Powers of X #4: Recap and Review

The cover of Powers of X #4, art by RB Silva.

In the fourth issue of Powers of X, titled “Something Sinister,” we get some humor to go with a often dark story. Some of the gaps in the timeline are filled, as we get to see what Charles Xavier planned before the current time. During Year One, Magneto and Xavier head to Bar Sinister. Hickman present Mister Sinister a little differently from normal. Sinister is more ridiculous and flamboyant, or as he puts it “being absolutely fabulous.” Sinister has many clones, so it’s unclear which one is “in charge.” When Magneto and Xavier meet with the one they assume is in charge, he tells Magneto how much he loves his cape. He’s thinks he would look good with a cape. When his butler clone says that he “always thought he should wear one,” he has him executed for not mentioning it sooner.

Xavier offers the DNA of mutants to complete a “safe, secure and redundant,” database. This Sinister refuses to help but is killed by the Sinister with the mutant gene. He agrees and Xavier wipes his mind, making him forget why he’s doing it in the first place. Months before the current timeline, Xavier and Cypher land on Krakoa. Xavier wants to introduce Cypher to Krakoa. Cypher learns that Krakoa use to be called Okkara. The land of Okkara was torn in two, resulting in a land named Arakko and of course Krakoa. Cypher is able to build a “translation program” to allow mutants to interact with Krakoa without Cypher’s aid.

Finally, in Year One Thousand, the first of the elders are hoping for ascension. This section of this series is the most difficult to grasp. It’s has to much ambiguity and I don’t care what happens to anyone. Hickman needs to do a better job explaining why the Year 1000 timeline matters. As usual the art of RB Silva is magnificent. Despite the funny Mister Sinister moments, Powers of X #4 is the most underwhelming issue so far. The most interesting part of the issue was the fact that Apocalypse and his four horsemen came to save Krakoa. I feel like that’s the most we are going to get on that story.


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House of X #4: Recap and Review

The last issue of House of X left us on a cliffhanger. I assumed that all the X-Men would be fine, with either Jean Grey protecting them or Nightcrawler teleporting them to safety. Boy was I wrong. Archangel and Husk are killed. Nightcrawler sustained some internal injuries and Wolverine arm is blown to the bone (although we know he’s fine.) Cyclops and Wolverine agree that the only course is to continue the mission. Nightcrawler transports Cyclops, Mystique and Wolverine to Mother Molds control collars. Wolverine and Nightcrawler successfully destroy two of the collars. The ship with Monet and Jean on it is breached by Orchis forces.

Monet puts Jean in an escape pod and sends her away. She then transforms into her Penance form and fights off the Orchis forces. Cyclops manages to find and release the third collar. Mystique having gotten lost, is intercepted by Dr. Gregor, who opens a hatch sending Mystique into space. In an act of desperation, Dr. Gregor activates Mother Mold. With Mystique dead, there remains one collar. Out of reach for Cyclops, Wolverine and Nightcrawler volunteer to destroy the final collar in space. Nightcrawler teleports them to the collar, instantly dying from the Sun’s heat. Wolverine manages to survive due to his healing factor, he successfully destroy’s the final collar with his claws.

Both Wolverine and Mother Mold fall into the Sun, as Mother Mold rants regarding the fact that “humans and mutants are lacking.” Mother Mold promises to destroy both humans and mutants, before being destroyed itself. With the mission complete, Cyclops tries to find a way to space. Dr. Gregor stops and kills Cyclops with a shotgun. The remaining Sentinels fail to reach the station in time but are able to intercept Jean in the pod, appearing to kill her. After witnessing his X-Men dying at the hands off humans, Xavier crying says “no more.” I was originally excited to see many of my favorite X-Men going on this mission. I didn’t expect that I would regret that. Don’t get me wrong, the sacrifice of the X-Men was impactful and I think necessary. I just glad Storm wasn’t with them. This sets up a interesting problem.

If most of the most popular X-Men are killed in House of X, how are they going to resurrect them later. I assume that Moira will prevent this in another life, but I’m not certain. I feel like Jean’s death was to easy. Mystique seemed to be acting strangely. Maybe it’s my bias because I’m use to her being up to something, but I feel like she must have done something. Seeing the X-Men get slaughtered one by one, despite succeeding in their mission was incredible emotional. Nightcrawler’s and Wolverine’s sacrifice was both epic and touching. I like Hickman’s version of Cyclops, we didn’t get to see much but I didn’t hate him at all. Finally, Xavier seemed to be more like himself finally showing emotion. I don’t know were House of X goes from here, but I can’t wait.


House of X #3: Recap and Review

Cyclops assembles a team of Wolverine, Husk, Archangel, M, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler and Mystique to infiltrate Orchis and destroy Mother Mold. Magneto and Xavier tell Cyclops that despite his fear and doubts, they will not let him die. That the “righteous” can’t die and will be transformed into “something immortal.” While I agree that mortal beings can earn some kind of “immortal,” through being remembered, it feels like Magneto and Xavier are being manipulative. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like Cyclops are likely to survive. Marvel Girl is concerned with the “human crew.” Despite not being soldiers, neither Wolverine or Cyclops consider them “innocent.”

Due to Power of X, we know that this team fail at their goal, stopping the creation of Nimrod. However, this doesn’t ruin anything as we still want to see how they fail or at least it doesn’t for me. In Hickman’s trademarked explainers, we learn how Sentinel’s progress from “Alphas” to becoming a Nimrod. Moira and Apocalypse believed that Nimrod is the “primal threat to the long-term survival of mutants.” From the stolen information they learn that a “Nimrod almost always occurs in conjunction with a Mother Mold.” Moira uses this information in her tenth life, which is why the X-Men aim to destroy Mother Mold now.

We’re given details on “Project Achilles.” A superhuman super-max prison, it houses on thirty criminals. Sabertooth is being processed with a new law called the “twelve strike rule,” which “supersedes intent.” While this fleshes out the world, it doesn’t seem that any of these new laws matter. I think it’s a waste of time, despite the epic display by the White Queen, Emma Frost. Meanwhile, at the Orchis Forge, Omega and Dr. Gregor prepare for Mother Mold to go online. However, the problem is that if Mother Mold could create “cold emotionless machines.” Dr. Gregor explains that they built the Forge with “control collars,” that will sent Mother Mold into the sun.

Another waste in my opinion is the attempt to humanize the human members of Orchis. They particularly focus on the married couple, Dr. Alia Gregor and Captain Erasmus Mendel. There’s not enough characterization to make you care about them and the sacrifice of Captain Erasmus. Anyway, the X-Men have managed to catch Orchis unprepared, will this advantage be enough. House of x #3 focuses on a smaller narrative than previous. The X-Men team formed to attack Orchis reminded me of the animated series from childhood (only without my faves Storm and Rogue). Professor X still comes across as cold and calculating to me, I still don’t trust him. The only thing missing from this issue is action, but the next issue promises to remedy that.


Powers of X #3: Recap and Review

Powers of X #3 focuses on a narrow story in this issue. We were originally lead to believe that the alliance between humans and machine was maintain to wipe out mutants. However, in this issue it’s revealed that machine have betrayed humans as well. In the Year One Hundred, in the “Temple of Concordance,” of the “Church of Ascendancy,” we witness a priest like figure presiding over a baptism of sorts. The priest asks the people to “reject your humanity.” He offers humanity “true evolution,” as they begin to transform a baby into a machine. During the ceremony the X-Men attack. I haven’t been familiar with Xorn, but i found him and his dark humor to be enjoyable. Of course Nimrod’s craziness continues.

He refuses to care about Church burning, leaving Omega to handle it. She arrives with several Sentinels. Meanwhile, Apocalypse arrives in the old machine data-bank with Wolverine (War) and Krakoa (Famine). They are detected by Nimrod, who intercepts them. At the Church, Omega and the Sentinels overwhelm Xorn, North and Rasputin. Cornered, Rasputin threatens to remove Xorn’s masks setting off his singularity. Omega calls her bluff. She removes his mask, killing the remaining X-Men and Omega. Apocalypse tells Wolverine he needs to take the crystal of information and leave. He initially refuses, but Apocalypse insists on him doing so. After, Krakoa and Wolverine leave Apocalypse takes on three Nimrods. As he fights the three Nimrods, Wolverine awakens Moira. He inserts the crystal into her chest, force feeding her the information the collected. He kills her, ending the ninth life of Moira.

I loved this issue. It wasn’t as game changing as previous issues but I liked the simplicity of it. Seeing Apocalypse do the hero’s sacrifice for the greater good is something I didn’t think I would ever see. I also liked the relationship between him and Wolverine. It at least appeared that they cared about each other. If there’s something I would complain about it’s first I wanted to see more of the fight between Apocalypse and Nimrod. Second I didn’t care that any of the X-Men died because due to the time travel elements it doesn’t seem to matter much. Each issue continues to be great and I can’t wait for the next one.


Powers of X #2: Recap and Review

I found Powers of X #1, to be underwhelming relative to House of X. It still is. However, this issue was better than the first. Powers of X #2, like the previous issue splits the X-Men timeline into for eras, Year 1, Year 10, Year 100 and Year 1000. In Year 1, Moira MacTaggert and Charles Xavier meet with Magneto. The dynamic between Magneto and Xavier is always tense, either their enemies, friends or temporary allies. Regardless, when Xavier reveals to Magneto the history Moira has experience, Magneto decides to join Xavier. Only he will continue to “check him (Xavier) at every moment of weakness.”

We then move to Year 10. Xavier informs Cyclops of the new type of Master Mold, Mother Mold. This version makes other Master Molds while orbiting the sun. Mother has been completed, but lie dormant. Xavier believes that they’re waiting for the “right catalyst.” Magneto explains what was found on the information that Mystique stole, which is all the information on Orchis. Xavier tells Cyclops that they must prevent Mother Mold from “coming online.” The fear is that NIMROD will become operational. Cyclops promises that he will “get it done.” Despite the fact that I don’t like Cyclops, I think he makes a good soldier.

We fast forward to Year 100, on Asteroid K. Wolverine is being a downer. With Cylobel and Percival gone they can no longer hide from the machines. Apocalypse is given the information, and plans on sacrificing mutants for the greater good. Just the idea of Wolverine and Apocalypse working together makes this series more interesting. The dynamics of the mutants are different now that machine and human have teamed up. Many of the mutant supremacist like Apocalypse, Cyclops and Magneto are now important and their views have been validated, if for no other reason than humans are trying to exterminate all mutants now.

Meanwhile, Nimrod is “disturbed” by the theft of the indexing machine. Nimrod is so odd in this series. He rambles. Nimrod is a juvenile and often funny. I’m not sure if that is how Hickman intends for Nimrod to be portrayed but it’s working for me. In the Year 1000, we are introduced to a Nimbus. I’ll admit that didn’t completely comprehend what Nimbus was, other than a Worldmind. Hickman has his explainers for the types of societies based on the measured species intelligence. I found it to be interesting, but its purpose is to explain the way the Phalanx function. Now my only history with the Phalanx was an episode of from the X-Men animated series that I hated.

Regardless they’re back. The Phalanx is an “interstellar society that operates on a galactic scale.” The Phalanx consume lesser societies, if they view the society a worth consuming then “Ascension” occurs. During the Year 1000, the Librarian when asked by the Phalanx “what do you seek,” her answer was Ascension. Even though I think Power of X is inferior to House of X, I think it’s important to read both together and in the order intended. They time jumps isn’t nearly as daunting as it could be. Seeing the villains and heroes from X-Men together against a greater threat is what makes this series the most interesting.