With the X of Swords event behind us, and the first season of Jonathan Hickman's universe at an end, we were finally treated to our first look at what might be in store in season two of the Hickman run: REIGN OF X!!! Released along with the final issue of the Swords event, this image was our first glimpse at what Hickman is planning for our favorite mutants:
It is a lot to take in and if you read my last Blog of X then you already got a peek at it. However, since that time many eagle-eyed fans have been taking the image apart and giving us ideas of what it all might mean. So let's take a little time together and see what might be afoot!
Oh baby! Hickman has this image jam-packed with nefarious baddies. I see the Shadow King grinning at us in the upper right hand corner and I couldn't be happier. I have always felt that a universe so packed with telepaths benefits from a villain who can match them. The Shadow King (who was was especially cool in the Legion TV series on FX - a personal fave) being so prominent on this poster gives me a lot of hope for this upcoming year.
Next we have Nimrod (futuristic Sentinel who was vital to the Powers of X series). I am glad to see him because of all the nuggets dropped in the House/Powers event, Nimrod seemed the most important AND the one we've heard almost nothing about ever since. The goal of this Krakoa experiment that Moira and Xavier started, was to avoid the future where Nimrod came to power. Hopefully this image hints that we will gain some insight on that problem.
I also see the villain Arcade, operator of Murderworld. I will say I am least excited for his presence. I find him to be somewhat ridiculous and not at all threatening as a villain. Let's hope he only has a small story for a handful of issues, in one of the titles I'm not reading. Personally I enjoy Mojo and his twisted social media murder plots more, and I know he's coming up in X-Factor anyways.
First and foremost, seeing Storm so prominent in this image warms my heart. I am not certain what she's holding but it's clearly an object of importance. It doesn't matter to me at all. More Storm is always a good thing.
Next I am very excited to see Angel (both in his original form and as Archangel) standing behind another mutant (some tell me it's a character called M, but I am not familiar with her...future Blog of X perhaps?) as though he is a mentor to her. Angel often gets short shrift so seeing him here could signal something exciting.
I also see another of my favorite characters who hasn't been around much this last year: Nightcrawler. What book is he reading? Many are assuming it's a tome of Apocalypse's that he left behind when he abandoned Earth. Any way you cut it, I am glad to see Kurt back again. He is the heart of the X-Men and deserves more time in the pages of this run.
Lastly, I am also excited to see Emma Frost standing front and center. She is holding an H, possibly for Hellions, and has her usual look of angry sexiness. I look forward to her ongoing battles with Sebastian Shaw as she helps Kate Pryde get her revenge. This will be one of the most highly anticipated parts of Reign of X for most fans, myself included.
We see three sets of couples here. Jean and Scott (since they are ALWAYS significant to this universe that's not surprising), Bei and Cypher (after their romance was the hit of X of Swords, this is so cool to see), and X-23 with Synch (two of the mutants who entered the Vault at the start of Dawn of X, never to be seen again). Of all these I am most pumped to see X-23 returning. She's such a great character when written well and I am very curious what happened to her, Synch and Darwin when they entered the mysterious Vault where time moves differently than anywhere else in the world.
Another 'couple' we get is Wolverine (dressed in his Patch ensemble, as if he were back in the town of Madripoor) alongside Maverick. As another of the Weapon X experiments, Maverick tends to pop in and out of Wolverine's life as a reminder of his origins. I am not sure how excited I am for more of this but it'll likely only be part of the Wolverine series, so it should be easy enough to skip if you wish.
So those are pretty much the highlights I see when dissecting this image. Let me know if there is anything significant I missed, or if I got anything wrong. Here's an eBay affiliate link, as usual, if you want to hunt for some Hickman keys AND support this blog at the same time.
Thanks for taking the time to hang out and I hope to see you back here again every Friday for more BLOG of X!!! If you want to get more from the John's Comics with Kids squad just watch for us on Instagram and YouTube.