I’ve absolutely loved this new era of X books under Jonathan Hickman’s guidance, but I most certainly had my doubts. Those doubts started when I saw the preliminary artwork for Hellfire Gala. Don’t get me wrong; Those outfits are “straight fire.”. Matteo Lolli, Joshua Cassara, Stephen Segovia, Marcus To, Pepe Larraz (one of my personal favorites of this era) and many other Marvel artists were brilliant in their stunning creativity. We saw our favorite mutants looking more glamorous and confident than ever before. But who reads comics for a fashion statement? I should have known that Hickman and company had much more in store for us. It all seemed like a flamboyant celebration to strut in front of Earth’s mightiest heroes, politicians, and other important figures at first.
If you thought the mutant nation of Krakoa was bold in their assertions before (even numerous heroes such as Iron Man and Captain America seem to already be skeptical at this point), then you haven’t seen anything yet. Krakoa asserting itself as a dominant global force and the wealthiest nation on Earth was just the beginning. Emma was the perfect host to rein in this new era as well. Ms. Frost has always been one of the most outgoing, chic, and grandiose mutants. It was only fitting that she would get everyone warmed up for what was going to be the greatest display of dominance and might ever exhibited by any nation on Earth. (excluding some malignant attempts at world domination or destruction of course)
We get to see omega level mutants use their powers in combination to terraform the once lifeless red planet, Mars. It was apparent from earlier issues that the mutants of Arakko who arrived on Earth at the end of X of Swords were having a hard time fitting in. Having been living in a state of constant war for thousands of years in Amenth has hardened them. To the point that not only were they going to harm Krakoan relations with other nations, but they also weren’t all that compatible with Krakoans either. What could be wrong with giving them a planet previously uninhabited where they can be left alone and watched over by their new regent, Storm? Surely no one on Earth would contest that except for perhaps some evil scientists that had other ideas for Mars (but we aren’t going to get into that here). As you can see there are so many avenues to explore in these books that it becomes difficult to focus on a central theme. I digress. It was clear that many did not like the Krakoans terraforming Mars. Even making their own plans without consulting anyone outside of Krakoa (and Arakko). How do you think they are going to take being told that Mars is now officially named Arakko and going forward is the capitol of Sol, speaking on behalf of our solar system in all interstellar affairs? Will this allow ORCHIS to attract more powerful allies to their cause? It is worth the read just to see how this all goes down and is continuing to go down.
In addition, we get to see our mutants interact with some old classics such as Iron Man, Captain America, and real-world celebrities. We get to see further development among SWORD and the startup of X-Corp. Deadpool also makes quite the splash at the party. This is a must read to prepare you for the highly anticipated Inferno underway now.