Inhumans Vs. X-Men #4 Review

comic books:
Tom Bacon

Reviewed by:
On February 8, 2017
Last modified:February 7, 2017


It's hard not to feel disappointed with this issue of Inhumans vs. X-Men, in large part because the A-plot retells the story from All-New X-Men #18.

Inhumans vs. X-Men #4 Review

iVx 4

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Inhumans vs. X-Men #4 is a strange comic, weaving between two main plots. On Muir Isle, the assembled X-Men struggle to work out what to do now that Forge has gone missing. Unknown to the X-Men, though, the newest Inhuman – Mosaic, who has the power to possess people and access their memories – has infiltrated the island. He manages to (briefly) get into Magneto’s head, learns the X-Men’s secrets, and then jumps out to possess the young Cyclops – the only mutant he can manage to control who can pilot a Blackbird Jet. He then promptly makes his way back to the assembled NuHumans.

There’s a big problem with this A-plot. It’s that we get a very strange sense of deja vu all the way through it. You see, last week Marvel released a tie-in issue, All-New X-Men #18, where we saw Mosaic briefly possess Magneto, jump into Cyclops and steal a Blackbird Jet. Sound familiar?

It’s quite common for an event comic to tell the main story, and a tie-in to then orbit around it, repeating the narrative from a different point of view. When you read the main event issues first, it works. When the tie-in is published a week before, it falls flat. Matters are made even worse by the fact that Dennis Hopeless’ script dove into the emotion of the story a lot more than this issue, by Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule. In All-New X-Men, we got to experience Cyclops’s possession, we learned Magneto’s secrets, and we saw Cyclops’s reaction when those secrets are passed on. In Inhumans vs. X-Men #4, we see the X-Men running around panicked. Until the end-scene, the sad truth is that All-New X-Men #18 told this A-plot far more effectively.

The B-plot, at least, is new; Soule and Lemire show the tactical genius of the Inhumans, as they work their way out of their prison and fight past demonic hordes. By the time they get to the Jean Grey School, though, the Inhumans are angry – and determined to give the X-Men a reason to fear. Although Medusa doesn’t order the Human Torch to burn the school down, what she does order leaves him describing this as “ugly.”

By now, the overarching narrative of Inhumans vs. X-Men is pretty clear. Whatever the solution to the Terrigen crisis is going to be, it’s going to come from the NuHumans – who have Forge prisoner, and will no doubt gain an ally in Cyclops. They now know two bombshells that have the potential to end this; they can reveal that the Terrigen will soon make the Earth uninhabitable to mutants, and – most significantly – they can also reveal that the X-Men’s first strike, back in Death of X, was orchestrated by Emma Frost. It’s clear these NuHumans, and probably Cyclops, will be the heroes of this event, who stop the war and somehow find a solution. While it’s nice to see an end in sight, sadly it still feels quite artificial.

Javier Garron’s art takes a bit of getting used to this issue; it doesn’t help that the first couple of pages, oddly, are the weakest. As the story goes on – as he centers around figures and power-profiles – he hits his stride, and the issue becomes far stronger as a result. David Curiel, meanwhile, is the perfect choice as colorist, his attention to detail complementing Garron’s art.

All in all, it’s hard not to feel disappointed with Inhumans vs. X-Men #4 – largely because so much of the story has already been told. As a result, it feels like far less happens in this issue than should actually have been the case, and the A-plot falls flat. The final scene, however, is a pleasing one – even the NuHumans flinch at the idea of the world becoming uninhabitable to mutants. It’s about time somebody started looking for a third way.

Inhumans vs. X-Men #4 Review

It's hard not to feel disappointed with this issue of Inhumans vs. X-Men, in large part because the A-plot retells the story from All-New X-Men #18.