By Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia
To say that what Jonathan Hickman is doing with the X-Men right now is innovative and amazing is an understatement. House of X and Powers of X are the most exciting the X-Men have been in easily a decade. As we enter issue 5 of House of X, we can’t be sure what to expect. Last issue saw the demise of several important characters, and there was no telling where we would go from there. One thing we did know though, was that Hickman would have to be creative in how he dealt with the situation. This was something that could make or break the series, but fear not X-fans, always trust in Hickman. Always.
After the events of last issue, there were major questions on every readers mind. Jonathan Hickman addresses this topic right off of the bat. This is something that should please everyone. The thought Hickman put into this process and how these things came into fruition is pure genius. There is a way that Hickman writes this issue that allows the reader to see things a bit differently. As Storm addresses the mutants on Krakoa, they cheer loud and in unison; this feels very cultish. Hickman also continues to write Charles Xavier as a polarizing figure. We want to trust him, but in the back of our mind, we know that something is off. Hickman is also great with Emma Frost. Her panels in this issue are some of the best in the series. Hickman gets the character and brings out the best traits of her in this issue. There is definitely a lot to address in this issue, but without getting into spoilers, the ending is also something that will probably breed some chaos later. What Hickman has done so far with this title has been astounding. House of X is everything you’ve ever wanted from and X-book.
The pencils this issue are handled by Pepe Larraz with colors by Marte Gracia. Larraz knocks it out of the park again with his work on this issue. In one gorgeously drawn panel, as 5 important mutants enter a room, Larraz draws them flawlessly. Led by Hope summers, the scale and overall line work is amazing. Another great panel, as Proffessor Xavier is looking into the face of a mutant, Larraz uses a close up to show us the reflection of the mutant in the X of Xaviers helmet. Larraz continues to do great work on this series. Just as important as Larraz’ pencils are Gracia’s colors. There is a panel where Xavier uses his cerebro helmet on another mutant, and Gracia uses some light pink and white. The last page of the book is colored wonderfully too. As Xavier greets a new arrival on Krakoa, Gracia shades the page perfectly, and has the sun coming from behind the characters to look just right. It’s a masterful coloring job, and Gracia is doing some of the best work of his career on this series.
House of X continues to be the must read book every week it’s out. There is no matching what Jonathan Hickman is doing on this series. The pencils and colors continue to amaze, and each issue, they just get better. House of X is the benchmark for what an X-Men book should be.