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Due to their importance to Hickman's main X-Men run, all spoilers for House of X and Powers of X are left unmarked. You Have Been Warned.

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You have new gods now.
And if you find yourselves asking, who are these mutants to think they can dictate terms to us? We are the future. An evolutionary inevitability. The Earth's true inheritors. You closed your eyes last night believing this world would be yours forever. That was your dream. And like mine... it was a lie. Here is a new truth: while you slept, the world changed.
Professor X, House of X #6
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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 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 ongoing X-Men seriesnote , marking the first time a single writer has had this much control of the franchise since Chris Claremont's initial run.


The events of Hickman's long-form narrative begins with the previously-unseen first meeting between Professor X and Moira MacTaggert, revealing a major Retcon that few were expecting: the X-Men's closest Muggle ally was actually a hidden Mutant herself. Moira's power allowed her to live through nine vastly different lifetimes with one thing in common: mutantkind is always doomed in every future. To get around this, she and Xavier initiated a series of secret alliances with several mutants, including several of the X-Men's worst enemies, in order to create a scenario in which mutants are able to secure a future where they can eventually supplant humanity as the dominant species on the planet. Although Moira had been thought of as long dead, she had since been in hiding, guiding Xavier and Magneto with all the knowledge that she's attained.

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The story proper begins years after the Genoshan Genocide, with mutants across the globe relocating to the sentient island of Krakoa, which has offered to sell various game-changing medical products to the world in exchange for recognition on the global stage. After pulling a few strings, the United Nations recognizes Krakoa as a sovereign nation, but in secret, members of various organizations — anti-mutant or otherwise — have converged their forces into a new organization, Orchis, which seeks to ensure that humanity survives at any cost. Orchis seeks to create the perfect Sentinels to fight against the X-Men, which naturally puts both sides at conflict with one another.

One of the biggest changes to the status quo is that, thanks to massive amount of data that Xavier has gathered over the years, dead mutants can now be fully resurrected in new bodies. The end goal: to resurrect all mutants, including the 16 million that were killed in Genosha. With the existence of a new mutant nation, three laws exist: mutants must make other mutants, mutants cannot kill mankind (except in self-defense), and Krakoa must be respected. Meanwhile, mutants have full diplomatic immunity, so any and all mutant criminals must be extradited to Krakoa to face judgment on their terms.

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So begins a new era for the X-Men, as former enemies must work together to stop various threats to mutantkind's existence from without and within.


The run began 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 a new mutant nation arises. Drawn by Pepe Larraz (Extermination).
  • Powers of X note  — New revelations about the history of mutantkind are uncovered across four time periods — with each year representing a factor of ten. Drawn by R.B. Silva (X-Men: Blue).

After House of X and Powers of X, a new line of X-books was launched, Dawn of X, with Hickman continuing his run with the main title, along with some work on other titles, while overseeing the other X-Men books. The books that Hickman is directly working on as part of the first wave of X-Men titles include:

  • X-Men — The flagship title, following Cyclops and his mutant powerhouses, this series acts as the "hub world" for the X-books. Drawn by Leinil Francis Yu (Infinity).
  • New Mutants — Back in business, the New Mutants set out on a quest that takes to them to space. Featuring classic New Mutants Sunspot, Magik, Cypher (merged with Warlock), Mirage, Karma and Wolfsbane, joined by Chamber and Mondo. Co-written with Ed Brisson and drawn by Rod Reis.note 
  • Giant-Size X-Men — A series of one-shots written by Hickman focusing on one or two mutants at a time. Each issue is drawn by a different superstar artist and is also meant to showcase their talent.
    • Jean Grey and Emma Frost — Jean and Emma try to save an injured Storm. Art by Russell Dauterman (Marauders).
    • Nightcrawler — The eponymous mutant leads a mission into the Graymalkin habitat. Art by Alan Davis (Excalibur, Uncanny X-Men).
    • Magneto — Featuring Magneto in his role as a Krakoan ambassador. Art by Ben Oliver (Ultimate X-Men).
    • Fantomex — Fantomex breaks into the World. Again. And again. And again. Art by Rod Reis (New Mutants (2019)).
    • Storm — Storm journeys to the far end of the world to save herself. Art by Russel Dauterman.
  • X of Swords note  — The first crossover event written by Hickman.

Examples of tropes in this run:

    open/close all folders 

    House of X and Powers of X 
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Cyclops's stoic stance against the Fantastic Four softens in the presence of Ben Grimm, perhaps the most beloved figure in the Marvel Universe. He congratulates him on his wedding and says "Mazel tov."
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Powers of X shows futures a hundred years and a thousand years after Professor X first met Moira MacTaggert, where the future looks nothing like what we have now. Played with in that these are two separate futures, each of which happened in one of Moira's previous lifetimes. "Year 100" is life IX, and "Year 1000" is life VI.
  • Above Good and Evil: Magneto, as usual.
    Moira: It really all comes down to one thing, Magneto… in this world, who determines what is truly good and what is truly evil?
    Magneto: I do. I decide.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Issue six of Powers of X has entries from Moira's diary that all but state that Proteus and David Haller were conceived as means to an end. This explains their neglect and suffering under their parents' care outside of the general Blessed with Suck nature of their powers which is made an unintended consequence.
    • In case we needed a reminder of why Mystique won't be winning any "Mom of the Year" awards, she spends the first Quiet Council meeting cruelly needling Nightcrawler — her own son — by insulting his religious beliefs. There’s nothing physical done, but Nightcrawler is visibly bristled by it, even if he tries to brush it off by segueing into his idea of Krakoa’s laws.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In Powers of X #4, rather than resume the current House of X plotline, the X1 segment instead focuses on Cypher being taken to Krakoa by Professor X to devise the communication system used by the mutants in the present storyline. This sequence takes place one month ago (approximately while the Beast was doing Krakoa-related work at the Savage Land at the beginning of House of X #1).
  • Action Politician: Every member of the Quiet Council is formidable in a fight. It would be Authority Equals Asskicking except there are plenty of mutants who are strictly more powerful than some in the Council.
  • Affably Evil: In Moira's ninth lifetime, Nimrod the Lesser is the leader of the Man-Machine Supremacy engaged in a war against mutants. He apologizes to Cylobel for what they did to her and even says he regrets what he has to do... Even as he does it, subjecting her to a Fate Worse than Death. In Moira's sixth lifetime, Nimrod the Greater was even more apologetic, especially since the entire war was All for Nothing. He’s also a Benevolent Boss towards his robot henchmen. His human minions more or less get the same treatment... unless they mouth off at the wrong time.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Played with and deconstructed. The series posits that sapient robots, cyborgs, and other types of transhumanity form a third party in the human-mutant conflict, one which seems to inevitably turn on and destroy both sides. However, keeping with the story’s gray morality, machinekind is not portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil; they overthrow their creators because they’re abused by mutants and humans alike, treated as nothing more than soulless weapons to be exploited or destroyed, while being forced to fight a race war they have no stake in, all under the justification that they’re machines. And for every robot or transhuman that wants to Take Over the World, there’s just as many that aren’t onboard with such ideals and simply want peace. It’s telling that the very first thing the Mother Mold says upon coming online is that it’s measured both mutants and humans... and found them all wanting.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Krakoa is a resource rich, lush, advanced and alien-esque land where mutants reside. It is not located in North America, and certainly not near New York City like one might expect from Marvel, or on some fancy place like the Moon, Mars or an altogether alien world, or even some alternate dimension, but rather in the Oceania region, not far off from Australia.
  • The Alliance:
    • Krakoa is an alliance of mutants, of all kinds and backgrounds (heroes, villains, neutrals), bound together to give mutantkind a home as they are set to become the majority.
    • Orchis forms in response to this. They consist of ex-members of S.H.I.E.L.D., alongside former personnel of S.W.O.R.D., S.T.R.I.K.E., Alpha Flight, A.R.M.O.R., and H.A.M.M.E.R. with a goal of ultimately exterminating mutantkind. As Magneto sneers contemptuously, their ideological commitment to mutantphobia allowed them to hold their noses to "Operation Paperclip in a few ex-HYDRA as well".
  • Ambadassador: Magneto. Being the Omega-Level controller of magnetism has its perks.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In House of X #2, the infograph explaining Moira's lifetimes lists that, in her tenth life, Moira faked her death, suggesting that she never died due to Mystique attacking her Muir Island lab, which questions as to where she disappeared to afterwards.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Something's up with Professor Xavier; not only has he seemingly abandoned his philosophy of integration and equality in favor of isolationism and looking down on normal humans, but he's suddenly willing to work with villains like Mystique, Sabretooth, and Toad to get things done. One of the first things we see him do is send them to steal valuable data from Damage Control, seemingly not caring when Sabretooth kills several innocent security guards in the process. This is due to the fact that, in this version of the timeline, Moira decided that the only way to ensure the survival of mutants is to wear down Xavier’s idealism and push him into breaking all the rules he followed in her previous lives.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: ORCHIS is this, especially since they’re willing to recruit ex-HYDRA agents, which Magneto explicitly compares to Operation Paper Clip (a Real Life program ran after World War II where the US government granted amnesty and sanctuary to some Nazi war criminals in exchange for their knowledge).
  • And I Must Scream: Sabretooth's killing of the guards in the very first issue of House of X causes the Quiet Council to "exile" him. That means he is sealed deep within Krakoa, kept in stasis, and conscious for all of it. He may get a chance to redeem himself one day, but that day is a long way off.
  • Another Side, Another Story: House and Powers play off each other to tell a larger story, with the events in one explaining events in the other. Each issue is accompanied by a reading order check list above which is written, "Two stories that are one."
  • Anti-Hero: This iteration of the X-Men as a whole. While they're still for maintaining peace between humans and mutants and protecting the world, there's something deeply unsettling about how underhanded they are in the name of acting in the interests of Krakoa. Storm is behaving like a cult leader, Emma Frost outright uses mind control to give Krakoans diplomatic immunity in most nations, the populace of Krakoa has a fanatical sense of nationalism and seem to be increasingly dismissive of humanity, and our heroes are willingly working alongside villains who accept amnesty — including Apocalypse, who tells Charles Xavier that he's proud of the nation that they are building. It doesn't help that both X and Magneto have effectively agreed with Moira that mutants need to overtake humans as the dominant species.
  • Anyone Can Die: During the mission to destroy Mother Mold (which succeeds), Cyclops, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Husk, Monet, Mystique, Archangel, and Jean are all killed. But, as we learn in the subsequent issue, Death Is Cheap.
  • Ape Shall Not Kill Ape: Played with. Mr. Sinister proposes that it should be a crime for mutants to kill other mutants when the Krakoans are coming up with their laws. Apocalypse disagrees, noting that, since mutants have a means to resurrect pretty easily, such measures would be redundant. Marvel Girl subsequently revises the proposal that it should be a law that mutants cannot kill humans (since they are unable to be resurrected), which takes effect.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Flowers of Krakoa are grown on the living island currently colonized and settled by Xavier as a new home for mutants (and exclusively for mutants). These flowers have distinct functions, establishing portals, terraforming embassies in countries that offer it diplomatic recognition. Special variants are used by Xavier to create drugs that offer to extend human lifespan, cure degenerative brain diseases, and other beneficial properties. Countries that recognize Krakoa can go into business with Xavier and market these drugs to human consumers.
  • Arc Number:
    • 10, or rather, X. Powers of X is specifically pronounced "Powers of Ten" for this reason.
    • On the subject of Roman Numerals, the numbers II, IV, V, VI, IX have appeared in sequence to promote the storyline — all referring to members of the Weapons Plus program. Curiously, Weapon VIII, the remaining unknown of the ten original members of the program, is not among those mentioned, while Weapon II has been identified as a squirrel with an Adamantium skeleton. This was later revealed to be five non-X-Men characters who may be connected to the Weapon Plus program - Brute Force (a team of animals cybernetically enhanced), Man-Thing, Venom (or at least a symbiote), Luke Cage and Typhoid Mary.
    • It likely also refers to Moira MacTaggert, who is revealed to be a mutant who reincarnates and retains her memories of her prior lives — but she can only do so 10 times according to Destiny. The life that fans are familiar with is the tenth life.
    • Moira is often referred to as "Moira X".
  • Arc Words: The words "dream" and "sleep" comes up a lot.
    • The first issue of Powers of X is called "The Last Dream of Professor X." We learned why it was called that in Powers of X #6, when Moira tells Xavier that he's been dreaming the wrong dream and he needs to wake up.
    • In Powers of X #3, Omega Sentinel states, "We don't sleep at all, Nimrod. In fact, that's what the mutants think is wrong with us — that we do not dream."
    • In House of X #6, Xavier's telepathic speech to the world includes the fact that he realized his dream was a lie... and that humanity's dream that the world would be theirs forever was also a lie. He ends the speech by saying, "While you slept, the world changed."
  • Arch-Nemesis: House of X #2 positions Destiny as one to Moira MacTaggert. Whereas Moira can live multiple lives, Destiny can see the future, and thus will always be there to combat her should she try to turn on mutants like she had done in her third life, where she developed a mutant cure. In fact, it's clear from the issue that Destiny is the reason for Moira's actions and thus the events of Hickman's run, to the point where she refuses to let the five resurrect her, as she's likely to foretell more prophecies of doom for mutantdom.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In House of X #1, Sue Storm asks Cyclops about the prospect of granting amnesty to all mutants (even those guilty of crimes like Sabretooth), he responds by asking if she (and the rest of humanity) expected then continue taking the abuse.
    Cyclops: My family has spent our entire lives being hunted and hated. The world told me I was less when I knew I was more. Did you honestly think that we were going to sit around forever and just take it?
  • Assimilation Plot: In Powers of X, a thousand years into the future, the Phalanx arrives to assimilate Earth, and the Post-Human leaders of the Man-Machine Ascendancy embrace assimilation, except for the Librarian.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Magneto is also this; he's as blunt and dismissive of "homo sapiens" as ever, casually insulting the ambassadors he's ostensibly negotiating with and making vaguely threatening comments about humanity having "new gods".
  • Author Appeal: As per the norm with Hickman, graphics are featured and prominent to convey information.
  • Awful Truth: The reason given for why they don't bring back precogs is that they would reveal the truth to the others: that mutants always lose.
  • Back from the Brink: The main drive behind the creation of the nation of Krakoa: the destruction of Genosha was thought to have culled back mutantkind to the point where they would never surpass humanity. However, the reignition of the X-Gene and mutant powers shot mutantkind back up. And that's not even getting into the Five, and the means by which hundreds of mutants can be resurrected each day.
  • Back from the Dead: Seems to be going around.
    • Esme and Sophie Cuckoo are back (somehow) after dying during Grant Morrison's New X-Men, and a brief return in X23.
    • Banshee seems to be entirely restored, whereas he was a weird zombie previously before being outright killed again in Uncanny X-Men (2018).
    • The Xorn brothers (dead since Grant Morrison's X-Men and X-Men: Blue) are seen during Esme and Sophie's tour.
    • The list of Omega level mutants lists Vulcan (dead since the end of War of Kings), and Proteus (Astonishing X-Men vol. 4) as being on Krakoa.
    • Everyone who died fighting Orchis is restored, where it's also revealed how this is occurring: Using the abilities of five mutants (Goldballs, Proteus, Elixir, Tempus and Hope Summers) to generate appropriate bodies from Sinister's archive of mutant DNA and Xavier's copies of mutant minds, any mutant who dies is able to return.
  • Bad Boss: Nimrod the Lesser doesn't actually like working with humans against mutantkind, and while he's always professional and polite towards his human henchmen, they'd damn well better return the courtesy, or else disintegration is on the table.
  • Bad Future: Powers of X explores not just the past and present, but also 90 years into the future, where mutants are at war with the "Man-Machine Supremacy" and there are less than 10,000 mutants alive. This is revealed to be Moira X's ninth life. It also goes 990 years into the future, where Post-Humanity (Homo novissima, uplifted humans from the future) and the only remaining mutants are in "the Preserve." This timeline is revealed as Moira's sixth life.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The reason Moira has been into the mutant cause in her last seven lives is that a Seer (name of Destiny) told her to. With a threat of permanent death in life eleven and rather lengthy and painful deaths in the lives in between if she didn't, but being a Seer, she must have Seen that this was how to make it most likely that Moira would, in fact, join the mutant cause.
  • Befriending the Enemy:
    • Ostensibly, Krakoa’s amnesty policy means the X-Men are doing this with most of their old enemies, even the really evil ones like Sabretooth and Emplate. In practice, it’s pretty clear that a great many mutants on Krakoa still despise one another, and nobody’s about to forget anytime soon that they were enemies with incompatible philosophies.
    • Played straight during the party in House Of X #6, where Wolverine is seen reconciling with his old enemy Gorgon over a can of beer.
    • Played with in the same scene as Jean delivers a beer to Emma. Neither can bring herself to look at the other, and Emma shoots a very lustful look at Scott.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Sentinels are collectively the absolute greatest threat to mutantkind's continued existence, as Moira learns across multiple lifetimes. In one timeline, Nimrod becomes the apex of all that Sentinels can be — so in the present timeline, she gives the X-Men the information necessary to destroy Nimrod's creator, the Mother Mold. The Phalanx are also this in the the most distant future timeline, being an existential threat to humans and mutants alike. Overall, the central concept seems to be that machines are an existential threat to mutantkind.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Magneto says a pretty epic one to the ambassadors:
    You see, I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love your religion. And I wanted you—I needed you—to understand...
    You have new gods now.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Apocalypse, everyone's favorite super-millennarian from the Bronze Age, feels that it is not wrong to kill people who can be brought back, strongly enough to oppose a law saying it is. Thrown into perspective when another law is suggested that says that killing people who can't be brought back is wrong, and he cannot be bothered.
  • Body Backup Drive: Because Proteus's mutant power is Cast from Lifespan, and it is needed to make Goldballs' eggs viable for mutant rebirth, a backup husk is reserved for whenever he expires.
  • Call-Forward: Moira's Journal has several instances of this:
    • In one entry, she worries that by breaking Xavier, she will "fracture his psyche and eventually unleash something unexpected on the world," which is a Call-Forward to Onslaught.
    • In another entry, she states that Xavier had an idea that will eventually become the Five working as a resurrection machine — but that they need a mutant that can manipulate reality. Moira then states "I have used my expertise in genetic modification to find potential matches for both Charles and me to produce a mutant," meaning that she probably set him up with Gabrielle Haller to produce Legion and set herself up with Joseph MacTaggert in order to produce Proteus.
  • The Cameo: House of X #2 has a single-panel appearance of non-mutants Thor, Falcon, Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Thing in one of the alternate timelines Moira lived in, teaming up with the X-Men to fight Magneto.
  • Camp: Mr. Sinister is clearly enjoying himself here, perhaps a little too much.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Subverted with Nimrod the Lesser. Humans, he notes, believe lying is contrary to his programming, but he could lie all day just for the fun of it. Honestly, he'd be a horrible war strategist if he could not lie.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Deconstructed, as it's increasingly made clear that mutants acting like this applies to them is a big part of why they and baseline humans continually come into conflict. How would you respond if a bunch of people with godlike powers just spontaneously appeared, unilaterally staked a claim on part of the ocean, and told you that they can do whatever they want because they are the future and that they'll let you have the scraps if you behave? Xavier tries to justify this by saying he tried the whole co-existence with humans bit and that it always ends with someone throwing a Sentinel at them or murdering mutants for existing, but this claim has issues of its own. And going even further, Moira’s sixth life shows that mutants are likely to face their own elves in the form of Post-Humanity, who trumped them through genetic engineering and cybernetics, just as mutants threaten to supplant humans through evolution.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: During his trial in court, Sabretooth admits to having bad manners before spitting on the floor and pleading guilty to all his charges. He's not worried about his arrest because no building could hold him and warns the guards he could easily break free and kill them all. When the judge declares Creed a killer, he smiles again and says it's how his momma made him, and he's not done yet. This bites him in the ass big time in House of X #6, wherein the Quiet Council of Krakoa places him in hibernation beneath Krakoa for disobeying Magneto who ordered him to not kill anyone on his mission.
  • Chess Motif: Stretching it, with the Hellfire club, as there are now three colors on the board.
  • Cloning Blues: Discussed by Lorna.
  • Comic-Book Time:
    • According to the timeframes in "Powers of X #1", the time between the present and Charles's first meeting with Moira is only thirteen years, with the other X0 scenes taking place ten years or fewer bfore the present day. Which is to say that most of the continuity, from Claremont through Morrison and Whedon, House of M, and all the way to Hickman's was less than a decade, even if earlier comics had characters age several years in the same period (i.e. Kitty Pryde aging from 13 year old to mid 20s).note 
    • Part of this is handwaved in House of X #2, with the reveal that Moira has the power to reincarnate which makes her existence a constant Reset Button since rather than reincarnating as another person in another body in the future, she reincarnates in the same person and same body as before. One panel has her note that in one of her lives she backed Xavier during the "Gifted Years" (Lee/Kirby), the time of "Fear and Hate" (Wein/Claremont) and "the Lost Decade" (post-Decimation) with the actual real-time comic passage acknowledged in-page, and possibly slided into one of her lives.
  • Composite Character: In Powers of X, as a result of a mutant breeding program by Mister Sinister, all mutants of "the Sinister Line" are composites of previous mutant powers. The Statuesque Stunner Rasputin, for example, has the DNA of Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Quentin Quire, Laura Kinney, and Unus the Untouchable (as well as Magik's Soulsword). Her companion, Cardinal, looks like a red version of Nightcrawler and is specifically a subgroup of mutants that "failed" and became pacifists. He is referred to as the "lost priest of the last religion."
  • Conlang: Krakoa now has its own language, devised by Cypher, that is telepathically imprinted on any mutants who come to its main island. This language is shown throughout the comics. And while much of the provided text is simply English written in the Krakoan alphabet, there are a few genuinely new words.
    • It's also pointed out this is the language of Krakoa the nation; Krakoa the mutant island can only be understood by Cypher.
  • The Constant: Moira discovers, to her horror and despair, that no matter what she does to alter the timeline, the invention of artificial intelligence and sapient robots always leads to the creation Sentinels. Even when she spends one life murdering the entire Trask family to stop them, the Sentinels just get built by someone else.
    • An impeding mutant genocide is also revealed as such by Moira to Charles in her tenth life.
  • 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.
    • House of X #1 features references to Hickman's Fantastic Four and Avengers runs, such as references to Sol's Anvil and Sol's Hammer and the terraformed section of Mars.
    • In Year 100, the Shi’ar Empire is ruled by Xandra, Xavier and Lilandra’s daughter who was introduced in Mr. and Mrs. X.
    • Orchis' headquarters are partially built from the remains of Master Mold. Their current plan is to build a Mother Mold, that can create master molds.
    • Powers of X #2 mentions humanity building a Worldmind, the invasion of the Badoon in the 31st century, and the mutants repelling a second Annihilation Wave.
    • When Cyclops is revived, Storm asks how she knows it’s really him, to which Cyclops responds that he once thought he was strong, only for Storm to show what strength really is; a nod to the storyline is Chris Claremont’s run where Storm and Cyclops dueled for leadership of the X-Men, with a depowered Storm winning quite easily.
    • Genosha is referenced relatively often. Apparently in at least two of Moira's timelines, it was given to Magneto then destroyed by Cassandra Nova.
    • Emma wanting Kitty on the Council is reminiscent of the Whedon run when she wanted her on the team because she wanted someone to keep an eye on her. Of course, we don't know her specific reasons yet.
  • Control Freak: Living through life and watching it all go wrong nine times over has left Moira deeply cynical and under the impression that the only way the current timeline can work is if everyone bends over backwards to do things her way. The reason for Xavier’s new attitude and direction? Moira believes his idealism and faith in others is part of what doomed the X-Men in her previous lives, so she’s spent decades wearing it down and making him believe coexistence between humans and mutants is impossible, all so he’ll follow orders and do what she believes is necessary to save mutantkind.
  • Costume Evolution: A few cases.
    • Cyclops's new costume has characteristics from his Astonishing and post-AvX/Mutant Rebellion-era costumes.
    • Wolverine's costume is an updated version of the classic brown and yellow.
    • Monet's costume has the collar and belt of her Absolute Cleavage X-Factor suit, but is closed / zipped in the front like her very last X-Factor suit.
    • Creed's costume is his Jim Lee suit with the colors inverted. Similar to his Weapon X-Force costume, except that one was orange and black instead of the yellow and brown here.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • Powers of X #2 has Emma, Magneto and the Brotherhood on the cover. Magneto is the only one of these characters to show up in the issue. The focus is mostly on past and future events with a small present-day cameo from Scott and Xavier.
    • House of X #4 shows Husk fighting alongside everyone against the Orchis, but she is dead at the start of the issue.
    • Powers of X #5 shows Mr. Sinister on the cover, yet he only appears in a single panel flashback to Charles Xavier's psychic invitation to the X-Men's foes to join the mutant nation on Krakoa.
  • Crowded Cast Shot: Numerous characters appear in the promotional poster, as seen above — including multiple iterations of the same character.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Nimrod the Lesser in Powers of X #1 tells Cylobel that she will be ground into femtofluid — her organs, body and other matter will be ground into raw fluid and all her genetic data and the information in it will be uploaded via database. And she will be conscious during the process.
    • In the life where she tried to create a mutant cure, Moira ends up being gruesomely burned alive by Pyro on Destiny's orders to scare her out of trying again in her next life. It works.
    • Most of Scott's team in House of X #4.
      • Mystique is shot through the airlock of the ship into outer-space
      • Wolverine and Kurt are burned to a crisp by the sun
      • Husk and Archangel were killed in the ship explosion
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Apocalypse gets hit with The Worf Effect by Nimrod in the first Bad Future.
  • Cyberpunk: With elements of Bio Punk and Solar Punk. X-Men has flirted with the genre before, but Hickman’s run really delves into it.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: In her third life, Moira desperately searched for answers on what she was and saw Charles Xavier identify as a mutant on national television. When she actually met him, his obvious pride disgusted her so much she decided that mutants were a disease and she spent the her research developing a cure.
  • Death Is Cheap: It is revealed that a lot of mutantkind's revival is due to The Five, a group of mutants whose powers together can bring about a living, though mindless, mutant. Thanks to Cerebro, Xavier can restore their minds and bring them back to full. While they can do this with ease, Xavier hates doing this because, despite being able to come back from the dead, it still hurts to see those he loves die.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After three separate lives end in death by Sentinel, Moira decides there's no hope for humanity and spends the next two lives trying to destroy them in mutantkind’s name, first with Magneto (who loses badly to the Avengers and X-Men) and then with Apocalypse (who goes too far and destroys everything). In her tenth and final life, the current timeline, she's pulled herself out of it and is trying to pool all her knowledge in order to attain a Golden Ending.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: They will not tolerate prisons on Krakoa, so the Council imprisons criminals within Krakoa instead.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Storm and X are showing the resurrected X-Men and loudly declaring they've conquered death (With Storm even calling them brothers and sisters), as well as the cheering crowd, the Mutant race starts to look like a cult.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Powers of X" does not merely refer to the years X0-X3, but to Moira's powers as the hitherto unknown factor. Since her marriage to Charles in life four, the captions refer to her as Moira X.
  • Dramatic Irony: On Moira's tenth life, Wolverine is strongly against Xavier allowing mutants like Apocalypse and Sinister to join Krakoa. On Moira's ninth life, Wolverine is Apocalypse's most trusted Horseman and is willing to lay down his life for him.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • Apocalypse and his X-Men in Year 100 give their lives to deal a crippling blow to the Man-Machine Ascendancy and give Moira information that will hopefully allow her to steer the current timeline onto a better path.
    • X-Men and Orchis members alike get these during the botched Orchis raid. Erasmus sacrifices himself to try and stop the X-Men from boarding, while the Mother Mold spends its final moments spitefully shouting to Wolverine that robotkind will prevail in the end. Meanwhile, Wolverine and Nightcrawler allow themselves to be incinerated by the Sun to destroy Mother Mold (with Wolverine slicing at the Mother Mold’s head as they crash into the sun), while Monet valiantly holds the line against an entire squad of Orchis troopers.
  • The Eeyore: In Year 100, Xorn has become a suicidally depressed fatalist who expresses an uncomfortable amount of glee when he dies fighting the Man-Machine Ascendancy.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The X3 plot in Powers of X revolves around post-humankind attracting a Phalanx to achieve Ascension. This turned out to be a Morton's Fork scenario: if the Phalanx judged them unworthy of Ascension, they'd infect the earth with a Techno-Organic virus that would eventually produce a Babel Sphere, calling a Technarch to either remove or repurpose the inhabitants of Earth as "societal waste". If the Phalanx does judge post-humans as worthy (and as of PoX #5, they did), then they preserve the history and consciousness of the world, but not without feeding upon its physical form.
  • Enemy Mine: Knowledge of Moira's past experiences, and the danger that mutantkind is facing, gives cause for Professor X and Magneto to work together. This then extends to Mr. Sinister, who agrees to cooperate with them without knowing the full details.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Orchis’s leader and former AIM agent, Dr. Gregor, is Happily Married with Erasmus Mendel. Or rather, she was until he dies during the X-Men’s raid on the Mother Mold facility, making her conflict with them bitterly personal.
    • Mystique turns out to only be working with the X-Men because Professor X and Magneto promised to use Krakoa’s revival technology to bring Destiny back to life... a promise they and Moira have no intention of fulfilling, as they see Destiny’s precognitive powers as a threat to Moira’s grand plan.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Omega Sentinel, a former member of the X-Men, is now working with Orchis (an alliance of various organizations) against the X-Men and mutantkind. The reason is rather simple; despite being an X-Man at one point, Omega Sentinel is not a mutant herself and was once designed to kill mutants (an origin that's about as un-mutant as they come). The oncoming mutant alliance is grave concern for those outside of it, including her.
    • Downplayed with Sabretooth who is fully back to being a Card-Carrying Villain but due to the books Graying Morality is still portrayed as loyal to Xavier. Subverted as of House of X #6, where it’s made very clear that his brand of murderous evil will not be tolerated on Krakoa and he is “exiled” for it.
  • Fall Guy: Sabretooth's entire role. A known Psycho for Hire who specializes in Dirty Business was sent on a mission by Magneto where his services were not needed and he, of all people, was given orders not to kill anyone. When he ends up with two fatalities against numerous armed guards, he's put before a Kangaroo Court where they make up laws on the spot right in front of him, even picking one that directly fits something he did so they can use him as an example for Krakoa. Sabretooth starts calling them out on using him as a scapegoat, but Emma & Jean telepathically shut his mind down.
  • Fantastic Racism: Naturally. The common theme of this storyline is related to this, building off of years of X-Men stories. However, this is actually a Reconstruction of the trope. The story goes to lengths to explain, examine and justify why each and all sides would feel this way. Both human and mutant sides have this towards each other, and it even factors in the third party of superpowered non-mutants. The general Gray-and-Grey Morality makes it hard to tell who exactly is in the right, or even if everyone is wrong.
    • Many humans still feel this towards mutants, and are later joined in this by Earth’s sentient robot population. However, it's a little more justified than as portrayed in the past, considering that they're set to be displaced by a species of superpowered beings who are actively being taught that they're superior. This raises very legitimate concerns, like what will happen if humans, even those who are completely innocent and don't hate mutants, are subjected to genocide or slavery? It's why Orchis forms, to make sure the balance of power is in check, and on some level they have a point even if they come off as villainous.
    • The mutants in turn act this way to the humans. Upon the discovery that mutantkind will outstrip humankind as the dominant species in the years to come, this has been the uniting point for why mutants are seen as superior, living in isolation on Krakoa, as they prepare to become the new superpower. It's made clear that no one that isn't a mutant can live there. Magneto makes it clear when he refers to the mutants as being humankind's new gods. Nobody on the mutant side acts otherwise, as they all view themselves as the superior species, painting humankind as uniformly bad, and look out for each other in their own land where no one else can be.
    • It also examines the longstanding meta-question and inconsistency of why mutants are discriminated upon, yet all the other superpowered beings of the world aren't. It's made clear that the mutants see themselves as superior here, and the non-mutant superpowered beings, such as mutates, are in the same boat as the baseline humans in not being allowed on Krakoa. Cyclops provides an Armor-Piercing Question to Invisible Woman, while pointing out how privileged she was for not being a mutant versus how unprivileged the mutant population is, when asked why they're acting xenophobic. Also, there's the fact that friends, allies and former X-Men team members that weren't mutants still aren't allowed on Krakoa, such as Omega Sentinel, who now allies with Orchis likely because of it.
    • Just to show the sides are Not So Different, Rasputin at one point claims that robots have no souls and that humans lost theirs, using this as justification for killing them.
    • Professor X's "The Reason You Suck" Speech in House of X #6 quite clearly states why mutantkind, and Xavier in particular, is taking this stance now: that for years, he's tried to create a world of co-existence, trying to protect those who fear and hate them from those who would destroy them. And all they got in return were those people killing them.
  • Final Death: In the life where she tried to make a mutant cure, Moira was threatened with this by Destiny, who pointed out that since Moira's power only properly activates when she's thirteen, the Brotherhood Of Mutants could kill her for good by murdering her as an infant. The possibility scares Moira enough that she never makes a mutant cure again in subsequent lives.
  • Floral Motifs: Abounds in the entire first issue. The "Flowers of Krakoa" is a major connecting motif, and likewise, Orchis is the name of a space station (formed collectively by every nebulous spy organization in Marvel — SHIELD, STRIKE, SWORD, AIM, Alpha Flight, and even HAMMER and HYDRA).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The new definition of omega level as any mutant with no apparent upper limit on a specific power uses Tony Stark (who also has some experience with genetic modification) exceeding Forge in invention as an example on why the latter isn't omega level. This hints at the climactic revelation of Homo novissima as an artificial branch of humanity that outstripped mutantdom through technological and genetic engineering rather than evolution.
    • The Red Diamond gossip at Bar Sinister hints at future events, including possible revelations concerning Madelyne.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: The Council, with three representatives for each element. Although they named themselves for seasons, they serve the matching symbolic purposes of Autumn/fire/leadership, Winter/air/critical thinking, Spring/earth/economy, and Summer/water/heart.
  • Four-Star Badass: Cyclops, Gorgon, Bishop and Magik are appointed the Great Captains of Krakoa, making them the generals of the mutant nation. As Captain Commander, Cyclops is first among equals.
  • Friend to All Children: Logan is first seen as he's seen laughing while he plays with two mutant children.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: How The Librarian came to be. Even though mutantkind was the evolutionary result of humanity, it couldn't hope to compete with genetic engineering. The result was that mutantkind ended up subservient to Homo novissima.
  • A God Am I: Magneto’s god complex is as strong as ever. He puts Krakoa’s embassy in Jerusalem specifically for the religious symbolism of it (he claims it’s because humans like it) and bluntly says that mutants will be humanity’s new gods.
  • Golden Ending: Essentially what Moira is trying accomplish; each of her previous attempts to resolve the human-mutant dilemma ended in disaster, so in this timeline she’s pooling all her knowledge from previous lives to try and pull off one perfect run that breaks all the rules she followed in said previous lives.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In Year 1000, Post-Humanity foolishly tries to get the Phalanx to help them Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. The Phalanx judge them worthy and decide to help them “ascend” by assimilating them all, Borg-style.
    • The new generation of Hounds, known as "black brain telepaths", were bred to betray their own kind, ie mutants. Well, how did their creators think that would go?
  • The Government: Krakoa's first government is called the Quiet Council, divided into four groups: Autumn (Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse), Winter (Mister Sinister, Exodus and Mystique), Spring (Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, and Kitty Pryde), and Summer (Storm, Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler). They are joined by Krakoa themself, with Cypher serving as their translator, and the Great Captains (Cyclops, Gorgon, Bishop, and Magik) who are the nation's generals.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Moira's mutant powers is essentially this, restarting her life back to the womb when she dies, and she has been using lives 4-10 to create a perfect timeline for mutantkind.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Unlike many prior comics, the many moral gray areas of the conflict between mutants and humans are highlight. The mutants are just trying to live a peaceful life on Krakoa, but are resorting to increasingly ruthless Realpolitik to achieve that, including giving amnesty to villains like Magneto, Mystique, and Sabretooth, with some of them even being open about wanting to Take Over the World. Orchis and the Man-Machine Supremacy work to destroy mutantkind, but only out of a not-entirely-unjustified fear that mutants are trying to supplant them, and many of them aren’t entirely on-board with the anti-mutant crusade. The moral ambiguity is highlighted in House Of X #3 and 4, in which even the narrative itself schizophrenically bounces back and forth on who it’s rooting for. One second, you’re watching the heroic X-Men courageously sacrifice themselves to foil the evil Orchis. The next, you’re watching the valiant forces of Orchis bravely fight off an invasion by the ruthless X-Men, despite being greatly outmatched.
  • Guilt by Association: A big part of what makes Xavier’s current beliefs so questionable. Nobody can deny that mutants have faced oppression and abuse from many humans over the years, but does that justify lumping the millions of innocent humans who were ambivalent or even supportive towards mutants in with all the bigots like William Stryker and the Trasks?
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Cypher's ability to instantly understand languages has been widely mocked for being completely useless. Aside from the many times he's shown that this isn't useless for many years, he makes his best showing of it yet: he creates an entire computer language to monitor the traffic of the Krakoan network and develops a unique language that only mutants can read. This is instrumental in establishing the new status quo being set by the comic, and only he could've done that.
    • Likewise, Goldballs' ability to generate, well... gold balls, was dismissed as a worthless power. Then House of X #5 revealed that the balls he creates were actually unviable biological eggs, and — in conjunction with the powers of Proteus, Elixir, Tempus, and Hope Summers — his mutant ability is a key factor in bringing deceased mutants Back from the Dead.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Things are so bad in the Year 100 timeline that Apocalypse has become the Big Good of the team, though it’s made clear he's still a monster; that timeline just ended up so awful that he came to be considered A Lighter Shade of Black.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
  • Hidden Depths: Inverted with Magneto, who for once doesn't quote Shakespeare or the Bible, but paraphrases a German proverb that is usually translated as: "Tomorrow, tomorrow, not today, all the lazy people say."
  • Hidden Elf Village: Krakoa, a nation that only mutants can reside in. Humans must have permission from higher authorities to visit, and are unable to live there. Similarly, beings of other superpowered origins (such as mutates) like the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man also fall under this restriction. The only two known exceptions thus far of non-mutants living on Krakoa is the alien dragon Lockheed (more of a Team Pet than an actual individual of his own) and the techno-organic alien Warlock (considered a "mutant" of a sort for being different than the other members of his race). Notably, this restriction even appears to extend to past friends, allies and team members that weren't actually mutants; Omega Sentinel, a former member of the X-Men but not a mutant, was not extended the ability to reside there, which may partly explain why she now works against them as part of Orchis.
  • Hive Mind:
    • Various types are explained about in Powers of X #2. It's hinted that Xavier's grand plan is to turn mutantkind into one. Humankind eventually created a hive mind called Nimbus housed in Nimrod the Lesser that is similar to the Supremor Kree AI intellligence. This is called the Worldmind. One step above the worldbuild is a Phalanx which is a galactic level intelligence that drinks Worldminds like milkshakes. Powers of X #5 takes this Up to Eleven with the Titans: Civilizations of such size and complexity that their combined intellect collapsed spacetime; And with the Strongholds and Dominions: Higher forms of thought that use Titans as "building units". These sentiences only fear threats on the level of Galactus and the Phoenix Force.
    • The Cardinals, mentioned in Powers of X #1 as the third incarnation of Sinister's mutant breeding program, is a non-telepathic version.
    • Sinister himself averts this trope with his clones.
  • How We Got Here: Xavier's "To me, my X-Men." opening sequence in House of X #1 where we see X-Men being born from Krakoa pods. It's finally explained in House of X #5 that this is the rebirth of Cyclops & his deceased team who were killed in House of X #4 during their mission to destroy Mother Mold.
  • Hulking Out: Faced with an onrushing bunch of Orchis goons, Monet shoves Jean into an escape pod, and goes to fight the goons, turning into Penance and ripping them to shreds. For a time, at least.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Many mutants have come to believe this about humanity as a whole, particularly in Year 100 where, when given the choice of co-existing with mutants or exterminating them by subjugating themselves before machine overlords, they seemingly chose the latter. The narrative itself, however, refuses to condemn humanity and shows that they have understandable reasons for many of their actions, as well as that mutants don’t exactly have the moral high ground either.
    Rasputin: You've forgotten that machines have no soul and that the humans lost theirs a long time ago.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In House of X #3, Emma and two of the Cuckoos go to retrieve Sabretooth from Project Achilles. One of the Cuckoos refers to Emma by her real name and is chided that they should use code names in public. Immediately after, she refers to Sabretooth by his real name of Victor, leading to the other Cuckoo to chide her.
  • I'll Take That as a Compliment: When Moira informs Xavier that he never changed, he thanks her, only for her to inform him that that was the flaw in the plan, every time.
  • Immune to Fate: Destiny can't see Moira at all, she can just see reality bending around her.
  • Immunity Attrition: When Sabretooth starts getting a little too uppity during his trial, Emma Frost uses her psychic powers to try and make him quiet down... only for Victor to resist it (though with obvious difficulty). But then Jean Grey joins in and Sabretooth shuts down, unable to fight off the combined influence of two psychics.
  • Info Dump: In typical Hickman fashion, a couple are placed throughout House of X to help new readers get a handle on the massive amount of lore tied to the X-Men in short order, while also providing context to older readers about the changes that are being put into place (such as the reclassification of the "Omega-Level Mutant" designation).
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Moira used a few loops to get away from the Sentinels, even trying to murder the Trasks to do so. Even after she murdered the Trasks, she learned that those stupid machines are always inevitable as robotics and AI are like fire to prehistoric mankind.
    • On one of Moira's previous lives, the Avengers World project was still formed despite the radically different timeline. Still didn't help them.
  • Irony: Cypher and Sage’s conversation about how cynicism should be left in the past and how Krakoa should give people hope for the future; as revealed by Powers Of X #6 shows that the whole situation with Krakoa only came about because of the fatalistic Moira trying to destroy Charles Xavier’s hope for mankind and make him as cynical as her.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The Quiet Council serves all these functions, and they prefer to get it all over with within about ten minutes.
  • Jerkass: Emma Frost is as haughty and unpleasant as ever, not only cheerfully helping Sabretooth get off the hook for his crimes, but cruelly threatening and taunting everyone in the courtroom as she does.
  • Karma Houdini: In order to get as many mutants on Krakoa as possible, many mutant super-villains have been given amnesty, whether deserved or not.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Sabretooth is hit with this. When he, Mystique, and Toad steal data from Damage Control and get caught red-handed by the Fantastic Four, Mystique and Toad escape, but Sabretooth is captured. Cyclops comes to claim him on grounds of amnesty, but the Four won't release him. Cyclops backs down to avoid a fight, but notes it will be dealt with another time. Later, Creed stands trial for his crimes and smilingly pleads guilty for everything before saying he's not done killing yet. Emma comes to claim him due to his amnesty, successfully threatening the humans into submission and taking a remorseless Creed back to Krakoa... Where he is then tried for his crimes. One of the laws of Krakoa are then establish that mutants cannot kill humans, and while Sabretooth would typically get away with the Grandfather Clause excuse, he's still found guilty for breaking Magneto's explicit orders to not kill anyone on the Damage Control mission. And so, he faces mutant justice by being dropped into the depths of Krakoa.
  • Kick the Dog: When Destiny wants to teach Moira what it would be like to die in a painful way, she decides the best way is to get Pyro to set her on fire, and specifically instructs him to do so slowly so she'll remember it in the fetus in her next cycle.
  • Kill 'Em All: Powers of X #3 ends with all of the characters dying, but not before Moira X gets crucial information necessary to defeat the Sentinels in her tenth lifetime.
  • Kirby Dots: The particles that make up this trope are officially given a name in-universe as "Kirbons" by Nimrod the Greater.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The fourth scene of House of X #1 features Cypher and Sage talking about how cynicism needs to be left in the past and that hope is now present. This is pretty clearly a reference to the recent X-Men years, where the X-Men faced extinction on two separate occasions.
  • Literal-Minded: In House of X #5, when Apocalypse savors his reunion with Krakoa.
    Wolverine: Making yourself a little too comfortable there, aren't we, pal?
    Apocalypse: Comfortable is... An inadequate word. But yes, I am comfortable.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: As expected for X-Men, which has always featured a large cast, as well as Hickman, who loves working with them. The first issue alone jumps between numerous characters and that isn't even close to the full amount.
  • Logical Weakness: Moira is reborn again in an alternate timeline thanks to her powers, effectively meaning she can't die by any means. However, this only works after said powers manifest at the age of 13. If she dies before then, it's for real. Destiny, who can see possible futures and thus could find Moira, threatens that this fate will befall Moira if she tries to invent a mutant cure again, before having Pyro immolate her.
  • Longevity Treatment:
    • Downplayed. The X-Men have a drug that increases human lifespan... By a whole 5 years. However, it's really a bargaining chip for them to get leverage on world governments through trade.
    • In her sixth life Moira used a transfusion of Wolverine's blood to extend her lifespan into centuries.
  • Loophole Abuse: The advanced Sentinel, Nimrod, has grown increasingly more horrified and disenchanted about the atrocities the Man-Machine alliance has been doing. He's also hardwired to kill mutants, but no one said he's got to give them permadeath. So he's been killing mutants but putting their consciousness and DNA in safe storage until a time when they can be resurrected.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Prior to release, it wasn't clear why Powers of X was referred to as "Powers of Ten". However, the reasoning becomes clear from page one: each "power" corresponds to a certain time period after a certain point; namely, Year One (100), Year Ten (101), Year One Hundred (102), and Year One Thousand (103). Likewise, the species intelligence of society as defined by Powers of X #2 and #5 are measured in powers of ten.
    • "Destiny" is the codename of Irene (Greek for "peace") Adler (German for "eagle"). But "Moira"? It means destiny.
  • Meaningful Rename: Monet taking back her Penance alias. In House of X #4, she reveals she can change into her Penance form at will.
  • Mechanical Abomination: The Phalanx are depicted as such, and other Hive Minds like them are indicated to be even more eldritch in nature.
  • Mega-Corp: The Hellfire Club/Corporation under Emma Frost has become Krakoa’s equivalent of the East India Trading Company, a comparison she herself makes.
  • Me's a Crowd: Following off Kieron Gillen’s run, Mister Sinister’s cloning has gone so far that he’s practically a society unto himself.
  • Mindrape: Discussed by Xavier during the UN meeting.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: After three consecutive lives end with her and the X-Men being killed by Sentinels or supplanted by post-humans, Moira becomes convinced that humanity is inherently destructive and must be destroyed for the sake of all mutants. She dedicates her seventh life assassinating the Trask family to stop the Sentinels from being invented, only for her efforts to be ultimately futile. Her eighth life is spent radicalizing Magneto even more to get him to do so, only for the Avengers and X-Men to stop him. Her ninth life is spent doing the same with Apocalypse, which naturally goes too far and results in the other Bad Future seen in Powers of X. On her tenth life, she snaps out of it and decides to give coexistence another whirl, but does so in a different manner than before; giving mutants their own nation in the form of Krakoa.
  • Mis-blamed: In-Universe. Bolivar Trask is once again, rather unfairly, given the blame for every mutant death caused by a Sentinel, purely because he invented the technology. This includes the destruction of Genosha, something that happened after Trask had been dead for years and which was committed by Cassandra Nova, a Mummudrai.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: In Powers of X #1, it's revealed that in the future, Mister Sinister is allowed to clone and mix-and-match mutant DNA to create "Chimeras", mutants that don't just have one power, but multiple powers from multiple sources. For example, Rasputin has steel skin like Colossus, phasing like Kitty Pryde, telepathy like Quentin Quire, rapid healing like X23, and force-fields like Unus the Untouchable.
  • Moral Dissonance: A big part of what's worsening tensions between humans and mutants; how are humans supposed to react when so many mutants seem to treat their powers and Krakoa like a “I can do whatever I want and get away it” card, while also condemning and threatening any humans who do similar things? This becomes especially blatant when we get a list of people who committed major anti-mutant crimes, which conveniently leaves out any mutant-on-mutant crimes, as well as any mutant-on-human ones.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Professor Xavier, as noted by Moira, with said vice being Pride.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Dazzler uses her sound-to-light abilities combined with Siryn's screaming to create fireworks!
    • Not at first sight, but when you think about it, all Moira uses her power to do is collect information to use in the next timeline, which won't directly benefit anyone she knows in her at-the-time life.
    • Magneto fashoning teacups out of metal.
  • Never Heard That One Before: At the meeting, Magneto discovers that one of the other ambassadors, Reilly Marshall, is carrying a gun. After disassembling it, and then holding Marshall in the air, he tries to make a defense. Magneto isn't impressed.
    Marshall: I wasn't going to use it... it was for my protection!
    Magneto: Of course. That's how it always starts.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Downplayed with the Quiet Council. We are treated to some verbal sparring between Sinister and Exodus, and some none-too-gentle needling of Nightcrawler by Mystique, but for the most part everybody is on the same page. That said, we also see that the members have their own ideas and their own priorities, even before we remember that some of them absolutely loathe each other and in some cases have done so for centuries, and only the threat of a planet united against them will keep them united for long.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Magneto makes it very clear that Xavier's olive branch is completely and totally non-negotiable.
  • Older Than They Look: By the time we get to the present timeline, Moira has to have around 1500 years worth of experience.
  • Once More, with Clarity!:
    • In issue #1 of Powers of X, during their first meeting, Charles Xavier tells Moira MacTaggert about his dream, at which point Moira reveals she knows all about him, and tells him to read her mind. In issue #2 of House of X, we see that Moira had actually lived nine previous lives, and she's letting Xavier see all of mutantkind's tribulations through her memories. In Powers of X #6 we learn what he saw in the X3 timeline, and we finally get why Moira got so much more motivated starting with life seven.
    • In issue #1 of House of X, we see Xavier surrounded with various mutants, proclaiming "To me, my X-Men". In issue #5, we see that those mutants are actually the revived X-Men who sacrificed themselves destroying Mother Mold.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Eric tells Lorna that the one progressive thing humans did was stop roaming as nomads and start civilization.
  • The Pardon: Any and all mutants are welcome on Krakoa, including villains. When The Fantastic Four captures Creed, Cyclops comes out of the portal to take him back on grounds of amnesty. note 
  • Peggy Sue: Moira's power. Her personal timeline keeps getting reset.
  • Portal Network: Krakoa now has a type of flower that grows in an arch that teleports whoever it wishes to a paired flower in a remote location. They'll automatically transport mutants, but humans need mutants to ask permission to travel to the main island itself.
  • Production Foreshadowing: One of the events mentioned in the timeline given in House of X is a second Annihilation Wave. As of the time the series began, there'd only been one Annihilation Wave. Then Marvel announced Annihilation was getting a sequel.
  • Properly Paranoid: The end of House of X #1 reveals that a group known as "Orchis", comprised of members of S.H.I.E.L.D., S.W.O.R.D., H.A.M.M.E.R., Alpha Flight, and others, are in the process of building new Sentinels. Seeing as Magneto is essentially telling the countries of the world "Yeah, we're gonna surpass you and we're having this world, but you can have it if you be good", egos and fears are already flaring up.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Moira seems to believe this, and with reason.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Deconstructed. The mutants are the protagonists of the story, and the morality is very much in favor of them as the mutants are the majority of what we see. However, this has clear effects outside of it, and creates issues when they try to impose that on others. In House of X #1, Cyclops comes in to take Sabretooth back to Krakoa on the grounds of amnesty — despite Sabretooth committing a bunch of crimes including murder. Mr. Fantastic, who isn't a mutant but doesn't possess the anti-mutant prejudices of others, is very much against giving Sabretooth a pardon just for being a mutant. He successfully prevents it, but Cyclops' indicates it's only a delay. Outside of that, there's all the moral ambiguity that's pragmatic at best, with mutants (heroic or otherwise) proclaiming themselves superior and being presented as such, and again it's treated as good from their point of view, but definitely not the others. This is, however, later addressed when the Quiet Council enacts new laws for Krakoa, and Sabretooth is imprisoned for breaking the first law established; Magneto gave him specific orders not to kill prior to the mission, which he deliberately disobeyed.
  • Psychic Static: The ambassadors attempt such a thing to keep out their intentions from psychics, but the Cuckoos are able to pierce through, save for one who is a little tougher to crack.
  • Puberty Superpower: Deconstructed. Moira’s reincarnation powers only properly activate at age thirteen... causing Destiny to threaten that if Moira acts against mutant interests again in subsequent lives, Destiny will cause a Final Death by hunting her down and murdering her as a infant.
  • Pun-Based Title: The titular "Powers of X" are the powers of 10. The unknown factor is the roman numeral ten.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Mr. Sinister when he first meets Xavier and Magneto:
    "Stop. Before either of you says a word I want to make one thing perfectly clear. I. Love. That. Cape."
  • Put on a Bus: Sabretooth is imprisoned within Krakoa for the crimes he committed while breaking into Damage Control.
  • Reconstruction: The story does this to the Fantastic Racism that's core to the series. For a long time, humans have hated mutants, and while this was the basis of many excellent stories during the X-Men's heyday, it eventually fell stale and became something of The Artifact as later writers were unable to move it forward, either by getting passed it or doing any sort of new take. House and Powers go to great lengths to make it work, to explain why it's so, and to justify why each and all sides feel this way. For one, there's a large amount of Gray-and-Grey Morality, in that the mutants are less sympathetic and the humans are more sympathetic than before, and yet neither side is favored by the narrative. It also factors in the presence of mutates, or non-mutant superpowered beings such as the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man. The narrative addresses the differences between them and mutants, even if superficial, and why the mutants getting hit with Fantastic Racism but not the mutates leads to them being part of the issue as well, as mutates are on the outside of mutant culture and in the same boat as baseline humansnote . It's clear the story sets out to refit the themes of the old and make them work in a modern setting.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted, the X-Men come up with 3 pieces of technology (including a longevity drug and a universal vaccine) that may change human civilization and they mass-market it for political power that does alter the course of history.
  • Reincarnation: Moira has the power to reincarnate. When she dies, her consciousness transports across space and time to her fetus, allowing her memories of her previous life fully formed upon birth. This allows her to live in a nested time crunch by which time moves differently around her, which explains some parts of Comic-Book Time. It also makes her an almost invisible mutant, albeit someone Destiny can detect provided she knows where to look. Likewise, Moira isn't immortal. She can be killed as a baby before her mutant gene activates, ending her cycle of reincarnations. Destiny promises that Moira has at best 10 lives, maybe 11 for good behavior before she dies for good.
  • Religious Bruiser: Nightcrawler, as per usual, which gets him cruelly mocked by some of the other mutants, though he tries his best to pretend it doesn’t bother him.
  • Retcon:
    • For as powerful as Magneto is, he's always been listed as a "mere" Alpha-level mutant until now, where Hickman officially classified him as Omega-level.
    • Another one in House of X #2, Dr. Moira Kinross MacTaggert, the human ally of the X-Men, has been a mutant the whole time. She has the power to reincarnate, having lived multiple lives and her path crossing several times with mutantkind in different times.
    • Powers of X #2 has another huge one: Professor X and Magneto have always been allies, and many of the conflicts between them and their respective allies occurred to help enact a larger plan. Powers of X #3 indicates that there was still a schism in ideologies between the two of them and Moira, although it seems like the plan came back together by the time of House of X #1.
    • The relationship of the Phalanx and Technarchy has been flipped on its head. Originally, the Phalanx were rogue Technarch colonies that would instinctively build a Babel Spire, which summoned the Technarchy to wipe them out. Now, the Phalanx are the pinnacles of machine intelligence, with the Technarchy a few orders of magnitude below - and there are multiple technarchs, each one believing they are unique.
    • As revealed in Powers of X #4, Mr. Sinister has always been a mutant as opposed to being a human empowered by Apocalypse's technology, although Apocalypse still presumably helped him realize his potential. Oh, and he has a part to play in the secret alliance between Professor X and Magneto, although he isn't aware of it at first thanks to Professor X's mind control powers.
    • Cerebro is revealed to have had a secret primary function - oh, sure, it still detected mutants, but its real purpose is to copy the minds of any mutant it detects so that it can be returned to its body should the mutant die.
  • The Reveal:
    • House of X #2 begins with one so massive that Marvel refused to release a preview of the issue. It's that Moira MacTaggert is a mutant with the ability to live ten lives from her birth onwards, and that Xavier's current plan is based on her ideas from all ten iterations of her life.
    • Powers of X #3 reveals that the 100 year future segments have been in the ninth loop of Moira's life, not the future of the House of X loop. It also casually reveals that Professor X, Moira MacTaggert, and Magneto had a schism in ideologies in the current timeline, although this was seemingly resolved by the events of House of X #1.
    • House of X #5 opens by revealing that while Cerebro is designed to locate mutants, it's primary function is to copy and store the minds of every mutant it locates so that Professor X can return inside the revived body of the mutant should they die.
    • Powers of X #6 shows that that the X3 segments have been taking place in the heretofore unseen sixth loop of Moira's life, and the blue people are actually future humans who have technologically uplifted themselves - mutants may naturally evolve to replace humanity, but for the evolution itself to happen, mutants must be relevant. Humanity defeated the mutants by making them irrelevant.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The X-Men of Year 100 are basically terrorists fighting a brutal and ruthless war against the Man-Machine Ascendancy. Among other things, we see them blow up a church as a distraction.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: According to the notes in Powers of X #1, Mister Sinister defected to the Man-Machine Supremacy after creating a final traitorous batch of mutants, where he was promptly executed.
  • Rotating Protagonist: There's not a set main character of these storylines and instead shifts focus around as needed.
    • House of X #1 alternates between different places. The most prominent characters are Xavier, Magneto, Marvel Girl and Cyclops. They are far from the only ones, though.
    • Powers of X #1 is primarily focused on Rasputin, who is loosely The Hero of the Powers timeline.
    • House of X #2 is set squarely around the point of view of Moira MacTaggert.
  • Rule of Three:
    • According to Powers of X #2 and #5, there are three tiers of society types defined by species intelligence (SI): planetary, galactic, and universal. Each tier is defined by three types of societies each: planetary societies include Machine (SI: 100), Hive (SI: 101), and Intelligence (SI: 102 to 103); galactic societies include Technarch (SI: 104), Worldmind (SI: 105), and Phalanx (SI: 106); and universal societies include Titan (SI: 107), Stronghold (SI: 108), and Dominion (SI: undefined).
    • The Council makes exactly three laws.
  • Scenery Porn: Krakoa is quite a lush place to look at, and the comic takes every chance to show it off.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Also goes into Put on a Bus with Sabretooth who is swallowed up by Krakoa to spend his life in conscious stasis.
  • Shoot the Dog: After two consecutive lives end in the Sentinels killing all the X-Men, Moira tries to prevent their existence the only way she can think of; brutally murdering the entire Trask family to ensure none of them get a chance to invent the Sentinels. It doesn't work; the Sentinels are just built by someone else.
  • She Is the King: The redacted name of Kitty Pryde is listed as the Red King.
  • Shout-Out: Nobody puts Sinister in a corner.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Xavier tries to recruit Namor and implores him to come be with his fellow mutants, the Sub-Mariner is supremely unimpressed, saying he can tell Xavier is full of it and to piss off until he can pay Namor the respect Namor feels he’s owed.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: After all that she’s suffered and seen over her many lifetimes, Moira is a deeply cynical and misanthropic woman who believes that Xavier’s idealism and All-Loving Hero status is what allowed everything to go wrong in her previous lives. So she’s spent the past decades of this life wearing him down, trying to prove that Humans Are Bastards and make him see things her way. And by doing so, she may have created Onslaught in the process, thanks to the obvious negative effects this had on Xavier’s emotional and mental health.
  • So Proud of You: Used to highlight how questionable Xavier’s current path is. You know you’re in murky water when Apocalypse is gleefully saying he’s proud of your work. What’s even worse is that this doesn’t spark an Your Approval Fills Me with Shame moment in Xavier; if anything, he seems happy about getting Apocalypse’s approval...
  • Snap Back:
    • Jean wears her classic Marvel Girl costume and even uses the code name again.
    • Karima Shapandar is now Omega Sentinel again.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Sabretooth spent many years as a hero after AXIS, but was lobotomized at the end of Weapon X. Now, he's back to being a Card-Carrying Villain and wearing a variation of his classic Jim Lee costume.
    • Emma Frost killed Shaw and took his mantle as Black King in X-Men Black: Emma Frost while dawning a black outfit. Here, she's the White Queen again. This one did receive an explanation as Magneto and Xavier decided Emma should serve as the public face of Hellfire, but needed Shaw to come back to do their dirtier work behind the scenes. Emma is even lightly befuddled when they bring up this request, noting in a Beat panel that she just got rid of him.
    • Jean Grey has gone back to her Marvel Girl persona and costume.
    • Monet has gone back to her Penance and appears to be merged back with the form, being able to transform whenever she pleases.
  • Stealth Insult: Not too stealthy, but Cyclops tells Reed Richards and Sue Storm to tell Franklin, their mutant son, that he "has family" on Krakoa.
  • Soft Reboot: The new Krakoa status quo is introduced and serves as a launch point for several series, with other series exploring its many facets and its resurrection protocols allowing for dead characters to return. Characters very rarely make explicit reference to prior continuity — though they still do, occassionally — and there's a time jump that distances the current stories from the most recent X-stories. The well-worn idea of mutants being hated and feared is paid lip-service but gives way to distrust of Krakoa specifically as a political entity, while mutants going extinct is used to motivate the new status quo, rather than as the status quo.
  • Something Completely Different: Usually, the info dumps presented in these two series contain lore and retcons to the X-Men mythology. Powers of X #4 still has this, but it also has blind items from Mr. Sinister thrown in.
  • Sour Supporter:
    • It quickly becomes apparent that Cyclops isn't totally on-board with Professor X's new methods and the whole situation with Krakoa, especially when he's given the order to raid Orchis' space station and told to “do whatever it takes”. Tellingly, he immediately contradicts those orders to his team, telling them to use minimum force against the Orchis forces and to not harm any civilians. He’s later joined in this by Wolverine, who is not pleased with Professor X recruiting so many supervillains into Krakoa.
    • Nimrod the Lesser does not like waging war against the mutants and increasingly expresses his resentment of humans for building him for that purpose. Not only does he abuse loopholes to make it so many of the mutants he kills can be revived later, but in Year 1000 he flat out switches sides.
  • Split Timelines Plot: The twist behind the X2 time period depicted in Powers of X is revealed in the third issue to be that it takes place during Moira's ninth life. In Powers of X #6, it's then revealed that the X3 time period is in Moira's sixth life.
  • Suicide Attack: Erasmus destroys the X-Jet with one, which kills Archangel and Husk and critically injures other members of the team.
  • Suicide Mission:
    • Powers of X #3 focuses entirely on the first of the two Bad Future timelines, and how Apocalypse's X-Men have to steal some critical information and deliver it to Moira X. They all die, but accomplish their mission before Moira's life is extinguished.
    • House of X #3-4, likewise, focus on Cyclops and his squad of mutants infiltrating the Orchis space station to destroy the Mother Mold before it goes online. They all die, but barely manage to thwart Orchis' plan.
  • Super Breeding Program: It's implied in a diary entry of Moira that Proteus and David Haller's powers were deliberately engineered from her and Xavier's respective genetics out of an apparent need for a Reality Warper mutant. Well, she got what she wanted, took long enough for her to get it to work for her.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: While played straight in the House of X timeline (aside from the Fantastic Four having a brief appearance in the first issue), this is averted in a number of alternate timelines, such as when an alliance of Avengers and other superheroes kill Magneto in Moira's eighth life, or when a number of Avengers are slaughtered by Apocalypse and his Horsemen in her ninth life. The vast majority of the cast in these series are unsurprisingly mutant and mutant-adjacent characters.
  • Superpower Lottery: The term "Omega-level mutant" is expanded upon via a chart. It means a mutant who's said to register — or reach — an undefinable upper limit of that power's specific classification. Using two examples, Magneto and Forge, as both are the two most powerful mutants of their types (magnetism and technopathy), but what makes Magneto Omega-level while Forge isn't, is that Magneto's specific power cannot be surpassed, whereas Forge's can (and has) been surpassed by non-mutants, such as Tony Stark. In short, an Omega-level mutant is the top-tier of their ability. The chart lists a number of Omega-level mutants, all of whom are different flavors and different levels of grotesquely overpowered:
  • Spiritual Successor: Hickman admitted that House of X is one to House of M, and the title is a direct shout-out to that event. Likewise, one of the settlements inside Krakoa is identified as "House of M".
  • Take That!: House of X #2 showcases a bit of the X-Men team's history in a few panels, with the period of time showcasing the original Uncanny X-Men team and the Giant Size X-Men team collectively being referred to as "the gifted years". Meanwhile, a panel showcasing the Phoenix Five is not looked at so fondly in-universe, being labeled as "the lost decade". This is likely a Leaning on the Fourth Wall-heavy jab toward everything that happened between the end of Joss Whedon and Warren Ellis's runs on Astonishing X-Men to the current run, which represents about a decade of stories, whereas it's established that only a decade has passed since the X-Men were founded in-universe, and in each of Moira's lifetimes the X-men seem to last about ten years whichever path they go down.
  • Take That Me: Magneto thinks the Winter section of the Council is… complicated.
    Magneto: It's where we parked all of our problem mutants. Besides myself, of course.
  • Tarot Motifs: At the fair, Moira notes the cards The Magician (Rasputin), The Tower (of Nimrod the Lesser), and The Devil (who bears an astonishing resemblance to Cardinal).
  • Technological Singularity: Taken to a literal level in Powers of X #5 where the Titan theory is discussed; it proposes that there are galactic civilizations that grew to develop technology from manipulating fundamental particles and became so advanced that their society collapsed spacetime. To the rest of the universe they appear to be black holes. Even further, it's stated that the Phalanx, who consume worldminds, are descended from these civilizations as proxies for assimilating information and that there may be a level where multiple black holes are these beings networking.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Officially, all the mutants on Krakoa are a family, united by their shared vision of the future. In reality, anyone with a brain can see that the various superheroes and villains on Krakoa are merely tolerating each other for the sake of their own goals. Highlighted during the Quiet Council’s first meeting, in which everybody present is more or less on the same page... but are also hurling some vicious verbal jabs at one another, such as Mystique nastily taunting Nightcrawler (her own son!) for his religious beliefs.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Moira tries this a few times. One time she tried to cure mutantkind seeing them as a curse. Another time after seeing Xavier's dream fail and get crushed, she turned to back Magneto only for him to lose, and lose badly, against the combined Avengers and X-Men team-up. The time after that, she backed Apocalypse.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: One of the laws that Mutants pass is that they cannot kill human beings unless it is in self-defense. Killing mutants is perfectly fine, though, since there's a means to resurrect them.
  • Time Skip:
    • An unspecified amount of time has passed since Uncanny X-Men (2018), and there have been many changes since.
    • Powers of X #1 explicitly takes place in four different time periods, give or take a few years/timelines:
      • X0: Year One (The Dream) — Set about ten years in the past, this is when Xavier and Moira MacTaggert first meet. This is set over a period of time during Chris Claremont's run.
      • X1: Year Ten (The World) — This is the present day of House of X and Powers of X.
      • X2: Year One Hundred (The War) — Roughly ninety years in the future, as the remaining mutants fight against the "Man-Machine Supremacy." In actuality, this takes place in Moira X's ninth lifetime.
      • X3: Year One Thousand (Ascension) — Approximately nine hundred and ninety years in the future, as Post-Humans, who are the future of humanity, are now the dominant species and the remaining mutants live in "the Preserve." This takes place in Moira X's sixth life.
    • House of X #2 jumps through significant moments from Moira's life. And the nine other iterations of said life.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Subverted. The timeline we are familiar with is stated to have happened in Moira's fourth life, but implied to have also happened in her tenth life, so it seems likely that it went or would have gone that way without her interference every time, and so she is not creating new timelines so much as resetting the old one.
  • Truce Zone: Officially, Krakoa is this for all mutants. Everyone, regardless of legal status (hero, villain or whatever), can live on Krakoa so long as they don't cause trouble there. However, the amnesty offered only extends so far, and seems to be something revoked if it would cause too much trouble with others, such as Sabretooth's arrest by the Fantastic Four.
  • Unexplained Recovery: A number of dead characters are alive once again starting with House of X #1, with the comic not stopping to explain how so many characters have returned. It's not until House of X #5 that the means by which the X-Men are resurrected are fully revealed: a combination of the powers of five mutants (Goldballs, Proteus, Elixir, Tempus, and Hope Summers) are able to create pods that can gestate into duplicates of fallen mutants. Cerebro, which has been secretly been gathering extensive data on all mutants since its inception, can then be used to fully revitalize their consciousnesses, resurrecting them.
  • The Un-Reveal: House of X #6 finally shows Professor X in the present day without Cerebro on, and the back of his head looks normal... But with the front of his face, nothing from the nose-up is visible.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It’s implied that Moira may have been inadvertently responsible for the creation of Onslaught, as she spent years destroying Professors X’s hopefulness and faith in humanity, fracturing his mind to try and bring him around to her point of view.
  • Wham Shot: The last set of charts in House of X #6 reveals another Krakoa growing in the Atlantic.
  • Wham Episode: Hickman's reading order at the end of his issues marks out in red certain issues that lay on the wham. Marked in red are House of X #2 and #5, and Powers of X #6, indicating that the issues contain some of the most crucial events for the future of the series.
    • House of X #2 lives up to the advertising with the reveal that Moira has been a mutant for a long time and she has the power to reincarnate and has lived and died nine times before her current 616 lifetime.
    • Powers of X #3 reveals that the events of X2: Year One Hundred occurred during the ninth life of Moira.
    • House of X #4 ends with Mother Mold being destroyed... At the cost of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Archangel, Husk, Penance, and Mystique all dying.
    • House of X #5 brings back all the mutants that died in #4... by revealing that for the past decades, Xavier has been using Cerebro to make backups of the minds of every single mutant and has figured out how to combine the powers of five mutants to create new bodies for them, meaning he can not only resurrect any mutant at will, but aims to eventually resurrect all of the 16.5 million mutants that died on Genosha. And at the end, Xavier warmly greets even more amnestied villains... including Mr. Sinister, Exodus, and Apocalypse.
    • Powers of X #6 not only reveals that the events of X3: Year One Thousand occurred during the sixth life of Moira, but also that the reason he had opened her mind to Xavier is to extinguish his ideals.
  • What an Idiot!: In-universe, Emma rips into Charles and Magneto when they reveal the Krakoa idea to her — the last time an enormous population of mutants were on a self-governing island did not go well.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Debated by the X-Men who go on the Orchis raid. Cyclops, Jean, and Nightcrawler defy this and go out of their way to spare as many mooks as possible, pointing out that most of them are just normal people fighting for a misguided cause. Wolverine, Mystique, and Monet are far more ruthless and pragmatic, coldly killing any enemy that hinders the mission.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Wolverine chews into Professor X for inviting supervillains to Krakoa like any other mutants, even monstrously evil ones like Emplate and Apocalypse.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Destiny implies that she sees Moira dying before her powers activate at age thirteen in her twelfth life, but promises that if she is not "good", Destiny herself will kill Moira in her eleventh life before her powers activate.
    • In Moira's seventh life, she eradicates the Trask bloodline. Every last one of them.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: A minor one in House of X #5, as unless Krakoa takes weekends off, an average of 200 a day would yield more than 1000 resurrections a week.
    • Not to mention how this doesn't fit with the prediction that Krakoa could produce two million mutants in a year.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: In the course of her ten lives, Moira discerns several events that seemingly always happen, no matter what she does to alter the timeline. The most prominent being that the X-Men are always formed, mutants and humans always have some kind of conflict, and the Sentinels are always created.

    X-Men (2019) 
  • Accidental Misnaming: In #5, Laura is quick to remind Cyclops that she remains Wolverine after All-New Wolverine. The dialogue almost seems to be directed toward the audience and editors as well.
    Cyclops: ...X-23, who, like Wolverine—
    Laura: Actually, I'm Wolverine.
    Logan: You tell 'em, kiddo.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Apocalypse. While it's not hard to see that he has his own morally-questionable agenda that he's advancing by playing along with the more noble goals of the X-Men (his plan all but stated to involve the resurrection the original Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their descendants), the comics have consistently showcased that he has Noble Demon traits and have established that he's interested in keeping the populace of Krakoa alive, even though they include many of his traditional enemies. It's also implied that the threat that split Krakoa and Arrako — which pushed him to the absolute limit to stop last time — is a key reason as to why he joined the X-Men.
  • Anti-Villain: The Children of the Vault are a definite threat to mutantkind and humanity alike but ultimately are just doing what they were created to do by the scientists who brought them into existence: survive and try to thrive. May also count as a case of Blue-and-Orange Morality as the Children of the Vault have basically been born and grown up in an artificial world outside of normal time and so don't really comprehend the outside world notions of good and evil.
  • Author Appeal: Hickman's favorite X-Men comic is X-Men #1 by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee and this series is named just that, as opposed to Uncanny X-Men like is the norm.
  • Badass Boast: Apocalypse knows how to make them simple.
  • Badass Family: The first issue partly follows the assembled Summers family note  (and Wolverine) as they have a nice family picnic.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: In #4 Xavier, Magneto and Apocalypse go to a meeting of various ambassadors and state that they're going to make a global civilization for mutants not by bloodshed but by economically outcompeting everyone else. They outright state this is a strategy they learned from watching how human society endorsed it as a valid way to gain power.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Issue 5 ends with Laura, Darwin, and Synch trapped in the City with seemingly no way to escape.
  • Call-Back: Director Devo echoes the data page from House of X #4 "Look at what they have done" when overseeing the funeral procession of the Orchis personnel lost during that issue.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Downplayed. Scott refers to Synch's power as "a redundancy", in the "spare tire" sense, but Synch is slightly offended as it could be interpreted as "superfluous and therefore useless".
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Notably averted with Kid Cable, who casually addresses Jean and Scott as Mom and Dad.
  • Came Back Strong: Issue #7 reveals that depowered mutants regain their powers when resurrected after dueling to the death.
  • Canon Character All Along: Erasmus turns out to be a pre-robot Nimrod. Specifically, after his death, Doctor Gregor's attempts to bring him back lead to Nimrod's birth.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A cross-title one. The King Egg Rahne stole over in the Hickman-penned issues of New Mutants becomes important in issue #8. Turns out Corsair was going to flog it to a Kree Accuser, and the teeny-tiny little detail that it's a Brood King egg. And the Brood would very much like it back.
  • Cloning Blues: Kurt wonders if he should have this, seeing as his body is a clone with the original's memories. He's not sure if he has the original's soul.
  • Compelling Voice: Serafina's power.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • During the Davos meeting, Magneto mentions the law to not kill humans established in House of X.
    • In issue #8, the sequence dealing with Vulcan in the Fault mirror those used in Hickman's FF showing the survival of Black Bolt (i.e., the guy who killed Vulcan in the first place).
  • Cruel Mercy: Gorgon elects not to kill human agents because he has learned it's far better to simply outdo them and let them wallow in knowledge of their inferiority.
  • Cultural Posturing: In the world leader and ambassador meeting in #4 there is a passive-aggressive jab at Magneto when he makes a point quoting a human author, which he simply retorts is out of necessity because there aren't any notable mutant ones yet.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Professor X and Magneto manipulated Mystique into joining Krakoa by falsely promising to bring to Destiny back, which they won't do because of the issues her precognition could cause them. Except, to the surprise of nobody, Destiny's powers let her foresee them doing exactly that prior to her death, causing her to leave Mystique one instruction; if anybody promises to revive her but drag their feet on following through, destroy them.
  • Double Meaning:
    • Emma's "insult" about Jean having big feet also refers to hers being "big shoes to fill", as Emma mentioned periodically back when Jean was dead and she was with Scott.
    • Magneto and the Wakandan Attaché's conversation in the Switzerland meeting.
  • Duel to the Death: Depowered mutants who want to regain their powers through resurrection have to earn it by fighting Apocalypse one on one in what's called "Crucible." Apocalypse gives the fighter every opportunity to leave and remain human, only striking the killing blow when they prove themselves to him.
  • Eco-Terrorist: Four show up in issue #3.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Doctor Gregor is still in mourning after the death of her husband in House of X, but is resolved to continue her work for Orchis... especially since she's found a way to bring him back to life.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • A subversion: Karima and Director Devo both express disgust for the HYDRA members of ORCHIS given the fact that HYDRA is a Nazi organisation however their ultimate goal is to commit genocide against an entire species in the name of human supremacy, no different than what HYDRA leaders like the Red Skull or Baron Strucker have attempted in the past.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: When Cyclops, Storm, Magneto, and Polaris raid the last Orchis facility, the staff there use a mutagenic formula to devolve themselves into apemen as a desperate, last-ditch attempt to fight them off.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: What Krakoa and Arakko do when the former reaches the latter.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Just because Xavier's is a helmet with a glass X for his eyes, doesn't mean it doesn't have the same effect.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: The old ladies of Hordeculture, even though Edith feels it necessary to clarify what she meant by "a-word".
  • Heroic Build: Sven the yoga instructor from Sweden, who is said to be in better shape than Cyclops, seeing as Cyclops himself embodies this trope.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Professor X and Magneto sicced the X-Men on the Mother Mold facility to prevent Nimrod's creation. They just end up causing it; the death of Erasmus in the raid causes his grieving wife, Doctor Gregor, to create Nimrod in an attempt to revive him through transhumanism.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: There are a lot of ex-mutants who loathe and resent Wanda the Scarlet Witch for her mass-depowering of their race, and they are so desperate to return to being mutants that they are even willing to undergo the Crucible—which involves a Duel to the Death with Apocalypse before being resurrected in a clone-body with restored X-powers.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: A bioterrorist group naming itself Hordeculture. Not to mention that they're not opposed to sleeping with married men. Shaw picked up on it right away.
  • In Medias Res: The story begins in the middle of the X-Men's attack on the last Orchis compound on Earth.
  • Insistent Terminology: Magneto is quite adamant that Krakoa is not an island, it is a nation.
  • Irony: The Brazilian ambassador feels it's this that Magneto quotes Aldous Huxley, a distinctly human author.
    • Judging by his expression, Magneto finds it ironic that Cyclops is his security detail.
    • In a yelled conversation with himself, teen Cable points out that if he hadn't given his thermal grenade away, he wouldn't be needing it right now.
    • That mutants literally made it a law not to kill humans, while humans won't stop trying to kill mutants even during diplomatic meetings.
      Magneto: Yet here they come to kill us all, Charles. And all we've done to earn it is promise not to kill them. We even made it a law.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Wolverine is the only member of the Summer House who isn’t a direct family member to Cyclops. According to the floor plan, Logan, Jean, and Scott's rooms are clustered together with no walls in between them, suggesting a possible Relationship Upgrade for the three of them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Verbatim from Scott in issue five.
  • Mundane Solution: A horde of Brood is bearing down on Krakoa, after the King Egg that will give whoever wields it dominion over the entire swarm. Broo eats it.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The four representatives of Hordeculture we meet in issue #3 are all elderly women - who wield powerful organic technology and at least one of them wants to kill everyone on the planet.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Averted, as a couple of sheep went flying when Logan fought those shepherds in issue 5.
  • Not So Different: Director Devo comes off like a human version of Professor X in a lot of ways; a bald, charismatic Non-Action Guy and A Father to His Men.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: By the events of the first issue, the X-Men have destroyed all but one of the Orchis strongholds on Earth, and have started attacking the last one.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: We see part of the Orchis raid from House/Power Of X again, but this time from Mystique's perspective, revealing she had a secret objective the X-Men weren't made aware of; sneak one of Krakoa's portal flowers onto the station so she could come back post-revival and assassinate Dr. Gregor.
  • Organic Technology: In the embassy on the Moon that Scott is living on with his family they wash dishes using a hose grown by Krakoa that spews slime which eats up any bacteria or leftover food. This was a compromise from a previous attempt by Krakoa for them to use edible plates it grew that came with body modifying microorganisms for health benefits.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Vulcan has memories of his death from War of Kings
  • Polyamory: It's low-key hinted at regarding Scott, Jean and Logan. They share a connected room in Summer House, and Jean is very touchy with both. She even kissed Logan right in front of Scott, despite still being married to Scott and in a relationship with him, so it's either this or she is very inconsiderate. While over in the FF crossover, Emma and Scott flirt in front of everyone.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Somehow averted. See, the high summoner of Arakko doesn't know what a grenade is, so when Cable gifts him one, misunderstanding ensues.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Downplayed with Cable's reaction to the island sex scene.
    Cable: What. Was. That?
  • Selective Enforcement:
    • Humans are forbidden from Krakoa and any of its embassies unless a mutant vouches for them and asks Krakoa for permission... unless you happen to be Cyclops’ dad, who is given a Krakoa flower to plant aboard the Starjammer. Corsair evenly lightly chides Scott for this, repeatedly calling attention to his human nature during a father-son conversation.
    • That whole no killing humans law? Barely a few months after creating it, Professor X and Magneto try to make Mystique murder a human scientist. When she calls them out on it, Magneto states that there are exceptions, and they Gregor to be an exception because she’s seemingly destined to create Nimrod.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the first issue, characters mock Vulcan's very dramatic way of speaking and how pretentious and long-winded it is, which, given Hickman's way of writing dialogue and narration, feels like a self-aware jab at himself — especially since, in that issue, Vulcan is there purely for comic relief.
  • Slut-Shaming: Emma is on the receiving end of this in issue #3.
  • Son of an Ape: Comes up fairly often, but not usually derogatorily so much as just acknowledging a useful fact. Not that mutants actively deny being primates themselves, but that seems to be of no consequence to them.
    • At one point inverted:
      Magneto: The evolutionary throwbacks retained just enough of their humanity for things to quickly become tribal.
  • Soul Eating: Happily for all its inhabitants, Krakoa only nibbles since there's more than enough for it not to completely drain anyone. Selena and Emplate are kept around as contingencies monitoring if it ever goes beyond that, with contingencies also in place for them.
  • Sour Supporter: Cyclops is visibly uncertain about the new direction for mutants, despite his claims otherwise; he spends a lot of discussions about Krakoa insisting really hard that he agrees with everything going on with a forced smile on his face.
  • Story Arc: Subverted. While the other Dawn of X books get the ordinary kind, one plot lasting five or six issues, this one seems to be setting up a new plotline with every issue.
  • Suicide Is Shameful: Krakoa's policy is to not resurrect suicides, even if they would have come back in peak health with their powers intact, though whether that is retroactive (like the law they convicted Sabretooth by back in House of X) remains to be seen, as it is hinted that it is in place to prevent mass suicide by depowered mutants.
  • Superpower Lottery: Several Krakoans feel that Magneto won this, in addition to having the best body.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Storm remarks that the members of ORCHIS must really hate themselves to treat others horribly – in that particular case, locking living mutants in tubes to study them.
  • There Are No Therapists: For once in the Marvel universe, inverted. When the Orchis prisoners arrive on Krakoa, it is mentioned that empaths and certain telepaths serve this function.
  • Threesome Subtext: It didn't take long for Scott/Jean/Logan shippers to notice that, in the diagram of the Summers family house on the Moon, their rooms are next to each other and all have communicating doors. There are hints that Emma gets in on this open relationship, if indeed there is one.
  • Time Skip: An indeterminate amount of time has passed since the events of House and Powers Of X.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Invoked with the Crucible ritual. To prevent the strain on Krakoa's infrastructure of trying to handle the restoration-through-resurrection of all the mutants depowered by the Scarlet Witch, would-be "restorees" must instead complete the Crucible to earn that resurrection. This consists of a brutal Duel to the Death with Apocalypse, who verbally lambastes and berates them all the while, whilst also giving them every opportunity to surrender, be restored, and go back to a human life. Those who impress Apocalypse with their commitment are swiftly killed, and then revived.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Issue #2 ends with some kind of premonition about… something.
  • We'll See About That: Of a variant. When the Brood attack Krakoa, Jean points out that they are bound to lose people. Cyclops says he'll see what he can do about that.
  • Wham Shot: The final shot of issue 1; as a bereaved Dr. Gregor talks about figuring out a way to bring Erasmus back to life, she holds up a pink Data Crystal she’s apparently just created... one that looks just like Nimrod’s gem-shaped emblem...
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Continuing from House/Powers Of X, Director Devo is introduced holding a funeral for all the Orchis mooks that Wolverine, Mystique, and Penance casually murdered during the raid on the Mother Mold facility. Devo composes himself well, but is very clearly filled with grief and anger over the senseless deaths of his underlings.
  • Working with the Ex: Emma and Sebastian.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Opal is the only member of Hordeculture who cares whether the humans who go down for what they've collectively done to the planet are of age.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Although in fairness this one is tricky. For a millionth of Krakoa's area to be approximately 158 square foot, the total area would have to be between five and six square miles, rather than the 53 (for the Atlantic part) listed in House of X. (Probably unrelated to the Arc Number, but it's only off by a factor of ten.)
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: The City, birthplace of the Children of the Vault, is an altered version of Fantomex's World, with time passing at a highly accelerated rate inside it. This is how the Children are created; leaving humans inside the City and leaving them there to quickly evolve into Transhumans over the course of millions of years (from their perspective).

    Giant-Size X-Men 
  • Absurdly Long Stairway: Ororo's mind contains one.
  • Call-Back: One of the first memories Jean and Emma see in Storm's mind is a replaying of the time Emma pulled a "Freaky Friday" Flip on Storm, waaaaaay back in the 80s. Seems Storm is still pretty pissed about that.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: Emma has to admit to the lions guarding Storm's subconscious that she and Storm are not exactly friends.
  • I Need A Drink: Emma before entering Storm's mind.
  • Internal Homage: Jean and Emma have a wordless Journey to the Center of the Mind of an ally who has fallen mysteriously ill, only this time it's Storm instead of Xavier as it was in Grant Morrison's run. Some of the panels even have them in the same poses.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Jean makes a butterfly elephant for her and Emma to ride on.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: The Jean Grey and Emma Frost issue has almost no dialogue. None at all between close-ups of a sign which reads "Silence" in Krakoan.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Discussed DoublySubverted Nightcrawlers team investigating the X-Mansion was supposed to be a routine mission only to find out that they face overwhelming numbers which Illyana and Kurt acknowledge isn't ideal with a team whose abilites are geared towards investigation and reacon. Then is turns out that Doug is actually the perfect one to negotiate a cease fire with the enemy who turn out to be the alien boutyhunting species The Sidri.
  • Race Against the Clock: Jean and Emma find that Storm was infected with a virus by Serafina and has 30 days to live if they can't cure her.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Judging by how hard Jean and Emma fight, Storm's mind makes it all perfectly real.

Charles Xavier: I was smiling because I have recently had the most wonderful dream. Of a better world and my place in it.
Moira MacTaggert: Well, here's the thing, Charles... It's not a dream if it's real.
Powers of X #1

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