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Inferno #1 Review: The Fire Burns Bright In Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men Swan Song

In 2019, Jonathan Hickman and his artistic collaborators set the Marvel Universe on fire with House of X and Powers of X. The two complementary miniseries marked the beginning of a new era for the X-Men, a complete reinvention of the concept on a scale not seen since Grant Morrison and company ditched the yellow spandex for black leather in New X-Men in 2001. The story Hickman started in those series reaches its fiery conclusion in Inferno. The new miniseries sees Hickman teaming up with artist Valerio Schti, colorist David Curiel, letterer Joe Sabino, and designer Tom Mueller to bring closure to the biggest unresolved storylines from House and Powers. Based on the first issue, Hickman plans to exit in a blaze of glory.

Despite Mueller being the only member of the art team from House of X and Power of X also 
working on Inferno, it still feels visually connected to those previous miniseries. Schti belongs to the same Stuart Immonen-influenced school as HoX/PoX pencilers Pepe Larraz and RB Silva. As with his peers, Larraz in particular, Schti’s linework is loose and his compositions lush. Curiel’s digital colors complement the penciling well, managing to capture the palette Marte Gracia established for Krakoa, something with which other colorists on the line have struggled at times.

It isn’t only the visual style that matches HoX/PoX, but the visual themes. Those series showcased mutants reshaping the worlds of man and mutant overnight, figuratively, with Magneto declaring mutants to be gods. As if to prove the point, mutants reshaped a planet in a very literal sense in the Planet-Size X-Men one-shot, drawn by Larraz. Schti hones in on that image of mutants as deities, depicting the Quiet Council of Krakoa in one panel like gods sitting atop Olympus, Curiel adding divine light among them.

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