Secret Wars: Inferno #1-The X-Men Go To Hell
The new Inferno X-Men series, being a part of the huge Secret Wars (2015) mega-crossover, takes us back to a significant past X-Men crossover event (dating back to 1989 and 1989) in which, basically, a couple of demons mess around and try to take over the world. In the "real" Marvel continuity, the X-Men and other heroes saved the day (naturally!), and the demons were defeated. In this new, altered version of the story, the bad guys won. Uh-Oh!
Secret Wars-Inferno #1 Cover
In the new Inferno
#1, Manhattan is has merged with the demonic Limbo, and is controlled by the evil demons that pestered the X-Men in the original 1980s storyline. The remaining X-Men, assisted by a few other non-Mutant heroes (was that Dr. Strange we saw floating around?). The basic storyline (sans major spoilers), is that the demons won, and captured Illyana Rasputina, AKA Magik. Her brother, Peter Rasputin, is determined to rescue her at all cost. But, he is not in charge of the X-Men, and Cyclops is the mutant leader. In this reality, the X-Men and their allies patrol the outer, non-Hellish parts of New York, and Peter has had to compromise with Cyclops (who, yes, is still a jerk), who refuses to authorize an all-out assault on Limbo-Manhattan to rescue Magik. Thus, they struck a deal: Colossus agrees to work for Cyclops for 364 days a year, but on the anniversary of Magik's capture, Peter gets to lead a team of volunteers to try a rescue attempt. This story picks up at the fifth anniversary/fifth rescue attempt, as Colossus leads a team including Domino, Boom-Boom, and Nightcrawler into battle against the nasty and numerous demons.
Without giving away any major spoilers, we can safely say that not all goes well, and we are left at the end of issue #1 with an interesting cliffhanger.
So, what are the good points about this comic?
- It has the X-Men. Like many of the new Secret Wars tie-ins, it picks up on a fairly popular and important story arc from Marvel's X-Men past.
- This tale allows readers to see into how Colossus thinks and acts. He has always been one of my favorite "new" X-Men, and his relationships with other X-Men, including, obviously, his sister, are a big part of what makes him an interesting character.
- Demons. They are just cool, especially when drawn well, as they are here by Javier Garrón.
What are the drawbacks of this issue?
- Cyclops is still a jerk, though how he is presented in this comic book is an interesting alternate take on his character. Read it to see what I mean.
- The whole rescue plot device where Peter only gets to lead a (small) team of volunteers only once each year seems to be pretty contrived. And, jerk or not, Cyclops is usually pretty stubborn about protecting "his" people and is typically not one to shrink from a fight. The above-mentioned change to his character may explain it, but I don't buy it that he would change all that much. An all-out assault once a year? That would be more believable.
Other points of interest:
Who should read Inferno #1?
- The Goblin Queen's costume. Madelyne Pryor's Goblin Queen outfit was always, shall we say, a bit underdeveloped? While, ahem, interesting to view, her costume definitely lacked practicality, and was more of an undersexed fanboy-baiting artistic marketing ploy than a real superhero/villain combat uniform. In Marvel's original previews and solicitations for this issue (see Goblin Queen image below), she wears her usual revealing top, but the cover of the actual Inferno #1 comic book shows her wearing a complete top, which effectively covers her up. One can only assume that Marvel is intentionally trying to not insult the many female readers that have flocked to Marvel's comics over the past couple of years. Smart. We, and other reviewers, approve.
Secret Wars-Inferno #1 Original Cover -Goblin Queen Underboob
Any fans of the X-Men in general, and of the original 1980s Demon takeover/Goblin Queen storyline in particular.
Just as with Old Man Logan
#1, the actual tie-in with the greater Secret Wars series and storyline is minimal and this comic can be read without really having to know a lot about what is happening in the rest of Marvel's Secret Wars arc.
#1 is a good read with good art, and an intriguing cliffhanger at the end to entice the reader back for Inferno #2.