With the release of the first trailer for Dark Phoenix, many X-Men fans are eager to see the latest film adaptation of the seminal late-1970s X-Men storyline. However, since details emerged, nearly a year ago, about Magneto’s whereabouts, longtime readers have wondered just how just how the movie will depict the mutant haven of Genosha.
The previous entry in the Fox franchise, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, introduced new, younger versions of Jean Grey and Scott Summers, establishing lofty expectations for this sequel. Not only are the comic books on which Dark Phoenix is based so formative for a lot of fans, but the previous movie to attempt at this storyline, 2006’s X3: The Last Stand, did so poorly. What fans perhaps weren’t expecting to see is a reimagining of Jean’s possession by the destructive, cosmic Phoenix Force is the island of Genosha, which wasn’t introduced into the comics fore more than a decade after “The Dark Phoenix Saga.”
Located off the coast of Madagascar, Genosha first appeared as an independent state that used mutants as a slave race. Every child born on the island with the X-Gene was “processed” so that his or her mutant abilities could be exposed and best utilized for the good of the state, which usually meant servitude. Members of the X-Men were kidnapped and held on Genosha multiple times, leading to the death of the New Mutant Warlock, and the eventual toppling of the government. Magneto and his Acolytes soon heard of the atrocities committed there against mutants, and sought to overthrow the nation’s rulers.
Soon Genosha was in the throes of a civil war between humans and the rebellious mutant underclass. Under pressure from Magneto to cede to him a nation-state for mutants, and confronted with the chaos on Genosha, the United Nations granted him the right to govern the island nation with his Acolytes. There were initial problems, as the human population fought against mutant rule, but soon Magneto’s control was definitive and complete, and Genosha was declared a mutant haven.
With the threat of the Legacy Virus, a deadly plague that targeted the X-gene, fast becoming a distant memory, mutants began to thrive on Genosha. Magneto was a benevolent leader, allowing thousands of his people to flock to the crescent-shaped island for sanctuary from a world that hated and feared them. Schools, businesses and thriving cities became the heart of Genosha, turning it into a realistic and viable way for mutants to live in peace. Unfortunately, that haven was not meant to last.
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