As much as I really didn’t look forward to this event at first, Inhumans vs. X-Men 0 was actually really good. The first issue of this event, the second of Marvel’s hero vs hero events in 2016 alone, was a surprisingly good setup issue. The second issue was nothing but action, but it was a fun one. Of course it wasn’t without some glaring flaws, like Sabretooth somehow fighting the Human Torch, or All-New Wolverine’s terrible characterization, but it was mostly a fun issue. I came into this week’s entry with high hopes.
Inhumans vs. X-Men 3, co-written by Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire, is kind of a weird issue. Normally the slower issue of a 6-issue event is the fourth, but that’s what we have this week. There are a couple major plot developments, like the X-Men’s machine being destroyed, but for the most part the characters on both sides of the conflict spend this issue talking. This is mostly a build-up issue for the second act. That in itself isn’t a problem, but not much happens in IvX 3. The Inhumans figure out that they’re locked in limbo and Medusa says that they’ll escape the inescapable prison, but they’re still in their techno bubble. Karnak escapes Jean Grey’s mental trap, only to find himself in another trap. The X-men hold a meeting to try and figure out how to deal with the cloud now, but they don’t even begin to come to a solution. Some of this build-up could potentially head toward some great payoff, but there’s no real development and barely any drama. Magneto even cuts short the only real chance for drama by stopping Old Beast and Emma Frost from arguing before they even begin. This issue just kind of exists.
Javier Garron’s art is really good though. The opening fight between Iso and Inferno against Old Man Logan and Forge is complete with all sorts of lighting effects from Iso’s powers, debris when Logan smashes through trees, and Logan’s charred body after he’s burned real bad. The limbo prison is very well detailed with the creepy demonic landscape combined with technology, and all the demons flying around them. Facial expression capture people’s emotions well, like Magik’s confusion when she overhears that someone destroyed Forge’s machine after she thought she sent everyone to Limbo, Medusa’s determination when she decides to escape limbo and Old Beast’s clear anger when he snaps back at Emma Frost. Andres Mossa and Jay David Ramos are both credited as colourists, and they’re both good. The comic is bright and colourful, with good use of shadows.
As good as the art is, it doesn’t save this comic from being kind of boring. The action scene at the start is entertaining enough, but the rest of this issue just kind of exists. Hopefully the next issue will pick up from here. If you’ve been enjoying this event so far, I recommend that you read this before you buy it. If you weren’t interested to begin with, this issue certainly won’t change your mind.
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This issue frustrated me. Three issues in – four, if you count the 0 issue – and there’s still no apparent theme. No reason for the story beyond “People Punch Each Other.” And I feel like that’s just not enough.