A lot of us are going crazy about what Hickman seems to be doing with the world of X-Men in the Marvel Universe. He said he had big plans, and he delivered with the results of those plans set into motion with the debut first issue. Now with that said, that was the first issue. We all know that with stories like this, it’s all about the second. It’s what you do after you get the ball rolling that matters most, because that is what tells readers that you really thought the whole thing through. It’s one thing to do all these amazing things with the resources that the mutants have, but it’s another thing to show that it has staying power.
This story of Moira was something which got some readers talking after the first issue release. Many like myself wondered where in the world this fit into what’s going on presently. House of X #2 gave us some interesting insight into who Moira is and what makes her so special. I myself was a little taken back by the revelation of what mutant meant to her. Well, to some extent I shouldn’t be since she is a new character. However, it goes without saying that Moira MacTaggert tends to be a pretty insignificant character in recent times. I might go so far as to say that her character is more of a fossil. All the same, I could see now why they say that her re-introduction has reshaped the history of the mutants. It changes a lot when you have someone with her kind of power who tries to take such an active role in their place in the world. The kind of trouble she ran into doing this also made sense given what she had to offer in that role.
What was unexpected for this second issue was the overall decision that this one would for the most part focus on just Moira MacTaggert and her story. They said that we would learn the truth about one of the X-Men’s closest allies, though this probably wasn’t the first person who came to mind if you simply jumped into this second issue without expectation. It certainly did make sense of the cover art choice. This was a bold choice when you would expect that most readers were probably a bit more anxious to see what came next for other areas of the story before this. I know that I was certainly one of those people, though I also couldn’t argue with the story that has been told right now for this one character. The big thing was just hoping that this story was one that would have a big takeaway. I mean, it would have to for someone who is apparently so strongly intertwined in the history of mutantkind now.
Now where things got brilliant was the actual exploration of these many lives that Moira lived. All confusion of those different versions of Moira that we saw on the cover quickly began to fade away when we were able to dive into the way each live molded her and the choices she made for the sake of mutantkind. With everything that the X-Men did over the years to fight for their place in the world, we got to experience something a bit more out there. Moira had been there, done that, and seen it all. After some time it also became easier to see how we could possibly end up with the world that exists now. They did not disappoint one bit with how this one person was able to change everything.
The art team of Pepe Larraz, Marte Garcia, Cowles, and Muller knocked it out of the park once more. Notice I mention everyone here because this is one of those books where you truly are able to see where each person poured something into these interior to make it standout. Overall, I loved the creativity that went into telling Moira’s story. Every version of her, every interaction which changed her, every action she took which changed the course of history. There was so much going on here and they handled it all wonderfully in sync. Like the first issue, I was blow away by all of the infographs, charts, and tables created to showcase everything established about mutants, and all of the changes that they have current undergone. I was even impressed by the couple of pages that were nothing but text. In the case of this story it works because we are fed a lot of information in a short amount of time, but what makes it all engaging is the presentation. Even just a white page and words is something when not everyone is bold enough to do it.
House of X #2 succeeded in giving us complete faith in Hickman’s vision for the X-Men. As I said, the second issue always matters most. Big ideas require a strong follow through. That he did with a captivating story told over the span of lifetimes, and surprisingly through just one person. Who would have thought that it could be someone on the outside who could have such an impact on the fate of the mutants?