House of X #5
Behold the unveiling of the new Mutant status quo.
After reading the last issue, we all knew that the deaths we witnessed were, be necessity, temporary. This fact, and the issue which comes out today, doesn’t render those deaths any less affecting. That fact, in itself, required a lot of skill to really land the execution. And by the same token, undoing those deaths in a way that was both emotionally impactful and absolutely absent of cheese necessitated a steady, skillful authorial hand.
The resurrections themselves (and the implications of those strange new births) were absolutely genius. The fact that death, as a concept, is no longer a concern, and the structure Hickman designed to facilitate this, is both joyful and ominous. There’s a lot of material for future authors to unpack here (is a ‘consciousness’ the same thing as a soul? What will this do to the X-Men, such as Kitty, Dust and Nightcrawler, who perform their work as a function and expression of their faiths? What happens if one of ‘the five’ is injured or killed?) and one gets the feeling that the unraveling of these threads are going to be very interesting indeed.
I absolutely will not spoil the means of the Mutants rebirth, but I will say that it was absolutely wonderful to see Goldballs in an important role. And Proteus’ series of host bodies was absolutely ingenious.
There were a great many interesting character moments to pick apart, on top of the intriguing mechanics of the text. Monet’s interaction with Storm was absolutely spot-on for the character. Emma’s interaction with the UN was both on-point (of course she wouldn’t have an ethical qualm with changing people’s minds — though it was deeply disconcerting to see Xavier agreeing with her) and we received some setup for her future sojourn with the Mauraders. Storm, playing the role of Religious Zealot/ Priestess was profoundly disturbing, but her reunion with Jean humanized her. And it’s pretty safe to say that her relationship with the Black Panther is about to get rocky again.
So. This issue was joyful. As it should be. It was also ominous. The X-Men have always fought for coexistence with the human population, and that looks to be totally out the window for now. The fact that every mutant, good or evil, seems to be marching in absolute lock-step with this is… unsettling. Add to this the fact that X no longer seems to have any qualms about using his powers to manipulate people is telling. I’m guessing that this is another thread which will be addressed in Dawn.
But. There is one more issue of HoX to go, alongside another issue of PoX, and I’m willing to bet that Hickman is going to pull the carpet out from under us a few more times before we go.
Now, for the art. Larazz has been absolutely magnificent all throughout this series. His sense of character and atmosphere is absolutely beautiful. There is nothing that I can add to that description. He’s won me over as a fan for life.
Reviewed by Bethany W Pope
This series is laden with a full measure of intellect and heart, a measure pressed down and overflowing. It is an absolute work of art.
House of X #5: The Resurrection and the Life
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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