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Jonathan Hickman’s ‘House of X’ #1 Review

After months of hype, announcements of so many variant covers I lost count, and a strong presentation at last weekend’s San Diego Comic-con I have been losing my MIND waiting to read issue #1 for House of X.

Well, our wait is over and I have just finished the issue; my fellow mutants- this thing REALLY lived up to the hype.

Not Just a Story, but a New Game: I, along with some many X-fans, have felt that the books have been lacking soul, purpose, and new life. House of X #1, wasting no time, delivers not just on all those things but a vision as well.

Krakoa, the living mutant island, has now become the official state for mutant-kind. Using a flower from the island, Xavier has been able to synthesize a drug that cures mental illness in humans, serves as a super antibiotic, and extends a person’s life by five years. At first this sounds simple enough, but, in reality, it’s a resource that would F***** change the course of mankind. No more mental illness!? ONE drug that would cure most/all physical disease? The single drug would eradicate pharmaceutical companies across the globe and would likely not be able to be replicated as the flower is unique to the island of Krakoa.

In the past where so many X-stories have depended on outright war, political stalemates, and tension within peace this one has presented an element that feels it should have been explored a long time ago; leverage.

Mutants having access to something like this gives them REAL chips in the mutant vs. humans game.

On the mutant side of things, just the same, the developments seem so simple yet also so brilliant that you wonder why this wasn’t explored before; Krakoa can create portals that ONLY other mutants can pass through (unless a mutant asks Krakoa for human permission) to its habitats and/or the main island. There is no limit in range to where these portals can access thus making Krakoa not a limited island but a universe/ an idea.

It’s poetic that the mutant island should be the nation of mutants. It’s security protects its inhabitants from human attack as it’s Krakoa ITSELF that must grant permission to those who enter. Sure, there’s room for Benedict Arnold Bulls*** but it’s a strong foundation to start.

I don’t know where the story will go from here, but it’s Krakoa set-up and emphasizing not just mutant independence but that independence also means CULTURE is just- chef’s kiss. Speaking of- I need to get my name in Krakoan put up somewhere in my office…

Magneto with the BDE Though!: This man… Be still my heart. I’m personally done with the character in film, but in comics I just can’t get enough. The one-liners he delivers and how he is able to subtly empower the disenfranchised is what makes him so SPECIAL. I love that Hickman GETS it.

“You see,  I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love your religion. And I wanted you– I needed you– to understand… You have new gods now.”

That is BIG. D***. ENERGY!

At first I thought this meeting was serving as an explanation to humans of what is going on. No. Magneto brought them there to pick at their brains and give them his promise as ONLY Magneto can do.

He is right! This is objectively the case; Mutants are the future of the planet and there is no stopping that. He is giving these people, really, a mercy. Mutants aren’t going to take the world as Magneto has wanted to do for decades; They are going to leave it to humans for what time nature has allotted them to continue to exist. Mutants don’t need to do anything else because the fact of their destiny is the greatest constant.

This issue felt so introductory but in the most perfect way. I’m alas excited for a new age of the X-Men. Is Krakoa too good to be true? I suppose we’ll see…

What Were Those Three Stealing?: Mystique, Sabertooth, and Toad were trying to steal some very classified information and succeeded! What was it that they were trying to take? Perhaps we’ll know more in the issues to come.

No-place…: Don’t think we didn’t spot that, Hickman! There’s an Achilles Heel to Krakoa… No-place is a Krakoan tumor that exists outside of the collective consciousness. Well, F***. That sounds like just the place to set up camp for someone who is up to no F****** good. I’m rooting for this place to work! I’m rooting for a new age of the mutants where they are not fighting to belong to the human world.

I have said for SO LONG that I have wished for a character that lived within the sweet middle of Xavier and Magneto; a character that understands that if mutants want what is best for them they need to seek their well-being away from the world of man (Magneto) but at the same time understand that does not mean it has to be the destruction of the other (Xavier). I was looking for our Gandhi mutant! Passive protest by having mutants do their thing with or without the involvement or approval of humans. It seems Krakoa has granted the ability for that wish to be real.

I Didn’t Forget- What was Xavier DOING?: The issue was so good it made me completely forget about what the hell Xavier was doing in the first two pages. It looks like replicas(?) of the original five X-Men emerged from pods from a tree on Krakoa?

Going to the map page further in the issue I assume this is either the Cradle or the Grove. Either way, my concern is, Xavier please don’t be up to shady S***. You’ve done that in the past. Just, please, grow. Be genuine with your intentions. It’s not F***** hard.

Favorite Panel(s): Lastly, I have to give my favorite panel (aside from EVERY burn out of Magneto’s mouth) to the wordless panel of Xavier standing over Logan while he laughs and plays with two mutant children in front of a setting Magenta sun. I choked up for this image because it wasn’t just BEAUTIFULLY illustrated but that it was a perfect note in this first issue; hope.

For our reality,  for many, it’s a scary world where there are so many people just looking to make a better life for themselves and their families. Yes, I’m speaking specifically about the border crisis here in the United States and what we’re doing to immigrant families.

This panel went so well with the environment Hickman is trying to create. Not just a world where mutants are finally taking a place for themselves, but to have it be grumpy Logan there on the grass with those kids, knowing the hell he’s seen in his long life, well, that’s just beautiful.

 

Next week we have the first issue of Powers of X and two weeks from today the second issue for House of X. As Patrick Stewart said at the end of X2, “We’re here to stay.”

 

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