House of X #2
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia
When Hickman announced that he was taking over the entire X-Men, the news was met with nearly impossible expectations. The revered writer was set to take a beloved but struggling franchise and save it. Then House of X #1 hit the stands and managed to meet those expectations. Powers of X #1 is more explosive than House of X #1 but didn’t quite shine the same way due to the needed exposition to set up something bigger. We are now in the third week of a twelve-issue event and somehow Hickman has brought us the best issue yet.
Moira MacTaggert was introduced last week, but it wasn’t clear just how essential she was to Hickman’s story. I don’t know what I was expecting to see in House of X #2, but I certainly didn’t expect the entire issue to focus on Moira. Hickman writes the entire issue from Moira’s perspective and retcons the character in an incredibly significant way. Moira has always been an interesting character, but in this issue, she is given an incredible amount of depth and personality that we have never seen before. Suddenly she might be the most essential character in this entire story. Moira is the catalyst to whatever is coming next, and I loved getting to know her in this issue.
Moira’s perspective makes for a fascinating issue that left my eyes glued to the panels until I flipped the last page. She is a compelling character with a view that adds layers to the world around her. The writing is top-notch as always, avoiding cliches and uninteresting moments.
Pepe Larraz continues to make House of X look astounding. The linework is clean and polished, making every panel look fantastic. All of Hickman’s layers are fully realized by the emotional beats and expressive faces. Some old mutants make an appearance in this issue, and they both appear fresh while keeping their iconic looks. Gracia’s colors are still spectacular as well, adding depth to the panels.
House of X #2 elevates the series to new heights. Hickman reveals a staggering amount of information in just a few pages. Hickman’s plans are becoming a little bit more clear.