As Krakoa falls, X-Men: Heir of Apocalypse will see 12 mutants fight to become Apocalypse's successor

X-Men: Heir of Apocalypse #1
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The Krakoa era of the X-Men is coming to its end, but before it's all gone, one of Krakoa's most important mutants is looking for a successor in the newly announced series X-Men: Heir of Apocalypse.

In the four-issue limited series, written by Steve Foxe with art by Netho Diaz, X-Men: Heir of Apocalypse brings together 12 mutants to compete in a tournament that will "test the heart, body, mind, and soul" to determine who will become Apocalypse's successor as a prominent, if controversial, mutant leader.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel's announcement names the 12 mutants participating in the competition as Armageddon Girl, Cypher, Emma Frost, Exodus, Forge, Gorgon, Mirage, Mr. Sinister, Penance, Rictor, Wolverine (Laura Kinney), and perhaps most interesting of all, Cable, who was once the sworn enemy of Apocalypse, dedicated to destroying him.

"For centuries, Apocalypse tested the mutants of Earth to guarantee that only the strong would survive. Now, as he takes his throne on Arakko, another must rise in his place and ensure the mutants of Earth do not grow weak in his absence!" reads Marvel's announcement. "Twelve mutants chosen from the X-Men's greatest heroes – and villains – will compete for the honor, but only one can become...the Heir Of Apocalypse!"

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The number 12 is interesting in relation to Apocalypse's history in the Marvel Universe. Initially, Apocalypse was fated to kidnap and use the powers of a dozen mutants known as "the Twelve" to conquer the world, a subplot that ran through most of the '90s before being resolved in the early '00s. It seems like no coincidence that's the number of mutants Apocalypse has assembled here - though this group doesn't include any of the mutants of the original Twelve, aside from Cable.

"The shadow of Apocalypse has loomed large over not just the Krakoan era, but a substantial percentage of mutant-focused storytelling since his debut in 1986. These past few years have shown so many new facets of En Sabah Nur, and my Krakoan peers aren't done with him quite yet," says writer Steve Foxe in the announcement. So it's both an immense honor and a ton of pressure to step up to the slab for Heir of Apocalypse, which charts a new path for his legacy in the years to come."

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"I've been lucky to bend the ear of past and future stewards of these characters to make sure these four issues are a meaningful entry in the Apocalypse canon--and I had every X-fan’s DREAM task of selecting twelve mutants from across the history of the franchise who might just be up for the titular role," he continues. 

"Some are characters I've already had the privilege to write, some are characters I've eyed enviously, and some won't survive the series...but only one will become the Heir of Apocalypse."

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

X-Men: Heir of Apocalypse #1 goes on sale June 5, followed by #2 on June 26, #3 on July 10, and #4 on July 31. They'll all have covers by Dotun Akande, seen here.

Check out all the new X-Men comics Marvel has planned for release.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)