INHUMANS VS. X-MEN #4
Writer: Charles Soule & Jeff Lemire
Penciler: Javier Garron
Colorist: Andres Mossa & Jay David Ramos
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 2/7/17
As the NuHumans who avoided capture by the X-Men try to free their leaders, the rest of the Inhumans must find a way out of Limbo.
Plot: Inhumans vs. X-Men #4 juxtaposes Mosaic’s arrival on Muir Island with Medusa’s plan to fight their way through Limbo. While the Inhuman leaders make their escape, Mosaic enters Magneto’s mind in order to learn what he knows. He succeeds in taking over Magneto’s body for a short time but ultimately fails to heed the warning to “stay away from the blondes” and is thus discovered.
The X-Men now face the possibility of their plans being subject to counterattacks by the Inhumans, so Storm checks on their containment. Upon learning that they’ve escaped, she instructs Colossus to keep them busy – just as Medusa instructs Johnny Storm to set a fire near the X-Men mansion.
Story: Inhumans vs. X-Men continues to make very good use of dividing its characters into various groups. Jumping back and forth between three distinct locations or so helps further the plot without overwhelming the reader, and has the added bonus of allowing heroes on both sides of the battle to shine. Storm and Medusa especially have stood out as leaders for their respective groups, all while providing insight into their characters and motivations for fighting.
This week’s issue, though, gives some special attention to Mosaic. He’s a NuHuman with his own series, but the Inhumans vs. X-Men event is serving as a rather good introduction to him. From managing to take over Magneto to utilizing poor Cyclops’ body as his means of escape, Morris Sackett proves himself an invaluable member of the Inhumans team. Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire also hone in on his unique voice, which is filled with personality rather than simple exposition.
Mosaic is also the connective tissue between the X-Men and the Inhumans this issue. Not only because he literally delves into the minds and bodies of two X-Men, but because the news he brings back to the NuHumans may have them rethinking their place in this war. While the first few issues focused on the leaders of both groups, this week’s story gave off a vibe similar to that of Champions. When the world seems in chaos because of the actions of those in charge, it is the younger generation who sometimes has to lead the way. But what will the young Inhumans do in this case?
Art: Javier Garron imbues Inhumans vs. X-Men with a strong sense of place. Every backdrop is sketched out with an eye for detail that stands out, considering how easy it would be to make the different locations generic and rely on only headings and characters to tell the difference. Andres Mossa and Jay David Ramos also bring each place to life with a vibrant color palette that highlights the beauty of the world that’s at stake in this war.
While this week’s offering has slightly less action than the previous ones, the art makes the most of each battle sequence. It’s clear that as much thought has been put into the fight between Medusa’s team and the Limbo creatures as was put into Storm discussing the X-Men’s plans. Meanwhile, most of the characters on both sides are background for now, but the art takes care to depict their expressions and emotions when necessary. Ms. Marvel’s minor appearance at the end of this Inhumans vs. X-Men issue packs a punch precisely because of the art team’s work, which captures her inner conflict regardless of the dialogue she is given.
Verdict: Inhumans vs. X-Men #4 takes a moment to slow down and assess the situation for all parties, which is a welcome change of pace after the breakneck speed of the last issue. While this is another Marvel event in which the solution seems somewhat one-sided, the writers have done an excellent job of justifying why neither side can back down from an emotional perspective.