Age of X

Release Date: 
March 2011 to July 2011
Plot / Theme: 

In a world where the X-Men never existed, mutant kind was hunted to the brink of extinction. The few remaining mutants gathered in Fortress X, and spent every day fighting for their lives. 1000 days after Fortress X was established, however, several mutants began to grow suspicious about the goings-on inside their home, and a series of events would lead Legacy on a quest to to uncover the truth about the Age of X.

Characters Involved

In the Age of X, several characters went by new code-names. Their 616 reality identity is listed in brackets.

Characters who appear in “Present” Age of X

  • Angel, Anole, Avalanche, Basilisk (Cyclops) Berserker (Warpath), Bling, Bliss, Callisto, Cannonball, Chamber, Colossus, Danger, Dazzler, Domino, Dust, Eclipse (Sunspot), Frenzy, Gambit, Gentle, Hellion, Husk, Iceman, Indra, Madison Jeffries, Jubilee, Karma, Legacy / Reaper (Rogue), Legion, Loa, Magma, Magneto, Moonstar, Mystique, Nightmare (Pixie III), Northstar, Psylocke, Pyro, Kavita Rao, Revenant (Marvel Girl III), Rockslide, Angel Salvadore, Scalphunter, Shadowcat, Storm, Sub-Mariner, Surge IV, Tempo, Toad, Trance, Carmella Unuscione, Velocidad, Vertigo, Warlock (Cypher), Wolverine, (all residents of Fortress X)
  • Blindfold, Doctor Nemesis, Emma Frost, Martha Johansson, Magik, Shadowcat, Stepford Cuckoos, Professor X (all prisoners of Fortress X)
  • Beak, Blob, Maggott, Mammomax, Marrow, Riptide, Rusty Collins (all prisoners at Alcatraz)
  • Moira MacTaggert / X (Legion personality)
  • Captain America, Hulk, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Redback (Spider-Woman I), Vengenace (Ghost Rider) (all Avengers)
  • General Frank Castle
  • Weapon-S (Sabretooth)
  • Spider-Man & Mary-Jane
  • Stephen Strange

    Characters who only appear in Age of X flashbacks

  • Arcade, Debrii, Elixir, Forge, Lady Mastermind, Mastermind III, Mr Sinister, Cecilia Reyes, Sabretooth, Siryn, Wolfsbane
  • Human Torch, Mr Fantastic, Thing
  • Franklin Richards
  • Colonel Creed
  • Richard Palance

    Characters who were mentioned to have been killed and did not appear on panel

  • Aurora, Beast, Copycat, Destiny, Feral, Jean Grey, Havok, Multiple Man, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch
Issues Involved: 

X-Men Legacy #245-247, New Mutants (3rd series) #22-24, Age of X: Alpha #1, Age of X: Universe #1-2

Read Order: 

Age of X: Alpha #1
Age of X: Universe #1
Age of X: Universe #2
Part 01 - X-Men Legacy #245
Part 02 - New Mutants (3rd series) #22
Part 03 - X-Men Legacy #246
Part 04 - New Mutants (3rd series) #23
Part 05 - X-Men Legacy #247
Part 06 - New Mutants (3rd series) #24

616 Reality

  • Under the leadership of Cyclops, the X-Men have established an autonomous island state named Utopia off of the coast of San Francisco. Its population consists of the X-Men and the majority of the world’s remaining mutant population. [Utopia Crossover]
  • After being de-powered following M-Day, Chamber went through further transformations at the hands of Clan Akkaba and afterward with technology as a member of the New Warriors. [Generation M #1, New Excalibur #9, New Warriors (4th series) #3]
  • Rachel Summers was last seen alongside Havok and Polaris among the Starjammers. [War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1]
  • Professor X and Dr. Nemesis have been working with Legion to get his myriad personas in check since he arrived on Utopia. [New Mutants (3rd series) #4]
  • Blindfold became aware of some impending doom that would befall Utopia in X-Men Legacy #244.

Age of X Reality

  • The Beast was beaten to death by anti-mutant protestors during the “March for Purity” in Washington, DC. [Age of X Historical Log 1A]
  • The city of Albany, New York was decimated when Jean Grey’s mutant abilities manifested in the form of a fiery phoenix, leaving 600,000 dead. [Age of X Historical Log 2B]
  • Following the devastation in Albany, the US government sponsored the mass production of Exonim Sentinels, technologically-advanced combat vehicles designed to subdue mutants. The period of time that followed was dubbed “The Decimation” due to the drastic decline in the mutant population. [Age of X Historical Log 3C]
  • As anti-mutant hysteria spread, legislation was passed requiring all mutants to be imprisoned or executed. Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four began to harbor a renegade mutant, Wolfsbane, against his wife’s protests. When Wolfsbane accidentally injured their son, the Fantastic Four was arrested to show that no one was above the law. [Age of X Historical Log 4D]
  • Dr. Kavita Rao and Dr. Richard Palance developed a mutant cure. When Palance was going to add it to the water supply, Wolverine injected himself with all of the cure, rendering himself powerless as his mutant healing power was compromised. [Age of X: Alpha #1]
  • Basilisk was imprisoned in Alcatraz, now used as a mutant prison and was overseen by Arcade. As a sadistic joke, Arcade used his remote control over the imprisoned Cyclops to force him to involuntarily execute fellow mutant prisoners. One day, however, Basilisk escaped his shackles, killed Arcade and freed the remaining mutants. [Age of X: Alpha #1]
  • The government sanctioned law enforcement officials to locate and exterminate not only mutants but also their families, for fear that the mutant gene would be passed on further. Among the causalities were the entire Guthrie family except for Cannonball and Husk. [Age of X: Alpha #1]
  • Some non-mutant super-humans became known as “post-mutants” and the government sanctioned their capture. Spider-Man was amongst the “post-mutants” captured, but not without making sure Mary Jane and his unborn child escaped to Paris. [Age of X: Universe #1]
  • While General Graydon Creed led a large army on an extermination through New York City, putting the lives of several mutants in danger, Magneto took control of the situation by using his power to raise several massive buildings in the city magnetically, carry them with the mutants inside and set them down elsewhere, creating Fortress X. [Age of X: Alpha #1]
  • Mutants from around the States attempted to make their way to Fortress X for safe-haven. Some of them were apparently killed by Stephen Strange, a super-human employed to hunt down mutants. In truth, he would use his power to make it appears as if they had been slain, only they would be teleported to Fortress X. [Age of X: Universe #2]
  • The government formed their own team of super beings - Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Invisible Woman, Redback and Vengeance, as the Avengers, tasked with hunting down and killing mutants. The team did not function well together and, after stopping a riot at Camp Gorge, located and invaded Fortress X, killing several mutants including Pyro and Mystique. The Avengers aborted the mission when they discovered mutant children in Fortress X and they sacrificed themselves to stop the Hulk. [Age of X: Universe #1-2]
  • In the 1000 days that follow, the remnants of mutantkind, most of whom were strangers to each other, live each day battling the invading human forces and the Exonims. During this time, new relationships are formed: Basilisk (Cyclops) and Frenzy; Iceman and Psylocke, the Sub-Mariner and Storm – all find solace in each other’s arms. [Age of X: Alpha #1, X-Men Legacy #245]

It is the 1000th day since Magneto created Fortress X, bringing the world’s last mutant together for sanctuary. The day begins not unlike any of the others: with the Fortress under attack and its mutant populace fighting to stay alive. During the battle, tensions mount between field leader Cannonball and Basilisk, who has difficulty obeying orders. Although the invading forces are ultimately stopped, Fortress X’s defenders have lost a life, as Tempo was killed in action. Legacy, known informally as Reaper among the other mutants, is called down to the battle field to be with Tempo, earning her name by absorbing the dying woman’s soul as it leaves its body. Meanwhile the Force Warriors, consisting of Hellion, Psylocke, Carmella Unuscione, Revenant and Legion, do their regular duty by repairing the force field walls surrounding Fortress X.

This is an average day in Fortress X.

Later that day, while Legacy patrols the grounds surrounding Fortress X, the unseen yet enigmatically omnipresent “X” detects a barrier breach. Legacy goes to investigate, despite X’s protests, and finds a soldier. Magneto and several other mutants soon arrive on the scene, only to discover that the “soldier” was actually Katherine Pryde, a dangerous mutant who had somehow escaped from the brig within Fortress X. Legacy notices Pryde is in possession of something and discovers that it is a digital camera. Immediately, Magneto takes Pryde back to the brig, where several other mutants including Magik, the White Queen and Professor Xavier were being held prisoner. Left behind and intrigued, Legacy recovers Pryde’s camera and looks at its contents. Immediately, she finds her mind infected by what she learns from its photos.

Unsettled, Legacy begins to question life at Fortress X and the very purpose of their fight. Legacy attempts to interrogate Katherine Pryde but Magneto refuses her request. Not willing to settle for Magneto’s answer, Legacy takes the camera to Fortress X’s resident genius, Madison Jeffries, who explains to Legacy that the pictures - all 247 of them - are blank. Meanwhile, other mutants have begun independently to question their existence, including Jubilee, who expresses her general ennui to Chamber. Basilisk, however, has more concrete concerns, as he reveals to Frenzy that he has kept the dog tags of every attacking soldier killed on the battlefield and has discovered that he now he has identical dog tags for two completely different people.

Undeterred, Legacy proceeds with her investigation and, after absorbing Jeffries’s power, she infiltrates the brig. There, she encounters a distraught young woman called Blindfold, who seems to call Legacy “Rogue” and urges her to speak with the Professor. Ignoring her, Legacy locates Katherine Pryde, desperate to know what she saw outside the force walls. Katherine only has time to reveal that she saw nothing before Legacy is attacked by Danger, the brig’s warden. Legacy flees and soon happens upon the comatose Professor, a man she’s sure she has never seen yet feels she recognizes. Compelled, Legacy touches him and her mind was floods with images and words that she does not fully understand. Simultaneously, everyone inside Fortress X feels some sort of psychic backlash. Legacy quickly recovers and escapes from Danger, who is still in pursuit. Considering Legacy’s actions as an attack, Magneto orders Moonstar and her Cadre – Magma, Eclipse, Dust, Karma and Warlock – to apprehend Legacy, using whatever force is necessary.

Legacy seeks refuge in Wolverine’s bar and reveals to him that the Professor had memories of everyone here inside Fortress X, even though they had supposedly never met him. Meanwhile, Moira MacTaggert meets with Magneto, suggesting that the Force Warriors telekinetically search Fortress X at the molecular level, as she is adamant that Legacy has to be captured. Magneto refuses her suggestion, however, and joins in the hunt for Legacy himself. He soon arrives at the lab of Jeffries, whose power Magneto has deduced the Legacy has recently absorbed. Rather threateningly, Magneto asks Jeffries what he knows of Legacy’s plight and recent actions. Meanwhile, Moonstar and her Cadre track her to Wolverine’s bar but he is stubbornly uncooperative. They soon realize that Legacy has already left and track her to the forcefield surrounding Fortress X, which humans and Exonims are once again attempting to breach. Moonstar manages to wound Legacy, who finds unexpected aid in the form of Remy Lebeau, whom she instinctively calls by the name of “Gambit.” Still, both are apparently killed when Magneto arrives and buries them both under tons of rubble, declaring them traitors to the Brotherhood of X.

As word spreads of Magneto’s actions, some of Fortress X’s mutant population begin to question Magneto’s action and whether he should have killed two of their own. Even the members of the elite Force Warriors disapprove. However, most concerning is Revenant, wielder of the Phoenix Force, who feels as if she was on her way home but became “lost,” as if she doesn’t even look like herself.

A similar concern is expressed by a distraught Moira MacTaggert, who expresses to her foster son, Legion, that everything they’ve worked so hard and fought for so long is going to be destroyed. When that happens, they’ll lose everything, even each other.

Deep within the chambers beneath Fortress X, far out of X’s sensors, Magneto meets with the very much alive Legacy and Gambit. To the confused two, he declares that he’s rebelling against his own rule and asks what Legacy has learned from Pryde. After learning what Legacy knows, Magneto presents Legacy and Gambit with the blueprints to Fortress X and points out a room on the map at the very heart of complex, one that he has no memory of and that serves no purpose as far as he knows. He tasks Legacy and Gambit with getting to the room and finding out what was in it, while he goes to speak with Xavier.

On the way to the brig, Magneto frees Pryde, who joins him to find the Xavier. Moments after they free and awaken him, however, the two are found by Moonstar and her Cadre, into whose minds X has planted the seeds of doubt regarding Magneto. Still, Magneto manages to talk them down, suggesting that they listen to what Xavier has to say. The Cadre agrees but the situation escalates with the arrival of the Force Warriors, who attack Magneto, relieving him of command of Fortress X.

Elsewhere, Legacy and Lebeau succeed in evading security cameras and make it to the mysterious room. There they find Doctor Nemesis, seemingly frozen in space-time, examining the brain scans of someone. Adding to the mystery is a box at the very center of the room which, when opened, reveals inside of it the entire universe, hidden away.

Meanwhile, tensions mount between the Force Warriors and Moonstar and her Cadre, until Professor Xavier eventually convinces them to listen to him. He then reveals to Legion that he is his father and, as proof, telepathically releases one of Legion’s buried memories. Xavier then asks Pryde for assistance to get to Magneto’s command room and asks for everyone to follow.

On the battlefield, Basilisk explains his own story to his comrades standing guard about the different soldiers with the same dog tags. He eventually convinces the others to side with him in a quest for answers, with the exception of Cannonball, who is determined not to disobey orders.

Elsewhere, Legacy and Gambit are on their way to take the box to the others when they were confronted by a gun-wielding Moira, who reveals herself to be the mysterious “X.” When the two resist her demands for them to return the box to her, they find supposedly baseline human Moira to be quite powerful. Moira explains that she built this world, making her their god, more or less. With the powers that such a god enjoys, Moira reclaims her property.

Outside the fortress, Xavier, the Force Warriors, Moonstar and her Cadre and Katherine Pryde have all found Basilisk and those who have agreed to follow him. With so many of the few remained assembled, Xavier uses his telepathy to reveal to them what happened seven days ago on Utopia: while inside Legion’s mind in an experiment with Doctor Nemesis, Xavier discovered a new personality which had been consuming the others. Attacked by this psychic antibody, Xavier fought back and watched as it adopted the guise of Moira MacTaggert. Now effectively absorbing pieces of Xavier’s mind, the personality – “X” – transformed Utopia into Fortress X and the whole reality that went with it.

Xavier’s testimony is interrupted by Moira, who proclaims him a liar and announces that this is not a dream but reality, one which she is going to end and start over. With that, Moira shatters the forcefield protecting Fortress X, leaving it defenseless against a massive attacking army. Instinctively, the mutants rally to save their lives and engage the Exonims in combat. Even Wolverine pushes past the pain of having no healing factor to join the battle.

Ignoring the attack, Professor X focuses on pressing Legion to confront Moira but finds Legion is as yet unconvinced. Meanwhile, having fled into the fortress, Moira continues her intention of ending this reality by preparing to destroy the box containing the universe. However, when she tries to toss it into the fireplace, she is stopped by Katherine Pryde, who catches it. Moira attempts to use her godlike powers in retribution but the battle is joined by Magneto and Xavier, whom she easily bests. Witnessing it all, Legion pleads with Moira that this was a mistake, only for Moira to promise that the next world she builds will be perfect. Their emotional embrace provides Legion with the distraction he needs to absorb her back into himself.

With Moira’s powers absorbed as well as her personality, Legion releases the universe from the box, restoring Fortress X back to the true reality of Utopia. In the newly restored reality, the former inhabitants of Fortress X hazily begin to remember their true lives. Inexplicably, some mutants who were at Fortress X but not previously present on Utopia when the transformation occurred, such as Chamber and the mysterious Revenant (Rachel Grey), find themselves still on Utopia in the restored reality. One person was missing, however, the one person whom Cyclops and the Professor needed to find in order to discuss the past seven days – Legion.

Repercussions / lasting effects: 
  • Legion was soon located and Doctor Nemesis constructed for him a device which enabled him to summon one persona at a time and access their power. He seemed to be able to use the device with ease but soon discovered that several of his personas were missing. [X-Men Legacy #248-249]
  • The White Queen and the Stepford Cuckoos were instrumental in removing any unwanted memories of the Age of X from many mutants on Utopia. Some, particularly Cannonball, Pixie and Frenzy, struggled with what happened to them during the seven days. Cannonball and Pixie had the memories wiped, while Frenzy opted to keep hers. [X-Men Legacy #248]
  • Cannonball struggled so much with the events of the Age of X that he stepped down as leader of the New Mutants team and put himself into self-imposed exile in the infirmary. [New Mutants (3rd series) #25-28]
  • Frenzy was so touched by the relationship she had with Cyclops in the Age of X that she went through a personal crisis, resulting in a new hairstyle, new costume and a desire to join the X-Men. When she confronted Cyclops about the time they shared together, he rejected her. [X-Men Legacy #248-250]
  • Hellion, who recently lost his hands in the Second Coming, mysteriously retained the fine telekinetic control that he possessed during the Age of X [X-Men Legacy #248]
  • Despite not being a resident of Utopia prior to the transformation into Fortress X, Chamber reappeared on Utopia when Legion restored reality. Additionally, he was once again re-powered and returned to his original appearance, resulting in the disappearance of his post M-Day transformations. [X-Men Legacy #248]
  • Another mutant who was never seen on Utopia, Tempo, somehow appeared in the Age of X. Nevertheless, she was slain, which appears to be permanent.
  • Vertigo also appeared in the Age of X despite being dead in the 616 reality (she was eaten by Predator X in New X-Men (2nd series) #46). Her post Age of X status remains undetermined, however.
  • The mysterious Revenant remained on Utopia, in stasis when she manifested in the 616 reality. Revenant was actually none other than Rachel Summers, who was caught up in the reality-warp that transformed Utopia into Fortress X after she sent her psychic form across the universe to seek the help of the X-Men, after she and the Starjammers were under attack in space. [X-Men Legacy #250]
  • After being confronted by Gambit about their kiss during the Age of X, Rogue once again found herself with conflicting feelings. Adding to the trouble was Magneto’s feelings for Rogue. She seemed to make her mind up when she and Magneto spent the night together, though it was agreed nothing more would come of it. [X-Men Legacy #248-249]
  • Several residents of Utopia never explicitly appeared in the Age of X, although there is nothing to suggest that they were not present. They include: Dragoness; Boom-Boom; Warlock (although his inclusion could be argued given the Age of X Cypher’s appearance); Stinger; Empath; Litterbug; Hope Summers II; Transonic; Oya; Primal II; Zero II; Match; and, Prodigy IV.
Last Updated: 
3rd March 2012