This week the Inhumans and The X-Men throw down, and The Flash and Kid Flash help The Shade!
Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 (of 6) (Marvel Comics)
The throw down Marvel fans have been waiting for is here: Inhumans vs. X-Men (or IvX if you want to be picky). The past few years have been quite a ride for both franchises, as Marvel has made a pretty obvious ploy to play up the Inhumans while distancing themselves from the X-Men. It hasn’t worked, but IvX is the latest attempt by Marvel to try and get people to care as much about the Inhumans as they do about the X-Men. With Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire writing, and Leinil Yu drawing, it’s clear that Marvel really wants this one to work (especially because it’ll lead into their RessurXion event), but does it all add up to a readable event?
Inhumans vs. X-Men is one of the better starts for a Marvel crossover event, and unlike more recent ones, this one feels a lot more organic. The Inhumans’ Terrigen Mist cloud has been moving across the country, killing mutants as fast as it’s creating new Inhumans. After spending months looking for a cure, Beast admits to his fellow mutants that he has failed. There’s no cure for the mists. However, Magneto, Emma Frost, Storm, and others refuse to go down without a fight. They’ve been quietly preparing for this war, and now their time has come.
Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule’s script does an incredible job of building up tension and stakes for this event. There are plenty of badass moments for all of your favorite X-Men, including Magneto, who arguably steals the issue. However, if there’s one aspect of the script that needs more development, it’s the Inhumans side of things. There’s really nothing from their point of view. In a lot of ways, they’re presented as the villains of the event, something that I’m sure X-Men fans were already thinking well before this issue was made.
Leinil Yu can be a little hit or miss as of late, but this issue he’s officially a “hit”. Yu’s in perfect, classic form here, delivering epic depictions of both the X-Men and the Inhumans, and giving Inhumans vs. X-Men the epic feel it needs. Yu’s pencils are truly spectacular, and one can only hope that he’s got enough issues penciled ahead of time so that we don’t hit any delays.
Inhumans vs. X-Men is a pretty great opening issue that X-fans will really enjoy. The issue is a tad pricey (six bucks Marvel?), but overall I felt it was worth it. There are a lot of cool character moments, and with talent like Lemire and Soule behind the event, it’s bound to be better than many of the other recent Marvel events, right?
The Flash #12 (DC Comics)
The Flash has been a book that I want to like more than I actually do. I love the CW show, even with a shaky third season, and I’m a huge fan of writer Joshua Williamson’s Birthright. But something just hasn’t clicked with me when it comes to the Flash. The first storyline was oddly paced, and now that same problem is hitting the current storyline. Even an appearance from The Shade, one of my favorite characters from James Robinson’s Starman, hasn’t done much to increase my interest.
Much like the title character, it feels like Joshua Williamson’s scripts are moving at a break neck speed to get through stories. Flash #12 is no exception, as The Flash and Kid Flash’s battle to help The Shade escape from the Shadow World is over almost as quickly as it began. As much as Williamson shines with his characterizations of Barry Allen and Wally West, there’s simply too much going on too fast for any of it to stick.
Davide Gianfelice handles the artwork for this issue, and he fits in really well with the art style set up for this series. Gianfelice’s designs for the Shadow World are pretty interesting, but at times his cartoony style gives the characters a bit too much of an exaggerated appearance. However, it’s not a complete deal breaker.
I’m still going to keep up with The Flash, but I have to admit, I do wish it was a stronger book. At 12 issues in, it’s not like we can say Williamson is “getting used” to the character. However, I really enjoy The Flash as a character, and the promise of the Rogues making an appearance in the next story arc is enough to keep me on board for now.