Monday, October 10, 2016

Death of X #1 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

We Protect Our Own

Written By: Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule
Art By: Aaron Kuder, Morry Hollowell
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

This book got a lot of coverage in the comic book world when it was first announced. Marvel played things pretty close to the vest and didn’t release a whole lot about it so many people believed that this was the book that Marvel was finally going to use in order to kill off the Mutants. Well, now we know that isn’t the case (though Marvel could still certainly do that with Inhumans vs. X-Men next month) but rather it is the story about how we have gotten to the place we are now in the Marvel universe. This story is a flashback to the time not too long after Black Bolt released the terrigen cloud on the world and we are just seeing its first effects. Now, this book is really separated into two different stories that each occur alongside each other so you would read a couple pages about the Mutants and a couple pages about the Inhumans and it would go back and forth like that. I really enjoyed that aspect but for my review, I’m going to focus on one side first and then go to the other side. I think it will just be easier for all of you reading this. So, without further ado, let’s jump into this series.

The story starts with the Mutants so we shall start with them as well. We learn that this story took place one year ago from where we are now and the Mutants are flying the jet over the Atlantic Ocean. On board the jet are Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Iceman, Goldballs, and the Stepford Cuckoos. The Mutants are responding to a distress call the received from Muir Island. Jamie Madrox had left them a message but most of the message had been lost in static. They land on the island to find that it seems to be covered in a green gas. However, the gas doesn’t seem harmful to them, with exception to Goldballs who experiences some nausea. They reach the main facility and Emma Frost is only able to sense a few minds still inside despite the fact that the facility was fully staffed. Cyclops develops a cough on the island but they move forward anyway.

Inside the facility, the mutants quickly find the first body. The body is covered in boils and is unrecognizable to them. The Stepford Cuckoos then sense someone outside of the facility and the team goes outside once again into the gas. They move out to the side of a cliff and see dozens of bodies all belonging to Madrox, who had the ability to create copies of himself. However, there is one still alive and he climbs towards the group begging for help. Cyclops immediately jumps down and tries to help him. Madrox is covered in the boils as well but not to the same extent that the other bodies had been. However, he quickly passes away but with his final breath he reveals that they found that the terrigen mist was what had done this to them. Cyclops sends the team back to the jet while he goes through the computers on the island. He calls up Beast and informs him that something is harming Mutants and it is the terrigen mist. Cyclops then collapses in the middle of the facility. When we return to the Mutant’s Cyclops has recovered but his mood has changed dramatically. As far as he is concerned the Mutants and the Inhumans are now at war and he holds the Inhumans responsible for the deaths on Muir Island. He is going to attack them because that’s the only way he knows to protect his people and he Mutants always protect their own.

Over with the Inhumans, things are a little different. They are using their own jet to fly over Masumoto, Japan and the terrigen cloud is right behind them. Looking down on the city, they see that a rather large cloud has gathered and thanks to local chatter, they realize that most of the population has decided to remain in the city. When the terrigen cloud had first hit a city, most of it had evacuated completely. They’ve come a long way. The cloud finally touches down and we focus on one pod that has suddenly emerged. However, while the people of Japan marvel at it and take pictures, they quickly begin running instead as the Inhumans aren’t the only ones in the area. Hydra is attempt to steal the Inhuman transformation pods but there are too many people in the area so they raise their weapons and plan on firing into the crowd. However, our Inhuman squad consisting of Crystal, Grid, Gorgon, Flint, Naja, and Iso stop them before they can hurt any innocent bystanders. However, they then look into the scky to see three massive Hydra gunships flying above them and many more soldiers begin to filter out onto the city.

A massive brawl breaks out between the Inhumans and Hydra. At the beginning it seems that the Inhumans will be able to easily take them out but the reality sets in quickly and suddenly they are on the defensive. Hydra looks like they will win but suddenly the Inhuman pod begins to hatch and out comes a man with a blue mohawk. He stumble for a bit and seems to lack control of his new power as he knees on the ground and releases a huge amount of blue light. The light had affected most of the Hydra agents and put them into some kind of trance. The Inhumans pick off a few of the stragglers before addressing the new Inhuman. The new Inhuman is incredibly grateful and is overjoyed. He says that he has been alone for so long and Crystal thanks him since without his help, the rest of the team would be dead. She then offers him a home with the Inhumans where he will learn more about his powers so that he will not only be protected but also be able to protect others. After all, the Inhumans always protect their own. This is where the issue leaves us.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this series going forward. I mean, I understood the basic idea behind the book but as far as quality and how this story would play out, I had no idea. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by this book as we got an amazing narrative about the Inhumans and Mutants. Seeing the Inhumans dealing with new creation while the Mutants deal with death is almost poetic and the fact that we were constantly flipping between stories really showed how the two were in complete contrast to each other as far as where their people are. Honestly, there is very little about this issue that I didn’t like. The art was amazing and the dialogue was really nicely done. Granted, it wasn’t perfect, but very few first issues are perfect. They are setting up a story that will hopefully pay off in the future and that leads to a lot of set up in the first issue. That said, this issue was just a fun read and I’m looking forward to more.

Bits and Pieces

Death of X starts off very promising as we get the beginnings of this major conflict between the Inhumans and the Mutants. While one group faces a new golden age, the other group faces extinction and they are on a collision course. This issue sets everything up very nicely and using some very impressive storytelling devices. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series and I would definitely recommend this issue to anyone. How the rest of the series will go, I haven’t a clue but this is one of the best ways to start it off.


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