MEGA WARNING: SOME HOMO SPOILERUS SUPREME MAY BE RUNNING AMOK BELOW
Its been a weird couple of decades for the X-Men as of late. A species that was meant to be the next step in human evolution but found themselves battling extinction on a weekly basis. There was Cassandra Nova’s attack on Genosha that wiped 16 million mutants from the board in one fell swoop, a dark future where mankind’s fear led to them being exterminated and a time when Marvel decided to bury the children of the atom in favour of the Inhumans as they unleashed a Terrigen mist that proved fatal to anyone with an X-Gene.
Countless Homo Superior died, characters lost their way and hard choices had to be made as the X-Men fought a losing battle for the dream of peaceful coexistence with humans. That dream is over, as Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia and David Curiel have set about to reinvent the status quo of the X-Men. It’s not just about rethinking what mutants are capable of. House of X and Powers of X are about thinking even bigger as a grand tale creates a paradigm shift for mutants that will last for centuries.
It all starts with a simple truth: Charles Xavier’s dream of peaceful coexistence with humanity is doomed to fail. Likewise, so is Magneto’s war on Homo Sapien’s as mankind’s unlimited capacity for cruelty will always triumph over natural selection. Thrown in planet-sized Sentinel factories, a future where genetically-engineered mutants wage a desperate war for survival under the leadership of Apocalypse and the return of the Phalanx as an all-powerful ultra-intelligence that consumes entire civilisations, and Hickman’s idea for the X-Men is a grand but simple one: Carpe Diem.
There’s a moment in House of X #5 that perfectly sums up this theme, of Xavier and Magneto’s grand vision that blends both of their ideologies into something new, different and brave. Once a foe and now an ally, the mutant island of Krakoa is transformed into the new home for all mutants, one whose sovereignty on Earth will be cemented by the future inheritors of the planet as they demand payment from mankind for years of death and destruction.
Mutants hold the key to improving the life of humanity with a radical new drug, but its one that will not be given out freely as Xavier bluntly lays down the new law. “In the past they would have been a gift. Something freely given by me to you because I believed it would create harmony between our two peoples. That was my dream: Harmony. But you have taught me a harsh lesson. That dream was a lie,” Xavier says in a global telepathic broadcast.
It’s a speech that feels incredibly relevant given the current events going on in the world. With climate change inevitable and the old guard unwilling to change their ways to ensure the future of our own species, it has been the young and the radical who have taken it upon themselves to save the world. The Extinction Revolution movement, Greenpeace’s ongoing efforts to fight back against rampant pollution and activists such as Greta Thunberg who have inspired so many people to fight back and protect our future on this planet.
And yet, it’s a speech that has hope hidden in its words. Of forgiveness in the face of countless atrocities that mutants have had to face over the years. It’s the first round fired in a salvo that is designed to give mutants a home where they can finally feel safe and work together to create a better tomorrow. And that’s just the tip of this iceberg.
Combined with Powers of X, House of X has unleashed radical new angles to explore. Mutants have conquered death, Moira McTaggert may be one of the most powerful people in existence thanks to the simplest of powers and the species is finally united in the pursuit of their own homeland. Apocalypse and Sinister stand with Xavier, Magneto and Emma Frost’s Quiet Council, laws are being written for Mutantdom and man’s greatest death factories pose no threat to Homo Superior.
Then there’s the dark tomorrow where post-humans give in to their fear and bring about the end, the reinvention of mutants as a culture whose identity is constantly being stolen by humans in the present day and Moira’s grand plan to find a future where the X-Men don’t lose. House of X and Powers of X has been nothing short of ambitious across the last twelve weeks, a revelatory adventure hellbent on updating over five decades of mutant history and finally allowing the past to die so that new issues can be tackled.
It’s the first chapter of a new X-Men story, where tomorrow will always be worth fighting for being a mutant is no longer a crime. It’s something to be proud about, for once.
Last Updated: October 10, 2019