INHUMANS VS. X-MEN #5
Writer: Charles Soule & Jeff Lemire
Penciler: Leinel Francis Yu
Inkers: Leinel Francis Yu & Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 3/8/17
Now that the Inhuman leaders have escaped Limbo, the X-Men gather at the site of the last Terrigen Cloud to end the war once and for all.
Plot: Emma Frost is back in full swing at the start of Inhumans vs. X-Men #6, leading her team with instructions to maim and kill if necessary. Rogue calls her out on it, but unfortunately the white queen already has plenty of X-Men and Inhumans under her control.
Even as Havoc and Colossus reflect how it was Emma’s idea from the start, Medusa still puts up a good fight. At least enough of one for the Ennilux and Ahura to arrive and explain that the X-Men had no choice lest they all perish. Moon Girl hands over the device she created and trusts Medusa to make the right choice. But what choice will Emma Frost make?
Story: Making Emma Frost the real villain helps Inhumans vs. X-Men come to a believable close this quickly, but it also begs the question of why it took so long to begin with. The explanation that the X-Men didn’t think they had enough time rings false given that Beast had been working on a compromise for months, for example. Regardless, it is a plot device that allows both sides to come out relatively unscathed in time for their respective comic series to restart.
Inhumans vs. X-Men also leaves open the question of what will be done with Frost when the ResurreXion line picks up, but it follows Medusa’s line of reasoning very closely and opens plenty of storytelling avenues for the Inhumans as a whole. While the twist involving Cyclops’ death was a little pat, it still kept Medusa’s moral ambiguity and allowed her to be a fully fleshed out character. If anything, it was done at the expense of Emma Frost’s motivations, but at least it felt truer to her personality.
At the end of the day, the storyline was an interesting look into the mechanics of both teams, with important moments for Medusa and Storm among others. This issue especially contained some great fight scenes, even if the battle was over much quicker than anticipated.
Art: It was a little surprising to change so much of the art team this late in the game, but Leinel Francis Yu & Gerry Alanguilan make a great team. Though they brought their own style to the story, there wasn’t a jarring difference between this issue and the last. Perhaps that’s in part thanks to David Curiel’s coloring providing a through-line.
As I said earlier, there are plenty of fights in this issue – and the artwork for all of them is breathtaking. The images are fluid and ready to pop off the page at any given moment, with Clayton Cowles adding lettering that enriches the action without being intrusive. There’s also a lot of interesting paneling peppered throughout the comic, keeping each section of the battle from getting repetitive no matter who’s involved.
Verdict: Inhumans vs. X-Men #6 is a fine conclusion to the event, even if it feels a little rushed. It manages to keep both sides of the conflict on an even keel, and explores Medusa’s characterization thoroughly. I’ll certainly be looking forward to Inhuman titles after this!