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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“I probably won’t be able to lead discussion of all those”

I thank you again for leading this one. These two series kind of burned me out. They were grim and depressing, not very fun to read and too much work. Honestly, the only two issues I enjoyed were House #2 and Powers #6. I now desperately wish I hadn’t spent $72 to follow these “two series that are one.” Now that the preliminaries are over, I will give one issue of one of the new ongoing series (X-Men) a try.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

“I probably won’t be able to lead discussion of all those”

I thank you again for leading this one. These two series kind of burned me out. They were grim and depressing, not very fun to read and too much work. Honestly, the only two issues I enjoyed were House #2 and Powers #6. I now desperately wish I hadn’t spent $72 to follow these “two series that are one.” Now that the preliminaries are over, I will give one issue of one of the new ongoing series (X-Men) a try.

I can't argue with your critique.  Things were pretty grim and dystopian throughout. And that is a big investment to make into something that probably could have been condensed into one series with fewer total issues.

On the other hand, for me, this did spark an interest in the X-titles that I haven't had since Morrison.  And I do admire the scope and complexity of what was laid out.  I would like to think that Marvel will be able to build on this and restore these characters to their former glory but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Strangely, you guys have anticipated all of my opinions. I guess great minds do think alike! (And mine as well.)

I also found these two series a bit depressing. I assumed we'd find out something to explain why everybody was acting out of character, but evidently, to Hickman, this is their character, or at least their character now.

I also intend to give the six new series a try-out of one issue each.

I also cannot find a way to explain a secret Magneto-Xavier alliance predating X-Men #1 unless much of X-history was in a previous timeline -- or, as suggested, are relegated to pre-Secret Wars. Since Secret Wars was also set up by Hickman, maybe it looms larger in his internal continuity than in ours.

I also have more interest in the X-books since, yes, Morrison. (And outside of Morrison, my X-enthusiasm has been waning since Byrne left. And not just because of his art.)

I also found it disappointing that we spent so much time with X3 when it turns out to be LIfe VI, and isn't going anywhere. That's a lot of wasted space for a weak reveal. Maybe it's a set-up for a future Phalanx storyline. Isn't Hickman doing one or two of the spin-off books?

But like 'Tec, I feel like this is a good chance to bring the X-books to something approaching their former glory. My LCS owner says he was selling about 25 issues a month of the last iteration of Uncanny X-Men, but HoX/PoX has been selling about 500 each.

And I'll be following this thread as we go forward, whether I continue with any of the books or not. Surely there are some X-fans among us who plan to follow the relaunch!

“I guess great minds do think alike!”

Great minds run in the same channel.

Fools think alike.

Just sayin’ ;)

“I also intend to give the six new series a try-out of one issue each.”

That’s more than I’m doing.

“I also have more interest in the X-books since, yes, Morrison.”

The one run I’ve liked (of what I have read) since Morrison is Whedon and Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men.

Is there going to be a War Moira  ("So that's what it means to be the Moira of War") or a Thirteenth Moira who's a guy?  ;)
Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I still think that this series is portraying Moira's tenth life, while previous continuity was the sixth."

I agree completely. Someone suggested earlier that "Year 100" and "Year 1000" (or whichever) were not the "real" continuity. I maintain nothing we have seen so far is "real"... because it can't be (for reasons we have already discussed). What if... every division we have seen is an alternate reality. that is, Moira's seventh life is X0, her eighth is X1, her ninth X10 and so on? I haven't thought this through yet, but I will (barring a definitive canonical answer). 

A Fourteeth Moira who's a guy by my count.

Fifteenth, really.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

A Fourteeth Moira who's a guy by my count.

Hmm... I guess it depends on whether or not you count "consecutive Moiras."

X-Men #1 (2019)

I liked this?? Maybe? 

Things get off to a nice start as we continue from the Krakoa/Mother Mold story.  The X-Men are again the aggressors here, taking a proactive approach and attacking the humans or Orchis.  I still have the feeling of being a bit uncomfortable with this new philosophy. Even though it can be justified from a common sense standpoint, it's still a pretty radical departure.  And it's enough of a departure that I have some dissonance with accepting it as proper X-continuity.

Hickman's Cyclops is pretty interesting.  And I don't know if I've ever found him interesting in the past.  And the Summers clan having an outpost on the moon is a neat idea.  As is the idea that Corsair and the Starjammers can now be easily inserted into any story at the drop of a hat.

File under creepy:  The strange arrangement that sees Wolverine living among the Summers family and having adjoining bedrooms with Scott and Jean? I really don't feel like I want or need to know about that.

Yes, this new proactive approach is a bit unsettling. But the whole relaunch is unsettling. 

I'll get to that in a minute. I just want to say that, yes, if the X-people are going to take this approach, then proactive is the way to go, so I'm neither surprised nor disappointed. This is the direction in which their radical new philosophy points them, so I expect it.

What I didn't expect is that they left the solar satellite station unmolested after destroying Mother Mold. I mean, what's to stop Orchis from building another? Destroy the station, and if nothing else, you push their R&D back decades.

Anyway, back to "unsettling." Never before have the X-Men felt so alien. My attitude is that they're as human as you and me, but with a DNA tweak. That was Xavier's philosophy too, once upon a time, and I noticed with grave disappointment when both he and Cyclops started talking about humans and mutants as separate species. I felt then that it was simply the writers who didn't quite grasp the original philosophy, but whatever the reason, it happened, and now Hickman has taken that attitude to its logical extreme. Or X-treme, I guess, a more X-treme X-Men than Claremont ever wrote.

But aside from philosophy, it's also behavior. Everyone seems to behaving as if they're part of a hive mind. There are no disagreements. Everyone's on the same page. And it's a page that is at variance with how many of these characters used to believe and act.

How does this new philosophy square with Nightcrawler's Catholicism? Kitty's Judaism? Dr. Reyes' pacifism? Storm's love of her African (and human) tribe? Have all of these people rejected all human contact, including parents and other family? They seem to have, and it doesn't seem to trouble any of them. They all seem high or something.

Which brings us to the literal Ménage à trois at House of Summers. Not only does it creep me out -- for one thing, Wolverine is 5-5 and covered with coarse body hair, so it's always been implausible to me that so many women want to sleep with him -- but it goes against established characterization that either of these men would share anything with each other, much less their woman. And Jean has suddenly embraced polyamory and doesn't care who knows it? The prim girl who used to slut-shame Emma Frost? Doesn't seem in character. It's almost like someone is making them get along. 

Which may or may not be true. But it's weird. And so is Cable and Jean acting like mother and son, when they have never had that relationship before, and are, what, kinda the same age? But here she's telling him to set the table, and he's acting like he's about six. 

All of it's weird. And alien. And maybe A) this is the new normal. or B) it's mind control. The longer this goes on, the more "A" seems more likely than "B." And I'm not sure how I feel about that, because then everything I've read to date doesn't count. And if it's "B" then every single one of these characters is suffering what amounts to rape. Hickman better have a Plan C up his sleeve.

One last thing: Is Moira X her new mutant name, or does it only apply to the Moira of her tenth timeline?

Hey, Marvel sent a video!


New York, NY— October 15, 2019 — A new dawn has broken for mutantkind, and their current status quo has sent reverberations around the globe! Mutant mastermind Jonathan Hickman has changed the game for Homo Superior and now is ushering in an era of Marvel storytelling the likes of which has never been seen before! So prepare yourself for all-new, all-different X-Men adventures with this launch trailer featuring Editor in-Chief C.B. Cebulski, Senior Editor Jordan D. White, and writer Jonathan Hickman!

The island nation of Krakoa is firmly established, and the X-Men are finally free to truly forge their own path in the world. All mutants are living under one flag – and any of them can be called upon to be an X-Man! With a rotating cast of characters both heroic and villainous, mainstays, fan-favorites, and obscurities alike will all have their chance to shine!

“Jonathan is one of the most skilled writers in the comic book industry for sure. He comes up with enormous ideas and he is incredibly good at executing them perfectly on the page,” praises White.

“[Series artist Leinil Francis Yu] is a phenomenal talent. He has an incredible eye: staging is wonderful, his character designs are cool. I love working with him. He’s fantastic,” says Hickman.

X-Men #1 arrives on October 16th in comic shops, on the Marvel Comics App, and on Marvel.com! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

Marauders #1

This one didn't do much for me.  It features Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat as the central character and shows her to be very capable and a little more violent than I remember.  I know she has her fans and I see her as kind of the Dick Grayson of the Marvel U but I've never really cared much about her one way or the other.

In general, I found this issue kind of boring and the concept of a swashbuckling team of mutants just doesn't really appeal to me.  I liked some of the stuff Gerry Duggan did with Avengers but he didn't grab me with Marauders.

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