Comics Cornerstone: A Minor Speed-bump in An Otherwise Smooth Road

Image Courtesy of Marvel Comics



Salutations, readers!  I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week and are ready for another review.  It’s another 2-in-1 review today as we continue examining Jonathan Hickman’s revitalization of the X-Men books with “House of X” and “Powers of X” issue 4.  While everything thus far has been top-notch, we hit the smallest of speedbumps this time.  So, prepare for a brake check!  Let’s get to it!


This time, we’re starting off with “Powers of X”.   This is where the aforementioned speedbump comes into play.  Pretty much the entire issue revolves around the notorious X-Men villain Mr. Sinister.  What’s always made Sinister unique is that he doesn’t have any inherent mutant abilities.  Rather, he’s always been known for tampering with genetics and cloning himself.  Each clone being granted a different ability.  At least, that’s what this book would have you believe.


The problem here is that Sinister is sort of written out of character.  Being portrayed more like Deadpool than his actual personality.  It just doesn’t read right.  That type of behavior feels off-putting coming from anybody other than Deadpool.  We’re also presented with the question of which Mr. Sinister is the real one?  That, along with many others, are just too many questions for this issue to answer or for the reader to properly comprehend.  I was along for the ride for about one-third of this issue.  After that, I was just bombarded with question after question and no answers in sight.  An unfortunate speedbump in an otherwise nearly flawless story.


Moving on to “House of X”.  We get back on track here!  Thank heavens!  We finally get some answers as to what’s been going on with Krakoa as well as what Xavier’s plan is.  It also makes one of the most ridiculous characters in the Marvel Universe into one of the most important.  So, it’s been established that with the mutants especially, death is never permanent in the Marvel Universe.  How is that possible?  Well, it seems that Xavier has found a way to conquer death itself.  Since it’s a very complicated process, and for the sake of spoilers, I won’t go into the minutia of it here.  But I will say that it makes complete sense once you read it.  A little tease:  Think of how almost all your personal data can be stored on some distant server—aka “The Cloud”.  Now, imagine that, but with the minds of actual living beings.  Toy with that thought for a bit because it will undoubtedly be important later.


Needless to say, I’m relieved we’re finally getting some answers to some long-standing questions.  After all, there are only two issues left in each series, respectively.  It’s time to start wrapping things up.  Too many times have these big event stories outlived their welcome and gone too long.  Thankfully, I doubt that will be the case with “House” and “Powers”.  Hickman has managed to craft a tight, 12 issue story that provides much-needed answers while also piquing interest in what comes next.  And, I have to say that, despite a minor hiccup, he hasn’t let me down yet.  I think most readers of this would say the same!


I think that’ll wrap this one up!  I know my last few reviews have been shorter, but I’m trying to make them concise and to-the-point.  I don’t like the idea of dragging a single thought on for multiple paragraphs just to meet some self-imposed word count.  I hope you don’t mind.  Either way, I hope this gave you an informed opinion and encouraged you to read the books!  Even with this slight drop in quality, I still highly recommend them both.  Give them a shot!  As for what’s next, you’ll see some “Absolute Carnage” in the blog feed very soon.  Until then, stay comical!

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Baily Vis

Hi! My name is Baily Vis. I joined The Vessel writing team back in February of 2019 and am in charge of The Streaming Spotlight and Comics Cornerstone. My interest in comic-related media began when I was about 10 years old with a random issue of "Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man." This gave birth to my overall interest in writing and the science fiction genre. That's why in the Fall of 2016 I enrolled at USF to pursue a career in media.