The X-Men's reputation as heroes striving for equality and and love between humans and mutants, hasn't stopped the team from going down some darker paths when needed. A key times during their existence, the X-Men have sanctioned splinter cell factions with one clear objective: carrying out strategic strikes for the benefit of mutantkind.
That tradition (which extends from the classic Giant-Sized X-Men #1 to Wolverine's X-Force assassin squad) gets a new spin from Jonathan Hickman in House of X #3, as the X-Men embark on a deadly mission to secure the future of mutantkind against the rise of the Sentinels and their leader, Nimrod.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!
In House of X #3, we catch up with the X-Men of Krakoa with the newfound perspective that the team is operating in the shadow of Moira X, and those Future X-Men who existed in the Year 100 future of Moira's 9th life. As a result of the Future X-Men's sacrifice, the X-Men of Krakoa now have intelligence that allows them to pinpoint where and when Nimrod will be created. That origin lies with Orchis, the human coalition of scientists and espionage agents from various groups (A.I.M. Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D., etc.). Orchis has a secret orbital base where the organization is building a "Mother Mold" - aka an artificially intelligent Master Mold manufacturing facility. The Mother Mold represents the key to Nimrod's origin, so Professor X and Magneto task a strike force of X-Men with a decisive mission: infiltrate the Mother Mold facility and destroy it.
Led by Cyclops, this new X-Men elite strike force consists of the following team members:
- Marvel Girl
What House of X #3 does so well is to remind us that the X-Men (when put to proper use) are about as formidable of a combat force as they come. In a turn that is pure Hickman, the issue's chronicling of the mission to destroy Mother Mold doesn't include any direct action or conflict between the X-Men and Orchis, but rather a chess game of strategic moves and countermoves. The X-Men's plan and the powers of the respective members of the strike team all but end the fight before it can even begin, as the Orchis agents realize that every one of their contingency plans is compromised. In the end, one Orchis agent (Erasmus) comes up with a bright idea: screw the X-Men's impeccable plan up by doing the unexpected and blowing his wing of the Mother Mold facility up - and seemingly the entire X-Men strike force along with it!
What are you theories after reading House of X #3?
Powers of X 1, 2 & 3 and House of X 1, 2, and 3 are all now on sale, with new issues of each book released in alternating weeks.