Last week, Jonathan Hickman and artist Pepe Larraz kicked off the first comic in the second half of House of X/Powers of X by killing the X-Men.
To be fair, not all of the X-Men died, but a pretty decent number of the biggest ones did. And we know that some, if not all, of the characters who died in House of X #4 will be alive again in time for October, when they’ll appear in Marvel’s upcoming slate of new X-books, Dawn of X.
But it was the way that the X-Men died that made House of X #4 the biggest topic of conversation in comics last week. Even though the storyline is literally about a character who can restart X-Men history whenever she wants, the violent, valiant deaths of the X-Men packed a surprisingly emotional punch. And the final pages of the issue brought that theme home in an even more emphatic way.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” Let’s get started!
House of X #4
In the final pages of House of X #4, the series’ tidy, impersonal charts seem to be overwhelmed by Professor X’s emotions, as the X-Men die to prevent another mutant genocide and he declares “No more.” Are you reading this book yet?
The Wicked + The Divine #45
With its epic ending out of the way, blockbuster comic series The Wicked + The Divine concluded gently and hopefully. If you’ve been waiting for this one to be done before seeing what all the hype was about, now’s the time.
Pretty Deadly: The Rat #1
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Pretty Deadly is one of the best, intermittently produced series out there, and it came back this week with a new miniseries, a new time period, and this gorgeous silhouette puppet animation motif.
Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1
Brian Michael Bendis takes the reader on a whistle stop tour of the known future of the DC Universe, including the pockets of Batman Beyond and Kamandi, all in the pursuit of setting up the return of the Legion of Superheroes, a group of teenagers from the far future who are inspired by 20th century history to become intergalactic peacekeepers. We follow little-known vigilante Rose Thorn through time, each new era illustrated by a fantastic artist.
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is the best of DC Comics’ YA books so far — which makes sense, since it’s coming from one of the best writers in the YA graphic novel scene, Mariko Tamaki, and the incredibly talented pen of Steve Pugh. Pictured above: (Poison) Ivy screaming at the president of the film club, who refuses to show any movies directed by women.
The Dreaming #13
Last week’s The Dreaming is a one-shot tale of a group of gods and spirits who attend a support group for gods at the end of their lifespans — gods who are being forgotten by humanity. The tale has shades of metaphor for living with terminal illnesses, and it’s a solid one.
Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #1
Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy is a cute comic about the long-time partners sharing an apartment and trying to get by without doing too much crime, while various other supervillains make that a tricky proposition. But it’s also a story about helping your girlfriend deal with her new stress-related disability — where she sometimes just turns into a pile of vines — so that you can just relax and be gay together.