Dawn of X is the 2019 re-launch of the X-Men franchise, the follow up to Jonathan Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X events. Released this month and in upcoming months, these new additions are drastically changing the way the X-Men are portrayed, and it’s incredibly fascinating.
We’re counting down the top 10 dawn of x facts that change everything. Think of this as a crash course into what exactly has been going on over the course of House of X and Powers of X and how Dawn of X will continue to explore these new changes in the near future.
And of course, keep in mind that this article features a ton of spoilers for the house of x and powers of x, so you’ve been warned!
The Ongoing Series
For starters, let’s break down what’s happened so far. The status quo of mutant-kind has changed. No longer are the mutants trying to work alongside humans, but have separated themselves with an almost emotionally alien distance (further developing the themes of alien otherness that has always defined the mutants, ie the whole mutant metaphor to begin with).
This makes what we’ve seen so far unsettling and fascinating. The sentient island Krakoa has been made into the mutant’s sovereign nation. And the mutants have had enough of suffering; it is an age where homo superior has re-claimed its agency over homo sapiens.
It also means that all of the previous X-Men comics are being rebooted, so to speak, and we’re getting launches of new volumes of series that are really darn exciting. So far, we know that three series, which have already begun, will continue to be ongoing in the X-Men franchise.
Those are volume 5 of X-Men, Marauders, and volume 4 of Excalibur. In addition to that, 7 other series is set to be released, starting with November releases X-Force, New Mutants and Fallen Angels
February will bring us Wolverine volume 7, X-Men Giant-Size, X-Corp, and an untitled Moira MacTaggert series. There’s also an addition X-Men/Fantastic Four 4 issue limited series set to be released in February of next year.
Make More Mutants
There are three rules established for this new sovereign nation on Krakoa: murder no man, respect this sacred land and make more mutants.
In House of X issue 6, we say the newly formed Krakoa government, the Quiet Council, sit down and establish these rules. And Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, was a horny little devil who chimed in with his god’s wisdom saying,
“And God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”
With a little grin on his blue face, he exclaimed we new to make more mutants. In X-Men issue 1, we got to see Scott’s new Krakoan made a house on the moon, where he and the X-Men all had a big old family dinner with Corsair, his daddy dearest. And in that issue, we got to see a layout of the house. Take a look at that.
Cyclop, Wolverine and Jean’s rooms are all next to one another, with Jean’s in the middle. And out of all the rooms, theirs are the only ones connected by open doors. And on top of that, we got this panel of them all super close and enjoying each other’s company.
This obviously has led to speculation that the three of them are now in an open relationship, to better live up to that ‘make more mutants’ rule.
Moira and the timelines
She plays a massive role in this new relaunch. Revealed in House of X, Moira actually has mutant abilities. She possesses the power of reincarnation, starting her life again in the past after she dies, possessing all of the memories of her previous lives. She’s also alive now, FYI, having faked her death at the hands of the Brotherhood.
Anywho, Moira has experienced ten different lifetimes, each with a different outcome, and her goal is to find the outcome in which mutant-kind succeeds. Her ninth life saw her shacking up with Apocalypse in an attempt to ensure the future of mutant-kind after failing to really do so in those previous lives; something that was her trying something truly revolutionary and breaking all the rules, as House of X issue 2 describes it.
Now, she has taken up residence on Krakoa in ‘No-Place’, a blackout zone where she works with Charles Xavier and Magneto using the knowledge gained from her past lives, although grows increasingly paranoid of other precognitive mutants, like the idea of Destiny being revived for Mystique, because Moira is afraid that the other mutants may discover that they are doomed.
Leinil Yu (lay-null)
Diverting a little bit from the story to one of the creatives behind it, let’s talk a little about Leinil Yu.
Yu is working with his former Avengers partner, Jonathan Hickman, who is spearheading the whole Dawn of X re-launch of the franchise. But this isn’t the first time he’s been a part of a brand new era for mutant-kind in Marvel’s panels.
He illustrated part of Chris Claremont’s run on colume 2 of the X-Men comics, also known as X-Men Legacy. And he got his start in comics thanks to the X-Men, or rather, specifically one specific X-Men member, Wolverine.
He was first recognized after winning Wizard’s Drawing Board Content when drawing the character, and eventually got hired by Wildstorm, where samples of his work were eventually passed on to Marvel, leading to Yu working on Wolverine alongside writers the likes of Larry Hama, Erik Larsen, Fabian Nicieza, and of course, Claremont, too.
With all of those titles, let’s talk about which characters you can expect to be rubbing shoulders.
For starters, X-Men volume 5, the flagship title, of course, will largely follow the X-Men team led by Cyclops, with Jean Grey, Cable, Rachel Summers, Havok, Corsair, Vulcan and Wolverine retaining membership.
Then there’s the Marauders, which are made up of Kitty Pryde, Storm, Iceman, Pyro and Bishop, with Emma Frost and Sebastion Shaw as supporting cast in their stories. Excalibur’s team will consist of Captain Britain, Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, and Rictor. And the team also includes big bad Apocalypse, who was put on the team by Marvel in order to change the way we see and think about the character, who is said to be going on a journey of self-discovery.
New Mutants will follow Magik, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Karma, Cypher, Mondo, and Chamber, with appearances by the Starjammers. Fallen Angels is a revival of the 1987 series, following Psylocke, Cable, and X-23. And of course, X-Force, the mutant black ops team, will consist of Beast, Jean Grey, Black Tom, Sage, Domino, Wolverine, Colossus and Kid Omega.
Psylocke & Betsy Braddock
The relaunch now sees Betsy Braddock replacing her brother as Captain Britain, reunited with her original body and no longer in the body of ninja assassin Kwannon. For years, Betsy has been living inside of Kwannon’s body in one of the most racially controversial moves ever pulled by Marvel.
Looks like they’re trying to do it right this time around though because Betsy returning to her body isn’t the only development for the character.
She may be Captain Britain now, but Psylocke lives on. And because of that, it’s not the end for Kwannon. She’s now taken up the Psylocke mantle in Fallen Angels, which follows mutants who feel out of place on Krakoa.
Wolverine issue 1 is set to drop in February 2020, and it’s SUPER exciting. The black and white preview for the issue that’s been released includes a subtle yet tender moment between him and Jean Grey, the two of them seemingly entertain a group of children on Krakoa but having obvious chemistry while doing it.
This further implies that the whole three’s company theory that’s emerged about Logan, Jean and Scott may actually be a thing. WHAT A THRUPPLE THEY WOULD BE!
But perhaps the most astonishing thing (or second most astonishing if the thrupple is still blowing your mind) about the Wolverine title is who is behind it. Wolverine issue 1 sees comic book legend Adam Kubert returning to the Marvel fold, illustrating for the series.
Kitty Pryde is a liberating pirate
There’s a wonderful irony about the woman who can phase through anything not being able to walk through the border of Krakoa. This development poses big questions as to why Krakoa doesn’t let in all mutants, and how it can be a sanctuary for mutant life if it rejects mutants who have long been considered accepted by the mutant community, the X-Men, and Charles Xavier.
It also creates a very interesting situation for Kitty and whether or not she truly believes that Krakoa is the right choice.
She does eventually get in, but, as a character who has previously led the X-Men, she struggles with this question, and it’s very opportune that Emma Frost shows up to offer her a position as her Red Queen, traveling across the globe working for Emma’s new Hellfire Trading Company to off assistance to mutants who can’t make it to Krakoa and safeguard goods.
Some of the global entrance ways to Krakoa have been outfitted with military personnel preventing mutants from making the trip there, or have mutant-hunting creatures in the area. This begins the Marauders, a group of seafaring liberators led by Kitty Pryde, who has adopted this independent pirate vibe wholeheartedly.
Charles Xavier has shifted perspectives; fed up with fighting for acceptance and constantly dealing with persecution, Professor X has altered his approach.
In tangent with the reveal of Moira’s mutant abilities, in her 10th life, we see her approach Charles Xavier and allow him to read her mind and see the nine lives prior, and what she’s learned, and how each attempt still concludes in tragedy for mutant-kind.
The House of X series gave us insight as to how Charles, the rest of the X-Men and other mutants across the globe are all fed up, and now, he’s formed an alliance with Magneto, and even Mister Sinister (who helps them cheat death itself), in order to help save mutant-kind once and for all.
After witnessing the deaths of the X-Men in House of X 4 via Jean’s telepathy until her death severs that connection, Xavier says the words “no more”, refusing to rely on appealing to humanity’s better nature.
Enough is enough; too many mutants have been murdered or died over the years, and throughout all of Moira’s lives, that this is now impossible for Xavier to ignore. And he’s running things with way more of an iron fist – for example, Sabretooth, who is punished by mutant law, finds himself falling into the dark void within Krakoa, not being killed but having to suffer a horrifying exile instead.
There’s also that drug thing – the fact that they’ve decided to deny humanity access to Krakoan made pharmaceuticals that extend human life spans, aid in rehabilitating from mental trauma and cure terminal diseases is something that feels like a big f-u to humanity. But it’s also one of the trade-offs in order to retain a peaceful co-existence.
Redefining the X-Men & Death in Comics
By the end of House of X, new rules have been established, and not only on Krakoa. Xavier has declared that mutants will no longer be judged by human laws, but by mutant laws. The demands laid out by Krakoa in terms of co-existing with humanity are not negotiable.
Humans agree to these terms that make mutants lives better, and in return, mutants will help them, like with the medical and technological advancements that exist on Krakoa, developed by mutants.
But we also see some interesting developments at the end of House of X as well, like old foes now respecting on another. Jean Grey and Emma Frost share a beer. Cyclops and his brother have reconciled with a hug.
Magneto and Xavier work side by side. And then there’s that thrupple we mentioned earlier, too. And let’s not get started on the looming doom of the Phalanx and the sacrifice of all mutant life in order to add said mutant life to amalgamate every mutant mind into its world-mind of sentience, containing every mutant thought and memory, the ultimate way for mutant-kind endure and survive but at the ultimate cost of sacrificing themselves.
That being said, we’ve also witnessed how Xavier has managed to cheat death itself using the combined powers of Proteus, Tempus, Elixir and God balls (bless him for having a purpose now), which also is impactful in terms of the way we perceive death in comic books.
It’s long been an overused storytelling tool, but now, it’s a concept that Dawn of X is morphing, taking the previously metatextual knowledge readers had about the inevitable resurrection of dead characters in comic books and perhaps breathing new life and meaning into how death will be approached in the future of some of our favourite panels; death is a temporary pain, and now a meaningless tool has been given meaning again.