Inferno 3 continues where the last issue left off, with Colossus’s team forced to work with Madelyn Prior, the Goblin Queen. Meanwhile Darkchilde transforms Nightcrawler into a demon by removing his soul and opens her attack on the X-Men, who stand in her way of completely dominating the Inferno realm of Battleworld.
Inferno 3 keeps the strong balance between dark storytelling and fun that made the first two issues great. Colossus nearly loses it when his assault on Darkchilde’s throne ends up in an empty chamber. Already emotional beforehand, he almost turns on Madelyn. This leads to a great dramatic moment with his girlfriend, Domino. Writer Dennis Hopeless seems to like them as a couple, and he writes them together very well. Domino keeps Piotr focused on what’s important while he inspires her to keep moving on.
Meanwhile, Darkchilde opens her attack on the X-Men, and it’s a delightfully dark action scene. The ruler of Limbo loves how evil she is and you can’t help but smile with her when she takes out Captain Britain and morphs Rogue’s face into … whatever that is. And if Darkchilde, Madelyn Prior and the X-Men don’t make the story complex enough, the last page reveals another power player. What started off as a simple story is now full of twists and complexities, making each issue better than the last.
Javier Garron’s art is fantastic. There’s an impressive amount of detail on every page. The opening attack on Darkchilde’s throne is filled with a wide variety of goblins by Madelyn’s command, and the environment in said throne room looks pure evil. Even the balcony is made of a rock tongue and teeth for a windowsill. The best art is on the two page spread of the battle between Darkchilde and the X-Men remaining at their headquarters though. There’s a huge number of superheroes struggling with the demons, each with neat variations of their costumes. Demon Nightcrawler looks terrifying. And of course when Darkchilde morphs Rogue’s face, the weird green bulges are appropriately disturbing, and Darkchilde’s grin is awesome. My only complaint is that on the previously mentioned spread, a lot of the X-Men have red skin for some reason. It’s minor, but it looks a bit off.
This is one of the two X-Men comics this week taking place in a world ruled by evil, and while Age of Apocalypse is also good, I like this one more. The premise makes it sound like this comic should be dark and depressing yet it’s often delightful to read. In a lot of ways it feels like a continuation of Hopeless’s Cable and X-Force run, with most of the same lead characters making appearances. If you’re an X-Men fan looking for something fun, give this a shot.