Jonathan Hickman’s final big X-Men story in his current run with Marvel is underway with Inferno. The first issue of Inferno was a big payoff to the growing discontent Mystique was having with Charles Xavier and Magneto not bringing Irene Adler, aka Destiny, back to life. Being done with all the excuses Mystique took things into her own hands and brought Destiny back. Not only that but Mystique was able to manipulate other members of the Quiet Council to vote in Destiny to fill one of the empty seats. With this shift in the status quo for the Quiet Council what will happen next in Hickman’s latest X-Men event? Let’s find out with Inferno #2.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colorist: David Curiel
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Mystique transforms into Magneto and sneaks into Island M to take the Cerebro helmet that Magneto was storing. (this is the same exact scene X-Factor reconstructed during their investigation on Wanda Maximoff’s death in X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #2.)
Mystique then transforms into Charles Xavier and while wearing the Cerebro helmet goes to meet Mister Sinister at Bar Sinister. Mister Sinister sees through Mystique’s disguise but goes along with Mystique’s plan to bring Destiny back.
Mystique as Charles Xavier then gives The Five what Mister Sinister gave her to begin the process of bringing Irene Adler back. After bringing back Irene body Mystique as Xavier convinces Hope Summers to try her hand at the soul-body merger for the first time. Excited that “Xavier” is giving her the opportunity Hope puts on the Cerebro helmet and successfully bonds Irene’s soul and body.
After The Five leave and they are alone Mystique goes back to her normal form and welcomes Irene back. Irene is immediately overwhelmed with visions of the past and future coming in her mind at the same time.
Mystique brings Destiny to her secret room and over the course of three weeks helps her return to normal. Eventually Destiny is able to relax enough to properly reunite with Mystique and return to being Destiny.
In the present Charles Xavier questions how she even came back to life in the first place. Charles says the answers to those questions will have to wait as they must next vote on who will fill the empty seats on The Quiet Council and then vote to remove Mystique off The Quiet Council.
Magneto and Storm make the first votes as both vote “No.” After some consideration Nightcrawler votes “Yes” for Destiny because of Mystique being his mom.
Exodus is next to vote. Before making his vote Exodus remembers the meeting he had with Mystique. During the meeting Mystique reveals that Destiny is her nomination playing into Exodus love for prophets.
In the present Exodus votes “Yes” for Destiny.
It is then shown that sometime ago Mystique met with Mister Sinister and played into how Xavier and Magneto wants him to vote. Mister Sinister compliments Mystique on her play.
In the present Mister Sinister votes “Yes” for Destiny. Mystique also votes “Yes.” Then Kate Pryde votes “No” against Destiny.
Its then shown that in the past when Mystique met with Sebastian Shaw she played into his hate for Emma Frost and said Emma is likely to vote “No” during the meeting.
In the present Shaw votes “Yes” for Destiny.
With Emma Frost being the final deciding vote we see that some time in the past Mystique stole an item that Emma has been looking for a long time. Mystique gives the item to Emma with the condition of being owed a favor.
In the present Emma votes “Yes” for Destiny.
With the majority vote Xavier begrudgingly announces Destiny as the newest member of The Quiet Council.
In outer space Director Devo leads Orchis scientist on the continued work on Orchis’ translocator. After maxing out the energy out put Devo stops the experiment so they can review the information they have gathered from the latest test.
Omega Sentinel speaks with Nimrod alone and calls out how she knows that Nimrod has been learning and growing since coming back online. Omega Sentinel then asks Nimrod if he sees what she really is.
In Krakoa’s No-Place, Moira MacTaggert is pissed that Xavier and Magneto allowed Destiny to return to life. Moira says that they don’t have much time before Destiny discovers her and they need to implement Solve For X. Xavier says that is too extreme and not like Moira. Moira defends this by saying this is how she always sounds.
Moira then asks Magneto if he can kill Destiny. Magneto says he can but won’t do it as he has waited his entire life for something like what they’ve built on Krakoa and won’t throw it away by killing someone. This pisses Moira off more and demands Xavier and Magneto do more than they are.
Xavier brings up how they need to bring someone in to help them and that person is Emma Frost. Moira agrees as Emma is likely the only one that will understand the gravity of the situation once she learns what they are truly up against.
Over at Mutant Ops, Sage wraps up her work and goes to get lunch. Mystique as Sage suddenly enters the room and access the recent report on Orchis in Paris and finds out that Xavier override it for some reason marking it as no threat.
Mystique goes to Paris and transforms into a Orchis scientist to enter their Paris facility unnoticed. Inside Mystique learns that Orchis is working on a translocator that will allow them to reach the Forge and use it to take out the mutants from the world.
At the Louvre Museum in Paris, Xavier clears out the museum so he, Emma, Magneto, and Moira can meet alone. Xavier and Magneto reveal to Emma that Moira is actually a mutant. To prove this Moira allows Emma to read her mind. When Emma reads Moira’s mind she is shocked to learn everything about the various lives Moira has had by using her powers.
After recovering from the shock Emma is pissed off that Xavier, Magneto, and Moira kept this from her and everyone. Xavier, Magneto, and Moira say they showed her this because they trust her with the information. Emma transforms into her diamond form and accepts that she is now part of their inner but Xavier, Magneto, and Moira have lost her loyalty forever. Emma then walks off.
Once its just the three of them Moira admits she was wrong and it was smart to bring in someone they trust like Emma into their inner circle.
Later at another meeting Exodus, Kate Pryde, Emma Frost, Nightcrawler, Storm, Charles Xavier, and Magneto vote for “Yes” for the latest nominee for The Quiet Council. At the same time Mister Sinister, Mystique, Sebastian Shaw, and Destiny vote “No.” With another majority vote Colossus is brought in as the newest member of The Quiet Council. End of issue.
The Good: The chess match within The Quiet Council continues to be absolutely fascinating. Jonathan Hickman understands how to use all the sub-plots involving Mystique, Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Moira MacTaggert to make all the build up worth it through the payoff that Inferno #2 continues to deliver.
Working in events from X-Men: The Trial Of Magneto #2 was expertly done. Its things like this that show how all of the current X-Men titles are working together in a synergistic way. That is shown with how it is revealed that X-Factor’s investigation into where Magneto was before, during, and after the time of Wanda Maximoff’s death was not what it seemed. The revelation that it was Mystique who took the secondary Cerebro helmet that Magneto had locked up was done incredibly well. This creates more questions for what is going on over in The Trial Of Magneto while adding layers to the story unfolding in Inferno.
The entire first half of Inferno #2 does an excellent job elevating Mystique’s character. Hickman does a wonderful job getting across how Mystique is done waiting around for Xavier and Magneto to help her bring Destiny back. Mystique knows that they are just going to continue to go around in circles never giving her what she wants. With that in mind we see how ticking off Mystique is one of the biggest mistakes Xavier, Magneto, and Moira have done in this new era they’ve created. The way she maximizes all her powers to trick Hope Summers and The Five to bring Destiny back was masterfully done
This also spotlighted how Destiny is the most important relationship that Mystique has ever had. Destiny grounds Mystique as we see how she shows a different side when around Irene is around. In a short time Hickman gets this importance over and how that drives Mystique and Destiny to move forward with getting the latter onto The Quiet Council.
Which all made how Mystique manipulated Nightcrawler, Exodus, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, and Mister Sinister to help her get Destiny in even better. Mystique already knew she had Nightcrawler’s vote. How she used all her knowledge of each of these characters, like making Sebastian Shaw think Emma would vote “No” even though she secured Emma’s vote ahead of time, was well executed. It put her expert use of her powers and abilities to make sure she got what she wanted. Making it all the better was the fact that Xavier and Magneto could do nothing to stop this as they had to follow the rule they set for The Quiet Council.
This chess move by Mystique was a great way to bring Moira MacTaggert back into the fold in a major way. Since House of X and Powers of X ended Moira has been working from the shadows as Xavier and Magneto take point in their plans with the creation of Krakoa. But now with Mystique’s big move Moira can no longer afford to work from the shadows 24/7. In the process we are reminded how Moira having gone through several lives made her act in a way that still surprises Xavier and Magneto. Even if they have the knowledge of Moira’s past lives they don’t have those experiences.
All of this leading Moira, Xavier, and Magneto to growing their inner circle and choosing Emma Frost to be the person they trust to be brought in was an excellent move. This immediately elevates Emma’s importance in the X-Men franchise moving forward. Which is impressive since Emma was already part of the key mutants living on Krakoa. But now that profile has gone even higher because now while Emma agreed to be Moira, Xavier, and Magneto’s ally she is no longer completely loyal to their vision for Krakoa. Emma making that loyalty clear puts into question what greater plans there are for Emma even after Inferno ends.
With this development it makes the fact that Xavier and Magneto’s personal choice of Colossus to fill the other vacant seat on The Quiet Council stand out even more. Immediately Colossus is not someone that sticks out as a person you think of being at the top of the pyramid of leadership for Krakoa. But that is clearly why Xavier and Magneto chose him. Because unlike others on The Quiet Council it can be easier to get Colossus to vote on their side since he is someone that will have gratitude for Xavier putting him in this position and be loyal to him.
Stefano Caselli does an excellent job telling so much of the story that Hickman writes through the artwork. The facial expressions of every character in Inferno #2 is on point. He enhanced how Mystique went about manipulating so many to go along with her plans through her various facial reactions. The intensity Moira MacTaggert and Emma Frost showed in their big scenes also elevated their scenes to another level. It made the impact of the resulting ending we got with Inferno #2 to leave you intrigued into what will happen next.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Jonathan Hickman and Stefano Caselli do an excellent job turning Inferno #2 into a big chess match between Mystique, Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Moira MacTaggert. The way things are developed through the choices made creates a lot of intrigue into how Hickman plans to wrap up his current run on the X-Men. There are many things in play that could have far reaching ramifications that will felt for years to come.
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