House of X #3 Review

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Writer: Jonathan Hickman /Artists: Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia / Marvel

“No one forgets the founder of a nation.”

-Magneto

Wednesday just passed? You know what that means. Hickman Day has arrived!  

In Powers of X #2 we saw Magneto and Professor X get through their ideological differences — Dr. Moira MacTaggert opens Erik’s mind just like she opened Charles’. They come to terms with the fact that separate they fail. Only together will mutants survive. But Erik’s not interested in their survival and neither are Charles and Moira. They agree to move forward with an ambitious and long term plan, but not before Magneto tells Charles that he better not falter and or he’ll G check him in any moment of weakness. It was beautiful. That in conjunction with Moira’s grand plan to take out Nimrod, the outcome of which is in Powers of X #3, sets the stage for House of X #3 this week.

While House of X #3 may be the least action packed issue of both HOX and POX thus far, Hickman does not skip a beat in his storytelling, which I’ve always considered the mark of a truly great writer. Let me start off with the fact that Hickman’s Cyclops is the leader we’ve always deserved. Cyclops is tasked with assembling a strike force for the most important mission for mutantkind. He rolls up with nerves of absolute steel, ready for all the smoke. Professor X and Magneto see him off to destroy the Orchis Forge, which houses a soon to be operational Mother Mold. The destruction of this Mother Mold should stop the creation of Nimrod, the “anti mutant” aka “the end state” aka “the primal threat to the long time survival of the mutants”. In last week’s Powers of X #3, we saw what most X-Men fans believed was the unthinkable — Apocalypse leading the last band of the once great X-Men on a suicide mission. This mission extracted the Nimrod creation data in Moira’s 9th life, so she could be reincarnated with the information necessary to devise the current mission.

Professor X and Magneto bestow some final bars on Mr. Summers before we find out who he’s tapped for this team of straight-up badassery. He’s told that “No matter the outcome, the righteous can never truly die. They live on. Transformed into something immortal by their mighty works.” and with that he’s off to brief the hit squad. Wolverine, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Archangel, Marvel Girl, Monet (M), and Husk are all ready to crack some skulls and go down as legends for their sacrifice.

The other half of this issue provides details on Project Achilles (a supermax prison for mutants) and the complete middle finger to that whole movement, through the lens of Sabertooth’s trial. It’s a fascinating game of chess with one side looking like Bobby Fischer by the end of the ordeal.

You’ll have to dive into this issue to see how the progression of that trial, as well as the first leg of the X-Men mission goes. Trust that you’ll want to see the explosive cliffhanger we’re left on. Luckily, we get back-to-back issues this and next week, so we won’t have to wait long to see exactly what goes down while they’re orbiting the sun. It’s wild because you can’t help but root for this mutant team you’ve grown up loving, but also feel for the humans are are fighting for the future of their species. Hickman is really something special.

But lest we forget the artists bringing his grand plan to life. Laraz and Gracia are finessing these pages like Dali and Picasso on the easel. The page of the X-Men leaving the Krakoa moon base and heading to their deadly mission is stunning. The look of every member of the X-Men is incredible and supremely detailed. Classic Wolverine, Marvel Girl and Sabertooth X-Fits are just perfect. Ms. Emma Frost rollin up to Achilles slaying it with the PETA disrespectin, all white mink? Don’t get me started. P.S. I love it when Wolverine calls Cyclops, Slim. House of X #3 is out now and if you’re not up on this and POX, what are you even doing with your life?

10 We Only Use Our Mutant Names In Public out of 10

We know you’re reading House of X/Powers of X. You can read our other reviews here.

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  • Ja-Quan is a NYC teacher and artist holding a B.A. in Sociology and History from SUNY New Paltz. On his journey to become Hokage, the Lord of The Speed Force and Protector of the Recaps can be found North of The Wall, chopping it up on Twitter @OGquankinobi

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  • Shaun

    Hi! I disagree, to some extent, with the review – or, at least, with the idea that the mutants are particularly sympathetic. I think we’ve all become used to the idea that mutants stand in for “oppressed people” of all stripes in the MU and the real world. The analogy has never really worked, in my view, but let’s just accept it for the moment. So, we have a story where mutants are fighting for their survival, as usual, against humans. In this case, however, the real problem is AI that destroys and enslaves both mutants and, lest we forget, humans too. So, the sympathetic mutant portrayal plays out as usual. However, at the same time, Hickman is showing us the real dark side of the mutant movement. Remember, in a previous issue, Magneto told representatives of the world that mutants were their new gods. In this issue, Emma Frost and her clones march into a trial of Sabretooth, whose raid on Reed Richards’ equipment killed two people, and simply take him away and let the humans know that no mutant will ever again be subject to human law. This is not mutants fighting for survival; this is outright racism i.e., mutant supremacy. Given when the mutants are saying to the humans, they are exacerbating the circumstances that give the humans no choice but to fight for their own survival and freedom against mutants who are making it clear that they intend to be the overlords of humanity. As the Omega Sentinel put it to Nightcrawler, choosing a side is what the mutants did. To put it mildly, there is a lot of blame to go around here. Mutants are coming across as an oppressed group that is now using its victimhood/oppression as an excuse to abuse and assert superiority over others. I wonder if this is ultimately the point: a mutant nation that tries to set itself up as overlords of humanity will always end up creating a situation that forces humans to push back and results in the birth of AI that destroys both sides.

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