Death of X #1 (of 4)
Writers: Jeff Lemire & Charles Soule
Artist: Aaron Kuder
Colors: Morry Hollowell
Letters: Joe Sabino
Reviewed By: Gregory Brothers
For years now things have not been going well for Marvels group of Merry X-Men. Some seems to have to do with editorial choices as the Inhumans have replaced the X-Men as one of the franchise that is loved when you need a story of a group of people who is feared and not understood. Meanwhile, in the story lines things have not been going well for the X-Men either, as since the 8 month jump after Secret Wars we found out that the Terregen Mists that give birth to the Inhumans, also poisons mutants. During that eight-month jump, many mutants have disappeared with readers not knowing what their fate was. One of the mutants that went missing was Cyclops. It has been assumed that he is dead after going to battle against the Inhumans, but that has not been confirmed. Death of X #1 is the start of a mini series by Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule, that takes place during that eight month jump and promises to answer some of the questions that have plagued readers for the last year.
The issue starts with Scott Summers current incarnation of the Uncanny X-Men on their way to answer a distress call coming from Muir Island. As they arrive at Muir Island, across the globe the Uncanny Inhumans team is preparing to greet a new set of Inhumans as the Terrigen Mists descend on Matsumoto, Japan. The striking difference in what the two locations look like visually as the aircrafts approach give you an idea of what each group is going to find. Even once, they have landed the use of bluish-green hues over everything on Muir Island as compared to the more colorful parts of Japan lead to two strikingly different moods. From there on out as the two sides of the story unfold you can see the vast difference here between what the two groups are going through and to me it is put together brilliantly. The final speech give by Scott Summers especially gives you the sense of what the X-Men and the mutant race in general are up against. You understand that he is going to see this to the end even if it means his death, as doing nothing in his opinion would lead to death anyway.
I already mentioned some about the coloring before, but the art in general of Death of X is amazing and highly detailed adding to the mood and the feeling of what is going on throughout. The details on some of the bodies that are found throughout Muir Island let you understand that these people did not just meet their demise, but also suffered greatly as they did. There are a few spots where some of the line work seems a bit off, but that could have also been an issue of overshadowing and is not anything that takes away from the story or the overall quality of the art here.
Buy! I say buy but it comes with a caveat, if you are a fan on the X-Men then you are going to enjoy Death of X #1, as it finally starts to answer some of the questions as to what happened in that eight month gap. The play between Scott and Emma is what fans of the couple have been missing for years and it is good to see them back again. Lemire and Soule do an excellent job of really establishing the different path that the X-Men and the Inhumans are on. My only real complaint is that it I wish Marvel had done this story 6 months ago. I appreciate wanting to tell other stories first as the new status quo was established but I think by waiting so long Marvel has risked that some readers may be apathetic towards the fate of Scott Summers.