My mileage varies when it comes to X-Men comics. As a Marvel Unlimited subscriber, I’ve always intended to dive into them from the beginning, but I decided to do that with Spider-Man first, and it’s been a slow process, to say the least. With so much history, there’s always something to read. That makes it hard to know where to begin, too, unless you do go back to the very beginning.
Jonathan Hickman’s House of X is a new chapter for the X-Men, so if you’ve been looking for a jumping-on point, you can start here. Just go into it knowing that this first issue is a lot to take in. Charles Xavier has a plan for mutantkind, and it’s forming epically.
Another thing to know going into the comic is that Powers of X will run alongside it. Hickman himself explained it on Twitter, so check out his thread before diving in.
I haven’t read a ton of Hickman’s work, but I did start Manhattan Projects and The Black Monday Murders. What I noticed right away was how in-depth he goes with his stories. They might be hard to follow at times, but when you look back on them, you understand why.
I feel the same way about House of X after reading the first issue. I have no idea what to expect from the remainder of the story, but I’m expecting it to be big. With issues coming out every week (that includes Powers of X) from now until early October, there’s a lot of story that can unfold in 11 more issues.
House of X gives us a look at Krakoa and plants the mutants as superiors who can help humans if the humans let them. The problem is that humans have never been able to accept the mutants and all of their abilities, many of which can be used for good.
Just because this focuses on the X-Men, you can still expect appearances from other characters. The Fantastic Four show up, and Reed makes his stance known on how the X-Men are choosing to handle things. Instead of things escalating, Cyclops concedes because he knows that his issue is not with the Fantastic Four. The tension is evident there, and I imagine that won’t be the last we see of them.
If you’ve ever wondered which mutants are the most powerful, the page on Omega level mutants gives a good glimpse at that. Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), David Haller (Legion), and Erik Lehnsherr (Magento) make a list, among others. While many won’t be a surprise, there were a few on the list who I didn’t realize were quite that powerful.
While the writing is dense and you’re getting a lot of information, the art does an excellent job of keeping up with the story. You have the informational pages, but once you return to the various settings, you know right away how vast this world is going to be. Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and VC’s Clayton Cowles deserve just as much credit for taking this giant issue and engrossing you in the world. Without the artist, colorist, and letterer, this story wouldn’t have come across in quite the same way.
Lifelong X-Men fans might not be instantly sold on this series, but as someone who has struggled with where I should dive in, I’m planning on giving this a shot. The first issue blends in the science fiction in a way that isn’t immediately overbearing, while still getting to the real, core issues that these characters face.
Find House of X #1 at your local comic book shop.