This week at your local comic shop, the hardcover collected edition of House of X/Powers of X is set for release just in time for the holidays. So, if you decided to trade wait, now is the time to dip your toes in the water because this is one of the best X-Men stories in quite a while. This is the past, present, and future that establishes everything mutant going forward. In celebration of its release, let’s take a look at the top X moments in this groundbreaking story!
10. The future sucks for humans and mutants, X3 = 1000 (Powers of X #1)
In the Powers of X (X as in the Roman numeral for 10), we are taken to various points in time and in the farthest future 1,000 years later, we see that there is much going on and it boils down to three factions fighting for dominance of life and reality. We have the humans and mutants still struggling with each other, but now the machines have taken an active role in the struggle. So if you liked when the Sentinels would go mad after everyone, this is that with higher stakes. I think this is important because this future needs to be stopped, and we will learn later on in the two series how the present can affect the future.
9. Mother Mold is destroyed (House of X #4)
Cyclops leads a team of X-Men into outer space near the Sun in order to stop Mother Mold from going online. This would have been a major step for the machines leading towards a beneficial future for them and would currently be a risky play by the humans since they don’t know how Mother Mold will act by a premature startup. The drama that is set up is insane — humanity risking it all by activating the machines in order to stop the mutants is such a gamble on hoping to eliminate your enemies. Plus, the sacrifice of the X-Men is heart wrenching — especially Wolverine and Nightcrawler’s moments.
8. Planting the Gateways (House of X #1)
At first, we are seeing various X-Men characters pick and plant flowers across famous locations in their comic book history, but the big question was: why? What would be the point of gaining a green thumb as an X-Man? We quickly learn that these will be gateways for the X-Men going forward. We learn that their relationship with Krakoa is going to be life-changing and as we have seen from the current run of Dawn of X books, it can also be problematic. Plus, you have to be careful of who gets a gateway. I was very bewildered that the Blue Area of the Moon was one of the locations used, as well as the reveal of that being the Summers’ family home as well. I’m still waiting for Mars to play out.
7. Moira and Xavier get Magneto to join them (Powers of X #2)
It seems that comic books love their trinities, and the latest seems to be Moira, Xavier, and Magneto. This is huge, especially considering what this story has done with Moira — when last we heard about her, she was dead. As much as this is an X-Men story, there is a huge argument that this is her story as well, but we can touch on some of that later. I love that Moira has brought these two together, because if they did work together who knows what could’ve happened? Here we see a lot of amazing progress they have brought to the mutant race by finally joining forces. It is finally nice to see that — as far as we know, this is the authentic Xavier and Magneto, so this is them truly joining forces by their own free will.
6. No More! (House of X #4)
This moment could almost be part of item #9, since it was the X-Men’s sacrifice, but the way it read to me I honestly felt like this was Jonathan Hickman reassuring fans that the stories would be important again. No disrespect to the previous writers, but when a sweeping change is coming across the entire line of books it gets hard to stay positive and care about the moments because the status quo would most likely be reset. Even the X-Men’s exclusion from the Marvel Cinematic Universe felt like it spilled into the comic book realm; remember Inhumans vs X-Men? This honestly felt like Hickman made a promise to us that X-Men comics will be a major contender again, they will be groundbreaking, and they will be uncanny stories of wild imagination. It is finally “X-Citing” to be a fan again.
5. The Five can save and resurrect Mutants (House of X #5)
This moment is wild but also takes away, in my opinion, from the high stakes. We saw the sacrifice the X-Men made to stop Mother Mold from going online — major X-Men characters put it all on the line. Characters like Cyclops, Marvel Girl, and Wolverine were killed and we JUST got them back. Issue #4 of House was insane, but now it was all undone since there were The Five, five mutants who could put their powers together and resurrect a mutant body so they could rejoin the living. These five mutants consist of Goldballs (I know, right?), Eva Bell (Tempus), Elixir, Proteus, and Hope Summers. They can recreate/resurrect the body and Xavier can then “download” the mind so nothing was missed at all. I honestly feel like it does take the high stakes away since “no one dies,” but despite that element being taken away there are so many other story points that can happen. Plus, the ultimate question: are they the same after resurrection? Kudos to making Goldballs an important character, too.
4. Doug Ramsey is not worthless…he speaks with Krakoa (Powers of X #4)
Speaking of taking characters that seem “worthless” and making them more, let us look at Doug Ramsey, aka Cypher. Hickman has created an interesting idea for the mutant race: their own language. Doug has communicated with Krakoa and together they have created a language that is given to the mutants, something that the fans were trying to crack at the beginning of the two miniseries. This is fun stuff that feels like the golden age days with decoder rings. I do find it interesting though, as Xavier was always about the humans and mutants coming together, but in House and Powers he seems to be building their own utopia and it really is distancing from humanity. Plus, as the second image above shows, how will his techno-organic virus interact with Krakoa?
3. All Mutants are welcome in the nation of Krakoa (House of X #5)
How crazy a moment was it to see Xavier and Apocalypse shaking hands as we see a bunch of “Evil Mutants” cross over into Krokoa? It makes sense, though, if they are trying to save all of the mutants. I hope this creates lots of drama with characters since the X-Men characters have rich history that can create some great drama as some of these characters have done each other very dirty over the years. This is very different as now ALL mutants are together in one location, which has been deadly before, and also how united the mutants have become. This isn’t them gathering for a protest, this is the new normal. So, it is not just the X-Men who have their backs to the wall, it will now be all of the mutants since they are a nation.
2. Moira is a mutant…with ten lives! (House of X #2)
The fact that Moira is alive in this series was a major shock on its own, then we get the revelation she is a mutant too! It doesn’t stop there, she has multiple lives along with the ability to remember everything that has happened in all her lives. This is a wild plot point and I love that in the Powers miniseries it was explored how she would work with just Magneto or Apocalypse to make a better world and it didn’t work out. It makes sense then that she has gathered Xavier and Magneto to form a leadership along with bringing the mutants together. I can’t wait to see how things play out — if we saw there was more to Moira then maybe, just maybe, there is something else as well.
1. The Mutant Council and Mutant Laws (House of X #6)
If you have your own land, nation, and language, then maybe it makes sense to start thinking more about the society that is created. Enter: the Council. First, let us start with the lineup: Xavier, Magneto, Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, Exodus, Mystique, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Storm, Marvel Girl, and Nightcrawler, along with an empty seat. There are a lot of mutants on that list that I don’t trust, but it was nice to see their first meeting and how they came together to form law, as it really does serve a great balance to the mutant struggle. Magneto works as a great character because he is a tragic villain and we can understand his struggle. By having a council that consists of both “good” and “evil” Mutants, we get conflict but also another point of view. I really enjoyed the laws and I wonder how much impact it will mean by who suggested/created the law. We have Marvel Girl telling us how killing someone who can’t come back is a crime — coming from her, it may sounds funny as she has returned many times, but she shows respect for those who cannot. I don’t know much about Exodus, but I like that he wanted to protect Krakoa. Nightcrawler of course had the best moment with his reversal of the infamous statement, “No More Mutants” — he now proclaims “Make More Mutants!”