I’ve probably mentioned on more than one occasion that Jonathan Hickman is one of my favorite writers. I consider his runs on Avengers and Fantastic Four to be among the best ever for those titles. So I was happy to hear about his new X-Men project.

Apparently, his pitch to Marvel was that they should cancel all the X-titles and he would effectively start from scratch in an effort to refresh the franchise. This is especially appealing to me since I have not been following any X-Men books for quite a while and I wouldn’t want to have to go back and wade through all of the more recent stuff.

So the initial offerings in the Hickman “soft reboot” will be the alternating mini-series House of X and Powers of X.

House of X gets off to a pretty good start by introducing us to the new mutant status quo. In a clever call-back to Giant Size X-Men #1, Hickman is building his story around the concept of Krakoa, the living island.

Right off the bat, we see Professor X (who looks little bit too much like The Maker for my liking) summoning his X-Men from subterranean pods on Krakoa. No explanation is given but I’m guessing that Krakoa is feeding off of mutant energy via the pods as it did back in Giant Size X-Men #1.

It appears that the mutants are harvesting flowers from Krakoa which serve several different functions such as teleportation and remote habitat building. They are also used to make pharmaceuticals which Xavier intends to use as leverage with the powers that be. He appears to have a plan to turn Krakoa into a sovereign, mutants only, country that will be a powerful player in world events.

Some of this sounds a little extreme to me, especially in concert with some of the rhetoric being spouted by Magneto in his role as Xavier’s ambassador.

Hickman also introduces us to the Orchis Protocol which is a human run organization designed to prevent mutants from becoming the dominant species on earth. They have a space station which appears to be built around pieces of the Sentinal Mothermold.

Lots of interesting stuff here. I’m curious to see just how far Xavier will go to carry out his new agenda. I like the idea that he has decided that mutants should be proactive instead of waiting around hoping the world will accept them. It makes more sense to force the world to accept them. But is there a point where he will go too far and cross some lines?

One thing I really like about Hickman is his ability to construct these intricate, sweeping sagas with large diverse casts of characters and concepts. I think he’s off to a good start with House of X. Next up will be Powers of X #1.

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And why should we consider Krakoa to be benevolent now?

Perhaps he is controlling Professor X and using their combined power to influence the others but he may be speaking through Magneto.

He was benevolent in Wolverine and the X-Men. But his turnaround was never explained AFAIK, so we might shouldn't take it at face value.

OTOH, if we're looking 10 and 100 and 1,000 years in the future and there's no mention of a huge betrayal by Krakoa, then maybe we're just being paranoid. 

"And what did Krakoa do, exactly, in Giant-Size X-Men #1?"

Wasn't it blown into space at the end?

I hope to have a new entry later today, but fyi the reading order appears to have reversed with two consecutive issues of Powers and is as follows:

House of X #1

Powers of X #1

House of X #2

Powers of X #2

Powers of X #3 August 21st

House of X #3 August 28th.

House of X #4 September 4th

Powers of X #4 September 11th

House of X #5 September 18th

Powers of X #5 September 25th.

House of X #6 October 2nd.

Powers of X #6 October 9th

Yes but it left a spore behind that showed up in Excalibur and the main body was part of the Stranger's collection in Quasar #15.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"And what did Krakoa do, exactly, in Giant-Size X-Men #1?"

Wasn't it blown into space at the end?

Powers of X #3


The fifth installment in the saga throws us a few curveballs:

First, it breaks with the established pattern of alternating between titles. Second, it has a much more story oriented approach than the previous issues of PoX. And finally, it brings to a close one of Moira’s timelines.

The entire issue takes place in the Year 100 era and we learn that, as we suspected, this is taking place in Moira’s 9th life/timeline. Apocalypse and his group are making a final, last ditch assault on Nimrod in an effort to get the knowledge they need to defeat him in the 10th timeline. I believe this 9th timeline is the one in which Moira is married to Apocalypse and she seems to have been in some sort of stasis while waiting for the information she will need in the 10th life. Once she receives the info, Wolverine kills her and sends her on her way to life 10.

Subsequently we see that the mutants are losing their battle with Nimrod and Rasputin unleashes a black hole contained within Xorn which appears to bring the 9th timeline to an end.

Hickman provides text pages which give some clarity on the members of the Apocalypse team:

  • Apparently this is the original Wolverine and Xorn (or single DNA clones).
  • Green Magneto is a Chimera called North (as in magnetic...) and is a combo of Polaris and Emma Frost
  • Krakoa is indeed a symbiotic combination of Krakoa and Cypher.
  • Rasputin is apparently a Chimera composed of Illyana/Peter, Kitty Pryde, Quentin Quire, X-23 and Unus?
  • And Cardinal is a combination of Nightcrawler, Marvel Girl, Ajax and Butterfly?

The plot is sort of a Terminator in reverse as the mutants are attempting to reboot Moira into the past to prevent the rise of the machines under Nimrod.

I thought this issue was very well done with plenty of high stakes drama and strong characterization.

You already covered every point I would have made. Well done!

Turns out I really need these summaries, because my comics shop sold out of Powers of X #1-2, while having tons of House of X #1-2. That makes no sense to me. Why would so many people buy half the story? Anyway, that means I have to order Powers of X #2 online, since I missed it, and I won't read any subsequent issues of either House or Powers until I get it, because I'm anal that way. 

But I will come here and chat!



Jeff of Earth-J said:

You already covered every point I would have made. Well done!

Thanks Jeff.



Captain Comics said:

But I will come here and chat!

Yes, please do!

I really don't see the purpose of having two series if it's only one story. If it's that one advances the story and one fills in the background (I haven't read them close enough to differentiate between the two), I can see why some people would buy one and not the other, depending on their individual interests.

You're probably right, Jeff. I haven't really tried to distinguish them.

Because a lot of customers don't realize it is one story being told in two separate series. 

Captain Comics said:

Turns out I really need these summaries, because my comics shop sold out of Powers of X #1-2, while having tons of House of X #1-2. That makes no sense to me. Why would so many people buy half the story? Anyway, that means I have to order Powers of X #2 online, since I missed it, and I won't read any subsequent issues of either House or Powers until I get it, because I'm anal that way. 

But I will come here and chat!

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