Well, we now know how Cyclops died. After more than a year of teasers, we finally know. By now it’s too late to even say “finally”. It’s just underwhelming, just like this entire miniseries, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Death of X 4, co-written by Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule, isn’t without its good points. There are some good speeches put into the comic, and Emma Frost’s closing lines of Cyclops becoming an idea is a nice thought. That said, for a full year we’ve been told that everyone now thought of Cyclops as a villain because of something he did. There is nothing in this comic he did that’s remotely villainous, even if it angered the Inhuamns. If anything, the other X-Men and people who support mutants in universe should consider him a martyr. And with that underwhelming ending, the entire terrigen mist story arc has officially collapsed in on itself.
There is a major plot twist at the end of this comic, but it’s one that a lot of people will see coming. The foreshadowing isn’t even subtle. Even Magik suspects that something’s going on; of course she’s one of the true saving graces in this series thanks to her consistently good characterization. It’s not necessarily out of character for the people/person involved in the plot twist though.
The art is handled by Aaron Kuder and Javier Garron, and I’m not sure where one artist’s work begins and the other’s ends, but it kind of feels like a step down from the previous issues. Some of the facial expressions just look weird, like a cartoonish smile from Cyclops and Emma Frost after they transform the terrigen cloud into something red, and their childlike pouts after Alchemist dies. The tears in Emma Frost’s eyes when Cyclops dies are heavily exaggerated. On the other hand, there’s a lot of detail in the large panel where Cyclops dies, with parts of his uniform breaking off and rocks flying all over the place. The art really seems to improve at the end of the comic, with more detailed backgrounds, a wide cast of X-Men characters at the funeral scene and a very well detailed look at Cyclops’s corpse. Emma Frost’s grin on the last page makes her look like she’s going insane. I’m pretty sure that’s intentional. The colouring by Morry Hollowell and Jay David Ramos is more consistent and good. Everything is bright and colourful, and the scenes where the green mists turn red look fantastic.
Death of X isn’t without its good points. The Inhumans half of the story in the first issue was good, and the “ideas never die” line at the end would be the perfect closer for a better comic. That said, this miniseries ultimately proves to show how tired the idea of the terrigen mist storyline was from the beginning. The sooner it ends, the better. I wouldn’t recommend this mini-series, and I’m not feeling all that positive about the Inhumans vs. X-Men event either. At least the Monsters Unleashed event sounds like it could be fun.