Warning: The following contains major spoilers for House of X #5, by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, VC's Clayton Cowles and Tom Muller, on sale now.
Ask any fans of the X-Men to name their favorite characters, and you are almost guaranteed to never get the same answers twice. When you factor in the X-Men's popularity over the decades, their longevity at the top of Marvel's sales charts and the high number of characters to star in their books, you quickly realize every mutant is someone's favorite.
Writer Jonathan Hickman is playing off of this fact in his House of X and Powers of X miniseries. Hickman has stated in previous interviews that his X-Men run will showcase virtually anyone who has ever been a member of the X-Men. The very first piece of promotional artwork by Mark Brooks backed up this statement with a virtual "Who's Who" of X-Men heroes and villains.
The release of House of X put this to the test again by spotlighting "The Five," who are five X-Men tasked with running the mutant resurrection machine. As the issue reveals, thanks to Hope Summers, Elixir, Goldballs, Tempus and Proteus, the X-Men now have a method to bring their fallen comrades back from the dead. Of course, there may have been some newer readers who left the issue wondering, "Who the heck are these X-Men?"
If you find yourself in this category don't fret, because we will fill you in on the X-Men's newest secret weapon against Lady Death.
Fabio Medina made his debut during Brian Michael Bendis' run on All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. The new mutant has the ability to produce gold balls from his body. At the time, this was all we knew about his mutant powers, so the gold ball production basically put him on the same importance-level as the New Warriors' Speedball. Later, Goldballs would follow Bendis' X-Men exit journeyed with the writer to the Miles Morales-focused Spider-Man, where Fabio became Miles and Ganke's new roommate.
House of X #5 reveals Goldballs to be the first cog in the mutant resurrection machine, with his gold balls actually being gold eggs. These eggs are used to hatch the new bodies for Cyclops, Wolverine, Marvel Girl, Archangel, Husk, Monet St. Croix and Mystique, after their deaths following the destruction of a Sentinel space factory.
Kevin MacTaggert is the son of the X-Men ally Moira MacTaggert, and one of the few Omega-level mutants in the Marvel Universe. Codenamed Proteus, Kevin has the ability to warp reality to his will, which is exactly what he does to Goldball's golden eggs. When Goldball pops an egg out, it always comes out as unviable. However, once Proteus juices them up with his powers, they then turn viable.
Proteus was one of the villains to play a role in Charles Soule's Astonishing X-Men. He's clashed with the X-Men on many different occasions, but like many villains, he now finds himself aligned with the X-Men for the greater good.
Joshua Foley debuted in the pages of New Mutants and starred in the New X-Men and Young X-Men series, alongside other young mutants in training. An Omega-level mutant, Elixir is a powerful healer who can cure friends and allies from injury and disease with a simple touch.
House of X has Elixir's stage of the resurrection machine kickstart the process of cellular replication after Goldball's eggs are filled with the preserved DNA of a deceased mutant.
Eva Bell is another new mutant to debut during Bendis' X-Men tenure with Goldballs. Tempus can manipulate time, which also includes time-traveling. She famously traveled to points in the Marvel Universe's past and future, meeting a young Professor Charles Xavier and a future team of X-Men.
Tempus uses her powers to mature the mutant embryos found in the eggs, instead of waiting a prolonged period of time for them to naturally evolve. It's also been a while since Tempus appeared in an X-Men comic, though it's always handy to keep someone who can manipulate time around.
Hope Summers is the adoptive daughter of the time-traveling Cable. Hope was also the first mutant detected following the X-Men story arc "Second Coming," and can channel the powers of any mutant in her vicinity.
Her part in the mutant resurrection machine may be the most important, as she brings all five of their powers together to pull off the Promethean feats. "Her powers enable theirs to operate at both their peak and in unison," Magneto tells Polaris.
It's really amazing to see The Five work in tandem to bring some of our favorite X-Men back to life. The citizens of Krakoa even revere them, though not as celebrities, but as cultural paragons. Here's hoping they get the chance to star in the second wave of X-Men titles to launch after Dawn of X.