Monday, October 5, 2015

Inferno #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

The "next issue" box at the end of this issue tells us that everything gets worse...much worse.  Honestly, it could've well been the tag line for this issue as well.  (It makes you wonder just how bad things are going to get.)

Illyana has so thoroughly taken over the Outer Boroughs that Dr. Strange arrives and offers her the Baronship of Inferno.  (This guest appearance may confirm that the events of this series all happen before "Secret Wars" #1, where we saw Madelyne in charge of Inferno.  It's clearly not happening simultaneously with the main title, since Dr. Strange has been dead for a full issue at this point.)  Meanwhile, in his search for Illyana, Colossus and his team stumble upon the X-Men as they're battling N'astirh and his forces.  They manage to defeat them, but it doesn't exactly improve their situation:  no one has any idea how to defeat Illyana.  Enter Mr. Sinister, revealed to be the person that saved Tabitha and sent her to track down Colossus and his team in the first place.  Sinister has a plan, and it's pretty clear that the X-Men are going to have to work with him if they want to have a hope of defeating Illyana.

Hopeless really does a great job of playing against the usual "in our darkest hour" tropes here.  First, Jean is committed to trying to get Scott to lead the X-Men in escaping New York, and she seems the only reasonable person of the lot.  Instead, Scott tries to rally the troops to take the fight to Illyana, but N'astirh interrupts his monologue.  Plus, when Colossus apologizes to Scott for not listening to him, Scott doesn't accept it; he places the blame squarely on Colossus and confirms that he was right.  

As I've said in other reviews, the best part of "Secret Wars" is the authors' ability to tell stories that don't have happy endings.  This series continues to be a great example of that.  If everything gets worse next issue, "happy" isn't likely going to describe the ending.

*** (three of five stars)

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