Let's Talk About Hickman's X-Men // Spoilers
Hi, I’m David Harth. You may know me from such reviews as Uncanny X-Men, Dead Man Logan, Superman, Action Comics, The Wicked + The Divine, and East of West, among others. I have already read Hickman’s House of X and wrote up a review for it. It’s excellent. That said, today I’m going to make some predictions based on what’s in the comic. So, you know, there will be SPOILERS. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
So, at this point, it looks like the main bad guy is going to the various groups involved in the Orchis Protocol. So far, it seems like it’s going to be the same old anti-mutant prejudice that motivates them, however. They have a large space station called The Forge. It has a giant Sentinel head as its main body, so it’s definitely a Master Mold of some type. That said, one of the narrative cruxes of the issue is getting Krakoa, the new mutant nation that Xavier has founded, recognized by the governments of the planet. Most of the ambassadors sent to negotiate are either for recognizing them or ambivalent to them. However, the person they’re negotiating with is playing hardball. And that person is none other than….
Magneto has some powerful words for the humans. In fact, his dialogue to them is very ominous and threatening. The last line is the book is him telling them that humanity has new gods. The implication is that mutants are those new gods. So, let’s assume that Krakoa gets its sovereignty recognized regardless of Magneto’s attitude. The mutants are going to have to do something terrible for Orchis to attack them. That something could very well be an act of Magneto. One of the interesting things about the SDCC X-Men presentation was the number of villains shown in the roster pictures. You know who wasn’t shown? Magneto.
Magneto could very well be the impetus to attack Krakoa, but there’s another factor- in the book. Mystique, Toad, and Sabretooth break into Damage Control headquarters to hack their systems, which contain info from both Reed Richards and Tony Stark. Toad and Mystique escape, but Sabretooth is captured by the Fantastic Four, and Cyclops shows up to unsuccessfully try and get him back. This espionage would easily be enough to give the governments of the world a reason to attack the mutants.
Finally, and this is mere personal conjecture, there’s something I don’t really trust about Xavier in this book. The opening scene of the book has a very creepy vibe, with people coming out of cocoons in Krakoa and him saying his trademark, “To me, my X-Men,” phrase. He wears a Cerebro helmet the whole time he’s seen in the book. Presumably, this is X, the Xavier/Fantomex hybrid from Charles Soule’s Astonishing X-Men run. I never really trusted that character. He had been trapped by the Shadow King on the Astral Plane, and there was something about him that was very… twisted. Professor X was always a pragmatist. A lot of retcons were done to show him using shady tactics to advance the mutant agenda. X, though, was manipulating the X-Men in such an overt and mocking way throughout Soule’s run. Xavier’s shadiness was always well hidden. X was very upfront about it. Could X be hiding something?
That’s what I can gather from House Of X #1. As far as what’s coming after House Of X and Power Of X end, it’s anyone guess. Hickman is building a whole new world for the X-Men and based on some of the teases we’ve seen, there’s a lot that’s going to be built in these two books. For example, where do Corsair and Vulcan fit into this whole thing? They’ll be joining the main X-Men book Hickman is writing. Why have so many villains given up their old ways? Even Apocalypse is going to be a member of the X-Men coming up. The only thing that makes sense is a threat so great that it forces mutantkind to work together. Could Orchis’ Forge be that threat? It orbits the sun, which could explain why Corsair and Vulcan come in, giving the X-Men space transportation. It looks like a giant solar-powered Master Mold and Karima, an Omega Sentinel introduced way back in the post-House Of M Excalibur book, is a part of Orchis so these could be an entirely new type of Sentinel.
That’s one of the most significant parts about this book. It raises so many questions and gives so many hints. It looks like Hickman is setting things up for an entirely new X-Men experience for readers. Sure, we’ve seen a mutant country before in Utopia, but never one that’s set up like Krakoa, which produces what can best be called biotech that benefits humans and mutants. There’s so many intriguing factors set up in this one issue alone. It will be a treat to see how it all pans out.