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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

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Inhumans vs X-Men issue 1 is out so I thought I would give it a read. With the X-Men being relegated to the bench due to 20th Century Fox having the film rights to the characters, mutants have taken a back seat for a while now to the Inhumans, led by their leader Black Bolt. Thanks to the terrigan mists which gives Inhumans on Earth their abilities, it has the nasty side effect of killing mutants. Once before the mutants fought off the terrigan mists, going to war with the Inhumans before a truce was called. Hank McCoy, Beast, had been working with the Inhumans to find a cure so the remaining mutants on Earth would not have to die. As we discover in this issue, it was all for naught. So what do I think of this issue?

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Disappointment is a word that comes to mind. While I certainly understand the mutants motivations for survival, as a reader you’re not given any reason to sympathize with them. Not once did I have a moment where I considered if I would act like the mutants in the story if I faced a similar consequence. It seems the X-Men of old have turned into the very people they once fought against. Facing only two weeks before mutants are to become extinct, they’d rather go on a rampage against the Inhumans than try for a potential cure or worse, leave the planet. Their response was the same as Magneto himself gave back in the day. They were there first. If they were going out, they were going out in a blaze of glory.

Why they felt the need to make the X-Men the villains of the story is beyond me. It seems lazy more than anything. They are backed into a corner and with the right writer, there could have been a more nuanced reaction to the news of their extinction than ‘let’s fight’. As a reader, you may not have agreed with their decision but you could have understood it. Yet in this story they choose the wrong path to follow and you’re not given a reason to care. You dislike them. You want the Inhumans to beat them if this is going to be their response.

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Speaking of the Inhumans, for how powerful we expect them to be thanks to how Hank McCoy built them up at the beginning of the story, you’re left shaking your head as the reader by how quickly the X-Men are able to capture their leaders. Based on the ease of their capture, I probably would have had a decent shot of capturing them myself which is saying a lot. I would have liked at least one issue dedicated to the X-Men infiltrating the Inhuman’s fortress to kidnap the leaders, not a few panels. For how the Inhumans were hyped, and the fact that it was established that the peace between the X-Men and the Inhumans had been going for only a few months, the Inhumans come off as weak and frankly stupid. Taking advantage of peace is great. That’s what you want to see people do. But if I were the leader of a people, I’d have suspicions and contingency plans in place to make sure something like this never happened.

Overall, I was not impressed with how the story starts. The characters I’m familiar with are acting in ways that are contrary to how they’ve acted in the past. While it could be argued that people pushed into a corner will do what they can to survive, we’re not shown the internal struggle these characters have. Their first reaction is to fight and fight they do. The X-Men have become the very evil they’ve fought their entire existence and that is sad to see. I’d much rather see Marvel kill off the X-Men than go out of their way to make them villains I want to see punished. They’re better than this.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.