Updated: Dec 17, 2019
It’s a new morning for mutant kind. They have their own country, a government, a break from being hated and feared (or at least a place where they can escape from it), and hope for a better tomorrow. Jonathan Hickman brought a new status quo for the X-Men with House of X and Powers of X, but now we have the X-Men title proper to deal with. Let’s see how Hickman continues his story and what else he has in store for our merry mutants.
We open up the issue with a small flashback to when Professor Xavier gifts a young Scott Summers his ruby-quartz glasses. That’s pretty much it, but it’s nice to revisit a time where Xavier and Scott had that mentor - mentee / father - son relationship.The rest of the issue is set in the present. No more time traveling or alternate timelines or anything of the sort. The Dawn of X is here and now.
We continue the story with Storm and Cyclops infiltrating an Orchis facility on earth, fighting both human agents and machine alike. Like Han and Chewie breaking out of the Death Star they make a wrong turn and run into more armed Orchis members than they bargained for. Luckily for them there are always more X-Men around when you need them and Magneto and Polaris come to the rescue. They tear through several floors of the base to get to where all the “important stuff” is. The important stuff is guarded by a bunch of scientists who are unwilling to abandon their work to the mutants. So unwilling in fact, that they take a serum to turn themselves into gorillas and fight the X-Men. Magneto easily asserts his dominance over them and takes care of the issue. Sadly we don’t get to see Magneto fighting crazed mutated apes but Cyclops does quip about the apes having PHDs.
So what exactly were the Orchis dudes experimenting on this time? Well first, they had a bunch of mutant children in stasis for... Krakoa knows why. Second was a singular tube with something not exactly human and definitely not mutant. It’s Orchis’ first crack at post-humanity (see Powers of X #6) but subject 001 here is a bit undercooked and teleports out before the X-Men could examine or even interrogate it. For now they’ll have to settle for rescuing the mutant children and bringing them to Krakoa.
Upon their return to the new mutant island-nation, Cyclops and Storm check in on some of the newly rescued kids, making sure they haven’t sustained any physical or psychological damage from Orchis. Magento comes back to a folk heroes welcome, surrounded by children who beg him to tell them stories of how he defeated the humans and how they want to be just like him when they grow up. This time Magneto’s the hero and that’s all well and good with Cyclops, because he’s just glad that he’s a part of this new era of mutants. That and he’s glad he’s got a life to be happy about. He explains to Polaris that he can now raise a kid in a world that won’t hate or fear him and then demonstrates that by showing us his swanky new house...on the blue area of the Moon. His house is big enough for the entire Summers clan: Marvel Girl (dead / not dead ex-wife? Jean Grey), Rachel Summers (alternate daughter from Days of Future Past), Young Cable (time displaced son), Havok (brother), Vulcan (space brother), Corsair (space dad) and his best buddy Wolverine?? The last one was a little weird. It looks like the two buried the hatchet and moved forward. They even have connecting rooms with Jean…
In short, everything's coming up Cyclops! The only one that has any dissenting opinion on this and about Krakoa is Scott’s dad Corsair. Well not exactly dissenting. He’s more worried about Scott and his brothers because the Krakoa stuff seems dangerous. Scott tries to ease his dad’s fears by saying that his life has been better since the creation of the mutant nation. Not only is he willing to fight for this new era of mutant kind but he’s able to surround himself with friends and family, and have these moments of happiness and bliss.
Next we jump to the giant space station of Orchis. We meet the head of the organization, a blind scientist by the name of Dr. Devo. Devo goes to Dr. Gregor’s lab to ask about her absence at the funeral of all the Orchis agents killed when the X-Men attacked the station (House of X #3). He’s worried about her mental condition as her husband was among those who were buried. She claims she’s just fine because she knows that he will live on in her work. As the comic ends Dr. Gregor reveals that she may have a way to bring her deceased husband back to the land of the living.
X-Men #1 is a great start for the main title X-book. House of X and Powers of X were fantastic but they were all set-up for what is to come in the new X-Men era. This is the book where all the bigger plot points will be continued and probably culminate in a big finale at the end of Hickman’s giant story. This first issue did a great job continuing the story from HoX / PoX and establishing where the X-Men will continue to go. X-Men vs. Orchis, Krakoan Habitats, the future of Human/Mutant relations, and the start of post-humanity in this timeline were all brought to the table this issue and were executed to great effect here. I can’t wait to see how Dr. Gregor will attempt to bring back her dead love and if she will use the same method that the X-Men use. On that point, how would she know that information?
I’m also glad that I turned out to be wrong about the X-Men team line-up. When the cover of this issue was first released I was a bit confused. Literally everyone related to Scott Summers is on the team. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Cable, Havok, and Rachel Summers all make sense, but why Vulcan and Corsair? I’ll chalk it up to Hickman’s desire to use underrated X-Men but still a weird choice to make the team everyone related to Cyclops… and also Wolverine. Magneto, Polaris, Storm, and even Cecilia Reyes were all really cool to see as the X-Men team this issue. Even if the cover image is a tell of what the book should look like moving forward, I hope we at least get to check in with other characters or they just have a rotating roster for each issue. The last thing I’ll make a note of is that we still get files to help move the story along and in this one we get to see the layout of Scott’s Krakoan Habitat on the Blue Area of the Moon. As I mentioned before Jean, Logan and Scott’s rooms are all connected… I noticed a lot of people online making assumptions about why. Maybe they’re taking the “make more mutants” rule to heart or maybe it was as simple as the three biggest rooms for the senior members of the X-Men. I’m sure it will either be addressed or it won’t depending on the real answer.
Anyhow X-Men #1 is a great issue and a must-read for any X-Men fan. Hickman keeps delivering on the mutant side of Marvel and I’m very excited to see each issue unfold his master plan. Leinil Francis Yu takes over art duties for the book and puts out his usual greatness. What else is there to say but Make Mine Mutant!
Verdict: 8/10 Rooms in the Summers House
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