Five Questions- Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men

I’ve learned that there just isn’t enough time in the day to write about what I want. Between work, prepping for a wedding, social life, shows and movies, and reading, I have to learn how to split my time. I wish that I could spend all day just pushing out content for you guys but the gods can be cruel. So I started thinking of ways to make the one column a day seem like more. If nothing else, I want to give you guys the most bang for your buck… in this scenario buck means time. And what’s more valuable than time? Probably money, right? 

So I devised a plan for a reoccurring column where I would tackle some of the bigger pop culture topics out there. Focus solely on the topic by asking five important questions. Think of it as a dissection of something that you’re super interested in and want to know more about. It’s a good place for theories with back and forth with you guys where you can share your thoughts… and then whoever ends up being right gets to brag on the internet about being right. That’s what Twitter is for, right? 

Five Questions won’t happen every week per se, although I think I’ve got the next three weeks of topics picked, and when released will just come out randomly. I think that kind of adds to the flavor of the column. You can sign in to I Am Geek and get excited that it’s a Five Questions day. Random surprises are the best surprises… unless it’s something itchy or rash-like. Or bug bites that aren’t radioactive. Those types of surprises suck out loud.  All and all though this should be a lot of fun. It allows me to break down somethings I’m obsessing about and it gives you the opportunity to either feed into that or get into them as well. Nothing like good ole fashioned community building.

And what better way to kick off this new column than with Jonathan Hickman’s current X-Men run. If you’ve been keeping up with the Pull List then you know that House of X/Powers of X have been my favorite comics on the shelf these last six or seven weeks. I’m obsessed with what Hickman is doing here, and what he’s doing is making the X-Men exciting and fresh again. For so long the X-Men books were convoluted messes with characters dying, coming back, timey wimey stuff, and a massive head trauma like pain in your skull as you try to keep track of timelines and stories. What Hickman has been doing with his run is not only brilliant but has found a way to streamline all of these X-Men continuities in a way that doesn’t negate them but makes them important to the overall cause.

What is the cause though? Well, it’s protecting mutants from mankind of course! The how is what’s so exciting. After long since suspecting, we’ve learned that Moria MacTaggert is, in fact, a mutant. Her power? Well, it’s reincarnation. Every time Moria dies she brings her memories from her previous life to her current which is incredibly important for the sake of this story. She has taken that knowledge and tried to save the mutant race… ten times. Ten. With nine of them being “failures”. Now seemingly on her last life, can Moria’s knowledge of how the future plays out save the X-Men and mutant kind or is history doomed to repeat itself?

There is a ton of complexities running through both series, it wouldn’t be a Hickman book without getting a headache, but this is such a celebration of the X-Men that it’s hard not to fall in love with what’s happening here. Hickman is showing us all these moments in X History as Moria tries to prevent the future that has loomed over the Xavier School For the Gifted forever. Of course, I’ve got questions though, that’s part of the fun here, and I think it’s time I start asking them…

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Does death even matter? At the end of the latest issue of House of X we lost some very key X-Men to the greater good. Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, Mystique, and Wolverine all fell victim to the suicide mission they were running to prevent the future. By destroying the hidden Mother Mold, a machine that could create Sentinels that could create other Sentinels and eventually Nimrod the ender of all things mutant, it was believed that the future could be changed. This team, led by Cyclops, essentially destroys the Mother Mold but not before it’s turned on, becoming self-aware,  giving the impression that their sacrifice is all for nothing. With Moria being able to reset the timeline every time she dies, should we be that devastated? We’re a little more than halfway through this event and we’re supposed to believe that Cyclops and his team are gone for good? Of course not, this is comic books after all but it doesn’t negate their deaths from being impactful. The conversation between Logan and Nightcrawler gave me literal chills and that’s with knowing that their deaths probably won’t stick. It’s Hickman’s ability to write these characters and understand their history and their sacrifice that manages to make these deaths impactful. Death does matter. In fact, it’s the catalyst of this entire series thus far. Even though characters might not stay dead it still hurts. But there might be something a little more at play here besides regular comic book death resurrections. Which leads us to our next question…

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What’s the deal with the pod people? The very first issue of the House of X/Powers of X event opens with two mutants (seemingly Cyclops and Jean Grey) crawling out of pods as if being born as Charles Xavier welcomes them into the world. A lot has happened within the pages HoX/PoX since then but the importance of this introduction can’t be ignored. Is it possible that death might not matter in this new universe because Charles Xavier has found a way to replicate/clone X-Men through the use of pod people? It certainly seems that way. One would have to believe that powers of Krakoa, the living island the X-Men are calling home and using to teleport themselves across the world, is contributing to this in some way. With Charles overseeing these pod mutants, it would be easy for him to upload their consciences into these shells through the use of the Cerebro helmet he now wears, thus giving the impression that the X-Men are now immortal. This would certainly feed into Xavier’s “no more” comments from last issue. Finding a way to cheat death could make the battle to save the future borderline infinite. This opens the door for Xavier to possibly prolong Moria’s “final” life (life ten) and preventing the timeline from resetting. Negating loss from the battle is one way of preserving the mutant race but it feels like a cheat which in turn feels very un-Xavier like. Bringing us to question three…

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Who is actually underneath that helmet? Ever since we were introduced to Helmet Wearing Charles Xavier, I instantly doubted that this was actually Charles Xavier. Something feels… off. Sure, part of that could be learning that his dream is destined to fail and a radical reset to his beliefs buuuut there seems like there is something else at play. This new Xavier feels more like a cult leader then the teacher, mentor, and caretaker that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. This Xavier seems almost like a radical devoid of emotion. The Charles Xavier I know wouldn’t hold back medicine from humans or separate mutant-kind from humans to achieve his dream. The whole goal here has been peace and acceptance not further dividing the two. So, who’s under the helmet? It has to be someone mentally strong enough to withstand using Cerebro on the constant (that’s what the helmet is). This is a mutant that also has telepathy powers as has been seen throughout the series. My money is currently on David Heller, Legion himself, who is listed as an Omega mutant whose allegiance is Unknown. He seems like the only strong enough to pull something like this off. It could also be The Maker (evil Reed Richards from the Ultimate Universe) but after seeing him in Venom recently, I’m thinking that’s a no. Have you seen that guys dome? It’s massive! I’m thinking that it’s going to actually end up being Charles and this is what happens when he realizes that his dream is a lie. But there’s something shady going on here and I don’t trust him. Not even a little bit. There has to be a bigger twist here, I just haven’t put my finger on it yet,

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Where is Mister Sinister? In the future timeline, the one where Nimrod is in control of everything, we learn that Mister Sinister was creating his own mutant hybrids by taking powers from numerous X-Men and making something entirely new. Very similar to the possibility of pod mutants and maybe the foundation of the idea. We learn that Sinister is killed in the future and outside of that, we haven’t seen or heard anything else from the guy. Which is both surprising and alarming. Is it possible to believe that maybe, just maybe, that Sinister has learned about Moria and her abilities and has devised a plan to counteract that? That maybe he wants this future she’s trying so desperately to prevent. All of her lives thus far, outside of life ten, have been failures and you would think with all her knowledge of how the future plays out that she would eventually get a win. Maybe there’s something larger at play here. A force that’s preventing victory. Sinister would be my top candidate for this and it suddenly ups the tension of life ten. Not only would they be fighting the future but Sinister. I’d be here for that.

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What happened to Moria’s sixth life? We have seen a map of all ten of Moria’s lives but missing on that map is any information on life six. Why is there zero mention and zero milestones? What happened in life six that is so important that we can’t even see it?! Is it possible to believe that while life ten might be her last that life six is the most important? Is this a scenario where life six is where Moria learns how to possibly cheat death and instead of resetting back to her childhood after she dies she returns to a precise moment in life six? Or maybe life six will be the timeline of the main X-Men books after HoX/PoX? Life six holds the answers but it’s possible we don’t even know the questions yet, and that’s pretty freakin’ cool. Infuriatingly so…

With a few more weeks of this X-Men event, I fully expect answers to these questions with a million more questions arising before we get to the main title. Everything about what Hickman is doing with Marvel’s mutants has been invigorating and not only my favorite thing currently in comics but has made me reinvest hard in the X-Men. It’s an exciting time to be an X-Men fan Geeklings, but now I turn the floor to you. What are your top five questions concerning Hickman’s run? What are your theories? Be sure to sound off in the comments or if you’d like to talk more X-Men you can find me over on Twitter @iamgeek32. Let’s ask the questions and pick away at the answers! 


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