I’ve generally been mixed about the current status-quo and direction of the X-line. To me, they’re no longer the heroes I once knew, sharing far too many characteristics with the villains they once battled. The line took a nationalist bent that felt the antithesis of what the X-Men represented. Then, there’s the issue with Moira MacTaggert. Revealed to be a mutant, each time she died she reset the timeline but retained her memories. This created an “out” in some ways that coupled with that ability to resurrect dead mutants, took away any danger and “stakes” in the battle. Inferno #4 wraps up Jonathan Hickman‘s vision for the line creating an interesting break and a new status-quo for those taking over the guidance of the various series.
Hickman is a very talented writer. His concepts are some of the best out there. But, while his series often start off strong, they tend to go on a bit too long and then peter out towards the end. He doesn’t stick the landing as much as I’d like making reading his runs feel like a let down. But, the concepts are amazing. Just like he’s done with the X-Men. Inferno #4 wraps up that run with Moira being confronted by Mystique and Destiny and Professor X and Magneto facing Nimrod and Omega Sentinel.
Hickman delivers and sticks the landing this time.
Inferno #4 takes the series and characters in some unsuspecting directions and fixes some of the issue I had with the line as a whole. It also sets up major villains for years to come along with political machinations on Krakoa that’ll reverberate for years as well. In other words, what’s past is prologue. This current “volume” now feels much more like the building blocks for what’s to come as opposed to an established status-quo. Yes, obviously things change, but things have been building now for some time and this is the end result. One chapter ends and a new chapter begins building off of what has come before.
The art by Valerio Schiti and Stefano Caselli is solid. There’s a mix of action, drama, and a lot of tension. Moments feel desperate and others will have you holding your breathe. The duo are joined by David Curiel on color, letterer Joe Sabino, and Tom Muller‘s design. The comic looks fantastic with an ominous feel throughout that leaves you wondering where it’s all going and how far things will be taken. In a series where anyone can die and come back, who would it be willing to kill? Despite the inevitability of returns, there’s still emotion shown in death and while rebirth should be joyous, the art nails the shift in where things stand.
Inferno #4 is a fitting end to Hickman’s run. It ends his take and direction for the X line and hands it off to new creators allowing them to plant their own flags while not totally being shackled by his rules. He’s opened the sandbox a little further to allow others to create. By shaking things up himself, it also doesn’t feel like others are undoing what he has envisioned, it’s his choice in some ways. It’s a diplomatic ending that’s befitting delivering an almost meta finale.
Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Valerio Schiti, Stefano Caselli
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Joe Sabino Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review