Here we go, time for another X-Men event that will shake their position in the Marvel Universe. Taking place before the still ongoing Civil War II event, Death of X is going to tell the story of what is obviously stated in the title, the death of the X-Men; or maybe just the tying up of a few loose ends. Before we get into this issue, you should know about the effect the Terrigen mist has on mutants. It afflicts the mutant race with a disease called M-Pox, which is lethal to mutants. In a few books we’ve already seen it’s effects on Rogue in Uncanny Avengers and at the beginning of this book, the effect on our Uncanny X-Men. Like most of my reviews, I try and steer away from spoiler territory but some plot points will need to be discussed briefly. You’ve been warned.
Starting off we have the former cast of the Uncanny X-Men flying to Muir Island one year ago responding to a distress call from Jamie Madrox, aka Multiple Man. Since this story is a lead up to IVX: Inhumans vs X-Men, it also tells the story of the Uncanny Inhumans looking to find and help newly awakened Inhumans created by the Terrigen Mists. The Mists were unleashed by Black Bolt during a fight with Thanos in the Infinity story line and are now traveling all over Earth. From the beginning we see a contrast between the X-men and Inhuman’s story line in tone, art, and dialogue.
The X-Men’s story is very dire, with characters tackling their scenes with serious dialogue and colored by a sickly gloom. This dread is almost lovecraftian in nature, feeling slow, methodical, and otherworldly. Horrific scenes of sickened and disgusting corpses riddle the pages within the X-Men side of the story. On the other side of things, we have are bright and cheerful Inhumans watching over Matsumoto Japan as the Terrigen Mists approach; everyone is smiling and full of hope. As the Inhuman’s are attacked by Hydra looking to scoop up any new Inhumans, even the Hydra agents are chipper. The book continues with this mirrored contrast throughout, showing both sides are not all that different. Which if you can probably assume, will be a major theme in this story.
Like I said above, the art really makes the two sides of this conflict shine, really showing the state of both the X-Men and the Inhumans. The artist Aaron Kuder has created an excellent contrast with the detail of the devastation on Muir Island and the hope shown in Japan with the Inhumans. The colors are what defines this issues art, Morry Hollowell has created a great distinction between both stories and their tones.
Looking at some of the Marvel events over the last couple years we see a trend that goes through them all. It’s not so much stories about big bad villains and our heroes who overcome them, it’s a lot of in-fighting, people on the same side just not getting along. This 4 part story, which will lead to the Inhumans vs X-Men book, will hopefully catch everyone up of their favourite X-Men as this issue leans on what might have happened to some of the X-Men we haven’t seen since the beginning of Secret Wars. Overall, the contrasted art, color, and dialogue of this story provides a slow but informative start that has left me curious about where the story will go. If only to find out what happens to Cyclops.