Even though I am a 2000s child, the original X-Men animated series was a big part of my childhood (especially because in Latin America things always arrived a bit later, at least when I was a kid), so when I saw the announcement for X-Men 92: House of XCII (written by Steve Foxe, with art by Salva Espin, colors by Israel Silva, and lettering by Joe Sabino) I was really excited. Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz’s House of X/Powers of X has to be one of my favorite X-Men stories of all time, so having it be set in a version of the universe that helped me fall in love with these characters was just an easy sell. The question is, did it live up to my expectations?
The first thing to highlight in X-Men 92: House of XCII is that it isn’t the complex epic that one might expect from the current era of X-Men, and that is a good thing. It obviously takes story elements from Dawn of X and all that has followed; the Island nation of Krakoa, the resurrection protocol, ORCHIS, and more, because that’s the point of the series, but it does this in a way that it simplifies the core concepts and makes them fit to the tone and characters of the animated series. Without giving away any spoilers there is a character that changes for the story and it’s probably the smartest choice this series could have taken.
Foxe does a wonderful job of capturing all of the characters’ voices and feelings in X-Men 92: House of XCII; this is especially clear with Logan, Scott, Charles, and Eric who are taken out of the cartoon and put into the comic. Foxe also makes things feel nostalgic without turning the whole thing into a bad copy of an episode of the series, this feels like something new, something with bigger stakes and space for more development.
My favorite thing about X-Men 92: House of XCII is the art. Espin and Silva capture the style of the cartoon and translate it perfectly into the pages. It feels dynamic and fast, like if things are always in motion. But by far the best part is the re-designs, from the master mold to the Cerebro helmet (my favorite being the way Krakoan technology looks) everything is adequate into the universe in a really fun way.
To be completely honest, there are times that the book kind of feels gimmicky, especially in the data pages, as if the book was trying to be more like ‘OMG. look, we are in the nineties! Here are some crazy 90s visuals,’ instead of feeling like an homage and a continuation of the cartoon that in my opinion, is more than enough to make those nostalgia juices flow. That being said, moments like this are far few between, and they don’t distract from the overall experience.
Overall, X-Men 92: House of XCII is a really fun blast from the past, with enough new and surprising things to make me want to read more.
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