Throughout All-New, All-Different Marvel we’ve had little teasers and conversation mentions as to what actually happened between the Inhumans and X-Men eight months prior. Now, Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule take us back in Death of X; showcasing the downfall of one of Marvel’s most beloved families and the rise of the new dominant group
We all know the story of the X-Men: humans with mutant genes that unlock when they hit puberty, displaying phenomenal powers and abilities. However, the general public shuns them and disregards their efforts. The Inhumans are rather new to the general public. Thousands of years ago, aliens experimented on caveman, creating the Inhumans. These aliens left behind the Terrigen Mist, a gas containing the chemical required to unlock the Inhuman gene in Inhuman descendants. And due to prior events, these mists have been released worldwide in a raging cloud. However, we’ve gotten information in recent titles that the mist is deadly to any mutant and by this information conflict rises between the two groups. This issue goes back to show how the conflict originally ignited after the latest Terrigen Mist incident in Japan, from both the perspective of the Inhumans and the X-Men.
This comic excels in its purpose by establishing that the X-Men are taking a mighty blow in their goal towards survival and that this last straw made indeed spell their demise. Lemire conveys this almost poetically: while the scenes with Inhumans are drawn with bold colors, smiles and written in a positive light, every scene with the X-Men has a darker color scheme and is depressing, bloody and bleak. It really does feel like for every win the Inhumans have, the X-Men suffer a great loss, and even though these groups are so alike, their goals and actions are polar opposites. Lemire and Soule write a wonderful speech at the end of the issue for two characters: Cyclops, the mutant leader, and Crystal, the leader of the All-New Inhumans. These two speak at the same time which allows us to juxtapose what they are saying, and in those regards, there’s a direct parallel. What each groups strives for mirrors each other perfectly, but the success of one group harms the other. Such harm is conveyed in the death of a long-time X-Men character, which sets Cyclops on a path of vengeance. This series is definitely building up to a stellar confrontation and I’m excited to see how it plays out over the months. My only complaint plot wise is this I feel this story could’ve been a #0 issue, providing context for new readers as anyone reading All-New Marvel the past year will learn nothing now for this comic. It didn’t really do anything new and merely provided context, but it still worked incredibly well.
Aaron Kuder’s art is really good in this issue. The way he manages to captures the physique of the characters is brilliant and no character feels the same. But where I feel he really shines is during fight scenes. Every fight scene in this book is an absolutely pleasure to look at. Characters are drawn in strong, badass poses and there’s truly a spectacle in the way he conveys the use of powers. For example, Crystal’s powers are based around the elements of fire, water, earth and air. When Crystal uses her fire, it’s drawn it such a manner that the scope of the flames resonates with the reader, and heavy hitters feel like heavy hitters. This is great as it will help readers show who they need to watch out for in upcoming issues. Special mention to how Kuder draws Naja during combat and flight. The art gets a major boost from Morry Hollowell’s colors which, as previously stated, show a great contrast between the plight of the X-Men and the thriving of the Inhumans.
Overall, the first issue in this mini-series is a great start. With a solid premise building up to something big and spectacular art to compliment the writing, Death of X is a must-read for any Marvel fan looking to get in tune with current Marvel events or just an X-Men or Inhuman fan in general. Feel free to read further on for a spoiler-section analyzing the plot in more detail.
SPOILER SECTION: DISCUSSING THE PLOT (My More Informal Analysis)
The X-Men, consisting of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, The Stepford Cuckoos, Iceman and Goldballs, go to Muir Island after a distress signal was sent out by Jamie Madrox aka Multiple Man. The roster is definitely different from the norm and it’ll be interesting to see how they work together. The All-New Inhumans, consisting of Crystal, Naja, Flint, Iso, Gorgon and Grid, go to Japan to supervise new Inhuman as the Terrigen Mists approach. I’ve always enjoyed this concept of the Inhumans ushering in the NuHumans to their society so I’m glad to see that it returned.
The X-Men stumbled upon diseased remains in the Muir Island Genetics Labs. The island is also weakly coated in Terrigen, so Scott starts to cough aggressively. The Inhumans tackle a random Hydra unit that wishes to capture the Inhumans, and a brief fight escalates. This fight mainly serves to show off the Inhumans and what they are capable of and it works well. The X-Men go outside and, to their horror, find hundreds of Multiple Man copies dying of the Terrigen Mist poisoning. Cyclops finds the original Jaime Madrox, who conveys the news that the Terrigen kills X-Men. As Scott relays this information to Hank, he passes out.
One of the NuHumans, Daisuke, displays his newfound ability to project energy that puts all non-Inhumans in the vicinity to sleep. Crystal speaks to him about how she wants to help him grow as an Inhuman and is willing to teach him further, fittingly saying that…
Cyclops, once awake back at base, tells his team the news about the Terrigen, blaming the Inhumans for Jaime’s death and all the others who’ve succumbed to the Terrigen poisoning. He declares that they need to take a stand against the Inhumans, fittingly saying that…