Death of X

cyclops-death-of-xAfter three issues of minor intrigue and major affronts to what I consider huge misses on a continuity front, Death of X pulled the rug out from under me. I was prepared to be eternally agitated by the fact that Death of X was the event to explain once and for all what happened eight months ago before Extraordinary, Uncanny, and All New X-men started their current runs, and that I was having to pay $4.99 for each less-than-mediocre issue.  Click Below for the Bullets. We’re going to kick right in with the Pros and Cons. Warning: I’m very solidly on the X-side of fandom, so if you’re looking for a pro Inhumans outlook here. You may want to look elsewhere.

Con: I’ll start with a petty point, but in my head it’s a really valid one. I really felt trolled by Marvel. As a fan of the X-men and having only a passing interest in Inhumans, it really agitated me that every time an X-man appears in issue #1 their expressions are really grim while almost every panel an Inhuman appears in, they have these goofy, overly happy grins and smiles.  Go on. Just flick through issue one. Check out all their giddy faces.

Pro: This is such a welcome return of two characters I’d severely missed over the past year and a half. This is an Emma story disguised as a Cyclops story. And it’s annoying, maddening, and ended in a way that caught me off guard. I’ll come back to it a bit later.

CON: and I can’t stress how much of a con this is. Jamie is dead, and this sucks on so many levels, but somehow doesn’t give any weight to the actual story. X-Pert on WordPress said it wonderfully:

“There is not a single person who read this and went, ‘Yes, this is a fitting send-off for Madrox, and it shouldn’t be reversed at any point.’ If he shows up alive and well next month, everyone will be fine with that, because this death is BS anyway.”

Pro: Daisuke is pretty cool as Nuhumans go. He has a super powerful ability which, along with a number of other Inhumans could easily overpower all the X-men. What a Downer.

Con: I would have gone with almost any other name given me by Inhuman royalty before I named myself Downer.

Pro: I love that Emma retrained herself to use her powers. Otherwise, how would she and the Cuckoos broadcast a psionic projection of Cyclops to the world.

Con: Where is Layla Miller. Shouldn’t someone have informed her of Jamie’s supposed death?

Con: Why are Wolfsbane and Strong Guy on speaking terms? I know Rahne went away to do some soul searching and so did Strong guy as a hell lord trying to find his own literal soul. but hugging each other? He killed her son and became a Hell Lord.This book is not really continuity-friendly to Peter David’s work on X-Factor. Where’s Siryn?

Con: You know who else’s work Death of X- isn’t quite gelling with? Bunns. Where is M? She’s been devastated by this death for the past year while she’s been on Magneto’s team. When I read the first couple of issues, I wished Bunn had been writing this.

Con: After I’d read the first two issues, I also read an interview with Soule where he talked about loving Emma and enjoying writing her. The interviewer commented that it’d been a while since Emma had been written so fabulously. Yeah? I can tell you exactly when Emma was written Fabulously and it was in Uncanny X-Men #600 where Bendis handed her over to Limbo, and not the Fiery Demon infested one. I just couldn’t see the love.

Pro: the Love comes, but it’s in issue four, and here’s why. It feels like Soule is being really faithful to Bendis’ work on Uncanny, and one issue in particular. Excuse the Tangent but here it is.

Tangent

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It starts with Cyclops talking to Emma and Alex about his revolution. This really sets the stage for Death of X, but not more than the following exchange that happened in the same issue with Emma and Cyclops. Death of X unfurls with this reverent respect for Uncanny X-men #32. This was one of the most tragic, honest, vulnerable, but emotionally powerful Emma’s we’ve ever seen and as I said, sets the stage nicely for how she acts in Death of X. Which leads me to my next Pro.

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End Tangent

Pro: Emma is back and taking control. She pretty much psionically fools EVERONE present including the Inhuman Royal family. As it appears, she pretty much fooled Blackbolt into thinking he obliterated Cyclops. Really if this was Blackbolt, he wouldn’t have totally obliterated cyclops, would he? All he had to do was stop him, right? Either way, Emma fooled everyone.

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Con: Daisuke takes out a large group of people again including the Extraordinary X-Men. The X-men could be in bad shape. Some of them were in flight and Daisuke’s powers are pretty much untested. There could have been casualties but instead of checking on them, the Inhumans pat Daisuke and themselves on the back and wax on about names.

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Pro: I love the way Magik takes out Daisuke. This makes me wonder if Magik could drop Blackbolt into Limbo. The Cuckoos project Magik attacking Blackbolt later but I really want to see the two battle.

Con: Magik is obviously on Emma’s team and wasn’t it only a few months ago when Magik was so angry, she attacked Sunfire for following Cyclops in his then alluded to monstrous acts. Something doesn’t add up.

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Pro: The return of alchemy.

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Con: The death of Alchemy.

Con: Volume of things that just don’t make sense after reading a year of Lemires Extraordinary and Hopeless’ All-New X-Men.

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Con: A lot had to happen in the final issue of death of X and it didn’t quite deliver. I feel they skirted around the whole point of interest. What happened before Death of X started? I didn’t feel that what Cyclops was supposed to have done was as bad as everyone had made it out to be the last year, and IT WASN’T. What I really wanted to know is what was the lay of the land directly after Secret Wars. Starting months after an event has not quite worked as well as it should have for two thirds of the X-books.

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Con: I feared Cyclops end would be anticlimactic and used as an over-hyped stepping stone to IvX, and it WAS.  I’m not sure Death of X has been worth the wait. BUT …

Pro: I feared Cyclops end would be anticlimactic and used as an over-hyped stepping stone to IvX, and it WAS, but in a strange way it worked. Did the whole four issue mini series work? For me? Not really, but the end took everything before it and gave it a spin I could get behind and Emma was the linchpin for that.

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Pro/Con: Cyclops actual death upset me. This book achieved something I hadn’t expected with the previous three books:

  • It was tragic
  • Had weight
  • Motivated Emma (was Cyclops fridged for Emma’s benefit?)
  • Made me miss Cyclops more
  • Reinforced the need for Emma’s necessary inclusion on a permanent, current team. Something that we have now been denied after this weeks news.

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Con: Cyclops is seemingly Slaughtered in front of everyone. Again, was a kill shot from Black Bolt necessary? I know, I know, this all happened in everyone’s minds but then there is digital proof in IvX #0. Hmmmmn weird. But still. No retaliation from the X-Men and Storm’s silver tongue is able to magically truce it up with the big Inhuman Royalty?

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Death of X has led me to believe a couple of things. This was not really a story about Cyclops. It was a story about how Emma dealt with the loss of her true love. It also has elements of the X-men’s inability to forgive Cyclops for the Death of X-avier. Was this everyone silently saying “that crazy Cyclops. He got just what he deserves.” This is my last point. Cyclops was Not the villain here, despite Lemire and Hopeless’s runs. He was just a man dealing with mental breakdown and possibly the after effects of being the phoenix, again, and being destroyed at Dooms hand only to be resurrected to spend time in Limbo. And this is why the ending worked for me after three less than stellar issues. This was all about Emma dealing with loss. See that exchange between Scott and Emma from Uncanny again, and then reread Death of X #4.

What did you think? Did you love or hate this mini?

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