Since the “Secret Wars” brought Marvel’s massive lineup back to the start, there have been a number of lingering mysteries. Among the most intriguing puzzles include: what happened to Bruce Banner after he lost his Hulk (Hulk sad), where did Emma Frost and Cyclops disappear to, and of course, what triggered the imminent war teased in “Inhumans vs. X-Men?” The answer to these questions weigh heavily on the minds of many X-Men fans, especially those afraid Marvel will depower, de-emphasize, or destroy the mutant squad.
When Marvel announced its “Death of X” miniseries, it promised to reveal the answers to all these questions and more. As a precursor to the impending war between Inhumans and mutants, fans are about to get their first look at the ominous story arc.
Marvel has released a preview of the "Death of X" story (via CBR), including the stunning wrap-around variant cover and the other three covers. Written by Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule, with art and covers by Aaron Kuder, the story arc brings fans their first look at Cyclops and Emma Frost in nearly a year – and it’s not a good one. Speaking with CBR, the team behind the “Death of X” discussed the mini-event, as well as the “prelude to the war,” which Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said was “inevitable.” Take a look at the synopsis and the first released pages below:
Although the latest turn of events isn’t shocking, since the death of Cyclops was the most teased rumored outcome, the latest series will let fans in on what happened – and what Emma Frost’s role in the conflict is. While creating the story line, writer Soule said he was experiencing “’Death of Wolverine’ flashbacks,” adding, “this is a story that will be very impactful to the X-Men in a number of ways. There’s a lot of legacy here.” His co-writer Lemire also took to the task with grave respect. He said:
“I felt a lot of responsibility writing Scott because he’s such an important character. We didn’t take it lightly, for sure. There’s a sense of freedom to finally tell the story we’ve been teasing for a long time. There’s a responsibility to do it right.”
As far as Ms. Frost, Lemire wouldn’t go into much detail in fear of spoiling the fun. However, he did say that “Death of X” will provide fans with more insight on her and Cyclops’ perspective on the catastrophic events and their corresponding actions. Soule added:
“Especially in this story, she’s tragic, which I hope doesn’t give anything away. I don’t think there’s any accident that she turns into a diamond as her secondary mutation. She makes herself very hard. In this story we see a lot of what makes her tick and what matters to her and why she makes the choices she makes. I think Emma has one of the best stories in the whole arc.”
Emma Frost’s return is definitely good news – especially in light of her larger role in the X-Men’s world hereafter. However, it’s also bittersweet, since longtime team leader Summers, in spite of his recent turn for the worst, is still a beloved character. From the looks of the the preview panel, it appears that Cyclops succumbs to the Terrigen cloud. If that is the case, his death seems a tad on the ignoble side for someone with his long history. Perhaps looks are deceiving. And of course, in comic books, dead is rarely dead – something Alonso did acknowledge. However, the Marvel EIC also told readers that, at present, they have “no plans to bring back Cyclops after this death.”
Things certainly don’t sound too good for Scott Summers, but he may not be the only one who shares a tragic fate. One of the biggest fears the miniseries raised in many X-fans is the very fate of mutant-kind. Alonso seemed genuinely taken aback when asked about shelving the team after “Inhumans vs. X-Men.” He stated, “We want to make all of our books popular; we didn’t lock ourselves in a room for three days because we’re disinterested in the X-Men.”
In all hopes, the head wordsmith isn’t just blowing smoke. The X-Men have a long and storied history with the company. As grim as “Death of X” sounds, it also looks like it will bring a lot of new faces and sidelined characters to the forefront, including Emma Frost. Magik, and interestingly enough Goldballs. The series will be a great history lesson as well, when “Inhumans vs. X-Men” arrives in December.
Of course, don’t fret too much, X-readers, because “Resurrexion” is still around the corner. And that could mean just about anything, right?
Death of X #1 (of 4) hits newsstands and tablets on October 5, 2016.