House of X #2 - A Brilliant Foundation
Powers of X and House of X are an intertwined X-story written by the master of intertwining narrative Jonathan Hickman. This particular issue is a masterclass in story telling that plays to all of Hickman’s strengths and highlights some impressive art and paneling by Pepe Larraz.
The House that Hickman Builds.
Hickman’s prowess with intertwining narrative (well established in his Fantastic Four and FF run which told one unified story over the course of 3 years) is beginning to shine as this issue takes time ‘away’ from contemporary X-events to uncover the foundations of the world and history of the X-men that Hickman envisions.
The fact that he does so through the historically underutilized Moira McTaggert, and that he subverts (and also honors and explains) the entire history of X-men as we know it, is part of what makes it such a brilliant issue. Let the X-fans debate his narrative decision, but I thought it was brilliant and brilliantly told.
The House that Hickman Speaks.
One of the more welcomed inclusions in this whole series has been pages of pure exposition. Hickman has so much more to say than we can see, and I’m delighted he has the space to tell his story and build his X world. This issue’s paragraphs of text, and the story itself, were particularly well written.
The House that Muller and Larraz Design.
From the data pages to the futuristic glyphs Tom Muller and Pepe Larraz succeed in making the whole intertwining tale feel like a report Franklin would give to Galen at the heat death of everything. It’s visually striking and lends a ‘futuristic historicity’ to the story. I should also note there’s some perspective and paneling decisions in this issue that fit the text brilliantly (rectangular symmetry when Destiny and Moira talk face-to-face, widening triangles when the action widens, and subtle changes to identical panels as Larraz draws Moira’s story).
I was already excited about the powers and house of X. Now that the foundation has been more brilliantly laid out, I’m even more excited to see what’s next.