Writer Chris Claremont
Penciler Marc Silvestri
Inker Dan Green
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Colorist Glynis Oliver
Cover Dated February 1989
Inferno, Part The Second
This issue is infamous for ruining the character of Maddie Pryor FOR ALL TIME!!! That’s right, ya’ll, the Sinister reveals she is a clone of Jean Grey issue and I own it now as Illyana is mentioned.
Inside front cover ad is for the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on NES.
Issue opens with Maddie, in full Goblin Queen mode, meeting Mister Sinister. I really wish I recall reading Inferno but I have no real memory of it, outside of the Excalibur tie-in issue. I should have the New Mutants in my mind but I really don’t.
Mister Sinister tells Maddie that he is her father. Is there any reason, at all, why Pryor had to be a clone? Wasn’t it enough that Scott fell for her and that he left her and their son for Jean Grey? Did we have to completely ruin the character?
Sinister tries to explain but Maddie blasts him and sends her Limbo demons at him. Her second in command, her S’ym if you will, is N’astirh. N’astirh is also planning on betraying Maddie, so that is why I never have a second in command.
Maddie tells her demons that she wants Sinister’s heart, they can have the rest. Sinister holds his own against the demons. Sinister refers to his homebase, which is in the high-tech catacombs of Scott Summers’ Nebraskan orphanage, as his Sanctum Sanctorum. I really do believe that there should only be the one recognized Sanctum Sanctorum, and Doctor Strange has a claim on that for decades.
Sinister’s machines trap Maddie into a device that turns her energy onto herself. N’astirh chooses this moment to betray her and side with Sinister.
May I add how great Maddie looks in her Goblin Queen garb? You can see it on the cover, it is way sexy as heck and Jean would never wear such a thing. It is highly impractical but there is something super sexy about it. I just did a Google search and there are several brave women out there who have donned the outfit.
Back in Manhatten, the X-Men are fighting the Marauders. The X-Men are – Longshot, Storm, Rogue, Dazzler, Havok, Psylocke, Wolverine and Colossus. The Marauders are – Polaris (mind controlled by Malice), Scalphunter, Riptide, Harpoon (the bastard who severely hurt Kitty during Mutant Massacre), Prism and Vertigo. The Marauders are fighting for keeps.
Because it is Inferno, inanimate objects like mailboxes have been demonized, which seems to work as comedy relief in the background to offset the harshness of the battles. A fire hydrant beats a dog over the head.
Colossus recognizes Riptide, who he killed in X-Men 211 (thanks Bob Harris for the excellent editorial note!). So we get the big reveal that Sinister has them all ready to be cloned whenever he needs to.
Everyone knows that Polaris is controlled by Malice, so they try to be gentle with the Mistress of Magnetism.
The battle is pretty intense, this is as playing for keeps as it gets!
Nebraska. Sinister starts messing with Maddie, asking her for her earliest memories. Sadly, her earliest memory is one of Jean’s, when her friend Annie Richardson got hit by a car and Jean experiencing her friend’s death – telepathically.
Manhattan. Wolverine slashes a mailbox, after it ate a man. It is too late and the guy is now a stamp on an envelope. This reminds me that I read the Spider-Man tie-ins of Inferno, where Spider-Man mostly fought inanimate objects.
Nebraska. Sinister reveals why he has been tracking Jean Grey, for her genetic material. He had his clone body but she didn’t wake up from the process until Phoenix died on the moon at the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga. By doing so, a Phoenix spark entered Maddie – giving her life.
Manhattan. The X-Men are now fighting the machines of The Right. Inferno really brought out the big bads.
Colossus grabs one of the smiling machines, as he recognizes it from an instance in Limbo. It acknowledges that and states that Limbo is no longer under his sister, Illyana’s control. S’ym, staying true to form, has taken control from Magik. S’ym has been working with N’astirh. The machine reveals that one of the plans is to transport Earth to Limbo. Which Limbo tried to do in Power Pack 20, three year ago. That is some long term planning!
The machine references that this is all going on at the top of the Empire State Building. Storm and Wolverine are out for blood and want to chase down the rest of the Marauders. Colossus decides he is done killing and needs to protect his sister.
Nebraska. Sinister placed Maddie so that Cyclops will meet her and fall in love with her. One way or another, this was always going to happen. Mister Sinister really wanted to make sure that Scott got laid.
Manhattan. Longshot encounters with a demon and it absorbs his pure soul.
Bullpen Bulletins. “Best way to make people of one mind is bash their heads together.” Hulk, Incredible Hulk 352. Other titles out that month are – Wolverine 4, New Mutants 72, Alpha Flight 67, Excalibur 5, Incredible Hulk 352, Uncanny X-Men 241, Classic X-Men 30 and Cloak & Dagger 3.
All of these truth bombs finally irritates Maddie so much that she overpowers the machines. I really like the panel of Sinister cowering in front of her.
Issue ends with Maddie being presented with her son, Nathaniel. Maddie promises that Sinister may have the world but she is going to make it into dust.
The story continues in X-Factor 37 before coming back here. I don’t own either issue.