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Penultimate X-Men (House of X #6 Review)


Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Pepe Larraz

Colorist: Marte Gracia

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Publisher: Marvel

Rating: 8/10 Krakoan Kisses

Just look at what he’s made.

Here we are, at the final issue of House of X, and just one away from the end of everything Hickman has set up to kick off his Dawn of X. The road getting here has felt long, filled with endless questions and theories from the minds all sparked by this new era ahead of the X-Men Hickman has begun to forge. So now I ask, take off your Magneto-like helmets, open yourself up to the X-Spoilers as I enter the gate and break down this issue.

House of X #6 kicks us off one month from the present day. You know the day where a bunch of X-Men died, you found out Goldballs was basically Goldeggs and your dead mutants came out of those eggs as goopy and naked as the day they were reborn. Hickman essentially puts us right before the opening events of House of X #1 where Magneto meets with world diplomats to discuss the new world of mutants. Professor X, through the use of Cerebro, spreads his message across the world, letting them all know of the drugs they manufactured that we learned they were using as leverage. Xavier’s speech is powerful, mentioning the hopes, dreams, the loss, and the new standard ahead of them.

After that big global announcement, it’s time we get to dive into the politics of Krakoa and by that, I mean Hickman puts in the first meeting as we establish the first Mutant Laws. Here we see the council assembled for the first time albeit one member yet to be revealed (as long as you haven’t read Previews). Apocalypse sits with Magneto and Charles. Storm, Jean and Kurt make up a portion of members you would likely expect in Charles council while you are also met with Mister Sinister, Mystique and Sebastian Shaw in the mix. We got to see some of this teased at the end of Powers of X #5. All three are some of the X-Men’s biggest baddies. But hey, sometimes you gotta change how things are done, and that’s what Hickman is doing (even though we know Sinister is going to really betray them). 

Seeing the Council at work for the first time is very interesting with the varied interests but in the end, we get our first three laws:

  1. Make more mutants

  2. Murder no man

  3. Respect this sacred land

Three new laws and one terrifying punishment that we see Professor X had in store to let Sabertooth be the example of. I don’t want to spoil that bit but all I can say is that the eeriness of what is going on is still strong to me in this moment.

Spooky eerie vibes aside, it’s time to party and that’s exactly what the mutant citizens are going to do. This whole section of the comic was that moment I’ve been wanting to see for some time. The X-Men happy and celebrating, but most importantly, they felt more like themselves for the first time. There is no love rivalry, grudges or resentment in these moments. Just love and happiness at a new beginning for everyone.

There is going to be a void left when HoX and PoX reach their conclusion. The team that has worked on this book has been in such perfect unison that it makes it a wonder to behold. Larraz was a completely new artist to me when this all began but at the end of it all now, he has quickly become one of my all-time favorites. His artwork is solid all the way through, displaying amazing action scenes, beautiful environments in his panels, and scenes that elevate the weight of change in Hickman’s writing. Gracia and Curiel were key in all of this too. The colors they gave to Larraz’s art really popped with color that I feel like paired with any other artist, wouldn’t look the same as it does in these books.

With all this good art to be displayed but a powerful new future ahead of us needing to be told in Hickman’s writing, it’s a good thing Clayton Cowles is here to help with that. Cowles has been one of the letterers I see pop up more than most in the Marvel world. His experience shows more and more after and coming to appreciate the work letterers do with finding the right placement for everything and making dialogue fit, Cowles does this phenomenally.

So what’s next? Not Sure. With the last few issues tying up the Year 100 stuff as well as the mission to take down Mother Mold. What more is there left to cover before Dawn of X starts? Maybe we will know in one thousand years but who's to say. I am still curious about how this will meld into the main Marvel universe with some of the slight changes and how will it impact Maybe we are supposed to just completely retcon that but hopefully not. So, Is what we have perfect? In some ways. But it’s a start -- and a good one.

#XMen #MarvelComics

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