Review: Inhumans vs. X-Men #5

Inhumans vs. X-Men  #5‘s overarching themes appear to be perception, reality, and externalities above all else. In this issue, the Inhumans begin to rebound and regroup as the war between to two species nears its climax. What struck me the most about this issue were the moral and perceptual questions that the narrative seemed to pose. IvX began with a seemingly straightforward conflict which positioned the Inhumans and Mutants in a diametrically opposed struggle for survival. The veneer of this directness fades away and it is appropriate that this coincides with the resurgence of Karnak who can see the inherent flaw in all things and comments on this very issue near the end. It really impressed me how after escaping the world Karnak doesn’t rush headlong into the conflict rather he reflects on his time away and requests information to guide his action.

There is an emotional encounter between Havok and Medusa, who both muse over who’s really to blame for the current crisis. Interestingly Havok dismisses the Terrigen and places some blame squarely with Emma’s relationship with Scott. I thought this was an interesting conclusion to make at first glance until I remembered that Havok knows the truth regarding Scott’s apparent martyrdom. That said, Black Bolt still carried out his actions in good faith, and the reality remains that Terrigen and by extension the Inhumans are responsible for Scott’s death, as well as countless other mutants. This takes me back to the problem of externalities that I’ve mentioned in some previous reviews.  We know full well that the Inhuman are not monolithic and recent stories have shown us the existence of multiple tribes. So the question remains are all the Inhumans responsible for the devastating effects of the global Terrigen cloud? How do we ethically parse, the benefactors of a given action, and culpability for its adverse effects? There’s no real easy answer to this and IvX #5 punctuates this fact quite nicely.

I also wrote in another review how the younger group of X-Men seemed more open other perspectives, generally less guarded and dogmatic about the truth of matters. In this issue the Nuhumans (the newly transferred Inhumans) appear to be of the same manner seemingly helping the X-Men with their quest to stop the Terrigen. I could be wrong here, I am not sure if they have uncovered a solution that will benefit both species or if they agree that the Terrigen should be dealt with. It’s nice to see but with that said there is still a lot of strangeness with the conflict revealed as Karnak senses. Particularly towards the end as a magneto makes a play that is quite eyebrow-raising play. At this point I suspect Maximus the mad has some overlooked influence. But until the conclusion, we will have to wait and see.

For now, I am very happy that the story is offering or at least speculating at alternative hypothesis. It brings a level of refreshing honesty to the conflict and a caveat for approaching most conflicts in general, it is really nice to have that here.

Story: Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule Art: Javier Garron
Story 8.0 Art 7.0 Overall 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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