Review: IVX #1

IVX #1
Written by Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire
Art by Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, David Curiel
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 14, 2016

Ring the bell, it’s time to get ready to rumble.

Was I clamouring for a hero versus hero brawl? No.

Do I remember AvX? Yes. I remember it quite well, it was not very long ago.

Is IvX a rehash of this, directly on the heels of the not-even-finished heroes vs. Inhumans vs. other heroes, multiple factions beating the shit out of each other mess that is Civil War II?

…no. It isn’t a rehash. In fact, it’s quite good.

Here’s the kicker for IvX: there’s a reason for this fight. The iconic mutants leaders of the X-Men, in the wake of the death of Cyclops in Death of X, have started plotting. They are planning for how to take out the greatest threat they’ve ever known that isn’t named Wanda Maximoff, thereby saving Mutantkind. Naturally, the Inhumans kind of sort of saw this coming, that if science didn’t lead to answers, fisticuffs would ensue, so they’ve armoured up too. They’re ready to fight to save the cloud, which really is the future of their race.

See? IvX is already a deeper conflict than Civil War II, and we’ve just scratched the surface.

Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire write this one quite well, delivering great scenes with a massive cast. The “meeting of the minds” with the X-Men moved at a great pace and their interactions felt….classic. These are how these characters would speak in a situation like this, with all they’ve gone through and all they know about each other. They are hardened, broken soldiers that pretty much do not give a shit anymore, willing to do what it takes to wipe out this threat to Mutantkind once and for all. They are sick of being on the defensive and Soule and Lemire write that weariness and anger well. When the issue really takes off and two camps are beginning to interact is when the dialogue really takes off, and I like how they structured this first issue. The initial pages with the X-Men set up the structure of the conflict well and act as a primer for new readers and when the issue takes a turn toward action it really takes off. It feels like the event really kicks off in the final third of the issue and I’m pretty pumped to see what Soule and Lemire do with these characters in this event.

Leinil Yu provides consistent artwork with what we’ve seen from him in the past few Marvel events, and he works very well with inker Gerry Alanguilan. He’s got a big cast to work with here, but that’s never been an issue for Yu and it isn’t in IvX #1. The tension he builds into the initial pages of this issue is palpable, and the building rage as the X-Men discuss their options is fantastic. I really liked the pacing and panel layouts in the pages that were largely talking heads, as Yu kept the tension between the characters high and the visuals were always engaging and dynamic. I have to call out Emma Frost’s utterly ridiculous costume though, which I know wasn’t Yu’s design but actually took me out of the story at points.

David Curiel’s colour work is strong throughout the issue and he really makes a lot of pages pop. When powers start being used he really cuts loose and injects a lot of energy into this issue, really making use of the opportunities awarded him by the characters that are on the page. The tone set by his palette choices suits both factions in this battle and I’m looking forward to seeing more of his work in the series.

While IvX #1 does kick off another event of heroes smashing each other, but there’s more than meets the eye with this one. I’d highly recommend fans of either the X-Men or Inhumans check this one out, cause sparks are going to fly and it is obvious that Soule, Lemire, Yu and company are not phoning this one in.

The Verdict: 8.5/10


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