Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Scanned Thoughts: Inferno #2

I think there’s a part of us that looks forward to a zombie apocalypse. Think about it. We’d be living in a world where we could channel our inner badass and exercise all our violent inclinations. Zombies are just walking meat bags that nobody hesitates to kill, as every Resident Evil game has conditioned us to feel. But they still look human so I think some would still hesitate. Those people would be the first to get eaten, but that’s why they should look forward to the demon Apocalypse, like the one in Inferno.

A demon Apocalypse is even more straight-forward than a zombie Apocalypse, as Inferno has nicely demonstrated. There’s no ambiguity with demons. They’re big, ugly, and nasty. Nobody is going to hesitate to kill these fuckers and no Resident Evil games need to condition anybody for that shit. It gave Colossus a chance to exercise his inner badass and he’s taken full advantage of it. He even managed to bang Domino along the way. That’s both an act of badassery and a solid example of multi-tasking. However, fighting demons and banging Domino are still secondary concerns for him. He’s still dedicated to saving his sister. That’s the main source of conflict in Inferno in addition to a psychotic Goblin Queen who looks awesome in black lingerie. It’s a conflict that has plenty of appeal and Inferno #2 looks to add to it.

However, it’s a conflict that’s becoming increasingly one-sided. Shockingly enough, demons aren’t content just killing something and letting its corpse rot. Boom Boom finds that out the hard way. She got disemboweled during the battle in the previous issue. But instead of leaving her body to worms and necrophiliacs, some creature that looks like a rejected Shrek character drags her bloodied body off. Don’t worry. He keeps his pants on. He has other plans for her, but that can’t be any less disturbing than something that hasn’t happened in Jeffrey Dahlmer’s kitchen.

For the sake of every meal I’ve had since Monday, we don’t find out what happens to Boom Boom. She’s just the pretty blond in a slasher movie that gets killed first, this time without her having to run naked through the woods. The main conflict is still centered around Colossus, who doesn’t look nearly as good in a bikini sadly. But he’s under the telekinetic thumb of Madelyne Pryor so it balances out.

Having subdued him in the previous issue, she holds him over an army of demons the same way a bully holds a kid’s head over a toilet. But she doesn’t just demand that he admits to jerking off to Star Trek reruns or something. She actually has a more practical issue at hand that she thinks Colossus can help her with. She gives a little speech to the demons, saying that Colossus thinks he can stop his sister. She then questions whether he’s tough enough to do so, not an unreasonable concern for anyone who wants to fight anyone in Limbo. However, she hints that if he is tough enough, then they would gladly follow him in this battle.

It’s an important revelation that adds some complexity to this conflict. It turns out that Madelyne is actually not Magik’s prison bitch. She’s actually a challenger to Magik’s throne. She doesn’t like Magik being the Queen of Limbo any more than Colossus. So in true Game of Thrones fashion, she wants to do something about it and she wants to do it in the most brutal way possible. If I were Colossus’ dick, I would be very worried right now.

True to her goblin bitch form, Madelyne throws him into a horde of demons to test his toughness. A quick, but brutal battle unfolds. It’s not as well-detailed or as visceral as previous battles. A game of Diablo will probably offer the same thing, if not better. But the end result isn’t that promising. Colossus, alone and against a demon army, fares about as well as Janet Reno in a beauty pageant. To make it even more lopsided, the arm that Magik corrupted in the previous issue turns against him. It would suck if that’s the hand he jerks off with because that would ruin more than his fighting skills.

So Colossus is failing miserably and way too quickly for the Goblin Queen’s panties to get wet. That’s when she makes an unexpected contribution and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with her panties. It involves her throwing the Soul Sword down into the arena for Colossus to wield with said demon arm. Where did she get this sword? Why did she wait until now to give it to him? I have no fucking clue and no explanation is offered. But it’s the Goblin Queen. I’ll just assume she flashed a couple of demons her tits and they gave it to her.

With it, Colossus has a new power at his disposal and his demon arm allows him to wield it. He then channels his inner Samurai Jack and tears into the demon monsters attacking him. Again, it’s a fairly short fight that’s low on visceral details. But it nicely gets the point across. Armed with this sword, Colossus can kick some demon ass. That’s just what Madelyne wants to see. It leaves her satisfied and probably a little horny.

While Colossus is busy fighting for his life and amusing the hell out of the Goblin Queen, Domino is still in one piece, albeit in a fiery prison cell. Compared to Boom Boom, she might as well be at the Four Seasons, but she still can’t do shit to help anyone. She needs an opportunity to exploit and she finds it in the form of a familiar looking kid who probably is just getting to the age when he has an inextricable urge to see boobs.

Domino works her charm, but stops short of flashing him. They start talking about big fucking guns and how much fun they are to shoot. And being a kid, he doesn’t really know that Domino is playing him. It’s almost cute, but there are way worse ways she could take advantage of him. She doesn’t resort to any of them because she doesn’t have to. The dumb kid agrees to let her out so she can help him improve his gun. And that’s not a dick joke, believe it or not.

Domino has it easiest compared to everyone. But if there’s anyone who has it worst, it’s Nightcrawler. He got captured in the previous issue and unlike Boom Boom, he wasn’t lucky enough to get killed. Instead, Magik had him taken to her base of operations in Limbo. She makes it clear that she’s going to break him. Nightcrawler doesn’t even get a chance to tell her to go fuck herself. Instead, she just goes Exorcist on his ass and turns him into a monster/pet. It’s cruel, even by the standards of a teenage girl. But it establishes just how depraved Magik has become. If anyone had any sympathy for her before, they can pretty much throw it away with the used diapers and empty beer cans.

The situation finally improves somewhat for Colossus. After showing his skills with the Soul Sword, the Goblin Queen invites her up to her throne room. Sadly, she remains fully clothed. She then expands on some the revelations from earlier. She explains that not just anyone can wield the Soul Sword and his ability to do so with his demonic arm actually gives them a fighting chance against his sister. She then says outright that she wants to help him get Illyana Rasputin off the throne. She’ll even lend him her demon hordes. It’ll give him a way better chance than just a handful of X-men.

Colossus may be a farm boy from Siberia, but even he’s not dumb enough to suspect that a psychotic woman in a thong would help him out of the goodness of her heart. And to her credit, Madelyne doesn’t even try to deny it. She says outright that she wants to rule in Illyana’s place. So they’d just be exchanging one psycho bitch for another. That’s not much of a deal, but it still means that Colossus would get his sister back. It’s a tough bargain and I imagine that seeing Madelyne’s ass doesn’t make it easier.

But before they can continue negotiating, they get an unexpected interruption from Domino. She managed to outsmart that kid from earlier and make it to the throne room. That’s still not saying much. Outsmarting a kid is like tricking a cat with a laser pointer. Another quick fight ensues that only mildly annoys Madelyne. It eventually settles down when Colossus explains that they’re about to make a deal that might give them a fighting chance for once. Domino, being the most understanding girlfriend since Jackie Kennedy, goes along with it.

In addition, we find out that the kid isn’t just some creepy little shit from a Chucky movie. He’s a young Cable and he’s working with his darling mother, Madelyne. I want to say this is a sweet family moment, but it can only be so sweet when Madelyne is dressed as a Goblin Queen/stripper. I imagine Cable is going to have a lot of issues and not just those that involve demons.

Issues aside, the allegiance is set. The Goblin Queen is ready to work with the X-men to depose Magik. And remarkably, Domino is okay with this and willingly follows her boyfriend into battle with the Goblin Queen’s forces. It’s not as epic as it sounds. Again, the battles are somewhat muted, even if they’re not glossed over. However, it still has a brutal impact in a very specific way.

Remember that monster Magik turned Nightcrawler into? Well since she hasn’t made herself enough of a bitch just yet, she decides to ride him right into battle. It’s beyond a dick move. It makes me want to slap Colossus across the face and tell him his sister doesn’t deserve to be saved at this point. He may figure that out the hard way at some point, but it ensures that the coming battle is going to be much more dramatic and much more brutal.

Any story that involves demons, hell spawn, and psychotic women in thongs is bound to get pretty brutal. In that respect, this comic carries on that tradition proudly. It doesn’t attempt to make demons sexier or more sympathetic. They don’t fucking sparkle or anything. It just takes Colossus’ struggle to save his sister and more layers of demonic brutality to it. And for once I think both Christians and Satanists can agree. It really works.

This issue added a bit more complexity to the typical “X-men fight demons” story. There’s a bit of demonic politics unfolding behind the scenes, but less in the classic C-SPAN sort of way and more in the typical Game of Thrones sort of way. I’m not saying that Madelyne Pryor is on par with the Lannisters, but Magik is getting dangerously close to King Joffrey territory what she did to Nightcrawler. She’s only reinforcing something Game of Thrones gets across all too well. There is no cure for being a cunt. Colossus may or may not accept this as he fights to save his sister. At least now he can say he’s fighting with the aid of two beautiful women and the soul sword. Even by demonic standards, that’s an epic win. Inferno #2 gets an 8 out of 10. At the rate the brutality is escalating in this series, even HBO might not be turned off by this. I guess so long as nobody gets anymore body parts amputated, it’ll remain both fun and disturbing. Nuff said!

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