Writers: Jeff Lemire & Charles Soule
Penciler: Aaron Kuder
Inkers: Jay Leistein, Cam Smith, & Scott Hanna
Colors: Morry Hollowell & Jay David Ramos
Letters: VC’s Joes Sabino
Death of X #2 continues to delve into the 8 month time gap between the end of Secret Wars and the launch of All New Marvel Now. The purpose of this mini-series is to revel how the world, and specifically the mutant community, realized that the Inhuman Terrigen Mist is deadly to people carrying the X-gene. Death of X also has the intent of filling the reader in on what happened to ‘Old’ Cyclops as he has been noticeably absent from the X-Books since their latest relaunch.
Death of X #2 does very little to progress the story from the first issue. This book is more about moving our players into position as well as establishing three different sides in the coming conflict. The X-Men are divided on what to do with the Terrigen Mist revelation. The division falls in line with the Uncanny X-Men and All New X-Men split that had occurred under Brian Michael Bendis’ writing of those titles. Storm leads the group that wants to open dialogue with Medusa and the Inhumans while Cyclops and his militant group take the news directly to the people, all of the people, and leave it for them to decide the proper course of action. The final party in this affair are the Inhumans. The Inhumans see the Terrigen Mist as a religious event that reveals a persons true identity, not as a horrific, murderous cloud. This is where the crux of the conflict of this mini-series will be fought.
I’m enjoying the political conflict present in this book. In Cyclops and Medusa you have two very opinionated individuals who believe they are fighting for the very survival of their people. Medusa is the savvier of the two as she was born into royalty and has a lifetime of experience with ruling her people. Cyclops is more militant with his revolutionary ideals and far more confrontational. As a political scientist it reminds me of the early 20th Century as the aging monarchies weren’t sure how to deal with the growing Leftists Revolutionaries in their midst. Poor Storm is stuck in the middle as she loves her people and wants to see their survival but she is willing to compromise and is willing to work with Medusa and the Inhumans in trying to save both races. She is the centrist politician stuck in the middle between two factions brewing for a war and she will eventually need to pick a side or get out of the way.
Although there is very little progression of the story in this issue the tension is ratcheting up and the war is coming. Cyclops and Emma Frost are plotting, in secret, on their course of action and reaching out to all of Mutankind to aid them, even the more unsavory of mutants who will not take the new information well. Storm is caught in the middle as she is trying to open dialogue between her people and the Inhumans, as Medusa is empathetic to the plight of the Mutants but not to the demise of her own Inhuman people. I’m excited to see how powder keg is going to explode.
Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule are doing an excellent job writing this tale. Having the guiding voice for both the X-Men and the Inhumans handling this mini-series was a brilliant decision by Marvel. The dialogue rings true and the characterization of the major players is accurate, unlike what is going on in Civil War II. Aaron Kuder’s art is beautiful as it continues to be moody and atmospheric. I find his art to be a wonderful combination of Frank Quitley and Art Adams. Along with the art the colors of Morry Hollowell and Jay David Ramos must be mentioned. The pallet they have used is pitch perfect as they continue to use dark tones for the X-Men scenes as the Inhumans live in a brighter, more glorious color scheme. It lends itself perfectly to the storyline.
Verdict: Buy this book. If you are a fan of the X-men or of the Inhumans (in my case both) you owe it to yourself to read this mini-series as you prepare for the coming of IVX. With two issues to go in this mini-series we’ll finally get to find out if Joey is right in his statement #CYCLOPSWASRIGHT