Inhumans vs. X-Men, written by Charles Soule, is mostly a setup issue. That said, there’s a lot of great writing to make this an overall good comic. The beginning speech that Adult Beast gives to a young Inhuman scientist, Iso, is kind of inspiring, plus it’s a great character moment that shows off Beast’s love of science. All the characterization in this issue feels right. Emma Frost kind of feels like she’s slipping to her old, villainous Hellfire Queen self, but it’s not entirely clear whether that’s true or not. The discussions she has with Magneto, the young X-men and a mysterious woman show how manipulative she can be even without her powers.
The comic takes place over the course of six months, ending “two months ago”, and you can feel the rising tensions as time goes on. The inhumans are increasingly worried that the mutants will run out of patience with Beast. The mutants are increasingly worried that their species will feel its end. Magneto also realizes that the Inhumans aren’t just following the cloud around, they’re defending it. Despite all that, there’s a good balance of despair and hope. Beast’s optimism is dampened by some of his discoveries, but he doesn’t give up, and neither does Frost.
The art by Kenneth Rocafort is great. The environments are very well detailed, whether it’s the varied sharp rock edges on Muir Island, the high tech main building on New Attilan or the trees, plant life and rivers in the Savage Land, among other locations. Characters are well detailed as well. Beast’s body is appropriately covered in fur every time he shows up. Facial expressions are great too, especially Beast’s excited grins, Emma Frost’s mischievous looks and Magneto’s annoyed look when he’s talking with Emma Frost. Dan Brown’s colouring completes the look with a bright, colourful palette with great use of lighting, shadows and reflections.
Inhumans vs. X-Men is really good for a comic that’s strictly build-up. It explains everything you need to know about the terrigen mist story arc, while mixing it in with good character moments and rising tension to keep things interesting in case you already know. I’m not sure whether I’m going to read the main event or not, and this issue doesn’t help me change my mind. As an individual comic, I’d recommend Inhumans vs. X-Men 0 to anyone interested in the upcoming event.