Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: R.B. Silva, Marte Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller
Release Date: October 9th, 2019
This is it! The last issue before our mutants are relaunched into the Marvel Landscape. But, has Jonathan Hickman resolved all of our queries? And, how does the Year 1000 future connect presently to the Year 10 storyline? Furthermore, this last issue is a RED issue. The first RED issue, HOUSE OF X #2, saw the big reveal of Moira MacTaggert having the ability to reincarnate with her full photographic memories. The next RED issue, HOUSE OF X #5, saw Charles’s “resurrection machine” made up of 5 unique mutants capable of bringing every mutant (good or bad) back to life using alien tech and a Super Cerebro! With one last RED issue to go, what will be Hickman’s last great reveal before this new Dawn of X? Let’s dive in and find out how this opening act concludes!
As this relaunch reaches its end, almost every concern has been resolved… other than the X-Men Year 1000 storyline. Charles’s blueprint, from establishing a nation to creating new life, has been mapped out by Jonathan Hickman. X-Men Year 100 has been open and closed. X-Men Year 10 comes across as the present while X-Men Year 1 looks like the past of this existing timeline. However, this reviewer has been completely lost in accordance with the importance of the Year 1000 timeline, until this culminating issue. Hickman has finally assembled all the pieces of the narrative and has provided fans the “fresh start” needed for a franchise that has appeared to be drowning for so long.
As the HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X series opened, Hickman began with a disjointed landscape while dropping subtle hints and suggestions as to the direction the franchise was heading. Gradually, through is remarkable and thorough storytelling, Hickman has unearthed the explanations new and old fans alike craved while delivering suspense, thought-provoking discussion, and cleverly unique plot twists that readers have never seen before. This week’s POWERS OF X #6 was no different and shut a chapter of this relaunch that has honestly been the most confusing part to date making the narrative a bit more clear, detailed, and understandable as the story moves forward.
The comic opens the same way POWERS OF X #1 initiated. Nonetheless, Hickman offers more detail to the story than ever before. Moira MacTaggert sits down on a bench and talks to Charles opening her psyche to him and revealing to him her past lives. This issue concentrates on one of Moira’s lives in particular, the Year 1000 storyline. Hickman’s big unveil is that Moira somehow has information of this future (Year 1000). Readers will have to browse the issue to see how she has the knowledge of this timeline as well as her relationship to the garden introduced in this timeline earlier on. And fans, it’s pretty fascinating.
It’s actually so insane that it was spelled out in HOUSE OF X #2 right under all of our noses. If readers, like myself, looked a bit more clearly at the timelines, we would have seen that a particular life of Moira MacTaggert was missing. Well, guess what? Year 1000 was one of her lives that wasn’t written down AND was that missing life! So, after all the speculation, Hickman made me feel like an idiot for missing that part. However, this critic is totally ok with that. People make me feel like a fool all the time.
Hickman then branches the narrative into a very interesting and deep conversation about who the real villain of the story has always been since day one; humanity. The Blue Elder/ Librarian opens up within the story and elaborates on why mutants fail and continue to languish at every juncture. It isn’t a specific human or even specific machines that are the cause. The root of the problem is human nature itself. It’s pride. It’s literally tree of good and evil from the Bible. Humanity wants to be God and will do whatever it takes in it’s hubris, which ultimately takes this tale in a dark and twisted direction.
As this reviewer has mentioned in past reviews, there has appeared to be a cult-like feel to many of these issues. Has Hickman made Mutants and X-Men in general the villains of this story? As a comic fan, are we to rout for mutants to kill the human race? If so, not only does this seem dark and completely out of character for Xavier and many of the mutants, but how can readers literally applaud for their own extinction? Fans, leave it to Hickman to cleverly tell a story that continues to promote exhilarating discussion. This critic left the issue with his mind blown once again.
Ultimately, POWERS OF X #6 ends with Hickman formulating a new Charles Xavier with modern ideals and a new perspective on life and humanity. However, the true leader, mastermind, and manipulator pulling the strings and directing the course is Moira. As the series ends, Hickman lays out her manipulative agenda throughout her journal entries leaving even more clues as to the development of her scheme. Ironically enough, it’s Charles who appears to be building many of these concepts that we have seen throughout both series. However, it’s Moira who has installed the seed into Charles giving rise to him as this anti-hero that readers have never seen before.
Readers should also take notice of the journal entries that are redacted and left off the wondering eyes of fans. This critic can only speculate that these will be revealed with time. Given advancements in the upcoming series, fans will be filled in. This critic has no doubt. Nevertheless, Hickman likes to gradually release prominent pieces to his writing as the story unfolds injunction to draw readers deeper into the anecdote while causing discussion and speculation. Fans, it’s what’s hooked you into this relaunch to date. This is extraordinary writing and what has been missing in comics now for years. Am I wrong? Hickman is a master storyteller that simply doesn’t forget about plot threads that he dangles out into the narrative for later. It’s what makes him one of the best, if not THEE best, in comics right now.
Finally, fans should also take notice to the journal entries. At the bottom of each page, the entries are labeled “Life 10” as well as “Unity X”. This signifies that we are clearly witnessing Year One and Year 10 of Moira MacTaggert’s 10th Life. This current landscape of the Marvel Universe is no doubt Life 10. However, what is Unity X? Is it something to come? Is it a deeper plan? Or, is it simply her overall plan to unite all mutants together? Readers will find out as the Dawn of X continues.
Hickman proves once again what great planning, organizing, and calculated detail can create. He answers every question and wraps up both relaunch series masterfully while establishing an ambitious theme as the story evolves forward for years to come. However, this reader wonders if he’s choosing the right side? Are fans picking the right horse in this race? This critic finds himself questioning who is the real protagonist in this story and it fascinates me. When Hickman is done with this Dawn of X, will mutants be the real villains of the Marvel Landscape? Who knows… however, what this reviewer does know is that Hickman has sparked a curiosity in this reviewer for a franchise that he hasn’t had in over a decade. In two short months, Hickman has taken characters that appeared lost and propelled them as one of the most popular brands in comics again. This reviewer has left this relaunch of the X-Men fascinated, captivated, intrigued, and also mildly disturbed for the future of the X-Men and Marvel overall… but in a good way. Get your popcorn ready because it’s going to be one wild ride ahead and all my chips are in on Jonathan Hickman.