Hello, Beautiful–“House of X” #1 Instant Take Review

I’ve decided that the way that I’ll be handling the Hickman reboot of the X-Universe is with two reviews. The first, a knee-jerk initial reaction that I’ve dubbed my “Instant Take”, will be published the night of release for each book. The second, more in-depth review, will release within two days, after I (and you, Dear Readers) have had some time to digest what I’ve read.

So here we are. This is it. There was a palpable excitement at my local comic shop today when I picked up my copy of House of X #1. Issues Needed Comics in Apple Valley, Minnesota even had the animated X-Men show playing in the background as subscribers decided which variant cover to pick up. I stuck with the regular cover. Something about that image of Charles Xavier walking through what turns out to be a Krakoa portal really tugged at me.

The most striking thing about this first issue for me was the similarities between it’s format and Hickman’s Nightly News and similar creator-owned series. This isn’t Avengers, there’s a whole different set of stakes here. Mutants, long the subject of hate and fear, now have the upper hand. That’s scared the human population to such a degree that old enemies have formed alliances.

I loved seeing the FF in these pages. It really felt like the X-Men were back within the walls of the Marvel Universe proper. Too often in recent years, they’ve felt like second run players, given their limited marketability by Marvel Entertainment. No longer.

Cyclops’ words to Sue resonate with me. “Tell your son he’s got family on Krakoa.” Magneto’s as well. “You have new gods now.” Chilling. Mutants are the dominant species now. Humanity is on the verge of extinction. And while it feels like we’ve visited these parts before, it’s never felt more palpable than it does in Hickman’s capable hands.

Larraz and Gracia’s art is simply stunning. Probably some of Larraz’s best work, if I’m being honest.

Nice to see the handy reader’s guide in the last pages, and a (presumptive) complete list of Omega Mutants, along with their affiliations.

I’m going to have to re-read this one a couple of times, just to capture the scope of what I’m seeing. Lots of references to the long history of the X-Men. Needless to say, I’m already a huge fan of this new direction for the mutants of the Marvel Universe.

I’ll be back in a couple of days with a more full write-up of this issue.