WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for New Mutants #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brisson, Rod Reis, VC's Travis Lanham and Tom Muller, on sale now.
Krakoa might not be a name that conjures immediate recognition among casual X-Men fans, but the sentient island proved has proved to one of the most important locations in X-Men history. In Giant X-Men #1, it was where the new X-Men -- consisting of Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Sunfire and Thunderbird -- first united to save the original members of the team. The living island now serves as a haven for mutants everywhere.
But the island might very well be more than it seems, as New Mutants #1 indicates. While its recent activity may evidence of the island defending its occupants from the world that hates and fears them, it also might allude to far more deliberately insidious behavior -- behavior that could even threaten the rest of reality.
THE DANGERS OF KRAKOA
While the island is a paradise, there are a few oddities that might leave readers questioning this idyllic label. Whenever Mondo, whose abilities allow him to integrate with the environment and ecology around him, integrates with Krakoa, he finds himself in an uncomfortable position. He has difficulty really blending with the environment, instead stating that Krakoa "itches" and feels "weird." Later on, Krakoa even overtakes Mondo's body, indicating that its psychic will can and will overpower those who can link to it.
While this former aspect can be chalked up to Krakoa being an island unlike any other, there are other red flags that indicate Krakoa might not be so great a haven for mutant kind after all. Areas of the island are cultivated for alien plants to thrive and grow. This involved terraforming, which affects the chemical and physiological features of an environment. However, almost immediately after the seeds are planted in Krakoa, the plants wither and die. This indicates that, once conditions for terraforming and alien agriculture were met, Krakoa undid its own terraforming to revert to its original state.
This confirms that island appears to have a will and mind of its own, one that does not necessarily align with those living upon it.
WHAT COULD THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE?
There are two ways of reading the situation. One interpretation of events is that Krakoa is simply an untamed land that the mutants need to further understand if they hope to make a long-term home of the island. After all, the island has survived occupation from Apocalypse and his Horsemen -- its has seen things the mutants living there can't imagine.
On the other hand -- and sticking with the idea that the island has a will of its own -- it could mean that Krakoa is, at best, unwilling to cooperate with it new residents and, at worst, might actively oppose them and the worlds they come from. It wouldn't be the first time Krakoa has acted malignantly against the X-Men. After all, in its first appearance it pushed the X-Men to their absolute limits.
Krakoa has proven to assimilate with land masses around and associated with it. If a mutant like Mondo can't endure Krakoa's psychic influence, can any other psychic mutant compete? What can Krakoa do to the environment around it? It's possible, too, that Krakoa has its own self-preserving intentions in mind, and these objectives come in direct conflict with the direction mutankind hopes to take with Krakoa. If this is the case, this island paradise will soon become Hell on Earth for mutants. Even worse, entire ecosystems might fall under Krakoa's will, which will spell doom for the rest of Earth -- and, possibly, even beyond.