REVIEW – House of X #1

House of X #1 – Marvel Comics

Written by Jonathan Hickman

Art by Pepe Larraz

Colors by Marte Garcia

Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles

Designs by Tom Muller

Imagine where Marvel Comics would be today without the X-Men. Sure there would still be plenty of great stories, but the X-Men were the dawning of a new era for the publisher across all aspects of media. Now the X-Men are getting a bit of a comic book reboot with Jonathan Hickman at the controls. Could this be the beginning of a new defining moment for mutant fans everywhere? Let’s enter the House of X.

First, I will tell you that this Director’s Cut is an oversided issue. It’s really difficult to explain this issue in too much detail without spoiling anything, which I’m not going to do here. What this issue really represents is the cultural manifestation of mutants. Charles Xavier has made an offer the humankind that would lead to mutants being officially recognized by the rest of the world. They have a place of their own, now they just want that to be recognized. So they let a group of humans take a bit of a tour of their virgining society, with quite a magnetic tour guide. You can imagine that the results of this visit weren’t exactly met with a lot of mutual agreement. We also get to see a couple of other stories, including a very interesting confrontation and a look at just who is at the helm of different parts of this new mutant society. The main focus here is the offer by Xavier and whether or not the rest of the world will agree to it. Will there be fallout? That remains to be seen.

One thing that was very appealing about this first issue was something that went beyond the actual story itself. There were also maps, reports and internal memos that take you inside the story and really help you understand all of the aspects of what is going on. So not only are we seeing the cultural and political aspects playing out on the page, we have a look at where this is taking place and the reports that are a part of that. In a story with a lot of moving parts, this is a great move by the creative team. Hickman also shows that he understands these characters very well. There is a sense of hope in the pages with Charles Xavier, Jean Grey and others. When you see the sanctuary that is being established, you feel like mutants might finally be able to come out of hiding. Then you have another part of the story where the same problems seem to keep coming up for mutantkind. There are a few other elements at play here, which seem unnecessary at the time, but ultimately end up makind sense in the larger story. The art in this book is absolutely fantastic. X-Men comics have been known for great art over the years, and this book is arguably at or near that level. I also love the designs for both Charles Xavier and Magneto in this book, so I hope Larraz is ready for plenty of commissions for years to come with those two characters alone. Hope and tension are balanced very well in this debut issue, and it gives me hope of a long standing, meaningful story. It’s only one issue, but Hickman has given us the start of something with a ton of potential. It’s too soon to say just how impactful this story will be, but this is an excellent start.