My previous exposure to the X Men were the 90 s animated series and the various movies I ve never been a regular comic reader, and my previous foray into Hickman s Marvel work ended in frustration with the number of cross overs and seemingly meaningless storylines But with House of X and Powers of X, Hickman has solved both the problems with the unique structure of these intertwined series The 6 issues in each series alternate weekly or semi weekly and the story is entirely self contained in the 12 issues, meaning you don t have to hunt for some random issue in some other series to understand what happened previously As for the story itself, I won t say much than it really brings a fresh lens to the mutant human machine conflict Having watched all of the MCU movies to date and being a bit underwhelmed with how that conflict was portrayed in the previous X Men movies, I was struck by how different it felt in these series, and am really excited to see how the X Men and mutants are finally introduced into the MCU I m also excited to dive into the six Dawn of X series that will start in the coming weeks. Hickman is giving us everything that s been missing from the X Men for the last two decades. Mutants Are The Future, And The Future Begins Now Superstar Writer Jonathan Hickman INFINITY, SECRET WARS Takes The Reigns Of The X Men Universe With Artists Pepe Larraz And RB Silva To Change The Way You Look At Every X Men Story HOUSE OF X And POWERS OF X Intertwine To Reveal The Secret Past, Present, Future, And Far Future Of Mutantkind It All Starts When Charles Xavier Reveals His New Masterplan For Mutantkind, One That Will Bring Mutants Out Of The Shadow Of Humanity And Into The LightLLECTING House Of X , Powers Of X This series along with Powers of X is the single greatest Marvel story I have ever read. After telling sprawling, epic tales of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers several years back, Jonathan Hickman s take on the X Men an intellectual property for which he has proclaimed his long lasting love was hotly anticipated And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint Hickman breathes new life into Marvel s mutants, who sadly had been swept under the rug in recent years but thanks to Marvel getting the film rights to the characters back in their hands, it seems that they are ready to shine a bright spotlight back onto the X corner of the Marvel Universe And they are off to a damn good start Hickman tells an intricate tale across two books whose narratives weave around each other, and half of the fun reading this week to week was speculating what was going to come next, or how seemingly disparate aspects of the story were going to end up tying together Hickman is a meticulous planner, so that kind of analysis is never wasted Now that the entire story is out, I look forward to reading it all together and digesting it all in one sitting, rather than a chapter at a time Hickman is the kind of writer that demands and rewards careful reading, so being able to read through the whole story together will certainly illuminate details that were overlooked on my first reading The entire premise of the story involves a major retcon to a long standing supporting X Men character it s done in a really inventive, exciting way that not only makes perfect sense, but changes EVERYTHING From there Hickman sets up a scenario in which mutants are clearly intended to become major players in the Marvel Universe again The story jumps back and forth through different timelines in such a way that it s fairly confusing at first, but as the information is slowly portioned out, the picture starts to become clear There are plenty of surprises right up to the end, however There was one major revelation in the last issue that referred back to an earlier mystery I d completely forgotten about, so when this thing finally came back I literally had a Keanu Reeves whoa moment Infographics are interspersed throughout the story readers of Hickman should be no stranger to these that enhance the information we get in the narrative and add depth of knowledge to what we get through the narrative itself I personally think it s a great device for adding supplemental lore without feeding it to the reader through clunky dialog It s also really exciting when a piece of infographic data that was previously redacted suddenly becomes revealed later in the story Oh, and the art The art by Pepe Larraz and R.B Silva is consistently stunning to look at I could get lost in some of those panels for quite a while They do redesigns of a lot of the costumes which are a lot of fun, and two of the new characters in the future portion of the story are so well designed that I really hope we see of them outside this book This book absolutely lives up to every bit of hype My only complaint was that I wish it had been longer The X books have quite a lot to live up to with this very solid foundation that Hickman has built I know that sooner or later one of them will inevitably fumble the ball, especially after Hickman departs from overseeing these books to move on to other things But man, I haven t been so excited or optimistic about the X Men since I first started reading them in the 1990s. a very intelligent soft reboot of the X men status quo House of X Powers of X is the ambitious start of something fresh for mutants Thanks to time travel, we learn three harsh truths Xavier s dream of humans and mutants coexisting always ends in extinction Magneto s dream of mutant domination always ends in extinction No matter what we do, Sentinels will come into existence.The twin stories of House of X Powers of X are a response to this, because knowing the old ideologies won t work means needing to radically change what they ve been working towards Xavier, Magneto, and an enormous cast of old favorites band together to create a country for mutants It won t be isolationist they create products that only mutants could concoct, and they want to trade with the rest of the world They ll be separate and self governing, but also part of the world stage, with economic and religious partners Like any country, they ll also have their dark secrets.We know from the start that this is going to be complicated One of the first scenes is Mystique, Toad, and Sabretooth trying to steal something from the Fantastic Four, and Cyclops offering them cover But another scene is optimistic, with Xavier assuring the oft resurrected Jean Grey that once in this nation she is finally home and safe This is going to be wild.This rewrite is a colossal endeavor that incorporates as much X Men lore as possible Krakoa, the living island that once swallowed an X Men team, is growing and will become the continent upon which the mutant country exists Mr Sinister, Beast, and Forge are brought in on a method to facilitate mutant growth and save lives The Hellfire Club is approached to become part of the economic wing of the country And the government of Krakoa will have twelve seats, requiring wisdom from characters from across the X Men s history, only beginning with Xavier, Magneto, and White Queen.You ll have your beefs Many important characters get little time on the page, and there are retcons I detest that this new Xavier isn t disabled any, and loses that rare marginalized identity just as soon as he s ascended to being important in the Marvel Universe after so long.While it includes massive retcons, it does as much faithful work to the history as possible The genocide of Genosha happened The battles between Xavier and Magneto happened and they have to overcome their bitterness now to build a viable future Apocalypse is out there, and as he s watched much of the world s progress, he s had fingers in this since before we knew Ultimately, House of X Powers of X isn t a big crossover story It is a long establishment of a new status quo that needs its length to show how much depth it s going to cover This is a book from which all the other X Men stories can flow out from All mutants can now share a home, and we ll have stories about Wolverine and Omega Red having to share it, and some mutants needing to be rescued from their host countries, and Namor the mutant king of Atlantis struggling with which place he belongs. House of X made X Men a MUST read title once The thing is I didn t hate recent X Men runs One a few years ago by Bendis was pretty good, I liked some of Taylor s run as well as Astoning X Men by Soule I even enjoyed the recent first half of Rosenberg s run Saying that, while they were all good, we needed great The X men have been down for far too long Enter Hickman to pick them back up and make them grand again Right off the bat the world is set different Xavier, Cyclops, and a lot of other familiar faces stand firm on bringing the X Men and mutants in general to a new safe haven named Krakoa But first Xavier sets ground rules Avengers, fantastic four, and do not come into their land demanding shit This is the land of mutants, and they are united like never before They set out rules though, such as Kill no Human, Respect the land of Krakoa, and the biggest oneMake Mutants Make mutants No no no, this isn t a sex story Though that would be interesting Then how is Xavier going to create humans That is the mystery and when revealed it might make you go oh shitthat s kind of brilliant Why this works well is Hickman s ability to grab the past characters, so many you might relate to or love, and make a compelling story of their future Instead of creating another dozen or so new mutants we focus on ones already here The moving forward storyline, filled with sci fi and politics, keeps this title extremely fresh The end result with two great artist really helps this series shine My only negative is in the Power of X we have a lot of time skips And in doing so the future storylines might not seem as interesting Even in the end I didn t love them all but I did love the way it all tied up To say Hickman s idea is ambitious alone would be unfair It s both Ambitious and GREAT The artwork helps further it into a status that makes this must read for X Men fans I don t know what awaits for our favorite mutants but I can t wait A 4.5 out of 5. Wowfrigging hell, that was a good read.If I were to refer a science fiction fan to a superhero or Marvel comic I d refer them to House of X and Powers of X, which are basically, Chapter 1, then Chapter 2 in a series Also you don t need to know the back story it works on its own as an interesting speculative science fiction series Incorporating various elements from writers such as Octavia Butler, Maria Doria Russell, Philip K Dick, Doris Lessing, CJ Cherryth, Ursula Le Quinn, Alfred Bester, Robert K Heinlein, Issac AsimovIt also manages to take the graphic novel or comic book format to a new level, reminding me a little of what Alan Moore did with Watchmen, or Frank Miller with Dark Knight in the 1980s Granted, I shouldn t get two excited this is just chapter 2 But, I m rather impressed with the intertwining of world building, science, story, and character it s suspenseful, tightly plotted, not boring, yet packed with a lot of hard science fiction content Some of it we may have seen before elsewhere in places such as Ron Moore s BattleStar Galatica and Caprica, or even Age of Apocalypse Although I d say it is far better written than Age of Apocalypse was and a little less soapy.Hickman has pulled the X men out of the soap opera superhero quagmire that it been mucking about in for so long now And come up with an interesting scope and world that is reminiscent of Claremount s epic Days of Future Past , later turned into one of the better X movies Although I d say this is slightly better done, and far less didactic What I like about Hickman is he pulls back from the moralizing and sermonizing that so many of the writers fall prey to, and shows instead of tells Mr Sinister is depicted in a fascinating manner and at a distance We don t get the cheesy moustach twirling unkillable super villain, but an amoral and somewhat opportunist geneticist who pushes the barriers to the point of almost destroying his own species, and in an effort to defect to the winning side outsmarts himself and is finally killed This is all told in the fine print, yet is gripping and quite satisfying, in how smartly it is rendered I found it amusingly ironic, and far better told in summary And this is just one example Too often a writer feels the need to tell the reader everything, leaving little to the imagination, but as any true genre fan knows it s so much fun when they don t do this When they trust their readership and Hickman not only trusts his readers, he expects them to be smart.Hickman is aided in this endeavor by the incredibly talented R.B Silva artist and inker and Marte Gracta color artist This is done by hand and well done Art is important in a comic book particularly consistent art If done poorly it will pull you out of the story, if done well you will fall into it as if it were a movie playing out in your mind I can t emphasize enough how important the role of the artist is here and it has to be an artist that works well with the writer Silva, much like Pepe before him on House of X , truly does Not only that but Silva and Pepe s styles compliment each other so that the books flow seamlessly.This has got to be one of the best comics I ve read in a very long time I can t wait for the next issue And Cyclops, my fav, didn t appear once, and I didn t miss him I was so enthralled with the story and new characters Bravo. This is a strange, surreal story.The writing impressively brings together some of the X Men s best hits Elements of the X Men mythology over the course of decades Phalanx, Krakoa, the fact Mr Sinister likes to experiment on mutants All used It tries to recognize some of the big events, like Genosha s destruction or how Scarlet Witch wiped out mutants, reducing them to just a population of 198 But it does all this Poorly Without regard for actual continuity Like how it had been established years ago that while there were maybe only 198 known registered mutants after Wanda s No More Mutants, the actual total was closer to 300 Continuity is the biggest problem here.CBR and other comic news sites keep giving announcements about the events of these comics But the conceit of this reboot of X Men is that a main character has reincarnated multiple times, reliving her life in such a way she lives through divergent realities So I have no idea whether the primary events in this miniseries are even in our reality.We briefly see Scott interact with the Fantastic Four And their conversation seems to indicate that these are indeed the 616 Fantastic Four that we re used to Probably But does that mean that the X Men we see in House of X are going to be the same version of the X Men who interact with the Avengers, Spider man, the Fantastic Four, etc in the wider Marvel universe IS THIS 616 OR NOT We definitely seem to be watching other versions of Scott and Jean, who are dressed differently and acting aloof At least compared to their long awaited, triumphant reunion and kiss in Uncanny X Men just a few months ago Are they clones Alternate reality versions Mind controlled I don t know Will the surviving X Men from the conclusion of Uncanny X Men show up and fight Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse for creating this mutant nation with a bunch of clones of themselves and their dead friends You have to remember that there were a LOT of deaths And some of the people who died during the most recent run of Uncanny X Men are here, alive and well, during House of X without explanation Like Illyana There is an explanation provided in this story about how a mutant COULD be brought back from death, but not whether that is specifically what happened with OUR X Men.It is unsatisfying to watch some of my favorite people act in unfamiliar, uncharacteristic ways I don t feel safe I don t know if these characters are my friends, or if they will even be okay.It s like the writers read a summary of the biggest events in X Men comics, but didn t actually live through those years as a fan Sure, we all know Nathaniel Essex Sinister started out as a human doctor in Victorian England Here, Mr Sinister confesses where he obtained his X gene, and it s a low key surprising revelation to the reader The X gene came from Thunderbird, according to House of X But That s wrong Setting aside the fact the new personality Sinister is displaying is very, very wrong X Men fans who lived through the 90s know that there is an obscure mutant character known as Courier who was a shapeshifter He she was sort of an early version of a transwoman, because the character was born a man but forced into a woman s body as a default shape Yet another reason to be unsure about pronouns this person did not CHOOSE to permanently transition into a female body We already know that Sinister applied Courier s X gene to himself, and that s why Sinister has had some degree of shapeshifting for decades So, is the reason HoX is claiming Sinister got his X gene from Thunderbird because this is an alternate reality Or is Marvel just trying to retcon the existence of Courier And how should the LGBT community feel about such a decision to nullify the existence of a transwoman And Sinister isn t goofy Or foppish Or effeminate and dramatic This is all just Wrong.
- 400 pages
- House of X
- Jonathan Hickman
- 12 March 2018 Jonathan Hickman