Inhumans Vs. X-Men #3 Review

comic books:
Tom Bacon

Reviewed by:
On January 25, 2017
Last modified:January 24, 2017


Although Inhumans vs. X-Men has been a relatively strong event so far, this issue is undermined by some very real background problems.

Inhumans Vs. X-Men #3 Review

IvX 3

As fans of the X-Men in particular will know all too well, the last year has seen the mutants caught up in their latest extinction plot. This time round, the X-Office has tried to bring the mutant race into a no-holds-barred battle for survival against the Inhumans! The idea is a simple one: the Terrigen Mist that’s spreading across the world, and creating new Inhumans, is also toxic to mutants. If the X-Men destroy the Terrigen Mist, then they’re wiping out the Inhuman race; if they do nothing, the mutant race will be rendered extinct.

Matters are coming to a head in the Inhumans vs. X-Men event, with the X-Men launching a successful first strike against the Inhumans – a first strike that served as a distraction, while they dealt with the sole remaining Terrigen cloud. In IvX #3, though, the Inhumans began to fight back.

The Terrigen plot hasn’t been particularly strong, but writer Charles Soule has been having a blast here. The first two issues left X-Men fans delighted, but this outing shows the reversal that we all predicted; the NuHumans prove to be the thorn in the X-Men’s side. That naturally involves a shift in focus, with Inferno and Iso undermining the X-Men’s strategy for destroying the Terrigen. The script is as strong as the previous issues, with Soule handling the ever-expanding cast with skill.

Unfortunately, there’s a single twist in this issue that destroys the entire premise of the last year’s worth of comics. Forge’s machine will gather all the Terrigen into one place, and the X-Men will then incinerate it safely. But why didn’t anybody just try collecting all the Terrigen together into a chamber, and resetting back to the classic Inhuman status quo, where potential Inhumans choose to step into the Mists? The very fact that it’s possible to collect the Terrigen means that the whole ‘only one race can survive’ premise feels uncomfortably artificial.

The B-story of this issue sets up the return of the classic Inhumans. The X-Men knew all too well that they would only be able to keep the Inhumans in check for so long, and Soule shows the Inhumans regrouping and preparing to escape Limbo. Probably the most interesting of these scenes is focused around Karnak, who has been kept separate from the other Inhumans, and trapped in a psychic labyrinth by Jean Grey. I love the way this scene plays out, with Karnak spotting the flaws in the labyrinth, and refusing to keep playing Jean’s games. But I’m also delighted to see that the X-Men had prepared for that eventuality.

Javier Grirron’s art is effective, and there are some real stand-out scenes here – notably featuring Iso, Medusa and Kamala Khan. Unlike many classic comic book artists, he puts tremendous effort into the backgrounds, trying to give readers a sense of the wider world the action’s taking place in. For the most part, it works, although I feel he struggled a little with Limbo.

Inhumans vs. X-Men is a competent event, and this issue again demonstrates Soule’s skill. Unfortunately, the event is undermined by the conceptual problems behind the Terrigen Mist plot. Soule and Grirron do their best to hide these problems, but they’re still all too visible.

Inhumans Vs. X-Men #3 Review

Although Inhumans vs. X-Men has been a relatively strong event so far, this issue is undermined by some very real background problems.