By Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva and Marte Gracia
Ok, last week we were treated to House of X #1. This issue was a knockout and destroyed expectations. This week, we get the companion book, Powers of X, which takes place in the future. The bar for this issue is set pretty high based on what we read last week, but if there is one sentence I can always repeat, it’s have faith in Hickman.
Powers of X, or Powers of 10, is very different from House of X. What works for Jonathan Hickman is that he takes us through 4 different timelines in this issue; year one, year ten, year one hundred, and year one thousand. This is an oversized issue, so Hickman gives us pieces of each timeline. Some times get more panels than others, and year 100 introduces us to some of the new characters we’ve seen in the preview art, namely Rasputin and Cardinal. Hickman does a great job of keeping the current plot in House of X going, just in case the reader is not interested in the future plots. He focuses on Mystique and Toad as they bring back the thumb drive full of information. He establishes in this portion that Professor X and Magneto are not clean characters. The sequence that we have all seen from the previews of Profesor Xavier and Moira gets addressed in this issue as well. This takes place in year one. The interesting thing with this panel is that it leaves us guessing. We still don’t know what happens, and we still don’t know what Professor X read in the Moira’s mind. This issue continues the trend of Hickman world building, as he builds worlds in 4 different times. Powers of X is an interesting companion issue that is clearly setting something spectacular up. At this point, Hickman is crafting another X-Men epic.
The pencils this issue are handled by R.B. Silva with colors by Marte Gracia. Much like the pencils by Pepe Larraz in House of X, R.B. Silva brings his A game. His work on these new and interesting characters is integral. Silva gorgeously draws Rasputin as she takes on a ton of villains to help an ally. The soul sword crashing down into the ground as enemies fly back is a great panel. Another area where Silva excels are his facial expressions. This is an emotional issue and lives are on the line, but to see the sadness on Cylobel’s face as she asks Rasputin to leave is great. The colors by Marte Gracia, who is doing double duty on these books, uses some great moody colors this issue. The future panels are dark and use lots of cold blues. It’s also nice to see the orangeish red that is Omega’s face. It’s almost as if you’re immediately drawn to it when you see it on any page. The pencils and colors help add to this intriguing futuristic story.
Powers of X is a futuristic X-tale unlike any other. Jonathan Hickman has planned this exceptionally well, and you can tell it by simply reading the issue. The pencils and colors are very good and enhance the reading experience. If you’re not excited for where Jonathan Hickman is taking the X-Men, you were never a fan to begin with.