A day early because I felt like it, it's X-ual Healing, the internet's number one sex-pun-themed weekly X-Men recap column! This week we've got some major developments in House of X #5, and unexpectedly, also a major development in Dead Man Logan #11. Talk about waiting until the last minute! Read on, X-fans!
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
What Happened in House of X #5?
HOUSE OF X #5 (OF 6)
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Pepe Larraz
Xavier's dream turns deadly for some of his students as they fight back against the humans' plan to eliminate them. Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (FANTASTIC FOUR, AVENGERS, SECRET WARS) continues his reshaping of the X-Universe alongside Young Gun artist Pepe Larraz (EXTERMINATION, AVENGERS). The Future of the X-Men begins here!
In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
House of X #5 is another of the red-colored books on the reading order lists, which means it contains shocking revelations. The book certainly delivers on that promise. The issue opens with Xavier, Magneto, Polaris, and Storm greeting the arrival of The Five, the mutants who have producing the magic beanpods that bring dead mutants back to life. Here's how it works: Goldballs produces his trademark gold balls, which are actually eggs. Proteus warps reality to make them "viable." The eggs are injected with mutant DNA, and Elixer gives them the spark of life. Tempus then accelerates time in the eggs so the embryos can mature to adult form. All the while, Hope uses her powers to unify the others so they can pull this off. The result: nude Cyclops and Jean Grey crawling to Xavier from the beginning of House of X #1, along with the rest of the X-Men who died last issue.
Xavier, using the complete consciousness of mutants stored in Cerebro, copies their minds into the cloned shells. Storm brings them on stage in front of a mutant rally where she introduces them as the crowd pumps their fists in the air and shouts "MUTANT!" It's like a nerdy episode of The Jersey Shore. After the ceremony, Xavier and Magneto chat to give us some more X-Position, which also comes in the form of some supplementary pages. They've been collecting mutant DNA for a long time and there are rules for when they bring mutants back, such as confirming they are actually dead so there aren't multiple copies. The supplementary page explicitly states that they have not tried copying one mutant's mind into another's husk, which means that's definitely something that wil come up in the future. Except, it also notes that Proteus burns out his body very rapidly doing this, and is always recreated in a clone of Xavier. They hope to one day bring back all dead mutants ever, including the ones killed on Genosha. Currently they can only resurrect 1,000 mutants per week, but they hope to one day up that number to 30,000, which would allow all of Genosha to be brought back in ten years.
But first, there's the matter of the U.N. vote to accept the sovereignty of Krakoa. That goes in the mutants' favor, thanks to a little help from Emma Frost's mind manipulation. But mainly, it was the treaties with most of the nations of the world to accept mutant drugs that won them over. A backup page lists the countries that refused: Iran, North Korea, Santo Marco, and Terra Verde for ideological reasons, Madripoor, Latveria, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Honduras for political reasons, and Wakanda, Azania, Canaan, and Kenya because they don't need the drugs thanks to Wakanda's technology. In a final scene, Xavier, Magneto, and Wolverine welcome every X-villain ever to Krakoa, led by Mister Sinister and Apocalypse, who expresses how proud he is of all the mutants and shakes hands with Xavier. The villains I could see: (first panel) Random, Wildside, Sinister (the one with mutant DNA, presumably), Lady Mastermind, Mesmero, Mentallo, Animax, (second panel) Sebastian Shaw, Selene, Emplate, Exodus, Gorgon, Calisto, (third panel) Apocalypse, (fourth panel) Azazel, Masque, Black Tom, Frenzy, Marrow, (fifth panel) Forearm, and Daken. There may be some more on the fourth panel, which shows a bunch of them in the background, not all distinguishable. On their behalf, Apocalypse pledges to follow the laws of Krakoa… how will that work out?
Learning to Love (or Hate) the X-Men Relaunch Part 9
Are we really at part nine already? Time flies when you're shipping weekly.
Now we have three issues left, two of what I've come to look at as "filler" issues in Powers of X #5 and House of X #6, and one more "red" issue where something will actually happen, Powers of X #6. Then the big relaunch. This issue certainly delivered on an explanation for how mutants are brought back to life, contextualizing past scenes of this series. However, the gap has still not been bridged between this new era of X-Men and the previous one. That could still happen, but for now, there's a pretty big disconnect in how we got from the end of Uncanny X-Men and Age of X-Man to House of X #1. To some, that doesn't matter, because they've bought into Marvel's lie that continuity doesn't matter as long as creators are telling "good stories." But the fact is, good stories can be told with even the most minimal effort to make them work in continuity. So I'm personally rooting for a final reveal that will tell us exactly how this new status quo fits in relationship to all the stories we've read before. Is this really taking place in Moira's tenth life, and is that really the life that contained all the past stories? Or will there be an eleventh? Only three more weeks before we know one way or the other.
There's some debate online about whether the mutant rally depicted in this issue is meant to be a good or bad thing. Are these mutants engaging in well-deserved mutant solidarity or sinister (small s) cult-like behavior? How you interpret it probably depends a lot on your perspective and how much you identify with mutants' plight.
But for an experiment, let's see how the mood changes if we change what they're shouting:
So as you can see, context matters. How all of this works out will color how these scenes are viewed in retrospect.
Finally, for fun, here's the panels with the X-villains – can you find any I missed (or got wrong)?
What Happened in Dead Man Logan #11?
DEAD MAN LOGAN #11 (OF 12)
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Mike Henderson (CA) Declan Shalvey
THE PENULTIMATE ENTRY IN DEAD MAN LOGAN'S STORY!
You think you know, but you have NO IDEA what's coming. Follow the series that has critics raving:
"A shockingly well-constructed farewell" – Comic Watch
"Violent fun" – Comics: The Gathering
"A masterpiece" – YouDon'tReadComics.com
In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
Inexplicably, Dead Man Logan is the one lame-duck X-book that survived the relaunch, though it did have the courtesy of shunting Logan off to the alternate universe of the Wastelands so that it's taking place elsewhere. We've got one more issue left before Logan finally dies, so let's make the most of it.
Logan and Dani Cage head to the town of Hammer Falls to find Weapon X. All the townfolk are superhero fanboys, so they recognize Logan and want to capture him for bounty, but a little punching convinces them otherwise. Logan and Dani stab their way into the Weapon X compound until they find Sabretooth, a bunch of guards, and Hulk Jr. strapped to a table. Sabretooth brings out his boss, a fat, greasy Mister Sinister in a wheelchair, who reveals that he was behind the plan that killed all the heroes many years ago but the Red Skull double-crossed him. He wants Logan's DNA to go along with Hulk Jr.'s to make more clones so he can rule the world. Logan and Dani don't want to go along with this plan, so they free Bruce and the three of them make their escape in stolen truck that gets blown up by a rocket launcher as they crash through the gates. The truck crashes right next to the town's namesake: Mjolnir, left standing on the ground for years with no one able to pick it up.
Logan offers to give himself up if they let Dani and Bruce go free, but Sabretooth doesn't accept the deal and orders the guards to shoot Dani (with the bullets used to kill her father, which can pierce her skin). As Dani falls over to die, she knocks over Mjolnir. That's right, it moved. Dani grabs it and transforms into Thor. The series will be concluded next issue.
Okay, that was pretty freaking cool and unexpected. Too bad Logan dies next issue.
Next week, we've got Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz returning for New Mutants: War Children, and more Acts of Evil in Wolverine Annual #1. Plus a filler issue of HoXPoX, Powers of X #5. And maybe I'll recap any X-stuff from Marvel Comics #1000, which DCBS finally sent me two weeks late. See you then!
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