SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “IvX” #0, which is on sale now.
After sitting out pretty much all of 2016, “Death of X” brought Emma Frost and Cyclops back into the spotlight in a major way. The series, set eight months prior to the X-Men line’s 2015 relaunch, showed exactly what happened to whip up tension between the Inhumans and mutants. Even more importantly, it revealed what Cyclops did to turn himself into a martyr — and revealed the role Emma Frost played in the events.
As revealed in last week’s “Death of X” #4, and spoiler alert for that issue, Cyclops’ team of X-Men successfully destroyed one of the Inhuman Terrigen clouds. This act infuriated Black Bolt and Medusa, who confronted Cyclops in the remains of the neutralized and permanently altered mist. But Cyclops refused to back down and provoked a fight with the Inhuman royals, forcing Black Bolt’s hand and causing the king to unleash his immensely powerful voice. The blast pulverized Cyclops, killing him.
Or did it?
The last few pages of “Death of X” #4 revealed that the Cyclops that died, the Cyclops that ordered the destruction of the cloud and declared war on the Inhumans, was actually a telepathic trick played by Emma Frost. In reality, Cyclops died almost immediately after being exposed to the Terrigen mist. Emma did what she did to give his death meaning. “Inhumans vs X-Men” #0 by Charles Soule and Kenneth Rocafort picks up almost immediately after the events of “Death of X” #4 and pushes the narrative ahead to present day, revealing what Emma Frost has been up to over the last eight months.
The story picks up back on Muir Island, the site of Cyclops actual death and funeral. There, Emma Frost is readying herself for war by honing her diamond transformation power. She knows that she has to be able to turn into her invulnerable form without a second’s hesitation — so she repeatedly throws herself off a cliff to give her incentive to quicken her transformation.
She’s confronted by the Stepford Cuckoos, the telepathic mutants that also know the truth about Cyclops’ death. When they confront her about it, though, Emma tells them they are mistaken. After all, she has video of Cyclops’ death at Black Bolt’s hands. Emma’s not letting this ruse die, even when she’s confronted by her own pupils.
Two months later (a.k.a. six months ago), Emma checked in with Magneto in Poland somewhere just prior to the launch of the current volume of “Uncanny X-Men.” As Emma meets with Magneto, Sabretooth, Psylocke and Monet watch.
Emma doesn’t reveal her plan, exactly, but she does tell Magneto that she intends to confront Black Bolt head on. That doesn’t sit well with Magneto, who is aware of the power the Inhuman leader possesses. Emma calls Magneto afraid. She has a plan to destroy the other Terrigen cloud, and she plans to use it — and she will need Magneto’s help, as dark things will have to be done and Magneto’s the darkest man she knows.
Four months ago, as the current lineup of X-books kicked off, Emma checked in with the teenage X-team as they traveled across the country. Emma threw shade at their RV, but was taken aback upon seeing the teenage Cyclops.
Without giving away her masterplan, Emma asked if she could count on the time-displaced X-Men’s help. She singles out the young Jean Grey in particular as having a role to play and then departs, telling them she’ll be in touch.
Two months after that, Emma made her way to her old stomping grounds in New York City: the Hellfire Club. There, the former White Queen meets with an unseen potential ally — one that will need a “plausible backstory” in order to pull off her part of the plan.
And that brings the story to yesterday, as Frost descends into the hellish Limbo dimension to meet with Storm and her extraordinary X-Men. Storm’s just gotten off the phone with Beast, who has spent the last eight months working with the Inhumans to find a cure for the M-Pox. Beast has requested that a representative from every mutant faction gather on Muir Island for a summit about his findings.
The issue ends as Emma promises Storm that she has a plan to save the day — a plan we might see in action when “Inhumans vs. X-Men” launches in two weeks.
“IvX” #1 will arrive in stores on December 14.
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