X-Men: Inferno #2 Review
A Review by Jesse Baker
Welcome to our second installment of Inferno ’21, which is Jonathan Hickman’s swan song for the X-Men franchise.
We find out that Destiny was resurrected by Mystique, who was the versions of Magneto and Xavier that were seen in Inferno #1 retrieving a copy of the memory back-up helmet from Magneto's lair and Destiny’s DNA sample from Mr. Sinister. Not to destroy as were led to believe by to clone and resurrect. We get Destiny’s resurrection, which has a bit of a twist to it. Mystique (disguised as Xavier and manipulating Hope to perform the actual mind restoration) has the geriatric Destiny brought back in a younger version of her body. A weird move but I guess editorial want to maximize the lipstick lesbianism fetish fuel from having Destiny alive and back with Mystique.
We find out that Destiny’s reservation took place several weeks in the past from the start point of Inferno #1, though we are not given specifics as to exactly when it happen storyline-wise. Destiny immediately starts picking fights with Magneto and Xavier, trolling them with her knowledge that Mystique has secured the necessary votes to get her a council seat. Sebastian Shaw and Mr. Sinister vote for her to spite Emma and Xavier/Magneto respectively, Exodus off of Mystique selling Destiny as a literal prophet, Nightcrawler because of the relationship between Destiny and Mystique (and the unspoken notion that Destiny serves as a morality chain to keep Mystique from behaving monstrously), and ultimately Emma Frost herself.
Even at this late stage, Hickman is seeding storyline fodder that we most likely won’t see resolved in his finale. Mystique secures Emma’s vote by way of obtaining a small treasure chest from an ancient temple, the contents of which are not revealed but is something Emma has been wanting for quite a while. But it does lead to a potential plot hole of sorts; as Mystique explicitly gets Sebastian Shaw to vote to make Destiny a member of the council simply by telling him that Emma will vote “no”. But had Emma voted first, before Shaw cast his ballot, would Shaw have voted the way Mystique did?
(Speaking of which, we get no appearance from Rogue this issue; even though she was raised by both Destiny and Mystique whereas Nightcrawler only knew Destiny as an X-Men villain. A major and shameful omission on Hickman’s part)
Mystique breaking protocol and resurrecting Destiny sets off major butt-covering from Xavier, Magneto, and Moira MacTaggert. Moira just wants Destiny killed outright, suggesting Magneto crush her head using his powers on the new costume (complete with helmet instead of just a mask and spandex cowl) Destiny is wearing. Magneto refuses, even as Xavier suggests they fill the last remaining empty Quiet Council seat with someone Xavier and Magneto can trust to provide them the necessary counterbalance from the alliance Mystique and Destiny are building with the rest of the evil mutants.
But Xavier also offers another solution to go with adding what we find out is Colossus, to the Quiet Council. Xavier, Moira, and Magneto lure Emma Frost into a private meeting where Moira’s existence and status as a mutant is revealed to the White Queen. Emma Frost isn’t impressed, but becomes very much livid when Moira forces a mindlink and reveals to her the ten lives she has lived, her hatred for Destiny and precognitive mutants in general, and the of course the retcon Hickman has based his entire run around. That Xavier, Magneto, Moira, and Mr. Sinister have been manipulating mutantkind since day one and that they have allowed unspeakable horrors to be inflicted upon mutantkind and their closest allies, purely to expedite getting everyone to the point where they are now living on Krakoa.
While Emma is willing to concede Moira’s prejudice against mutants who can see the future, the plan backfires on Xavier, Magneto, and Moira as far as destroying any loyalty or trust Emma will ever have again for the three. Leaving them to put their faith in Colossus to keep their control over the Quiet Council.
But as Mystique secretly investigates the ORCHIS research center in Paris, we move towards the mini-series’ claim towards justifying the use of the “Inferno” name. ORCHIS is building a weapon to harness the power of the sun, to create a weapon of mass destruction to use against the X-Men. But other issues are at work as well, as Omega Sentinel has a confrontation with Nimrod that implies the woman formerly known as Karima Shapander has her own game: potentially revealing herself as the true face of human evolution via transhumanism (as established at the end of House of X/Power of X) and seeking out Nimrod’s reaction to the existence of man/machine hybrids.
But regardless, a lot of set up but still a lot of stalling for time. Hickman only has two issues left and it’s questionable what if anything will be resolved by the time the mini-series ends.