X-Infernus # 1
A non-official sequel to the Inferno story arc, X-Infernus seems to be focused at one particular group of readers in the Marvel Universe, those familiar with the complicated and prolific history that belongs to Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina, also known as "Magik". Resurrected by the demonic sorcerer Belasco, the Darkchilde searches for both her Soulsword and the Blood Stones, pieces of her soul that have been corrupted by her former mentor and placed inside the Beatrice Medallion. Following the events of "Quest For Magik", the Darkchilde has been frantically searching for her mystical weapon, in addition to the stolen pieces of her soul. The Darkchilde wants to become Illyana Rasputin once again, but in order to do so, she must first obtain her unholy curios.
C.B. Cebulski happens to be one of Magik’s biggest fans, and he takes great care when chronicling her endeavors in the Marvel Universe. He picks up where the second Nightcrawler series left off, with the Soulsword stored within his own soul for safekeeping. Being that his soul is pure, with no malicious intent, he is considered one of the few capable of effectively wielding the Soulsword without corruption. I am glad that Cebulski continued on the same path as his predecessors, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, during their run on the New X-Men. I was confused as to why Pixie went mad and stabbed Nightcrawler in the HEAD with her Souldagger, so I’ve attributed it to the corruption within Pixie’s own soul recognizing the Darkchilde’s desperation to locate her sword and her blood stones, and subconsciously forcing her to aid her mentor. Pixie has taken on the role of Magik’s apprentice as of late, and I do not know whether to be pleased by this, or annoyed. Pixie is a decent character, but a new subplot only adds to the already expansive history of Illyana Rasputin, and if not monitored carefully, it could be disastrous.
The Darkchilde locates her Soulsword, and all hell breaks loose…. literally. Kyle and Yost make it clear to their readers that this is not the Illyana Rasputin that we know, and her intentions are still an enigma at this point. The entire team does a capable job of picking up Illyana’s story where New X-Men left off, and I must commend them on portraying her as an evil, violent, and homicidal construct of the original heroine. Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art is lovely, although at times, his characters are drawn a bit blocky. There are particular panels, especially of Illyana and the battlefield sequences in Limbo, that are very well done, and add nicely to the Darkchilde persona, void of it’s original host.
Obviously, I enjoy anything with Illyana Rasputin in it, but I felt X-Infernus was hyped way too much for the resulting product. It was a tidy and well-organized issue, but it lacked a lot of heart, and character development. I was expecting many more of the X-Men to play a part in this series, but aside from a few key players, this title is pretty self-contained. I enjoyed reading of the Darkchilde’s exploits, but I wasn’t blown away by this issue. I feel Magik’s resurrection was a bit disappointing to me. It felt hollow to me, pointless. However, since reading X-Infernus # 1, I look forward to the plot development, as Magik is given a proper return to Earth-616 continuity. The pieces are falling together, and are starting to make more sense. I give X-Infernus 3 out of 5. It was a good book, but played it safe, opting for a more predictable pattern of events rather than shake things up a bit. Regardless, I did enjoy it, and recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about Illyana, Pixie, and the X-Men’s interaction with Limbo, in general.