Marvel Comics has revealed a pair of new covers for writer Jonathan Hickman’s upcoming X-Men comics, House of X and Powers of X. Both images raise some interesting questions about the future of the team as Hickman makes his long-awaited return to Marvel.
Scroll down for a look at the covers for House of X #1 and Powers of X #1, along with some speculation as to what the new characters and costume choices could mean for iconic characters like Professor X, Magneto and Kitty Pryde.
House of X
House of X appears to be the more traditional of Hickman’s two X-Books. Marvel’s official description for House of X #1 teases, “Charles Xavier reveals his master plan for mutantkind…one that will bring mutants out of the shadow of mankind and into the light once more.”
Based on the cover and description, it appears that Charles Xavier will be taking control of the X-Men for the first time in years. Xavier had previously retired and handed control of his school to Cyclops near the end of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, becoming more of a supporting player and eventually being killed in 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men. We can see that he’ll be joined by some of the heaviest hitters in the X-Men franchise – Magneto, Cyclops, Wolverine and Jean Grey.
The costume choices in this cover are especially interesting, as they draw from multiple decades of the X-Men franchise. Jean is wearing her classic, early ’70s-era Marvel Girl costume, while Wolverine is wearing his ’80s-era brown costume and Cyclops and Magneto are both wearing their costumes from the 2013 volume of Uncanny X-Men. Magneto’s presence and choice of outfit suggests that he’s back on board with Xavier’s vision after drifting away from the X-Men in recent years.
Xavier himself has a sleek new look, complete with what looks to be a portable version of Cerebro. We’re assuming his mind is still dwelling within the body of Fantomex, who effectively sacrificed himself in the most recent volume of Astonishing X-Men so that Xavier might live again. Writer Charles Soule ended his 12-issue run with Xavier going into hiding to plan his next move, presumably a reference to the impending events of House of X.
This image also shows the team exiting a portal of some sort. Will Xavier be the one to rescue Magneto, Jean and the rest from their imprisonment in the Age of X dimension? Is this strange, vine-covered landscape the site of a new home for the X-Men?
Powers of X
Powers of X looks to be veering in a slightly more off-kilter direction than its sister series. Marvel’s official description teases, “Intertwining with House of X, Powers of X reveals the secret past, present, and future of mutantkind, changing the way you look at every X-Men story before and after.”
It appears that time travel will play a role in this series, given the focus on futuristic Sentinel Nimrod and several mysterious characters we’re assuming are the descendants of the current X-Men. For instance, the silver-skinned, sword-wielding mutant is probably the daughter of Kitty Pryde and Colossus, one who inherited her father’s steel skin and her aunt Illyana’s Soulsword. Behind her is a character who looks to be the son of Nightcrawler (though he has the red skin of his grandfather, Azazel). Next to him is a character that looks to be either a descendant or reincarnation of Loki and another who might be the younger version of Cable introduced in last year’s Extermination miniseries. And finally, the two bald-headed characters on the left are likely the descendants of Charles Xavier (or possibly his evil sister Cassandra Nova).
As for the vines sprouting behind the X-Men, we could be looking at the birth of a new home for mutants. Perhaps Xavier seeks a brand new land or even an entire world for mutantkind after failing to achieve peace between humans and mutants. Or, given the presence of Loki and the previous ties between the X-Men and Asgard, this might be a piece of the World Tree. Does this have any connection to the plant-covered portal seen on the House of X #1 cover?
Look for the first two issues of House of X and Powers of X to ship in July 2019. Until then, let us know what you think these teasers mean for the future of the franchise.