Let's Talk About House Of X #5- SPOILERS
Hi, I’m David Harth and let’s talk about House Of X #5. No, snarky introduction or lame jokes this week, let’s just get right into it.
So, the Krakoa pod people theory that I and others have posited isn’t entirely correct, but it’s very close. First off, who would ever expect that Goldballs, a joke character from Bendis’ X-Men run, would be one of the most important mutants of them all and the catalyst for mutant resurrection? No one, that’s who. Basically, his balls weren’t gold at all, but unviable eggs. Hickman is taking a character that Bendis made as a joke and making him something beyond that. It’s great.
The resurrection process then goes to Proteus, who makes the eggs viable with is reality-altering powers. Genetic material from the dead mutant is injected into the egg. Elixir, a healing mutant, starts the process of life and then Eva Bell, another Bendis creation, uses her time powers to accelerate the growth of the embryos. Hope Summers facilitates itself the whole thing and boosts their powers. Hickman reveals that Xavier uses Cerebro to make copies of mutant minds and then puts the copies into the husks and BOOM, instant resurrection.
So, Krakoa doesn’t grow the pods. However, they get the DNA info from Sinister’s mutant genetic databank. That was first mentioned in Powers Of X #4, and Xavier does use Cerebro to make copies of mutant minds and put them into new bodies. So I got two out of the three right in my predictions of how the characters would be resurrected. I was pretty thrilled as I was reading the issue that I got a few details right. The Sinister mutant genetic databank thing was pretty telegraphed by its introduction, but the Cerebro thing really changes what we know about the device and how it works.
As I was reading the issue, a thought came into my head, though, and it had to do with Wolverine and Archangel. Both of them have some aftermarket modifications if you will. How are we going to get back Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton or Archangel’s Apocalypse given enhancements? For Archangel, at least, we know that Apocalypse will be around and could very well give him the metal wings and so on. But this issue establishes that Apocalypse doesn’t join Krakoa until after the resurrection. As for Wolverine, I doubt the mutants have the hundred pounds of adamantium laying around to bond to his bones. So, how do the two of them have these little extras?
Proteus can manipulate reality and could very easily introduce the elements needed into the process of resurrection to give them their extras. This isn’t established anywhere in the book, but it’s the only thing that makes sense, really. Granted, I like bone claw Wolverine, a lot more than a lot of people. But Marvel just brought the character back, and I doubt they’re going to make him into bone claw Wolverine again. Since it isn’t an era of the character, a lot of readers have a lot of affection for, and honestly, Archangel with feather wings is useless. So, I’m calling it now- Proteus uses his powers to give Wolverine his adamantium and Archangel his Apocalypse enhancements.
Also in this issue is the UN vote on Krakoan statehood and it’s revealed that Emma Frost used her mental powers to manipulate the vote. I feel like this will be a big deal down the line at some point. This is definitely something Emma would do, but if Hickman mentions it, there’s a reason behind it. Maybe at some point down the line, humanity will find out about what she did, and it will cause a big thing.
Finally, Xavier brings pretty much every mutant villain imaginable to Krakoa to join the nation. I feel like this is just asking for trouble at some point down the line. Apocalypse is reunited with his old friend Krakoa and has a big moment with Xavier, shaking his hand. It’s a wonderful page, but it’s so very ominous. As we found out in Powers Of X #4, Apocalypse lost his original Horsemen defending Krakoa from an unknown enemy and probably wants them back. He and the rest of the villains promise to follow the rules that Xavier and Magneto have laid out, but there’s no way they’re going to keep that promise. I can see a giant civil war happening on Krakoa at some point, with Apocalypse playing everyone to get his ultra-powerful original Horsemen back.
One of my favorite things about what Hickman’s been doing so far is how he’s calling back to Morrison’s X-Men run without copying. Morrison was all about the mutants as the future and making them into a culture. However, there was no central locus beyond the school for mutants to cluster around. They had no real power in the world. Hickman is taking Morrison’s idea and bringing it to fruition in a way that Marvel at the time would have never let Morrison do. Hickman is giving them a homeland, a language, and economic power. Without these things, culture can never flourish. Hickman is laying these things out and finally giving mutants the thing they’ve always needed. I can only imagine where he’s going to take things from here and how it’s going to change the X-Men’s status quo. At this point, it’s sort of impossible to go back to the school.
He’s also kind of broken the X-Men’s superheroics with the whole resurrection thing. It’s brilliant and well thought out, but it also robs the stakes from their actions. I can, however, see a day when one of the Five is killed, and it screws up the whole resurrection thing for everyone. I feel like with this issue, Hickman drops a lot of great reveals while also dropping some rather subtle set-up. I don’t know about anyone else, but I haven’t been this excited about the X-Men in particular and a Marvel comic in general since Morrison was working for the company. Hickman is taking the X-Men to the next level, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Join me here next week for a talk about Powers Of X #5.