The 6 Characters in My Krakoan Brotherhood of Mutants
It’s that time of year again! San Diego Comic-Con was last weekend, and every year, I put together a List of Six filling out the roster of a famous superhero team. If I were granted creative control on a new comic starring this team, which characters would I choose and why? It’s a very fun tradition — at least for me — and we’re doing it again this year with the Brotherhood of Mutants! But not just any Brotherhood, this is a new one designed around the Dawn of X era!
The Krakoa-era of the X-Men has had a lot of different comics and teams so far, using all manner of classic names. The Marauders is still an ongoing series, and we’ve had X-Force, the New Mutants, X-Factor, the Fallen Angels and, finally, a new flagship X-Men team. But one classic X-group that Marvel hasn’t used yet is the Brotherhood of Mutants. I wonder why. The Brotherhood is a favorite team of mine, and I think Krakoa is a great place to bring them back.
Throughout the years, I’ve already done lists for the Avengers, Justice League, Guardians of the Galaxy, Teen Titans, Fantastic Four and more! I did my core X-Men team a couple years ago, and an X-Force squad. Last year, I created the “Secret X-Men“, the X-comic I would write if I could create it from the ground up.
Join me after the jump for the premise and roster of my Krakoa-era Brotherhood of Mutants team! And feel free to share your own ideas in the comments.
Premise: For those who don’t know, the Krakoa-era of the X-Men is where mutants have set up their own nation on the mutant island of Krakoa. They have the power to bring mutants back to life, and they have welcomed all mutants to the island — both good and bad. Villains live and work among heroes and everybody, theoretically, gets along. This very idea would seem to negate the existence of a Brotherhood of Mutants, but I’m a big Brotherhood fan, and there’s no reason for Marvel to throw away such a familiar team name/brand.
So what would my Brotherhood even look like? I think it would be twofold. First, it should still be a villain book. Being an evil mutant would be pretty difficult in the age of Krakoa, but I think I have an idea how to make it work. Second, the “Brotherhood” would be a mutant outreach program on Krakoa. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of mutants who have uprooted their lives and moved to Krakoa. The Brotherhood would be an on-island organization dedicated to helping mutants acclimate on Krakoa and integrate into the new society.
Then the members would use this cover to travel the world helping with mutant acclimation…and then go around doing really bad guy stuff too, getting violent if need be. It would all be in the name of putting mutants on top, the same the Brotherhood has always been. But the bad guy stuff will be in secret, using the good guy stuff as a cover.
Now then, on with the characters!
Who is he: Toad is the guy who is always getting dunked on throughout his history. He started as Magneto’s lackey in the original Brotherhood, a squat little man in a jester’s outfit. He’s had some glow ups and some glow downs over the years, always serving as some kind of lackey or punching bag. He was the janitor at the X-Men’s school for a while. He’s been spotted on Krakoa a couple of times, mostly just tagging along after the X-Men here and there.
Why pick him: Toad is the face of the team. He’s always consistently been a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants, and he’s the legacy character to keep this new team linked to the old. Toad would be the leader of the bad guy portion of the Brotherhood, the one convinced that violent work still needs to be done. He’s very pro-mutant, and thinks he’s doing overall good for Krakoa. And his journey of the soul will be a major focus of the book. How does a guy who has always been the butt of the mutant joke his entire life learn to grow and accept that Krakoa is a good thing? How does he stop self-sabotaging himself and learn to let go of what the Brotherhood used to be? Can he even do that?
Who is she: Phantazia was a member of one incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants way back in the early 90s, a new character who added a female face to the all-male lineup. She had the power to manipulate electromagnetic energy fields, and had a really cool costume. She dipped out from the team after only a short while and has never done anything of note since.
Why pick her: Phantazia has a cool look and is a memorable mutant who never did anything with her life, other than once being a member of a version of the Brotherhood. She had a blink or you’ll miss it cameo after House of M and that’s it. So she’s the perfect mutant to resurrect on Krakoa to give her a stable life again. She will be the good guy face of the Brotherhood, managing the mutant outreach. But she’ll know what Toad is up to and she’ll accept it. She will also grapple with doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Who is he: Litterbug is a large mutant bug man. He was introduced in the early 2000s in a mini-series about a band of Morlocks in Chicago taking on some Sentinels. Litterbug was an Army mechanic who helped build Sentinels before his own mutant powers manifested. After that mini-series, Litterbug somehow made his way alone to be a hanger-on to various X-Men islands in the past, after House of M. He also once teamed up with Toad on Utopia to be a rabble-rouser.
Why pick him: I will always have a soft spot for the mutants of that early 2000s Morlock comics. I read and reviewed that series for an old X-Men fan site, a side gig that eventually contributed to my doing this blog in the first place. So having a chance to feature one of those characters on my Brotherhood team would be fun! Litterbug would be the muscle for Toad’s violent agenda.
3. Michael Asher
Who is he: Speaking of early 2000s mini-series, there was once an ongoing comic called “Brotherhood” that used the brand name and created an entirely separate entity. This comic was about a group of all-new mutants who were really putting the “mutant terrorist” idea to the test. Then they all got wiped out and the series came to a swift end. Among their crew was Michael Asher as the audience surrogate. He was a troubled kid who was preyed upon by the adult members of the Brotherhood, using him as a pawn in their plans. Asher was killed in a big Brotherhood hubbaloo, and his last act was to kill the adult leaders. He has the power to manipulate and explode his blood.
Why pick him: Because I wanted somebody from that weird little Brotherhood series to be in this comic. It was short, it wasn’t particularly sweet, and nobody cares about it anymore. But it is still the only previous ongoing comic with the “Brotherhood” title, so we might as well call back to it. Asher died in that series, but obviously Krakoa is all about resurrecting mutants. So Asher is back to life, but he’s directionless on Krakoa. He gets wrapped up in the mutant outreach side of things, and slowly but surely gets lured into Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Asher could again be an audience surrogate, and he could be useful for showing Toad how perhaps they’re going too far.
2. Ladies Mastermind
Who are they: Once upon a time, the villain Mastermind was one of the original members of the first Brotherhood, alongside Toad. And then throughout comics, people kept giving him daughters, often with the exact same powers. I don’t remember how it happened exactly, but Mastermind ended up with two daughters: Regan and Martinique Wyngarde, both of whom inherited his powers and went by the name “Lady Mastermind” in their evil mutant careers. I’m pretty sure the two were created independently from one another in a case of Marvel forgetting the other existed.
Why pick them: The “Mastermind” name has a long history with the Brotherhood, so why not bring them both into the fold? They’d make for some strong characters with a strong sisterly rivalry that could play up some drama and dialogue. Both would be part of Toad’s bad guy crew, while also being perfect candidates to help with mutant outreach.
Who is he: I bet there are a lot of people who don’t even know that Stonewall exists. He’s a mutant from the late 1980s who was briefly a member of the Freedom Force, when Mystique’s Brotherhood of Mutants was transformed into a government strike force. Stonewall was just a really strong, really tough mutant, who palled around with Crimson Commando and Super Sabre, two other nobody mutants on Freedom Force. The three of them were promptly killed and forgotten about.
Why pick him: Stonewall and his pals have always been on the back of my mind since I learned they existed years ago. I think it’s so weird that they were created and then dropped so quickly, barely to be heard about again across any X-Men media. Now is the perfect time to resurrect this crew, especially Stonewall, and put them to work on Krakoa. I would focus on Stonewall because I think there’s a lot of potential. One, we’d make him gay. The Stonewall Riots had occurred 20 years before he was created, and I wonder if they had any impact on why the writers at the time chose that name. Or if he’s named after Confederate general “Stonewall” Jackson? Either way, both historical contexts of the name could be explored by that character existing now in the modern day.
At any rate, I’m picturing a big, happy gay man finally allowed to be his true self in the modern day, as opposed to the 1980s. He’s got a new lease on life and he wants to help with mutant outreach, probably in full opposition to what Toad is doing in secret. I also want to play around a lot more with resurrecting characters who have been dead for a while. I think Stonewall could do a lot of interesting things.