House of X #5: Recap and Review

The X-Men are resurrected

In House of X #5, Hickman once again changes the status quo for X-Men. There are three major shifts this issue introduces. In the first issue of House of X, we see the X-Men being “born” from orange pods, being welcomed by Charles Xavier. Magneto explains to his daughter, Polaris, how the mutants are resurrected. First, Goldballs uses his power to create biological eggs. Then they’re made “viable” by Proteus’ ability to warp reality. Elixir then uses his abilities to “kick-start cellular replication.” With a fully viable egg, Tempus uses her time-acceleration abilities to mature the mutants inside. Hope Summers uses her powers to boost the other four and create unison. Finally, to restore the minds of the mutants, Xavier, is able to transfer a copy of the mutant mind.

Krakoa becomes a nation

At the United Nations, the vote recognizing Krakoa as an independent nation was held. Emma Frost telepathically manipulates the voters and Krakoa is granted it’s nation status. Charles Xavier telepathically acknowledges that he knows that Emma did this. She plays the fool, having no idea of what he’s referring to. Regardless, he tells her that he’s “grateful for her sacrifice.” We get another explainer informing us of how mutant diplomacy is working. 100 nations have accepted a trade deal with Krakoa, with several rejecting it. These nations consisting of Iran, North Korea, Brazil and Wakanda are automatically considered “adversarial.”

Apocalypse and the other mutant villains arrive

Wolverine is preparing to meet the villains that Xavier has invited to Krakoa. Logan isn’t happy, believing that some are “beyond saving.” Magneto suggest that if that were true, neither one of them would be in Krakoa. The villains finally arrive, with Mister Sinister, Lady Mastermind, Selene Gallio, Callisto, Daken and finally Apocalypse being present. Krakoa greets Apocalypse (referring to the fact that Krakoa was saved by him, shown in Powers of X #4). Wolverine asks is there “gonna be a problem,” Apocalypse responds “why would it be.” Apocalypse is actually proud of them, as this is his dream. Prompted by Magneto, Apocalypse states that he and the incoming villains will submit to the laws of Krakoa, and serve it’s higher purpose.


Conclusion

I’ve said this before, but it bare repeating this series is amazing. House of X #5, continues to change X-Men for the better. Some may find that the resurrection of mutants, particularity the team that died in issue four, cheapens their death. That’s not an unreasonable feeling, but we all probably figured that they would come back we just didn’t know how. The process is more complicated than the process describe above. If you read those explainers the resurrection process does come with cost and effort. I think that’s appropriate considering how convenient resurrection is. That said I feel that it won’t remain so easy. If you think about there’s a lot to be concerned with. First, Xavier is back to acting strangely.

He was never as moral as he claimed but now he’s openly supporting Emma Frost undermining democracy. Now that Krakoa is a nation state it feels like there will be some issues with nationalism, although that may not be a bad thing. The scene were Storm is basically acting like a religious zealot and of course the arrival of villains who may not hate mutants but surely still hate humans. I predict that this will end badly. As I’ve stated before mutants like Magneto and Apocalypse, have largely come into conflict with the X-Men not because they wanted mutants to prosper, but because of how they went about reaching that goal. If they’re on the same page, conflict shouldn’t arise. However, we know that humanity will not let Krakoa stand.

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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.


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.


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.


30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #26: Your Favorite Elementalist

Ice Man (Robert Drake)

Universe: Earth-616

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First Appearance: X-Men #1 (1963)

Iceman is one of the original X-Men. Born in New York, Bobby first discovered his mutant abilities when he found himself unable to stop feeling cold. When a bully, Rocky Beasely orchestrated an assault on Bobby and his girlfriend Judy Harmon his powers finally emerged. The town of Fort Washington organized a lynch mob and broke into the Drake household. Sensing that the situation was becoming dangerous Bobby was taken into custody. Professor X discovered this story and sent Cyclops to recruit Bobby. He became the second member of the X-Men.

In the X-Men: Animated Series, Iceman was portrayed as a troublemaker that left the team after becoming feed up with Cyclops and Professor X’s rules. Iceman seems to have maintained his comical personality, often cracking jokes. Drake is an Omega Level Mutant. He can manipulate his external and internal body temperature. When his body temperature decreases, so does the surrounding moisture. Bobby has learned to increase his coldness allowing him to change from a snow like appearance to a more crystalline ice. He also has thermal vision, as well as cryokinesis (ability to generate, manipulate and fully control ice, snow and cold temperatures.) Despite being one of the original X-Men, Iceman is largely a minion character. However, I always found him to be one of the coolest (LOL) X-Men.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #24: Your Favorite Cartoon

As I’ve mentioned before the X-Men: The Animated Series was my primary introduction to X-Men and Marvel. Although there was an animated series for the Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Fantastic Four as well. The series debuted in 1992 and ended in 1997. The series spanned 5 seasons and 76 episodes. The first thing that I will always remember about the series is the theme song that was composed by Ron Wasserman. The show had the line up from Cyclops’s Blue Team, that featured Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, and Professor X.

The series focused on social issues like divorce, Christianity, the Holocaust and AIDS. Of course as a child a lot of this stuff was over my head, but had some impact on my views of the world. Many of the series story arc’s were original, several of the story-lines were direct adaptations of comic book events. In season 1 the series adapted, “Night of the Sentinels,” “Enter Magneto,” “Captive Hearts,” “Come the Apocalypse,” and “Days of Future Past.” Season 2 saw the adaptation of, “Whatever It takes,” “Weapon X,” “Legacy Virus.” Season 3 adapted my all time favorite arc the “Phoenix Saga,” and the “Dark Phoenix Saga.”

The series fell apart (in my opinion) after this season with season 4 & 5 focusing on “One Man’s Worth” and the “Phalanx Covenant.” Overall, this series marked a moment in my and many other lives became familiar with Marvel and comic books. The series had tremendous influence on me and presented X-Men as being more people with cool powers. It also has a lot of humor (which was mostly Wolverine one liners). I would recommend this series to anyone (up to season 3 (LOL)), you can stream the series on Hulu. If you want to read another take on the series effect check out this article.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #22: Your Favorite Universe

Magneto’s family from house of M

The number of “universes” in the Marvel is extraordinary. From a quick glance apparently there’s at least 10,000. Check here if you would like to count. There are multiverses, megaverses, dimensions, realms, realities, and alternate-realities, all that is collected within an Omniverse. Also, the Omniverse apparently includes Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image, Dark Horse, Archie, Harvey, Shueisha, Boom Studios, Rebellion, Dynamite, IDW, Graphic India, Derby Pop, Vertigo, Oni Press, Udon, Valiant, it even includes anime and manga not to mention our own world. Obviously, this is all made up, which doesn’t make the concept any less impressive.

Artwork for a variant cover of House of M 1 (Aug 2005) Art by Joe Quesada.

According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 17 the Omniverse includes “every single literary, television show, movie, urban legend, universe, realm, etc. ever . . . including fan-works. None of this is to be confused with the concept of “continuity.” Realities such as Earth-616 are considered a “single reality,” a continuity. For the record Earth-616 is the mainstream Marvel Universe. The reality of Earth-616 is that it has gone through ” eight different incarnations, all triggered by different instances of multiverse renewal, which constitutes in the destruction and re-creation of everything there is.” The beginning of the Earth-616 begins at the seventh incarnation that is marked by creation of Galactus.

While I found reading about the various Universes to be fun it’s time consuming. I certainly won’t recap it here. However, what is clear is the amount of love and effort that has been put into creating worlds, despite there extraordinary characters and stories manage to somehow feel real. If I had to choose ONE Universe it would simply be the Earth-616 because it’s the one that’s most familiar to me (by the way OUR Universe is Earth-1218). However, there are more Universes that I find interesting:


House of M (Earth-58163)

In the House of M, Magneto becomes leader of the world’s mutants. Mutants control the world and are racist towards humans. They control governments, businesses and culture. Humans like Spider-Man and Captain Marvel are the exceptions. This is all the result of the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff’s) reality warping abilities getting out of control. The X-Men and Avengers consider killing her, but Wanda changes the world be that can happen.

Dr. Strangefate

Amalgam Universe (Earth-9602)

This Universe is a parallel one that was a combination of Earth-616 and New Earth (DC). Two entities known as the brothers (each represent Marvel and DC) pit combatants from each universe against each other. The winner would destroy the other universe. To prevent this the Living Tribunal and the Spectre combine the universes together resulting in heroes that combined together like, Doctor Strangefate. He’s was a combination of Doctor Fate, Doctor Strange and Professor X.

Old Man Logan kills Bruce Banner

The Wastelands (Earth-807128)

In this reality the villains united fifty years prior to Old Man Logan. America is divided up by them an renamed Amerika. Logan kills The Red Skull, many heroes died fighting Galactus, who became a power source. Hulk impregnates She-Hulk and they have inbred children. Most of this universe is the same as Earth-616, except Logan is much older than he is in Earth-616.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #14: Your Favorite Romance

Rogue & Gambit

Universe: Earth-616

Creators: Chris Claremont, Michael Golden, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men (Gambit) #266, Avengers Annual #10 (Rogue)


Marvel has several storied romances, Jean Grey and Scott Summers, Storm and Black Panther, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible and Mary Jane and Peter Parker. The romance that I was my favorite was Rogue (Anna Marie) and Gambit (Remy LeBeau). I was first introduced to them during the X-Men animated series. In the comics they first met while Rogue and gambit were under the control of the Shadow King on Muir Island. Their relationship was often strained due to Gambits lying and Rogues inability to touch due to her absorption powers.

This of course meant that they could never have a completely physical relationship, but flirting was an option. They both seem to at least enjoy this aspect of their relationship even if it was limiting. Eventually, they would both lose their powers allowing them to explore their relationship more. However, evetually Rogues powers return and even when trying to have sex telepathically her powers still absorbs Gambit. A new student, Foxx (Mystique in disguise) tries to use this moment to break them up. She even offers to sleep with him as Rogue, since that somehow wouldn’t be cheating. She fails, but succeed in furthering the rift between them.

Later under the influence of Apocalypse and now the horsemen Death, Gambit would attempt to kill Rogue. With the help of Xavier, Rogue learned to control her powers. However, considering the past events she was hesitant to continue their relationship. Later, at the failed wedding of Kitty Pryde and Colossus and some encouragement from Storm, Gambit proposed to Rogue. They were married shortly after. Rogue and Gambit had a lot of problems that could have ended their relationship. Despite them the managed to stay together and I always found their flirting in the animated series to be fun to watch.

Source: Marvel Wiki , Comicvine

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #13: Your Least Favorite Character

Scott Summers (Cyclops)

Universe: Earth-616

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First Appearance: X-Men #1 (Sept. 1963)


From what I can tell many Marvel fans find Scott Summers (Cyclops) to be the worst. He’s one of the original X-Men. The oldest son of Christopher Summers (Corsair), Scott became the first student of Professor X. He was given a visor made of quartz. He was also made the deputy leader of the X-Men. In the X-Men animated series Cyclops was presented as a “boy scout,” always following the rules regardless of the consequences. He was a bit of a teachers pet and often though he was superior to others. Furthermore, he would often find himself in conflict with fan favorites Storm and Wolverine. In the comics Cyclops became a cheater and a murderer.

Treatment of women

Scott had developed a tendency to move on to quickly or abandoned women. When Jean Grey dies (the first of many deaths) he moves on quickly with Colleen Wing when he thinks Jean dies in a volcanic explosion. When Jean dies during the Dark Phoenix saga he moves on with her clone, Madelyne Pryor. Worse, when he found out that Jean was actually alive he abandoned Madelyne and their child. At some point he became unsatisfied with his married to Jean, he began a psychic affair with Emma Frost. His excuse? It didn’t really count because it wasn’t physical.

Cyclops Kills Professor X

Power hungry murderer

During the Avengers vs X-Men event, Scott becomes possessed by the Phoenix Force. While he initially wanted to protected Hope Summers, he became drunk with power. When the Phoenix Force spits in five among Scott, Emma, Magik, Namor and Colossus, he goes full Dark Phoenix. He tries to kill many of the Avengers and X-Men that try to stop him. During this arc Scott kills Professor X as he tries to stop him. Cyclops was imprisoned in a ruby quartz cube.

Revolutionary and war criminal

While in prison Scott becomes more political. He originally sees himself as a matyr but after the murder of a fellow mutant he decides that he would be more effective on the outside. Magneto frees Cyclops from his prison. He then goes on to attack cops and attempts to start a “mutant revolution.” He also becomes inspiration for a mutant uprising called “The Ghosts of Cyclops.” While you could argue that Cyclops was justified in fighting for mutant-kind, his means were violent.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #10: Your Favorite Costume

X-Men First Class Uniform

Art by: Marko Djurdjevic

Created by: Charles Xavier

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First App. X-Men #1 (1963)

For superheroes the costume is very important. Within the comic book universes superhero costumes serve multiple purposes. First they conceal the identity of the hero from the public, protecting them from exposure. Many costumes come with more protection than superpowers can generate. They can protect from the weather, bullets, radiation and other dangers. Furthermore, they must sometimes accommodate unique psychical aspects of Marvel characters, such as wings (Archangel) or claws (Wolverine).

Many heroes and villains have special items or equipment that are needed for their powers to work like Cyclops’ Visor or to specifically protect them from psychic attacks, Magneto’s helmet. In addition to that, most Marvel characters are members of a team. While some teams have individual costumes that are unified by one aspect, like the X-Men logo, team costumes exists. To this end I personally love the individual costume of Storm from the X-Men animated television series. However, I like team costumes more.

The Fantastic Four’s Future Foundation Uniform is pretty good. However, I still prefer the old X-men uniform from the first class era. Designed by Professor X, the costume was suppose to “projected for body protection and ideological identification with the public, making them seem like super-heroes.” I like the overall design. Blue and yellow are contrasting colors, creating a striking uniform. The uniforms vary slightly providing some individuality while keep them look the same.