Have you been waiting all this time for kind of a sequel to the X-Men’s “Inferno” event from years ago? Are you a fan of the various X-Youngsters like the New Mutants or Young X-Men? Do you like naughty David Finch covers?
Then this comic is for you!
But the strange thing is, this comic seems to be for the rest of us, too. It’s a good first issue, even if you answered “no” to all the questions above.
C. B. Cebulski has made “X-Infernus” #1 accessible, dramatic, and fun. I’ve dipped in and out of some of the Illyana Rasputin in Hell (or Limbo, or whatever) stories over the past couple of decades, and they tend to be portentous and epically tragic. That’s fine, but it often made the stories turgid and overly thick with Faustian drama. In “X-Infernus,” Cebulski keeps the dramatic undertone, but there’s a swift-moving quality to the pace of the comic that keeps it from getting bogged down in continuity quagmires or mythic-tragic solemnity.
This is a comic about a girl with faerie wings who stabs a colleague in the chest with a magical dagger. It’s a comic about a gang of devilish creatures having a department meeting in the Underworld. It’s a comic about reclaiming a rightful legacy. It’s a comic about sacrifice. It’s all of these things and it balances the moments nicely, ending with an appropriately ferocious cliffhanger. And even if the cliffhanger isn’t much of a shock, at least it’s earned and launches the reader toward the next issue.
Giuseppe Camuncoli provides some nice art here as well, and he gives even the monstrous inhabitants of Limbo a sleekness that matches the rapid pace of the narrative. I particularly like his depiction of Pixie, a character who a has catapulted to X-prominence in the past six months, and plays an integral role here as well.
Tonally, this comic is a bit darker than “Incredible Hercules,” but it reminds me of that series in that way that it measures off its storytelling beats and provides surprising moments of drama within its swiftly-moving pace.
Cebulski and Camuncoli have produced a nice little first issue here, and though I didn’t have any particular interest in the Illyana Rasputin storyline when I began this issue, I’m intrigued enough to come back for more.