It’s been nearly six years since I last picked up a new X-Men comic with any real consistency. The last series I read with any regularity featuring the merry mutants was Jason Aaron‘s Wolverine and the X-Men. Which apparently ended around six years ago. It’s fair to say that I’m a little out of touch with that side of the Marvel Universe (though I have been following both Old Man Logan and Dead Man Logan, but those series didn’t really involve the X-Men as much as a team book would). More than a little, honestly. A lot has happened in the six years I’ve been away, and since I barely pay attention to solicitations I have missed most of it.
But with Johnathan Hickman steering the X-Men in a new direction with both House and Powers Of X, I thought this might be a good time to start reading X-Men comics again.
But how easy is it to jump back in relatively blind after more than half a decade away? Join me, and I’ll tell you.
Expect spoilers as I try to make sense of the comic.
At this point in the story, as we tip the bridge and start the journey to the end, it’s pretty easy to follow along with the story in general. There are still moments that have me wondering what I’ve missed in the last six or so years, but they’re fewer and farther between at this point which means that as the series has progressed it has been less alienating to new readers.
Which makes sense, honestly.
If you weren’t able to follow a story at this point then you’d have to wonder just what in the hell you’d been reading for the past eight comics/
The only real struggle I had with the issue was the nature of Mr. Sinister’s appearance. Issue is a strong word, because I had always seen the character as a darkly sinister scientist, not what we saw here. Still, I’ve long accepted that there are things I don’t know because it has been a long time since I’ve read about certain characters, and this wasn’t enough to throw me away from the story.
Otherwise, the comic is a easy enough to follow, acting as a place for readers to learn more about how the Krakoan home for mutants came to be, and the depths of Xavier’s plan over the years. It’s a needed exposition issue (especially for the person wondering whether this was talked about before the event began), and certainly a welcome change of pace after the death heavy House Of X #4 last week.
The artistic team of R.B. Silva (pencils), Adriano Di Benedetto (inks) and Marte Gracia (colours) remain strong, giving the comic a bold yet classic look across each page, breathing a vivid life to Hickman’s story.
“You see I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love you religion. And I wanted you – I needed you – to understand… you have new gods now.”Magneto, House Of X, #1 p.47.
I keep leaving this image and quote in the column because, for me, it’s emblematic of the series as a whole. It’s Hickman, through Magneto, setting the stage for the future of the X-Men.
Powers Of X #4 was a great change of page for the story, and consequently builds the anticipation for House #5 after last week’s comic. We all know that somehow things will be resolved to a new status quo (after all the solicitations that I have seen are pretty clear about that), but how has yet to be revealed.
I can’t wait to see what’s going to come our way next week.
Will I understand next week’s installment in the saga, House Of X #5? Do I regret skipping six years of X-Books? Am I ever going to find out how Xavier is walking again*?
We might find out next week. We might not.
Marvel provided a FREE copy for review purposes, but I read the comic in print from my LCS.
*The answer is yes, but it made no sense when two of my friends told me individually last week, but it basically boils down to “comics being comics” which I’ve kind of accepted with an air of nonchalance.