By Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule, Aaron Kuder and Morry Hollowell
With some very exciting creator names on Death of X #1 there was a level of hype for this debut issue. While some aspects were solid, it falls short of the names on the cover.
Death of X tells the story of what happened between Scott’s X-team and the Inhumans after Secret Wars and before the relaunch of the All-New All-Different Marvel books. There was an 8 month gap between those two events which Death of X is going to fill in. What we know prior to this issue is that the Terrigen mist can kill X-men and Scott is pissed about it. There is a really cool atmosphere to this book, knowing where it is going but finding out exactly how we get there.
The issue tells two stories. One is Scott’s team on Muir Island discovering that the Terrigen mist cloud there killed all of Jamie Madrox’s duplicates. The other story is a group of Inhumans in Japan checking up on the arrival of a mist cloud. Both stories are quite compelling, both written and drawn very well. However, while the Marvel debut of Champions by Waid and Ramos is an uplifting book about being socially responsible this is the opposite. When Scott finds out that the Terrigen mist kills X-men he immediately resorts to a violent result. There is no thinking of the other side or of the bigger picture. He starts to rant like a teenager and wages war on the Inhumans. If this is just a Scott quality I’m not sure I can endure my main protagonist having them for too long.
Kuder is a bit of a mixed bag on this issue. While there are pages that he is brilliant on there’s also pages that have me skipping by. The character work is a little inconsistent at times and can be distracting. In saying that though, there are so many pages that wow me. Even a simple page that just contains an arial shot of the x-team has this scattered feeling of a team unsure what they are walking into. It visually gives you the information that the team is a little uncomfortable on the island Muir. Overall very solid art by Kuder I just think it could be tightened up a little.
I really enjoy the idea of the Terrigen mist. It brings life to one group while bringing death to another. It is a great way to pin the two groups against each other when survival is on the line for both. I have trouble believing there isn’t a way around this where Inhumans could continue awaking their own without having to wipe out all the X-men but I guess we will see in the upcoming issues how the conflict escalates.
Overall a solid first installment to this interesting prequel type story. The issue has a great ominous feel about it paired with some fantastic looking pages. After finishing the first issue I only have one question, can’t we all just get along?