There has been no current story that generated as much buzz and excitement as Marvel’s House of X & Powers of X (Powers of Ten). The soft-reboot to the X-Men franchise, penned by comic leviathan Jonathan Hickman, unabashedly carried the hopes of X-Men fans and the future of the mutant super-team inside its arrestingly illustrated pages. To say people were expecting a lot from House/Powers is an understatement–there was an almost tangible electricity in the air leading up to the July 2019 release. I can say, with full confidence, the comic series delivers on every conceivable front.
As mentioned earlier, the comic is written by comic titan Jonathan Hickman. The reader can expect a multi-dimensional story that weaves seemingly disparate elements together from beginning to end. Hickman is also an expert at giving his stories an intellectual inclination. Additionally, he puts the powers of the characters on full display, which simply makes the comics a joy to read. Every one of Hickman’s traditional hallmarks make themselves known during the pages of House/Powers.
Essentially, the mutant-human situation has reached an impasse. The mutants have, as a result, gathered themselves on the island of Krakoa. The geological formation turns out to not only be alive, but also a mutant and sentient. This makes it the perfect homeland for the X-gene carrying population. This relocation, however, came about as a visit from Moira MacTaggert–who also turns out to be a mutant–to a young Charles Xavier. We find out that Moira is a mutant with the power of continual reincarnation. She has lived multiple lives and comes to see Charles Xavier during one of them. During her lifespans, she tested several methods to solve the mutant-human issue. When she visits Charles, she realizes there is only one way forward, and the comic explores this path.
The series is excellent. It expertly blends myriad (seemingly) disparate elements of the mutant mythology into a single tale. It explores what mutant powers can accomplish when they are truly used together. It juxtaposes Professor X and Magneto in the most artistically satisfying manner I’ve witnessed, to date. It includes several twists and legitimate surprises that generate “holding-the-comic-frozen-moments,” all throughout the series. House of X/Powers of X is an achievement, plain and simple.
House of X was illustrated by Pepe Larraz, and Powers of X by R.B. Silva. The work of these artists embodies the spirit of a Marvel comic. The reader will spend just as much time fawning over the artwork as they will reading the actual words on the pages. Both artists pay extraordinary attention to detail and possess incredible energy in their presentation. The comics are simply a joy to witness.
Both artists also have amazing knowledge of the characters’ costumes and personalities. They care about these characters, and it shows. The actions scenes are among the best I’ve ever seen in a comic. Even the interpersonal scenes are brought to life through the artists’ masterful depiction of emotion. Because of the beauty of the landscapes (and a few actual conversations with the island), Krakoa truly feels alive. Every page carries the seal of true artistic skill. Prepare yourself for a thrill to the senses while perusing these phenomenal books.
In short, pick these series up. They’re the best work out of Marvel in the last 5 years, no question. They’re the best X-Men books since House of M, period. Every element that makes a story powerful appears within the covers of these works. House/Powers advertised a pathway for the mutant population going into the future–that’s what these books deliver. Pick up House of X #1-6 and Powers of X #1-6 and strap in for one of the most exhilarating tales in modern Marvel history. Get ready.
–The Cavalier Nerd