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Mystique is Out for Revenge in this Artgerm Inferno #1 Variant Cover

The rulers of Krakoa have been playing a dangerous game with a dangerous woman, and they are about to see how badly that can burn them in Inferno #1, the upcoming X-Men series launching in October. In a saga that will serve as the next pivotal chapter in writer Jonathan Hickman’s vision for mutantkind, Mystique is ready to follow through on her promise to burn the nation of Krakoa to the ground after having been denied her wishes to be reunited with Destiny. Fans can see the iconic Marvel character prepare for her master plan in a stunning new Inferno #1 variant cover by superstar artist Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

Stay tuned for more cover reveals and be ready for Mystique to change the future of mutantkind forever when Inferno #1 hits stands on September 29th! Written by Hickman, Inferno #1 features the art of Valerio Schiti.

Inferno #1 Artgerm variant

Preview: X-Men #21

X-Men #21

(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) Russell Dauterman, More (CA) Leinil Francis Yu
32 PGS./Rated T+
In Shops: Jun 09, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE HEROES OF KRAKOA DEBUT!
It’s a changing if the guard as the first X-Men team of Krakoa debuts! One era ends as a new one begins, and the handoff happens here.

X-Men #21

Inferno Sets the X-Men’s World in Flames this September

“There will be an island—not the first, but the last…” Destiny’s foreboding words have stuck with Mystique—and fans—since the very beginning of the age of Krakoa. Now, a day of reckoning is upon mutantkind’s leaders, and the shocking payoff to seeds planted in House of X and Powers of X arrives in mastermind writer Jonathan Hickman’s brand-new X-Men series: Inferno!

Promises were made and broken. The rulers of Krakoa have been playing a dangerous game with a dangerous woman, and they are about to see how badly that can burn them. Having been denied her wishes yet again, Mystique is ready to follow through on her promise to burn the nation of Krakoa to the ground. Mutantkind’s bright future is threatened like never before as Hickman brings his game-changing plans to a head. Fans can expect more revelations from the lives of Moira MacTaggert, Nimrod’s revenge, vicious power plays, and more in this pivotal chapter in X-Men history. Throughout this four-issue limited series, Hickman will be joined by an incredible lineup of artists beginning with acclaimed illustrator Valerio Schiti and also including R.B. Silva, and Stefano Caselli. Known for masterfully depicting large-scale action alongside intense human drama, the S.W.O.R.D. and Empyre artist is perfect for bringing this heartbreaking saga to life.

In what is now an X-Men tradition, superstar artist Mark Brooks has delivered another stunning piece of teaser artwork for this latest X-Men milestone. An homage to his earlier House of X/Powers of X piece, it depicts all the major players of Krakoa as they brace themselves for their biggest shakeup yet. Check it out below and be there in September when the biggest secrets of Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men run burn away in Inferno #1.

Inferno #1

Early Preview: X-Men #21

X-Men #21

(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) Russell Dauterman, More (CA) Leinil Francis Yu (VCA) Russell Dauterman, Phil Jimenez, Emanuela Lupacchino, Lucas Werneck
32 PGS./Rated T+
In Shops: Jun 09, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE HEROES OF KRAKOA DEBUT!
It’s a changing if the guard as the first X-Men team of Krakoa debuts! One era ends as a new one begins, and the handoff happens here.

X-MEN #21

Marvel’s Hellfire Gala Attracts Celebrities and Athletes Along with Krakoa’s Best

This June, one unforgettable night will determine the future of the Marvel Universe. The world of mutants will never be the same – and the world we live in is not going to miss it! For Krakoa’s biggest night, real-world celebrities from sports, entertainment, media and beyond will make their biggest Marvel Comics appearances and debuts alongside the X-Men, Avengers, and more in the pages of Marvel’s inaugural mutant event of the year: THE HELLFIRE GALA.

Told across 12 different tie-in titles, the Hellfire Gala will unfold through different perspectives and viewpoints surrounding a single night on Krakoa, the new mutant nation established in Jonathan Hickman’s groundbreaking House of X and Powers of X. As Krakoa opens its gates to the world, the Gala will go down in history for its shocking twists, incredible Mutant Fashion looks, and surprise appearances from heroes and celebrities alike.

Guests at the Gala will include talk show hosts, sports superstars, world-renowned musicians, writers, actors, and other icons, including Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Peabody Award winners, FIFA World Cup Champions, Olympic gold medalists, and more. Figures like Eminem, Conan O’Brien, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Ira Glass, and Pete Alonso, are on the guest list – and the list keeps growing. Who will be toasting to Krakoa’s success? Who will be mingling with the Avengers? And who is speaking with the new leader of the X-Men?

Eagle-eyed fans will be able to spot all of our guests within various X-Men titles at the Hellfire Gala. The Hellfire Gala’s chapters will include:

  • Hellions #12 – on sale 6/2, written by Zeb Wells; art by Stephen Segovia
  • Marauders #21 – on sale 6/2, written by Gerry Duggan & Chris Claremont; art by Matteo Lolli and John Bolton
  • X-Force #20 – on sale 6/2, written by Benjamin Percy; art by Marvel Stormbreaker Joshua Cassara
  • X-Men #21 – on sale 6/9, written by Jonathan Hickman; art by Russell Dauterman, Nick Dragotta, Sara Pichelli, and Lucas Werneck
  • Excalibur #21 – on sale 6/9, written by Tini Howard; art by Marcus To
  • New Mutants #19 – on sale 6/16, written by Vita Ayala; art by Alex Lins
  • Planet-Size X-Men #1 – on sale 6/16, written by Gerry Duggan; art by Pepe Larraz
  • X-Corp #2 – on sale 6/16, written by Tini Howard; art by Alberto Foche
  • S.W.O.R.D. #6 – on sale 6/23, written by Al Ewing; art by Valerio Schiti
  • Wolverine #13 – on sale 6/23, written by Benjamin Percy; art by Scot Eaton
  • Way of X #3 – on sale 6/23, written by Si Spurrier; art by Bob Quinn
  • X-Factor #10 – on sale 6/30, written by Leah Williams; art by David Baldeón

As the Reign of X continues, mutantkind’s hottest event is not one to miss. Be the first to find all of your favorite characters, celebrity cameos, and more during THE HELLFIRE GALA this June!

Hellfire Gala tease

Reign of X is Coming

The Reign of X is here! The latest era in writer Jonathan Hickman’s revolutionary transformation of the X-Men universe is now underway, bringing with it exciting new titles like last month’s Children of the Atom by Vita Ayala and Bernard Chang, next month’s Way of X by Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn, and May’s X-Corp by Tini Howard and Alberto Foche. And after June’s highly-anticipated franchise-spanning Hellfire Gala, fans can expect even more surprises, including a trio of brand-new series by amazing X-Men creators such as Gerry Duggan, Leah Williams, Pepe Larraz, Valerio Schiti, and the Head of X himself, writer Jonathan Hickman.

The Hellfire Gala Delivers Couture and a New X-Men Team

Humans of planet Earth. While you slept, the world changed.” The now iconic opening line from House of X #1, the start of writer Jonathan Hickman’s radical transformation of the X-Men franchise, foretold the incredible plans that mutantkind was about to unleash on the Marvel Universe. This June, the X-Men set out to change the world yet again at mutantkind’s inaugural Hellfire Gala.

Yesterday, the first of many exciting new character designs X-Men artists have contributed specifically for the Hellfire Gala were revealed and the world saw the meaning of “Mutant Fashion” as envisioned by superstar artist Russell Dauterman. Today, readers can check out the covers of all 12 Hellfire Gala issues, getting their first glimpse at the secrets, the battles, and of course, the fashion that await at this unforgettable evening.

These highly-anticipated stories will be told across 12 issues, offering different perspectives and viewpoints of a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history. Throughout the event, fans can expect critical moments to occur that will shape the X-Men’s future as we know it—including the unveiling of the first Krakoan X-Men team, the final member of which was decided by a mega-popular Marvel.com vote.

The Hellfire Gala is the result of an epic creative collaboration of all the current X-Men writers and artists. Check out the covers and solicit text for all 12 tie-ins now and stay tuned for even more exciting news about the Hellfire Gala including additional designs, variants covers, and more!

On Sale 6/2

HELLIONS #12

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art and Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA

WHO INVITED THE HELLIONS TO THE HELLFIRE GALA?

Who thought it was a good idea to invite the antisocial HELLIONS to the fanciest bash of the year? Oh, no one? They weren’t invited but they showed up anyway? Yeah, that sounds about right.

HELLIONS #12

MARAUDERS #21

Written by GERRY DUGGAN & CHRIS CLAREMONT
Art by MATTEO LOLLI & JOHN BOLTON

WELCOME TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

The Hellfire Trading Company has put together the biggest event of the season – the very first HELLFIRE GALA! Everyone will be there – all your favorite mutants, their closest allies…even their worst enemies – for a night of dinner, drinks, diplomacy and deceit. Fireworks to follow. Plus: From the archives, a classic X-Men tale with our very first look at a Hellfire Gala by Chris Claremont and John Bolton!

MARAUDERS #21

X-FORCE #20

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art and Cover by JOSHUA CASSARA

INVITE-ONLY TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

It’s party time, but somebody’s got to work it. And when invited guests (and a few crashers) prove to be planted antagonistic agents, X-FORCE will need to get their hands dirty and keep this all under wraps…before anyone catches wind!

X-FORCE #20

On Sale 6/9

EXCALIBUR #21

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by MARCUS TO
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

RICTOR HATES PARTIES.

Even the nice ones. And with Captain Britain’s return to a changed world, this one is looking to be not so nice. Excalibur’s Earth-shattering HELLFIRE GALA issue will change Krakoan diplomacy forever.

EXCALIBUR #21

X-MEN #21

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN, NICK DRAGOTTA, SARA PICHELLI & LUCAS WERNECK
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU

THE HEROES OF KRAKOA DEBUT!

It’s a changing if the guard as the first X-Men team of Krakoa debuts! One era ends as a new one begins, and the handoff happens here.

X-MEN #21

On Sale 6/16

NEW MUTANTS #19

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by ALEX LINS
Cover by MARTIN SIMMONDS

AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO…

The HELLFIRE GALA is here, and the NEW MUTANTS have the chance to take a break from training the youth of Krakoa – an opportunity to get dressed up and get down. But not everyone is on their best behavior…and someone has vanished without a trace.

NEW MUTANTS #19

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art and Cover by PEPE LARRAZ
Variant Cover by PEPE LARRAZ

THEY CAME TO SLAY!

The HELLFIRE GALA rages on, but bigger things are afoot a world away. Make no mistake – this is an X-Men book drawn by superstar artist Pepe Larraz. It is absolutely the most important issue of the month.

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

X-CORP #2

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by ALBERTO FOCHE
Cover by DAVID AJA

A SHARK IN THE WATER!

After X-CORP’s shocking debut, they’ve got fences to mend, hands to shake and most importantly – a board to staff. With Dr. Jamie Madrox’s top-class dupes staffing the HELLFIRE GALA, CXOs Monet and Angel must stalk the dance floor and hope they don’t get preyed on themselves.

X-CORP #2

On Sale 6/23

S.W.O.R.D. #6

Written by AL EWING
Art and Cover by VALERIO SCHITI

THIS IS WHAT COMES NEXT.

On Earth, the HELLFIRE GALA is in full swing. But on S.W.O.R.D. Station One, a very different guest list comes together…as Abigail Brand finally unveils her plans for Mysterium – and the future of human and mutantkind.

S.W.O.R.D. #6

WAY OF X #3

Written by SI SPURRIER
Art by BOB QUINN
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

MAKE MORE MUTANTS.

It’s the Hellfire Gala hangover. Nightcrawler tries to root out the evil working to destroy Krakoa by investigating all its laws, starting with… **SEXY SAXOPHONE SOLO**

WAY OF X #3

WOLVERINE #13

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by SCOT EATON
Cover by ADAM KUBERT

HELLFIRE COMPROMISED!

Can WOLVERINE and X-FORCE keep the peace or is the gala doomed?

WOLVERINE #13

On Sale 6/30

X-FACTOR #10

Written by LEAH WILLIAMS
Art by DAVID BALDEÓN
Cover by IVAN SHAVRIN

THE LAST DANCE!

At the Hellfire Gala, SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED! VENGEANCE WILL BE HAD. And someone’s number is up. You’ll never guess whose.

X-FACTOR #10

Review: X-Men #18

X-Men #18

Writer Jonathan Hickman tugs on a long-simmering plot thread in X-Men #18 as he, Mahmud Asrar, and Sunny Gho send the rough and tumble team of Wolverine (Laura Kinney), Darwin, and Synch into the Vault to confront and find information about the Children of the Vault, who appeared way back in X-Men #5 after a lengthy absence from the X-Books. (This is a great explainer about them.) The Children of the Vault are shrouded in mystery, hence, the risky reconnaissance mission in an environment where time doesn’t work traditionally, but they’re humans evolved over a period of 6,000 years in a specialized environment that have given them superhuman abilities. They also see the mutants and Krakoa as a threat so Darwin, Synch, and Wolverine are not in for a good time.

Escape from the Vault” is going to be a rare two-part story in a series that has mostly been loosely connected done-in-ones that give readers a flavor of the Krakoa era. However, with the impending election of an X-Men team and coming of last issue’s space mission, it looks like Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar are back on a “mutants going on a mission” kick even if it’s not traditionally superheroic.

Basically, the team in X-Men #18 are like the members of the various hapless crews in the Alien franchise, but with special abilities that could get them out of this bind. And speaking of powers, Hickman crafts this team lineup almost perfectly with Wolverine’s healing ability, Darwin’s adaptability, and Synch’s ability to duplicate any mutant power make them have a chance in this hostile environment. Hickman takes a purposeful approach to superhero team building, and you can see this throughline of complementary abilities echo down the X-Books from SWORD and the magic in Excalibur to the training exercises in Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’ New Mutants and even in the Resurrection protocols of The Five. The previous issue was more self-indulgent with 1990s style art and costumes from Brett Booth and star turns from Hickman faves Cannonball and Sunspot, but X-Men #18 is back to the business of setting a tone for the line of comics and showing how Krakoa deals with threats.

After a foreboding setup and quick introduction to the team, Hickman, Asrar, and Gho dive straight into combat. Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch fight more like the X-Force (Sans guns and pouches.) than the X-Men with Wolverine especially being a ball of rage. Asrar draws her from overhead angles and with plenty of speed lines to show her aggression, and that she isn’t holding back with blood spurting out of Serafina, the only Child of the Vault who gets mentioned by name in this issue. Colorist Sunny Gho accentuates this panel by switching the usual blue background of the Vault to red. Laura is more into action than words, and she demonstrates this in X-Men #18 through her single-handed focus on the mission unlike Darwin and Synch, who are hoping for a quick in and out mission.

Synch acts as the narrator of X-Men #18 providing commentary on the team’s time in the Vault while Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar show that a seemingly timid character that’s been dead in the comics since 2000 could be one of Krakoa’s deadliest weapon. Synch’s tone is fairly neutral, yet a little freaked out as he reminds readers that even though this comic has a fairly straightforward plot, time isn’t working normally right now, and the team is probably end for some weirdness one they reach the other side, especially after this issue’s, shall we way, nuclear finish. If the middle of X-Men #18 is Aliens, its bookends are Alien: all horror, atmosphere, and tension tinged with science fiction. Because his powers literally make him the ultimate support character, Synch is very passive in the early stages of the fight against the Children of the Vault walking around with a water bubble around his head once he takes a flame to the face.

X-Men #18

However, fire plus water equals boiling, and Synch unveils his grisly potential in a sequence where he reveals that he can duplicate the powers of both mutants and other superpowered beings like the Children of the Vault. It immediately shifts the momentum of both the battle and X-Men #18 with Sunny Gho bringing some vivid oranges in his palette to go with Asrar’s skeleton silhouettes. The A.I. in the Dome was right that the Children of the Vault needed more training, upgrades, and/or evolution to have a chance against the mutants even if total victory doesn’t happen in this issue. However, Synch’s flame on moment pays off a data page earlier in the issue where Dr. Reyes says that his power limits have increased, and that he can “connect” to any kind of superhuman ability.

There is only one other data page in X-Men #18, but Hickman makes them crucial to the plot and arc of the main character. Their placement is also clever with the aforementioned payoff, and more importantly, he puts the text of a letter allowing the team to use deadly force because the Children of the Vault aren’t classified as humans after Wolverine and Synch have done their thing. It’s a great final page of the issue that adds an ethical dimension to the snikts and explosions and shows again that the Krakoans are a little hypocritical and are just like any human nation snuffing out a threat to their sovereignty via various black ops and cutthroat ways, especially since they and the Children of the Vault are a lot alike.

X-Men #18 shows Jonathan Hickman putting his own spin on the typical X-Men “rescue” mission, and the focus on a tight-knit, complementary cast lets Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch’s personalities and abilities shine. Mahmud Asrar and Sunny Gho also get to draw riveting action sequences that showcase this cast of character’s unique powers while working in tandem with Hickman to create an uneasy tone around the team’s actions. By the end of the issue, we know so much about who Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch are, but their opponents are basically explod-y action figures. Hmm…

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Mahmud Asrar
Colors: Sunny Gho Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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