Powers Of X #6 Brings The X-Men’s New Beginning To A Haunting End
by Tony Thornley
Last week, House of X came to a triumphant end, setting up a status quo for Marvel’s X-Men that would fuel years of stories to come. However, Powers of X #6 might dump a little water on last week’s triumphant conclusion…
Jonathan Hickman, RB Silva, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, David Curiel, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller continue the tale of the life of Moira X…
In X^3, we learn the truth of the story we’ve been told thus far- the Phalanx came to Earth at the end of Moira’s sixth life, the one timeline we had no information about previously. Back in the prime timeline, Moira reveals her full plan to Charles, while her journals detail more about it, including En Sabbah Nur’s role, and the origin of both Proteus and Legion. However, as the story catches up to the end of House of X, we learn the horrible truth that Moira’s been hiding…
Silva, Gracia and Curiel turn in another wonderfully illustrated issue. Though the issue is low-action, Silva’s line work remains engaging. He has a great knack for facial expressions, with just a simple downturn of Moira’s lips conveying so much quiet anger that an exaggerated twist of her face wouldn’t. Gracia and Curiel’s color work is fantastic, continuing one of the best parts of the series. Major props to Curiel, who is pinch hitting after Gracia ran into health issues, for blending in with Gracia’s distinct work.
The story knocks it out of the park again. The pacing is spot on, leading to a jaw dropping read. It’s impressive storytelling.
The revelation of Life VI was extremely haunting yet low key, but it was a point that storyline needed to tie into the larger narrative. However, it does provide plenty of foreshadowing for what’s clear to be one of the major plots of the series as a whole, both with the Phalanx and the transhuman future of Homo sapiens.
The best part of the issue is the further depth we get into Moira’s life. Her journal shows that she might have had more agency in the roughest parts of her life that we knew, and also how far she’s fallen. Then we get what we’ve needed since the first issue Charles, Magneto and Moira in a room together, talking. We get more mysteries seeded, we see Moira’s fury, and we learn what she told Charles all those years ago, the thing they’ve been trying to prevent.
It’s a dark and bleak revelation to close the series on, but the new narration over Larraz’s closing pages from House of X (repeated here) still gives a ray of hope. Perhaps this time it will be different. Perhaps by doing things differently mutants survive this time, and win. It comes around to bleak but not hopeless.
And perhaps that ray of hope is all mutantkind needs to survive.
In the end, this is exactly what we needed to close the event and key up Dawn of X. It’s low key, but crucial to the complete story. We don’t get all the answers (for example, Life VI is still mostly a question mark), but it’s satisfying.
The prelude has ended, setting up an exciting first act to come. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Powers of X #6 is available now from Marvel Comics.