Asteroid M

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Asteroid M
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Men #5 (May 1964)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In story information
Type Planet
Notable people Magneto
Acolytes
X-Men
Mutantkind

Utopia is the name of the separatist mutant homeland created by the X-Men from the remains of Asteroid M which is the name of several fictional settings, each an asteroid converted by the mutant Magneto into his home/orbiting base, in the Marvel Comics Universe. Asteroid M was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in X-Men #5 (May 1964).

History[edit]

Asteroid M has been destroyed and reconstructed by the Master of Magnetism many times since it was first introduced. Each iteration has had several internal levels, including an observation deck, hangar bays and medical facilities. The various facilities have had technology that keep the asteroid concealed from standard detection technology. They have all been positioned in a low geosynchronous orbit. Each asteroid was relatively small yet sufficiently large that it could not be shot down, or destroyed externally, without the risk of massive devastation to Earth.

First version[edit]

Magneto completes construction on Asteroid M just before recruiting his children, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch into his group, the Brotherhood of Mutants, as seen in X-Men, vol. 2 #-1 (July 1997). This first version is destroyed in a battle with the original team of X-Men in X-Men #5 (May 1964) after the Brotherhood kidnapped the Angel and held him prisoner there. The X-Men got there using a rocket that was being used to transport the Toad. This version has a device on it that can increase Magneto's magnetic powers.

Second version[edit]

Asteroid M is reconstructed just after Magneto imprisons the X-Men in his Antarctic citadel, reducing them to the level of six-month-old babies, around the time of X-Men #113 (September 1978).

The space station is severely damaged when Warlock, an alien being from a techno-organic civilization with rigid rules and regulations, is fleeing to Earth. He collides with Asteroid M, breaking it to pieces, as seen in New Mutants, vol. 1 #21 (November 1984).

Third version[edit]

During his brief association with the Hellfire Club, Magneto builds a fancier version of Asteroid M. Wanting a contingency plan if things don't work out with the Club, Magneto proceeds to rebuild his base of operations to survey the Earth from high above. From there, he hears of the troubles of his daughter, the Scarlet Witch. He descends to Earth to bring her back to his space station. This version was first seen in Avengers West Coast #57 (April 1990).

When the West Coast Avengers attack Asteroid M to free their team-mate, we learn that Magneto has service robots on the station. The service robots are instrumental in alerting Magneto to the presence of the Wasp on his base. Furthermore, we learn that the entire asteroid isn't made out of metallic objects. Quicksilver demonstrates this when he rips plastic tubing out of one the consoles.

After events involving Zaladane, in the Savage Land, Magneto returns to Asteroid M to live in peace, but his peace doesn't last very long. Acolytes, led originally by Fabian Cortez, request and are granted sanctuary by Magneto on Asteroid M, to escape American soldiers that are chasing them.

In X-Men, vol. 2 #1 (October 1991), it is stated that the asteroid is in geosynchronous orbit and 250 kilometers above the Earth. The asteroid also has selective inhibitor fields that may keep mutants or superhumans from using their powers. This version of the asteroid has medical and science facilities, an observation deck, sleeping quarters, and a swimming pool.

This third version of Asteroid M is destroyed in X-Men, vol. 2 #3 (December 1991). From an escape pod, Cortez sets off nuclear missiles that were around the asteroid. Although Magneto survives the re-entry of Asteroid M to Earth, the rest of the original Acolytes do not. The remains of this Asteroid M crash in the Middle East. Forge, Henry Peter Gyrich, and other government officials, inspect the wreckage in Uncanny X-Men #299 (April 1993).

Fourth version[edit]

During the Planet X storyline, Xorn (who is pretending to be Magneto) traps Wolverine and Jean Grey on a new version of Asteroid M, which he moves into the Sun.

Fifth version/Utopia[edit]

Utopia
XMEN-Utopia.jpg
Utopia
Art by Niko Henrichon
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Dark Avengers #8
Created by Matt Fraction
Mike Deodato
In story information
Type Island
Notable people X-Men
Mutants
Atlanteans

After the X-Men are chased out of their new base in San Francisco by Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers, in the conclusion to the storyline "Utopia", Cyclops sets up the new headquarters and mutant sanctuary on the ruins of the original Asteroid M, which was raised from the bottom of the ocean.

Christening it "Utopia," this version is more of a haven than a base of operations, brought on not by a desire to make a place among mankind, but to simply get away from it.[1] Although Utopia is sometimes referred to as a "mutant nation," it is as yet unclear if this is simply a figure of speech or if Utopia has literally seceded from the United States and is now a sovereign nation.

The island first appeared to be in trouble of only being a temporary home as the technology keeping it afloat was not stable and the island was starting to sink back into the ocean. However, a recently recruited Magneto was able to make a deal with Namor in which he and the Atlanteans would help construct a pillar underneath the island, connecting it to the ocean floor and keeping it afloat. This pillar would also serve as the new home to the Atlanteans, who had been scattered across the sea ever since Atlantis was destroyed.

The island underwent an dramatic transformation performed by the Phoenix Five, turning it into a virtual mutant paradise called "Pax Utopia", during Avengers vs. X-Men, until it was partially destroyed and fully abandoned after the events of the storyline were finished.[2]

Other versions[edit]

Ages of Apocalypse[edit]

In the aftermath of the gathering of the Twelve, the Asteroid M was seen in a series of reality warps where Apocalypse attempted to use the X-Men and their powers.

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the Marvel Zombies universe, Asteroid M is in use when the zombie plague strikes that Earth. Magneto orders his acolytes to prepare it as the possible last, best hope for mankind.[3] Despite Magneto's later death, it does eventually serve this purpose, acting as the basis for the last human colony. Its more notable residents include Fabian Cortez, Joanna Cargill, Black Panther, and Forge. Years later, the residents move back to Earth.[4]

What If?[edit]

In an issue of What If? that asks "What If Magneto Ruled All Mutants," Magneto and the remainder of mutantkind reside and travel the universe in Asteroid M.[5]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

It should be noted, in all of its appearances in animation it is destroyed soon after it appears.

  • In X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, Asteroid M appears as Magneto's base of operations. After his escape from prison thanks to the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (primarily the White Queen), Magneto steals Cerebro's "mutant power circuit" from Kitty Pryde, to whom it had been given by Professor X for its protection. Once he obtains the circuit he and his Brotherhood go to Asteroid M, and with a machine, use the circuit to amplify Magneto's power in order to change the course of the "Scorpio" comet, aiming it towards Earth. However, the X-Men stop his attempt to destroy the Earth when Nightcrawler reprograms the controls and makes the comet hit Asteroid M instead, resulting in its destruction.
  • In X-Men: The Animated Series, Asteroid M appears in the two-part episode "Sanctuary." In the series, it has been built by Magneto with the goal of having it act as a sanctuary for all mutants, where they might live free from their human oppressors since he has become weary of battling for mutant supremacy. As such, he tells all of the world of his intentions for Asteroid M. He gathers many mutants from Earth (mainly from Genosha) and takes them to their new home in large transports. He has also previously gathered a large number of nuclear warheads to defend his new sanctuary. Soon the governments of the world feel threatened by Magneto's plan. They are intent on destroying Asteroid M, but through the interference of Professor X this is stopped. In his sanctuary, Magneto no longer cares about humanity. However, one of his followers, the Acolyte Fabian Cortez, desires nothing more than to destroy the humans. This eventually causes him to betray Magneto and jettison him towards Earth. Magneto survives however and is forced to destroy Asteroid M when he destroys hundreds of nuclear warheads Cortez has launched at the Earth in order to wipe out humanity.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Asteroid M appears in the two-part season 1 finale, "The Cauldron." In this version, Asteroid M isn't actually outside Earth's atmosphere, instead being placed a few miles above the Arctic Circle. In the episode, Magneto pits the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants against each other to see who is the "fittest" to join him at his sanctuary on Asteroid M. While some may have come voluntarily, others have been captured. On Asteroid M to those who survive his competition he gives the opportunity to "evolve" their powers, as he puts it, by being put in a machine powered by the Gem of Cyttorak. To show it is safe to use he lets Sabretooth go in as an example, failing to mention that it also alters the subject's mind to better suit his point of view. After the process is finished Sabretooth comes out more powerful and much more beast-like in appearance. Following him are Cyclops, Havok and later Mystique. Afterward fighting ensues that causes the destruction of the engines which keep Asteroid M at its high altitude, causing its impending crash on the surface below. To stop this, however, Cyclops and Havok use their newly enhanced abilities to destroy Asteroid M before it can do any harm, resulting not only in its obliteration but creating a wave which negates their new powers, reverting them back to their former states. Sabretooth also eventually reverts to his normal form, while Mystique and Magneto retain their enhanced powers.

Video games[edit]

  • Asteroid M appears in the X-Men arcade game.
  • Asteroid M is the final level in X-Men Legends. It serves as the place where the player battles Magneto. It is also the home of his Gravitron superweapon in which the Brotherhood of Mutants planned to use Magma for in case the Brotherhood failed to free Magneto. After Magneto, Mystique, and Sabretooth are defeated, Asteroid M is attacked by Sentinels. When General William Kincaid in his Master Mold robot is defeated, Magma uses the Gravitron to steer Asteroid M back into space. In this version, Asteroid M is not above Anya's grave but above New York City.
  • Asteroid M appears in the Marvel Super Hero Squad video game. It is where the players fight Magneto and Crimson Dynamo.
  • Asteroid M appears in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver arrive here in order to see their father Magneto. They managed to confront Magneto who mentions that the being attacked message they got is for them to contain the Space Infinity Stone which had been shattered following an attack by Doombots. When Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver reassemble it, Doctor Doom arrives revealing that his attack on Magneto was just a ploy so that Doctor Doom can get the Space Infinity Gem. When Doctor Doom ends up defeated, he tricks Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch enough to swipe back the Space Infinity Gem. Doctor Doom's attacks on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch causes Magneto to use his magnetic abilities on Doctor Doom who revealed that he had placed Asteroid M on self-destruct. Magneto sends Doctor Doom flying where the Space Infinity Gem transports Doctor Doom to a cage. Magneto then gives his children the Space Infinity Stone. After Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver leave, Magneto claps off the self-destruct sequence.

Bibliography[edit]

List of titles[edit]

  • Uncanny X-Men #5, 113, 299 & 378 (May 1964, September 1978, April 1993 & March 2000, Marvel Comics)
  • New Mutants, vol. 1 #21 (November 1984, Marvel Comics)
  • New X-Men #146 & 148 (November 2003 & December 2003, Marvel Comics)
  • Avengers: West Coast #57 & 60 (April 1990 & July 1990, Marvel Comics)
  • X-Men, vol. 2 #1–3 (October 1991–December 1991, Marvel Comics).

Significant stories[edit]

  • X-Men, vol. 2 #3 (December 1991, Marvel Comics) - Destruction of Asteroid M by Fabian Cortez.
  • New X-Men #148 (December 2003, Marvel Comics) - Wolverine and Jean Grey spending their final moments together on Asteroid M, before it collides with the sun.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tramountanas, George A. "X-POSITION: X-Editors". Comic Book Resources. September 16, 2009
  2. ^ Avengers vs. X-Men #6-12
  3. ^ "Marvel Zombies: Dead Days" One-Shot (July 2007)
  4. ^ Marvel Zombies 2 #1-5 (October 2007 – February 2008)
  5. ^ What If? Vol 2 #85