Rating: 4/5 – The Beginning of the End is Here… a Bit Late.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell
Cyclops is back, just like everyone else Dr. Doom ‘killed’ in Secret Wars. This issue starts out with Cyclops, Emma Frost, The Stepford Cuckoos, Magik and Goldballs on the Blackbird heading to Muir Island because of a distress call. The scene is gloomy and dark, like something out of a horror movie, and what they find is pretty much close to it. Muir Island is engulfed in a mist, and life signs on the island are fading. The X-Men are cautious and careful, but the Terrigen Mist is already filling their lungs. There has been a lot of tragedy over the years for the Mutants and it continues to be a rough time for them.
Writers Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule are co-writing this series, and it’s probably a good thing, seeing as how both writers have had a hand in the most recent Inhuman and X-Men titles. This mini-series focuses on what happened within the lost 6-8 months in the Marvel Universe after Secret Wars. This story has been several months of waiting, because it’s a key component to the Inhuman and Mutant altercation playing out in other books right now. I’m not sure how Soule and Lemire split up the writing for this issue, but something feels a little off when the story switches back and forth between the different groups of characters. The X-Men part of the story feels a little more close to how I expect the characters to read, but the Inhuman side of the story feels a little off from how I’ve come to recognize the characters in the All-New Inhuman comics.
The story itself is well laid out, the back and forth between the chaos with the Mutants, while the Inhumans seem to be happy and prospering seems to impact how I perceive the story for the two groups. With every Yin there is a Yang, you can’t have just the light side, there has to be a balance and this series is showing that balance. The balance is not always pretty, Soule and Lemire let us know that early on. The deep interpretation of the story is beautifully done, and with Artist Aaron Kuder putting strong visual detail into the characters and delivering breath taking large spread panels for shock value, this comic series hit me full force and left me wanting more.
When the X-Men are on Muir Island, we see a very well done spread by Kuder of all the Multiple Man duplicates and supposedly the primary Jamie Madrox. This scene is so well done to show the terror of what the Terrigen Mist does to mutants. I actually went back into All-New Inhumans and my X-Men titles to see if there was any mention of what happened here at all, since it is supposedly in the past from the current comics, but there is nothing. Magik was on Muir Island and saw what happened. She has been in the Extraordinary X-Men comics but has not mentioned one thing about any of this. You would think that something this horrifying would cling to you emotionally. I like one story flowing into another to make sense, when there is a tiny differences or something that doesn’t make complete sense I tend to question it. The problem really comes in telling these stories out of order and not spoiling this event series by mentioning key details in other related books that are published months before. It makes sense from a “don’t spoil things” point of view, but not from a story continuity POV.
Death of X #1 fills in a gap in continuity about how the Terrigen Mist cloud specifically affected a large number of mutants, but it did bother me that this very key continuity point has been completely unmentioned for months. The timing of this series is just off, it seems like Marvel should have published it several months ago so that this would fit in with what is going on in the other books. That may not be a big deal for readers who just read the event books, but it is bothersome to me as someone who reads all of the X-Men and Inhumans books being published. That said, it was a powerful story with good art, so I was able to enjoy it even though there were a number of specific details that bothered me.
Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
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