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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Here are the timelines in question (click to enlarge)

The Beat reported that there's a typo in that timeline -- the bottom one on the last page. From the article:

“I reversed the content of these two dates in the back,” Hickman wrote, referring to Years 49 and 50 on Moira’s tenth life. Year 49 marks the “Genocide at Genosha,” while Year 50 reads “Moira fakes death (Shi’ar golem).” The corrected timeline, then, should place Moira’s faked death ahead of the Genoshan genocide.

“I'm fuzzy on how the timelines fit together…

Obviously I am, too (or I wouldn’t’ve kept asking “Right?”).

“I don't necessarily see anything in life 10 that contradicts the X-Men I grew up with.”

Hmm… Maybe I was looking at the future stuff which, as of “Year 10” hasn’t happened yet.

I've gotta say, this looks like a really exciting time to be an X-Men fan. Not my cuppa tea, but I might dig in on Marvel Unlimited in a few months. 

Just read House of X #1 (sorry to be late) but I thought the whole X-Men Gold/Blue/Red/Uncanny X-Men WAS the reboot!

Anyway, this new Mutant Utopia and Agenda is something no government would endorse 100%, let alone the Avengers and Fantastic Four (who are told subtly by Cyclops that Franklin would be better off with the mutants than them. Add to the mix, Black Panther, Sub-Mariner, Doctor Doom and Black Bolt!

And give me one good reason why the world would accept Magneto as an ambassador. Of anything!

My gut reaction is that Krakoa is manipulating/controlling/influencing Professor X (if that is him) who in turn is manipulating/controlling/influencing the others in a more congenial fashion. 

Unless Magneto is the true power behind all this!

Philip Portelli said:

Anyway, this new Mutant Utopia and Agenda is something no government would endorse 100%, let alone the Avengers and Fantastic Four

That's true. However, they don't necessarily need anyone's endorsement to operate as an independent entity. There are countries in the Middle East who aren't endorsed by most of the world but still manage to sell oil and amass wealth and power. Russia continually attempts to destabilize government systems all over the world and yet still maintain status as a world power.

If this is Professor X (and I don't know that it is) it's possible that he decided to completely change his philosophy after learning that his original approach failed in one of Moira's timelines.

But isn't that the point of HoX #1? Trying to get the world to recognize them? To make them a legitimate country/culture/people? While telling the world that their dominance is (dare I say it?) inevitable? 

Philip Portelli said:

But isn't that the point of HoX #1? Trying to get the world to recognize them? To make them a legitimate country/culture/people? While telling the world that their dominance is (dare I say it?) inevitable? 

The first part...yes.  I think the plan is that they will be respected or at least their autonomy will be respected because they have put themselves on a level playing field with the rest of the world.  The second part... I think from Xavier's perspective is that they will no longer apologize for being the next step in evolution.  Although I think Magneto leans a little more towards wanting to establish dominance.  There have been some hints dropped in one of the books (can't remember which) that Magneto is going to break off from Xavier.

I have given some additional thought to the multiple timelines. For the foreseeable future, Moira’s “Life Ten” is obviously the “true” timeline. My theory is that “Life Six” is the fallback for if/when things get out of hand and the reset button needs to be pressed. What is the difference between Moira’s “lives” and standard alternate realities as we know them? Not much, I think. At first blush, the concept seems to be different because Moira’s power takes her back to the beginning of her own life. Normally, one would think of the power of reincarnation to be sequential, so it is unique in that respect. But look at it this way…

Earth 616 – Moira born with no power of reincarnation
Earth 617 – Moira born with the power of reincarnation (“Life One” in the revised continuity)
Earth 618 – Moira reborn with the memories of one previous life (“Life Two”)
Earth 619 – Moira reborn with the memories of two previous lives (“Life Three”)

…and so on.

That would make Moira’s current “Life Ten” (House of X, Roman numeral X) Earth-626 by my reckoning (but that nomenclature is not important). You will notice that I reject the notion of relegating the last 44 years of continuity to one of Moira’s “lives,” giving her, in effect, a “Life Zero.” That’s because I reject it out of hand as a continuity implant (along the lines of the Illuminati) that stories written decades ago couldn’t possibly support. That means I also don’t necessarily embrace my own guess (not even a “theory”) that “Life Six” might be established continuity. I just don’t see the Moira introduced in X-Men #96 as having the memories of five (or more) previous lives.

And what a crap power that is, anyway! I have often thought, throughout my life, “If I knew then what I know now.” High school would have been a breeze! But would I really want to sit through algebra again? I have always concluded “no.” By Life Ten I’d definitely be thinking, “Oh, no… not again!” And, everything else being equal, wouldn’t she be able to clean up on the stock market and placing bets on sporting events? See? It’s already becoming problematical.

If Moira's knowledge and different choices change the timeline each time, there's no guarantee her bets and investments would pay off. And if might be that being fabulously wealthy isn't part of her goals. I don't read a lot of X-Men comics, but I've never known her to have money troubles -- maybe she has enough money to be happy and do what she wants to do already?

Also, if she's concerned about keeping the timeline similar to the last one (for whatever reason), investments could be a dangerous gamble. If she buys a lot of stocks in a company, someone else might not be able to (or decide not to, since the price on the available stocks has risen) -- and the timeline she knows might need that person to be rich (even if Moira doesn't know who that person is). It could be they use their profits to invest in tech that Moira needs for her research, and without that, her scientific research never gets off the ground. It's easy to think of the stock market and betting as harmless ways of making money, but the butterfly effect still applies to economics: If someone's getting rich, someone else isn't. And given the outsized influence that rich people have on society, that could have a drastic effect on the future, and Moira's knowledge of the timeline as it unfolds. Is that something she would risk?

At any rate, that's how THIS writer would solve that problem. Assuming it is a problem (and I haven't read the book, so who knows if it is!).   

Another concept that I have a problem with is the whole "This place is for Mutants Only! No Humans Allowed!" No one would approve the opposite sentiment as every time the "Mutant Problem" was brought up, there was always protests or counter-proposals and strategies to combat it.

Now we have Mutant segregation set up by the mutants as a power point to keep humanity in its place. A majority of mutants were born from "normal" parents and "normal" families. Are those ties now broken? Are there penalties if they're not? Can mutants only date mutants now? Be friends with mutants only? Watch only mutant films and so forth.

This was not Charles Xavier's dream/agenda/goal, it was Magneto's.

Humanity's prejudice and attacks on mutants were terrible. Mutants' prejudice of humanity is just as wrong.

Just to clarify, I’m not really too concerned about the economic ramifications of investments and bets Moira may or may not have made. My main point is the unforeseen consequences such a far-reaching continuity implant is likely to have. I’ll call it “The Illuminati Syndrome” (to coin a phrase).

I am fully invested in the conceit that, for the purposes of House of X and all mutant continuity going forward for the foreseeable future (or “Earth-626” as I call it), Moira has the memories an experiences of nine previous lives rattling around in her head. I just don’t buy the notion that she has always had them.

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