To say that mutants have been through a lot would be a huge understatement. No other species in the Marvel Universe has been in as much extinction-level crises as Homo Sapiens Superior. The Legacy Virus, The Genosha Massacre, and M-Day – these are just some of the events that almost wiped out the entire mutant race, and now, the Inhumans threaten the mutants’ existence once again with the very thing that defines Inhumans – terrigen.
The Inhumans vs X-Men Conflict
Who are the Inhumans and why are they a threat to the X-Men? You can read more about them here.
Basically, the Inhumans rely on a substance called terrigen to grant them powers and abilities. Terrigen was once a regulated and protected substance, but Thanos released terrigen into the earth’s atmosphere during the Infinity arc, causing mass terrigenesis to any human with a dormant Inhuman gene. Although the Inhuman population boomed, mutants found out that terrigen was deadly to their biology, giving rise to the Inhumans vs X-Men conflict – the M-Pox.
Warning: The following sections will contain spoilers for Inhumans vs X-Men #0-3
Inhumans vs X-Men #0
The temporary truce between the Inhumans and the X-Men is about to run its course as the search for a cure proves to be a moot cause. Beast (Hank McCoy) is unable to find a cure while time is ticking and mutants are dying. Emma Frost prepares for war and so is Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans.
Emma’s ferocity is the star of the issue and perfectly builds up the rising tension. She rallies different mutant factions under the cause including the teams of Magneto, Storm, the All New X-Men, and the Hellfire Club. The prelude reminds us how the X-Men are master tacticians and battle-trained soldiers. Despite the powerhouse team that the Inhumans have, the conflict is far from being lopsided.
Inhumans vs X-Men #1-3
Despite opposition from Beast who wishes a more peaceful solution, The X-Men executes their plan perfectly, catching the Inhumans off guard. The primary targets are the heavy-hitters – The Inhuman Royal Family. Issue #1 feels one-sided as the X-Men take Inhuman pieces off the board. The battle pairings are entertaining and exciting to witness. X-Men fans will surely enjoy seeing the mutant heroes shine in every page as they go to lengths in order to ensure their species’ survival.
Issue #2 follows up on the X-Men’s assault on New Attilan. Medusa’s wish for a more diplomatic solution is shattered by the X-Men’s declaration of war. Outnumbered and overpowered, the Inhumans’ last line of defense falters and the rest of the Royal Family are captured. The remaining hope for the Inhumans is their new recruits, Iso and Inferno. They manage to escape, but are confronted by Old Man Logan.
The latest issue tips the scale over to the Inhumans’ favor as Iso and Inferno defeat Old Man Logan and destroy Forge’s machine that was built to eliminate the remaining terrigen cloud. They also capture Forge, forcing the X-Men to recalibrate their plan. With their numbers currently down, Iso solicits the help of fellow Inhuman, Ms. Marvel to gather reinforcements, more specifically, the newest Inhumans who the X-Men have very little knowledge about.
Inhumans vs X-Men is a refreshing take on the hero vs hero concept with the very personal and high stakes involved in their conflict. What gives one life means death to the other. The depth in each side’s history and culture creates a blurred line that distinguishes who’s right and wrong. Although it’s easy to point a finger to Inhumans, their legitimate concern for mutant life and their willingness to help make it hard to paint them as the bad guys. On the other hand, the X-Men’s aggression is justified by the desperation of preserving their species.
Writers Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire perfectly balance the moral scale and make the reader see both sides of the coin. Choosing one over the other is a matter of perspective. The character match-ups are also brilliantly crafted with pairings that are simply eye candy for any Marvel fan. Inhumans vs X-Men is simply the standard to which hero vs hero stories should aspire to become.
Inhumans vs X-Men # 4 comes out on February 8, 2017.