Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Inferno & the Return of the Goblin Queen

Granted, J-Lo's is white and lacey while the original design was black and presumably either leather or rubber.  For what it's worth, Marvel has toned down the level of underboob in the Goblin Queen's outfit for this summer's Inferno books.

Cover for Inferno #1, part of Marvel's summer Secret Wars event. 
The story, for those who don't remember, went something like this: after the death of Jean Grey on the Blue Area of the moon in the Uncanny X-Men, a bereaved Scott Summers came back to earth and eventually fell in love with a women who looked exactly like his lost love.  That woman's name was Madeline Pryor.  But as it happens, this was not the basis for a strong marriage.

It then turned out -- in X-Factor #1 -- that Jean Grey wasn't actually dead, that in fact, the Phoenix Force had merely placed her body in a suspended animation cocoon at the bottom of the ocean while itself replicating her form and assuming her identity.  So Jean Grey -- aka Marvel Girl -- was still alive.  The woman who died on the moon was merely a manifestation of the Phoenix Force itself.

Scott's marriage had never been great, and this revelation put it under even more stress.  Then, conveniently, it turned out that Pryor was herself merely a clone of Jean Grey.  She'd been created by Mr. Sinister for reasons I'm not sure I entirely understand, and as you might imagine, this revelation drove her bat-shit insane.  As anyone would, she immediately set about making deals with demons, and this kicked off the original Inferno event, which was a demonic invasion of Manhattan by forces led alternately by Pryor herself and Illyana Rasputin, aka Magik, who is both the younger sister of Piotr Rasputin, aka Colossus, and a badass demon sorceress who has the mutant ability to teleport to any point in space and time with an unlimited number of passengers.

The original cover had the full-on J-Lo treatment.  Magik is the one with the flaming sword.
Inferno served as the climax for a number of storylines in both the Uncanny X-Men and the New Mutants, and I thought both Pryor and Magik were interesting characters, but unfortunately, the event itself coincided with the end of logical storytelling by previously iconic writer Chris Claremont.  So while the storyline was great, it never wrapped completely up.  In revisiting it, then, I hope that Marvel will take some time to explain some things that were never adequately addressed while providing a little much-needed closure for those of us who got frustrated by the next few years of Claremont's run.

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