ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘X-Men ’92: House of XCII’, Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

X-Men 92 House of XCII #1 - But Why Tho

X-Men 92: House of XCII #1 is written by Steve Foxe, illustrated by Salva Espin, colored by Israel Silva, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It’s published by Marvel Comics. After a  tragedy rocks them to their core, the X-Men join forces with their former enemy, Magneto, and other mutants to form the nation of Krakoa. The new mutant homeland has led to Sentinel creator Bolivar Trask forming the Orchis Alliance, which sees the X-Men’s enemies joining forces to annihilate all of mutant-kind.

When X-Men ’92 launched, it served as a continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series while also bringing in other fan-favorite mutants, including Psylocke. House of XCII continues the animated series’ tradition of adapting classic story arcs, this time tackling the Age of Krakoa, that Jonathan Hickman launched in House of X and Powers of X.

Keeping in line with those adaptations, Foxe makes some surprising yet thoughtful changes to the Krakoan setting. For example, the mutant resurrection circuit known as the Five counts the Marauders‘ Tempo and Magneto’s acolyte Fabian Cortez among their number; also Orchis is made up of X-Men foes including Lady Deathstrike. There’s a surprising mutant in Moira MacTaggert’s place who helped Magneto and Professor X found Krakoa – I never saw this twist coming, but it makes perfect sense in the context of X-Men ’92 AND ups the drama quotient.

The artwork by Espin and Silva also leans into the 90s era vibe; the X-Men continue to wear their Jim Lee-designed uniforms, while Professor X is still in his trademark yellow hoverchair but wears a Cerebro helmet similar to the X-Men films on his head. Espin even chooses to throw in a few Easter eggs for long-time fans, with panels that reference moments from The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past.

His art is truly animated; characters’ eyes widen or narrow, based on their emotions, especially Wolverine, whose default emotion is anger due to the events that led to Krakoa’s formation. Silva’s colors change based on location; Krakoa has more warm, earthy tones, while the battle aboard the Orchis space station takes place in a cold, sterile gunmetal gray space station, with flashback sequences shaded in dark green.

But what really gives the series its 90s vibes is how Sabino designs the data pages that have become a staple of the X-Men books in the Krakoa era. The pages feel ripped from an old ’90s magazine, namely Highlights. They have a vibrant neon color scheme and utilize ’90s slang such as “Radical!” and “Sick!” As a ’90s kid, I can safely say that Sabino understood the assignment. It’s that extra touch that makes this feel like it was published at the height of X-Men: The Animated Series‘ popularity, instead of the modern-day. All that’s missing is a set of trading cards.

X-Men 92: House of XCII #1, true to its name, is the perfect mashup of X-Men: The Animated Series and House of X/Powers of X. If you’ve been enjoying what the Krakoan Age has brought to the table, you’ll want to check out this new take on the story. If you love X-Men: The Animated Series and are looking for something to tide you over before X-Men 97 premieres in 2023, this is definitely the comic for you.

X-Men 92: House of XCII #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on April 13, 2022.


X-Men '92: House of XCII #1
4.5

TL;DR

X-Men ’92: House of XCII #1, true to its name, is the perfect mashup of X-Men: The Animated Series and House of X/Powers of X. If you’ve been enjoying what the Krakoan Age has brought to the table, you’ll want to check out this new take on the story. If you love X-Men: The Animated Series and are looking for something to tide you over before X-Men ’97 premieres in 2023, this is definitely the comic for you.