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COMIC REVIEW: FTN reviews Marvel’s House of X #1

August 18th, 2019 by Shane Michael Comments

House of X (2019) #1
Writer by: Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: Pepe Larraz
Cover Artist: Pepe Larraz

FACE THE FUTURE. Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (SECRET WARS, AVENGERS, FANTASTIC FOUR) takes the reins of the X-Men universe! Since the release of Uncanny X-Men #1, there have been four seminal moments in the history of the X-Men. Giant-Sized X-Men. X-Men. Age of Apocalypse. New X-Men. Four iconic series that introduced a new era for Marvel’s mutants and revolutionized the X-Men. In House of X, Charles Xavier reveals his master plan for mutantkind…one that will bring mutants out of the shadow of mankind and into the light once more.

“Humans of the planet Earth. While you slept, the world changed.”

Changed it has.

I want to preface this review by saying a few things: I have not been a fan in recent years of any of the X-books.

In fact, I’ll go as far as saying the last run on an X-title that I hold in high regard is the Whedon/Cassaday run on Astonishing X-Men that ended in mid 2008 (although the horribly cut short Tom Taylor led X-Men: Red was fantastic).

This has been a source of great sadness as the X-Men books were not only the first comics I read from Marvel but also the first comic I read, period. They’re the reason I live and breathe this crazy hobby so not being particularly motivated to pick up a book with any of the X-Men in them has, as I said, been sad.

The second thing I want to say is that Jonathan Hickman has been hit and miss with me over his career.

I have followed his career from the start, beginning with the phenomenal Nightly News from Image Comics in 2006, throughout his early early independents right up until he started in the House of Ideas.

That Marvel moniker is quite apt when it comes to Hickman because he is a writer with big ideas. Unfortunately those haven’t always landed for me. While I recognise his previous runs on both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers were epic in scale, they didn’t necessarily grab me.

It’s important that you know that I got both those points out of the way so you understand  I’m not biased towards his writing when I say that House of X #1 is the most promising and exciting X-Men comic in over a decade.

Hickman’s much anticipated return to Marvel to oversee the X-Men line has hit every high note in my book: he is breaking the status quo while paying homage to the great past stories of these rich and interesting characters.

The bulk of the book deals with Charles Xavier building a sovereign state for mutantkind on the island of Krakoa. While this type of story-beat has been touched on before with Asteroid M, Utopia and Genosha, this time it’s different; Xavier has used Krakoa to grow three groundbreaking drugs to aid mankind, to use as leverage in his demands to be left unabated to build his new mutant paradise.

Joining Hickman, providing pencils is Pepe Larraz. I have to admit I’m not overly familiar with his work but after reading this issue, it’s clear that he is very talented.

His work reminds me a lot of Stuart Immonen, which isn’t a bad thing. I pored over a number of panels and pages, beautifully rendered, proving Larraz was a fantastic choice to usher in this new age of X.

There are seeds (pun intended) sown throughout the issue to which I assume Hickman plans on elaborating in throughout his run: Xavier’s motives, his whole demeanour doesn’t seem completely kosher and certain sections of the Government look like they won’t take the Professor’s new manifesto lying down: two words: Mother Mold.

For me, the X-men are back to the heights they once held under the pen of Claremont, Morrison & Whedon. It’s all very exciting and I am delighted to say that I am back to again eagerly awaiting each new issue of the X-Men line to see how this unfolds.

If you’ve felt that the X-universe as been lacklustre in the last several years, I believe this is a perfect place to once again give those merry mutants another try.

5 out of 5 Nerds

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When not writing for FTN or revelling in his passions of comic books, gaming, music, TV or film, Shane can be found living out his days on a mysterious Island just like the one in his beloved TV show, LOST (in reality, the north of Ireland!). Always eager to meet new people and talk about anything nerd he can be found on twitter (@pranksterk) or on facebook! Just don't tell him what he can't do.. it's his destiny ;)