Powers Of X #1 Changes Everything We Thought We Knew About Marvel’s Mutants

by Tony Thornley

Phase 2 of Marvel’s X-Men relaunch is here with Powers of X #1. It connects the entirety of the X-Men’s history, giving us a chronicle of several eras we’ve never seen before…

Jonathan Hickman, RB Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Marte Gracia, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller chronicle the future history of mutants.

We see the history of mutants across four eras. In X0, the defining dream of the X-Men is formed. In X1, the dream is changed forever (as seen in House of X). In X2, the remnants of the X-Men fight in the last war 100 years in the future. And in X3, 1000 years in the future the Ascension has begun.

Though we see all four eras in this issue, the bulk of the issue is spent in X2, the era of the final war. However, Hickman’s script makes sure to show how that each era is important to the overall story of mutantkind, and enough hints of HOW it connects that the readers are drawn in. It’s not as engrossing and groundbreaking as House of X was last week, but it still provides exciting information and story.

A major highlight of the issue is the world of the war against Nimrod. This future is familiar enough that it’s easy to immerse yourself into it. However, the two lead characters- the Chimera mutants Cardinal and Rasputin- are wholly new with fascinating backstories, partly revealed through the in-story exposition and dialogue expertly put on the page by Cowles, while also diving deeper in history entries by Hickman and Muller.

Silva and Di Benedetto’s line work is great. They have a great sense of design, making Rasputin, Cylobel, and Cardinal familiar but also new and fresh. They are also use layouts to emphasize the flow of the story, centering much of the action in the middle of the pages and panels. The expand the panels much larger than normal to give the story a widescreen feel. Gracia’s colors deepen the world, creating a layer of realism, even when the story is far in the future, or in an alien environment like Krakoa.

The X-Men are changing forever, and we have a front seat for it.

Powers of X #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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