Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Catching up on comics: Inhumans vs. X-Men #1-6 review

After the destruction of a Terrigen Bomb by Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans, two separate clouds have been drifting randomly over the Earth. Much like the original Terrigen Mists, the Terrigen Clouds grant anyone with dormant Inhuman genes fantastic new powers. It is discovered not long after that the Terrigen Clouds are poisonous to mutants, not just causing a terrible disease called "m-pox" but also neutralizing the x-gene in humans which would effectively destroy the mutant population in a generation. Because of their need to destroy the Terrigen Clouds, the mutants of the Marvel universe are fighting the Inhumans so that the clouds can be destroyed and future mutantkind preserved. The Inhumans, who rely on the cloud in order to produce more Inhumans, are fighting to save it.

Thus, Inhumans vs. X-men was born!

The extra sized Issue #1 starts off with Hank McCoy lamenting the death of Scott Summers (if you want to know more about that, read this) at his graveside. Beast then heads to a meeting of the general leaders of mutant-kind at this point: Forge, Magneto, Storm, Rouge, Emma Frost, the younger Hank McCoy, Magik, and the older version of Logan. The older McCoy reveals to the group that they are out of time in finding a solution to the Terrigen Cloud problem. The clouds are about to entirely dissipate into the atmosphere, making Earth inhospitable to mutants in two weeks.  During the discussion of what to do next, Emma Frost reveals to McCoy that the mutant's plan to strike back has already begun. When Beast attempts to warn the Inhumans, he is hit by a bolt of lightening from Storm. She then reveals that the plan to attack was, in part, hers. Black Bolt is taken out by Dazzler and Emma Frost at the Quiet Room, Lockjaw is teleported away and drugged by Fantomex, the young Jean Grey is sent to distract Karnak as long as possible, Magneto takes out the Inhuman's flying fortress, and the issue ends with a massive group of X-Men moving to assault the Inhuman stronghold of New Attilan.

Issue #2 opens with New Attilan's preparations for the incoming X-Men attack. The fight then starts in earnest, with Magik teleporting various main Inhumans away from the fight: to Limbo. A few of the younger Inhumans manage to escape, Iso and Inferno, though they have to fight through Sabertooth, X-23, and the younger version of Angel. With the last minute help of Eldrac, they teleport to the site of a machine that will destroy one of the two Terrigen Clouds. It just happens to be guarded by Old Man Logan.

In Issue #3, Iso and Inferno split up to try and destroy the machine that will destroy one of the Terrigen Clouds. Inferno takes the fight to Logan, Iso heads off to confront Forge. Iso incapacitates Forge and destroys the machine and Inferno manages to temporarily stop Old Man Logan. Iso and Inferno call on the help of Ms. Marvel (the Inhuman one) to gather a group of Inhumans together to fight back against the mutants at New Attillan. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Mosaic, Quake, Reader, Grid, and Synapse. Karnak finally manages to break out of Jean Grey's mental trap but finds himself still far from the fight in the other dimension known as The World with Fantomex there to assist the young Ms. Grey. The Inhumans trapped in Limbo begin to formulate an escape.

Issue #4 beings with Reader teleporting Mosaic to Muir Island to infiltrate the X-Men base and find out the Mutant plan by reading Magneto's mind. Mosaic succeeds in finding out what the Mutants are up to but Magneto, long ago trained to fight off psychics, kicks Mosaic out of his mind. Mosaic then Jumps into young Cyclops' mind and escapes in a Blackbird. Meanwhile in Limbo, the Inhumans led by Medusa and Johnny Storm escape their prison and begin an assault on the X-mansion located there in hopes of finding Black Bolt. Colossus, on guard at the mansion, has other ideas. The mind controlled Cyclops lands in New Jersey to find the group of NuHumans led by Iso and Inferno. He reports that the Royal Family of Inhumans is trapped in limbo and then reveals the truth behind the Mutant's attack on the Terrigen Cloud: that it is about to cause the death of all Mutants on Earth. Ms. Marvel asks "Who are the good guys?"

In Issue #5 Fantomex, Jean Grey, and Karnak continue to duke it out in The World. In the Limbo home of the X-Men Gorgon and Colossus fight as the rest of the Inhuman Royals look for Black Bolt. They find him guarded by Havok, the brother of Scott Summers. In an emotional speech, Havok says he could kill Black Bolt for the death of Cyclops, but he won't yet hints that it isn't for the reason they suspect. back in New Jersey, Forge is awake and explaining the workings of the Terrigen Eater to Iso and Moon Girl. Moon Girl comes up with a miniature version of the one that was previously destroyed so that it can be moved to where the Terrigen Cloud is. They head to Ennilux to use the facilities there to construct the new Terrigen Eater but come across the X-Men leaders and a fight breaks out. Karnak and Lockjaw are found, and leave to find the battle just like Colossus and Havok leave Limbo to do. The issue ends with Magneto dropping the Blackbird on everyone.

Issue #6 has all X-Men and Inhumans assembled in Iceland for the climactic final fight for the future of the Terrigen Clouds. Emma Frost reveals to Rouge that this was always about killing the Inhumans. As the battle heats up and the Inhumans seem to be losing ground, the NuHumans arrive with ships from Ennilux and the son of Black Bolt and Medusa, Ahura, through an approaching Terrigen Cloud. Iso tells Medusa that this fight has been one for the Mutant's survival, not just a petty conflict against the Inhumans. As the Terrigen Cloud rolls closer, Emma Frost prepares to die but Medusa uses the activation switch for Moon Girl's smaller Terrigen Eater to destroy the cloud just in time. Though the rest of the Mutant's consider the fight over Emma Frost is determined to tear the Inhumans down in Cyclops' memory. She activates Sentinels designed to kill Inhumans and a new fight begins. The first casualties are the three airships carrying the people from Ennilux which serves as a rally point for the X-Men and the Inhumans to work together to stop Frost. A mind controlled Magneto adds his force to Frost's destroying Cerebra. The battle rages on, Emma Frost and Medusa finally confronting each other. Before Medusa can kill Frost, Havok breaks the fight up.

In the aftermath, apologies are made to the older Hank McCoy. Emma Frost has gone to ground but is revealed to be wearing a helmet similar to Magneto's yet it pays homage to Cyclops' most recent cowl. Medusa laments the destruction of the Terrigen Clouds, an even that assuredly prevents any new Inhumans from being created, but is certain there is still a future for her people.

I liked this story, overall. Despite the familiar tropes of the "Marvel Team-up" where two sides are at first at odds then band together against a common foe it was a really interesting read. As with most of these events the final issue wrapped things up far to quickly for my tastes. Medusa leaves Johnny Storm without so much as an explanation and apparently goes right back into the arms of Black Bolt. She also abdicates the throne and places Iso in charge. The fight that Havok interrupts is used as the immediate cessation of the entire battle, so it is rather jarring to turn to the following page and see that things are already in the future some days or weeks later.

As there is simply too much to describe in these things, I urge you to go to seek out the issues or the trade and read the story in its entirety. For those that read the series, what did you think? What predictions do you have for the fate of Mutants and Inhumans? Please comment below and don't forget to subscribe to our RSS feed!

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