New Mutants V 1 # 71 - 73, X-Terminators # 1 - 4
This blog will focus primarily on the New Mutants and the X-Factor Youngins, now going by the name "the X-Terminators" during the events of Inferno. While the last entry (Inferno Part 1) focused on the X-Men, X-Factor, and Maddie's tranformation into the Goblin Queen, this series focuses primarily on the baby abductions, N'astirh, and Limbo.
Synopsis: X-Terminators # 1 - 3
Sym argues with another demon, N'astirh, over what to do about Illyana and the Soulsword. Sym promises not to kill Illyana because N'astirh needs her and explains that the Souldsword is the key that binds Limbo to her.
The two are constantly duking it out.
Following up on the events of X-Factor # 34 (as covered in 51: X-Factor 27 - 34 (Infectia and the Ship)), Rusty agrees to go to jail and face the consequences of his action (burning an innocent lady as covered in the first Issue of X-Factor).
The older wards (Rictor, Boom Boom, and Skids) are sent to a prestigious boarding school with a bunch of preppy kids.
Artie and Leach go to a center for younger kids which actually looks like a great place for them. There is at least one other mutant, Taki, who we will get to know better soon.
This doesn't add to the overall plot, but I thought it was super cute. The two boys were scared to sleep in a new place in separate beds so they crawl in with each other.
Taki witnesses the boys being abducted by demons. If you recall, Hodge had given N'astirh a list of places to find mutant babies. The demons didn't quite understand what a baby was yet, so they stole Artie and Leach because they were mutants, small, and bald.
Taki's mutant power is the ability to create almost anything from technology, so him being in a wheelchair is actually an asset as he can transform it into almost anything. The adults at the center don't believe his story about demons, so he turns his wheelchair into a plane and picks up Rictor, Skids, and Boom-Boom.
Taki turns his wheelchair into a tank and they bust Rusty out of jail.
We learn that N'astirh had been trained by Belasco and stole his book of spells after he disappeared. N'astirh plans to use the spellbook to use both Illyana and mutant babies to open a permanent door between Limbo and Earth.
An ongoing theme/joke is that the smaller demons are constantly begging to eat Artie and Leach (since they aren't babies and aren't needed). This reminds me of the Orcs wanting to eat Hobbits in The Towers.
The X-Terminators are officially formed after the find new clothes for this new adventure.
Artie and Leach and taking care of the babies as the demons bring them in.
One demon, Crotus, discovers that Taki can create a computer which will help N'astirh to create spells quicker and more efficiently.
The X-Terminators find the younger boys and set out to save them.
The X-Terminators fail and the human babies are use to open a portal. We'll pause here and see what the New Mutants have been up to during this same time period.
NM# 71: Illyana tells the team about her miniseries
Illyana and the New Mutants take the fight to Limbo in their attempt to stop Inferno.
Sym and Magik are in an important battle and Sym actually takes the Souldsword from her.
In an attempt to be-head her, Illyana's armor sprouts protective spikes to stop her from dying.
Illyana and the team can't go home, but they are able to escape to other parts of Limbo. N'astirh calls out Sym for trying to kill her when he had promised to keep her alive for him.
This is actually a pretty sad set of panels. We realize that Illyana had never fully told the team what happened to her when she in Limbo. She essentially summarizes her miniseries (as covered in 15: UXM 160 (Magik!)) to the team. They find out about time working differently, baby Illyana being scared and tortured by demons, the death of the alternate versions of the X-Men, etc.
After all we've seen of him, we learn that Illyana had never met N'astirh before.
N'astirh convinces Illyana that he will help her fight Sym (which is believable because she's seen them fighting) and help her get home (which she currently can't do with her stepping disk) because he loves her (believable since many demons do worship her) and will consider becoming his dark bride.
N'astirh kept part of his bargain and sent Illyana back to Earth, however she was tricked into opening a portal that would remain open, sending thousands of demons into New York.
Illyana is pissed and ended up being tricked into making things worse. Also, take note of this sick "final transformation" into a demon.
X-Terminators # 4: New Mutants & X-Factor Younglings join forces
The X-Terminators spot the New Mutants for the first time. Hard to believe they had never heard of them.
Artie and Leach set out to pull the plug of the machine made by Taki to turn off the machine that created the portal.
The X-Terminators use Taki's airplanes to fight the demons while he goes for the killing blow with the computers.
Taki is able to turn off the computer.
Things are about to get a little funky as NM #72 backtracks a little to show us what else was going on. The panel above shows both teams with the babies and a healthy Taki after N'astirh was defeated. This also marks the first phase of the two teams joining (which is awesome). Technically the New Mutants will join X-Factor, but New Mutants have their own comic so that's where they will be featured.
NM # 72 - 73: The end of en Eldritch Era
Sym and N'astirh are fighting once more.
Illyana is bouncing around different locations and realities, being attacked by more demon infested inanimate objects (like a salon chair and an evil hair dryer, lol).
Sym thought he killed N'astirh, but in reality the transmode virus actually made him stronger. He's able to more efficiently integrate his spells with technology now.
We're going to take a quick trip down memory lane and feature something that happened in UXM #231. Remember when Colossus pretended to be a ghost to help Illyana? (I covered this in 52: UXM 228-234 (The X-Men Down Under))?
At the end of this comic, Illyana was convinced she was evil and said "I am only good because I want to be." She intended to use it as an argument that she's truly evil and she's only good because she tries so hard. And Peter brilliantly flips this on it's head by pointing out that you are whatever you choose to be. If you choose to be good, then that's what you are. Great scene. It will play out again here.
A little retcon here as Sym claims he didn't kill Illyana because N'astirh protected her.
The New Mutants overhear Magneto (dressed in full villain garb), hanging out with the Hellfire Club, and negotiating with N'astirh. They assume this means that he is now evil again and pushes them to think they should abandon the mansion.
Colossus shows up and fights Sym to help protect his sister.
Colossus sees his sister in her demon form and barely believes what she has become. Illyana is ashamed (Not to mention that she isn't even in her full on evil demon form (the one with the forked tongue) at the moment).
Illyana comes to the conclusion that she has made things work by trying to live as a human. She decides that she will stay in Limbo and rule it full time. This is necessary to stop Limbo from getting out of control (which is now bleeding into Earth) and will remove the power vacuum. Rahne doesn't like that idea.
Rusty, Skids, and Dani (who is sidelined with a "headache") are tasked with protecting the babies from the demons.
Rahne has a different idea. She thinks she can use the stepping discs to find baby Illyana (a 6 year old is not a baby, but I'll let it slide for now and keep using the word baby), and save her from ever becoming corrupt.
Rahne eventually finds the younger Illyana and at first older Illyana considers killing them both.
Illyana realizes this is her ultimate fate. The best way to save Earth is to bring baby Illyana to Earth and negate older Illyana (Magik) from ever existing.
This happens and not only is the portal closed, but all of the demons are sucked back through it first.
Illyana is now dead and I am wrecked. Not exactly how I thought it would end, but a great ending regardless.
At the end she wasn't evil, she was good!
Rahne loses baby Illyana (a nice callback to UXM # 160, but Colossus finds her hiding in the crushed armor left behind. This symbolizes that the pure child was within her all along.
So Illyana isn't technically dead as her 6 year old self will now go back to the team on Earth, and eventually will be returned to her parents in Russia. However, the Magik I have grown to love is now officially gone and will not be returning.
Next up, we'll be diving into Inferno, Part 3 of 4. This will be a small detour where we'll spend some time with our friends in Excalibur before diving into the final chapter of Inferno where the X-Men and X-Factor will intersect and the Goblin Queen will be dealt with, once and for all!
First, I'm going to issue a Spoiler Warning. If you don't know what happens in this run of comics, do not read any further until you either read this blog or read the comics I'm covering.
With that out of the way, I am wrecked by the loss of Illyana! I didn't realize how much she had grown on me until she died. I also had NO IDEA she would be dying during Inferno, so I was completely unprepared! I've done some light Googling and it looks as though she will eventually come back, but her watch has now ended as a member of the New Mutants. She also won't be around to join X-Force with her friends. It doesn't look as though she'll be a member of a team in a recurring comic for at least a decade, and this makes me sad. With all this sadness, I'm also happy because Claremont has successfully gotten me to care about one of his characters and feel genuine emotions.
I do feel slightly disappointed because I was expecting for her to eventually fill all of the Bloodstones given to her by Belasco. I assumed Belasco himself would eventually return and his masters (which were talked up in her miniseries) would be revealed. This was still a great story and a beautiful ending to her tragic story.
If you find yourself confused about what actually happened with Illyana, perhaps this explanation from Louise Simonson in an interview at a Comic Con will clear it up:
“What really happened is that Illyana used a light circle (stepping disc) to travel back in time as well as space. So she teleported back to Limbo, grabbed herself as the innocent child who had just fallen into Limbo, thrust the child into the armour and stayed in Limbo. In fact, she sacrificed herself to save her younger self.”
My Rating - 10/10
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