The mutant Captain America, Captain Krakoa, will be replacing X-Men leader Cyclops

X-Men #7 cover
X-Men #7 cover (Image credit: Pepe Larraz (Marvel Comics))

Now that mutantkind has their own nation, a new nationalistic hero has emerged - and he'll be replacing Cyclops as leader of the X-Men.

After revealing him to the public in September, Marvel has confirmed that Captain Krakoa "takes charge of the X-Men" in January 2022's X-Men #7 - even replacing team leader Cyclops, as seen in series artist Pepe Larraz's cover to the issue.

(Image credit: Pepe Larraz (Marvel Comics))
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This apparent leadership change comes just months after Cyclops stepped down from Krakoa's leadership structure to focus exclusively on being the leader of the X-Men.

While there has been an X-Men member named X-Man, Marvel's mutant super-team has never really had an ultra-patriotic flagbearer akin to Captain America until the similarly-named Captain Krakoa. The publisher has described Captain Krakoa as "a new hero," but it appears he could have some connection to the new brooding villain Doctor Stasis, who has been appearing recently in the X-Men book.

That being said, it isn't out of the question that this could also be Cyclops in disguise; decades ago Cyclops took on the criminal identity of Erik the Red to infiltrate Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and was able to quickly rise within the ranks to become the second in command. That tactic sounds a bit like what could be at play here with Captain Krakoa, doesn't it?

X-Men #7 cover (Image credit: Pepe Larraz (Marvel Comics))
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A third option might be staring us in the face - what if Captain Krakoa is Krakoa? In addition to being the island the mutants are living on, Krakoa is a sentient mutant being - one which Professor X and Cypher have been experimenting, cultivating, and training to expand its consciousness to the point that it has manifested a roughly Groot-like body on several occasions. Krakoa's flowers are known to have special abilities, and Captain Krakoa not-so-coincidentally has flowers around his headpiece - could this be the next stage in Krakoa's existence?

According to Marvel, Captain Krakoa will debut in December 22's X-Men #6 (opens in new tab), followed by the just-revealed X-Men #7 on January 19, 2022.

Here's a constantly updated list of all the new X-Men comics, graphic novels, and collections coming in 2021 and beyond.

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)