Welcome to Episode 1 of “School for Gifted Youngsters,” a regular podcast project dedicated to analyzing X-Men comics in the Jonathan Hickman-led HoXPoX/Dawn of X era of X comics. This era includes the 2019 miniseries HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X as well as current ongoing titles X-MEN, EXCALIBUR, MARAUDERS, FALLEN ANGELS, X-FORCE and NEW MUTANTS. We are Ian, Nolan and Marius, two New Yorkers and a German, all long-time X-Men enthusiasts. Be warned: this episode includes spoilers for both HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X as well as issues 1-3 of the successor comics.

In this episode we first take the opportunity to reflect back on HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X, this summer’s two event miniseries that have restructured the X-Men comic book line. We talk about the implications of the recently canonized mutant immortality introduced in HOUSE OF X #5 and its impact on narrative stakes. We also take a closer look at each of the new ongoing X-titles and their differences in tone and genre.

Themes in Hickman’s X-Men, and in this episode

Is there a noticeable “Game of Thrones”-ification of the X-Men line? In a concluding 20-minute segment we discuss one of the more controversial aspects of current X-Men comics: the villains! We explore Dawn of X’s implications for characters such as Apocalypse and Magneto, in the context of other writers’ portrayals. To what extent is the distinction between heroes and villains even still relevant on Krakoa? Lastly, we discuss some of the newly introduced non-mutant villains in Dawn of X. Will all new villains be non-mutants? Is this part of the of the mutants vs. technology theme Hickman is developing?

Finally, we delve into some of the genre conventions being employed or disrupted by these comics. The episode concludes with a foray into cyberpunk fiction and allusions to it in FALLEN ANGELS. What genres are the other new comics? Listen to find out.

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