House of X #4 Review - Shades of Future Past
• Marte Gracia (Colorist) • Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia (Cover Artists)
• Marvel Comics (Publisher) • Recommend (Hell Yes)
I would have given Powers of X #3 an A+ but it didn't feel quite right after reading this issue. This comic is fantastic and is yet another single issue of the year contender.
Hickman once again minimizes the annotations and tells the story of the X-Men's last stand. The assault on the Mother Mold. Things immediately go bad for our heroes as foreshadowed in last issues cliffhanger.
Multiple X-Men are killed at the outset of the assault, but rather than abort the mission Cyclops makes the call to push forward. Cyclops shines in this issue and it's great seeing him put his team in position even though things are dire. He's my favorite character so these moments brought a smile to my face.
Suicide missions like this make up my favorite books, but its a rare breed of comic that gets an audible reaction out of me. The storyline that this issue reminds me most of ironically is Days of Future Past and although the scenario is completely different, the outcome is practically the same. Unfortunately for our heroes, the human opposition along with the Omega Sentinal are just as capable and determined in their efforts to stop them.
Hero after hero fall in some pretty brutal and shocking ways and by the end of the issue, the Mother Mold is knocked offline.
Pepe Larraz gets a lot of great scenes to pencil this issue and his attention to detail, particularly body language deserve a lot of praise. A lot of high stakes decisions are made by the characters in this issue and the comic wouldn't have been half as good if the art direction wasn't as solid. The creative team knocked it out of the park with this issue.
This comic is an emotional gut-punch the further you get into it. At one point in a fit of desperation, the Mother Mold is activated. Cyclops and Xavier have an exchange that broke my heart because we as readers know "Whatever it takes" means in this scenario.
House of X #4 is easily the best issue in this series to date. It's a solid midpoint for the story and its hard to even imagine what Hickman has in store for us to top this.
Bonus: My thoughts
After reading House of X # 4 I really want to know if this is really Xavier? I feel like a fakeout is coming. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Xavier may really be Sinister.
I also think it's pretty safe to conclude that this is not Marvel 616. The characters look the same but there are too many circumstances going on with this timeline that feel out of alignment with the rest of the Marvel Universe. I know the easy answer is that Moira is reincarnating and affecting the outcome of each timeline. I just think there is another factor at play that hasn't come into focus yet. I could be entirely wrong.
The reincarnating in a time loop is what keeps wrecking my brain. I understand the power of reincarnation but I don't get the loop.
The creators of the Mother Mold are still alive, with so many of the X-Men lost what does that mean for our heroes going forward? What's to stop the project from being restarted with renewed resolve. Especially considering that the creation of the Mother mold was a joint venture by the world's governments to handle the mutant threat. The assault by the X-Men may be deemed an act of war.
What will Xavier's and Magneto's response be in House of X #5? Xavier Proclaims declares "No More" by the end of the issue but is this something that even he can stop?
How will the X-Men return? I've seen the solicits for the new series being launched this fall. Some of the fallen character's, most notably Cyclops and Wolverine are featured. How will they return? Are they pod people grown by Krakoa?
Here on out, I'll be reviewing the series weekly. It definitely has my attention.