HOUSE OF X #4
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Rating: 8/10 Review Molds
Last issue of HOUSE OF X we finally got to see our team leader Cyclops assemble a group of X-Men to stop a giant robot from making smaller (but still big) robots up in space. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Mystique, Archangel, Husk, and Monet. This team is stacked and prepared for what could be a one-way trip. The anti-mutant humans known as Orchid onboard aren't going down without a fight though and now with this issue will we know... if the X-Men survived the experience. Oh, my stars and spoilers!
Whatever It Takes
After a long-awaited issue to see the X-Men in action, Hickman delivers on his promise from the previous issues on how important this mission is. What was once a team of nine is now a team of six and a half (seven once Wolverine heals up). As much as they wish they could mourn their fallen friends who died in an explosion boarding the station, they must soldier on. It’s important to know that the mutants aren’t the only ones playing for keeps here. Last issue, our lead scientists’ husband blew themselves up to stop the X-Men and, seeing that it failed, you have one widow even more resolute.
Each step further to completing their mission continues to come at a greater cost as more X-Men gave their lives to save their future. Some of these deaths in this issue are straight-up awful to see befall our X-Men. No matter the cost, we knew, they knew, that it needed doing. And it was done. The Mother Mold, the giant robot predicted to create the happy murder bot known as Nimrod in the future was destroyed, and yet without it, Professor X knew that this was still not enough.
Look At What They’ve Done
Peppe Larraz and Marte Gracia continue to dominate the comics I read with the most amazing art and colors I’ve seen in comics. While we got some glimpses of action in the Year 100 stories, this was THE X-Men in the battle now and we got to see it play out more. Wolverine is a site to see as we get really good looks at him slicing and dicing while his regenerative factor is drawn by Larraz in full gear. Moments of Sentinels swarming are terrifying to witness. The biggest draw of this issue was the number of breathtaking sites Larraz and Gracia drew. Seeing the Mother Mold in full view floating among space is stunning with its sheer size paired with the bright colors of the sun begins it, illuminating a very pretty shadow across its face and the shots we see of Wolverine approach it. We see in this issue Jean communicates with Professor X and the other X-Men at home base via having her face projected through a giant water construct. It’s an absolutely beautiful visual that I really don’t have words that could it justice. Through this whole issue, Gracia kills it with awesome shifts between his colors being contrasted with blues as well as oranges.
Look At What He’s Done
Hickman’s run so far continues to stir up all the talk among readers of this series. The dialogue between the team and its members is both a mix of high stakes action and bittersweet moments. He takes it to a whole never with all of our X-Men losing their lives on this mission (there’s that spoiler). I started to feel like Hickman was looking to one-up Matthew Rosenburg from his run on UNCANNY X-MEN with how some fan favorites went out. So much death in this issue that Hickman shows us, it’s even too much for Charles Xavier. Hickman’s writing of Charles with his helmet thing on has me constantly guessing if he is intentionally being written as manipulating all the mutants into being these faithful followers, to seeing him as very human (I guess mutant in this case) individual at the end. He keeps me guessing.
Feeling Depowered At The End
This issue ended with a lot of questions left for me. How do we get these X-Men back? Do we get them all back? Are they pod people and the opening page from HOUSE OF X #1 was actually after these events? Am I ever gonna be able to pull myself together again after Nightcrawler and Wolverine exchange parting words? I don’t know the answers but it keeps me up at night. It’s another long week ahead till the next issue will bring myself, and hopefully the X-Men, back to full strength. Hope to see you there!