SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “IvX” #1, which is on sale now.
After teasing the upcoming battle and Emma Frost’s plan in the lead-up “IvX” #0 issue, the official start of the event series reveals exactly what the ex-X-Man had in mind for taking on the Inhumans. Things have taken a turn for the worse for the X-Men, and — backed into a corner — they make their move in “Inhumans vs. X-Men” #1.
The kickoff issue from writers Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule and artist Leinil Yu reveals the opening phase of Emma Frost’s masterplan. Emma’s been a master schemer for a while now, and “Death of X” took her manipulation abilities to new heights. The final issue of the previous event series revealed that Cyclops didn’t actually die in battle with Black Bolt after destroying one of the Inhumans’ Terrigen clouds. Instead, Cyclops actually dropped dead almost immediately after coming into contact with the toxic mist. Wanting to make his death matter, Emma used her telepathy to project a mental image of Cyclops for all the world to see — one that destroyed a Terrigen cloud and then attacked Black Bolt. Emma’s planning continued in “IvX” #0, which saw her meeting with mutant representatives like Magneto, a mystery woman, the young Beast and Storm over the last few months of fallout from “Death of X’s” final moments.
“IvX” #1 starts in the present day, as the elder Beast addresses mutants from each major mutant faction: Storm, Old Man Logan and Forge from “Extraordinary X-Men”; Magneto from “Uncanny X-Men”; Rogue from “Uncanny Avengers”; the teen Beast from “All-New X-Men”; and Emma Frost. Beast delivers the worst possible news regarding his studies of the Terrigen mist: in two weeks’ time, the remaining cloud will disperse and permeate Earth’s atmosphere, rendering the entire planet inhospitable for mutants.
The adult Beast proposes a plan, suggesting that the X-Men focus their attention on getting all mutants off of Earth. Emma and Magneto, on the other hand, propose a different plan — one they’ve been working on while Beast searched for a cure. Emma’s plan involves attacking the Inhumans, taking out their heaviest-hitters first and making their forces easily restrainable. With the Inhumans’ fighters out of the way, the X-Men will be free to destroy the remaining cloud before it disperses.
Emma and Magneto are obviously on board with the plan, as are Old Man Logan and the teenage Beast. Rogue, while hating the idea of leaving Earth, doesn’t think it’s right to attack the Inhumans first; she votes against Emma’s plan. Forge abstains from voting, as he sees both options as viable. Storm calls the vote for the aggressive plan before revealing where she stands — but the adult Beast forces her hand when he leaves to go warn the Inhumans. Storm zaps him with a lightning bolt, saying that Emma and Magneto’s plan was also her plan.
The X-Men then move to preemptively strike the most dangerous Inhumans from the battlefield. First: Black Bolt. Emma journeys to Black Bolt’s bar in New York City, the Quiet Room. Emma meets with Black Bolt in private and tells him that the truce between the X-Men and Inhumans is over. Emma then plays her hand as the Quiet Room’s new lounge singer, a masked woman named Lady Shine, enters with a blaster drawn. It turns out that the mystery woman Emma met with in “IvX” #0 was Dazzler — the X-Man with the ability to turn sound into light energy. No matter how powerful Black Bolt’s voice is, Dazzler’s power makes her uniquely capable to take him on — and she does.
Dazzler absorbs Black Bolt’s initial blast, rendering him powerless as Emma cracks his windpipe. Dazzler then redirects Black Bolt’s blast back at him as light energy, incapacitating him.
Next, the teenage Jean Grey travels to Karnak’s Tower of Wisdom. There she meets with Karnak, the strategy-minded Inhuman with the ability to see the flaw in everything. Unbeknownst to him, Jean Grey traps him in a mental loop replaying their introduction for six hours straight.
He can’t see the flaw in anything if his mind can’t stop reliving the same moment on repeat.
In Chechnya, Crystal’s mobile unit of Inhumans are working to clear mutants out the path of the remaining Terrigen cloud. They find the one mutant their tracking device detected and rescue him, bringing him aboard their command ship. Much to Crystal and Gorgon’s surprise, that mutant turns out to be Magneto, who Trojan Horsed himself past the ship’s defenses.
Magneto easily traps Crystal and her crew.
Lastly, the X-Men’s resident spy and master of distraction Fantomex gets the least glamorous job of all: taking out the Inhumans’ teleporting dog Lockjaw. Instead of giving the Inhumans an easy escape, Lockjaw’s catching some z’s
That just leaves the Inhuman stronghold in New Attilan, located just outside of New York City. As the issue ends, Medusa and Human Torch prepare to face down the remaining X-Men members, led by Storm. The combined might of the All-New, Extraordinary and Uncanny X-Men are all ready to take New Attilan out of the fight, leaving the remaining Terrigen cloud vulnerable. War is imminent.
“IvX” #2 arrives in stores on January 11, 2017.
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