Rather than our regularly scheduled House of X then Powers of X review cycle, we’ll instead be following their reading order and taking a look at the last two issues of Powers of X. Let’s see how Jonathan Hickman continues to unfold his master plan for the X-Men.
Issue two opens up in Year 1 with Moira MacTaggert and Charles Xavier visiting Magneto in his secret villain hideaway in the Bermuda Triangle. They’re there to convince the Master of Magnetism to join them in their new quest for mutant endurance via learning from Moira’s past lives (*seen in House of X #2). Magneto, as stubborn and egotistical as always is convinced by his colleague to open his mind to see...his failures. Xavier shows him how he fails in every conceivable timeline, from death by sentinel to indefinite jail time in S.H.I.E.L.D custody. Why show him his failures? To prove there isn’t any other way but to join together and follow a new plan based off the information of Moira’s past lives. Magneto gives a spiel about not giving Charles an inch and keeping him in check and Charles wouldn’t have it any other way. And so a new mutant trio forms.
Meanwhile, in Year 10 (a.k.a the present), we find out the information that Mystique stole for the mutants was a blueprint for a Master Mold that creates other Master Molds called the Mother Mold (seen in House of X #1). It isn’t quite up and running yet, but Xavier and Magneto see fit to shut it down before it starts raining sentinels. It also appears that Nimrod tech is on that space station. Now what? Send in the X-Men.
Cut to Year 100 and we have our surviving mutants confront their leader about the information the two Chimera Class mutants were able to obtain from Powers of X #1. Their leader: Apocalypse, because when everyone else dies off, En Sabah Nur survives. Also, we find out that the other two mutants with the resistance are Xorn and Cypher, who has merged with Krakoa to become the Groot looking fellow. He translates the info the Chimeras brought back and their only alternative is to storm the tower of Nimrod in a suicide mission led by Apocalypse.
We finish off the comic in the Year 1000 with the Alien Librarian and Nimrod the Greater working on their experiment of making a sentient Nimrod Worldmind to catch a greater beast… The Phalanx. But what does the Librarian want with them? Ascension.
Issue three diverges a bit from the standard three timeline structure and instead focuses entirely on the mutant resistance in the Year 100. The issue opens up with some world building, where we see the idea of “humans selling their souls to the machines to kill the mutants” went religious as they’ve created churches around worshiping Nimrod and making themselves into cyborgs. The X-Men show up but considering they’re led by Apocalypse, they’re actually Horsemen. Wolverine is War, Xorn is Death, Krakoa/Cypher is Famine, and North (a Chimera mutant with the genetics of Magneto/Polaris) is Pestilence while the remaining mutants seem to be under a sub-group led by Mother Akkaba. Omega Sentinel dispatches a bunch of sentinels to take care of the X-Horse-Men but Nimrod can’t be bothered as he’s dissecting the hound from issue 1.
The Horsemen and Chimeras are putting a dent in the church followers until Omega and the Sentinels (*new band name) show up and immediately outnumber and outgun them. Today is a good day to die for Xorn, Rasputin, and Cardinal, who hold off the sentinels and ultimately wipe them and themselves out in a last ditch effort when Rasputin unleashes the singularity inside Xorn’s head.
Krakoa/Cypher, Apocalypse and Wolverine obtain the info they’ve been looking for; the date when Nimrod came online. This alerts Nimrod who rushes down to the information subbasement and blasts Wolverine in the face. Before he can further beat the remaining mutants into a pulp, the explosion from Xorn’s head knocks off Nimrod. That gives Wolverine enough time to take the info and jump through the portal to Krakoa, while Apocalypse holds off Nimrod. Wolverine goes to Apocalypse’s chamber and wakes up Moira MacTaggert from a sarcophagus. He gives her the date of Nimrod’s “birth” and then kills her, ending her ninth life cycle so she can enter her tenth a.k.a the House of X timeline/Year 10.
This might be just me but this is starting to feel a bit too Hickman-y, or at least issue two was. It felt like more of the same with the same time structure, a couple of tidbits of ongoing story info that could be easily summed up, and a big mic drop moment at the end. That being said this issue was still entertaining and I enjoyed both the beginning with Charles, Magneto, and Moira and the Phalanx mic drop. The art is still on point so props to RB Silva. Nuff Said.
PoX #2 Verdict: 6.5/10 Phalanx Assimilations
Powers of X #3 on the other hand was awesome! It took place entirely in one time period, it was action packed and had an ending I was far more excited about than the Phalanx appearance. Year 100 just being Year 100 of Moira MacTaggert’s ninth life cycle is a cool idea that narrows down the process of what’s happening in this reboot as well as adds up with House of X #2. I also dig the world building done in the beginning of the issue with the Cyborg Church. The art, still by RB Silva, is great! Superior issue, bring on House of X #3!
PoX #3 Verdict: 8/10 Apocalypse Seeds