Marvel’s X-event this month seems to be about a lot more than a refresh on their stable of mutant books. Developing out of the ashes of Inhumans vs. X-Men, ResurrXion looks to not only provide a new publishing initiative for mutant and Inhuman books, but also to re-establish the X-Men as one of the preeminent Marvel properties. For three solid decades, beginning in the 80’s, the X-Men were arguably the most popular characters in Marvel’s catalog. But with the success of Marvel Studios, and accompanying company mandates to focus on characters developed in the Marvel-controlled MCU, the treatment of the X-books, and mutants themselves, seemed to mirror the fictional resentment and discrimination that had been a hallmark theme of mutant storylines for so many years.
Despite understanding Marvel’s inclination to increase exposure for their Marvel Studios characters, when the All-New All-Different era kicked off in 2015, we were still nonetheless a little taken aback. The Inhumans were figuratively (and somewhat literally) killing off and replacing the mutants. It was happening in the comics, and it was happening on the comic book shelves. But after force-feeding us too many unsatisfying and underdeveloped “nuHuman” characters, Marvel seemingly saw the light. Extinction averted, IvX behind us, and we’ve got a spate of new X-related releases in the coming weeks, including an exciting team series that promises to go “Back to Basics.”
But that doesn’t mean the Inhumans have been passed over; part of this ResurrXion rightly belongs to them, and a return to form works both ways. In the first of two intro issues this week, Inhumans Prime brings the focus back on the Inhuman royal family, and sets the stage for some glorious cosmic adventure.
The Inhumans half of this publishing initiative has three key things going for it. To begin with, the flagship title, Royals, is being written by Al Ewing, who has already demonstrated a knack for tapping into Marvel’s trippy sci-fi legacy in the pages of Ultimates. Artist JonBoy Meyers, who left DC’s Teen Titans following “creative differences,” will hopefully benefit from working with a new publisher and new editors as he tries to harmonize his dynamic graphic style with a better understanding of comic book storytelling. Secondly, as we learn in the first few pages of this week’s Prime, this little cosmic jaunt looks to be instigated by Marvel Boy, one of the few Grant Morrison creations Marvel has been blessed with. Apparently he’s got some Kree secrets rattling around in his head, and he may be able to provide answers to the terrigenesis questions that the Inhumans hadn’t even thought to ask.
Finally, as mentioned before, Marvel is going to concentrate on the core Inhuman group, the ones we were introduced to by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the pages of Fantastic Four more than five decades ago. Some of the more interesting nuHumans look ready for their closeups, but it’s nowhere near as muddled as those first few weeks of the ANAD era. Walk before you can run, and if Marvel wants more readers to discover just how cool this star-flung race of Kree experiments can be, they need to follow the X-Men’s lead and get back to basics as well.