Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review

Powers of X #1 Review

Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review

We here at the Revolution were highly impressed by Jonathan Hickman’s House of X #1. Hickman kicked off this new direction for the X-Men franchise in an impressive fashion. I fully expect Powers of X #1 to be another strong read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review!

Words: Jonathan Hickman

Pencils: R.B. Silva

Inks: R.B. Silva and Adriano Di Benedetto

Colors: Marte Gracia

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with four separate timelines in the X-Men mythos. The first is Year One. This is the Dream when Professor Xavier has his dream about the X-Men and peace between mutants and humans. The second is Year Ten. This is the World which is the present-day X-Men with Professor Xavier creating the mutant nation of Krakoa. The third is Year One Hundred. This is the War. The fourth is Year One Thousand. This is the Ascension.

We cut to Year One. We see Charles Xavier before he is in a wheelchair. He is sitting on a park bench and watching a county fair. We see geeks and strong men performing. Moira MacTaggert sits down next to Charles.

Moira asks Charles if he is enjoying the fair. Charles says that he is enjoying the fair even though it is the kind of thing that he should not enjoy. Moira says that she sees past the fortune-tellers. Moira says that she sees the Magician. We see a picture of Rasputin. She sees the Tower. We see the tower of Nimrod. She also sees the Devil. We see a picture of a red Nightcrawler.

Moira then says that she saw Charles and thought that he is what she has been looking for. Moira calls Charles a strong man. Moira wondered why the strong man was smiling. Charles said he was smiling because of a dream he had recently. Of a better place and his place in it. Moira then calls Charles by his name and says that it is not a dream if it is real.

Charles is stunned that Moira knows his name. Charles asks if they know each other. Moira says that they go back quite a bit. Charles asks Moira who she is. Moira tells Charles to read her mind and see for himself. Charles gets a stunned look on his face.

We shift to Year Ten. We see Mystique and Toad arriving at Krakoa. Mystique heads to House of M and meets with Magneto. Magneto asks Mystique if she has noticed the effect Krakoa is having. That Krakoa is making someone as cynical and jaded as Magneto feel hopeful and happy.

Mystique says that she has the flash drive with the information that Xavier wanted. However, Sabertooth killed some guards and got captured. Mystique refuses to give Magneto the flash drive unless Magneto agrees to her additional demands.

Xavier appears on the scene. Xavier asks if helping her fellow mutants is not reward enough for Mystique. Mystique replies that it is not. (I love this character.) Xavier says that this is fair since he has additional demands, as well.

Mystique tosses the flash drive to Xavier. Mystique asks if helping his fellow mutants is not enough for Xavier. Xavier responds that they are building a better mutant world and that everyone who would live in it owes something. (Hickman’s Xavier is so wonderfully creepy.) Xavier inserts the flash drive into a computer.

We zip to Year One Hundred. We are at the Nexus. We see Sentinel style robots and human soldiers killing a mutant who was part of a team of mutants that broke into the Nexus to steal some information. The Sentinels and human soldiers then capture an ex-Hound named Cylobel. We see Rasputin (Think a combination of Colossus, Kitty Pryde, and Magik.) and Cardinal (Think a red Nightcrawler) hiding and watching Cylobel getting captured.

Cylobel communicates with Rasputin telepathically. Cylobel tells Rasputin to forget about her and to escape with the information that they stole from the Nexus. Cardinal tells Rasputin that their mission is too important to risk trying to save Cylobel. Cardinal says that he is going to plant a black seed of Krakoa to open a portal. Cardinal says that he will wait on the other side for as long as he can before he closes it.

Rasputin calls Cardinal a coward. Rasputin calls Cardinal a “priest” and asks if he will pray for her. Cardinal says that his faith is boundless and he prays for all living things. Rasputin says that Cardinal’s problem is that he forgot that machines have no souls and that humans lost their souls long ago.

Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review
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Rasputin then attacks the robots and human soldiers. The giant Sentinel robot then gets into the fight and attacks Rasputin. Cardinal says that the gate is open and Rasputin needs to leave now. More soldiers arrive on the scene. They place Cylobel in an energy bubble. The other soldiers then attack Rasputin. Cylobel tells Rasputin to leave immediately. Rasputin then gets overwhelmed by a bunch of soldiers.

We cut to a one-page insert about the Sinister Line. When the mutant population reached a crisis point the constant evasion-relocation-confrontation cycle made mutant propagation impossible. This took place during the lost years of mutant leadership following almost universal death or disappearance of senior leaders and producing the fall of Krakoa and Mars.

The remaining mutant leadership created the Sinister breeding pits of Mars. Mr. Sinister was put in charge of the Mutant Breeding Program. The strategy mirrored the Sentinel HOUND program. The program focused on creating mutants with powers with more militaristic and aggressive traits.

We get a one-page insert about the Sinister created mutants. The first generation of Sinister created mutants had divergent copies of a singular DNA source with a pure uncompromised X-gene. Theses mutant soldiers were trained until age 16 and then traveled from Mars to Krakoa to defend the Nation until it fell thirty years later.

The second and third generation of the Sinister created mutants were referred to as “Chimera” class. The second generation mutants had DNA from two separate X-genes. The third generation mutants had DNA from five separate X-genes. The third generation mutants were highly successful in the war against the Man-Machine Supremacy.

The fourth generation of Sinister created mutants suffered from systemic failure. These were all Omega-based mutants. The fourth-generation Sinister mutants were produced with a corrupted hive mind that was only discovered to be defective after they had destroyed 40% of the mutant population and caused the fall of Krakoa. They then committed mass suicide and caused the collapse of Mars and the Sinister pits.

We see that Rasputin was created from the DNA of Quentin Quire, Colossus, Gunther Bain, Kitty Pryde, and X-23.

The Outliers are the Sinister created mutants that were failures. Sinister expected the Outliers to be controllable at worst and acceptable at best. The failure rate for the first generation of Sinister mutants was .3%. The failure rate for the second generation of Sinister mutants was 1.2%. The failure rate for the third generation of Sinister mutants was 9.4%. The failure rate for the fourth generation of Sinister mutants was 62.3%.

The Outliers from the third generation developed passive peace-time power sets. Almost all of them had personalities that lent to pacifism and an obsession with creation myths. They also rejected personal identities and refused individual names. These Outliers were all called Cardinal.

The Betrayal took place when Mr. Sinister betrayed the mutants. This led to the fall of Krakoa and Mars. Mr. Sinister was playing a longer game of self-interest that superseded any formal alliance with mutants. The failure rate of the fourth generation of Sinister mutants was due to a design flaw that Mr. Sinister baked into their design. Later, Mr. Sinister was publicly executed by the Man-Machine Supremacy after defecting.

We shift to Year One Hundred at the Tower of Nimrod the Lesser. We see human soldiers dragging Cylobel before Nimrod. We see a red android named Omega standing next to Nimrod. The soldiers report that a band of mutants broke into the Nexus and accessed the mainframe. That they do not know what the mutants were looking for or got.

Omega says that Cylobel is an ex-Hound from Salcen Khennil. Omega says that Cylobel is from the last strain of mutants produced through their breeding program. Nimrod apologizes for what they did to Cylobel through the Hound program. Nimrod says that he is embarrassed and ashamed of the Hound program. Nimrod says that he is glad the Hound program failed. That bad ideas should die a bad death.

Cylobel says that even if it takes a thousand years that they will endure and erase the Man-Machine Supremacy from existence. Nimrod claps his hands and says that’s the spirit. Nimrod says that he loves it.

Cylobel says that she will never reveal what her band of mutants were after in the Nexus. Nimrod decides to place Cylobel in the wash. It is an AI program that is still new. That it could take the AI program a day to get the information from Cylobel or it could take decades.

Nimrod places Cylobel in a chamber of femtofluid. This is connected to the computer running the AI program. The chamber of fluid will distill Cylobel into nothing but data. Cylobel is placed into the chamber and then passes out.

We get a one-page insert about the Khennil. This is where the Man-Machine Supremacy housed their Hound program. The final generation of Hounds was created with black unreadable brains and conditioned for insurgency and duplicity. A few of the hounds from this generation were a success. However, most were failures and ended up defecting and becoming the fiercest warriors for the mutants.

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We hop over to Year One Hundred in Krakoa. Cardinal and Rasputin arrive through a flower teleportation gate. We see Old Man Logan, Old Man Magneto, a character that looks like a combination of Old Man Man-Thing and Old Man Groot, and a character with a skull face and blue flames.

Cardinal says that they got “it.” Wolverine says that the “Old Man” is waiting.

We get a two-page insert about the surviving mutants under the Man-Machine Supremacy and the Sol Mutants. That there are currently less than 10,000 mutants alive. Most of them no longer live on Earth or in their native Solar system.

There are two main colonies of mutants in the Shi’ar Empire. The first is Benevolence on the border of the Shi’ar Empire that serves as a buffer between the Shi’ar and the wild space spawning grounds of the Brood breeding territory. The mutant population on Benevolence is 8,000.

The second mutant colony is on the throne world of Chandilar. Less than 2,000 mutants live here. They serve as warrior stock for the Imperial Guard. Currently, six mutants serve as superguardians and fifty-seven serve as subguardians.

There are rumors that Empress Xandra had desires to annex the Sol system and to use mutant guardsmen as sympathetic conquerors of Earth. That the mutant community hoped that this would come to pass and that mutants could serve as seed stock for repopulation.

The Sol Mutants live on Asteroid K. The population is just eight mutants.

We zip forward to Year One Thousand at the Mutant Library at the Archive of Nimrod the Greater. We see a blue female named the Librarian talking to Nimrod. We see Cylobel’s corpse still in the chamber of fluid. The Librarian says that they cannot save any of the mutants in the chambers. That they are more data and machinery than soul.

Nimrod says that it is all his fault. That he was not built to maintain integrity for a millennium. The Librarian says that it is no one’s fault. That Nimrod did exactly what he was made to do. That he created a living database of mutantkind in order to achieve a tactical advantage in a war. Who would have known how useless or pointless the war was. Who could have seen the surprising end to the Man-Machine and Mutant war.

Nimrod says that it is good to be done with Homo sapiens. The Librarian asks if they are truly done with Homo sapiens. They arrive at the Preserve. The Librarian says this is why they keep dinosaur bones around. As a reminder of what this world used to be and to remember what they overcame. That the Preserve is something to point at and hope to God that they never have dominion again. Inside the Preserve, it looks like the Garden of Eden. In it we see a naked man and a naked woman. End of issue.

The Good: Power of X #1 was a brilliant read. Jonathan Hickman is coming out of the gate white-hot and firing on all cylinders. Hickman’s phenomenal world-building continues with Power of X #1. Hickman is putting on a clinic in world-building. It is breathtaking the sheer amount of painstaking detail that Hickman is delivering with his new take on the X-Men franchise. Hickman is constructing such impressively nuanced plot lines full of details and then weaving them together in an intricate fashion to form a complex and mesmerizing tapestry. This finely crafted narrative is placed in a setting that has amazing depth and texture to it. Hickman’s world for the X-Men is fully developed and possess a level of depth and backstory that is rare to find in most comics.

What is particularly exciting is that Hickman unveils the new official time-line for the X-Men franchise. We learn that it has only been ten years between Professor X first having his dream about creating the School for Gifted Children and the X-Men and the present-day X-Men in the Marvel Universe. Hickman is engaging in some soft retconning by making the X-Men a relatively young group that has not been around for that long.

Hickman then gives us Year One Hundred of the X-Men where the Man-Machinery Supremacy rules Earth. Then we get Year One Thousand of the X-Men where mankind has been wiped off the face of the Earth.

I dig this new timeline for the X-Men franchise. The X-Men has always been a franchise that has existed in multiple time-lines. Hickman does not run from this fact. Unfortunately, the fact that the X-Men franchise has existed in so many timelines and alternate realities the result is that the X-Men’s continuity is a complicated mess.

Hickman avoids that from happening with his new take on the X-Men franchise. Hickman clearly installs a well-defined timeline that honors the basic concepts from the X-Men’s history. However, Hickman’s timeline also gives the X-Men’s continuity a clear structure and order. This is vital going forward if Hickman wants to make the X-Men a franchise that is as new reader friendly as possible.

Hickman’s new time-line also does an excellent job taking important aspects of the X-Men’s history and fashioning them into something new and interesting, yet still coherent and logical. This new timeline also serves as a useful road map for readers when navigating Hickman’s admittedly complex and intricate story.

Lastly, this new timeline also demonstrates to the reader the massive scope of Hickman’s plans for the X-Men. Hickman’s story is going to be truly epic and grand in scale. Hickman signals to the reader that he will not be constrained by any limitations other than the limitations of his own imagination. To me, this is a very Jack Kirby approach to storytelling.

I can honestly say that I am genuinely excited and interested in each of the four periods of Hickman’s timeline. Each timeline is wonderfully fleshed out and possesses a clear identity and purpose. I am eager to see what else Hickman has in store for us with each of the four periods in this timeline.

Hickman’s plotting and pacing on Powers of X #1 is superb. Even though the scenes in this issue deal with four different and distinct timelines, Hickman is able to tie them together in an organic fashion. Powers of X #1 is an incredibly dense read that is chock full of content for the reader to digest. Hickman continues to move the story along at a controlled and measured pace. But, that does not mean that this is a slow story. Nor is it an unfocused or meandering story. Hickman posses laser-like focus and progresses the story forward with a clear purpose in mind. Again, there are no wasted panels. Hickman does everything for a purpose.

Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review
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I loved the scene with Moira and Charles. Hickman does a fantastic job with both characters. Both Moira and Charles have well-developed personalities. The dialogue for both characters is natural and engaging. Hickman quickly and effortlessly whips up some excellent chemistry between Moira and Charles. I also loved the setting for this scene of an old style county fair with strong men, freaks, and geeks. An old style carnival or fair is the natural home for mutants before Professor X rolled out his dream. The setting for this scene also had such a delicious dreamy vibe to it.

I have always loved seeing Moira and Charles together. These are two characters who always compliment and augment each other. I am glad that Hickman is revisiting this classic relationship once again. Hickman does a brilliant job teasing how Moira already knows Charles even though this is their first meeting. Ending this scene with Charles reading Moira’s mind and looking shocked was a brilliant hook ending for this timeline. I am so excited to see what Hickman has in store for us with this timeline and these two characters.

Hickman also did a fantastic job with the Year Ten timeline which is the present day X-Men. I like how Hickman wrote Magneto, Mystique, and Xavier. Hickman treats the reader to even more excellent character work. Again, all of the characters have well developed external voices. The chemistry between Magneto and Mystique is well done as is the quiet tension between Mystique and Xavier.

As always, I adore Mystique. She is such an excellent character and Hickman clearly understands her personality. Hickman makes Mystique as mercenary as ever. This is exactly how I would expect Mystique to act even in the face of the creation of a mutant utopia.

Hickman also does a fine job showing the reader how Magneto has changed. The reader gets a sense that Magneto has mellowed and become more peaceful under the control of Xavier and Krakoa. Hickman’s Magneto emphasizes Xavier’s power over the mutants around him and the intoxicating effects of the hope and serenity presented by Krakoa.

Hickman’s Xavier is as odd as ever. The Year Ten Xavier stands is sharp contrast to the far more appealing and kind Year One Charles Xavier. Year Ten Xavier continues to be a creepy and unnerving cult leader. There is simply something off with Year Ten Xavier. Hickman even makes sure to have Xavier act sketchy by having him state that he has even further demands of Mystique. This is compounded by Xavier stating that all mutants in Krakoa owe something.

In this scene, Hickman is signaling to the readers that there is something sinister hiding underneath Xavier’s fatherly exterior. The reader also gets the feeling that Krakoa is a utopia that possess a dystopian vibe to it lurking in the shadows. The reader gets the feeling that the mutants on Krakoa will be sacrificing some freedom and autonomy in exchange for the safety and societal benefits that Xavier is offering them.

Hickman continues to tease the reader with the mystery surrounding the information that is on the flash drive. I am quite curious to learn what Xavier wanted Mystique to steal. I am also curious to learn about both Mystique and Xavier’s additional needs. This is the only scene in Powers of X #1 that addresses the plot lines from House of X #1. Hickman does a good job progressing them just enough that the reader does not feel like Hickman is stalling for time.

Hickman did a wonderful job with the Year One Hundred timeline. The Man-Machine Supremacy is such a fantastic concept and so well executed. Nimrod the Lesser is an absolutely fantastic character. Hickman manages to do the impossible and make Nimrod the Lesser both a legitimate and serious villain while at the same time also an excellent source of comedic relief. Nimrod’s dialogue is well constructed and completely genuine no matter if his lines are serious or humorous. I appreciate that Hickman was able to introduce some humor into an otherwise serious story. And I further appreciate that the humor was delivered in a manner that never felt forced or inconsistent with Nimrod’s character.

Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review
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What was surprising is that even though Nimrod the Lesser is physically large and imposing he is actually incredibly cute. Marvel needs to make a plush version of Nimrod the Lesser! I love how when Nimrod gets excited about being able to use his AI program on Cylobel that he clasps his hands in a child-like fashion. This is actually a neat job by Hickman to show that despite his powers that Nimrod is a child. Nimrod is a machine created by humans for a particular task. But, that Nimrod is still young and posses youthful qualities. This is a nice job of Hickman blurring the lines between what is human and what is a machine/A.I.

I also liked Nimrod’s computer system constructed of fluid chambers and an AI program that is designed to create a living database of mutants. This is the kind of wild concept that a reader would only expect from a writer like Hickman, Morrison, or Kirby. It is cool tech and concepts like this that make Hickman’s story so rich and enjoyable.

I also enjoyed the four X-Men on Krakoa who were waiting for Rasputin and Cardinal. Of course, you cannot have something set in the future without Wolverine starring in it. Having Old Wolverine still kicking around is an excellent choice. Nobody does old and grizzled better than Wolverine. I also like the old version of Magneto. I dig that his costume is green. This is a nice homage to his daughter Polaris and her green hair and green costume. Magneto is also an excellent choice as one of the last standing mutants. Nobody does vengeful and angry better than Magneto.

I am definitely curious to learn more about the other two mutants in that scene. The old Groot/Man-Thing character looks incredibly cool. The skull-faced character with blue fire also looks cool. These may be existing character that I am simply not recognizing. Or, these are brand new mutants. Either way, I am curious to learn more about what these X-Men are up to in this timeline. I am also curious to learn more about what information that Rasputin and Cardinal stole from the Nexus.

I do like the obvious parallels between the Year Ten timeline and the Year One Hundred timeline. In both timelines, a band of mutants have stolen a flash drive of information for an unknown reason. Perhaps this is all connected? I am sure we will find out soon enough.

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Once again, Hickman does a masterful job with placing informational inserts into the issue at strategic points. These informational Inserts are an excellent way to deliver tons of backstory in a far more entertaining and streamlined fashion than an exposition dump via pages of talking heads. These informational inserts are incredibly entertaining and packed full of fascinating little details that serve to make the setting for Hickman’s X-Men that much more immersive for the reader.

I liked the mutant breeding program in the Sinister pits of Mars. C’mon! This is total Jack Kirby! Breeding pits on a hot planet like Mars reminded me of Apokolips with its fire pits where Darkseid bred his Parademon soldiers. This is such great stuff!

The mutant breeding program is also an excellent evolution of the Sentinel Hound program. It makes sense that the mutants would look at what the humans did with the Hound program and try and do something similar for their own benefit. I also love the selection of Mr. Sinister for this role. It makes sense to place Sinister in charge of that type of program. It is consistent with his specialty and background. Of course, Mr. Sinister’s betrayal is also perfectly logical. How could things end up any other way?

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I am completely fascinated with Hickman’s description of the four generations of the Sinister Mutants. I dig how each generation became more and more unpredictable. I also liked the concept of the Cardinals. This is quite a neat twist. It is also another moment where Hickman blends science with religion. This is such detailed world-building that I would love to read a comic book based on some characters from each of these four generations of Sinister Mutants. It is amazing how Hickman can deliver such a fully fleshed out story concept in two pages that could easily serve as a full-fledged comic book on its own.

The informational insert about the SalCen Khennil is also interesting. The black brain Hounds are certainly cool. I liked that Hickman had the final generation of hounds turn on the Man-Machine Supremacy and join the mutants in their war against the men and machines. The explanation for why the black brain Hounds turned on the Man-Machine Supremacy is quite logical. This is also a nice parallel to the fourth generation Sinister mutants who turned on the mutants.

Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review
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I loved the information insert concerning the three locations of the surviving mutants in Year One Hundred. This was an excellent use of the Shi’ar. What is interesting are the two locations of the Shi’ar mutant colonies and the two uses of the mutants. The Benevolence colony is located at the edge of the Shi’ar Empire and serves as a buffer with the wild space of the spawning grounds of the Brook breeding territory. Not exactly the best place to live, right? The Shi’ar basically use the mutants as a buffer between them and the Brood. The mutants, with their powers, serve as the first line of defense and/or sacrificial lambs in any attack by the Brood on Shi’ar territory.

The second location is on the Shi’ar throne world of Chadilar. However, note that this colony is far smaller than the Benevolence. And the use of these mutants? They are nothing more than living weapons used to breed new warriors to bolster the ranks of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. Upon further examination, how are the Shi’ar really that much better than humans when it comes to the treatment of mutants?

The final scene in Powers of X #1 was absolutely fantastic. This is how you end an issue in style. The Preserve is simply a brilliant concept. Hickman gives us Adam and Eve back in the Garden of Eden. After all that mankind has been through, we see that man is basically right back to where they were at the beginning. Time is a flat circle.

Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review
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This leads me to my big impression of Powers of X #1. Hickman reminds me so much of Jack Kirby. One of the biggest reasons is that the two men are unparalleled at being able to take the themes of science and religion and meld the two together. This is exactly what we get in Powers of X #1 from start to finish.

In Year Ten, Charles Xavier clearly gives off the vibe of a cult leader. It is Xavier’s cult of personality and his god-like status among mutants that allow him to create the mutant nation of Krakoa and get all of the mutants to follow him. However, it is the incredible science and technology that allows Xavier to create this mutant utopia. Religion and science are melded together in order to bring about the events of Year Ten.

In Year One Hundred, we have the culmination of science as man creates machines which in turn ascends to a much higher state of being than man. The machines become far more advanced than those who created them. The machines run the world and pay lip service to their human creators. This is a warning of how man can use science to create amazing things that man will eventually lose control over. And once man loses that control they risk becoming conquered and ruled by their own creations. This is also a warning of what happens when mankind plays “God” in trying to create artificial life and intelligence.

Year One Hundred also gives the dire warning that all science programs have a failure rate. That science is as imperfect as the men who create it and try to control it and implement it. Hickman shows how science experiments and programs often have unintended consequences that end up harming the creators of the programs.

The mutants created the mutant breeding program in hopes of helping them in their war with humans. However, that program backfired ended up leading to the downfall of mutants and Krakoa. Humans created the Sentinel Hound program to help them in their war with mutants. However, that program backfired and ended up costing the humans heavy casualties and supplying the mutants with some of their fiercest warriors. The warning is that just because the science exists to create life does not mean that man should walk down that path.

Hickman continues to blend science and religion in Year 100 with the Outliers that become the Cardinals. These mutant creations of breeding programs based on advanced science end up embracing the exact opposite of their creation: creation myths. Cardinals are the result of man (mutants) playing God. This is juxtaposed by the Cardinals then becoming men of God and deeply religious. Again, for Hickman, religion, and science are forever intertwined.

In Year One Thousand, Hickman gives us a world where machines have fully taken over Earth. The machines have created the Preserve which acts as a Garden of Eden for the last two humans. In a twist, man now has his creation, machines, become his own “God” as the machines create the new Garden of Eden for “Adam” and “Eve” to live in. Hickman even has these beings of science in Nimrod and the Librarian refer to humans as one of the world’s “greatest sins.”

Not only does Hickman’s new timeline meld together religion and science, but it also signals to the reader that time is a flat circle. That humans and mutants are doomed to repeat the same endless cycle of conflict throughout all of time. It does appear that Nimrod and the Librarian are attempting to finally break that cycle in the Year One Thousand time period. However, the reader is left with doubts if that can truly ever happen.

Marvel Comics Powers of X #1 Review
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R.B. Silva and Adriano Di Benedetto do an excellent job with the artwork. Powers of X #1 is a beautiful looking issue. The characters all look fantastic. I dig that Silva makes Wolverine properly short and stocky. I also love Silva’s Mystique. She looks properly equal parts sexy and badass. However, Nimrod might be the character that Silva did the best job with in this issue. I have no idea how Silva was able to convey so much human emotion from a robot that does not have a human face. I also am amazed at how Silva could make such a physically imposing character so cute at moments.

Silva packs a ton of detail in his panels. Certain scenes look rich and ornate. Overall, Silva succeeds in bringing Hickman’s world to life in vivid fashion.

The Bad: The only aspect of Powers of X #1 that failed to impress me where Cylobel, Rasputin, and Cardinal. These characters are all rather blah. Cylobel is a bland character that has little personality. Rasputin is just a generic “badass” “warrior” female character. Rasputin never rises above being just a comic book trope. Cardinal is rather milk-toast. There is nothing about his character that piques the reader’s interest. There is no reason for the reader to care about these characters or get invested in them at all.

Overall: Powers of X #1 is a brilliant read. Hickman builds off of House of X #1 in a pleasant fashion. Hickman continues to build a delightfully complex and immersive world. This story pulls the reader in deeply and doesn’t let go until the very end. Powers of X #1 is an issue that demands multiple readings in order to properly soak up all of the small details packed into the story. This is an issue that is truly worth every penny of the cover price.

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