Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: R.B. Silva
Inker: Adriano Di Benedetto
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Last week, we saw Jonathan Hickman launch his new vision for the X-Men with the House of X. This week, the relaunch continues with Powers of X #1.
I am not going to sugarcoat this. Powers of X #1 is a bit of a difficult read. Much like Hickman’s work in the past, there are graphs, paragraphs of text, and several time periods to keep track of. This is not book that you are going to be able to read casually. The text and graphs require that you be engaged in the reading so that you can pull out the details embedded in the writing.
The four time periods that are in Powers of X #1 are The Dream, The World, The War, and The Ascension. Each section deals with a different time in the rise and fall of the mutant race. Some of the scenes feel as if they are outliers to classic mutant stories without directly referring to them. The War, in particular, seems to have points that run perpendicular to battles that the X-Men themselves have had with Nimrod before. However, at no point are any of those meeting points mentioned.
While House of X last week focused on the mutants and their current situation, Powers of X #1 focused more directly on the past. With each of the four timelines, we find out about steps that were taken to help the mutant race. Instead of seeing the epic battles, we are told about the events while the focus is in the aftermath. In a lesser writers’s hands, it would have felt shortchanged. However, Hickman does such an excellent job telling the political side of it. The story still feels relevant and exciting.
The art, at times, is breathtaking. Throughout Powers of X #1, Silva presents characters that are defined and expressive with his sharp line work. The background is colorful and inviting, allowing the reader to take in this new world and all of its new details. It adds a depth to the storytelling that is rare in many of today’s comic books. If there was concern, it would be with some of the action panels throughout. Several times, the focus during action panels became jumbled to the point where it was hard to focus. Who was approaching who and what actions they were taking were mixed with non-moving parts the drew the eyes away from the actual action.
After the first two issues of Hickman’s X-Men run, it is obvious that this truly is a new jumping-on point. Everything that you would expect from a Hickman event is here so far. Marvel has assigned art teams that are up to the task of keeping up with Hickman’s storytelling. So strap in as it is obvious that Hickman and his team have an amazing story they are going to tell.