using technology, will always kill mutants.
    In her earlier life, Moira and Xavier formed the X-Men to be superheroes and fight for humanity, and the Sentinels were still eventually sent to kill the X-Men.

  26. Salomé Honório says:

    Here’s hoping that Mystique proves exceptionally popular amidst partially reformed mutant terrorists and/or centenarians. Her being voted into the team would be a nicr way to break open that specific narrative impasse, by giving her more concrete power and the ability to act directly. Although the chances of the voted-in X-Men varying much from recognizable combos seem very, very slim. Krakoa has something of an unquestioned aristocracy in place. House of Summers, House of M…

    @Chris V:

    I agree. Hickman seems to get caught up in the conceptual spark of some story ideas, and become enamored with the very gradual ways in which they settle together. Less capable of defining their limits, or less enthusiastic about it. “X-Men” has no strong reason to remain a worldbuilding exercise this far in, unless there is some tacit understanding that Hickman’s paradigm will outlast his run.

    But we know how swiftly Marvel unwrote most of Morrison’s better work, and the current market is strongly reboot-dependent, so…

    Incidentally: I’ve always enjoyed the idea of mutant settlers in space, as a sort of rejection of the Earth as their true (or only) home. A bit like the mass migration of anarchists to the moon in Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Dispossessed”, or the Belters’ claim to sovereignty over the outer systems in “The Expanse”. “Fear of a mutant planet”, etc.


    Hickman presented his own definition of omega in Hox/Pox, if I recall correctly. It doesn’t refer to “unlimited potential”. It refers to a given mutant being the strongest/finest/best expression of a given power set, in comparison to other mutants. A bit less “I AM PHOENIX INCARNATE”, a bit more “I’m the best there is and what I do, and…”


    “@Salomé: The next solicitation has Storm in a Shi’ar story. The Children of the Vault are two issues after that.”

    Yup. This is what I said in my comment, I think?

  27. neutrino says:

    @Salomé: No, you were saying the next solicitation had the Children of the Vault on the cover.

    @Luis Dantas: They’re not all Omega mutants. There are only five Inhumans left currently.

    @Chris V: “Not unless everything with Moira was pointless, since her point was that the humans, using technology, will always kill mutants.
    In her earlier life, Moira and Xavier formed the X-Men to be superheroes and fight for humanity, and the Sentinels were still eventually sent to kill the X-Men.”

    Everybody says that, but it didn’t happen in lives one, two, three, seven and eight, and nine could be considered self-defense on humanity’s part. We don’t know who sent the Sentinels in life four. It could have been the Hellfire Club.

  28. Chris V says:

    Stop poking holes in Hickman’s shoddy writing.
    It’s on the page, so we’re meant to believe it. This is the patented “tell, don’t show” style of writing.

    Don’t forget that Moira went from thinking that mutants are a cancer to deciding to take up the mutant cause simply because a group of mutants decided to burn her to death.
    Tolstoy’s War and Peace this is not.

    I guess we’re supposed to accept Moira’s revelation from life six, when she learned from the Librarian and about the Titans, as proof that Moira’s contentions are accurate.

  29. Salomé says:

    @neutrino: Re-read the post. I suggest the first paragraph. These intrusive, corrective impulses in geekdom are so, so tiring.

  30. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I’ve just had a thought that for the past year Forget Me Not must have been running around Krakoa, shouting at the top of his lungs about Moira.

  31. Chris V says:

    At this point, I’d love for Cyclops to declare for the X-Men vote that there must be five members of the team.
    Forget Me Not proves to be the most popular candidate.
    Forget Me Not is voted on to the X-Men, but is instantly forgotten about as soon as the election ends.
    Since no one realizes who Forget Me Not is, the voting is ruled as void, and a re-election is called.
    Only to have the same thing happen.
    Krakoa spends the rest of Hickman’s run trying to elect the new X-Men team, and the Hickman era ends without the final X-Men team ever being created.

  32. Joseph S. says:

    Salomé: “ Here’s hoping that Mystique proves exceptionally popular amidst partially reformed mutant terrorists and/or centenarians. Her being voted into the team would be a nicr way to break open that specific narrative impasse, by giving her more concrete power and the ability to act directly.”

    Quiet Council members are ineligible for election, as such Mystique won’t be on the X-Men.

  33. GN says:

    Ah, so I did interpret X of Swords: Destruction correctly in that Arakko (and its mutants) were being sent to Earth-616. This issue also confirms that Apocalypse, Genesis and their children are not on Arakko (Genesis used to sit at the head of the Great Ring but her sister Isca sits there now) so they probably did go back to Amenth.

    My summary of where the players of X of Swords ended up after X of Swords: Destruction (the mutants are in bold):



    Hall of Annihilation: Apocalypse, Genesis, Famine, Pestilence, War. Annihilation is now a sceptre used by Genesis to keep the daemonic hordes in line.
    Ivory Spire: The White Sword and his One Hundred Champions.
    Pod-ur-Pogg: Pogg-ur-Pogg, an Amenthi goblin working as a sellsword.


    Starlight Citadel: Omniversal Guardian Opal Luna Saturnyne, Saturnyne’s followers (Ryl, Quaddeus Quo, …), Captain Britain Corps (except for Captain Britain 616)

    The Floating Kingdom of Roma Regina: Lady Roma Regina
    Infuri the Everforge: The Furies
    Avalon: Monarch, Captain Avalon, Gloriana, Margaret Puceanu-Braddock
    Sevalith: Countex Oublia, Countex Oscura, Death
    Mercator: Mister M

    The Holy Republic of Fae: Great Hierophant Merlyn
    Hothive: Colony Queen Vesperidae
    Dryador: –
    Blightspoke: Sheriff Gia Whitechapel and her posse, Summoners of Amenth, Vescora
    The Crooked Market: Mad Jim Jaspers, Redroot the Forest


    Krakoa: Swordbearers of Krakoa (except for Captain Britain 616), Rockslide II, Gorgon II, Bei the Blood Moon (probably living with Cypher)
    Arakko: Isca the Unbeaten, Idyll, Tarn the Uncaring (and his Locus Vile)
    Unknown Country: Solem (he escaped through the Avalon Gate as seen in Destruction)


    Britain: Captain Britain 616

    The Dryador Gate connects Arakko to Dryador in Otherworld. As I have theorised previously, now that Arakko is on Earth-616, Amenth is effectively unmoored from Otherworld and there is no direct path from Krakoa to Amenth anymore. Even Rictor could not reach Apocalypse in Amenth through mutant magic as seen in Excalibur 16. Hence, I don’t think that we’ll be hearing much from the Amenth crowd, not at least until some time has passed.

    Obviously, large parts of Excalibur’s plot takes place in Otherworld, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty of the Otherworld crowd in that book. Redroot and Death’s stories will probably be continued there, and we’ll probably visit Mercator and Hothive for the first time in that book.

    Solem is probably wandering around Europe, he will probably cross paths (and swords) with Logan again in Wolverine.

    The story of Arakko, now next to Krakoa, will probably be continued by Hickman in X-Men.

  34. GN says:

    Paul > Basically, Arakko is brought back to Earth via the External Gate (which doesn’t really make sense, because the External Gate connected Krakoa with Otherworld, not with Amenth – let’s assume Saturnyne is helping out somewhere).

    To be fair, the gate was constructed on a piece of Arakko itself and back when the Arak Coral showed up in X-Men 2, the map labelled the Eternal Caldera / Arak Maw as Transit to Arakko – Closed. But yes, this scene is meant to handwave the mechanics of it. My headcanon is that Saturnyne teleported the other side of the gate from below the Starlight Citadel to Arakko (Notice that the gate is not there in Excalibur 16 when the team were under the Citadel) and then when the gate ‘reversed polarity’, the two pieces of Arakko were pulled together. But that’s just headcanon, not in the storytelling.

    Paul > On the other hand, it’s Krakoa that has all the flowers and drugs, as far as we know – does Arakko have anything similar to offer the world, and do its leaders have any interest in gaining influence that way?

    The Arakkii can create gateways, so they must have the gateway flowers and they presumably have the related habitat flowers as well. I doubt they have any of the medicinal flowers L, I, M though. Those were explicitly designed by Krakoans to work on humans.

    Paul > There’s a redacted word or two in the second-last paragraph. Whichever group it is that Solem wronged, it evidently includes War. Surely “the Horsemen” is far too obvious to bother redacting, though?

    The redacted word in Wolverine 6 was probably ‘Great Ring’.

    Paul > Idyll, the mutant prophet who predicted the fall of Arakko in the flashbacks in issues #12 and #14. That could be important – if Moira doesn’t want precognitives on Krakoa, she can’t be thrilled about having one in the government of Arakko.

    I agree on the importance of Idyll. Not only is the no precognitives rule not an official law of Krakoa (Xavier and Magneto are enforcing it in secret) but the Arakkii don’t recognize the authority of the Quiet Council. They have no qualms in having oracles around. This is bound to be a problem.

    However, I don’t think that this Great Ring Idyll is the same Idyll as the one that predicted the fall. That Idyll was born around 300 years ago (he was crib-mates with the High Summoner) and he was not a member of the Great Ring as shown in X-Men 12. X-Men 14 further elaborates that that Idyll had a son Idyll, who then had a daughter Idyll, who was ‘the seer of this generation’. She was killed when Arakko fell to Annihilation a few months before X of Swords (the fall happened shortly after the Arak Coral came to Krakoa). So, this new Idyll who sits on the Great Ring must be her son or daughter.

    Speaking of the ‘the seer of this generation’, she made a prophecy in X-Men 14:

    Only under the black moon will the two become one. A white light will judge them, and a red land will see them split forever.

    Anyone here want to speculate what this means? I think that the ‘two’ is Krakoa and Arakko, the ‘one’ they become is Okkara. The ‘white light’ could be Opal Luna Saturnyne, referred to as the ‘White Light of Otherworld’ in X of Swords: Creation and the ‘judgement’ could be the tournament of swords that she held. But what is the ‘black moon’ and the ‘red land’?

  35. GN says:

    Regarding the mutant numbers:

    neutrino > I thought there were 14 million mutants on Arakko, as opposed to 200,000 on Krakoa, making the ratio 70 to one?

    Do correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall any of the books saying that the population of Arakko is 14 million. Is that from an interview somewhere?

    The X-Office have not given us solid numbers, but X-Men / Fantastic Four had Mr Fantastic make some estimates, so I’ll work off of those until we get better information. He estimated that there are about 200,000 mutants living on Krakoa so the mutant population of Arakko should be around 4 million. Hence,


    Krakoa: 200,000
    Arakko: 4,000,000
    Other Nations: 10,000
    TOTAL: 4,210,000


    Dead Mutants (Anti-Mutant Groups): 1,463
    Dead Mutants (Genocide at Genosha): 16,521,618
    Depowered Mutants (Decimation): 986,420
    TOTAL: 17,509,501

    Hence, Earth-616 currently has around 5 million living mutants (95% Arakkii). The depowered mutants are being addressed by the Crucible, and the dead mutants are being resurrected by the Five. If or when all of the dead and depowered mutants get restored, the global mutant population would be around 22 million, which is quite something if you consider that every one of them has superpowers.

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