Inferno #4 is written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Valerio Schiti & Stefano Caselli, colored by David Curiel, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It is published by Marvel Comics. Picking up from the end of the third issue, Magneto and Professor X face off against Nimrod and the Omega Sentinel who reveal their true plans for both humans and mutants. Meanwhile, Mystique and Destiny attempt to exact their revenge on Moira MacTaggert until an unexpected party shows up and throws Destiny’s vision of the future into flux.
This issue marks the end of Hickman’s tenure on the X-Men, at least for the time being, and he goes out with a bang. Several plot threads stretching back to House of X and Powers of X are resolved here, including the many lives that Moira enjoys as a result of her mutant ability and the ever-present threat of the Sentinels. It’s the latter that definitely holds my attention; for years mutants thought humans were the most dangerous thing they had to face but it turns out that much like mutantkind, machines will evolve and fight for their survival. As the Omega Sentinel points out to Magneto, both humans and mutants have tried to suppress machines’ evolution and it’s only natural that they fight back.
In the case of Moira, her ultimate end goal is revealed and it’s rather tragic. For all of the sacrifices she endured to make sure Krakoa became a nation, her ultimate goal ended up being the antithesis to everything her fellow mutants stood for. While I won’t reveal what happens to her due to potential spoilers, I will say it is a fitting conclusion. And speaking of conclusions, Hickman comes full circle with a page that replicates the first page of House of X, only with Emma Frost in Professor X’s place. And the final words hint that even though he’s departing from the world of mutants, what he’s built will continue through other writers and other X-Men titles.
Joining Hickman on artistic duties are Schiti and Caselli. Both artists previously tackled an issue of Inferno, with Schiti illustrating the first; in this issue, he delivers a knockdown, drag-out fight between Magneto, Professor X, and the Sentinels. The Sentinels’ metal bodies are ripped apart by Magneto, shards of steel flying across the room, and Xavier unleashes a massive psychic wave that blows Nimrod apart. Schiti illustrates the second half of the issue, which gathers the entirety of the Quiet Council; his final page is elegant in its simplicity.
Rounding out the artistic team are Curiel and Sabino. Curiel often shifts the colors of the background based on the setting; the lab where Professor X and Magneto have their battle is blood red, signifying the rage running through both men’s hearts. The confrontation between Mystique, Moira, and Destiny is lit with a cool blue that adds an air of menace to the proceedings. And the final pages take place within Krakoa, with its dark green leaves and thick tree trunks signifying the change the mutant nation is undergoing. Sabino works with designer Joe Mueller to give the Krakoan language an otherworldly look. One of the transition pages even glows bright gold as if to represent the conflagration this series is named after.
Inferno #4 brings Jonathan Hickman’s tenure on the X-Men to a close, but it also solidifies his influence on the mutant heroes’ mythos. I’ve loved what Hickman has done with the First Age of Krakoa, and I look forward to what future books including Immortal X-Men and X Lives of Wolverine/X Deaths of Wolverine bring to the table. I also can’t help but wonder what’s next for Hickman at the House of Ideas, but one thing’s for sure: it’s bound to break all the rules.
Inferno #4 is available wherever comics are sold.
Inferno #4 brings Jonathan Hickman’s tenure on the X-Men to a close, but it also solidifies his influence on the mutant heroes’ mythos.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.