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Comic Book / Death of X

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Death of X is a four-part limited series published by Marvel Comics, written by Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire with art by Aaron Kuder, as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative in 2016.

Set in the eight month gap between Secret Wars and Extraordinary X-Men, Death of X depicts the start of tensions between mutants and The Inhumans (regarding the lethal effects of Terrigen Mist to the former), as well as finally explaining what happened to Cyclops —and why he's disappeared— in the interim.

Needless to say, things won't end up well for anybody involved.

See also: Inhumans vs. X-Men, which (indirectly) follows this story.

Death of X provides examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: As it turns out, Cyclops had died all the way back at the end of issue #1. Emma had somehow convinced everyone that Scott was still alive, caused the mutant Alchemy to die attempting to change the Terrigen Mists and got Scott killed at the hands of Black Bolt. Only Havok knows that Emma did this. In All-New X-Men we learn that Magneto figured something was amiss and demanded the truth as well.
  • Arc Words: "Ideas never die."
  • Back for the Dead: Multiple Man returns after years of inactivity in canon, only to die almost immediately.
    • Alchemy as well.
  • Covers Always Lie: Subverted. It says "Death of", followed by matching red X's. The reason it seems otherwise is that Emma is keeping Scott "alive" so as to grant him a proper, meaningful death like he wanted.
  • Dead All Along: Cyclops was revealed to be dead the whole time after sending the data from being exposed the mists and it was Emma Frost who fooled everyone into thinking that Scott was still alive. The only one who did not swallow it was Alex Summers because he knew his brother too well. Magik also suspected something was wrong.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Played with, in the sense that Death of X doesn't exactly spell out whose death it refers to—unless you choose to interpret it as "Death of the X-Men'', which many fans have been concerned about in recent years.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Given its status as an interquel, you can probably assume which characters make it out of this story in one piece, and that it doesn't end neatly for anybody involved.
  • Foreshadowing: The Cuckoos in issue #4 state the Inhuman Royal Family has psychic shielding they have no way of bypassing, but that maybe Emma could. This sets up The Reveal.
    Cyclops: I'm not even a person anymore. I'm gone. All that's left is the idea of me.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Emma Frost loses it when Scott ended up dying in her arms, effectively causing the entire story to happen.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Inhumans straight up execute "Cyclops" on the spot for altering their sacred cloud and its stated they probably would have done the same to Emma had Storm not stepped in.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Alchemy alters the cloud but almost immediately drops dead from a massive onslaught of M-Pox afterwards.
  • Interquel: Set between the conclusion of Secret Wars and the start of Extraordinary X-Men.
  • Mood Dissonance: In issue #3, the Inhumans are awfully proud of themselves after putting all of Madrid to sleep.
    Daisuke: (looks from a rooftop at a half melted street covered in crashed buses, crashed cars, and (hopefully mostly) sleeping people)
    Daisuke: All those peopleā€¦ safe. Because of me.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Crystal's use of Daisuke to quell a riot just gives Scott's team more reason to be paranoid.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Daisuke stops a riot by knocking out an entire city. Yes, the entire city. Despite the risk this could cause for people say, walking down stairs, driving, carrying small children, etc, this is treated as a smart way of stopping any violence from getting out of hand.
  • Noodle Incident: The circumstances of Cyclops' disappearance are promised to finally be revealed in this series, after a year of teasing by Marvel.
  • Not Me This Time: Storm warns Queen Medusa of what the Mists are doing. She's actually shocked that it's doing it, seeing as mutants were unaffected by them before. Storm says that Beast believes that its exposure to the atmosphere altered it.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Emma gets more than usually distraught about the situation in Madrid.
    • How Havok sensed the ruse.
  • Plot Hole: The mists being a threat to mutants and only mutants. Son of M and Silent War established that they would cause unstable and fatal mutations in mutants and humans alike and the Inhumans were well aware of this; mutants would develop uncontrolled states of their powers that would wear of if they didn't die from them first while humans would develop powers with an inevitable mortality. Here Storm asks Medusa if she knew the mists would be a threat to mutants and she had no idea, as apparently they've always been harmless to non-Inhumans.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Poor Jamie Madrox is patient zero of the M-Pox.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Cyclops lets the world in on what the Terrigen Mists are doing to mutantkind. It's hinted the Inhumans will somehow flip it around.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Daisuke ditches the Inhumans at the end, calling them maniacs who lied to him. Kind of hard to judge considering his very first mission with them had him knocked out and Dragged Off to Hell by Magik.
  • Secret-Keeper: Emma only lets one person know what really happened to Cyclops. It's Havok.
    • It's implied that the Stepford Cuckoos figured it out as well.
    • Magneto wants the truth and gets it, as was revealed in All-New X-Men.
  • Retcon:
    • Medusa is surprised the Terrigen Mists are harming mutants because they never have before. Despite multiple previous stories where Terrigen was not only harmful to mutants (IE when Quicksilver attempted to use Terrigen Crystals to restart the powers of mutants following M-Day), but can be outright fatal to normal humans.
    • Magik is one of Scott's supporters but in Extraordinary X-Men she was furious at Sunfire for having been on his side.
    • While details were kept vague, most comments implied Cyclops' rebellion against the Inhumans had a high body count. Here the only deaths are Alchemy and "Cyclops", unless you count the mostly unmentioned people in Madrid who were, say, walking down staircases or driving cars when the Inhumans put them all to sleep.
  • Undignified Death: Cyclops suffocates from M-Pox. The meaninglessness of it drives Emma to make him a martyr in the public eye.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • In-universe—the Stepford Cuckoos are openly puzzled by Goldballs' inclusion on the team to Muir Island.
    • Alchemy is a rather obscure character with just the right set of skills.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The X-Men naturally are a bit suspicious and pissed at the Inhumans for knocking out an entire city, them included!