House of X, Powers of X, and following X-Men comics (2019-current) [Marvel]

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#1


So, the big X-Men event has arrived. "House of X" and "Powers of X (Ten)" are alternating every week, and they're completely changing the landscape for the X-Men from now for the foreseeable future (which I am grateful for because of how completely frustrating the last Uncanny X-Men run was). Marvel's released a few videos with teases about it:






Suffice to say – it lives up to all of the ridiculous amounts of hype, and I am 100% on board for it.

I felt that it genuinely deserved its own thread, since it's a good place for people to jump in to all of the madness if you ever wanted to dive in to ongoing X-Men comics.



X:neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#3
The fact that Cyclops' interactions in this episode got to demonstrate the entire range of the "nice and friendly" "leader of opposed forces" "planting verbal leverage" which is everything of his best characterizations from classic team leader through mutant revolutionary, so it gives me a lot of confidence that they're gonna do right by him – especially given that this feels very similar to the position that they placed things in with the Phoenix 5 in AvX, where he was attempting to realize Charles' dream to the best of his own abilities, but a much larger number of the other Mutants are seemingly all unified in those efforts vastly moreso in the execution. Rather than just giving humanity free energy and food, that they're positioning the medical improvements and other things and using them as a bargaining chip this time around.

I'm really loving how it's got echoes of things that came before, but there's something new and unsettling about it. Getting to read the script for this issue, even with some sections still redacted was super interesting.



X :neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#6
Are you placing any bets on Xavier looking like the Maker being coincidental, or a part of the thing that's happening? There're lots of notes that make it pretty clear that this is the design for Professor X, and the differentiations between when he's amongst humans and amongst mutants, but the thing that stands out most significantly is that all of the mutant-related technology now is organic, which stands in a stark contrast to the new Cerebero and even all of Xavier's design.

I know that he's been fucking about with things recently, and was heavily involved in things involving Knull, and likely what's leading to Absolute Carnage, so it wouldn't surprise me if he had a hand in this as well.

I did quite enjoy that io9 article, and I'm liking that this is a comic that's very much capturing peoples' attention even if no one's quite sure what to make of it yet (I know that House of X #2 & #5 are supposed to be a pretty big deal, and I'd assume Powers of X #6 since that one's also listed in red in the upcoming list).




X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#7
I do think the design invoking thoughts about The Maker is probably deliberate, but I doubt that he will have any involvement here. Hickman has a grand design all his own for the X-Men, while "Absolute Carnage" is the culmination of what Donny Cates has been working on for a while.

And really, thematically speaking, The Maker doesn't belong in this.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#8
Thanks for the specific insight there as always! This has a good summary of what "House of X" and "Powers of X" are about as individual and combined arcs, and also briefly covers the 6 titles that will be coming with "Dawn of X" as soon as this 12-part story wraps up.


From just the tiny little teases in there, I think that we'll start to get a much better picture of what's all going on here, but the different timescales happening in "Powers of X" are going to be quite interesting. Couple more days until I get to dive in on that one!




X :neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#9
"Powers of X" makes perfect sense as "powers of ten" and I am thoroughly intrigued about how INSANELY VAST the larger timeline is, and how it builds out the structure of things yet to come insofar as large conflicts.

While there's Asteroid K, I'm wondering if any other well-known mutants' progeny are on the Benevolence or Chandilar in that timeline. I do really like how it's setting up some deeply planned betrayals and orchestrations by Mr. Sinister. He's one of the mutants that I think makes for an exceptionally good long-term threat, especially on how you're now instantly nervous about who to trust in all of this with all of the leadership infiltration teases.



X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#10
This shit is weird. I haven't decided yet whether I dig it, but I know I don't actively dislike it -- which is more than I've been able to say about the writing on X-Men in a good while.

I can also say that if I don't end up liking it, that's probably not going to come down to the strength of the writing. This is intriguing enough. Also something I've not been able to say about the writing on X-Men for too long.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#11
I think that just feeling like meaningful and interesting things are happening in the writing of an X-Men comic. Like, feeling just genuinely intrigued by what's going on is really neat rather than having a looming sense of, "oh fucking gods, what's happening now?" is a big relief that I'm not sure I've really felt about the comics since... maybe pre-IvX since that's when it seemed that the X-Men shifted solidly into the "we're not sure what we're doing with them, and definitely not in any way related to the Fox licensing thing" territory.

I think that I'm just excited because it feels like they're no longer afraid to let the X-Men matter again, and really just go all-in on something for them rather than what feels to just paying lip-service or trying to play some sort of games with expectations while pushing other agendas. I think that's why all of the weird creepy mysterious stuff, it all still feels like it's just going to end up in giving us better X-Men comics again no matter what.




X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#12
Interesting comments/observations I've seen from some forum users at CBR:

- ExodusCloak pointed out that one of the opening pages to "House of X" #1 prominently features a quote from Xavier with the "data talk" at the bottom saying "Xavier_alpha"; the end of "House of X" #1 has a similar page with a quote from Magneto and data talk at the bottom saying "Magneto_omega"; one of the opening pages for "Powers of X" #1 has a quote from Moira with data talk at the bottom saying "M_X_theta"

- As we already knew, and as a data page in "House of X" #1 reiterates, Magneto is an Omega-level mutant; perhaps then Xavier is to be considered an Alpha-level mutant and Moira a Theta-level mutant -- whatever that might mean

- cranger observed that an archaic design for Theta is an "X" within a circle (like the X-Men's symbol), and Theta was the Greek letter used to represent death
----

Follow-up observations I would add to all of that:

- Xavier's helmet looks like an "X" within a circle

- Theta's opposite was Tau, an "X" sans the circle; Xavier has just been calling himself "X" lately

- Theta was derived from the Phoenician letter "Teth" (the "X" within the circle), which apparently means "wheel"; in Hickman's "New Avengers," the Black Swan spoke of a "Great Wheel" that "breaks hope ... crushes what makes us decent and steals what little honor remains"; she had also formerly been a worshipper of "Rabum Alal" ("Great Destroyer" in Akkadian), or "Uggae" as she also called him (the ancient Mesopotamian god of death)

- Just before Moira speaks to Xavier in "Powers of X" #1, he's watching birds flying in a circle (a wheel?) above him
----

Does all this point to death? Life? Rebirth?

FUBAR007 also made some interesting comments:

"Marvel will probably deny it, most of the posters here will definitely deny it, but I think this is for all intents and purposes a reboot. Albeit a soft, stealth one. A few continuity references aside (e.g. the Genoshan genocide in HoX #1), this is not a continuation of the X-Men saga as we've known it (and there's no fucking way all of X-history as portrayed credibly compresses into a single decade). Rather, this is a total reinvention of the franchise as high-concept sci-fi, a novel set in the Marvel Universe. One poster mentioned parallels to Asimov's Foundation series; similarly, I see elements of Dune and some of Heinlein's stories."
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#13
Man oh man, it's like they know how much of a sucker I am for WELL DOCUMENTED DIVERGENT TIMELINESSSSSSSS, because I am just hopelessly hooked on this now, and I am 100% here all for whatever sort of madness is being wrought with it all, because you can FEEL the careful planning and execution even when it's not being documented directly at you in all its spectacular glory.



X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#14
Hickman is a madman. In probably (hopefully) the best possible way.

I have to reiterate what I said after HoX #1 as well: if I end up not liking this in the end, that won't come down to the strength of the writing.

Truth be told, I'm still unsure what I feel about it right now. I like a lot that's going on while I'm not fond of some other things, but I'm intrigued all the same.

That's when you know you're dealing with a good writer. :monster:

Some observations I have to share upon doing a second read that I can't help but think will be relevant later:

- In her first life, Moira apparently almost died from an illness when she was 13. The narration notes that "the doctor's prognosis was not hopeful," yet the next day, "almost miraculously ... she was fine. Better than ever."

It's later explained to us that if Moira dies before her powers emerge, she doesn't reincarnate. So, did she come close to dying before her powers would have developed in that life? Did an illness kickstart her powers? Was the "unnaturally high" fever a side-effect of her powers emerging? Did she unknowingly die and "spend" a reincarnation there?
----

- Moira began her second life with no knowledge or understanding of what she might be or how she could be living her life over -- despite living to the age of 76. Did mutants not become public knowledge until her second life? Did they never emerge at all in the timeline belonging to her first life?

Could Moira have somehow unknowingly and indirectly caused mutantkind's emergence or public reveal in her second life by way of the observer effect, whereby she notes "that simply by existing and watching, I was already changing everything"?
----

- Details of Moira's sixth life are conspicuously absent from both the narrative and the graph at the end of the issue
----

- Proteus's birth is only mentioned along the timeline of Moira's tenth life. Did she deliberately set out to give birth to an Omega-level mutant? One who is a reality warper? Did that plan go awry? Or possibly worse, did it go as intended?
----

- The shape of the skull of the blue mutant seen in the future at the end of "Powers of X" #1 is much like the implied/false shape Destiny's helmet gives her skull
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#15
• One: There's a blacked-out area on Krakoa likely related to the tumorous invisible area that they referred to in House of X #1.
• Two: Xavier with the O5 X-Men was supposed to mimic the Monolith and the Apes scene from 2001 according to the director's notes.
• Three: Powers of X #1 actually had a more complete version of the redacted quote that I think that Xavier delivered:
– _"There was a dream, our dreams are the same. While you slept, the world changed."_

Now some time for some bigger tl;dr –


Moira's Sixth Life also has some interesting design stuff going on with it that seems to tie in to House of X #1, and also connects to the larger timeline:

– The first time we see the non-solid timeline continuation marks (>>>>) is actually in this issue:

Two years ago >>>> Observation begins
• One year ago: Population alert
• Six months ago: Financial alert
• Two months ago: Territorial alert
Observation ends >>>> ORCHIS PROTOCOLS ENABLED

On the "Orchis Protocols Enabled" we have this orange to dark red colour shift from light to dark (left to right), and on the Damage Control page, all of the items are listed in black, but one of the security items has this same colour scheme shifting from dark to light (left to right) as
"Sol's Hammer > >"

What's interesting about this is that the timeline in House of X #2 uses that colour range for the timeline moving from earlier to later with light to dark, and I got bored (insomnia) and grabbed the hex values of the 9 listed timelines, as well as the aforementioned range.
  1. #FFC28C
  2. #F7AA42
  3. #F77531
  4. #E65131
  5. #DE929

  6. #991A19
  7. #7B1010
  8. #52180A
  9. #000408

Now, if you look at the colour range of the Orchis Protocols & Sol's Hammer, they're #F77037 – #841417

Not only is that the colour range that matches the range of the missing "Moira Six" timeline, but it's also ever-so-slightly wider than the range of JUST that timeline, and it covers Timelines 4, 5, & 7 as well.

Timeline 4: Moira Dies in a Sentinel Attack
Timeline 5: Moira fall into a coma from a Sentinel Attack.
MISSING
Timeline 7: Moira kills off the entire Trask family and discovers Master Mold

Master Mold and the Sentinels are all on Sol's Hammer and are a key component of the Orchis Protocol.

Whatever we're looking at in the story in Powers of X with the Tri-Sentinel, Nimrod, as well as the three Tarot Cards listed is more than likely related directly to Timeline 6.


That brings me to the quote from Apocalypse, Destiny, and one of the small notes in the pages.

Moira's first lifetime she lives a "human" life, and the page notes for her earliest divergences list them as [Moira_L_TwoA] & [Moira_L_TwoB], whereas every other annotation of her is listed as [Moira_X_01] or something similar.

The quote from Destiny makes her appear to be a different Mutant until she gets into the warning and there's a VERY subtle slip of her language (which doesn't happen accidentally in a comic like this. Emphasis mine).

"I am much older than you are. My powers will have manifested full of the knowledge of what we have done."
"If you--once again--try to do this evil work against out people, like today, I will see the potential outcome of it and find you. AGAIN."
"And if you try to kill me before I kill you... I will see my end coming and prevent it."

And the quote from Apocalypse:
"If you can find it in you to survive -- if you are worthy -- then I will make you into something more than them. Something eternal."

Given that the Apocalypse War is literally without end and lists no death for her... Moira can't have transitioned into Timeline Ten. I'm suspecting that she becomes Destiny in order to do SOMETHING in Timeline 6 that ensures that the Orchis Protocols come about the way that they do, and that she (paradoxically) guides her own future by "breaking all the rules" which is what the series has openly stated that it's all about.

Additionally, in "Powers of X" we see two individuals appearing in the preserve in the X³ timeline.
• The Magician (See the magician, the metal metamorph, the great sword and the girl with one foot in two worlds)
• The Tower (See the tower, the axis, the pillar of collapse and rebirth, the monolith of ascension...)
• The Devil (See the devil, the red god and the lost cardinal of the last religion)

Cylobel is in the tower, and I'm suspecting that the two beings who suddenly appear in the preserve below it are Rasputin and Cardinal, and Rasputin having "one foot in two worlds" is how she's going to connect to Moira and the manipulations that're happening here to overcome the obstacle with the Cylobel's capture, and Cardinal religion of peace is ultimately the solution to that, since the Tarot draw itself is indicative of this as well: and now we know about Moira's timeline-related knowledge to be able to achieve it – and we know she'll have ELEVEN lives if she plays her cards right.


Whatever's happening, I'm so very into it, and I'm genuinely re-reading the issues every time a new one comes out, and I love that they make more sense with each chapter, and there's no way that this would work without the two different comics, alternating weekly format, and I'm so glad that they're letting it happen like this.



X :neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#16
So the format of the comic now makes it seem like it's being presented as the parsed information that they recovered since the bracketed versioning information looks like the data interface that they're seeing.

Additionally, the mutant language character set is also clearly related to the types of machine civilizations (Machine, Hive, Intelligence, Technarch, Worldmind, Phalanx) in a way that's likely meant to integrate the Mutants as THE natural part of the Ascension process – potentially in a way that's directly transcendent of the technological vector, and is meant to transform it into a biological one (to match the aesthetic that they've been VERY centrally focused on for the Mutants), but also in a way that differentiates the ultimate purpose of the Homo Superior vs. Homo Sapiens conflict at its very core.

Lastly – seeing Xavier and Magneto turning to Cyclops for the insurmountably impossible task of going up against Orchis and Master Mold and him tackling it like the true "No. Not Plan B. Plan 2." leader of the X-Men was just the god damn best: "...Does it need doing? Then it will be done." I cannot wait to see what's happening next.




X :neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#17
The new Powers of X ended just as I expected – and that's not at all a bad thing. It's also interesting to see the lineage lines to the Horsemen and who the Chimera are composed of. Really interested to see how the events in the X³ timeline get addressed, since that's where the Tower was shown, and where ascension is being addressed. I do wonder if Xorn & Rasputin are who we saw appearing in that timeline as a result of the singularity unmasking.

With the way that Nimrod's emergence is being focused on, and I'm wondering if along with Master Mold in the Orchis facility, that this means that we're looking at the emergence of Bastion in some form since in Timeline 9 the machines very much won out over humanity if we'll see something more integrated happening earlier on (I can't imagine that all of the techno-organic virus church stuff is gonna be left behind even if that timeline has passed). Bastion seems like a pretty good foil to the Krakoa/Cypher mutant Symbiote serving as Thanos' Famine Horseman and the overall "natural vs artificial" thing that they've set up for the "mutants vs. humans" visual storytelling so far.



X :neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#18

This has been a lot of fun to play around with (everything is in lowercase, and Shift+C/S/T are Ch, Sh, & Th respectively).

So, I figure that we may or may not be discovering the tumorous piece of Krakoa is related to Sinister, and that's a key component to how Xavier is ensuring that his X-Men never die. I doubt that Cyke and his strike team are dead, but I do think that everything that kicked off with Mother Mold is likely going to come to a head for what ends up wrapping the Powers/House saga, and heads into the bigger Dawn of X release of all the X-comics.

But yeah – really, REALLY still loving the ever-living hell out of all this.




X :neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#19
So, I'm still in shock from the latest issue, and I know that House of X #5 is really, REALLY gonna take things for a turn (which I've known because of the red highlight and them mentioning that it's one of the insane issues to look forward to), but good lord I am unbelievably excited for it and have no idea what to expect other than it's VERY clear that it's hit a turning point of some kind.



X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#20
I remain unsure of what to make of this series from one issue to the next. I'm enjoying it for the most part, but really found myself having to make some allowance for "Hickman must have a twist coming" to explain away this frankly embarrassing depiction of Jean Grey.

She isn't nearly one of my favorites, and in the never-ending "Emma or Jean" war, it's always going to be Emma for me -- but I still give the redhead her due, and this wasn't it. No way is that the Jean we know.

There's a big twist coming up. We're not seeing what we think we are.

Anyway, I remain intrigued by the tale Hickman is weaving, and I can't really offer a better review than that given my feelings on the direction of most of the X-books of the past almost-decade.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#21
Well unsurprisingly good ol' Nathaniel Essex's library is the answer to the mutant preservation, but we've known some version of that since the first details of the X² timeline – though with the introduction to Krakoa, I'm wondering if the secret tumor section of the island is actually related to Forge given the way that it was spoken about in the diagram.

I think this means that House of X #5 next week is gonna reveal a little bit more about the the depths and limits that they're going to for their ultimate plans with Ascension. I also expect everything with Rasputin and the Sword shown during Apocalypse and his Horsemen's struggle to be something that we get coming back 'round for Powers of X #5 or #6

I wonder if everything around the Mutants' diplomatic immunity is actually a way to ensure that they're not imprisoned, and that they're always able to be utilized, since death doesn't seem as though it is quite the same level of deterrent that it might otherwise be. I am just so very curious about a great many things, but I very much am enjoying just... everything.

Also, I'm curious if anyone more knowledgable than I has pinned down all the things that were hinted at in the enumerated items of Sinister's Secrets. I figure you might be the best person to know that @The Twilight Mexican . :mon:




X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#22
I ... did not care for this issue.

I'm not fond of Hickman's way of writing Mr. Sinister. It was fine enough in "Secret Wars," as that was an alternate Sinister, but this just isn't the same menacing figure from the 80s through the 90s and early 2000s.

Also having some real difficulty with seeing the relevance of the Phalanx future to the wider story. I'm fond of the tweaks made to the Phalanx and Technarchy lore, and how those things fit with the enumerated exponent theme -- but the story segments taking place in that future are dreadfully dull.

Also, I'm curious if anyone more knowledgable than I has pinned down all the things that were hinted at in the enumerated items of Sinister's Secrets. I figure you might be the best person to know that @The Twilight Mexican . :mon:
I'll be happy to take a stab at it. :monster:

- Sinister Secret #1: No idea :monster:

- #2: Seems like this could apply to a few characters ... e.g. Scott, Logan, Sunspot, etc.

- #3: This is about Madelyne Pryor

- #4: No idea

- #5: This almost seems to be implying that Scott, Emma, Logan and Jean have some sort of polyamory arrangement now. Which would be cool as fuck. Hickman did joke a few weeks ago that "A group of mutants is called an orgy." Hoping I'm right

- #6: This is referring to Ernst working with Sinister at one point for the sake of her friend, Martha, and briefly betraying the X-Men (as seen during the "Spider-Man and the X-Men" limited series a few years ago)

- #7: This one is probably the most layered and complicated. And potentially the coolest.

So, the two brothers who jumped out of the plane are, of course, Cyclops and Havok. For over a decade, from the early 90s until 2006, there was an unresolved plot thread (introduced by Mr. Sinister himself) of there also being a Third Summers Brother.

This character had originally been intended to be revealed as Adam-X the X-Treme, perhaps the quintessential example of 90s comic book sensibilities. His origin as the half-Shi'ar brother to Scott and Alex by way of their mother and Emperor D'Ken (via rape) was all but spelled out in the pages of the comics themselves, but it was never quite pushed across the finish line.

Eventually, Gabriel Summers, a.k.a. Vulcan, was unveiled, along with the revelation that Katherine Summers had already been pregnant when she and Christopher Summers, a.k.a. Corsair, were captured by the Shi'ar. After D'Ken murdered her, the fetus was removed and placed in an incubator that rapidly aged Gabriel to adulthood, effectively making him older than his older brothers.

In (major) brief, there's a lot of potential implications for Hickman's current story where this guy is concerned, as he was previously Moira MacTaggert's student before being enlisted by Xavier to go on a mission to Krakoa(!) to rescue the O5 X-Men. After rescuing Cyclops, Gabriel would end up thought lost/dead, though he was really just buried in stasis on Krakoa, and Xavier would mindwipe Gabriel from Scott's mind "for his own good."

Adam-X would eventually still get his due as a Third Summers Brother, though, in the pages of the "Age of Apocalypse" limited series that came out as part of Hickman's "Secret Wars."

What's more, in at least one other reality, Gambit was actually revealed as the Third Summers Brother, having been created by Sinister as a chimera of himself and Cyclops (as seen in "X-Men: The End").

What I think Hickman may have Sinister alluding to here is that all of these origins could be in play for the primary continuity, meaning we have five Summers brothers. Fingers crossed!

- #8: This, of course, is about Apocalypse and his Horsemen

- #9: I'm unsure about this one. If the reference to fireworks is meant to be literal, it may have something to do with Jubilee

- #10: Seems to be suggesting that Xavier wasn't successful in enlisting Sinister's aid while removing the mad geneticist's memories of that fact. In other words, Sinister is playing along until it no longer suits his desires
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#24
Yup. This was it. This was the real moment about the coalescence of the Mutant Society where all of the mutants are unified. It's also REALLY interesting to see the idea of some of the mutant groups forming "teams" where they have a greater purpose of unified function together like the 5 (who I'm really, just INSANELY happy to see using Goldballs, since he had some foreshadowing to him a long while back, but it was also especially cathartic to see both Tempus & Hope involved in Cyclops' resurrection since they'd both been directly at odds with him in the previous comic arcs even though they're characters that I like quite a lot).

It's interesting to position it in a way where ultimately it's directly addressing the meaningless iterations of comic book character death, but also putting it in a position where capture, loss, and other non-death consequences (which they're avoiding through diplomatic immunity) are actually MORE worrying than death for them. It puts a lot of responsibility on the writers to explore the characters in important ways, which is a really good thing.

I still won't deny that the whole thing is damned eerie, but I also think that Cerebro and the ultimate purpose here is making more sense when it comes to the Mutants' ultimate goal of Ascension where the Phalanx are concerned since now they represent the opposed forces of nature and technology unifying in a different way than they ever had before.

Additionally, it's interesting seeing the countries and socio-political regions where there is potential for conflict directly with the nation of Krakoa, and where the medicine and other things aren't accepted.

What's most interesting to me about all of this is that Moira's gift is trans-temporal resurrection, and it was said that she'd have eleven lives if she was lucky. I'm wondering if there's a possibility that this type of resurrection that Charles is offering is actually an interference with how her Mutant Power works if she's ever brought back that way. It definitely feels like the kind of thing where it could cause something exceptionally odd to happen that would prevent her powers from emerging in another timeline or something like that, or potentially give rise to something else entirely depending on what Sinister's involvement leads to.

Side note: I think that this means that Wolverine's body doesn't have Adamantium since it was grown the way that it was.


Either way, I'm still on board for all of the madness that's happening, and I'm REALLY interested to see what the point that all of this wraps up is going to be. It's clearly been building up to House of X #5, but now I'm curious is what is the point where we actually get the transition into the Dawn of X titles, and the understanding of the big picture that gives them all the trajectory to DO something?




X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#25
Side note: I think that this means that Wolverine's body doesn't have Adamantium since it was grown the way that it was.
It's an interesting question. Archangel still has his metal wings, but they're organic metal.

Perhaps Proteus gave reality an additional subtle nudge as he made those eggs viable. :monster:
----


I realize we have a new issue coming out today, but the past week has been busy for me, so I've only now been able to finish getting out my thoughts on last Wednesday's issue. So I'm going to go ahead with posting on that, then probably have more thoughts later once I've read "Powers of X" #5. :monster:

As uninteresting as the issue prior was, "House of X" #5 was every bit the opposite. Probably my favorite issue of the storyline so far.

Getting an explanation at last for all the resurrections is most welcome, as is the in-universe means by which it is being accomplished. Mutantkind is bringing itself back from the brink of extinction by creatively combining its powers in ways that would make Chris Claremont envious.

Even long-dead mutants like Synch of Generation X (killed off back in the year 2000!) can be retrieved to live again -- picking up right where they left off -- through an organically conceived procedure. Given that it utilizes Hope Summers as its lynchpin, this is also a natural development for her as one who was once lauded as the Mutant Messiah.

Just as importantly, this "Battlestar Galactica"-style Cylon-esque concept makes for a refreshingly fresh start for the X-Men and mutants at large. It's well past time that the constant shadow of genocide and the diminishing returns of non-shock-intended-as-shock-value deaths be given a rest.

Which is not to say it's all sugar and rainbows here as we head into the last quarter leg of Hickman's 12-part redirection of the X-Men brand. Fandom online seems to be sharply split over the resurrection mechanism, due in large part to personal ideological barriers or cognitive dissonance where the legitimacy of the restored characters' identities is concerned.

For some it is difficult to recognize these characters as the originals due to the genetic cloning process at work, despite the lengths to which the writer goes to emphasize that the deceased's souls are imbued into these husks via the collection and transfer of their memories.

Though this does unavoidably raise the post- and transhumanist high-concept philosophical quandry of "What is actually 'human'?" -- as seen often enough in sci-fi over the decades -- it isn't particularly uncharted territory for Marvel's comics in general nor the X-Men in particular.

The soul of Xavier himself recently came to occupy a body not originally his own (it belonged to Fantomex), and for that matter, Xavier's first original body was subsumed by a Brood queen back in 1983's "Uncanny X-Men" #167. His mind, however -- that is to say, his soul -- was transferred to a new husk cloned from tissue samples containing his DNA.

Similarly, the New Mutants Magik, Mirage, Karma, Magma, Wolfsbane, Cypher, Warlock, and Cannonball were all physically discorporated and then metaphysically erased by The Beyonder in 1986's "New Mutants" #37 before he collected "the wisps of energy and shadows of thoughts that [were] the sole remains" of them in "Secret Wars II" #9, from which he rapidly reconstructed their bodies and minds inside a giant incubator.

Perhaps even more poignantly, Wolverine's healing factor has been doing precisely this sort of thing for him for years, frequently reconstructing at one point or another every organic part of his body, except perhaps the proteins in his adamantium-laced skeleton. There has even been occasion that all the organic parts of his body have been burned off the skeleton and needed restoration at the same time (e.g. 2007's "Wolverine" #48). More than once his brain too has needed to be restored, with his consciousness -- that is once more to say: his soul -- coming back to awareness after a period in which he was described as temporarily being dead (e.g. the previously mentioned issue, as well as issue #65 of the same volume).

Coming to the ultimate example with Wolverine, we have even on one occasion (1987's "Uncanny X-Men Annual" #11) seen his healing factor -- albeit aided with a power-up from a cosmic artifact -- make fresh recomposition of his entire body, skeleton and all, from whatever cells were within a single drop of blood! While his original body lay dead on the floor, Wolverine's consciousness and memories were also in the new body.

Fandom has consistently accepted this sort of equivocation between characters' memories and their genuine essence before. Why not now?

Though there is certainly no reason to take issue with the mechanism of resurrection, that's not to say all is quite sugar and rainbows here with me either. As Luckystar. on CBR's forum put it, "I'm torn between 'this is genius' and 'this is a creepy cult, not relatable at all, and Storm sounds like a lunatic.'" It's awesome to see things going so well for mutants for once, but damn, this shit is still super creepy.

Granted, there's no way all this isn't supposed to be super creepy. Hickman is either heavily telegraphing something being amiss or setting up a twistless twist -- which would be a twist indeed.

Particularly with this issue establishing that the resurrection process may develop the revived X-Men to their "optimal and perfected form," one still has to wonder whether there has been some manipulation of them at work. "Optimal" according to whom?

Something still seems off about some of these X-Men for me.

Jean Grey does seem more herself in what lines she had this issue: she literally quotes herself about being "the only me there ever was" from a reply she gave Storm back in the "Inferno" crossover of 1989. Her timid behavior in "House of X" #4, however, and regression to the Marvel Girl codename and uniform still don't seem like a natural progression for her.

It is arguably almost as odd that, in the same issue as Jean's out-of-character behavior, Wolverine should ask Nightcrawler "what someone like me should expect" for an afterlife. Logan has literally been to Hell, as depicted in issues #1 through 5 of the volume of his solo series from 2010. He even escaped with the expectation that he would be going back one day.

Perhaps more pertinent to the overall plot of "House of X"/"Powers of X", though, where is Moira? For being the focal point of this storyline, we haven't seen her (as far as we know) for five issues now, and we've not seen her in the present day portions of the story at all. One begins to wonder if we've been misdirected in some way with regard to her as well.

Finally, why are people like Callisto, Marrow, Frenzy, Random, and even Daken arriving as part of the villain population?

Callisto has been an ally of and friend to the X-Men for three decades of publication history at this point. She was even an outright member of one incarnation of the X-Men-adjacent team Excalibur (alongside Xavier and Magneto).

Marrow and Frenzy have meanwhile both been memebers of the X-Men and affiliated teams in recent years. Furthermore, during 2017's "Secret Empire" crossover event, both mutants were also citizens of New Tian, the previous sovereign land belonging to mutants. Random was there as well.

Neither Marrow's membership in Magneto's short-lived new Brotherhood from last year nor Emma Frost's new Hellfire Club this year should be a problem either, as Elixir was with her on both teams yet has already been living on Krakoa for some time. Indeed, he is even one of the new mutant society's five most treasured denizens.

Obviously Magneto and Emma themselves have also been residing on Krakoa, and both have significant positions within the nation. Even Mystique -- another member of Emma's iteration of the Hellfire Club -- has been living on Krakoa, and she's arguably a far more questionable choice than just about any of those characters whose inclusion in the villain ranks I questioned above (Daken being the only possible exception).

Speaking of questionable inclusions, Sabretooth has already been granted amnesty on Krakoa, and he's definitely a more questionable choice than Daken or Mystique. Particularly Daken, in light of his reduced tendency towards sociopathy and progression more towards heroism for several years, as well as his own X-Men membership in "X-Men Blue." Even Mystique, with her repaired psyche (courtesy of Psylocke in 2016's "Uncanny X-Men" #14) doesn't elicit quite as much concern, and she is definitely still one to worry about more than Marrow, Random, Frenzy, or Callisto.

For that matter, anyone who isn't Sabretooth is infinitely less of a concern than the likes of Apocalypse, Selene, Emplate, Gorgon, Wildside, Mesmero, or Mr. Sinister -- all of whom were also welcomed home to Krakoa.

Most of these seven have literally no redeeming or humanizing qualities, and those who do have them to some extent are either an unrepentant mind-controlling mass murderer and serial rapist with a God complex (Mesmero); or a genocidal powermongering eugenicist with a God complex (Apocalypse). The others are simply altogether evil.

To summarize: Marrow, Callisto, Daken, Frenzy, and Random don't at all belong in the same ostensibly now-repentant grouping as Selene, a sadistic energy vampire who aspires to subjugate all life; or Gorgon, a cruel butcher who aspires to end all life; and don't even get me started on Mr. Sinister, who isn't a natural mutant in the first place, and who is obviously going to try screwing everyone over just so he can get more mutant (especially Summers and Grey) tissue samples to study.

Still, it's nice to see these characters again, as well as Hope, Eva Bell, and Goldballs -- and it's also nice to see that Marrow's back in the costume she wore when she was with the X-Men about 20 years ago.

I know it seems like I've been mostly griping here, but I really did enjoy this issue and am quite excited to read "Powers of X"#5 later. :monster:

Other thoughts:

- Is Proteus actually Xavier's son? One of the data pages tells us "There has been no experimentation regarding what happens when you combine a mutant MIND with a HUSK not their own," but the same data page tells us that "Proteus' backup mutant husk is always created from the genetic base of Charles Xavier."

- Did Moira birth Proteus for the sole purpose of him being able to serve a role in the mutant resurrection machine?

- Sinister's mutant DNA comes from John Proudstar (the original Thunderbird), who has been deceased for many years. What happens if they try to resurrect him? Would Krakoa be confused?
 
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