House of X #1 Review

by Ryan.L on July 24, 2019

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The next seminal moment in X-Men history. That’s what we were promised when Jonathan Hickman’s 'House of X' and 'Powers of X' were announced. That is a mighty bold promise, and it left many of us wondering if Hickman and his team could live up to it. There have been many moments over the past decade and more where we were promised big things. Promises of big changes to the world of the X-Men and they would once again regain their glory. Well, none of those promises came true. Every time a new direction, series, or events launched it was met with promise that eventually fell apart and left us again wondering why the X-Men editorial and/or creative teams just didn’t get it.
With much ardor, the first issue of 'House of X,' is upon us and Hickman listened! He delivered to us what we have been screaming for since Grant Morrison’s run ended. This book is purely Hickman, delivering his classic style while paying homage to what has come before in the X-Books. He truly gets the X-Men, just as Chris Claremont, Grant Morrison and their creators Stan Lee & Jack Kirby did.
Not only did Hickman build an entire new world and direction for the X-Men, he has reigned in a lot of the concepts from over the years, simplified and then defined them. Without giving any spoilers, one example, which was mentioned by Hickman at San Diego Comic-Con was the concept of Omega Level Mutant. This is a term that has been thrown around for years, and it seemed like every mutant was becoming an omega level mutant. Well, not anymore. Hickman has defined, exemplified, and listed which mutants are Omega Level. Things like this really help to enrich the world, and really give the reader a good understanding of what he is planning to do with that world.
And, what a world it is! Pepe Larraz has delivered something that is breathtaking to look at, every page just had me in absolute wonder. If it wasn’t the unique design of the world, it was the cameos of characters I love strewn about the pages. Marte Gracia’s colours marries Larraz’s pencils perfectly. These two are delivering something truly magical together. I found myself re-reading the book multiple times to simply take in the exceptional art over and over.
Speaking of re-reading the book multiple times, that’s what Hickman’s story and Larraz’s art got me to do. It’s not often a story captivates you so much that you find yourself diving back in multiple times. Every time I did, I found myself still in awe and having many of the same reactions. It’s a good thing I read this at home alone, because I was talking to the book the entire time. “What!??” “No way, he did what!??” “Oh, you’re going to regret that!” and many many more.
There are some very strong choices made with this new direction. Some of them I even found myself wondering if they were the right choices. In the end I was more on board than I have been in years with the X-Books. Page after page I became more and more excited for what was to come next. There was so much shock and awe, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
'House of X' is bold, risky, unconventional, but also absolutely genius. I have been reading X-Men since I was a kid and I am so elated with joy! This is my X-Men and they’re back! I honestly believe House of X is a huge contender to be the best book you read all year, it’s that good.

Our Score:


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