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Utopia (comics)

For island sanctuary/home for mutants, see Asteroid M#Fifth version/Utopia.
Cover of Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia 1 (Aug 2009).Art by Marc Silvestri.</small>
Publisher Marvel Comics
Publication date June – September [[2009 in comics#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.2009]]
Main character(s) Iron Patriot
Emma Frost
Dark Avengers
Dark X-Men
Creative team
Writer(s) Matt Fraction (Dark Avengers, The Uncanny X-Men)
James Asmus (Dark X-Men: The Beginning)
Mike Carey (X-Men Legacy)
Paul Cornell (Dark X-Men: The Beginning)
Collected editions
Hardcover ISBN 0-7851-4233-9
Template:Comics infobox sec/altcatTemplate:Comics infobox sec/addcat

"Utopia" is a 2009 comic book crossover story arc written by Matt Fraction and published by Marvel Comics, starring the X-Men and the Dark Avengers.[1][2] The first issue of the crossover was released in June 2009.

After a mutant riot and an anti-mutant riot in San Francisco, Norman Osborn tries to enforce peace by creating his own team of Dark X-Men to serve in much the same way the Dark Avengers did, and using both of his teams to bring down the real X-Men.

Publication history

The core storyline runs through the Dark Avengers and Uncanny X-Men titles, starting and ending with bookend one-shots titled Utopia and Exodus, respectively, and is written by Matt Fraction with Brian Michael Bendis consulting. The read order for the main act is:

  • Chapter 1: Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1 (one-shot)
  • Chapter 2: Uncanny X-Men #513
  • Chapter 3: Dark Avengers #7
  • Chapter 4: Uncanny X-Men #514
  • Chapter 5: Dark Avengers #8
  • Chapter 6: Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1 (one-shot)
  • Epilogue: Dark X-Men: The Confession #1 (one-shot)
  • Aftermath: Dark Reign: The List - X-Men #1 (one-shot)

Also produced as part of the storyline was a three-issue anthology limited series titled Dark X-Men: The Beginning, similar in style to limited series X-Men: Divided We Stand and X-Men: Manifest Destiny, which were written by Paul Cornell and James Asmus. Some of the stories featured describe the reasons for each of the individual members of the Dark X-Men joining the team.

Another set of are X-Men: Legacy #226-227, written by Mike Carey, which describes the battle between the X-Men and Dark Avengers from the outsider's point of view, in particular Rogue and Gambit. This begins a new direction for the series which began in X-Men: Legacy Annual.

The main storyline leads into Dark Reign: The List - Uncanny X-Men, also written by Matt Fraction, which then follows into the next Uncanny X-Men arc. The Dark X-Men: The Confession one-shot is written by Chris Yost and Craig Kyle of X-Force. The second arc of the current New Mutants volume deals with the outcome of Utopia on that team.


After the events of the "Messiah Complex" storyline, Cyclops ordered Wolverine to form a new X-Force team to act as his own covert black-ops squad, something Cyclops himself told no one outside the team, in particular the co-leader of the X-Men and his lover, Emma Frost. Also, in the Secret Invasion: Dark Reign one-shot, at the first meeting of the Cabal, Norman Osborn promised Emma Frost to leave the mutant community in San Francisco alone, provided she kept them under control. Emma kept the fact that she belonged to the Cabal from Cyclops. These secrets almost caused a split in their relationship, but both Cyclops and Emma eventually told each other the truth, promising to keep no more secrets.

Another event of note happened at the start of Messiah Complex, when at the place of birth of the new mutant child in Cooperstown, Alaska, a battle took place between the Marauders and the Purifiers, resulting in the town being completely razed. After that, Simon Trask, the brother of the original Sentinels' creator, Bolivar Trask, a fierce political anti-mutant activist himself, has called for legislating mutant reproductive rights. Trask's influence resulted in many states supporting the anti-mutant legislation, which in turn began to cause turmoil in the mutant community.


Chapter I

The tension comes to a head when Trask's anti-mutant group called Humanity Now, marches through San Francisco. On the way to City Hall, they are stopped by several members of the X-Men and riots begin to break out. Eventually, the police intercede and Hank McCoy is taken into custody. As X-Men try to quell the fighting all over San Francisco, Norman Osborn shows up, holding an impromptu press conference. He calls for a stop to the rioting, and has Professor X at his side to back him up. Both ask for Scott Summers to turn himself in and relinquish his leadership role within the mutant community, but he refuses. Osborn releases the Dark Avengers into the city, who hunt down X-Men. At the jail, Beast begins to hear voices in his head, and it is revealed that the real Charles Xavier is a few cells over, bleeding and injured, claiming that Osborn has done something to him that is impeding his powers.

Meanwhile in X-Men: Legacy

During Utopia, Rogue, Gambit and Danger decide to go to San Francisco in order to regroup with the other X-Men. On the way there, they are intercepted by Pixie, who teleports them into the city, which is in a state of chaos due to the anti-mutant and pro-mutant movements. Cyclops sends all three out in order to locate several missing students and bring them home. During their mission, Rogue faces off against the new Ms. Marvel; finding that she cannot touch her opponent, Rogue resorts to a trick and flees the site.

Later on, she joins Gambit, who has been injured by Ares, along with Danger. Ares does not take her seriously and dismisses her both as an opponent and her attempts to calm things down. Rogue grabs Ares and absorbs his powers. Ares is dismissive of her attempt and claims that she cannot absorb him, a boast that proves wrong as she weakens him enough for Gambit to blast him bloody and stunned. Having absorbed some of Ares' power, she easily dispatches a small group of H.A.M.M.E.R. agents with superhuman strength and proceeds to steal their tank, along with Gambit and Danger, in order to find the rest of the students.

Rogue finally catches up with Trance, a student who has troubles coping to control her powers. Rogue calms her down. Together, they defeat Ms. Marvel.[3]

Chapter II

Osborn creates his official X-Men team with Emma Frost as the leader. The team is joined by Namor at Frost's request. Frost confirms that Osborn has a shapeshifter posing as Xavier. Osborn confirms that Mystique is working for him. Emma Frost holds a public meeting introducing the H.A.M.M.E.R.-sanctioned team (Dark X-Men). They impose a curfew on the city, which is shut down by a group of mutants led by Hellion, who are attacked by the Dark X-Men. Scott and the rest of the X-Men watch the events on television, debating about what to do next. Meanwhile, Dark Beast has set up a machine to experiment on mutants in Alcatraz for H.A.M.M.E.R. and starts testing on Beast.

Chapter III

The "Omega Machine" that Dark Beast is using on Hank McCoy is slowly eating him away, causing him great pain and torment. In another cell, Xavier tries to console McCoy and give him words of hope. Meanwhile, Osborn is not impressed with the test results of the Omega Machine and wants Dark Beast to make sure the machine works in removing powers from mutants, not kill them. Elsewhere, Emma and the Dark X-Men are finishing up quelling the riots in San Francisco and capture the team led by Hellion. During the skirmish, Daken almost kills Avalanche, but Emma stops him in time, reprimanding him that there is no usage of force. While this is all going on, Cyclops secretly meets with Osborn and demands he takes his men out of San Francisco and go bother someone else. Osborn is furious with this demand and threatens to kill Cyclops. The Dark X-Men return to their homebase where Emma (still upset over Daken's actions) demands that Osborn and Dark Beast show her around the facility to make sure that all the captured mutants are being treated fairly. While Emma is being shown around, Xavier speaks to her telepathically unbeknownst to Osborn and Dark Beast. Emma tries to find Xavier, but his cell is rigged with a hologram that shows just an empty storage cell. However, due to Emma's telepathic link to Xavier, she tells him not to worry and she will take care of things. Meanwhile, both the Dark X-Men and Dark Avengers begin to bicker and fight. Back in San Francisco, Simon Trask gathers a group of Human Sentinels who are ready to destroy all mutants, good or evil.

Chapter IV

Scott assigns his X-Men (such as Mirage, Domino, Mindee Cuckoo, and Psylocke) different tasks, as well as having them observe Emma's team, who is called out to deal with the Bio-Sentinels attacking San Francisco. Emma discovers that whatever Trask has infected his people with has killed them and they are no longer human. Dani Moonstar goes to Vegas in the hope of approaching someone with a deal. Osborn then sends Emma's team to St. Francis Hospital to deal with Simon Trask. Magik meets up with X-Force to retrieve the imprisoned mutants while Psylocke, Kavita Rao, Madison Jeffries and Dr. Nemesis are just off the Pacific coast, reactivating a ship.

Chapter V

It is revealed that Dani Moonstar went to Vegas to make a deal with Hela, asking for a new ride home and a big sword, implying that she wishes to regain her Valkyrie powers which she once held during her days with the New Mutants. Emma's team successfully disables all the Bio-Sentinels and takes down Trask. The week passes and the Dark X-Men stop several minor crimes. They later watch the Omega Machine in action and Cloak and Dagger have doubts about this team. Meanwhile, Madison Jeffries and Psylocke have finished the final installations to the ship. Back at Alcatraz, Hank McCoy is being drained of power, looking even weaker. Dark Beast goes to look for more subjects, but finds that Magik and X-Force have teleported them out, as Mindee warned him would happen. X-Force faces off against Weapon Omega and Dark Beast. Cyclops has Nightcrawler and Pixie gather all their forces in the chapel and Magik and Pixie teleport them all away, group by group, saying it's "time to go home." The Dark X-Men face off against X-Force, with Emma Frost and Namor revealing themselves as still being a part of the good guy's team by taking out Daken and Mimic. Cloak and Dagger flee with Namor, Frost, and X-Force after Magik evacuates all the prisoners. The remaining Dark X-Men head back to talk to Osborn. The "ship" the X-Club has reactivated rises up out of the water and is revealed to be an island built onto Asteroid M. Several mutants gather around Cyclops as he declares, via a televised speech, that the island is outside of Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R.'s jurisdiction. Cyclops further declares the X-Men's stand against Osborn. Osborn then gathers the Dark Avengers and the remaining Dark X-Men, ordering them to bring him Namor's head and Emma Frost's heart and that Summers sees them do it.[4]

Chapter VI

7 days ago: Hank walks in on Scott & Emma in bed. He tells them he will be leaving with the X-Club and will be gone for some time, but when he gets back, they will be having a very long conversation. Emma jokes about him leaving, but Scott is distraught. Emma attempts to console him, but he feels that he can't accept her until they talk.

Now: Cyclops and the rest of the X-Men prepare for the Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men's assault on Utopia. The Dark X-Men attack. Warren takes Bullseye out of the equation. Bling, Nekra and Frenzy attack Ms. Marvel. Colossus goes after Venom. Wolverine and X-23 go after Weapon Omega and Daken. The X-Club go after Dark Beast in retribution for their Beast. Namor takes on The Sentry, but is defeated. Iron Patriot and Cyclops finally go at it. Mirage, now empowered by Hela, takes on Ares. Iceman takes on Mimic. Emma goes to Charles to help her to get inside Sentry's head to calm him down. They succeed, but Emma must remain in her diamond state as part of the Void is now inside her. After realizing what he has done, the Sentry leaves the battlefield. Mirage takes down Ares. Osborn is not happy as others of his team fall: Weapon Omega falls to Wolverine. Daken is taken down by Armor, Pixie and X-23. Mimic is overpowered by the sheer amount of powers. Osborn stands over Cyclops, beaten. Ms. Marvel informs him that they would have to kill them all in order to win this. Osborn tells her to go ahead, but then realizes the sheer amount of mutants as Pixie puts it, all of them X-Men, and in front of the camera. The Dark X-Men retreat. Cyclops goes on national TV to inform the world of Utopia, a place where mutants will be safe from harm and from persecution. Norman also holds a press conference in which he presents himself, his Avengers and his X-Men as the victorious side that managed to drive the mutants away. Osborn also declares the war against the mutants to be over and that Utopia is now their prison.

The X-Men start to rebuild Utopia and make it into more of a safe haven. Emma wonders if the end result will be like Genosha. Cyclops says no. He will win the same way he beat Norman. Faith. And he is not alone.[5]

Post Utopia

The aftermath of Utopia has been seen in the Deadpool and New Avengers books:

After deciding that he wanted to help people, Deadpool makes his way to San Francisco to start a new life. Dressing to 'fit in' (Deadpool wears a set of flamboyantly pink shorts and shirt), Wade is nearly provoked into killing a group of a hecklers, until two teens tell him that no matter what, he's beautiful. Content by the compliment, Wade lets the hecklers live and heads to a local bar where he still manages to beat up (and possibly kill) a group of sailors and the bartender. Again feeling dejected, Wade watches the news during which he sees Cyclops address the world about the new island Utopia that the X-Men have created. Seeing Cyclops urging all mutants to join them, Deadpool comes to the shocked and overjoyed conclusion that Cyclops is speaking to him specifically and decides to join the X-Men.

Meanwhile in New York, the New Avengers watch the news in which Norman Osborn has labeled the X-Men and all mutants on Utopia as traitors to the United States, and designates Utopia a prison colony. Ronin, upon hearing this, becomes furious that the X-Men are being mistreated this way. Mockingbird and Ms. Marvel suggest that the team should go to Utopia and help their friends, but Ronin doesn't think that will solve much in the bigger picture and attempts to urge the other New Avengers to join him in killing Norman Osborn.[6]

Reading order

The following is based on the release dates of the issues.

June 2009

  • Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia

July 2009

  • The Uncanny X-Men #513
  • Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1
  • X-Men Legacy #226
  • Dark Avengers #7
  • Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2

August 2009

  • The Uncanny X-Men #514
  • X-Men Legacy #227
  • Dark Avengers #8
  • Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3

September 2009

  • Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus
  • Dark X-Men: Confession #1
  • Dark Reign: The List-Uncanny X-Men

Collected editions


Title Material collected Date Released ISBN
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus, Uncanny X-Men #513-514, Dark Avengers #7-8, Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1-3, X-Men Legacy #226-227 and Dark X-Men: The Confession
November 2009
ISBN 0-7851-4233-9
Dark X-Men: The Beginning
Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1-3, and X-Men Legacy #226-227
Cancelled before publication
ISBN 0-7851-4230-4


  1. ^ WC: Fraction and Lowe on “Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men”, Comic Book Resources, March 1, 2009
  2. ^ WonderCon '09 - Fraction Talks Uncanny X-Men/ Dark Avengers, Newsarama, March 1, 2009
  3. ^ X-Men Legacy #226-227
  4. ^ Dark Avengers #8
  5. ^ Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus
  6. ^ Dark Reign: The List - Avengers #1

External links