SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Death of X” #2, which is on sale now.
After months of anticipation, “Death of X” #1 featured the inciting incident of the current conflict between mutants and Inhumans. In the event series’ deadly first issue, the “Death of X” death toll increased as Jamie Madrox — and plenty of his dupes — lost his life after being exposed to the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mist. In the fallout of that important death, “Death of X” #2 ups the stakes.
The issue kicks off with Storm approaching the Inhuman queen Medusa, telling her about Terrigen’s deadly evolution into a mist that kills mutants. Medusa is sympathetic to Storm’s cause and hears her out; she even orders her sister Crystal to clear all the mutants out of the path of the mist. Storm feels like she can trust Medusa, and knows that this was not purposefully done to destroy mutants. But the peaceful state that Storm and Medusa leave things in gets shattered — by Cyclops.
Using the combined mental powers of Emma Frost and the Stepford Cuckoos, Scott Summers projects his thoughts into every mind on the planet and warns them of the mist’s toxicity towards mutants. And Cyclops calls out the Inhumans as liars, saying the mist isn’t benign like they led Earth to believe.
Cyclops told the planet that the mist is harmful to mutants, and he didn’t stop there. “It is likely just as fatal to humans,” he adds. This massive invasion of privacy in addition to Cyclops’ harsh words against the Inhumans goes over about as well as you’d expect. The population in the path of one of the clouds panics and a full on riot breaks out in Madrid. Crystal’s team of Inhumans arrives on the scene, frustrated that the people believed Cyclops’ accusations.
With the cloud on the way, Crystal and the new Inhuman Iso use their powers to divert it away from the mutant population of Madrid. Pushed to the edge, they get backup from a surprising place: Storm. But the team still has one major matter to attend to: the rioting crowd. In order to calm everyone down, Crystal calls on a new Inhuman named Daisuke to use his powers to put everyone in the city to sleep. And since Daisuke doesn’t have fine control over his power, that means also knocking out Storm, Forge and all the other mutants on the scene.
Without proper context, Cyclops and his team on Muir Island take footage from Madrid as an attack; all they see is an Inhuman using his power to knock out mutants. But Cyclops and Emma Frost are already moving on to the next phase of their plan: gathering together powerful mutants to protect their race from the Inhumans. It looks like lines are being drawn now, as Cyclops also asked Colossus and Magik — two mutants we know will eventually side with Storm — to pick a side. The last page of the issue reveals the identity of one such mutant — and yeah, he’s a powerful one.
“Death of X” #3 arrives in stores on November 2.
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