Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X brings with it the promise of gravitas and an avalanche of variant covers
It had to happen. With less than 3 weeks to go before the launch of Jonathan Hickman’s era-defining mini-series/crossover event, House of X; Marvel had to drop a solicitation to let people know at least something about the book. Of course, it came with yet another variant cover. This one giving off a very 90s feel with Storm, Havok, Cyclops, Jean, and Wolverine all in their costumes of the decade. Except perhaps for Wolverine, who converted from the Brown and Tan, back to his original yellow and blue by the time 92’ came around.
The solicit for House of X reads as the following:
“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.”
During at least one of his publicity stops Hickman paid tribute to those great benchmark stories within the X-Men mythos; Giant-Sized X-Men, X-Men, Age of Apocalypse, and New X-Men.
Giant-Sized X-Men- In 1975 we were given an introduction to a multicultural, international cast in Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Thunderbird. Written by Chris Claremont, the move was subsequently the savior of the entire X-Men franchise. It set off a love affair between Marvel and Chris Claremont (with help from John Byrne) that lasted to 1991. The era birthed touchstone X-Men stories such as the Phoenix Saga and God Loves, Man Kills and set the stage for X-Men dominance for the rest of the century.
X-Men- Initially written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Jim Lee, the series would spin into what’s widely considered the X-Men’s most popular and influential era of storytelling. Not to mention, issue #1 (1991) is still the best selling single comic issue to this day. The milestone is best known for splitting the franchise into two teams within the X-Men, and Uncanny X-Men titles; Blue and Gold. Their success would also spawn a legion of spin-off series such as X-Force, X-Factor, Excalibur, Generation-X, and Cable among others.
Age of Apocalypse- The world we knew up to the 1990s was abruptly erased and rebuilt into a twisted new world. Professor X’s son, Legion, mistakenly murdered his father in the past creating a time paradox. The deed changed the way history played out and ultimately created the Age of Apocalypse. A world where Apocalypse controlled most of the Western Hemisphere and had laid waste to just about everywhere else. The X-Men, formed under and led by Magneto, was the only opposition within Apocalypse’s borders and desperately rebelled against the tyrant. Orchestrated by X-Men writer Fabian Nicieza, it was an epic, tragic story that left a lasting impression on the X-Men franchise.
New X-Men- In the early ’00s after the success’ of both X-Men and X2: X-Men United films, Marvel wanted to take a grittier, more grounded approach to tell their X-Men stories. An approach with black leather, a taller, bare-chested Wolverine, and students. Lot’s of students. Writer Grant Morrison was tapped to lead the X-Men franchise into a darker line of stories that explored the X-Men as characters more than superheroes. In many ways, he took all the crazy @#@$ they’d been through and deconstructed them. Mainly focusing on members Cyclops, Jean, Wolverine, Beast, and Emma Frost, Grant breathed a sense of humanity into the characters through tragedy, self-examination, and loss.
House of X
In House of X, Xavier plans to “bring mutants out of the shadows of mankind and into the light once more.” This statement feels much more like something Magneto would get behind, as Xavier never wanted to take mutants out of the shadows, more than place them side by side with humanity. Over the past several years mutantkind has been persecuted and pushed to the brink of extinction. Partially due to real-world corporate oversight following Secret Wars (they literally created a cloud that circled the planet, killing and sterilizing mutants and simultaneously created new Inhumans) and other parts within the mythos as Cyclops’ team of X-Men fought against the governmental and international distribution of a “cure” which permanently suppressed the X-gene.
And that’s without bringing up the Avengers Vs. X-Men fiasco that demonized the X-Men for years within the Marvel continuity (not with the fans; we weren’t buying that @#@$). With so much to fight against, it’s almost assured that whatever Professor X, or just simply “X” as he began calling himself since he took over Fantomex’s body, is up to it’ll be drastic and impactful. So much so, it warrants more than 15 variant covers.
What do you think Professor X is up to? Let us know below!