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House of X Puts the X-Men on a Collision Course with the Fantastic Four

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for House of X #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, Clayton Cowles and Tom Muller, on sale now.

Marvel Comics' House of X #1 is understandably focused on setting up the X-Men's new status quo in the Marvel Universe, and showing readers how much has truly changed for the mutant heroes and villains. While we get a brand new secret organization introduced in Orchis, along with the return of a familiar face in Omega Sentinel, the issue also guest-stars Marvel's First Family -- the Fantastic Four.

Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Thing and Human Torch enter the story when Mystique, Sabretooth and Toad are caught breaking into a facility owned by Damage Control, which is another organization that gets an update from writer Jonathan Hickman. Not only content with cleaning up the collateral damage from superhero scuffles, Damage Control now stores the possessions of metahumans who are considered either missing, incapacitated or deceased. After the Fantastic Four was believed to be dead following the events of 2015's Secret Wars, some of Reed Richards' property ended up in the hands of Damage Control.

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Mystique and Toad are able to flee from the Fantastic Four, but Sabretooth is subdued before he can escape. However, before they can take the villain in for questioning, Cyclops emerges through a Krakoa gateway to greet the foursome. After a few pleasantries, Cyclops and Mister Fantastic get down to the business of hashing out what to do with Sabretooth. Of course, Reed wants Sabretooth to pay for his crimes, while Cyclops reminds him that Sabretooth is protected under a new mutant diplomatic immunity.

Since Charles Xavier turned Krakoa into a nation-state, the governing and policing of mutants now fall under its jurisdiction. A few moments and an intense standoff later, Cyclops decides to back down. But as Cyclops and Invisible Woman discuss the actions taken by Xavier, Cyclops tells Invisible Woman to greet her son, Franklin Richards, for him, and to let him know he has "family on Krakoa waiting for him."

On the surface, this could be taken as an innocent comment, but the knowledge that Franklin is also a mutant gives it all-new importance. The next page gives a rundown of 14 characters classified as Omega level mutants, whose dominant power is deemed to register -- or reach -- an undefinable upper limit of that power's specific classification.

On that list is Franklin Richards, aka Powerhouse, with his Omega Power described as "Reality Manipulation/[Universal]." His row is also the only one highlighted in red, most likely to designate him as the only mutant with a primary allegiance to humans on the list. Everyone else's alliance is either listed as Krakoa or unknown. This data page, meant to be from Xavier files also ends with the Omega Protocol, which states, "While it is believed that a greater dynamo is possible through collective means, it is a current priority for the mutant nation of Krakoa to protect and nurture its greatest natural resource: Omega level mutants."

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This all suggests that the X-Men might decide that it's in their best interest to bring Franklin into the fold sooner than later, with or without the blessing of his superpowered family. The first year of Hickman's tenure on the X-Men franchise will surely be dedicated to setting up the long-form storytelling he's become known for, but it is not out of the realm of possibility for Year 2 and on to include a conflict between X-Men and Fantastic Four.

Hickman wrote Fantastic Four and its spinoff title, Future Foundation, before taking over the Avengers franchise and Secret Wars, which featured Doctor Doom and Mister Fantastic in major roles. He is obviously very familiar with the characters, and pitting the two teams against each other could bring the same tensions that existed in Avengers vs. X-Men and Inhumans vs. X-Men. With so few Omega level mutants in existence, Franklin's importance to the X-Men becomes all the more important.

It remains to be seen whether the X-Men will offer Franklin a friendly invitation to change his address from the Four's new Yancy Street headquarters to Krakoa, or if that invitation comes with a forceful demand.

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