Inhumans Vs. X-Men #3
Writer: Charles Soule & Jeff Lemire
Penciler: Javier Garron
Colorist: Andres Mossa & Jay David Ramos
Inker: Andres Mossa & Jay David Ramos
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Plot: As the war between the Inhumans and X-Men continues to get out of hand, the X-Men have taken the power position and continue to try and shut down any Inhumans left alive. Meanwhile, the Inhumans begin to focus on how they can regroup and plan a retaliating strike.
Story: Inhumans Vs. X-Men has been a very epic story that covers a lot of ground within each issue. From a story standpoint, Soule and Lemire are absolutely delivering on story and dialogue that really delivers the intensity and stressfulness within each move both factions make. A major part of this book is ensuring that both sides are properly represented in the reasoning behind what they are fighting for. The book screams intensity and does a nice job in building the tension that is yet to come.
What makes Inhumans Vs. X-Men so interesting is the back and forth between the two sides and the parallels in similar situations. This book finally displays the Inhumans at a disadvantage, where the X-Men have gained the upper hand. While the X-Men have been the ones scrambling to agree and work together, it is now the Inhumans with their backs against the wall, struggling to calmly work together. Soule and Lemire do a nice job of communicating the emotion from the characters in their dialogue, where there is a clear sense of panic and doubt. This type of development is what elevates Inhumans Vs. X-Men to being a well-written book. When there are so many players in the game, it’s nice to see writers take the time to properly develop the story to deliver a larger emotional payoff.
By choosing to split up the Inhumans, sending a portion into Limbo, it puts a bigger emphasis on the development of all characters in one swift move. Now the story begins to explore Medusa and the Royal Family in a unique position that they have never experienced before. This will really require the characters to step up and show readers what they are made of; can Medusa and her most powerful Inhumans work together to rise up and overcome a new feat? The writing really gets to introduce a new side to the characters by putting them into a fresh situation instead of feeling like a retread. On the other hand, this decision by Soule and Lemire also pushes a large focus onto a grouping of Inhumans that readers might not be as familiar with. Suddenly, the story pushes a team of young, inexperienced Inhumans into a position where they are required to step up and be the last force for the Inhumans. It’s a lot of put onto the shoulders of younger heroes, but again, it will really lead into who these characters are at their core. The decision is clever, because it kills two birds with one stone and allows the writers to cover as much ground in the most natural and logical way possible.
Inhumans Vs. X-Men gets to play around with a lot of fun pieces, because both sides of this war have a ton of historical and unique characters. The story does a nice job of fairly splitting everything up without ever feeling like it’s stretching certain characters too thin, where it’s unbelievable how involved they are. The issue covers the Inhumans in Limbo, the X-Men in New Attilan, and even Jean Grey trying to keep Karnak out of the picture. Each story feels like it holds depth and brings a very unique aspect to the story. Jean and Karnak have a very fun dynamic because she is trying to hold him in a psychic maze that bends reality. Nothing ever feels crammed into the issue and there is a nice pace to the writing that perfectly blends stories together but clearly establishes which ones are only beginning to be explored.
Art: The art in Inhumans Vs. X-Men also deserves as much praise as the writing because of how well it echoes the story elements. From the first panel of the book to the last, the intensity of this war can be felt through the artwork. Between the detail in the actual pencilling from Javier Garron to the coloring and inking from Jay David Ramos and Andres Mossa, everything is cluttered and intense. The action sequences have plenty of emotion behind them that show how each Inhuman or Mutant is just doing what they believe is their duty to their people. Iso clearly does not care about any harm she inflicts on Old Man Logan because she feels she is doing what she has to; the character forces Old Man Logan painfully through thick trees with her pulse blasts, but there is no other choice for her at the moment.
At the same time, Old Man Logan has no problem ruthlessly fighting kids half his age, because again, it comes down to survival. The mutants feel they have been backed into a corner and the fate of their species as a whole is on the line. All of these characters have been pushed into a war and the role of soldiers; however, there is a larger emotional weight behind what they are fighting for. Logan has no fear or regrets of fighting these newer Inhumans because he views this as his only way to survive. Looking at Inferno’s facial expression also brings up the question of whether or not these young Inhumans will be able to take on seasoned X-Men. Once again, all of the Mutants know they are fighting for the survival of their species, while these younger Inhumans might not necessarily understand the full picture behind this war, which would inevitably put them in over their heads.
In the end though, both sides are suffering and the artwork in Inhumans Vs. X-Men displays it. There is doubt from most characters, especially the younger ones. The book gives off a wide range of emotions, but there are points where the sadness can be felt strongly. Everyone is scrambling to re-assess what their next steps should be after the X-Men took control of New Attilan. It’s also interesting to see which characters are focused on with the artwork, because the war between the Inhumans and the X-Men is something that feels like it could possibly be avoided. While on one hand, the X-Men have every right to be angry and forceful because they are stuck on a fixed timeline until the extinction of their species, there are tons of young characters on both sides who probably believe there is a more peaceful way to solve things. It will be interesting to see, with the introduction and focus on all of these younger characters, whether or not the internal power dynamic of both the Inhumans and X-Men changes at all.
Verdict: Inhumans Vs. X-Men continues to be a thrilling and jam packed book that covers all of it’s bases. The book never feels intimidating but manages to include multiple great story lines without selling any short. The artwork is filled with emotion and really brings all of the different feelings across this book to lief in the best way possible.