If you're an avid Marvel Comics reader in the modern era, you've almost come to expect the occasional relaunch. This time it's not the majority of the line, but it isn't much of a shock either. Yesterday it was announced via Comicbook.com that Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, Secret Wars) would be reshaping the X-Men starting this summer. Before I get to my opinions on this, let's get to the details.
All current X-Men titles will come to and end starting in July and through September. At that point, Hickman will write two new titles: House of X and Powers of X. Pepe Larraz will provide art for House of X, while R.B. Silva will be helping to bring Powers of X to life. Hickman made a statement in the reveal that really stood out to me. He said, "This is a whole new era for the X-Men. This is what we're doing now." That message was not just for fans, but for creators that will be working on future X titles. We're talking about a whole new X-Universe coming here, with multiple creative teams. Hickman will be in charge of the initial launch, but this will branch out.
Hickman went on to explain, “HOUSE OF X, is a story about a pivotal month in the history of the X-Men where everything changes for mutants on Earth. And the other, POWERS OF X, is a story about the history of mutants in the Marvel Universe,” explained Hickman. Each series will be released on an alternate weekly schedule, starting with HOUSE OF X, followed by POWERS OF X. Fans will be able to follow along each week this summer and witness history unfold.
It does appear that there will be something for traditional X-Men fans, as well as some brand new stuff. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like Marvel has been trying to get X-Men comics right for at least a year now. When it doesn't work, they blow it up and start over with something else. Granted it's not always a total tear down, but it feels that way at times. We also see the whole "kill them off and then bring them back" strategy used a few times now. There was also the experiment of Inhumans over X-Men that just never really worked. It felt like X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold were going to stick around, but that didn't last either.
The question is, what is it going to take for the X-Men to get some sort of stability in the publishing line? Do you want something more like classic X-Men books or would you like to see a completely fresh take? I'm actually hoping for something more down the middle. There is always room for new X-Men, because the possibilities are really limitless. You just need to give these characters proper depth, and a chance for fans to get invested in them before you pull the rug out. We're talking about a group of characters that could carry the line, if given the opportunity. I feel like fans, new and old, are just waiting for that next great X-Men book to come out and get excited about. I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'll reserve any real judgement until after this year's SDCC when we learn more about what's going on.
Until then, what are you hoping to see in House of X, Powers of X and beyond?