Tomorrow is the release of Powers of X #6 and the 12th and final installment in Jonathan Hickman’s prologue to the Dawn of X. I have had a chance to read some pages as well learn the big twist! Therefore, what follows absolutely contains SPOILERS.
I want to talk about the reveals and do an overall analysis of what we might be able to expect in the Hickman era of mutants.
The Sixth Life of Moira X: We have finally learned what is going on in X^3, and I admit I feel dumb for not noticing. The truth was staring us all in the face. The Librarian and the other blue people that surround this character are NOT mutants. They are humans, and even more so, they’re the actual next state in human evolution-homo navissima.
We find that the Librarian knows ascension is comng soon and he wishes to speak with Moira to see if she could, in a different life, stop the events from occurring. How is Moira still alive this far in the future? Who knows!
The clues were there in POX #1 and the biggest clue came at the big reveal of Moira’s 9th life in POX #3; that was indeed Logan and Moira that we saw in the dome from many issues past. Humans have evolved and have successfully thwarted mutants in the future.
As the Phalanx are an evolution of a technological base, that would explain Moira’s action in her seventh life to try and prevent the evolution of machine on earth. More so, based on the librarian’s comments in this issue, we know that humans have always used machines in order to “buy more time.” This pretty much confirms that the gift of Krakoa to humanity in the shape of those miracle pills is far more than a bargaining chip; they are mutants attempt to try and divert the human race from further seeking the aid and safety of machines.
Moira is killed by Wolverine, and, not for the second time but rather the first. This is the sixth life and it is in this death that Logan says the words, “It’s what I do” after killing the Librarian. This means that Moira’s words in her ninth life to Logan were merely a repetition from this moment. Confused? It’s alternate realities, baby!
Homo Navissima: This is the game changer. We have always believed that mutants were the next stage in human evolution. Hickman has taken that assumption and gotten rid of it. Homo Superior is not humans evolved, but rather a completely different branch of humanity much like the neanderthals before us. Therefore, much like back then, it is not for mutants and humans to share the planet but that they are really in a natural battle for superiority on it.
As an X-Men fan this is a tough pill to swallow. As a kid I dreamed of the world that Xavier dreamed of; one where despite our differences people of different backgrounds could coexist.
With the creation of the nine previous lives of Moira, the multiple failed attempts at mutant survival, and the confirmation of the true evolution of humankind, it leaves readers believing (at least this one) that peace is not possible. One will ultimately have to destroy the other and nature/time/fate seems to decree that it is the destiny of homo sapiens to evolve and rule…DEPRESSING.
The Hubris of Two: In this tenth, and possibly final, life of Moira we have her bring out all the big guns. She has tried to tackle this issue solo with the three biggest mutant leaders- Apocalypse, Xavier, and Magneto. This time she has decided to unite all three minds to try and have them work together to ensure mutants thrive.
What is revealed in this issue is yet another example of something staring us right in the face throughout Hickman’s book that seemed to go overlooked (much like that obvious image of Logan in POX #1).
Xavier and Magneto once again have allowed their arrogance to play a part in the their mission. We learn that Moira has directly told the pair that Sinister should NOT have been recruited. This is an obvious conclusion considering what happened with him in her ninth life; the sassy f*** is not to be trusted!
However, for the sake of ensuring that mutants never die, Sinister was needed for cellular collection and managing the DNA banks of all mutants on Earth. Without this, Wolverine, Scott, Jean, and the others wouldn’t have been able to come back to life after their mission in space.
It is also revealed that Moira PRETTY MUCH married an abusive man JUST because she believed their offspring would provide the missing reality warping component for mutant regeneration. Yes, she planned the madness that is Proteus– talk about committed to the cause.
We also see that Mystique insisted upon a condition of her joining of the silent council in the form of an invitation for Destiny to Krakoa. We know that relationship with Moira and Destiny, ya’ll!
She very clearly reminds them that a big condition was that NO precogs could be there. Xavier and Magneto seem to brush her off and act very arrogant regarding what they have helped create.
They know the events of Moira’s nine lives yet they seem to think they know everything they need to ensure mutants win this time around…Oh boy.
Apocalypse: Remember in Hox #6 when he was staring at Magneto and Xavier from afar…There was something very ominous about this and it has much more context with this final issue. If mutants are indeed not the next stage in human evolution and if indeed in nine different lives mutants have always lost, wouldn’t this alter the view of Apocalypse? Yes, he is a mutant, but he also believes in survival of the fittest? If mutants are not the earths inheritors does that mean he will turn on them?
The Universe Builder?: A large question that remains is if time really resets itself every time Moira dies. I don’t think it does. Reason being Moira’s third life where she is faced by Destiny. Would Destiny truly have had her killed if she could see that in doing so there would be no future for herself and others?
No, I believe that those alternate universes continue. Somewhat like Franklin Richards, Moira just doesn’t reincarnate, but she creates alternate universes with each incarnation. Could this mean in the comics to come they find ways to connect with characters from alternate timelines? I would assume not, but who knows!
Everything has Changed, or has It?: Yes, the idea that mutants are not the next stage in human evolution is a big one. Yet, Magneto and Xavier still very much believe in the dream. They still believe that mutants are the future and have a chance at survival. What the finale of POX seems to do is give us enough anxiety about that future. They have the drugs, the island, the knowledge of Sinister’s betrayal, the joined forces of themselves and Apocalypse, the destruction of Nimrod (which we still don’t technically know if that’s permanent), and the cure to end mutant death. Though these are all things that suggest a great future there is still as much uncertainty as before Hickman took the reigns.
It appears Hickman has found a way to redefine the X-Men franchise while also leaving enough gaps and holes to erase it should it be necessary?
For example, we don’t know if it’s Moira’s involvement that’s messing with mutant progress. It might very well be her fault! Just because that’s her power, doesn’t mean she is destined to secure the future for mutants.
Is it Still X-Men?: Now, overall, whether this stays within the Hickman era or not, it does raise the question regarding how much it shifts the soul of the property. In the past it used to be about the dream of coexistence, no?
This new turn has ultimately eliminated the vision for that future and has confirmed this is forever war. One side must survive over the over. That seems to be the grand design.
It also eliminates, at least for the time being, that humanity can change! Humans apparently will never learn from their mistakes or evolve from their prejudice. It will always be this way until one wipes out the other. It is an interesting angle to take with the property, but it can also be depressing considering the times we’re living in.
I always believed X-Men was the beacon of hope for a better tomorrow and it seems Hickman has leaned into the classic line-“It’s us or them.”
Regardless, Powers and House were phenomenal and I’m excited to read all the new titles that will be releasing in the coming weeks.