INHUMANS VS. X-MEN #5
Writer: Charles Soule & Jeff Lemire
Penciler: Javier Garrón
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 2/22/17
After infiltrating the X-Men’s base on Muir Island, the NuHumans may have discovered the key to ending the war. But can they make their move before it’s too late?
Plot: Inhumans vs. X-Men #5 opens with Karnak fighting Jean Grey and Fantomex in The World, the X-Men’s research facility and home to their weapons plus program. They play a very energetic game of cat and mouse until Karnak finds Lockjaw and thus his means of making an escape.
Over at X-Haven, Medusa commences her mission to break Black Bolt out of Forge’s workshop. Before she can reach him, she runs into Havoc, who seems very ready to kill or die to avenge his brother Cyclops’ death. Whether she convinces him to back down or his own common sense gets the better of him, the Inhuman leaders are still stuck in Limbo without a way out.
Back in New Jersey, Forge is explaining his Terrigen Cloud Eater and receives Moon Girl’s help in constructing a miniaturized version of the one that was previously destroyed. The only problem is that following this course of action will go against everything Medusa has been fighting for.
Story: This issue of Inhumans vs. X-Men was a little more convoluted than the previous one, but each separate location had a compelling center to it. While it is still a very interesting story, the fact that the Inhumans are now so willing to destroy the Terrigen Cloud begs the question of why they didn’t give it more consideration early on. Perhaps Karnak said it best when he declared, “This conflict with the mutants was inherently flawed from the beginning. I suspect events may have begun to fracture.”
While the build up to the final splash page is somewhat spotty, there are still plenty of important moments in the issue. The stand-off between Medusa and Havoc is a stand out, even if you aren’t up to date with the backstory between them. Havoc loves his brother and would do almost anything for him, but cold-blooded murder and suicide is just a step too far. The best part is that his brotherly love is not questioned because of this, it’s just a war he must wage within himself in order to come out on the side he feels is right.
Perhaps that is a microcosm for Inhumans vs. X-Men in and of itself. When faced with either the proliferation of their race or the destruction of the X-Men, the choice may be bleak but it does not negate the Inhumans love for their people. They just have a higher calling to look out for humanity as a whole.
Art: Javier Garró’s work on Inhumans vs. X-Men is varied and detailed, rooting every location in a specificity unique to it. Not to mention that the myriad of characters all look like individuals, which can’t be said for all comic book stories. He draws each X-Men and Inhuman with salient features regardless of how far into the background they are, making it easy to differentiate everyone with the help of a few context clues in the writing.
David Curiel returns to the coloring team on Inhumans vs. X-Men #5, making for a rich and vibrant palette that helps ever panel pop right off the page. Considering how dark the material is thus far, it’s nice for the art to balance it out with a lighter feel.
Verdict: Inhumans vs. X-Men #4 speeds towards its inevitable conclusion, changing things up once again after the break last time. The tension is thick and the story has stayed strong for the most part. Now it all depends on how the final issue turns out to judge the character work done in this issue.