Going into this issue, I wasn’t all that excited. The X-Men’s terrigen mist story arc was a bad idea to begin with, and it felt like a dull rip-off of the legacy virus and decimation time periods combined. Death of X was mediocre at best and came far too late for its own good. However, Inhumans vs. X-Men 0 was actually really good. It was good enough that I decided to at least give this issue a chance.
Inhumans vs. X-Men 1, co-written by Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule, is mostly build-up for the main event comic, but with enough payoff to make it exciting. The whole comic is intercut with a meeting with most of the major figures in the X-Men world, a few Inhumans scenes, and the X-Men beginning to enact their plan. The meeting details how the Earth is about to be completely uninhabitable for mutants. The cloud, which kills mutants at varying rates is already starting to split apart and evenly cover the planet, giving the X-Men weeks at best. However, adult Beast still believes in the truce and would rather leave the planet than fight. It’s interesting how young Beast and adult Beast disagree on this matter. Some others surprisingly agree to fight, but it’s not out of character. It’s just a surprise because of how they’ve been portrayed lately.
The plan itself starts to unfold throughout the comic, with a number of clever infiltrations and ambushes on the X-Men’s part. It’s clear that they’ve been planning this for months. The Inhumans also have battle plans, but we have yet to see them take place yet. It appears that the real war starts in the next issue. I can’t comment on the Inhumans’ characterization, but all the X-Men characters feel spot on. Their dialogue feels right. Their attitudes and opinions feel right. Even though there is some mistrust in the meeting towards the likes of Emma Frost and Magneto, they all realize they need to work together on this. Well, most of them. There’s a bit of humour thrown in as well, most notably Fantomex’s quick appearance that I won’t spoil.
The art by Leinil Francis Yu is great. The opening exterior panels on Muir Island show a lot of environmental detail, whether it’s the water stains on Cyclops’ grave, the rebuilt structures in the background or the clouds in the sky. Facial expressions do a great job at conveying emotion, like the hopeless look in Beast’s eyes, Medusa’s proud smile when Inhuman children are about to experience the terrigen mist, Emma Frost’s smug look when she ambushes Black Bolt and of course Magneto’s cold hard stare when he gets to work. David Curiel’s colouring is also great. The outdoor scenes and New Attilan are bright and colourful, while other scenes are darker and either shaded brown to emphasize the mood, or make great use of shadows.
I’m surprised how good of a start this event is off to. One issue gets more done than any three issues of the almost finished Civil War II, yet there’s still room for character moments and a touch of humour. The build-up is exciting too. I won’t quite recommend this event yet unless you’re already interested, but at least flip through it if you haven’t completely been turned off the terrigen mist story arc yet.