When Jonathan Hickman was asked to come back to Marvel, he says he was mandated to “just ‘try things,'” which made an already-attractive offer even more interesting. In a new interview with Comicbook.com, Hickman says that while he crafted several pitches for Marvel, “X-Men was the bigger, more timely, idea.” And when House of X and Powers of X launch this July, the intertwined, six-issue mini-series will usher in a whole new era of X-Men.
Hickman has previously said that readers will need to pick up both House of X and Powers of X to understand the stories in each. In this interview, he expands on that: “One, House of X, is a story about a pivotal month in the history of the X-men where everything changes for mutants on Earth. And the other, Powers of X, is a story about the history of mutants in the Marvel Universe. It works as a series of reveals and revelations where each issue of HOX that follows POX — and vice versa — makes you reinterpret the issue you had previously read. And then, obviously, at the end they crash together in a way that propels us forward into a new X-Universe.”
In order to kick off that new X-Universe, Hickman says he didn’t think doing a new number one would be enough. So, he argued for canceling the current X-Men line in its entirety. One reason, he said, is that it would be the right move narratively “to return the X-Men to their rightful prominent position in the Marvel Universe.”
Hickman explains, “We needed to sell the idea that this is what we’re going to be doing for the next few years. So if you want to read X-Men books during the run from late-July through September, House of X and Powers of X are the only new X-books available and everything that’s going to follow is based on them. We wanted to be clear to the fans, to the stores, and just as importantly, to the creators who are going to be staffing these books in the future. We wanted the message to be very clear: This is a whole new era for the X-Men. This is what we’re doing now.”
Once POX and HOX conclude, a new line of X-books will be introduced. Hickman says, “Some will be traditional fare, some carry through on ideas presented in HOX and POX. Some books are completely new concepts. I, personally, will be writing the ongoing flagship X-book.”
The new X-Universe will roll out in two waves: wave one’s titles, creative teams and publishing details will be announced around this year’s San Diego Comic-Con; wave two will kick off some time in 2020. As for continuing the long-running metaphors of the X-Men line, Hickman says it’s impossible to write these characters without incorporating metaphor. He also says he thinks these books are at heart about found family.
“One that accepts you for who you are, who loves you at your best and worst, and who shares your dreams for what the world can be,” he says. “You know, everybody wants to love somebody, everyone wants to be loved, and it’s pretty great when you find both. Especially if you’re, say, a weirdo mutant with eyeballs covering your whole body.”
Check out the cover art for issues #1-3 of both House of X and Powers of X below, as well as unlettered preview pages from both books. Art for HOX is by Pepe Larraz, with colors by Marte Gracia. Art for POX is by RB Silva, also with colors by Marte Gracia.
Samantha Puc is an essayist and culture critic whose work has been featured on Bitch Media, The Mary Sue, Bustle, and elsewhere. She mostly writes intersectional pop culture analysis with a particular focus on representation of LGBTQ and fat characters in fiction. Samantha is the managing editor at The Beat, as well as the co-creator and editor-in-chief of Fatventure Mag, an outdoors zine for fat creators who are into being active, but not into toxic weight-loss culture. She lives in Montana with her partner and cats.