House of X and Powers of X have been simply the best comic books that Marvel has published in years. It is not even close. Jonathan Hickman has treated the reader to a stunningly creative and fresh look at the X-Men franchise. We have finally arrived at the end of the House of X/Powers of X storyline with Powers of X #6. I am excited to see what surprises Hickman has in store for us with this issue. Let’s go ahead and hit this review!
Words: Jonathan Hickman
Pencils: R.B. Silva and Pepe Larraz
Colors: Marte Gracia and David Curiel
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with literally the exact same seven-page scene set in X0: The X-Men Year One with Moira and Charles Xavier at a carnival that we got back in Powers of X #1. Moira opens her mind to Charles’ mind so he can gain all the information from her prior lives.
We shift to X3: The X-Men Year One-Thousand. The Librarian enters the secured refuge where he is keeping the last mutants. We learn that the two of the last mutants are Wolverine and Moira. Wolverine threatens that eventually, they are going to break out of this zoo that the Librarian is keeping them imprisoned in. The Librarian tells Wolverine and Moira that they will not escape. The Librarian says that tomorrow is Ascension and that the Phalanx is going to assume their entire world and that nobody will exist anymore.
The Librarian then reveals that he has arranged to send Moira and Wolverine off-planet so that they will not die. The Librarian says that if Moira dies before the Phalanx, that is going to absorb the Librarian and his planet, makes it to the nearest black hole then all that the Librarian knows will not become part of the Dominion. So, when Moira annihilates this timeline or reality then Moira will be right back where she started and knowing all that she knows without the Librarian or his people knowing anything about Moira.
But, if Moira lives past the Librarian becoming part of a god then by existing beyond space and time the Dominion will forever know about Moira. And that they will not tolerate something like Moira having any power of them.
The Librarian says that he is conflicted. The Librarian questions the wisdom of becoming a part of the Phalanx and having to become something that is immaterial. To no longer have a physical body with his own psyche.
The Librarian says that he has a choice. If the Librarian lets Moira die then perhaps Moira can prevent the humans from becoming part of the universal machine state. The Librarian suspects that the universal machine state is a fake existence. Or does the Librarian send Moira away so she does not die and he finds out for himself what becoming part of a Dominion is like.
The Librarian asks Moira how she would prevent their post-humanity state and surrender to the machines. The Librarian says that he is a Homo novissima. The end of the evolutionary line. The last man there will ever be.
The Librarian says that it is sad that mutants always thought they were what was next. That mutants were the evolutionary inevitable. Moira and Wolverine reply that they are. The Librarian tells them to look around. That they are in a cage. That this is inevitable.
The Librarian says that mutants are an evolutionary response to an environment. That mutants are naturally occurring. The next step in human evolution. However, what happens when humanity stops being beholden to its environment. When man controls the building blocks to biology and technology. When evolution is no match for genetic engineering. What good is a single mutant adapting to its environment when man can make ten supermen.
The Librarian says that mutants thought humans created the machines to defeat the mutants. That the machines were just to buy time. The Sentinels bought humans years. The Nimrods bought humans decades.
Moira and Wolverine are stunned. Moira says that she never saw it.
The Librarian says that since Moira was not capable of seeing the real enemy then she could never defeat them. The Librarian says that Moira has no real alternative to offer. The Librarian says that he has no choice but to become a small part of a god.
Wolverine suddenly stabs the Librarian in the face and kills him. (Damn! That came out of nowhere!) Wolverine says now they know the truth. Wolverine asks Moira if she is going to do something about it. Moira says that she will. Moira says that it is time for Wolverine to send her on her way.
Wolverine then stabs Moira through her chest and kills her. And with this ends the Life Six of Moira X. (FINALLY! We finally know about that mysterious redacted sixth life of Moira X!)
We get a one-page informational insert about the branching of humanity. That there are Homo sapiens. That Homo superior evolves from the Homo sapiens as the successor to humanity. Then you have the Homo novissima which is a post-human manufactured branch of humanity.
We zip back to X0: X-Men Year One with Charles Xavier stunned at all the information he gets from reading Moira’s mind about her past lives. Moira says that Charles has been dreaming the wrong dream and that it is time for him to wake up.
We get a two-page informational insert of Moira’s journal. It talks about her efforts to break Charles from his dream and remake him into the man she needs him to be. It also talks about recruiting Magneto and Apocalypse.
The journal also talks about Charles and Xavier recruiting Sinister to make husks in order to bring mutants back from the dead. Moira is concerned about this because this is Charles and Magneto operating on their own and going well past her directions.
The journal talks about Moira decided to remove herself from the world. That she has become too active of a force and is putting herself and her plan at risk. Charles and Moira used a Shi’ar golem to run the first test of using genetic material and the backup copy from Cerebro to fake her death.
We cut to “yesterday” at Moira’s No-Space hidden on Krakoa. Magneto and Professor X arrive to talk to Moira. Professor X says that they now have a government on Krakoa. The Council of 12 is comprised of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Autumn is comprised of Professor X, Magneto, and Apocalypse. Summer is comprised of Storm, Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler. Spring is comprised of Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, and the Red King. Winter is comprised of Sinister, Exodus, and Mystique.
Moira asks how they got Mystique to agree to be on the Council of 12. Professor X replies that they agreed to bring Destiny back to life. Moira freaks out and repeatedly says that Xavier cannot do that. That no precogs can be on Krakoa. That Destiny can see her and that Moira’s truth is a weakness since her death ends all of this. Professor X keeps saying that he knows. Professor X says that they will keep putting Mystique off for as long as they can. (Oh, this cannot end well.)
Professor X and Magneto then state that at some point all of the mutants on Krakoa deserve to know the truth. Moira asks them if they really want all of the mutants to know that they lose? Professor X says that this time is going to be different.
We cut to Professor X and Magneto at the big celebration on Krakoa becoming a sovereign state that we saw at the end of House of X #6. Magneto says that he will die for Krakoa. And Charles can resurrect him and he will show the world what a real mutant is. Magneto says that he is not ashamed of what he is. Magneto says to let them try to stop us this time. Professor X agrees with Magneto. End of issue.
The Good: Powers of X #6 is another brilliant read. What a hell of an ending. Hickman has treated the read to an incredible journey that started in House of X #1 and has ended with Powers of X #6. It is hard for writers to stick the landing on a big event story, but Hickman definitely sticks the landing with Powers of X #6.
Powers of X $6 is another well-plotted issue. Hickman continues to flex his plotting muscles showing that few writers can rival his skills. Every plotline is rich and detailed. Hickman is able to pull every single plotline on both Powers of X and House of X together into one cohesive narrative. It is a joy to see how Hickman slid so many disparate pieces together with the ending to Powers of X #6. This truly is some of the best world-building you will ever read in comic books.
Hickman also delivers plenty of strong character work in Powers of X #6. Hickman narrows his focus onto Wolverine, Moira, Magneto, and Professor X. They are all written so well as each one has their own well-developed personality and their own unique external voice. It is a combination of truly incredible character work and dialogue.
The opening seven-page scene in X0: X-Men Year 0 is just a panel for panel reproduction of what we got in Powers of X #1. Normally, I would not be a fan of this type of blatant recycling of material that we have already gotten in an earlier issue. In particular when it spans seven pages of a thirty-four-page comic book. However, in this case, I absolutely loved how Hickman replayed this carnival scene for us. In doing so, Hickman is able to complete the loop.
Even though we had read this scene before, the knowledge that readers has picked up since Powers of X #1 enables the reader to enjoy this scene in a completely different manner. Where this scene seemed purposely vague and cryptic in Powers of X #1, it now had far more meaning as the reader picked up the little story elements that Moira hints at during this scene. It is really cool to read the exact same scene and suddenly see it in a completely different light.
Of course, it is the thirteen-page scene in the Preserve in X3: X-Men Year One-Thousand that is the clear star of the issue. This was by far the high point of Powers of X #6. I was absolutely entranced from the very beginning all the way to the end of this scene.
Up until this issue, I have been quite plain in my reviews that I found the X3: X-Men Year One-Thousand to be the least interesting and the most purposely vague plotline of all the different timelines. Over the course of House of X and Powers of X, Hickman has been able to weave all of the other dissimiliar plotlines together in an intelligent and pleasing fashion. However, this one plotline stood out all on its own completely separated from everything else going on in this story.
That is until this incredible scene in Powers of X #6. With this one scene, Hickman finally blows the reader away by revealing how this future plotline fits into the rest of the story. The shocking revelation that the future belongs to the Homo novissima and that mutants are destined to lose punches the reader square in the chest.
Then Hickman drops an even larger second bomb on the reader. The X3: X-Men Year One-Thousand timeline is the mysterious Life Six of Moira X. What a fucking stunning moment. Life Six of Moira X has been the biggest mystery of House of X/Powers of X. We got the infographic of the Many Lives of Moira X in House of X #2. The infographic showed the timeline for Moira’s ten lives except for Life Six. That timeline was completely absent. Well, no longer. Hickman wisely made the reader wait until the very end for this mystery to be resolved. And it was absolutely worth the wait.
We then get the five-page scene set in X0: X-Men Year 0. This scene is definitely anti-climactic after the incredible scene in X3: X-Men Year One-Thousand. However, this scene does finally reveal to the reader the moment where Moira and Professor X join forces and create their plan that leads us to House of X. This scene relies on some strong character work and well-crafted dialogue.
Next, is the four-page scene in No-Space. This is my second favorite scene of Powers of X #6. Again, this scene delivers even more excellent character work and dialogue. Hickman weaves Destiny back into the narrative with this scene. I was wondering when Hickman would return to this dangling plotline from House of X #2. Moira’s panicked reaction to Professor X’s promise to Mystique to resurrect Destiny was palpable. Hickman infuses this scene with so much nervous energy.
Despite Professor X and Magneto’s assurances that everything is going to be different, Hickman manages to place seeds of doubt in the reader’s mind. Professor X and Magneto have veered off of Moira’s plans in the past. The reader gets a sense that Professor X and Magneto are suffering from hubris that will prevent them from properly pulling off Moira’s plans. Hickman does a nice job laying the foundation for what is sure to be a future schism when Professor X is either forced to resurrect Destiny or Mystique crosses them for failing to live up to his promise.
Hickman also does a good job showing the possible fraying of the ties between Moira and Professor X and Magneto over the debate to tell all of Krakoa the truth. Moira clearly does not want anyone to know the truth outside of herself, Professor X, and Magneto. Yet, it seems clear that Professor X and Magneto do not want to keep these secrets from the rest of the mutants on Krakoa for too much long.
The final five-page scene of the party on Krakoa was a fitting ending to Hosue of X/Powers of X. This presented a perfect opportunity for Professor X and Magneto to bask in their glory of what they have created. Hickman wonderfully contrasts the jubilance among the mutants in the party with the ominous and aggressive attitudes of Magneto and Professor X. The two men are clearly prepared for any future conflict with mankind.
As always, Hickman treats the reader to so many cool Informational inserts. In Powers of X #6, we get a one-page informational insert on the Branching Humanity. This is a cool way to give the reader a clearer picture of mankind’s evolution.
The second informational insert are the three pages from Moira’s journal. These three pages contain ten different entries. Two of the entries are redacted. As always, Hickman has to withhold some information from the reader and create a sense of mystery and excitement.
These entries offer a wonderful insight into Moira’s thoughts about the three main men in her many lives: Professor X, Magneto, and Apocalypse. This is an effective way to give the reader some insight into Moira’s inner thoughts and her views on these three men. What is interesting is that Hickman makes Moira less than likable with the Machiavellian way that she uses and manipulates Professor X. It is not endearing.
Hickman also uses these journal entries to reinforce Magneto’s unbending and unyielding personality. While Professor X is able to be manipulated, Magneto presents an entirely different obstacle. However, I do like how Moira takes Magneto’s strong personality and uses it to imprint the idea of stronghold in his mind. This is naturally a concept that would appeal to someone like Magneto.
And of course, there is Apocalypse. This is the man that Moira is the wariest of between the three men. I like how Hickman reinforces the fact that Apocalypse is more force of nature than a mutant and, therefore, is harder to control or predict.
The Bad: Hickman starting off Powers of X #6 by recycling panel-for-panel a seven-page scene that we already got in Powers of X #1 is sure to annoy some readers. Also, readers who like action may be disappointed with Powers of X #6. This is another dialogue-heavy issue with very little action.
R.B. Silva and Pepe Larraz combine to deliver art that does not get in the way of the story, but also never rises to a level where it makes the story better. There are moments where the art seems a bit sloppy. I am also not crazy about how the faces are drawn in many of the panels.
Overall: Powers of X #6 was another phenomenal read. Hickman wraps up his House of X/Powers of X storyline in splendid fashion. If you did not read these two titles then you absolutely must get House of X/Powers of X when it comes out in collected format. It will definitely be worth the money.
Up next is Dawn of X and then we will get the newly relaunched X-Men title on October 16, 2019. Hickman has done an amazing job re-energizing the X-Men franchise. I am sure that Hickman’s X-Men #1 is going to be a monster seller.
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