With Jonathan Hickman set to depart from his role as the Head of X, there’s no better way for him to step off the island of Krakoa than with one hell of a finale in this week’s start of the next big X-Men blowout: Inferno #1.
After yet another failed assault on the Orchis Forge, Dr. Alla Gregor notes that the Krakoans somehow keep coming back no matter how many times they’ve been destroyed. She also points out that despite their repeated efforts, the mutants never seem to improve their strategy or even seem to remember what happens when they get there (Orchis, on the other hand, has gotten better at defending their base). Omega Sentinel contradicts Gregor and states that someone must be remembering what happens on the Forge and that’s why they keep coming.
Back in Moira’s third life, Mystique and Destiny confront Moira after she invents the cure for mutantism. Moira insists that the cure is only intended for those who want it, but they admonish her for her naivety, pointing out that a cure would be used for evil by those who want mutantkind eradicated. Moira is warned to use her gifts for good in her next life, and she is executed.
In the present, Moira is being watched by Orchis, who are in turn being surveilled by X-Force. Moira unexpectedly finds Xavier and Magneto in her No-Place, where she learns that her travels through the Krakoa Gates have been tracked since before the first Quiet Council meeting. She is outraged by this, but they defend themselves by telling her it’s for her protection. When they ask what they need to do to prove their loyalty to her, she gives them two directives: destroy the last traces of Destiny’s DNA and take Mystique off of the Quiet Council.
A medical report on Black Tom states that although he is of completely sound body and mind, he has been experiencing debilitating psychoses and hallucinations of machinery under his skin that have him longing to surrender himself to it.
As a sweeping sense of seasonal change is felt throughout the island, Cyclops announces his intention to retire as the Captain Commander of Krakoa and is promptly replaced by Bishop. At a later meeting, Magneto announced his intention to retire from the Quiet Council and that they should begin to seek his replacement. Mystique agrees that this is a good idea, but instead of waiting to fill his seat, she brings forth a nomination of her own: a resurrected Destiny.
It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that Mystique has finally gotten her way and resurrected her great love. Seriously, this has been an ongoing subplot that precedes the Krakoa era by years upon years. Xavier probably should have known better than to trust Mr. Sinister with Destiny’s DNA. But the professor’s misstep is ultimately to our benefit as readers, that’s for sure!
At an oversized 52 pages, Inferno is a great start for what promises to be an explosive chapter in the Krakoa era. A spiritual successor to the classic event saga of the same name, longtime X-Men fans were sent into a tizzy when this series was announced. You don’t evoke a title like Inferno if you don’t intend to leave a fiery blaze in its wake. This became even more clear when it was revealed that Mystique would be at the center of it. Her anger and resentment towards Xavier’s handling of Krakoa has been a simmering background element since this era began, and now it seems primed to come to a head. Mystique isn’t one to mince words, and if Krakoa can’t be paradise for her like it is for everybody else, then nobody can have their own paradise.
As mentioned, there is a flashback to the last moments of Moira’s third life, but it’s interestingly a panel-for-panel and word-for-word recreation of the original sequence from House of X #2 with a few added pages. They’re such minor additions that I’m not sure why Hickman deemed it necessary to expound on what already existed, but I have to assume they’re either some sort of foreshadowing for future developments, or they’re there for added emphasis on the themes at play in this series. I guess we won’t totally know until it’s over.
Looking forward into the future—call me Destiny—I have a theory about the state of Krakoa following Inferno. Moira has been very clear that Krakoa should not have precognitives like Destiny, and that rule has been obeyed and maintained. So that being said, why is the very much dead Blindfold seen in this recent teaser image? Hmm. If I didn’t know any better, I would think Krakoa is about to get its own version of Minority Report in the very near future. I know Xavier has kept this promise to Moira thus far, but I also know men ain’t shit and Xavier especially ain’t it. Guess we’ll have to keep that one on the backburner for now.