A New Nation: Powers of X #5 Review

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

As we begin to wind down this massive X-Men reboot, let’s dig into Powers of X #5 and see what happens next to our beloved mutants.

As per usual with PoX we have three sets of stories to look at by year. We begin in the past (X Year 1) with Charles Xavier and everyone’s favorite mutant techie, Forge. The two are discussing further augmentations that Charles wants to make to Cerebro. Since he can already locate mutants, he wants to move on to making copies of mutant minds and backing them up.

Forge sees some problems with that:

1.) There are a lot of mutant minds that grow year by year.

2.) People change, so they’d need to back-up the minds on a scheduled basis.

3.) Since there are so many mutant minds out there, they need more than one back-up station.

Charles isn’t worried about that last part as he would like five back-up stations instead of just two. Forge counters that by saying that he’d need an unlimited source of energy and unlimited storage, both of which aren’t on this planet. Fortunately this is an X-Men book, so Xavier’s got some Sh’iar friends that can hook him up with logic diamonds for storage and an antimatter engine for power (which is later replaced by Krakoa’s no-place vents). Also something of note in the Cerebro upgrade process: Xavier now has the ability to replace his own mind with that of a legacy version of it and has done so twice. Something to remember…

Flash forward to the present (X Year 10) where Emma Frost is at the Louvre using her telepathy to rent the museum out for herself. She’s met by Xavier and Magneto, who are there to convince her of their plans for a new mutant nation. She already knows about the Krakoan miracle drugs through her influence over the Hellfire Corporation. She isn’t a big fan of the idea of putting all the mutants on one island with a huge target on their back as she has seen it fail before. She reminds them she was at Genosha during the massacre, so why would she want to see that happen again?

After some convincing they take her to Krakoa, where she agrees to join them but on a few conditions. Charles and Erik need to dole out the miracle drug but don’t trust humans to do so. Emma and the Hellfire Corporation are already well known and able to accomplish that task dependably. They’re basically going to be the mutant “East India Company” and in return for that Emma gets two seats on the first iteration of the Krakoan government’s council. Emma questions “Why two?” Xavier and Magneto respond that they want the Black King as well. While Emma is to be the legal side of Krakoa’s envoy, Sebastian Shaw will be the illegal side, funneling the drugs into nations who don’t accept their sovereignty and smuggling out mutants who are being oppressed. Emma ultimately agrees in exchange for a third seat but we’ll come back to that later.

We cut to a little further in the future where Xavier is sending out an invitation to all the mutant villains to join the rest of mutantkind on Krakoa including Namor the Submariner. We already know that the majority of those mutants accept his invitation as seen in Ho X #5 but we never saw Namor, so what’s his deal? Namor is glad that Charles has finally “shaken off the shackles of humanity and realized his superiority over them”. With Namor’s newest iteration over in Marvel’s Invaders as “Atlantian Despot” this is not some idle principle for the King of Atlantis. He also doesn’t entirely believe Xavier’s recent epiphany nor does he think Xavier believes it himself. He denies the invitation and tells Xavier to come back when he’s really means it.

Meanwhile, in the far flung future of X Year 1000, the Phalanx are in the process of absorbing the blue aliens starting with their Elder. This perplexes the Librarian because they wanted ascendancy and this wasn’t exactly what they were expecting. Nimrod the Greater explains that when the aliens reached out for a protector they instead got a predator (the Phalanx) who works for a higher collective (a society so advanced that it collapsed in on itself and became a black hole). They’ll accept the offer of “ascendancy” but in order to do that they consume the aliens, as well as the earth with it.

Another great issue for the books folks and I’m happy to say I’m starting to come around a little more on this book. Though like previous issues of PoX, I really don’t care that much for the stuff happening with the Phalanx in the future. I do respect its presence in the story and maybe I’ll actually get it by the time these books wrap up.

I will say I really dug the conversation between Forge and Xavier in the beginning because of course you go to Forge anytime you need mutant tech stuff! The small tidbit about Xavier having replaced his mind with younger versions is really interesting. Maybe he saw himself straying from the plan and had to reboot himself, or perhaps something happened between him and Moira and he decided to forget about it? I really didn’t need an explanation for Emma Frost’s participation in this but I’m glad I got it because the whole “Mutant East India Company” is actually a really cool idea for the series. That and the addition of the Council of Krakoa is cool to see as well, though they’ve only give us a few names (Xavier, Magneto, Emma, Sebastian Shaw, Cypher, Krakoa). We’ll probably be seeing more about that later.

Namor’s small but memorable scene was probably the best part of this issue! He’s a mutant, but a monarch in his own right so I wondered how he’d handle the rise of Krakoa. The way he did was amazing in a “mic drop” kinda way. Hickman continues to make some great X-Men stories and R.B. Silva continues to bring his A game for the art. With only two issues left, I can’t wait to see how this series wraps up!

Verdict: 8.5/10 seats on the Council of Krakoa

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