Hickman’s ‘House of X #5’ Is A Crash Course In World-building

Normally when I’m waiting my look at the Marvel books I’ve been reading, I do my best not to cover the same titles too close together. But after having read House of X #5 this morning, it felt like more than any other book I’ve read over the last two weeks, this is the one I wanted to tell you about.

And there will be spoilers.

40A4BF84-B2B7-4414-8EE4-D9991B26AF94House of X #5
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz 

In the previous issue, writer/X-Men architect Jonathan Hickman took off the table a significant amount of beloved franchise players – Wolverine, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Monet and Nightcrawler. You can read about that grand act here. In the same column, I suggested that even if we knew these characters would eventually return, it was the manner of which Hickman wrote his story that made their deaths actually mean something.

I didn’t except that within two weeks Hickman would not only resurrect those characters, but do so in a way that felt and read honest. And that made absolute sense.

Without going too deep into spoiler territory, what I will reveal is that with the help of five mutants and the mutant tracking device Cerebro, Charles Xavier has found a way for mutants to conquer death. Apparently infinitely. And this isn’t done simply through cloning or some such thing – it is grander and grandeur.

And again, it makes absolute sense.

It genuinely is boggling my mind what Jonathan Hickman is crafting with his story. There are so many building blocks being laid out that, as Marvel suggested when it was announced Hickman was taking on the title, creators are going to be able to mine the mutants for years to come. And these are just the blocks that I think I’m detecting, that I think are in front of my face. Judging by what Hickman’s done so far, there is going to be so much more to come.

It’s hard not to come off as a big fan boy here; it’s also hard to contain my enthusiasm for what I’m reading. It’s been a while since I’ve felt so engaged and excited by a title, where I can’t wait for release day. And a few hours after I’ve read an issue, I go back and reread it – to take it all in again, to see if I’ve missed anything.

I’ve written enough. Now go and pick up House Of X #5 and watch a master at work.

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