Somewhat lost amid the dragged-out Civil War II event, the ongoing Captain Hydra drama, various Marvel NOW! debuts, and even the fresh look at the cosmic catalog in the pages of books like Thanos and Ultimates², is the impending conflict between The Inhumans and the X-Men. This has been brewing for some time – indeed, for more than a year, since the opening weeks of Marvel’s All-New All-Different initiative. And in the pages of Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, and Aaron Kuder’s tantalizing Death of X, we learned just exactly what Cyclops did all those months ago that served to both brand him as a despised mutant terrorist, as well as instigate the forthcoming Inhuman-Mutant war. In this week’s prologue book, Inhumans vs. X-Men #0, Soule and Kenneth Rocafort deftly summarize the mutants’ fight for survival, and set the stage for the big showdown.
In the aftermath of the Infinity event, we learned that the Terrigen mists unleashed by Black Bolt, while transforming both Earth’s populace and the greater Marvel Universe by awakening the Inhuman potential in thousands of unsuspecting humans around the globe, also have a terrifying side effect. The Terrigen mists are deadly to mutants.
The threat to mutantkind felt real. If it was Marvel’s intention to make readers perceive the circulation longevity of the X-books running short, then props to editorial genius. Two new Inhumans series debuted. The “Unity Team” featured in Uncanny Avengers, first formed following Avengers vs. X-Men, now unified Avengers, mutants, and Inhumans. Wolverine was still dead, ostensibly replaced by X-23 and Old Man Logan. Professor X was still dead, seemingly replaced by the Inhuman Gorgon (he’s a wheelchair-bound mentor to new Inhumans!) Cyclops, apparently, is dead, and the entire world hates him. Conspiracy theorists were going nuts: was Marvel really replacing their beloved mutants with these Inhumans? Does Marvel Studios, supplanting their absent X-license with Inhumans on television and, purportedly, in movies, carry that much clout?
Well, I think we can all relax. While the jury’s still out on whether or not Marvel gives a shit about Fantastic Four anymore, early solicitations for their ResurreXion event seem to be clear indications that the mutants will have their day, very soon. But how do we get there? Especially when Medusa’s ominous lines at the end of IvX #0 hint at more dramatic turns in the impending conflict: “We will not start the fight… but we must be ready to win it.”
The first issue of IvX comes out in two weeks, courtesy of Soule, the indefatigable Jeff Lemire, and the sensational Leinil Francis Yu. The series is scheduled to run through February, heralding Marvel’s reboot of their X-books. Tensions are sure to rise, and the stakes figure to increase. On the brink of extinction (again – mutants can’t ever catch a break), New Attilan will come under siege. And before everyone immediately jumps on the poor X-bandwagon, notice that everyone’s favorite Inhuman, Kamala Khan, is putting up her dukes on the left side of that showdown. Yeah. I’m torn.
I also think it’s freaking hilarious that the first issue of IvX drops before the last issue of Civil War II.