Now, I’m not an expert in the X-Men, nor do I have a PhD in resurrection. But it’s been a few days (one to be exact) since the events that transpired in Jonathan Hickman’s House of X #5 (HoX). Shit got wacky, huh? There was a lot to process, but one moment stood out above the rest. Xavier and his team of five mutants bringing back the recently deceased grouping of X-Men. Now this wasn’t the first case of resurrection in the comic business, nor is it the last. Hell, this death, then return is so over done it has its own Wikipedia Page.
The whole ‘dead/rebirth’ thing has become a cliché in comics. Why should the reader worry or feel any sense of feeling when a character dies? We know that within a few years or hell, a few months time the character will come back in some shape or form. As the lyrics from a song I enjoyed in my younger years said, “Dying is your latest fashion.” Please don’t look that up, I also went through a phase when I was younger. But teenage phases aside, that statement does rein true. When Comic Events happen what do they promise?
Everything you know will change! Characters will die! That first part we’d have to go over some other time, because as we know nothing ever really changes. Most big heroes have been dead in canon at one point. But what does HoX #5 do that’s different? Well for starters, it actually makes sense to a degree. Crazy huh? The X-men franchise has seen its fair share of resurrections. It still has one of the most famous ones, The Dark Phoenix Saga. It’s such a big story line that it’s been adapted in two (horrible) movies.
But the point still stands, resurrections aren’t a new concept, especially for mutants. So what makes HoX #5 any different? For starters, it’s different because of just how fucking weird and unnerving it all seems. In addition to the masked “Professor Xavier,” who seems different, to say the least. To the cult like mannerism the mutants seem to embody. Between that and their acceptance of the multitude of mutants that have tried to kill them (sometimes succeeding) there is a lot to process. But with the new status quo of resurrections transpiring in this issue, we’ll keep our gaze on that.
Essentially Hickman takes five lesser known, infrequently used mutants and makes them the most important mutants ever known to man. This consists of: Goldballs, Proteus, Elixir, Tempus, and Hope (dubbed The Five). The reason these five are now so important is due to the fact that if one of them dies there is no possible way to bring back the dead. Well, that we know of. The future is long, and ever changing. On top of these five characters you have the help of two others, that are equally essential. Mr. Sinister, and whomever can use Cerebro.
Each member has their role to play, Goldball’s balls (that he shoots) are in fact biological eggs, combined with Proteus’ reality powers the eggs become viable, then the ever lovable ‘villain’ Mr. Sinister comes in with his collection of mutant DNA being injected inside the egg. Following is Elixer’s power to kick start life, Tempus rapidly aging the husk to the desired age, then Hope who literally gives their powers hope, boosting said abilities. These powers combined make a husk. Good job! If you followed that recipe you now have yourself a mindless mutant! Now your cooking with mutants.
Mutant cook books aside, there is still one essential thing missing, the ‘soul’, or the personality. This is where Cerebro comes in. In layman’s terms, Xavier has been stockpiling mutant’s minds, or as Magneto states, “..the mind–the essence–the anima…” One, that’s weird as hell, two, isn’t that like unethical? So that means Xavier has been saving every mutant he has ever met inside the helmet like it’s a hard drive? Essentially a backup copy. But how can he keep a backup ‘soul’ if the original is still out there alive? Meaning that once the mutant dies and he puts the ‘soul’ in the husk, it wouldn’t be the original, or would it?
Granted it’s comics, it’s a fun and confusing concept. It seems that’s why Hickman gave it some rules to boot. They haven’t tried to combine a husk with the incorrect mind, which could be a story in the next few years. Or that with the fear of duplication their death needs to be documented, or Cerebro not find them for a month (which has never messed up before). This means that there is no rule against making multiple Cyclops’? Right? So the ‘soul’ in Cerebro isn’t just one ‘soul’, but multiple backups that can be spread across husks. Meaning no mutant is their original self?
Unless I am reading this wrong; that is a big loophole right there. If so that opens so many possible story lines in the future of the X-men. But it still brings up one point. These new versions aren’t the originals, they are copies. So essentially the originals are dead and gone. Or how about Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton? Can The Five replicate that? This new revelation opens up so many possibilities, and future plots.
Although it states it hasn’t been tested, essentially with these powers they can modify or upgrade a mutant’s ability. Literally creating a super mutant. Plus this new method will make it easy for future resurrections of mutants. So why as a reader should you care about high-stakes, dangerous missions? As Grant Morrison said,
“Adults…struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life. Adults foolishly demand to know how Superman can possibly fly, or how Batman can possibly run a multi-billion dollar business empire during the day and fight crime at night, when the answer is obvious even to the smallest child: because it’s not real.”
So fuck it. Enjoy the comic to your heart’s content!