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Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 Review

The tension that’s been building between mutants and Inhumans finally comes to a head in Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 by Death of X writers Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire, and artist Leinil Francis Yu. Longtime X-fans who have disliked the deadly Terrigen Mists plotline, in particular, are sure to love this issue, as the X-Men finally strike back.

Inhumans Vs. X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)

I was quite enthusiastic in my reviews of Death of X’s four issues and it looks like that trend will continue throughout IVX based on this strong debut issue. Why? Because the creative team manages to hit all the right buttons for readers who have patiently stewed while the Inhumans thrive and the X-Men suffer.

For example, while rescued mutants are forced to live in demon-infested Limbo, Black Bolt’s living it up in his swanky club The Quiet Room. Infuriating, right?

But everyone X-fans love to despise gets their comeuppance this week, starting with furry, blue screwup Beast. Hank McCoy has had eight months to solve the toxic Terrigen problem alongside the Inhumans – and he’s failed. I won’t spoil Beast’s fate, but I’m happy to see many of the X-Men are done putting their faith in the once very dependable Beast.

What I especially like about this story is that it makes sense. I say this because Marvel’s Civil War II really has no reason for existing beyond tying into a movie that’s come and gone from theaters (and yet, the main book and its tie-ins are still going). Do Iron Man and Captain Marvel really have as much reason for going head to head as Emma Frost and Black Bolt? Or Queen Medusa and Magneto?

The Master of Magnetism sums up this conflict in a way that perfectly plays off the anti-hero’s rich history – “My people will not be gassed to death.”

And while seeing Marvel heroes face off in Civil War II feels like a repeat I’ve seen 50 times, it’s genuinely exciting and entertaining to watch the X-Men working together to dismantle the Inhumans’ heavy hitters. That’s right, you don’t have to wait for this series’ third issue for the battle to begin – it starts in this very meaty first issue. Just wait until you see what Emma Frost has in store for Black Bolt – genuinely inventive stuff that celebrates how cool comics can be.

Oh, and if you’re like me and thought you’d have to wait several issues to learn who that mystery woman from IVX #0 was, you’ll be happy to know that mystery gets solved relatively quickly.

It also doesn’t hurt that each page of IVX #1 looks absolutely gorgeous. Gerry Alanguilan’s inks and David Curiel’s colors ensure that these are some of the most stunning pencils of Yu’s comics career. Beast looks defeated, Magneto remains menacing and Emma Frost is the icy beauty fans hate to love.

In X-Men lore, extinction was always a far-off threat – something that would take place at the metal hands of Sentinels when Wolverine’s hair finally starts to gray. But thanks to the Inhumans, mutants’ extinction has never been so close around the corner. Some of Marvel’s most cunning mutants understand this and – along with Soule, Lemire and Yu – guarantee IVX will be a page-turner X-fans will be talking about for ages.


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