Let’s pretend you’re planning a party and you want it to be memorable. You could execute this in a variety of ways: with fantastic passed applications, a sick DJ, or by enlisting the help of some celebrities. You could terraform all of Mars, make it habitable for mutants overnight, and designate it the capital of our solar system instead of Earth, as the X-Men did in Planet-Size X-Men #1.
The finale of the X-Hellfire Men’s Gala, a high society celebration where the mutants of Earth, now formed as a sovereign nation on the living island of Krakoa, have invited luminaries from normie human culture only to watch mutants flex, is depicted in Planet-Size X-Men #1.
There have been clues of a massive surprise the Krakoans planned for the gala’s grand conclusion throughout the Gala, which is unfolding across most of Marvel’s X-Men publications in June, and it isn’t simply the introduction of the new, democratically-elected X-Men squad. Instead, it’s the reveal of the mutant nation’s most daring power move yet: the terraforming and colonization of Mars, which has been christened Planet Arakko.
Readers of the recent X of Swords crossover will recognize that term, which ended in the reuniting of Krakoa and its sister-island Arrako, home to the Arakki, a warlike splinter of mutant-kind who had been exiled to another reality for a long time. Few X-Men comics have explored what this unexpected reunion has been like, but Planet-Size X-Men hints that Krakoa’s abrupt expansion has alarmed the rest of the world, and that the Krakoans and Arraki enjoy a friendly, if uneasy, relationship. The Arraki’s interactions with humans, on the other hand, are best left unsaid.
Planet Arakko is thus both an offering to the Arraki, a benign solution to their attitude toward humanity, and the Krakoan mutants’ most aggressive play in the Marvel Universe thus far. Krakoa has claimed an entire planet after making it habitable in a matter of hours, in the midst of a bold new status quo that has the human countries of Earth feeling uneasy. (Part of the pleasure of the comic is figuring out how they do it.)
What’s the cherry on top? To the assembled dignitaries of Marvel’s extraterrestrial cultures, Magneto proclaims the renamed planet the solar system’s capital.
This is a bold, outrageous comic book plot with a lot of potential for future X-Men installments. It heightens tensions between the Mutants and the rest of the Marvel Universe, as it depicts the X-Men aggressively advancing into more morally ambiguous territory. (Is space colonization for mutants truly the way to go? They appear to be very human.) It’s a fitting conclusion to the Hellfire Gala, a celebration of mutant expansion and excess. What makes it even more delectable is the fact that it could be the best moment in mutant history.
It heightens tensions between the Mutants and the rest of the Marvel Universe, as it depicts the X-Men aggressively advancing into more morally ambiguous territory. (Is space colonization for mutants truly the way to go? They appear to be very human.) It’s a fitting conclusion to the Hellfire Gala, a celebration of mutant expansion and excess. What makes it even more fascinating is the fact that it just might be the pinnacle of mutant arrogance.