Johnathan Hickman’s swan song to his X-Men run, Inferno, hits its penultimate issue with book #3. Joined by R.B. Silva, Stefano Caselli, Valerio Schiti on pencils, colorist David Curiel and Joe Sabino on letters, we see the cracks begin to form among some of the closest friends.
Last issue, Xavier and Magneto let Emma Frost in on what has been going on with Krakoa. As a result, Emma has become a significant player in this issue, and as a reader, we don’t know what side she’s on. Hickman is in a class all alone when it comes to writing the X-Men. His characterization and storytelling are incredibly compelling, and he leaves us wanting more. Mystique and Destiny shine in this issue as Hickman writes sharp dialogue and good exposition between them and Emma Frost. Unfortunately, Hickman shows us what Mystique and her lover have cooked up for Xavier and Magneto, and it isn’t pleasant.
There were several artists on this issue, Silva, Caselli, and Schiti. The trio of artists does a fantastic job depicting the severity of the situation between the mutants and the Orchis. As Professor X gets a cry for help from Moira Mctaggart, we see the excruciating look on both of their faces. Another small detail the artists give us is during a conversation between Magneto and Xavier. The facial expressions and looks on Magneto’s face may lead you to believe he’s turning back to the dark side. The background panels of Moira in Paris highlight the amount of talent that worked on this phenomenal issue.
Curiel is one of the best in the business when it comes to colors. Every book that he applies colors to is enhanced by his style and professionalism. In this issue, from the first panel, we get a gorgeously colored view of Krakoa. The first panel is the calm before the storm. Curiel really shines on pages where Omega Sentinel and Nimrod are talking. He uses vibrant oranges for the background as the two villains discuss their next move. These backgrounds are, so eye-catching that you are drawn to them repeatedly. Curiel uses dark colors to depict the mood of the page too. As some of our heroes enter a trap, it’s not a coincidence that the colors get darker too.
With any X-Men title, lettering is huge because of all the telepathy. There actually isn’t any telepathic lettering in this issue, but Sabino makes his money in panels where Nimrod talks. The word boxes are altered to signify a robot is talking. This is a necessary change in the way word bubbles appear. Sabino gives us a spot on teleportation sound too. We can almost hear the noise “ZZOOOMFF” in our heads as we read the words on the page.
Inferno #3 is everything you would want from a high-stakes comic book. Hickman gives us action, big revelations, and drama all in one big book. The art team makes sure that everything Hickman writes looks beautiful on the page and captures the reader visually. Pick up Inferno #3, out from Marvel comics on December 7th, at a comic shop near you!