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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That seems fair. And yeah, I know I was going off on a tangent, but not knowing the books themselves (especially not the wrinkles of post-Claremont X-continuity), tangents are all I've got!

Philip Portelli said:

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.

True. However, doesn't Wakanda have a similar policy? Paradise Island? Attilan? Gorilla City?

This is definitely a shift away from Xavier's previous philosophy.  But I think that's all part of Hickman's mutant reboot strategy.  The way I read it is that Xavier is saying, "Ok, you've feared and hated us, you've tried to exterminate us, you don't accept us.  Waiting around to be accepted has not worked. I'm going to create a safe place where mutants can live without being afraid. And no one will be allowed in without our permission."

Jeff of Earth-J said:

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.

Not only that, but Xavier has had all of that knowledge as well since he read her mind upon their initial meeting. (If I'm reading it right.)

"Not only that, but Xavier has had all of that knowledge as well since he read her mind upon their initial meeting. (If I'm reading it right.)"

Oh, yeah. That would be true, too.

Thomas, that's part of the reason I haven't jumped into this House of X yet -- I suspect it's going to be very tough to follow for a long-time lapsed reader such as myself. I took one look at those timelines, and thanked my lucky stars Hickman wasn't tapped to revive the Legion. Not that I wouldn't LOVE that level of nerdy detail and thought on the Legion, but that a title like the Legion, totally out of commission for almost a decade (and reduced to a really niche publication for years before that) really needs to embrace a whole new audience, not merely appeal to one already steeped in the continuity.  

X-Men's much more popular, and much more current, so it can withstand this level of hardcore continuity play. Legion would have crumpled under the weight of it. 

Thomas, I liked #2, but other than that I don't disagree with anything you said.

It's like Star Trek: Discovery. The showrunners maintain it takes place in the original continuity, but it just doesn't. It can't. same thing with House of X.

"Thomas, I liked #2..."

...and, of course, I love throwing theories around. ;)

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I took one look at those timelines, and thanked my lucky stars Hickman wasn't tapped to revive the Legion. Not that I wouldn't LOVE that level of nerdy detail and thought on the Legion...

Haha... I can only imagine a Hickman diagram of the Legion. The footnotes would probably have footnotes.

But it's funny that you bring that up because there are some similarities between the 5 Years Later Glorith-verse and this Moira-verse.

It sure sounds like there are, Tec! I almost went on a tangent about 5YL, but  I figured I was already derailing an X-Men thread enough with one paragraph on the Legion!

Something I was thinking about on a re-read; how does Destiny know about Moira's power and how many lives she has left? I poked around a little and found reference to a story where Destiny and Moira were somehow merged.  Are they the same person?

Also, if Moira only has one more life left, does that mean Hickman plans to use that final life for yet another "final" reboot at some point?

As a "newcomer" to the X-Men (who has actually read many, many X-Men comics in his lifetime), has Moira McTaggart's mutant power always been to reincarnate?

My understanding is that she was always thought to not be a mutant until this week.

Ah. Okay. That's the big surprise.

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