Marvel's "Dawn of X" event continues with House of X #4, and though it's Jonathan Hickman's most linear continuation of the story so far, it's also the most emotionally traumatic one, as well. As the X-Men are plunged into a deadly battle for the future against the human coalition known as orchid, the team suffers some of its most traumatic losses ever.
It goes without saying that House of X #4 SPOILERS follow!
Right of the bat, House of X #4 picks up from the shocking cliffhanger of issue #3, as the X-Men's spacecraft is caught in an explosion caused by the sacrifice of Orchis agent Erasmus. That blast kills both Archangel and Husk, and leaves of the rest of the X-Men's elite strike force scrambling to salvage their plan, which is stop Orchis' Master Mold creation system Mother Mold, before it is brought online and eventually creates the nightmare that is the Nimrod Sentinel.
Urged by Prof. X, Magneto, the surviving members of the X-Men strike force push forward to complete their mission, with Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Mystique each infiltrating a section of the Orchis station to release the four anchors keeping Mother Mold fixed in orbit. With Jean Grey and M helping coordinate the operation between team members and X-Men base in Krakoa, things go smoothly... at first. Wolverine and Nightcrawler disengage their anchors quickly (if not bloodily); however, that success provokes Omega Sentinel to get Agent Erasmus' widow, Dr. Gregor, back on her feet to retaliate in Orchis' name.
Dr. Gregor has Orchis security swoop down on Jean Grey and M in the X-Men's ship, forcing M to shove Jean in an escape pod to preserve mission communications. Left alone, M gives the squad of Orchis agents hell, but is seen being riddled with bullets in the process. Meanwhile, Cyclops reaches his objective and releases the third anchor, leaving just Mystique to complete her objective... and that's where things go quickly south.
Mystique is ambushed by Gregor and Omega Sentinel, with the former releasing the airlock by Mother Mold's anchor, sucking Mystique out into space. Gregor then starts up Mother Mold's activation process (despite Omega Sentinel's objection that it's too soon), forcing the X-Men into a desperate play to cut the last anchor. That play is a tragic suicide teleportation jump by Wolverine and Nightcrawler directly onto Mother Mold's final anchor - which just so happens to be dangerously close to the surface of the sun. Nightcrawler is instantly vaporized, while Wolverine's Healing Factor and Adamantium skeleton keeps him together just long enough to hack away Mother Mold's final anchor and send them both hurtling into the sun.
Cyclops and Jean have little time to mourn as they try to mount an escape. However, the Krakoa X-Men are forced to witness final tragedy as Omega Sentinel intercepts Cyclops and neutralizes his power, allowing Gregor to blow his head off in revenge for her husband. Jean's escape pod is intercepted by Sentinel drones, and is ripped apart with Jean inside of it.0comments
All in all, House of X #4 forces Marvel fans to witness the most horrific deaths of the X-Men we've probably ever seen. It puts massive pressure on the next chapter of Hickman's story to reveal just how important these deaths really are, and if there isn't some big twist that was hinted at in the first issue of House of X, that would see these dead X-Men returned to life.
House of X 1 - 3 and Powers of X 1 - 3 are all now on sale.