New Mutants #72-73
Issue(s): New Mutants #72, New Mutants #73
Last issue we saw a conversation between Magik and a version of N'astirh from the past, who told her that he loved her and was trying to help her. We see here (as we also saw in X-Terminators #4) Magik coming to realize that N'astirh was manipulating her.
S'ym gets in on the act too, bringing his alliance with N'astirh to a close.
N'astirh is weakened due to the fact that he's devoting some of his magic to keeping the portal open (Taki and his computer have much less prominence in this version of the story). While the two main demons fight over Magik, the other New Mutants notice the X-Terminators battling in the sky, and they go to join them.
Magik, meanwhile, is tormented by seemingly demonic objects and animals, who try to goad her into using her Soulsword.
After the babies are rescued...
...we see the New Mutants and the X-Terminators gathered together, similar to the end of X-Terminators #4.
But the story goes further here, with the injured members of both groups staying behind to look after the babies while some of the X-Terminators fill in the ranks of the New Mutants to go look for Magik.
Meanwhile, N'astirh returns from his battle with S'ym, now having been transformed into a techno-organic creature. And Magik escapes from the animated objects, cutting some with her sword.
But the chair bleeds when she cuts it...
...and whether that means that they were actually humans or if N'astirh is just completely messing with her, the fact that she's drawn blood with the sword means that she's passed the point of no return.
And this is where, as i mentioned in the entry for the previous issue, N'astirh tells Magik that there was never a right path that she could have taken to remain uncorrupted.
However, at this point, the armored form that (i'm being charitable here) we've seen grow on her since her earliest appearance as she's gone further and further down the demonic path, completes itself in one final clangg.
N'astirh departs, leaving Magik to S'ym for now.
The double-sized issue #73 is billed as the "conclusion of the Illyana saga". I never thought of it as a "saga" unless they're just referring to the most recent issues, but the story of Illyana is definitely one that felt underdeveloped to me. The implications of Illyana having grown up an apprentice to a demon sorcerer were never really addressed. She quickly became just another teenager, at least as far as the adults in her life were concerned, and when she started going down an increasingly dark path the other characters, and even in many cases the writers, seemed not to notice. The one exception to that was New Mutants #52, and i wish we could have seen more in that vein (it would have been good for Magneto's character as well as Magik's). In any event, this story obviously has been acknowledging it with a goal of hitting a reset button for the character.
We begin right where we left off, with Magik in fully armored form and facing off against S'ym.
What's interesting is how Belasco's involvement in all of this has seemingly been dropped. We saw in issue #71 a scene (that Illyana herself didn't remember) where N'astirh protected a young Illyana from S'ym. And S'ym repeats that information here.
But we know that at that time, Belasco was the lord of Limbo. S'ym was working for him, and Belasco wanted Illyana alive. So there was never an opportunity for S'ym to try to kill Illyana (unless he was rebelling against Belasco, something we've seen no sign of) and N'astirh had therefore had no need to protect her. Limbo is full of alternate timelines, of course, but if that's the answer, does that mean this isn't the "real" Magik (or Sym)?
While Magik is fighting S'ym, and debating using her full magical abilities to destroy him utterly, the united X-Teens are searching for her, and they realize they both have something in common in Professor X.
In the meantime, Colossus is looking for his sister.
Despite what he heard from the Right soldier in Uncanny X-Men #241, he's still insisting that Magik is the ruler of Limbo.
Meanwhile, N'astirh approaches the Hellfire Club looking for a truce.
Magneto also insists that Magik rules Limbo.
You have to love how casual they are about it. Yeah, my sister/student is the ruler of a hell dimension.
The X-Teens consider going to adults for help, but X-Factor are unavailable, and the level of trust in Magneto is low enough that when they see him talking with N'astirh they assume the worst. I guess thanks to her wolf-hearing, Wolfsbane is able to listen in on part of the conversation and is able to hear N'astirh offer to leave Selene's "holdings in the Amazon jungle" alone. Rahne says that they are trading human lives like playing cards, but we don't actually see any of the Hellfire Club's part of the conversation and we don't know if Rahne is jumping to conclusions. Although just knowing that Selene still has designs on their friend Amara's city is probably bad enough. Plus i imagine Magneto could tear the techno-organic N'astirh to shreds if he wanted to.
Meanwhile, an unconscious Colossus is brought to S'ym, causing Magik to renew her efforts against S'ym, and releasing enough energy that Warlock detects it so that they can join the battle. They pull Magik away from S'ym so that she doesn't take her vengeance any further, and then Colossus recovers and attacks S'ym. But he's distracted when he sees his sister.
Magik teleports away to Limbo with the X-Teens (Boom Boom finds it "gross") and S'ym tells Colossus that Magik's transformation is all his fault. After all, didn't he abandon her and let her think he was dead? And yeah, that brief appearance where she thought you were a conjuration doesn't count.
Give Colossus some points for going one on one with S'ym now, though. We've seen what S'ym's done to an alternate version of him.
The mutants left behind to protect the babies find themselves under attack too.
And observing all of this from her newly repaired scrying glass, Magik decides what she has to do.
She hunts down the younger version of herself in Limbo, with the intention of killing her "like the others".
But Rahne stops her, telling her that she has a choice to change things. And Magik thinks that, unlike N'astirh, she may be telling the truth.
So she returns to Earth with the New Mutants and X-Terminators and uses her magic to expand the portal back to Limbo, pulling all the demons away from Earth, including S'ym, and glowing like an "angel" while she's doing it. And when it's all over, Colossus hears a voice from inside Magik's armor, and finds Illyana reverted to childhood (or replaced with the alternate younger version self).
The "alternate younger version" is probably the escape route that Louise Simonson built into this plot in case she or someone else ever wanted to bring back a teenaged Illyana. But that ending would ruin the metaphor of this story, which is that Illyana had an innocent child in her all along.
One demon that didn't get pulled back into Limbo is N'astirh, and we see him getting ready to set up the remaining parts of this story (some of which had already seen print at this point).
And that sees the end of the New Mutants' (and X-Terminators') portion of Inferno. Next issue does see some lingering effects of the event but it's not an official part of the crossover, and thanks to Colossus' appearance here it's clear that even the X-Men parts that were being published simultaneously take place after the New Mutants portion is all wrapped up. So the New Mutants bow out a little early, and it's definitely a separate thread in the crossover, whereas the X-Men and X-Factor issues from this point on are a single continuing story. So this really was the Illyana saga.
I think it was effective. As i've said before, the nice thing about Inferno is how it wraps up longstanding plots and themes, and Illyana's "saga" is certainly one of the bigger ones. I still find the Simonson/Blevins combination to result in some hectic, even cluttered, storytelling. But it's a good conclusion. And at the same time we're bringing the X-Terminators into the cast (if not officially joining the team yet), so there's a lot going on; hence "hectic" but it definitely feels like a milestone.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: New Mutants #72 is highly intertwined with X-Terminators #4, and as i mentioned there the state of Inferno changes again with these issues; the portal is closed and N'astirh is techno-organic. After this we're more or less in mop-up mode except for the X-Men and X-Factor issues. Colossus appears here between Uncanny X-Men #241-242. It's said that X-Factor are otherwise occupied due to the events of X-Factor #37.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men: Inferno TPB
Inbound References (10): show
Sym notes that Colossus is impervious to transmode. In Uncanny 242 we'll learn that Rogue acquired immunity when she leeched Magus. Colossus's immunity seems to come from already being organic metal.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 28, 2014 7:35 PM
Given what happens to Illyana in 1993, Rahne's line about her life stretching before her like a golden path seems sad.
Posted by: clyde | August 28, 2014 7:46 PM
Note that the demons claim S'ym was unable to bring Limbo's timelessness to Earth, so you can't use that to explain the chronology problems with Excalibur 4-7.
Posted by: Michael | August 28, 2014 8:37 PM
The problem I had with Illyana reverting to her younger self was it negated all the years of "growing up" she did in terms of emotional maturity. It's like when Jean Grey "came back to life" after being Phoenix.
Posted by: clyde | August 28, 2014 8:56 PM
I'd say this storyline is where Bret Blevins' art style fit the story the best in every way. Even the real objects were intended to be demonically twisted (the pet store, for instance) which only makes sense, given that the crossover centers around Illyana, and this the series she appears in.
Another reason I have affection for "Inferno" is that the crossover had finished around the time "Ghostbusters II" came out, which had some plot similarities, particularly sacrificing the female lead's baby.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 28, 2014 9:14 PM
@Michael, re: the time thing. All in good fun, ofc course, but i think you could still say that time is slowing down or acting funny due to the closeness of Limbo even if the full timelessness isn't in effect. There has to be some difference that allowed Kang to operate in secret from the Council.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 28, 2014 9:17 PM
Another interesting thing- Illyana's "improved" scrying glass can perceive Peter despite Roma's spell.
Posted by: Michael | August 28, 2014 11:51 PM
As I only had the the X-Terminators/New Mutants/Avengers parts of Inferno, and not the X-Men/X-Factor parts, this was the end of Inferno as far as I knew. Did the increased heat and animated objects continue after the demons were pulled home?
Posted by: Erik Robbins | August 29, 2014 11:45 AM
Yes, the heat and animated objects were kept going by N'astirh, Goblin Queen and even Crotus as we'll see in Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, Excalibur, Cloak & Dagger and Power Pack. A few other demons managed to resist Magik's sweep back into Limbo too.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 29, 2014 12:26 PM
It is interesting to note that these issues have Magneto going back to his helmet (which was previously indicated by Magneto himself to be a clear statement of his villainous motivation) and, in fact, to his full previous costume.
The implication is just ambiguous enough to be deniable.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | August 29, 2014 11:17 PM
The 4th scan and the 9th one are the same.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 30, 2014 11:11 PM
Thanks, Jay. Fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 30, 2014 11:22 PM
Just as she rolled back Magneto to a cartoony shade of villainy in her run on New Mutants, Louise consistently undermined the progress Illyana had made at defining herself as anything other than a rape survivor, culminating in this arc, where her entire character is erased in the name of "restoring her innocence".
This is not how recovery happens, and it is not how human stories work, things Claremont understood!
Can you imagine if someone had pitched a plot where the X-Men travelled back in time to rescue Magneto from Auschwitz so that he'd never have become a villain?
It's too tacky to even contemplate.
But that's what happened in the New Mutants chapter of Inferno by Louise Simonson, the assassination of one of Claremont's finest characters, Illyana Rasputin.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | January 3, 2015 10:36 PM
Dude, that's the greatest idea ever! What If the X-Men sent Kitty Pryde back in time to save Magneto? Not only will we have world peace by 2015, but we might have hoverboards too.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 4, 2015 2:08 AM
I'd love a What If where Cap liberated Auschwitz before his family was killed.
Posted by: Thanos6 | January 4, 2015 3:23 AM
Or what if Havok and Polaris have a child that is taken back in time just before WWII and ends up in a concentration camp!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | January 4, 2015 4:01 AM
But Cap didn't do much fighting on the Russian front, did he?
Posted by: ChrisW | January 4, 2015 6:56 PM
"And your life will stretch before you like a golden path."
Yeah, a golden path that leads to that f%^$r Scott Lobdell who will kill you off in 1993.
Not that I'm bitter about that or anything.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 18, 2015 10:04 PM
If it's any consolation, Erik, the issue where Illyana does die is actually a pretty good one.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | August 20, 2015 10:52 PM
That's true, especially the line about loving someone enough to let them go. Doesn't mean I forgive him. Or forgive Whedon for sticking Kitty in a bullet hurtling through space just after she and Peter had finally found some happiness. Bastards.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 21, 2015 6:51 AM
Technically, the younger Illyana at the end is from an alternate reality. The real one doesn't return until Belasco resurrects her. And, of course, being Illyana, her life continues to degrade through X-INFERNUS (which I enjoyed, especially with Witchfire, Belasco's daughter, as the main villain).
Posted by: Andrew Burke | July 21, 2016 2:09 PM
I don't see that. Yeah, the alternate realities in Limbo were made repetitively-clear in "New Mutants" during "Inferno," and I stopped reading long before Illyana came back, but to me, this is the best thing about "Inferno," that it ends Illana's ongoing subplot and restores her to the little girl she should have been all along. Later additions are just retcons. For me, this is where Illyana's story ends, and is the best thing to come from Simonsen/Blevins "New Mutants."
Posted by: ChrisW | July 22, 2016 3:22 AM
@Nathan Adler: Again, that's only if you care for Illyana in the first place and don't think of her as a waste of space and a bad addition to the team, not to mention that my opinion of her is brought down even further by her connections to two characters I really don't give a damn for, Kitty and Peter.
Posted by: D09 | July 30, 2016 9:31 PM
Terrible, just terrible. What is the deal with comic book writers that just love to undo character developement?? Magik simply ceased to exist. The Hulk ceased to exist when Banner took over his body. The Vision ceased to exist in VisionQuest, etc.
You just can't replace a character with another mind and claim it's the same character.
Posted by: will | December 2, 2017 8:22 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|