Famed writer Jonathan Hickman, (Fantastic Four, Avengers and Secret Wars) makes his grand return to Marvel Comics as part of the Marvel: A Fresh Start initiative. What could be a project big enough for his profile? Why, the X-Men of course.
The run will begin in July of 2019 with two 6-Issue miniseries published over 12 weeks with one large story told across both, much in the vein of Hickman's earlier work on New Avengers/Avengers with the events of both stories intricately tying into a larger whole. These series are:
- House of X — Over the course of a single month, everything changes for mutants in the Marvel universe, and with that come changes to the universe itself. Drawn by Pepe Larraz (Extermination).
- Powers of X note — New revelations about the history of mutantkind are revealed, challenging the way mutants see themselves in the universe. Drawn by R.B. Silva (X-Men: Blue).
The stories are said to redefine the X-Men and their place in the Marvel Universe, on the level of Len Wein's Giant-Sized X-Men or Grant Morrison's New X-Men. Coinciding with the launch of House of X and Powers of X is the cancellation of every X-Men ongoing seriesnote , marking the first time a single writer has had this much control of the franchise since Chris Claremont's initial run.
After House of X and Power of X, a new line of X-books will be launched, with Hickman writing the main title. Wave 1 will start in August of 2019, while Wave 2 will start in 2020.
Examples of tropes in this storyline:
- Another Side, Another Story: The events of House and Powers play off each other to tell a larger story.
- Arc Number: 10, or rather, X. Powers of X is specifically pronounced "Powers of Ten" for this reason.
- Continuity Nod: The designs include elements from famous stories and AUs of the X-Men, from the Phoenix Saga, to the '90s, Age of Apocalypse and so on.
- Crowded Cast Shot: Numerous characters appear in the promotional poster, as seen above — including multiple iterations of the same character.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: If the crowded cast shot is any indication, there will be more characters than you can count. As to be expected for both X-Men and Hickman. Each character on the page image is said to have been selected for a specific reason.
- Soft Reboot: Has been described as a "reboot" while still in-continuity with the Marvel Universe. All prior ongoings are being cancelled in favor of this, and the series will relaunch the X-Men as a brand. Wave 2 has also been called the "rebooting initiative", with an entire new brand of X-books.Jonathan Hickman: "Okay, so, for the most part, I don't believe incrementalism works in fictional universes, and that, I think, is why almost every big franchise change that occurs has a delineated starting point...We wanted to be clear to the fans, to the stores, and just as importantly, to the creators who are going to be staffing these books in the future. We wanted the message to be very clear: This is a whole new era for the X-Men. This is what we're doing now."