Inhumans vs X-Men #0

Issue Date: 
January 2017
Story Title: 

Charles Soule (writer), Kenneth Rocafort (artist), Dan Brown (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Nicholas Russell (production designer), Kenneth Rocafort (cover artist), Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Matt Hollingsworth; Ron Lim, Andy Smith & Rachelle Rosenberg (variant cover artists), Charles Beacham & Chris Robinson (assistant editors), Wil Moss & Daniel Ketchum (editors), Nick Lowe (executive editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men & Inhumans created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Eight months ago, the Beast begins working with Iso of the Inhumans to find a way to stop the Terrigen Mist causing the M-Pox which is killing mutants. They know that if they don't solve this problem, mutantkind will die out. The Beast recalls some recent events leading up to this problem. On Muir Island, Emma Frost is grieving for Cyclops, while replaying a recording of his that tells her “dreams never die”. She drops herself from the edge of a cliff and plummets to the shore below, timing herself how long she can wait before switching to her diamond form. The Stepford Cuckoos watch her doing this and are concerned for her. The Cuckoos confront Emma about the Terrigen killing Cyclops, but Emma shows them footage of Black Bolt killing him. She tells the girls not to worry about her. Six Months ago, Beast is aboard the RIV and gives Crystal, Gorgon and her team a device based on the Cerebro technology that will allow the Inhumans to know whether mutants are in danger as the Terrigen Cloud approaches. Iso catches up with Grid and Flint, and they discuss the possible danger that the Inhumans are in with the likes of powerful mutants around the world, before the Beast informs Crystal that his data indicates the remaining Terrigen Cloud is shrinking. In Poland, Emma meets with Magneto and his X-Men team. They discuss the Terrigen Cloud, the dangers to mutantkind, and Emma tells Magneto that she needs his help, as he is the darkest man she knows. Four months ago, Beast and Iso visit the Savage Land, where the Beast is doing tests to determine whether the Terrigen that is disappearing from the cloud is dispersing to the Savage Land. In Detroit, Emma locates the time-displaced original X-Men and informs them that she needs their help and that she will be in touch with them. Two months ago, the Beast meets with Medusa and updates her on his research, the results still dire. He later overhears Medusa contact Black Bolt and Crystal and tell them of what the Beast has found. She believes in the work he is doing, but Medusa is certain that the mutants will come for the Inhumans. She tells Black Bolt and Crystal that when that time comes they must be ready. At the Hellfire Club, Emma meets with a mysterious woman, who will be an important part in her grand plan. Emma tells the woman that the Beast has two more months to complete his research, and then, well, they will see what happens. Yesterday, the Beast panics over something, and Emma Frost arrives at X-Haven in Limbo to meet with Storm, who has just got off the phone with the Beast, who wants to meet them on Muir. Emma informs Storm that she has been working on a plan while the Beast has been doing his research – and that she is here to save the day!

Full Summary: 

8 months ago:
New Attilan, where Dr Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast exclaims 'All right! Let's get to work!' to the Inhuman Xiaoyi Chen a.k.a. Iso, who tells the Beast that he seems happy. Sitting at several monitors in a lab, the Beast asks 'And why shouldn't I be happy, Iso? We have science to do!'

Muir Isle, where Emma Frost stands at the grave of the recently deceased Scott “Cyclops” Summers. She holds an electronic device which plays Scott's voice: “Dreams never die”. Emma places the device on Scott's grave, then stands at the edge of a cliff. She holds a stopwatch in her hand as she suddenly steps off the cliff and plummets to the rocky shore below.

Back in the lab in New Attilan, Iso holds her arms and tells the Beast that she doesn't know why he is so happy, reminding him that mutants are on the verge of extinction. 'True. But at least this time the problem isn't related to some super villain or killer robots or an unstable witch or a time anomaly' the Beast tells Iso, adding that it is just chemistry – science – and through science, all things are possible.

'I don't want to contradict you, Dr McCoy -' Iso begins, but the Beast tells her that she must always contradict him. 'Never, ever be afraid to disagree with me, and I will do you the same courtesy' he tells Iso. 'If you insist' the young Inhuman replies, before holding up a vial of the Terrigen Mist. 'All right, basic principles' Iso begins, stating that Terrigen is a chemical agent which catalyzes certain telomeres in Inhuman DNA, and when activated, those telemores express new traits – their appearance changes and they gain powers.

'Yes, quite miraculous – for Inhumans. For mutants, Terrigen contact can cause the M-Pox sickness, even death' the Beast remarks, holding up the vial and looking closely at the green cloud inside it. He adds that, as a large amount of gaseous Terrigen is currently present in Earth's atmosphere, he finds this rather troubling. Iso suggests that Terrigen must affect the x-gene, otherwise ordinary humans would be getting sick as well. She wonders if they excise the x-gene through some sort of gene therapy, that it might save mutants' lives – but even if they manage it – mutants would no longer exist.

Emma Frost free-falls to the rocky shore below her, and looks at the stopwatch in her hands. When it displays ten seconds, she switches to her diamond form, before slamming into the shore, the impact of which sends sand and rocks blasting into the air.

In the lab in New Attilan, the Beast smiles and tells Iso that he doesn't think mutants are done for just yet, to which Iso asks him how he can be so relaxed about all of this. 'Oh, I get it. You already have a plan' Iso realizes. But as the Beast keys something into a computer, he tells her that he has no idea what they are going to do. 'Honestly, seems like we're in a pretty big fix' he declares. 'So why -' Iso begins, to which the Beast interrupts her: 'I already told you' he remarks, reaching into his pocket, he tells Iso that through science, all things are possible. He adds that thirty thousand years ago, their only method for creating a record of themselves was to pain something on the wall of a cave, but now, with little more than a thought, he can capture this moment forever. 'In fact, I can send it anywhere in the world' the Beast grins as he takes a selfie of himself with the phone he pulled from his pocket.

'To the caveman, what I just did would be impossible. The act of a god. Now, it's the act of a child. The only difference is, well, you know... science' the Beast tells Iso as he looks at the photo of him grinning, while Iso is in the background of the photo, stern-faced.

On Muir, Emma groans as she pulls herself up from the crater which formed upon her diamond-hard self-impacting with the ground. She tosses the stopwatch into a pile of other broken stopwatches, and begins a long climb up some steps carved into the side of the cliff. Emma arrives back at Cyclops's grave, and shortly, she is approached by Celeste, Phoebe and Irma – the Stepford Cuckoos. 'Ms Frost... what are you doing?' Celeste asks.

Back in the lab, Iso remarks to the Beast 'Thirty thousand years of science, Dr McCoy! How much time do you think we have?' to which the Beast tells Iso that he doesn't know – but he does know that the crisis killed his old friend Jamie Madrox and drove Cyclops mad. 'He died trying to solve it, and he got poor Alchemy killed as well'. The Beast reminds Iso that after those terrible events, the Inhumans and X-Men agreed to a period of detente, in hopes that the two of them can find an answer that doesn't involve any more death. The Beast adds that he knows a truce is not the same thing as peace – it means there is a ticking clock in the background all the time. He tells Iso that he is smiling, happy and confident, and asks her if she knows why. 'Because this is a problem we can attack with our minds, and my mind is exceptional' the Beast boasts.

The Beast points at Iso and tells her that, according to Queen Medusa, so is hers. Iso smiles and remarks that is nice of Queen Medusa to say. Iso adds that she is very new to all of this, and didn't have much of an education before she came ot New Attilan. 'Oh, please. I hate modesty. It's inefficient' the Beast tells Iso, before adding 'Now, as I said... let's get to work' as he looks closely at the vial of Terrigen mist.

On Muir, Emma explains that she is working on changing into her diamond form more quickly, and claims that leaping off a cliff provides quite the incentive. She adds that she is using a timer, waiting a bit longer each time to trigger the change. 'But why, Ms Frost.? That... that seems dangerous' Celeste points out as she hands Emma the device that Emma was holding earlier. 'Of course it's dangerous. That's the point. I need the pressure, it's the closest thing I can get to what it will be like to face Black Bolt again' Emma explains. Celeste asks Emma why she wants to get anywhere near Black Bolt. 'I should think that's obvious. He killed Scott' Emma remarks, before telling the girls not to believe the popular narrative – as revenge is actually quite satisfying and wonderful. 'But... Ms Frost... he didn't kill Scott. It was the mists. The Terrigen' Irma reminds Emma.

Phoebe tells Emma that Black Bolt didn't kill Cyclops – it was all a trick. 'Your trick' she reminds Emma, asking her if she remembers what actually happened. 'Why, of course I do. Don't be ridiculous' Emma exclaims, holding up the device, which shows footage of Black Bolt destroying Cyclops. 'You can see it right here. Plain as day' Emma tells the Stepford Cuckoos. Celeste and Irma look at each other, perplexed, as Emma walks towards the edge of the cliff and tells them not to worry about her – as she is just fine.

6 months ago:
The RIV – Royal Inhuman Vessel – hovers over the South Pacific, and inside the ship, the Beast is speaking with Crystal and Gorgon. The Beast holds up a device and explains that he designed it with the help of some of the engineers on New Attilan. He adds that it is based on the Cerebro technology, but Crystal's people have assured him that it will integrate with her ship's systems seamlessly. Crystal thanks the Beast, and tells him that they primarily use the RIV to track the Terrigen cloud, so knowing in advance if there are mutants in their path will help them to get the mutants out of danger. Gorgon announces that he will go ahead and get it installed, as the cloud is not too far from a populated island. He adds that odds are pretty low that Inhumans or mutants are living there, but points out that it is better  to be safe than sorry. Crystal agrees and thanks Gorgon as she throws the device to him.

Nearby, Iso is reunited with Flint and Grid. He hugs Flint and tells him that it is nice to see him. 'You too, Grid. It's been way too long' she tells them. Flint tells Iso that she is welcome to take a tour with them any time she wants. Grid smiles as he informs Iso that they go all over the world, as not every country is all that happy when the cloud rolls through – and they have had some crazy times trying to keep the peace. 'Someday, maybe, but right now I have to stay in New Attilan. I'm helping Dr McCoy research the Terrigen problem' Iso explains. Flint tells Iso that it might be a problem for mutants, but he isn't sure it is that much of a problem for Inhumans. 'Of course it is. We almost went to serious, straight-up war with the mutants a few months ago, and if this situation doesn't get fixed, it'll happen again' Grid declares. Grid remarks that it is all nicey-nice right now, but that if they don't find a cure for the M-Pox soon, the mutants will try to destroy the last Terrigen cloud. 'Mark my words' he tells the other young Inhumans.

Flint tells his friend that he believes that – as the mutants did that once, and the Inhumans lost half the Terrigen in the world. 'They'll do it again, and they'll kill anyone who gets in their way' Grid declares. Iso tells Flint that Dr McCoy isn't like that, and that she has been working closely with him for months now – she knows he wants to avoid violence at all costs. Grid reminds Iso that the Beast isn't the only mutant they have to think about, and points out that Emma Frost is still out there, and, as far as they know it, so is Magneto. 'And Iceboy. I hate that guy' Flint remarks. 'It's Iceman' Iso corrects him, before telling the guys that she understands what they are saying, and assures them she and the Beast are doing everything they can. 'Henry McCoy is a genius' she adds, boasting that he will figure it out, as she looks over to the Beast who is still speaking with Crystal.

The Beast shows Crystal some information on a tablet and asks her if this is their most up-to-date data on the cloud. Crystal checks the data and confirms that it is, adding that they took the readings yesterday. 'Why? Do you see something unusual?' Crystal enquires. 'Possibly' the Beast tells her announcing that this is just what he sees after a quick pass. 'But from what I can tell... the cloud is shrinking!'

Suddenly, a computer announces that an x-gene carrier has been detected in path of the Terrigen cloud, and reports that the time to contact is four minutes. 'Well, that ain't good' Gorgon remarks as he looks at a map. Crystal turns to other Inhumans aboard the RIV and tells them to scramble for emergency evacuation. 'Get the shuttle ready for launch – this is going to be tight!' she exclaims. Crystal then turns to the Beast and tells him that they will have to finish their conversation later. 'You can stay, or if you have to get back to New Attilan...' her voice trails off, but the Beast tells Crystal that she is about to save a mutant's life – he wouldn't mis this for the world.

Meanwhile, in Poland, a Blackbird jet and a small chopper are both on a floating metal platform high above a valley within a mountain range, where Magneto a.k.a. the Master of Magnetism sits at a small table, opposite Emma Frost. A bottle of wine is on the table. Nearby, Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock, Monet St Croix and Victor “Sabretooth” Creed – Magneto's X-Men team, stand ready. Magneto asks Emma if she wants more wine. 'Always' Emma replies, before asking Magneto to do her a favor. 'Perhaps' comes his response. 'Before I leave here, throw something at me with your powers. Very hard, very fast, without warning' Emma asks him. 'That seems... unwise. Why would I -' Magneto begins to reply, but Emma interrupts him: 'Because I asked. Do it or don't. I don't care' Emma tells him, adding that she is more curious about this place. 'What is it?' she enquires.

Sabretooth sharpens his claws on a dagger, while Monet and Betsy both stand around looking unimpressed as Magneto reveals that this is a display. 'This platform weighs a thousand tons, and I'm balancing it atop a spire a meter wide' he boasts, adding that he likes to remind his team of his capabilities from time to time. 'Not to mention you, Emma' Magneto points out. 'Mm, no angels on the head of this pin' Emma tells Magneto, suggesting that if anyone becomes annoying he can tip the whole thing on its side and drop them a few hundred feet into the valley. 'Exactly' Magneto agrees.

Magneto asks Emma what she wished to discuss with him. 'Finishing the job' Emma announces. 'Ah. Of course. Emma, listen to me. I want the rest of the Terrigen removed from this planet as much as anyone alive, but there are certain realities we must face' Magneto replies, reminding Emma that the Inhumans were incredibly powerful to begin with, and more of them appear on the planet every day because of that damn cloud. 'The only reason we destroyed as much Terrigen as we did is because we took them by surprise. And even then, we lost...well, you know who we lost' Magneto remarks. 'Yes. I do. What is your point?' Emma asks. Magneto tells her that his point is that if they attack again, the Inhumans will be ready for them. 'The remaining Terrigen cloud is all that exists in the world. It's the only way new Inhumans can access their power, and it's bound up in their traditions. It's sacred to them' Magneto explains, reminding Emma that is why Medusa has her sister guarding the cloud in that ugly ship. 'They claim it's a humanitarian mission, but that thing is a battleship. They are protecting that Terrigen from us' Magneto exclaims.

'Black Bolt alone can vaporize my people with a single word. Karnak can see all our weaknesses. Not to mention all the new ones... who knows what powers Medusa's people can access. I'm just not sure who we could -' Magneto declares, slamming his fist on the table. 'Why, Erik... you sound afraid' Emma points out. Suddenly, the dagger that Sabretooth was using to sharpen his claws is flung from his grasp – straight towards Emma's face – where it shatters against her now diamond-hard form, as she casually sips her wine. Emma smiles at Magneto and thanks him. 'Just what I was looking for. Very kind' she adds, before telling him to listen: 'I have a plan that will give us everything we want' Emma begins, stating that the second Terrigen cloud will be destroyed and the planet will be made safe for mutant kind. She announces that she will have her revenge on the woman who ordered Scott's death, and the man who carried it out. 'I need you. I need your power, your immorality, and the monsters who call you their leader'. Emma tells Magneto that things must be done – dark things – and he is the darkest man she knows.

4 months ago:
The Savage Land, where the Beast and Iso stand on the side of a river, their Inhuman aircraft is parked nearby. The Beast is holding a strange dish-like device as Iso examines her surroundings and asks why this place is called the Savage Land. 'Oh, it's really quite wonderful' the Beast replies, explaining that it is an entire preserved biosphere – many of the plants and animals here survived the K-PG extinction event at the end of the cretaceous. The Beast adds that you have dinosaurs and such, and also various evolutionary digressions from that time, so it is a chance to see what the world might have been like if that asteroid hadn't hit. 'Fascinating stuff. Just fascinating' the Beast tells Iso. 'Fascinating. Yup' Iso replies, before asking why they are here.

The Beast reminds Iso that when they visited Crystal on the RIV, they learned that the remaining Terrigen cloud is in fact shrinking. He adds that some Terrigen is surely being absorbed as new Inhumans are created, but that the rate he saw was higher than expected, so he suspects environmental dispersion is occurring. Iso asks the Beast if he thinks the missing Terrigen is here. The Beast holds up the dish and tells Iso that he hopes not, as the Savage Land is pristine, so there should be no Terrigen here at all. He adds that if it does appear, the detector that he is holding will send out a signal. 'I don't think it will happen. But better safe than – sorry' the Beast utters as he and Iso turn around and discover a large T-rex looming over them.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, Emma Frost has tracked down the young, time-displaced original X-Men. 'You all live in this? How... rustic' she remarks as she looks at their motor home. 'It's bigger on the inside. We do okay' Bobby “Iceman” Drake informs her, before Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast asks Emma what they can do for her. 'It's been...quite a while' he points out. 'I've been very busy, you know – grown up things' Emma tells them, before the Beast informs her that they were worried about her. 'I mean, since...' his voice trails off. 'Oh' Emma utters. 'He's right behind me, isn't he?' the Beast asks, as Scott Summers a.k.a. the young Cyclops smiles. 'Uh... hey' he calls out.

Back in the Savage Land, Iso screams as she and the Beast flee from the dinosaur that runs after them. The Beast instructs Iso to hold it off, as he needs a moment to set the device. 'Hold it off?' Iso asks. 'Yes – use your powers. Just don't kill it – it's an incredibly unique specimen' he points out. 'What about me? I'm also a unique specimen, Dr McCoy!' Iso declares, as the Beast shoves the stem of the dish-like device into the ground, telling Iso that he believes in her. The device is activated, and the Beast announces that it is time to go. 'You think?' Iso calls back to him she holds the dinosaur at bay with her power.

In Detroit, 'Scott. I... I...' Emma begins, lost for words. The young Cyclops asks Emma what she is doing here, and notices that she is crying. 'Are you crying?' he asks her. 'Don't be ridiculous' Emma replies as she switches to diamond form. 'I'm done crying' Emma claims as a diamond tear hits the ground and bounces along the road. Emma tells the time-displaced X-Men they are all going to die, unless they help her. Emma tells them that she will need all of them, and that Jean Grey in particular has a role to play in the short-term. 'Can I count on you?' she asks the young men. The Beast tells her that, obviously, they will need some specifics, but that if things really are that dire, then of course they will do what they can. 'Good enough for me. I'll be in touch' Emma concludes their interaction as she turns and walks away.

2 months ago:
In New Attilan, the Beast approaches Queen Medusa, who sits at her throne. Standing before her, the Beast reminds Medusa that, six months ago, she invited him into her home, as part of the truce between their people after the destruction of the first cloud, and Cyclops' death. 'I have lived among you ever since, working with your scientists to try to find an answer to what seems like an insolvable puzzle' the Beast declares. 'Yes' Medusa agrees, emotionlessly asking the Beast to tell her that was the preamble to him describing an ingenious solution. 'I... I wish that were so' the Beast replies, somewhat taken aback, before he informs Medusa that the Terrigen's ability to cause change is mirrored in the x-gene – the Terrigen creates a new attack for the specific genome of every individual mutant. 'We're not looking for a single cure – we have to find a new one for each mutant. Hundreds, each uniquely different' the Beast reveals.

Medsua stands up and approaches the Beast, informing him that Iso told her what he likes to say - “All things are possible with science” and asks him if he still believes that. 'I do. Of course I do' the Beast responds. 'I do, too' Medusa smiles, putting a hand on the Beast's shoulder. The Beast then turns and leaves the throne room. He climbs up to a ledge with an open window, and sits there, thinking. Suddenly, he hears Medusa call out 'Black Bolt. All of you' and he peers down over a ledge, where he sees Medusa standing before a series of monitors, speaking to Black Bolt and Crystal. She informs them that the Beast hasn't found a solution, but that she will continue to support him in every way she can, as he is a good man – brilliant and honest. 'But a day will come when the mutants lose their patience with him, with us, and this truce. Another attack will come. We will not start that fight... but we must be ready to win it' Medusa declares, causing the Beast too look concerned.

In the Hellfire Club, two armchairs are placed before an open fire. In one of them sits Emma Frost, who tells the woman in the other seat: 'You'll need to get started now. You'll need a plausible backstory, and that will take time'. The other woman tells Emma that she knows, and thinks that will be her favourite part. Holding a glass of champagne, the woman adds that it has been a long time since she has done anything like this, and that it will be nice to see if she still has the skills. 'Sometimes you wonder if the only reason you're still working is because of you're reputation, you know?' the woman remarks. Emma sips her champagne and declares that her mother always told her that a reputation was the last thing a girl needed. 'But personally, I've always found mine to be very useful' Emma remarks. The other woman tells Emma that she will get things going on her end, and asks Emma when she thinks it will all happen.

Emma tells her companion that McCoy has two months left, so no sooner than that. She adds that she will need that time to finish putting the pieces together for her plan in any case – as there is a big one she will has to handle. 'After that though... we'll see' Emma announces as she and her mysterious companion clink their champagne flutes together.

In the Savage Land, the dish-like device the Beast left there flares up, and sitting at a computer in New Attilan, the Beast looks shocked: 'Oh, no' he utters as he looks at a graph depicting the Savage Land Terrigen saturation rate. Iso looks at the Beast and asks him if he is all right, adding that his expression is strange. 'I... I just...' the Beast's voice trails off. Images flash through his mind – of apocalypse, and Sentinels and Cyclops killing Xavier. Of Wolverine covered in adamantium and of a woman crying. The Beast closes his laptop and tells Iso that it is nothing, before suggesting they get some lunch, as he is starving.

Meanwhile, in Limbo, where X-Haven, a school and Terrigen-free mutant safe-zone resides. Storm a.k.a. Ororo Munroe is in her office when her phone rings. She picks the phone up as Illyana “Magik” Rasputin enters, and tells Storm to believe it or not, but that Emma Frost is here. 'She wants to see you. Should I send her on her way, or...' Magik offers, but Storm asks Magik to show Emma in, adding that she needs to take this call first. Emma enters Storm's office as she puts the phone back down. Emma greets Ororo and asks her who she was speaking to. 'It was the Beast. The one at New Attilan' Storm replies. 'Oh? And what did that grouchy old kitty cat have to say?' Emma asks. Storm informs Emma that the Beast wants to meet on Muir Island, as he says he has an update on his Terrigen research, but wouldn't give any details. She adds that the Beast wants everyone there – a representative from every major mutant group.

'Such drama. Sometimes don't you wish we'd just text about these things?' Emma asks. Storm frowns and asks Emma why she is here, to which Emma tells that Mr Beast has been a busy, busy mutant over the last eight months – diligently doing science things to save their people from the big, bad Inhumans. 'Well, so have I, Storm – although I have my own approach to the problem' Emma announces. 'Less...scientific, which is probably for the best. I'm not much good in a lab' Emma adds, claiming that she would never have passed chemistry at all if it weren't for the magicl power of short skirts. Emma smiles as she asks Storm to tell her if Hank sounded happy – like someone with good news. 'Well... no, actually. The opposite' Storm replies. Emma tells Storm not to worry, and leaning over Storm's desk, Emma boasts that she is here to save the day.

Characters Involved: 

M II, Magneto, Psylocke, Sabretooth (all X-Men)
Magik, Storm (both X-Men)
Emma Frost
Stepford Cuckoos
Dazzler (unidentified)

Beast, Cyclops, Iceman (all time-displaced X-Men)

Black Bolt, Crystal, Flint, Gorgon, Grid, Iso, Medusa (all Inhumans)

Story Notes: 

Cyclops, Madrox and Alchemy all died in the Death of X limited series.

Cyclops' seemed to fall ill to the M-Pox in Death of X #1 – but it was later revealed in Death of X #4 that he actually died in #1, and that Emma was simply using her power to project the appearance of Cyclops in all his subsequent appearances. The Stepford Cuckoos  and Havok are the only ones who know this.

The Inhumans vs X-Men storyline ties into Inhumans vs X-Men #0, 1-6, Extraordinary X-Men #17-19, Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #16-18, All-New X-Men (2nd series) #17-18, Deadpool and the Mercs for Money (2nd series) #7-8 and Uncanny Inhumans #18-20.

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