Inferno (2nd series) #2

Issue Date: 
December 2021
Story Title: 

Jonathan Hickman (writer), Valerio Schiti (artist), David Curiel (colorist), VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Jerome Opena & Frank Martin (cover artists), Stan Lau, Mark Brooks, Greg Capullo & Chris Sotomayor, Carmen Carnera & Marte Garcia, Jeff Dekal, Peach Momoko (variant cover artists), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Annalise Bissa (associate editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Mystique steals a Cerebro helmet as Magneto, and gets a vial of DNA from Mr. Sinister, while pretending to be Xavier Still as Xavier, she has the Five resurrect her wife Destiny and lets Hope Summer take over the telepathic part. While Destiny secretly recovers, Mystique makes deals with several Council members to vote for Destiny’s inclusion on the Council. When the vote comes, her manipulations and Nightcrawler’ decision to do something nice for his mother carry the vote and Destiny is voted onto the Council. Moira is livid when she learns of this. The three decide to get someone on their side. Xavier and Magneto invite Emma to a meeting, where she also learns about Moira and their past together. Emma is livid when she learns how long the three of them have been manipulating everyone. A little later, Xavier’s candidate Colossus is voted onto the Quiet Council with everybody unaware that he is under the control of his brother Mikhail. In the meantime, at Orchis Omega, Sentinel and Nimrod are starting to get closer.

Full Summary: 

“See what I really am”
Omega Sentinel

Mystique takes on the form of Magneto and enters his home on Island M where she steals a Cerebro helmet. Then, in the shape of Charles Xavier, she visits Bar Sinister. “Look at you,” Mr. Sinister observes, all dressed up. Playing a part as always. He hands her a vial of DNA. Some people think they are clever, he remarks. “And then there’s us.”

A little later, “Xavier” is with the Five as they finish another mutant resurrection. A darkhaired woman breaks out of the egg. Hope turns to “Xavier.” His turn now. Has she done this yet?” “Xavier” asks Hope. She hasn’t. He takes off the Cerebro helmet and hands it to her. This is graduation day, “Xavier” says and then tells her to open her mind to the machine, find the catalogue and the personality she is looking for. Hope finds it. Be a good girl and put that mind back where it belongs, he tells her. Hope succeeds. “Xavier” sheds a tear as he praises her, then tells the Five this was a unique resurrection. From here on out, things need to be handled delicately. They should celebrate on their own. Hope wants to hand back the Cerebro helmet, but he tells her to keep it. She’s earned it.

The Five leave and the resurrected woman begins to speak, mumbling she sees it all. She’s back. Yes, “Xavier” announces, then changes back to Mystique who is about to break down emotionally as she touches the face of her returned wife Irene Adler.

Irene tells her she feels younger and Raven explains her body is as young as when they first met. A welcome back gift for both of them. Irene begins to ask how long she was gone, then screams as visions of past, present and future overwhelm her. She begs Raven to get her away somewhere quiet.

She suffers from the visions for two weeks while Mystique nurses her. Then they have to deal with how Mystique has changed in the years without Irene. Week three brought forgiveness and a reforged alliance of heart and purpose. For all mutantkind, but most of all for each other. Week four brought a plan and a vote.

The present:
Mystique has asked for a vote on whether Destiny should become a member of the Quiet Council. As a member has asked for a vote, a vote must be taken, Xavier, is forced to admit. Xavier cautions, though. He has questions about this particular vote and this particular mutant. How was she brought back? Who oversaw the resurrection? But these question will wait until after the vote and the one after that, as he will be calling for a vote immediately after that.

And what will they be voting on? Mystique mocks. Something monumental, she hopes. Some line in the sand… pertaining to some chip on his shoulder. Angrily, he replies that they will be voting on removing her. Destiny interjects smoothly whether he would like her to tell them how this is going to work out. Xavier is at a lack for words. Moving on, he states and votes against Destiny’s addition. He encourages them all to do the same. Magneto and Storm agree. Nightcrawler considers the issue, then decides to vote in favor of Destiny to please his mother. Mystique thanks him. Xavier asks Exodus for his vote.

Mystique comes to Exodus with a proposal. He asks what exactly she wants. She’s going to call a vote at the next Council meeting to add a member and would like his support. He observes it sounds like she wants his blind support. He has centuries of experience, being called a zealot for one cause or the other… of course he now knows he only ever believed in one thing, but he had to see the promised land before he truly understood who he was and what he wanted. He has to warn her: he cannot be bribed, bargained with or convinced. Not blindly. He needs to have a reason and that reason must be grounded in the promises of Krakoa.

Mystique asks, what if she told him there was a prophet soon to be resurrected who can see the future of this great land and how best to prepare and uplift it. What if she told him, her name was the same of what she offered, a destiny? What would he say then?

He would tell her he is a believer, is his fervent reply.

Exodus votes yes.

Bar Sinister:
Mystique stands in front of Mr. Sinister. He tells her they have to stop meeting like this. After all, it’s a bad look for her. She: wanting something from him… him, pretending to be generous. They haven’t seen each other since the last council meeting, Mystique claims. That’s good, he laughs. He loves it when an actor is committed to playing the part. So, let him play his and ask outraged, why would he accept this debasement of himself in support to her and her demands? Spell it out for him. Mystique’s reply is simple. The great men won’t want him to do it and they will demand that he comply. He thinks for a moment, then laughs. Well argued, he admits.

Sinister votes yes. So does Mystique, of course.

Kate Pryde announces there is no way in hell she is voting for this. Xavier states they are tied. Four to four. Shaw?

The Black Keep:
Shaw and a four-armed mutant are fencing – while Mystique watches. Shaw informs he doesn’t care about these games between her and the other council members. So if she wants his support, pick another approach: is she going to bribe him or convince him?

She replies she would not insult him by implying he could be bought. What exists that is beyond the purse of the Black King? Nothing, Shaw agrees and strikes another point against his foe. So they’ll have to settle for giving him a good reason. She knows for a fact that Emma is going to vote against it, Raven reveals.

Shaw votes yes.

Xavier tells Emma it falls to her. If she votes no, it will be a tie, which means the motion fails to move forward.

Emma is doing business in her office when Mystique enters uninvited. Emma stresses that she is busy, so she hopes this is important. What does she need? Actually, Mystique replies, she has something Emma needs. Emma is unimpressed until Mystique shows her a small case. She heard through the grapevine Emma wanted this. Emma looks inside and is astonished. She’s been trying to secure this for months! How did she get it? Instead of going into details how she stole it, Mystique just replies: the old-fashioned way. Does she want it.… Yes, Emma admits. What will she give her? Raven asks. Whatever she wants. Within reason. Raven tells her about the upcoming vote.

Emma votes yes which she supposes means, welcome to the Quiet Council, Destiny.

Destiny thanks her. It feels good to be back. It feels even better to be wanted. Now Charles said something about another vote. Does he want to take her word for how it’s going to go and spare himself a painful and pointless exercise? Xavier and Magneto exchange a silent look then Xavier announces they are done here for the day.

Aboard the Orchis Forge:
Under Director Devo and Nimrod’s watchful eyes, two workers establish a translocation connection with the Terra Verde node.

However, the buffers don’t hold and Director Devo calls it off. Did they make it further than last time? he demands. Did they learn something? One scientist replies that the buffer almost held. They are definitely closer. Relieved, Devo tells him never to apologize for progress. He suggests they review the logs and go over the numbers. He’ll help. They leave.

Nimrod turns to Omega Sentinel. He’s noticed her watching him. She points out he has only been online for a short time but he has been running simulations in tandem. Aging up, as it were. She’s been waiting for him to get where he needs to be. And where’s that? he asks. Here and now, she believes. So, he can look at her and see what she really is.

Moira’s place:
Moira angrily throws a glass against the wall at the news that Destiny is back alive. Xavier explains they were at the council meeting, trying to enact the plan of firing Mystique and erasing Destiny - only to find out they’ve been ahead of them for some time. Magneto adds that Destiny was voted onto the Council with a vote of six to four.

How? Why? Moira sputters. Xavier considers they should have seen that Nightcrawler would like to please his mother and that the idea of prophecy would appeal to Exodus, but they would never have expected the White Queen to vote as she did. Apparently, Mystique made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Moira considers it a disaster. It won’t take Destiny long to see Moira. It will take an even shorter time to see through the two of them. You don’t want to test these women. It’s a simple equation: Solve for X.

Xavier is disturbed by Moira’s cold pragmatism. She reminds him she has ten lives and a thousand years of actual blood on her hands. She turns to Magneto. Can he kill her?

He points out Destiny wears a metal helmet on her head, but he won’t do that. Like it or not, she sits on the Council. He can tolerate a certain level of pragmatism when it comes to how things are run here in paradise, but he has waited his whole life for this place. He won’t defile it, just because Moira finds it expedient. They have to do something! she screams.

Magneto points out there is still an empty seat. Maybe they should make their own offer that can’t be refused. They want to bring someone inside? Moira guesses they are talking about the White Queen. Why? Xavier believes they can trust her. Moira tells them it should be because she understands the gravity of the situation. Of what they are up against. Because God knows what Destiny and Mystique are doing…

On Krakoa, Sage is doing some basic work, then leaves her station for a break. She returns when she is alerted to a situation in the Paris safehouse. Moments later, the alert is overwritten by Xavier. Sage follows the trail to Paris where she changes shape several times making it clear that “Sage” is really Mystique.

Taking on the shape of a scientist who has just stepped out, she enters an Orchis lab, uses a transporter tube and enters a new lab, where apes mingle with human scientists.

Not what she was expecting, she mutters. One of the ape scientists misunderstands her and agrees it is really something. A translocator that can reach the Forge. Powered by the Forge and activated o this end. When it becomes active, they can open a doorway to the inner ring and force feed this world the medicine it needs. The mutants thought transforming a planet was something. Wait until they witness the full power of the sun!

Mystique carefully leaves.

The Louvre:
The Winged Victory sculpture. Emma Frost telepathically orders everyone out. Only one woman remains behind. Nice trick, Moira observes as Emma, Magneto and Xavier enter. Emma identifies her. She thought Moira died. Many, many times, Moira agrees. Emma asks what’s going on here. Magneto reminds her that after the vote she had said if there is another game being played, instead of being angry they should deal her in. This is them doing that very thing.

Emma is rather underwhelmed. She knows Moira is brilliant but how is a human scientist at the heart of things? Xavier warns her the answer is long and complicated and Moira isn’t human but a mutant. He suggests she read Moira’s mind and Moira dares her to.

Emma complies, then screams in shock and horror. She falls to her knees as she experiences Moira’s many lives. Xavier tries to help. She snarls at him not to touch her and gets up herself. Magneto tells her he knows how she feels. It was … difficult when he first learned of all this. And how long ago was that? she shoots back. Xavier replies evasively they have been planning for quite some time. How long? she repeats forcefully. She has to know that, Xavier continues. How long?! Emma screams.

Moira coolly tells her it is understandable that she feels left out. But that’s looking at it the wrong way. Outside of them, Emma is the first one in. Because they trust her, Xavier adds. Magneto adds it is more than that. They need her. Their nation needs her.

Emma turns to diamond and smiles. Of course, for the children. She turns away. They have manipulated her for years. And now she sees what threat a precog presents. She is a true mutant and she sits on the council, so she will give this matter the proper consideration, but her loyalty they have lost forever.

With Emma gone, Moira asks if they just made an enemy of her. Xavier doesn’t know. Magneto smiles slightly, as he remarks he is certain she understands the gravity of what they are doing. Moira admits they were right and she was wrong. They are better off with someone they know they can trust.

Later, at the Quiet Council:
Xavier has suggested a mutant to fill the empty seat and calls for a vote. Sinister and Mystique vote no, Exodus yes. Kate and Emma vote yes, Shaw no, Kurt and Storm are both overjoyed to vote yes. Xavier and Magneto also vote yes, Destiny no. Seven to four in favor and Xavier announces they are honored to have Colossus join the Quiet Council. In him they can trust!

Characters Involved: 

Destiny, Colossus, Emma Frost, Exodus, Magneto, Mr. Sinister, Mystique, Kate Pryde, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sebastian Shaw, Storm (Quiet Council)
Moira X

Omega Sentinel
Dr. Devo

Story Notes: 

Text pages

A discussion between Destiny and Mystique discussing why Xavier and Magneto were hellbent on preventing Destiny’s returnX-force mission log


Further notes
The beginning recontextualizes the scenes from issue #1

Mystique buys Emma’s vote by getting her the box she wanted in X-Men (5th series) #21.

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