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Professor X sheds a single tear for the X-Men in House of X #4, Marvel Comics (2019). Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz/Marvel Comics

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What happened when the X-Men died

The X-Men freakin DIED, man

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

News clippings about past mutant genocides and genocide statistics are chaotically overlaid with images of the X-Men meeting their doom, interspersed with an emphatic, bold font cry of “No more” in House of X #4, Marvel Comics (2019). Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Tom Muller/Marvel Comics

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

Two middle-aged characters stand in front of a mural depicting a fallen friend in The Wicked + The Divine #45, Image Comics (2019). Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie/Image Comics

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

A private investigator studies a strip of film stock depicting a sick girl, in Pretty Deadly: The Rat #1, Image Comics. Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios/Image Comics

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

The immortal Rose Thorn feverishly peppers a future office worker with questions about how to get off Earth, in Legion of Super-heroes: Millennium #1, DC Comics (2019). Brian Michael Bendis, André Lima Araújo/DC Comics

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

Ivy reams out the rich kid who’s in charge of the film club at her Gotham City high school, with Harley in the background, in Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, DC Comics (2019). Mariko Tamaki, Steve Pugh/DC Comics

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

Characters sit around a table at a support group for gods who are being forgotten by mankind, in The Dreaming #13, DC Comics (2019). Simon Spurrier, Dani/DC Comics

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 drives away from a mall, after Poison Ivy, resting in a shopping back in the passenger seat, found it too tiring to maintain an human-like form and collapsed into a pile of vines, in Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #1, DC Comics (2019). Jody Houser, Adriana Melo/DC Comics

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.