House of X, Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman collects two miniseries that set up the current status quo for the new X-Men titles under the umbrella title of Dawn of X. This book collects twelve issues- six for each miniseries.
Professor X no longer believes in coexistence with humanity. He no longer believes that the X-men should fight for a world where humans and mutants live in peace side by side. Someone has changed his mind and he no longer thinks the human race is worth saving or can be saved. Professor X is no longer the man X-men fans have known. His idealism is gone. He is now a cold cynic when it comes to the human race. Professor X will protect mutants and his X-men at all costs and is not at all concerned about the fate of humanity. Alongside Magneto and the X-Men, Professor X has set out to create his own nation for all mutants. This book features nearly everyone in the mutant realm along with cameos by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.
This book is mostly about Professor X, Magneto, and one other character that can not be named here without spoiling some of the book. Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and many more have their moments in this book. This book features nearly everyone in the mutant realm along with cameos by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.
As should be clear from the initial premise, there are lots of radical changes made in this tale to do something original that has not been done before. If you are a long term reader of the X-Men comics, you know that for the last ten or so years the writers have been playing with the same themes and utilizing mostly the same set of ideas. While some of that has generated great writing, there has been a ton of mediocre writing because it is hard to do something different when everyone is doing the same sort of themes.
House of X, Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman is a radical change in the X-men status quo which may or may not work for you. Personally, I enjoyed because it was something different and I am a fan of Hickman’s writing. For the most part I like his stuff even though it often seems that he makes things so complicated that it can be hard to keep things straight.
If you are familiar with Hickman’s previous work you know he loves to utilize time travel or multiple timelines, alien civilizations, flawed heroes with huge plans, complicated world building, and more. Hickman loves to write heavy sci-fi. He loves to write how the decision made by one or more prominent leaders on a team can change everything in a world. All of his usual elements are very apparent here.
Hickman has written the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and is now doing the X-Men. That means that thing, the normal status quo, is over for the foreseeable future for the X-Men. These X-men are similar to the ones most fans know but the change to Professor X has rippled across the X-Men group and they all look at the world far differently than the past way most folks understood.
House of X, Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman is not for fans who can’t accept widely different interpretations of a character. If you are not okay with having stories where both the “good” and “evil” side are correct in their views from their perspectives and therefore are doing morally grey things that make sense from their perspectives, this is not the book for you. If you have an open mind and are an X-Men fan who likes a heavy dose of science fiction, you should enjoy this book. The art is amazing and the story is epic. Another cool aspect of the book assuming you like world building is all the charts, maps, documents that help support the tale and set up the new world for the X-Men.
I highly recommend House of X, Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman.
My hardback reading copy came from the Central Downtown Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Scott A. Alexander ©2020
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