X-Men: Second Coming

X-Men: A New Kind of Hell

Cannonball leads a team deep into Limbo in search of Illyana in X-MEN: HELLBOUND



By Marc Strom

While the X-Men have gone to Hell and back a few times in the past, it never gets any easier. A full scale war with Bastion's anti-mutant legions doesn't help matters, either, but the currently less than merry mutants will have to dive deep into Limbo in order to save their teammate, Magik, in X-MEN: HELLBOUND #1 on May 5 from the creative team of writer Chris Yost and artist Harvey Talibao.

"In NEW MUTANTS #12, a.k.a. chapter three of X-Men: Second Coming, the Purifiers target the X-Men's teleporters during a fight and unleash a weaponized spell on Magik just as she's about to get to Hope and teleport her out," recounts Yost of the circumstances leading to HELLBOUND. "A portal opens and scary things pull her into Limbo, taking her out of the fight. And she doesn't come back."

X-MEN: HELLBOUND #1 preview art by Harvey Talibao
Yost's three-issue series will run parallel to the events of Second Coming, as some of the X-Men embark on a detour to retrieve their friend and teammate.

"HELLBOUND is the story of a squad of X-Men going to get Illyana back, and the bad, bad things that happen when they try," he explains. "The first issue is concurrent with Second Coming chapter six [in UNCANNY X-MEN #524]. They share a scene or two. But, if for some insane reason you're not reading Second Coming but really want to jump on board for this; the first issue is relatively new reader friendly. But it is mutant unfriendly. So be warned."

The mystical attack Yost refers to sent Illyana back to Limbo, a realm she once ruled.

"The Purifiers' weapon really messed Illyana up," remarks the writer. "She's in bad shape, and there are forces in Limbo that are really happy about that, and they're going to do everything they can to make things worse for her. It's a golden opportunity that was dropped in their lap."

Despite the threats currently facing the X-Men, Cyclops still feels they must divert manpower to rescuing Illyana for a number of reasons.

X-MEN: HELLBOUND #1 preview art by Harvey Talibao
"Cyclops lost a strategic asset, and he wants it back," offers Yost. "Bastion is targeting teleporters, and Cyke knows it. And on top of that, she's one of them. Illyana is Colossus' sister, and even though she's a soulless shell of her old self, they can't lose her again. Especially after the events of X-FORCE #26.  And while Colossus is pretty firm about going after her, Cyclops has other plans. And that plan is Cannonball."

The group going into Limbo will consist of an array of X-Men, each chosen for a very specific reason.

"Cannonball assembles the team, not only of people Cyclops is willing to spare, but the right people for this particular job," says Yost. "It's like a mantra for Cyke and Sam: get in, get the girl, and get out. They know that Bastion is coming for them, and they've got no time to spare. They need speed, they need recon ability, [so they bring] Northstar and Trance. They need power in case of trouble-Dazzler. They need someone to keep their eye on the prize, no matter what-Gambit.

"And they need a way to get into Limbo, [so they choose] Pixie. But Pixie doesn't have the best relationship with Illyana Rasputin. There was a little incident where Magik tore out a piece of Pixie's soul. Little things like that make Pixie not so eager to help. So Pixie needs some moral support

X-MEN: HELLBOUND #1 preview art by Harvey Talibao
[from] Anole. But Anole's not the biggest fan of Limbo, either. Last time he went there, he got an arm torn off. There's no one particularly happy about this rescue mission."

Compound that with the run-of-the-day dangers hiding in Limbo, and you literally have the rescue mission from Hell. Or, if you can believe Yost, the X-Men won't have any troubles along the say.

"This is a cake walk," jokes the writer. "There are no hordes of demons, angry sorcerers, multiple betrayals within the team, corruption of souls and murder to contend with at all. At. All. I swear."

Yost, who previously collaborated with artist Harvey Talibao on the recently-concluded X-MEN: PSYLOCKE limited series, loves what his co-creator brings to the table for this series as they put their motley crew of mutants through the wringer.

"His Limbo is amazing to look at. It's an odd team, but I think a pretty fun dynamic, and as horrible as the threat in Limbo is, it's nothing compared to the darkness that explodes once they get there. And as if that weren't enough, there's a different kind of hell on Earth waiting for them back on Utopia if they survive this."


To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com

Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!

Download SPIDER-WOMAN and ASTONISHING X-MEN Motion Comics now on iTunes! For more information on motion comics, visit the Marvel Motion Comics hub!

Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution""Wolverine and the X-Men""Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes" and "The Super Hero Squad Show" now on iTunes!

Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!

      MORE IN X-Men: Second Coming See All

      MORE IN Comics See All