Marvel's X-Men Panel Uncovers New Circle of Hell at SDCC

If you remember Inferno, the giant Marvel Comics storyline that dragged Manhattan to hell in the 1980s, then you may be excited to hear that the X-Men will suffer through a sequel, called X Infernus, in which Colossus' evil sister Magik will strut her stuff again. But will Marvel remember to include the carnivorous mailboxes that made the original so great?

In the original Inferno, the minions of Belasco unleashed a demonic invasion of Earth, beginning with Manhattan. Worlds lived, worlds died, and a mailbox ate a guy. But even more importantly, two long-running X-Men storylines finally concluded, as Jean-Grey look-a-like Madeline Pryor was revealed to be not just a clone of Jean Grey, but also a little bit of a hoochie mama, and Magik, sister to Colossus, finally expunged herself of the corrosive Soul Sword and the destructive Darkchylde persona.

Marvel's X-Men Panel Uncovers New Circle of Hell at SDCC

Now, twenty years later, comes a sequel crafted by writer C.B. Cebulski (who helped keep Marvel's Ultimate Alliance videogame so on point with the comics' continuity) and edited by Nick Lowe (who did not, alas, produce most of Elvis Costello's best albums). X Infernus, a storyline which will bring Magik back into the lives of everyone's favorite mutants, had originally been conceived by Cebulski as an annual but as Cebulski told the audience at the panel, "Marvel said, this is too big for just an Annual, let's make it a big event."

Cebulski also credited Craig Kyle and Chris Yost over on X-Force. "Craig and Chris were kind enough to queue up the return of Magik in their book, and it set everything up nicely." Although an artist for the event was not announced on the panel - "we're almost ready to announce the artist, but not quite," said Lowe - fan favorite David Finch will be doing the covers.

Marvel's X-Men Panel Uncovers New Circle of Hell at SDCC

The first issue of X-Infernus is scheduled for December 2009. Although it wasn't revealed whether, at crossover's end, Marvel audiences would be able to climb the frost-bitten beard of Chris Claremont and ascend to X Purgatorio (and then work off their sins by reading Warren Ellis' run on Astonishing X-Men), the news was nevertheless well-received by the crowd, particularly by fans of attractive Russian sword-wielding magic-users.