The key to Krakoan resurrection lies with the Five, and their new design is set to stoke the fires of the X-Men‘s Hellfire Gala. This mutant circuit is often regarded as underrated by fans, especially since they are the source of the nation’s greatest gift despite barely having a voice in Krakoan politics. Meta-textually, this supremely essential component to this era of X-Men storytelling has remained almost entirely side characters. This may be about to change though, since their Hellfire ensemble suggests a huge incoming power up for the Five.


Marvel recently released a massive wave of variant covers featuring character redesigns for the 2023 Hellfire Gala. On his Twitter account artist Luciano Vecchio shared his Gala variant of Immortal X-Men #13, and he also shared the design sheet. Standing at the fore is Hope Summers, member of the Five and voice of the circuit on the Quiet Council. Flanking her on each side are Egg, Proteus, Tempus, and Elixir. Each of the Five’s looks are unique to them, pulling from influences like Stevie Nicks to Salvador DalĂ­, but they are united by a shared Phoenix motif.

The X-Men May Be Introducing a New Phoenix Five

The Avengers have claimed the Phoenix Force as their own as of late, but the finale of the Avengers Assemble arc has freed up the cosmic firebird once more to return to the X-Men. The Phoenix Force has had an important role since the beginning of the Krakoan Age, when it was revealed that the Phoenix is one of the few entities powerful enough to threaten the deific machines known as Dominions, mutantkind’s ultimate enemies. Notably, Hope Summers already has experience with the Phoenix, and choosing to incorporate its imagery into the Five draws out the parallels that they share as symbols of rebirth. Could this be more than a cheeky aesthetic nod?

The original Phoenix Five were controversial to say the least, but revitalizing past flawed concepts has been a trademark of the Krakoan era. Part of that group’s flaw was the lack of cohesion, which eventually led to Cyclops’ unfortunate Dark Phoenix moment. In contrast, the Five as a mutant circuit are known for their synchronicity, specifically since Hope’s abilities unify them. However, the Five are already performing miracles daily without the aid of the Phoenix, so what would happen to them once given such a cosmically powerful upgrade?

The Hellfire Gala is always a dramatic affair, and this year’s festivities are set to catalyze the Fall of X event. Bringing the Phoenix home to mutantkind might be a bit much, but the Five may be laying the groundwork for such a development by embracing Phoenix iconography. If so, then the X-Men‘s most important squad might channel fire and life incarnate following this year’s Hellfire Gala.

Immortal X-Men #13 will be available from Marvel Comics on July 12, 2023.

Sources: Marvel, Luciano Vecchio

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