Previously on Reviews of X: The X-Men talked about logistics and governance, Professor X got rejected by an undersea a-hole, and future people received validation by being eaten alive. Now, in House of X #6, the mutants pull a Project X and have the biggest house party in Marvel history. SPOILERS AHEAD!
House of X #6: I Am Not Ashamed
Story: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Pepe Larraz
Colors: Marte Gracia and David Curiel
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
A Very Productive Meeting
Hickman and friends didn’t make us wait too long to reveal the members of the Quiet Council of Krakoa: Professor X, Magneto, Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, Exodus, Mystique, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Storm, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and a mystery “Red King”. The council is supported by Krakoa, Cypher, and the Great Captains of Krakoa: Cyclops, Gorgon (the mutant who can turn people into stone like Medusa from Greek mythology, not the hoofed Inhuman who is a cousin of Medusa the Inhuman queen), Bishop, and Magik.
It’s interesting to note that Shaw, Frost, and the still unnamed Red King have Hellfire Club titles. Also, this is clearly not an X-Men council. Most of the twelve members are traditional X-Men villains. This is a mutant council acting as leaders of a brand new mutant nation.
It’s good to see Kurt getting a seat at the leadership table, establishing him as a prime time player — because he is.
First on the agenda for the first meeting of the council is to lay down the law. After a riveting series of nine-panel pages, we get the first laws of the mutant nation:
- Make more mutants. (have more sex)
- Murder no man. (leave the lessers alone)
- Respect this sacred land. (don’t shit in your own backyard)
I would just like to point out that making more mutants, i.e. increasing the frequency of homo superior sexual activities, is Nightcrawler’s proposal in response to his mother, Mystique, prodding him to share ideas. That’s not weird at all.
After establishing their first three laws, the council turned their attention to Sabretooth to pass judgment. They don’t want to throw him back out into the human world and they’re not fans of prisons in Krakoa. They also can’t kill him because then they’ll just have to bring him back through their Mutant Resurrection Program. Instead, they just exile him to the bowels of Krakoa, Eww.
Alive but immobile, aware but unable to act on it. For a very long time. That’s Victor Creed’s final fate. For now. Stone cold.
Back in House of X #1, Magneto said that the world has new gods now. And that’s exactly what this feels like. This very short trial of Sabretooth feels like a council of gods passing judgment on one of their own. It feels like the biblical God casting biblical Lucifer out of biblical Heaven, sending him straight to biblical Christian Hell.
I find villains more compelling, not just in comics, but in all of pop culture. My compulsion to be sympathetic to villains can be traced back to the X-Men cartoon and comics of the ’90s.
Magneto in X-Men the Animated Series was a more complex character than any other villain who came before him.
In the X-Men comics of the ’90s, Sabretooth spent a lot of time in the X-Mansion. The X-Men tried to rehabilitate him for some reason. He became instrumental in the formation of Generation X. He became a member of X-Factor. He was one of the greatest X-Men in the Age of Apocalypse timeline.
He’s a stone cold killer but the X-Men still tried to rehabilitate him. An outsider among outsiders. In hindsight, this makes the X-Men kind of naive. However, that crazy time in X-history when Sabretooth was given a chance to be one of the good guys taught me that even the vilest individuals can be given a chance at redemption and love. More importantly, the vile individual must make the effort to make that chance count. It spoke to me as a teen and it still speaks to me now.
Even now when Sabretooth is somewhere in Krakoa’s belly to serve as an example that no one is above mutant law, Professor X still promises him the possibility of redemption… someday. I love the X-Men.
Just Look At What We Have Made
House of X #6 ends the series with an unexpected scene: mutants celebrating because finally, they get a big W.
The council joins the rest of the citizens of Krakoa in the biggest house party ever in Marvel history. We see previously dead characters smiling and partying. We see children playing and having a great time. We see the joyful birth of a mutant nation, illuminated by the light show conducted by Dazzler and Ban-She.
We see what Professor X and Magneto have made and while there are sinister apocalyptic things among them, the future looks bright for mutantdom.
Also, shout out to Jonathan Hickman and his insinuations in this issue and on Twitter that some X-Men are engaging in some sort of sexual orgy. Because of course they are.
This is a satisfying, if somewhat unexpected end to an unpredictable mini-series. Mutants regularly take the L and it’s refreshing to see that they have finally won something big. And it feels a legitimate step forward for the X-Men and adjacent characters too. It almost makes me forget that Professor X is still a creep.
House of X #6 is available now wherever fine comic books are sold.