A new age for the X-Men kicked off this week with the release Marvel Comics' House of X #1, which kicks off Jonathan Hickman's return to the publisher alongside artists Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller. And with this new era comes a clean slate, and many resurrections in the world of mutants.
The comic kicks off with this new and maybe improved Charles Xavier, who is now wearing a brand new Cerebro helmet at all times, beckoning a group of mutants being housed in pods as if they're growing from a Krakoa tree. While some of them look like Scott Summers and Jean Grey, the others are identifiable — and they could be how these mutants are resurrected.
Many beloved X-Men characters have been killed off over recent years, especially in Matt Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca's run on Uncanny X-Men, and we know many of them will be back when X-Men and Dawn of X launch later this year.
House of X #1 quickly establishes that the Stepford Cuckoos could be back to being the Five-In-One, with both Esme and Sophie Cuckoo resurrected after being killed in Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men. Sophie died after the events of Riot at Xavier's, partially manipulated by Esme, and Esme ditched her sisters to join "Magneto," only to be killed by he who was later revealed to be an imposter. For the last decade, the Cuckoos have operated as the Three-In-One.
The Cuckoos make mention of their sisters, though only four are seen in a single panel. Irma AKA Mindee Cuckoo is shown, but we don't know if Phoebe or Celeste were shown in the comic. In gaining two sisters, did they happen to lose another?
The comic establishes that the Cuckoos are serving as the caretakers of the Jerusalem habitat of Krakoa, aiding Magneto as he gives a tour to various ambassadors around the world. During this tour, we see both Xorn and Zorn alive and well in Tibet, which is further confirmed in Hickman's script for the issue.
This is slightly more confusing, as Kuan-Yin Xorn was known as the evil Magneto imposter who killed Esme Cuckoo, killed multiple times after attempting to battle the X-Men. Most recently, he was killed as part of the Collective, the disembodied powers of the mutants of M-Day, depowered by the Scarlet Witch in House of M. His brother, Shen Xorn, has stuck around and was recently the leader of the mutant state in Secret Empire.
But these Xorns look much more like the Ultimate Comics versions which were established in Hickman's run on that imprint, teasing that something stranger could be in the works.
Early in the comic, Banshee is also revealed to be alive and well, which is a bit more perplexing given his latest circumstances. Banshee was killed nearly a decade ago as part of the Deadly Genesis storyline, which saw the debut of the third Summers brother known as Vulcan who went on to become one of the X-Men's most powerful adversaries.
Banshee was resurrected as part of the Four Horsemen of Death in Uncanny X-Force, using a Death Seed from the Celestials to turn him into a zombie-like abomination. Most recently, this undead version of Banshee allied with Hope Summers, and the two came to join the Uncanny X-Men. But much like a lot of other characters in Rosenberg's run before House of X, Banshee was disintegrated by a Sentinel.
House of X makes no mention of how Banshee is back, but he looks like he's back to his regular self and is aiding Jean Grey in accompanying young mutants to the new Krakoa nation.
The next major introductions are revealed in a classic Hickman/Muller infograph that lists off all of the Omega Level mutants known to exist. Iceman, Jean Grey, and Magneto are all familiar entries on the chart, but surprising entries include Proteus and Vulcan.
Proteus was recently seen in Astonishing X-Men, attempting to remake the world in his image before being stopped by the heroes. His energies and temporary body were subsequently dispersed across the world, seemingly killing him, though the X-Men assumed he would return again some day.
Vulcan took control of the Shi'Ar empire but was subsequently killed in a fight to the death with Black Bolt, though the Inhuman king was thought to have perished as well. But Black Bolt did eventually return, though there was no mention of Vulcan's survival ever since.
The fact that two seemingly dead villains are now apparently aligned with the X-Men on Krakoa, as evidenced by the chart in House of X #1, should portend interesting developments to come.
This character wasn't exactly dead, but the last we saw of Omega Sentinel saw that her tech-powered abilities were dormant. She stayed with the X-Men in the Jean Grey School, though she lived as a regular human for years.
But Karima Shapandar shows up working for what could be a group of enemies called Orchis, which is made up of various black ops organizations in the Marvel Universe including SHIELD and AIM. Shapandar is shown to think little of her benefactors, who are operating under the protocol of protecting humanity and monitoring the mutant "threat."
We still don't know how Omega Sentinel regained her sentinel status, or why she's working with the enemy, but the script for the issue includes a lot of censored text that indicates Hickman has big plans for the character.0comments
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the future of the X-Men, as upcoming titles show that there are a lot more resurrections to come. Now just to wait and see if Hickman actually explains it...
House of X #1 is now available in stores and on digital platforms.