The mutant event of the decade is finally upon us, and the only thing that could make me happier is if Jonathan Hickman’s style were really my thing. Unfortunately, it is not. But just because it’s not my thing, doesn’t mean I can’t recognize some of the cool shit he’s doing.
House of X #1, which serves as the starting point of this grand X-Men shake-up and relaunch, released last week. Amidst moving into my new house (I’m finally a homeowner, yay!), I was able to find time to read this key issue. Boy, is it something. This has turned the world and the status quo of the X-Men completely on their heads. Not since Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run have we seen a game-changer like this.
So, let’s just get this out of the way; Hickman isn’t my thing because his style is a bit too high-concept sci-fi for me and I’m never actually entertained by his work, despite that it makes me think. But here is where I’ll say…I don’t care about that. I don’t care that Hickman isn’t my thing. I am just excited to see the X-Men being given such A-list talent and some TLC again. This is effort on Marvel’s part. All of comicdom is excited for an X-book, for the first time in a long time, and I intend to read every issue.
I knew, stylistically anyway, what to expect from this book, having read some previous Hickman comics. Hickman did not disappoint here, as this is peak Hickman. Peak Hickman on an X-Men book means we’re given some fun shit like a new mutant language to decipher:
And it also means plenty of head-scratching moments, like:
- A creepy-as-hell, smirking Charles Xavier (or supposedly Charles Xavier) wearing some new kind of equally creepy Cerebro unit. Is this Xavier in Fantomex’s body, or is the previous continuity being ignored?
- Xavier “hatching” mutants, who appear to be Scott and Jean. Ew, what?
- Somehow Krakao is being controlled by Xavier, amazing flowers with supernatural powers and properties have been discovered and harnessed by mutants. Is this the baby Krakoa from the Wolverine and the X-Men comic or, again, is continuity being ignored here?
- We learn of a defense force composed of such entities as S.H.I.E.L.D, Hydra, A.I.M., etc., that developed long ago to combat the mutant threat and has a space base created from the head of what appears to be Master Mold.
- Jean is back to being Marvel Girl.
- Most importantly, with the exception of the weird Marvel Girl and a weird Cyclops, we see hardly an X-Man and their emotions about all of this are kept a mystery. This may be important, since it appears Xavier and the X-Men have given up on their dream of peaceful coexistence.
My thing or not, I can’t wait to see what happens next. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait very long for the next piece of the puzzle, Powers of X #1, which is out this Wednesday, July 31st.