With the debut issue of their X-Men relaunch House of X, writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Pepe Larraz introduced a bold, new vision of Charles Xavier and Magneto's dream of a utopian nation for mutants within the heart of the Marvel Universe. While that first issue was a tour through the imaginative, immersive world the mutants had created, the second showcases the origin of that rebirth from the perspective of a surprising character. House of X #2 is considerably more grounded and personal, but no less ambitious.
Picking up from the tease at the end of the previous issue, much of House of X #2 follows longtime X-Men ally Moira MacTaggert and her expanding perspective on mutants and their struggle for survival. Through her varied experiences, many familiar figures within the X-Men mythos appear as Moira takes center stage in an effort to determine the best possible path to achieving a world where mutants and humans achieve Xavier's dream of a peaceful coexistence.
Although Hickman narrows the perspective to Moira, he certainly doesn't minimize the scope. It becomes clear in this issue that Moira is perhaps the single most important character in this relaunch as the curtain is pulled back at a deliberate pace. And yet Hickman and Larraz are able to double down on the action, emotionally grounded character moments and nods to X-Men history.
Through all the super-powered mayhem, Hickman's personal touch permeates this issue. The new mutant language and the infographics that figured prominently into the first issue return here, but not as often, and perhaps not so obtrusively. Instead, there are prose pages early in the issue to help introduce the character before the tale picks up the pace as the scope and implications become clear.
That scope is visualized beautifully by Pepe Larraz. Along with color artist Marte Gracia, the art team have to retread on familiar characters and environments throughout the issue while adding new layers and emotion to each panel and page. As the scope of Moira's story escalates across the issue, the artwork similarly ups the ante accordingly, growing more and more bombastic while Larraz keeps even the more outlandish moments focused on Moira and her emotional reaction to the ever-changing world around her even as the stakes are raised.
As Hickman's bold vision for the X-Men moves forward, it's this issue that reveals who the most important character in the relaunch is.