Published November 16, 2016

SDCC 2016: Inhumans Vs. X-Men

Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule discuss the clash between two of Marvel's mightiest groups!

Image for SDCC 2016: Inhumans Vs. X-Men

When the Terrigen Mists, from which all Inhumans spring and with which all mutants die, reach saturation point, the imperiled X-Men decide to wipe the source of their peril from the Earth once and for all.

Of course this means war.

INHUMANS VS. X-MEN, a six-issue limited series beginning this winter, details that war and the incredible soldiers who’ll fight it on both sides. Writers Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule and artist Leinil Yu promise a battle so big, it’ll mean bringing in everybody to fight it—and they do mean everybody. Jeff and Charles, who discovers the situation with the saturation? And will there be one event that highlights it to the X-Men?

Jeff Lemire: I’m not sure how much we want to spoil. I guess a hint will be safe. The X-Man who discovers this is one of the original X-Men known to have a keen scientific mind. He has also been working closely with the Inhumans.

Charles Soule: Exactly. If you’ve been reading UNCANNY INHUMANS in particular, the answer to this will be pretty straightforward. As far as any one event…yes, and in the tradition of Marvel events, it’s big, and in this case, pretty tragic. Is there a real-world equivalent to the broader scope of this story?

Jeff Lemire: X-Men stories have always been very allegorical and very symbolic for real world events. I think there is a permeating sense of fear and mistrust that is driving a lot of world events at the moment, and a lot of hatred and violence. So it’s not hard to see the mutant/Inhuman conflict as a metaphor for much of what’s going on around us.

Charles Soule: Pick any situation in the world where both sides have completely understandable and justified points of view that are nevertheless in direct conflict with one another, in a way that seems like it will never be resolved. Unfortunately, you can probably think of about 10 of those right off the top of your head; I know I can. While we won’t be using any one particular situation in the world as a template here, the shape of the conflict, and what we want to say about these types of intractable disagreements, should be familiar [and] interesting to many readers. How do the X-Men plan to attack this problem? And do they hope to do it quietly?

Jeff Lemire: That would be spoiling the story! But I will say that the X-Men are a very experienced group. They have been through a lot and learned from it. They will have a very well-thought-out plan of attack. It won’t be haphazard.

Charles Soule: Making the battle plan has been one of the best parts of the story so far. The Inhumans have some very powerful folks in their ranks—but so do the X-Men. It’s neat to line up the action figures and let them go to work. Once it begins, what will the first clash be like between the groups? Will anyone die?

Jeff Lemire: Boy, you really want to know it all, don’t you? I’m not answering this one, sorry.

Charles Soule: The X-Men will die. Okay, okay—let’s try this: what are some of the battles that really made you excited to be writing this series?

Jeff Lemire: Old Man Logan vs. Everyone. But really, there were so many fun combinations of characters and conflicts it was an embarrassment of riches when planning the story. I will say that Medusa and Storm both rise to the occasion and become key figures in the story. And as the X-Men writer, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Karnak.

Charles Soule: I suppose this is a bit of a spoiler, but I’ve really been enjoying writing Magneto—and Fantomex. I could write Fantomex all day and all night. Now, we’ve heard that the Inhumans pull in everybody they can on this one—do the X-Men do the same? If so, who?

Jeff Lemire: Like any large group of people, neither the mutants nor the Inhumans act like they have a hive mind. Meaning they are a diverse group, with many points of view and many agendas. So it’s not so black and white. There are not simply two sides to this battle. So, for the mutants, not everyone will agree with the conflict. And there will be factions within even those groups. So we really tried to draw in as many characters as we could, but to give them all a different voice, agenda, and purpose in the story.

Charles Soule: You can expect to see the casts of EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN, UNCANNY X-MEN, and ALL-NEW X-MEN, as well as many other mutants, some of whom we haven’t seen in a while. What will be the reaction to this fight from the rest of the super hero world?

Jeff Lemire: It all happens very quickly, so the rest of the Marvel Universe will barely have time to react before the mutants kill all the Inhumans. Wait, did I just spoil the end?

Charles Soule: Too late, Jeff. I already told them all the X-Men croak. And of course, what’s it like working with Leinil on this one?

Jeff Lemire: Leinil has long been one of my favorite Marvel artists. I’ve admired his work for years, so this is really a thrill to get to work with him.

Charles Soule: I did one of my favorite Marvel Universe pieces of work with Leinil last summer: the CIVIL WAR [limited series] that ran during the Secret Wars event. So, I know very well what Leinil is capable of. That said, this event will test even his magnificent powers! He’s also a really kind, generous collaborator. This event, by nature, has a huge cast, and I wouldn’t wish for anyone else to take it on. Leinil’s awesome.

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