The 12 Pack is a quick rundown on things going on in pop culture; it’s essentially 12 quick thoughts on a specific topic.
6 weeks ago, Marvel Comics handed the X-Men over to Jonathan Hickman so they could reboot the mutant line of comic books (because Disney now owns the movie rights after the Fox merger). The reboot started with 2 books – House of X and Powers of X. One of the 2 books has come out each week since it started, with 3 books total for each title.
- – Using Moria McTaggert as the focal point has been genius. Retconning her origin so she’s a mutant has really given her character a purpose we haven’t seen for her in quite a long time. It’s also been fascinating trying to figure out her timeline in the different stories.
- – One issue I’ve had with this as a jumping on point is the existing history of the characters. I’ve been out of the X-Men for a few years, so I’m scratching my head when I see certain characters. Jean, Logan, and Xavier were dead. Cypher was brought back by Selene, but was kind of un-dead. Sage fell off the face of the earth after X-treme X-Men. Banshee was a horseman of Apocalypse. The original 5 X-Men were time-displaced (I had heard that they went back to their own timeline though). It’s hard to follow why characters are back. This probably isn’t an issue for new readers, but moreso for older readers getting back into it.
- Like most Hickman comics, there are infographics in both books; and they are extremely helpful here. Running down everything from Moria’s different timelines to the differences in the various Sentinel builds, you get some explanation of what’s going on without taking away from the overall narrative Hickman is building.
- I’m expecting some swerves coming up. We’ve never seen Xavier’s face, so I don’t think that’s the true Xavier. I wouldn’t be surprised Krakoa was somehow involved in making either a fake Xavier, or replicas of the mutants we’re seeing. I also like the theory that Xavier is really Mr. Sinister and he’s cloning different X-Men.
- I’m hoping Powers of X moves back to equal length stories from the 4 different time periods they introduced in the first issue (or at least Year 0, 100, and 1000). We’ve gotten more and more of the 100 years out story so far, which makes a little sense because it’s setting up House of X. I’d like to see more of Moria and Xavier at Year 0 and an explanation of year 1000.
- The art is amazing. R.B. Silva (Powers of X) and Pepe Larraz (House of X) are both able to translate the classic looks of some of the characters while keeping them fresh in the reboot. Silva’s design on new characters are amazing and you can see the where the character influences come from.
- While it’s fun acknowledging organizations like Hydra, AIM, SHIELD, STRIKE, etc, including some of them in the anti-mutant, Mother Mold building Orchis doesn’t sit well with me. SHIELD and SWORD have typically been pro-mutant (or at least mutant neutral) and have had mutant operatives. See them as leaders of this program is out of character.
- Moria’s life 9 seemed interesting when reading one of the mentioned infographics, but it exceeded my expectations seeing it as part of Year 100 in Powers. Moving from Xavier to Magneto to Apocalypse seemed like a natural progression, but seeing what she accomplished with Apocalypse made a lot of sense for life 10/House. It also explains how Apocalypse could be part of Excalibur after these series are done.
- The more I’m reading the book, the more I’m looking forward to the new titles that will spawn out of this. X-Men and X-Force were at the top of my list; I could possibly add New Mutants, Excaliber, Fallen Angels, and the Mauraders to that list. I’m also surprised that X-Factor was not a title used for one of the new teams.
- I’ve read the first issue of each series probably 5 times. With each new issue out, it brings out some detail that impacts what you already have read. Because of this, the 2 series might be better suited for binging in trades; just make sure you read it in the release order to get the full impact.