Friday, 1 March 2013

X-Terminators #1-#4: Inferno

This is from page 4 of X-Terminators #1. They've misspelt his name a bit, but this is the grave of Fredric Wertham, the psychiatrist known primarily in the comics business for his 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent, which led to the Comics Code and the abolition of horror comics. He's been in the news quite recently, as someone had a look at his papers and discovered he had falsified much of his evidence.

This, of course, is a horror comic. And even better, one approved by the Code. There is a good chance of some rotary motion in that old fraud's grave.

Our horror elements here is the demons of Limbo, who we are familiar with from Magik. Here, they are collecting babies, with which they intend to create a portal so they can enter New York, or something. This is sounding very Ghostbusters II, except that it predates that by a year. Something was in the air, I guess.

So, X-Terminators is a four-issue miniseries by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove. It focuses on the wards of X-Factor who have been sent away for the summer. Although the demons have been trying to abduct babies, they wrongly take Leech and Artie instead (bald, big eyes, they said), which is our first big coincidence.

They'd made a friend there: Taki, who we soon discover is also a mutant (later to be called "Wiz Kid"). He thinks he's a genius inventor, but in reality he just has the power to transmute stuff to useful technology. They get the gang back together: Skids ("Sally" now, is that new?), Boom-Boom, Rictor, and break Rusty out of military jail, where he'd surrendered himself rather than register. They have a message from Artie about where they might have been taken to, and travel.

They end up in New York (they do try to phone ahead, but the Manhattan exchange just cackles at them, which probably isn't a good sign). Wiz-Kid becomes separated from the others and is forced to work on a machine to help get that portal going faster. Oops. It opens. Demons pour out.

Within a few short moments there's another group of young mutants on the scene, though. Boom-Boom recognises one of them: Bobby from Fallen Angels. They've got their own guilt-stricken member - Illyana - who is apparently to blame for opening the portal (while Wiz Kid's machine keeps it open?) They team up, disrupt that pentagram by liberating some babies, and that's it: victory. Just a few bits of mopping up to do, really.

I quite liked this, which given what I'd heard about Inferno I wasn't expecting to. Nothing horrible here (well, except from the horror, obv). It's all a bit... frothy. There were bits that were genuinely funny, especially in the first couple of issues. The gang of four work well together: and it is about time they struck out on their own. Wiz Kid I will reserve judgement on.

1 comment:

  1. Wiz Kid I will reserve judgement on.

    Nah, you can judge him now. He doesn't show up again much of anywhere, and he's pretty much what you see here. :)