As I said last week, I was truly reserved about the direction that Marvel was going to take the X-Men next. It’s not as if I knew what they were planning, but they haven’t quite instilled the kind of confidence that they should in a franchise like the X-Men. We get it, continuity is something that you pretty much throw out of the window when it comes to the mutants, but at some point you still must look like there is an end game in mind, rather than winging it. As of last week, it finally looked like they found something to do with the X-Men. Revolutionary was definitely the right way to describe it. It was honestly refreshing what Hickman was able to do with his big thinking, and that got me excited to also see what could come of Powers of X.
Now I’m not going to lie, I was a bit taken back that this one would deal with revealing the secret past, present and future of mutantkind. I suppose you could say that this book would be like seeing how the events of House of X might influence what’s to come, but you never truly know with such an intricate story that Hickman has weaved together for the mutants place in the Marvel Universe.
First this book started off with the past, and it was intriguing to see where this vision of the future could have possibly began for Xavier. Of course it may be hard to believe that he saw exactly how things would turn out now, but you could be convinced that all it takes is that one moment to find true motivation in making a better world. Getting back to the present, I enjoyed that they chose a point taken from the events of House of X #1. Particularly one which gave us a bit more insight into the mindset of the two guy running the show at the top. Now the story of the future? That was something unique. Of everything I knew to expect from this book, what got my mind racing was how we were seeing so many mutant designs that were clearly combos of well-known X-Men. The answer to that was intriguing. Also bold since a lot of what goes on here is not something you might get instantly. It might take some time to process it all, and that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing either.
Last, was the year one thousand. This point in time is just riddled with mystery, but at the same time I appreciated that they didn’t fully get into this. Powers of X is another mini just like House of X, and you still want to give readers a reason to come back looking for more. Most of these points in time gave you just a taste of what they had to offer. The next five issues should hopefully expand on everything we have seen so far with greater context and clarity.
Like House of X, Powers of X continued with the same pages of data and research that cut through a lot of the guess-work for what was going on in this story. This has been one of the more unique additions that Hickman has brought to the X-Books from his intricate approach to storytelling. I enjoy it, because any other writer might take the risk on the story itself becoming too wordy. That’s probably one of the easiest ways to lose readers if the interior work isn’t satisfying enough. This creative team gave us these pages of information, and all of it was worth the time to read through. Especially the explanations of the evolution that mutantkind went through over time. I mean, this was all genuinely well-thought of, down to the numbers and diagrams.
The art team of R.B. Silva, Adirano Di Benedetto, Marte Garcia, and Tom Muller knocked it out of the park. Once more the interior art was the last thing I had concerns about because they put the right artists on the job. As I said above, Muller did an excellent job bringing the same page designs from House of X to this one. Not as colorful as the other, but the consistency was all that really mattered. What stood out the most visually was everything creative about these future characters and settings. Whether it was the mutants, machines, or the humans, a lot changed about their appearances. This went double for the mutants who were bred with a combination of x-genes. It was also interesting to see how some bigger names aged over time. Some looked the same, while some others took on interesting upgrades to their costumes. More importantly, all of this was beautifully rendered and detailed. There was not one scene where they made you feel like they took shortcuts. Like House of X, getting the chance to see Krakoa again was something to marvel at. Again I would also credit that to Marte Garcia who knows how to breathe life into these pages with his vibrant pallet.
This right here is as daring as it gets. If you thought Hickman’s present storyline for the X-Men was mindblowing in House of X #1? Powers of X #1 challenges you to think again. In fact, it challenges you to think harder than you ever have about the mutant’s place on not only Earth, but the entirety of the universe! This right here is how you get readers and fans talking about the X-Men again.