Last issue the X-Men died!
Where do you go from there?
Well, let’s dig into House of X #5 and find out!
We open the issue on Krakoa, with Polaris and Magneto discussing the point of humanity while waiting for Xavier, Storm, and a group of mutants known as “The Five”. Those mutants are Goldballs (Fabio Median), Elixir (Joshua Foley), Proteus (Kevin MacTaggert), Tempus (Eva Bell), and Hope Summers and they’re here to do something very specific. They’re here to beat death itself.
“But how?” I’m sure you’re all asking. Well, in just seven steps, we can bring back some dead characters:
Hope Summers earns her keep as the “Mutant Messiah” and jacks up the powers of "The Five".
Goldballs uses his powers to create gold balls (which turn out to be non-viable “eggs” with biological components and all. gross…)
Proteus warps reality and makes the eggs viable.
The eggs are injected with mutant DNA courtesy of one Nathaniel Essex/Mr. Sinister.
Elixir kicks starts the process to bring about life.
Tempus manipulates time and speeds up the process.
Profit… err, I mean life!
Next we flashback to the opening pages of issue one of this series, (which turns out to take place in this issue), where people burst from the pods and surround Xavier who utters the infamous “To me, my X-Men”.
So the X-Men who went to destroy Mother Mold and then died in space are back. But wait are they really the X-Men or are they all just clones?
Once all the biological stuff is done, the second part of the X-Men’s resurrection takes place. The bodies that “The Five” create are genetic copies of those who had fallen but are merely husks in a sense. To make them the X-Men they once were Xavier uses Cerebro to basically put their consciousness back into their bodies.
Yes, he can do that. In a retcon going back to the earliest days of the X-Men, Cerebro is used to locate mutants but that was apparently its secondary function. Its primary function was to make a copy of every mutant’s mind. It copies their very essence so in cases like this, Xavier can once again breathe life into fallen mutants.
So yeah, the X-Men are back and in the flesh, literally because the pods don’t make clothes. With their resurrection comes much rejoicing in the mutant community and Xavier congratulates them on a mission accomplished. Storm reintroduces the resurrected X-Men to the rest of the mutants on Krakoa in a weird, cult-like ceremony where she basically checks that they’re still who they are and joins the rest of mutantdom in welcoming them back to the land of the living. While all that is going on, Charles and Erik look on with heavy hearts as they’re conflicted with joy and sadness about their X-Men’s resurrection and the deaths the mutant population has faced. Then they talk about the future, as the U.N.’s vote for Krakoa’s nationhood is the next day and Charles feels hopeful about it.
The next day goes extremely smooth with the vote and Krakoa is now a nation in the eyes of the U.N. There are a few detractors with real countries like Russia and Iran along with Marvel Universe countries like Madripoor and Latveria who oppose Krakoa for political or ideological reasons. Wakanda doesn’t recognize them as a nation at all and puts the entire continent of Africa as their protectorates so they too will not require the perks of recognizing Krakoa. It went a little too smooth though, as we find out that Emma Frost had a hand to play in Krakoa becoming a nation through some mind manipulation. Charles doesn’t seem to mind this though and he sees it as a necessary sacrifice for the mutant nation. He’s got bold things in mind for Krakoa.
What is this bold new direction? Xavier has been saying that Krakoa is a nation for all mutants, good or bad. He then proceeds to open up the island to every mutant villain ever. We see some familiar faces like Exodus and the Acolytes, Sebastian Shaw, the Marauders, the Gorgon, and everyone’s favorite “First Mutant”, Apocalypse. Apocalypse is uncharacteristically happy to be there because he and Krakoa are friends (as seen in Powers of X #4) and he’s also happy to see “his dream” achieved. He’s been fighting for mutant dominance since the beginning and now someone has brought it about. Since he’s Apocalypse though, that sentiment isn’t enough and Magneto demands that he and the rest of the villains will abide by the laws of Krakoa by announcement. He does and the rest of the baddies bow their heads in reverence, completing Krakoa as a nation for all mutants and ending issue five.
This was a stellar issue! Frankly, I think this might replace House of X #2 as my favorite issue in the series. Chalk one up for Hickman in taking small-time unknown X-Men and making them important. It seems like Marvel would’ve tried to keep the characters that were created by Brian Michael Bendis right before he left for DC on the down low but Hickman uses every X-Man to their potential no matter what era. Who’s next? Maggot?
Also, I guess I’ll say I called it about the pod people but I’m sure that Hickman was telegraphing that from before the first issue. Hopefully they will flesh out some more of the concepts like Wakanda and their protectorates as well as how long this Mutopia will last now that the villains have agreed to live under their new rules. There’s bound to be a few criminals willing to go back to their villainous roots. Other than that, I feel this issue gets everything right and Jonathan Hickman continues to entertain and excite us over his time in the X-Men sandbox. Pepe Larraz also continues to kill it on art. Can he do all the X-Men books from now on? Overall this was an uncanny comic and an incredible moment in the X-Men’s legacy.
Verdict: 9/10 Nations that Recognize Krakoa