The X-Men have been through many different eras, including a brief but last stint in the Australian outback.
Over the years, the X-Men have persevered through many changes. With all their various incarnations, it’s easy to overlook certain eras for Marvel’s mutants. However, one period still stands out in the history of the X-Men for both its relative stability and its rarity, the X-Men’s time in the Australian outback.
This strange new era began at the end of “Fall of the Mutants.” When this seminal event ended, it seemed that the X-Men had perished while saving the world from the demonic Adversary. However, in secret, the goddess Roma resurrected the mutants and sent them into the Australian outback. Upon their arrival, the X-Men fought and defeated the cybernetically enhanced criminals that were founded by the Hellfire Club known as the Reavers in Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri. Uncanny X-Men # 229 in 1988.
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Claiming the headquarters of the Reavers, the X-Men were once again greeted by Rome. The goddess made mutants undetectable to all forms of surveillance, only visible to the naked eye. Additionally, Roma introduced the X-Men to the Siege Perilous, a mystical portal that could create new lives for mutants if they ever needed it. For the moment, the X-Men were happy to operate off the radar, even if their friends and ex /
After years of being the target of villains like the Marauders, the X-Men were happy to finally have some peace. The X-Men settled in the old Reavers’ base, Cooterman’s Creek. This lair was a high-tech headquarters disguised as an old abandoned city in the Australian outback. Despite their new anonymity, the X-Men still fought for a world that hated and feared them.
In fact, when the X-Men took over the Reavers’ base, they also freed Gateway, a mutant and indigenous Australian teleporter. Gateway would help the X-Men travel the world from mission to mission. For example, the X-Men fought a group of Brood-infected mutants in Denver. The Children of the Atom also traveled to Genosha to save other mutants from the oppressive government.
Meanwhile, Madelyne Pryor acted as technical support for the X-Men. However, Madelyne’s friendship with the X-Men took a dark turn when she transformed into Queen Goblyn. During “Inferno”, Madelyne teamed up with the demons Sy’m and N’astirh, along with Mister Sinister, to cause chaos in New York City. During this battle, the X-Men reunited with the X-Factor, revealing to their fellow mutants that they were alive.
Despite all of their successful missions, the Outback team finally fell apart. The first big blow came when Nimrod merged with Master Mold, attacking the X-Men in New York. Although Nimrod was cast through the Siege Perilous, Rogue was cast with him, disappearing into a new life. Longshot also left the team, while Wolverine disappeared during his adventures in Madripoor.
Another villain, Nanny, also hit the X-Men hard. During Nanny’s attack, Havok apparently killed Storm, but Nanny had actually kidnapped Ororo and turned her into a girl. After all this chaos, only Havok, Psylocke, Colossus, and Dazzler were left. However, the last nail in the coffin came when the Reavers returned. These cyber assassins came vindictively after their old base.
Knowing there was no way out, the remaining X-Men entered Siege Perilous to escape their new lives. By the time Wolverine returned, the Reavers had retaken their base. In Claremont and Silvestri Uncanny X-Men # 251, Logan was ambushed and crucified by his enemies, saved only by the timely arrival of Jubilee. From this point on, the X-Men went separate directions, only to meet up during “The X-Tinction Agenda”. Entering this event, the X-Men experienced their darkest period.
The Outback era is a stark contrast to the current life of the X-Men in Krakoa. Krakoa is an entire nation, made up of countless mutants. The X-Men currently enjoy a life free from persecution, with their own language, commerce and culture. In the Outback, on the other hand, the number of X-Men had dwindled and the team was forced into hiding. While the X-Men are currently thriving, it’s almost funny to think that there was a time when Marvel’s mutants consisted of eight people hiding out in the Australian outback.
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