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Aug 2

Powers of X #1

Posted on Friday, August 2, 2019 by Paul in HoXPoX, x-axis

Alright, then.  Not a review, just thoughts as we go through the issue to … well, work out what’s going on.  As before, I’m using the page numbers from the Comixology edition, which count double page spreads as a single page.

COVER (PAGE 1): These are mostly new characters from the future timelines that we’ll be seeing later in the story.  Behind them are the faces of Charles Xavier, Moira MacTaggert (presumably) and Nimrod, all of whom we’ll come to.

PAGE 2: An opening data page, with a quote from Moira MacTaggert in a scene we’ll reach on page 8.  Obviously, the “dream” references Charles Xavier’s dream of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants, which the X-Men used to talk about all the time.  His separatist tendencies in House of X and Powers of X – assuming it’s really him – are arguably closer to Magneto’s vision than his traditional dream, although having said that, his actual strategy always boiled down to separating mutants away from the world until things got better of their own accord.  As I’ve pointed out before, this is now a rather unfashionable approach.

PAGE 3: Four panels representing the four time frames which Powers of X takes place in.  The title is pronounced Powers of Ten, and this page identifies the time frames as year 1 (“the Dream”), year 10 (“the World”), year 100 (“the War”) and year 1000 (“Ascension”).  All of them are labelled in terms of “the X-Men”, rather than mutants more generally.  Year One is represented by Charles Xavier; Year 10 by House of X Professor X; Year 100 by Nimrod The Lesser (who we’ll meet later); and Year 1000 by the Librarian (ditto).

PAGES 4-9: The Year One sequence.  Charles Xavier meets a mystery woman at a local fair.  She’s not actually named within the scene, but page 2 quotes from this scene and identifies her as Moira MacTaggert.  Technically, it’s possible that she could be somebody else, and that Moira said this on some other occasion, but we’re clearly meant to take it that this is Moira.

Which is… odd, because she doesn’t act much like Moira at all.  Aside from the fact that she’s lost her phonetic Scottish accent, which could just be a stylistic choice, the original Moira was mainly used as the X-Men’s feisty Scottish scientist friend until she died in X-Men #108.  She did have more of a mystery air when she first appeared, initially as the X-Men’s suspiciously-competent housekeeper, but that had pretty much dissipated by the end of the 70s.  In this story, though, she talks about the fair as a distraction; she talks about some tarot cards which seem to predict the Ascension timeline from later in the issue; and she’s weirdly keen to stress Xavier as a “strong man”.  She seems to want to push him into pursuing his dream, and she already knows Xavier, saying that “we go back quite a ways” (which Xavier verifies telepathically, and finds surprising).  Previously, Charles has said that he and Moira met as fellow students at Oxford University (the fullest version is Uncanny X-Men #389), so if this is indeed Moira, something’s up.  Also, she doesn’t marry Joe MacTaggert until later, so the quote should really be attributed to Moira Kinross.

The clothes seem to place this scene much further back than nine years ago, so presumably the Year 1, Year 10 etc thing isn’t to be taken literally.  Besides, if this is Xavier’s first meeting with Moira MacTaggert, a nine year timeline wouldn’t work without some ginormous retcons: for example, it doesn’t leave anything like enough time for Legion to reach adulthood.

Moira describes three tarot cards which she claims to have seen at a stall.  All three show images connected with the War timeline – not just loosely, but almost exactly.  Is she a time traveller, or a precognitive?  The first card is “The Magician” and shows a character who seems to be a mix of Magik and (based on her powers) Kitty Pryde.  Moira – or presumably Moira, since the captions change to inverse colour at this point – describes her as “the metal metamorph, the great sword,  and the girl with one foot in two worlds.”  She’s named later on as Rasputin.  The second, “The Tower”, shows Nimrod The Lesser’s tower: “the axis, the pillar of collapse and rebirth, the monolith of ascension”.  The card shows it in its War version, but we’ll see later that it survives into the Ascension era.  The third, “The Devil”, shows a red Nightcrawler, who’ll “the red god and the lost cardinal of the last religion.”  (Why the last religion?  Does religion die out during the War period?)  He’s named later as Cardinal (more accurately, a Cardinal, since he comes in batches).

If this isn’t Moira – or if she’s going to turn out to have been somebody else all along – then there are two obvious possibilities here.  One is Mr Sinister, since he’s a scientist and a shapeshifter, he has an interest in steering the direction of mutantkind, he’s responsible for making the hybrid mutants shown in the tarot cards (as we find out later), and thus he seems to be playing a major role in the series somewhere.  The other is Cassandra Nova, Xavier’s long-lost twin from the Grant Morrison run, which would explain why she and Xavier look so similar on the last page, and the “go back quite a ways” line.  (Also, Cassandra debuted in New X-Men #114, six issues after Moira died.)

PAGE 10: The title page.  The Krakoa graphics read “Powers of X” and “One”.  The issue title is “The Last Dream of Professor X”, but it’s not clear yet where the “last” comes in.  Note the small print in the bottom right hand corner, which reads “The world of Xavier and the woman named Moira” – a rather roundabout way of referring to her, if she is who seems to be.

PAGES 11-14: This is the Year 10 sequence, which follows on from House of X #1.  Mystique and the Toad arrive back on Krakoa with the data that they stole from Damage Control in that issue.  She takes the data stick to the House of M, which we saw mentioned in a map in House of X.  As you might expect, it’s Magneto’s home.

Magneto immediately starts talking about “the effect this place is having”, Krakoa becoming “a wellspring of hope” and “a home of dreamers and true believers”, and how even he “find[s] myself infected with the idea of it.”  It’s a pretty heavy hint that there’s some sort of mind control going on here, and that everyone on Krakoa is being at least nudged in the direction of the grand new plan.  Professor X evidently is aware of Mystique’s mission and talks about helping your fellow mutant and building a better world.  Interestingly, Mystique is still angling to get personal advantage and trying to hold out for more rewards – so if the island is inspiring everyone to get with the programme, then perhaps it isn’t taking with her.

What’s going on at the top of page 14?  The data stick flies into Xavier’s outstretched hand.  Magneto could be doing this, but the body language makes it look like it’s Xavier.

PAGE 15: The Stan Lee page (used as a scene break).

PAGES 16-23: This is the first part of the Year 100 sequence, “The War.”  This future obviously echoes the Days of Future Past timeline – the Sentinels‘ traditional purple colouring survives.  But there are clear differences, aside from the fact that we’re further into the future.  The original DoFP timeline is a classic “dumb-AI” storyline in which killer robots are told to protect humanity and decide that the best way to do it is to take over the world; it’s an apocalypse for everyone, because if you tell machines to do something stupid, they’ll blindly follow it to its logical conclusion.  In the War world, the AI is much smarter, and the robots are in alliance with the humans, even though they seem to be the dominant partner.  We do see one traditional Sentinel, but mostly it’s soldiers and smaller robots.  A later data page calls this group the Man-Machine Supremacy.

This scene shows four X-Men on a mission to “the Nexus” in “the Northern Territory” (Canada?), which has clearly gone wrong.  One gets killed in the first two panels – he’s named later as Percival. His dying words are “There was a dream.  Our dreams are the same.  While you slept, the world changed.”  The last sentence appeared in House of X #1 as a quote from Professor X’s speech to the world, so presumably this is a longer quote from the same speech.  But in what sense are “our dreams … the same”…?

Next is Cylobel, a mutant bred as a Hound in – ahem – “the Khennil”, who apparently defected to the X-Men and was named by them.  She looks a bit like Mindblast from the Femme Fatales, with her brain visible through a transparent skull – only hers is black.  We’re told she was bred with a tendency to betrayal, which merely led her to turn on the Supremacy and join the X-Men.  Hickman goes out of his way to have other characters denounce the whole “bred for betrayal” concept as stupid.  She gets captured and carted off to advance the plot.

Rasputin is a warrior type, and calls Cylobel “sister”.  Her obvious visible elements seem to be Magik (including a version of the Soulsword), Kitty Pryde (she’s phasing in the tarot card), Colossus (metal skin) and Dani Moonstar (um… hairstyle).  The non-combatant Cardinal is a priest, and seems to be simply a red Nightcrawler.  He uses “the black seed of Krakoa” to create an escape portal; House of X #1 established that these lead to hidden parts of Krakoa that are outside the island’s collective consciousness..  He and Rasputin make it back to the X-Men, and as we’ll see, they did get whatever it was that they were trying to retrieve – which is evidently tremendously important, though we don’t find out what it is, beyond a suggestion that it was data.  This whole “mysterious raiding party steals some data and escapes through a portal leaving someone behind” set-up conspicuously parallels Mystique’s raid.

PAGES 24-26: Data pages about the “Sinister Line”, a mutant breeding programme carried out by Mister Sinister on Mars in alliance with the surviving mutant leadership.  (We saw the X-Men colonising Mars in House of X #1.)  Sinister is described here as “chief mutant geneticist” and as mirroring the Hound program to create military mutants from a chimera of classic X-Men traits.  The pages very, very strongly indicate that Sinister engineered all this to make the remaining X-Men dependent on him – or at least that the in-story author thinks so.

The first generation of Sinister mutants are simply clones.  The others are chimeras combining powers from many mutants, which was apparently successful.  Mostly – some of them became Cardinals, refusing to participate in war and all adopting the same identity.  We’re shown a sample “Rasputin” chimera, but the five elements listed don’t seem to match the character we saw in the preceding scene – this “Rasputin IV” is said to combine elements from Kid Omega, Colossus, Unus, Kitty Pryde and X-23.  The fourth generation of chimeras go spectacularly wrong – probably on purpose – and wind up as a hive mind that wipe out most of the remaining mutants before committing mass suicide, leading to the fall of Krakoa and Mars.  The author casually tells us that Sinister defected to the Man-Machine Supremacy, only to be publicly executed.

PAGES 27-33: Back to the War, as Cylobel is brought to “the Tower of Nimrod the Lesser, the Human-Machine Monolith” – the tower we saw in the tarot card.  Unlike the Nexus, which was a traditional post-apocalyptic wasteland, the Tower sits at the heart of what looks like a thriving futuristic city.  Nonetheless, it seems to be an autocracy ruled by Nimrod the Lesser – only the narrator calls him that, the other characters just call him Nimrod.  The original Nimrod was a super-advanced Sentinel from the Days of Future Past timeline who came back to the present day and turned out to be advanced enough to transcend his programming (again, moving beyond the “dumb AI” trope).  This Nimrod looks very similar, but plays as an adorable child-like king, delighted by the spirited efforts of humans and mutants alike.  He doesn’t seem to be murderous or sadistic, but he’s decidedly condescending without seeming to realise it, and his ethical tendencies are easily overwhelmed by scientific curiosity.  As we find out later, he was created with the task of creating a living database of mutants in the hope that it would “provide a tactical advantage in a war”, so perhaps he is another case of a simple remit gone out of control after all.  He calls humans “equals of a kind”, but the bottom line is that he’s the only one with a throne, and Omega – who seems to be the human representative – is standing next to him.  Still, he does ask for her approval, and she does seem to have real authority.

Since they don’t have the technology to read Cylobel’s mind, Nimrod’s great idea is to chuck her in “the bath”, which he describes as “a repository of sorts, a monument to understanding the mutant anomaly.”  Basically he plans to capture a bunch of mutants, stick them in capsules and “distil [them] down to nothing but data curated by an AI of my own making.”  The timescale of this experimental treatment is unknown.  As we’ll see, poor Cylobel is still there in the Ascension, 900 years later…

If Omega is meant to be the human leader, it’s odd that she’s bright red.  Is there some connection with Cardinal, the other very, very red character?

PAGE 34: A data page on the SalCen Khennil, where the Man-Machine Ascendancy (not Supremacy, not yet) bred Hounds until the place was destroyed ten years ago.  The idea of brainwashing mutants to hunt other mutants comes from the DoFP timeline, and specifically Rachel Summers.  The data page author essentially tells us that they tried it in this timeline too, and it never really worked.

It’s not immediately obvious what SalCen stands for.

PAGES 35-36: Cardinal and Rasputin make it back through their black portal to “the No-Place Hub”.  Rasputin is very annoyed that Cardinal’s pacifism prevented him helping to rescue Cylobel.  The caption identifies “the No-Place Hub” as Krakoa, but it looks very grey and murky.  The four X-Men waiting appear to be Magneto, wearing a green version of his costume (has he been rejuvenated again?), Xorn (or one of them, anyway), Wolverine (visibly greying), but still wearing a version of his classic costume, and a plant man who’s presumably the manifestation of Krakoa itself – Krakoa had a personality in Jason Aaron’s stories too, but this is the first time Hickman’s suggested that it’s a person.

PAGES 37-38: More data pages, about the state of the mutant population under the Man-Machine Supremacy.  This refer to “the recent deaths” of Cylobel and Percival, which establishes that the data pages are written by people in the War timeline.  They seem to be written from the mutants’ point of view, and now that they’re clearly positioned as in-universe, there’s a question about whether they’re 100% reliable.

According to these pages, there are now about 10,000 surviving mutants, most living on colonies in the Shi’ar Empire.  The main one is called Benevolence and it’s on the fringes of Brood territory; the other is on the Shi’ar throneworld and provides soldiers for the Imperial Guard.  It’s implied that the Shi’ar may have designs on invading Earth, and that the mutants might be okay with that.  The Shi’ar Empress is named as Xandra, presumably the same person we saw as a child in Mr & Mrs X.

The only mutants left on Earth itself live on Asteroid K (K for Krakoa, presumably), which now has a population of eight. Assuming Krakoa counts, that leaves two inhabitants who we’ve yet to meet.

PAGES 39-42: Finally, our first look at the Ascension, Year 1,000.  We’re back in Nimrod’s tower, but it’s now dwarfed by the city around it, and it’s billed as “The Archive of Nimrod the Greater”, and a “mutant library.”  A woman called the Librarian is trying to save the people in the bath, including poor old Cylobel.  She’s accompanied by a little flying thing which is apparently the remains of a more sober, reflective Nimrod.  Humans survive as cavemen inside a little Preserve, kept as a warning from history.  The war is long since over – it ended “surprising[ly]” – and the mutants and the machines seem to have won.

PAGES 43-46: The closing quote (from Rasputin earlier in the issue), the reading order, and two teasers in Krakoan.  One reads, “NEXT: THE CURIOUS CASE OF MOIRA X.”  The other, “THEN: HELLO OLD FRIEND”.

Bring on the comments

  1. Joe says:

    Northern Territory might be Australia.

    Moth Charles and Moria were acting so stylised that I couldn’t believe it was meant to be actual. Some kind of projection.

  2. JD says:

    “SalCen” is presumably a corruption of Salem Center, the traditional location of the X-Mansion.

    I found the text pages about Sinister’s machinations and the Hounds darkly hilarious ; there’s a lot here that feels like Hickman taking the piss of the X-Men’s usual Dark Future tropes.

  3. Paul says:

    Oh, of course. Has to be Salem Center, now you say it.

  4. Mikey says:

    This was heady to a fault. I’m hoping this sort of “sci-if world-building above all else” only lasts through this six-issue mini.

  5. Ben says:

    Huh, didn’t think of Salem Center.

    Good call.

    I liked HoX and was interested in what was going on.

    But PoC was full of the kind of stuff that makes me not a big Hickman fan.

    Interesting ideas, but not strung together into an engaging narrative.

    Like a bullet point pitch without being filled in with much character or action.

    All tell, no show.

    Why should I care about all these futures and alternate realities?

    They’re always meaningless after the fact.

    Can’t we have a great X-Men story that’s set in the here and now?

  6. Col_Fury says:

    Maybe I’m crazy, but my first thought on seeing year 10 being called “the World” was the Weapon Plus “the World,” where years pass within while seconds pass outside. It’s a Morrison thing, and first appeared in New X-Men #130.

    Anyway. My wild, unsubstantiated fan theory is current day Xavier has put himself into the World to view how the future unfolds if he does such and such. At the end of House/Powers, he decides to do something different in the real world, and that’s when all the new books launch.

    Do I get a No-Prize?

  7. Ben says:

    That’s interesting.

    “Real” Professor X is running around in a body made from Fantomex, who I believe had The World in his possession.

    And it does involve Sentinels.

  8. Evilgus says:

    It would be nice if Psylocke had a critical role. Wasn’t she the only one left with a memory that Fantomex gave up his body for Xavier?

    I’m rather annoyed at the character assassination Psylocke is about to get, being split into British Betsy/Asian Kwannon. With the Kwannon cipher getting all the powerset and “history”, it seems. After all the years of rehabilitating Psylocke as a viable, slightly darker character, it does seem to have been thrown under a bus just for Marvel to have its ninja cake and eat it.

    But otherwise, all this House of X stuff is intriguing. I’m all for more Moira too 🙂 didn’t Grant Morrison plan to use her (and Colossus) before they were both killed off mere issues before New X-Men started?

    Also hope we get a bit of an on panel explanation for characters returning from some very recent deaths.

  9. Ben says:

    Oh and Rasputin seems to be the one with those powers.

    She has metal skin and the soul sword.

    She uses telepathy to talk to red Notcrawler.

    She’s phasing on the card.

    And she makes a force field when the Sentinel blasts her.

    The only thing she doesn’t do is heal, but then she never gets hurt.

  10. Andrew says:

    EvilGus,

    Yes my memory of it was that he did plan to use both characters and his early plans reflected that but when both were wiped out by Claremont/Lobdell in the deck-clearing exercise that was late 2000-early 2001 Marvel vetoed and said he had to do something else – so that’s where the whole secondary mutation thing came from – so Emma got the hard diamond skin.

  11. Mark Coale says:

    Add me to those in the “tired of X-men dystopian stories.”

    I thought plant guy was Groot. I like the idea that is actually anthropomorphic Krakoa.

    And for a second, I thought Green Magneto might have been Polaris/Lorna Dane.

  12. SanityOrMadness says:

    @col_fury

    If Marvel were to end their big, expensive pair of X-relaunch minis with “Yoink, it was all a dream/holodeck episode/etc LOL”, they would tank sales for the follow-up books. Even if Hickman wanted to go there, I can’t imagine they’d be *quite* stupid enough to let him.

  13. PersonofCon says:

    Given that the 100 section firmly establishes that there’s multiple generations of mix-and-match X-clones running around, there’s also the possibility that *none* of the four who appear on p36 are anyone we’ve seen before–though it’s certainly within Wolverine’s timescale, and he’s looking and sounding like him.

  14. Andrew says:

    Also, neither here nor there but I’ve always loved the Nimrod design. It’s just fantastic

  15. Piercey says:

    I’m really enjoying both series so far – mainly that the concepts around nature/environment and technology/automation obviously feel extremely relevant and I’m glad Hickman’s gone large on Krakoa. I’m also very fond of Moira so intrigued by her inclusion. The promotion was saying that the page between Moira and Charles reading her mind to discover something was the most important scene in X-men history so I assume it was that Moira was the one who gave Charles the idea to form the team? We will have to wait and see… I’m also thinking Legion might be involved in some way (is he under the helmet?) as the Age of X storyline involved him and Moira significantly.

    I’d just like to add that I felt the Age of X-Man crossover was very stimulating also and that Nadler and Thompson did a great job in world building. I think the minis could have all been done in 4 issues but real character development and some very vital questions about core concepts about the X-Men being posed was a good lead in to where we are now (much better than the Lobdell lead in to Morrison’s run although I wasn’t a fan of Rosenberg’s Uncanny at all). It certainly makes you wonder whether Jean and co made the right choice in leaving Nate’s world! Would like to see a What If? around that. I really hope we get to see more of Blob, Nature Girl, Glob and Nate in future as I really took a shine to the potential of these characters, and thought Leah Williams did the best work around the queer characters in X-Tremists that I’ve seen in Xmen so far.

    Couple of things re review Paul. Some commentaries are calling the plant man Black Tom Cassidy as he’s appearing in X-Force in the relaunch and there’s the glowing hands.
    Also kennel is from the old French chenil so not too far to stretch to Khennil, returning to its roots.

    Thanks for doing these Paul. I’m really glad you are taking this format as your views on what’s happening really add to this experience for me. Thank you for all your work over the years, I realised last week that this is the only website including X-Axis and rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup that I’ve followed since I first got on the internet pre-2000 and that it really made me realise my childish fandom was actually legitimate and that I could analyse the writing and art in much more detail and depth. So thanks bud and keep it up.

  16. David says:

    @Piercey-

    I agree about Leah Williams’ X-tremists! It had some messy and incoherent elements here and there, but it wound up being the one truly meaningful exploration of the entire concept. What a great book.

    Also, Black Tom was my guess too. But I think the idea of a sentient Krakoa fragment also makes sense.

  17. David says:

    Oh, also, Omega from the War Period appears to be Omega Sentinel aka Karima Shapandar. She looks almost the same as she did in HoX #1 except red.

    She’s such a great character. I hope she’s not in this position of her own free will. She doesn’t really seem to be in HoX #1, but this is a long time later.

  18. David says:

    …doesn’t seem to be cooperating of her own free will in HoX #1, that is.

  19. Luis Dantas says:

    Ambitious as House of X #1 sounded, this raises the perception of ambition even more.
    Morrison’s run made bold changes that by rights ought to shape the X-Men for ever since, and to a very limited extent did.

    This is bolder still. And somehow oddly conservative as well, what with the insistent clinging to familiar names and faces in scenes set 90 years or more in the future for no good reason. Understandable from an accessibility standpoint, but falls apart immediately upon close inspection.

    That may be of minor lasting significance; by structuring this book as glimpses of four different time periods, including two well in the future, Hickman creates the appearance of a stable, even unavoidable timeline, but this looks like anything but.

    The flashback with Charles before the X-Men seems to only make sense if the person who some people believe to be Moira is somehow more than she would seem to be at first glance. The “we go back a good way” comment suggests time travel and perhaps also some sort of false identity. “Moira” could be Sinister, Legion, Cassandra Nova, John Sublime, even Apocalypse.

  20. CJ says:

    I really appreciate the page-by-page of this, Paul.

    As soon as I saw “The World” I immediately thought of Weapon Plus and Charles’s Fantomex-body.

    Nimrod the Lesser’s childish malevolence was unnerving. I loved it.

    Between Age of X-Man, HoX and now this, I haven’t cared about X-Men this much since Morrison.

  21. Thom H. says:

    Random thoughts:

    — Love the name Cylobel, so glad it’s not “Psylobel.” Hope she sticks around/comes back.

    — Future Green Magneto has blond hair, so maybe isn’t the one we’re familiar with?

    — I also thought of Weapon Plus as soon as I saw “The World.” That can’t be a coincidence. Hickman’s too much of a control freak for that.

    — I have no idea who Moira really is, but can’t wait to find out. Hoping it’s Lilandra.

    — So the pod people in HoX #1 were the first wave of clones, probably. More evidence that Sinister is already influencing the plot.

    — Super weird that Charles displayed telekinesis with the flash drive. Of the people we suspect of impersonating him, who has that power?

  22. Justin says:

    The plant person is probably an avatar of Krakoa, but it could be Mondo.

  23. Joseph S says:

    In Avengers 32, during Original Sin, Hickman has Cap traveling in jumps through the future, loosing his fellow Avengers with each jump until he’s alone 5,000 years from now. He meets Tony, somehow, I think, on an island in space with a giant tree in the center. I don’t recall where this story went, exactly, other than that Cap would become aged and Thor unworthy and all that shortly after this issue. But I mention it because when I first saw the plantman my first thought was Groot, not Krakoa. Though Krakoa makes much more sense (and is a nice parallel to Danger).

  24. Dave Phelps says:

    “I’m all for more Moira too didn’t Grant Morrison plan to use her (and Colossus) before they were both killed off mere issues before New X-Men started?”

    Yes, although, based on the proposal that was in the first New X-Men hardcover way back when, Morrison would’ve killed her off himself fairly early on.

  25. Ivan says:

    Two notes, about the uniforms of all things.

    First: can someone remind me of the inspiration Silva and Hickman are pulling from in the character design of Cylobel and the human mutant-hunters? I can swear they are reminiscent of something I read 20 years ago…

    Second: it feels notable that all of the characters in HoX, as well as the old rebellion leaders in PoX, are wearing very individualized outfits, rather than some of their more team-oriented uniforms with shared motifs. Maybe it’s just a style choice by the creators, but regardless, there is very little “we are in this together” indicators in all this.

    Last and unrelated: I thought Hickman did a fantastic job of character development in a short time in this book. Wherein HoX intentionally portrayed most everyone as vacant or oblivious (other than Magneto and Cyclops), PoX quickly built up Rasputin, Cardinal, and Cylobel with focused intent. Seems like people kill Hickman for failing to do this on most occasions, but I thought he was very effective in this book.

  26. PersonofCon says:

    @Ivan: that’s a good point. Nimrod, in particular, struck me as a personality that could have come out of Manhattan Projects (which tbf had a lot of varied characters, even if the variance was frequently different kinds of unpleasantness) as opposed to the Avengers run villains, which felt a lot more bloodless.

  27. Thom H. says:

    @Ivan: I don’t know about Cylobel, but the humans are wearing a variation of the outfits wore by Hellfire Club flunkies during the Dark Phoenix Saga (and beyond?). At least that’s what they look like to me.

  28. Chris V says:

    Thom-The Ultimate version of Professor X had telekinesis.

    A lot of references to the Ultimate Universe seem to figure in to different conjectures about this series.

    First, with Professor X looking very similar to the Maker.
    Thankfully, that seemed to be a coincidence.

    The idea of mutants being created instead of born was revealed as the origin of mutants in the Ultimate Universe.

    I don’t know if any of that means anything.

  29. Col_Fury says:

    I’m happy to see that I’m not crazy in reading in to “the World” mention. 🙂

    As for Ultimate Xavier, wasn’t he killed by Magneto during Ultimatum?

    Anyway, I’m digging House/Powers so far.

  30. Luis Dantas says:

    Earth-616 Xavier is generally not shown to have telekynesis, but I remember an apparent exception. Claremont had Charles using his mental powers to “augment his physical strength” once, in 1980’s Uncanny X-Men Annual #4, right after the Dark Phoenix Saga when he was in a tug-of-war with a presumed demon for keeping a grip on Storm.

    Perhaps he just meant that he was blocking his own perception of pain. I don’t know. It was a minor if noticeable detail and it had no plot effect.

  31. Taibak says:

    Luis: It showed up in the Silver Age too. Stan Lee would have Xavier flying planes through “thought impulses” or something like that.

  32. CJ says:

    It would seem weird for Magneto to magnetically pull the drive from Mystique–if he could, why would he have attempted to walk over there and grab it?–not to mention strong magnets near a solid state device could erase (probably overthinking that one).

    Also, I have trouble believing Magneto would be that subservient to Charles–but then again, this is a world where Wolverine is frolicking with children while Sabretooth is out running operations. But we already suspected something seems to be off in everyone’s behavior in HoX #1.

  33. Dave says:

    I took Omega to be Karima, definitely, and also assumed the green Magneto and blue Xorn (maybe all of the Asteroid K residents) were probably clone descendants.

    I’m taking X^1, even with the ‘Year Ten’ description, to be more like the scientific order of magnitude, so it could hypothetically be taken as anything short of 50 years in.

    I thought the genetic makeup thing WAS of this issue’s Rasputin. As others have noted, she was definitely using telepathy.

    I’m wondering if Xavier’s seeming TK was just something the helmet can do.

    ‘The curious case of’ suggests something’s going on with ‘Moira’s’ ageing, or timeline, I suppose.

    No speculation about who ‘The old man’ is, or the Librarian?

  34. Thom H. says:

    I assumed the Rasputin we saw was the Rasputin the text page described — that seems like the simplest answer. She didn’t display all of the powers listed, but did show most of them (armor, telepathy, forcefields).

    A little weird that she would be “Rasputin IV” since the fourth generation of clones suffered a “systemic failure.” But the “Outliers” section tells us that only about 60% of that generation really failed, so maybe she was one of the viable clones from that generation.

    Or maybe she was the fourth of a batch of Rasputins from the third generation — Rasputin 3.4, as it were — although now we’re getting farther from the simplest answer.

    I assumed the Old Man was some future version of Charles. And the Librarian is probably a mutant from a line we’ve never met — once we’re 900 years out from the last iteration of clones, I assume we’re seeing much different mutant “strains” than we’re used to. Just a guess.

  35. CJ says:

    Moira’s come a long way from being the X-Men’s housekeeper in her first appearances…

  36. Voord 99 says:

    Hmm. Is Moira the first X-character that Claremont created for the sake of writing an accent that he wanted to write? Is Moira where that signature feature of Claremont’s writing really starts?

  37. Col_Fury says:

    @Cj
    YES.

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