Previously on X-Men comics: I have no idea. I’m a big X-Men fan but I haven’t really read a lot of the recent X-books. But now I’m excited to go back to the house that Xavier built thanks to House of X #1. SPOILERS AHEAD!
House of X #1: The House That Xavier Built
Story: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Pepe Larraz
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Rebuilding The X-Men
Jonathan Hickman is known for his ultra-detailed world-building, glyphs, and characters doing some form of gardening or cultivating. We definitely get all of that in House of X #1.
He gives us a creepy Xavier who uses Krakoa to set up a network of habitats and portals spanning the globe, Mars, the moon, and who knows where else. Something seems off with this whole Krakoa operation and I can’t wait to find out what’s really going on here.
I love how he introduces a bunch of new concepts and instantly makes the X-Men universe a lot more interesting in just a single issue. I usually don’t like pages of text incorporated into my comics, but Hickman is a master at using large blocks of text to add depth to stories.
Kicking ass on the art side of things is Pepe Larraz who is in Marvel’s Young Guns, a program that puts the spotlight on up-and-coming artists. He’s definitely one I’d like to follow because his work here is gorgeous.
I bought a digital copy of this issue, a Director’s Cut, from Comixology. It includes a cover gallery, inked and color pages, and Jonathan Hickman’s script. I love that I get to take a small peek at how Hickman’s words were translated into Larraz’s art.
To Me, My X-Men
The X-Men have not felt important to me in a while. The last time I really cared about them was pre-Schism when they living in Utopia. It stopped feeling like they were the X-Men I fell in love with back in the ’90s.
Having the X-Men fragmented into teams that don’t really want anything to do with each other was a real downer. They felt directionless in the past few years. As Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, once said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
That house looks like it’s back to being united, though. House of X #1 gives us a changed world were mutants, including the bad apples, seemingly operate under one banner. One vision. One dream. Xavier’s dream.
The X-Men feel important again. I can care about them again. They’re my X-Men again.
You Have New Gods Now
My favorite part of this issue is Cyclops using diplomacy to take Sabretooth away from the Fantastic Four who have taken him prisoner. It doesn’t work, and for a moment there, I thought we were going to get a 4-on-1 handicap match between the FF and Scott frickin’ Summers.
That would have been sweet, but I still love the uneasy tension between the heroes. Plus, that last bit where Cyclops brings up Franklin Richards is… fantastic.
That tension between mutants and the rest of the world is reinforced by Magneto’s meeting with human ambassadors. He makes it clear that mutants are willing to peacefully co-exist with humans, but if humans would like to start something, mutantkind is ready to shut them down.
Cyclops and Magneto as Xavier’s ambassadors/generals. I’m so here for it.
X-Men fans, me included, have been waiting years for the X-Men to get the spotlight back from the Avengers and other characters appearing in the MCU.
We’ve been promised a new golden age for Marvel’s Merry Mutants and House of X #1 has been heralded to kickstart it. We’re off to a great start.
House of X #1 is available now wherever fine comic books are sold.