We skipped X-ual Healing last Monday. What, did you want us to put together a gigantic X-Men column on Labor Day, you capitalist pigs?! Don't worry though, we'll cover both House of X #3 and House of X #4 in this week's column. So read on!
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 #3?
HOUSE OF X #3 (OF 6)
(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Pepe Larraz
Learn the truth about one of the X-Men's closest allies…and then begin the fight for the future of mutantkind! Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (AVENGERS, SECRET WARS, FANTASTIC FOUR) continues reshaping the X-Men's world with Marvel Young Gun artist Pepe Larraz (EXTERMINATION, AVENGERS)!
In Shops: Aug 28, 2019
Following the latest game-changing revelation in Powers of X #3 that the events depicted thus far in the 100-years-later timeline actually took place in Moira MacTaggert's ninth life, House of X #3 returns to the "present" timeline as Cyclops assembles a team at Charles Xavier's request to assault the ORCHIS space station and prevent the Mother Mold from coming online and potentially creating a Nimrod. The team consists of Wolverine, Archangel, Jean Grey, Monet, Husk, Nightcrawler, and Mystique. It's practically a suicide mission, but it's important. Also, they can't bring Krakoan flowers with them to make a portal back, lest they fall into the wrong hands, so they need to get the job done and then escape the old fashioned way.
Meanwhile, Sabretooth is brought to trial at the Project Achilles prison where he pleads guilty and threatens to kill everyone. It doesn't matter though because Emma Frost shows up with two Cuckoos and some paperwork from the government ordering Sabretooth's release. After some posturing, they leave with Sabretooth without incident.
On the space station, Dr. Gregor and Omega Sentinel Karima Shapandar discuss when it will be safe enough to bring the Mother Mold online without it becoming a psychopath and killing all humans. The X-Men arrive and Kurt teleports in and greets Karima, then teleports back out. Seeing they're outmatched, Gregor's boyfriend, Captain Mendel, blows himself up where the X-Men are about to enter the station, damaging their ship.
Let's go right to the next issue then…
What Happened in House of X #4?
HOUSE OF X #4 (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 04, 2019
Picking up right were left off in House of X #3, Professor Xavier, with the help of Trinary, Beast, and Storm, each backed by a Cuckoo, telepathically links with the X-Men at the space station, which takes the combined powers of Money and Jean Grey on their end. Things are bad, with Husk and Archangel dead from the explosion, Nightcrawler badly wounded, and even Wolverine out of sorts. Xavier tells them to continue the mission.
Elsewhere on the space station, Karima motivates Dr. Gregor, who is distraught over Mendel's sacrifice, to get it together and stop the X-Men from detaching the Mother Mold and sending it hurtling into the sun. They need to hurry, because the X-Men successfully detached two of the collars keeping the Mother Mold in place. Forces board the X-Men's ship, and Monet convinces Jean to escape in a pod while she holds them off, transforming into Penance. Cyclops detaches the third collar, but before Mystique can detach the fourth, Karima and Gregor open an airlock and send her into the vacuum of space.
Gregor decides to bring the Mother Mold online now, even though it could be insane. Xavier orders the X-Men to stop them at any cost. Nightcrawler teleports himself and Wolverine outside into to Space, where Nightcrawler instantly dies but Wolverine manages to hack away the last collar, just as the Mother Mold comes online, waxing philosophical about how it's going to kill both mutants and humans. Both Wolverine and Mother Mold are consumed by the sun.
That leaves just Jean and Scott. As Scott attempts to make his way to Jean so they can escape, Karima shoots him up with nanobots, paralyzing his powers. Dr. Gregor then blows his brains out. Finally, a bunch of regular sentinels show up and appear to kill Jean as well.
Back on the moon, Xavier is pretty pissed off by this outcome, and the backup material for the issue features various headlines about past mutant genocides on top of images of the X-Men dying in this issue, echoing Xavier's final words of the issue: "no more."
Learning to Love (or Hate) the X-Men Relaunch Part 5 & 6
Wow! So many X-Men are dead! This would be totally heartbreaking if the previous Uncanny X-Men run written by Matt "Grim Reaper" Rosenberg didn't kill off more X-Men than this (and how they're all back still hasn't been explained yet). We also know from the solicits and covers for the upcoming Dawn of X books that several of the mutants "killed" in this issue are set to be alive and well by October. This lessens the impact of these deaths, which are meant to drive home that Xavier has passed his breaking point. It seems like that was already clear before this happened, given everything he knows about Moira's past lives and the fact that he started a mutants-only nation and glides around wearing that silly helmet all the time.
Of course, this will all (presumably) be explained by the time this series ends and the X-Men will all be back, whether by an additional Moira life, magic beanpods, or some other as-yet-unrevealed device. Probably. I mean, I don't know that for a fact, but it seems likely. The next issue of House of X is set to be one of the extra important ones that will majorly affect how we understand all the previous issues (highlighted in red on the reading order page), but before that, we get Powers of X #4 on Wednesday.
Over at Adventures in Poor Taste's X-Men Monday column, Chris Hassan pleaded with X-Men fans on Twitter to stop being dicks to each other and to creators in what will ultimately be a futile effort because Twitter. Here's Hassan's message:
To quote Taylor Swift, "You need to calm down."
I know the internet's all about lobbing steaming heaps of anger from behind the safety of screens and Twitter handles, but always try to remember those creators you're so furious with are as real as you (unless you're a bot). They too, have feelings. And no matter what they did to your favorite character (in a series they won't even be working on forever), they don't deserve your rage. You don't own these characters and neither do they–they're just lucky enough to tell stories with them temporarily, like many who have come before them and many more who'll come after them. Hey, maybe you too could even work on them one day! You don't have to like everything, and you don't have to agree with everyone, but if we all truly love these characters, we all have a responsibility to be respectful to one another. The real world sucks–we all know that. And we all deal with crummy stuff in our daily lives. Comics provide a short, but fantastical, escape from it all. And the same should be true of the entire comics experience.
If you consider yourself an X-Fan, if you love the X-Men as much as you claim, be heroes like the X-Men. Heroes don't go out of their way to hurt others.
As mutants enter a brand new era, willing to forgive past differences to ensure a better tomorrow, maybe it's time for X-Fandom to follow suit.
Well said, Chris. And to quote Taylor Swift back to you:
And you can't talk to me when I'm like this
Daring you to leave me just so I can try and scare you
You're the West Village
You still do it for me, babe
They all warned us about times like this
They say the road gets hard and you get lost
When you're led by blind faith
So ask Jordan White when the @#$% Chris Claremont is going to write an ongoing series already.
Next week, Powers of X #4!
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