Writers: Jeff Lemire & Charles Soule
Artists: Aaron Kuder & Javier Garron
Inkers: Jay Leisten,
Colorist: Morry Hollowell and Jay David Ramos
Letters: VC’S Joe Sabino
Death of X #4 is an absolute piece of garbage. It has been some time since I have had such a visceral reaction to a comic. If I had read it in paper rather then on my IPAD I’m pretty sure I would have torched the book. The sad thing is that I liked the first issue of this mini- series and I had high hopes that with this stellar creative team we would have a satisfying conclusion to the last tale of Cyclops. I thought there might even be the possibility of tears as I have been a huge Cyclops fan ever since the Claremont/Byrne run. Instead I dropped a few choice swear words and had to walk away to compose myself.
Death of X #4 wraps up the missing time period between the end of Secret Wars and the present day Marvel Universe. It was also set to reveal what finally happened to Cyclops. I was hoping for an awe inspiring final stand of one of Marvel’s oldest and greatest heroes. We don’t even get a brilliant counterattack by one of Marvel’s most brilliant strategist. Instead we get a boring finale and an anger inducing pointless twist.
Death of X #4 picks up with where issue #3 left off. Magneto and a hodgepodge of X-men past containing Crystal’s Inhuman intervention team and Storm’s X-men unit attempting to build a bridge with the Inhumans rather then go to war with them. Once it was revealed in Death of X #1 that the Inhuman Terrigen Mist can be deadly to Mutants or anyone carrying the X-Gene. The X-Men split on how to react to this news, with Storm reaching out to the Inhumans and “Scott” going in a different direction. Magneto isn’t really there to engage the Inhumans and X-Men, rather he is a distraction while Cyclops and his team can drop Alchemy, the Mutant with the ability to change the elements, into the Terrigen cloud and make it inert. Crystal calls the Inhuman Royal family for help. They arrive but they to are unable to stop Alchemy as Sunfire drops him into the cloud and it goes from green to red and is no longer a threat. Alchemy gives his life to make the change and the Inhuman Royals are less then pleased which finally brings us to the moment. Cyclops casually stares down Black Bolt and with a simple word Cyclops is struck down, a hero to the mutant revolutionary movement and criminal to the Inhumans.
Not what I wanted in a final chapter for Cyclops but there are worse ways to go out. Black Bolt is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. Oh wait. There was a worst way. Apparently Cyclops died at the end of issue #1 and everything that has happened since has been Emma Frost using her telepathy to project ‘Cyclops’ to everyone and no one noticed. Not the Stepford Cuckoos who are a hive mind on par with Emma Frost. Not the Royal Family who it is said to be nearly impervious to telepathic attacks. No one notices even though Emma is involved in her own part of ‘Cyclops’ plan and I hate to break it to any big Emma Frost fans out there- She’s not that powerful! Especially after having her powers jacked up after her time as a member of the Phoenix 5, or is that just being ignored now? As Emma explains to Alex Summers she didn’t want Cyclops to have such a meaningless death, she wanted it to mean more. Then Marvel should have made it meaningful. Not some pointless twist that negates the respect the man deserved. No matter how you look at it Marvel bungled this and what a disappointing conclusion to the life of Scott Summer’s, who deserved better.
Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule are better then this. Both of them are very talented writers and have turned in incredible work, both in the past and in the present. But this is not their finest hour. This is a pointless twist and an incredible let down for what should have been or could have been an awe inspiring ending to an all time great hero. Aaron Kuder and Javier Garron’s artwork is still excellent and their styles are close enough that the book reads seamlessly. The colors were rich and gave a lot of depth to this mini-series but the story is such a let down that even beautiful artwork couldn’t save this book. IVX starts next week, hopefully that will redeem this continuing feud of mutant and inhuman but at this point it has an Everest sized mountain to climb. If it doesn’t succeed there’s always ResurrXion in the spring that will probably make all of this moot and we can move past this time period of the X-Men.
Verdict: Pass. Get out now if you can. This mini series went from promising to a disappointing very quickly. With the talent involved here this book should have been incredible but it is a dud of an event and not at all the lead in I wanted to IVX or as a final chapter to Cyclops.