A blazing light of hope in the darkness… INFERNO: IGNITE! Your Major Spoilers review of Inferno Girl Red: Book One #1 from Image Comics awaits!
INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK ONE #1
Writer: Mat Groom
Artist: Erica D’Urso
Colorist: Igor Monti
Letterer: Becca Carey
Editor: Kyle Higgins
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: January 24, 2023
Previously in Inferno Girl Red: Book One: A new school, new relationships, new possibilities… For any teenager, big moves are both challenging and exciting. But it’s a whole other thing for Cássia Costa, because an ancient cult and their army of demons have ripped her new home of Apex City out of our universe and cast it into darkness! To have any hope of saving it, Cássia must survive the worst night of her life, embrace a secret legacy, and find the courage to fight when all seems lost, as the blazing light of hope in the dark, Inferno Girl Red!
AN ORIGIN STORY
As Inferno Girl Red: Book One opens, we find Cássia Costa and her mother in transit to their new home in Apex City. Mama Costa is actually moving back home, having lived there before and worked as a journalist during the era of the superhero Inferno Girl Red. Unfortunately, there’s some unpleasantness that comes with that, as her expected job offer is rescinded when they find out that she was involved in covering IGR’s adventures. As for Cássia, she’s been accepted to the prestigious Helix Academy, run by Doctor Janine Cairo, and we get to see her first study group, her introduction to her new roommate, Hariette and… Uhh… the entire city being sucked through a dimensional vortex into another dimension? Y’know, the standard “first day at college” story, right? The light show also leaves Cássia with a strange wristband with a red jewel, a bauble that her mother immediately recognizes, with one bit of advice, “Place the index and middle fingers of your left hand over the gem… Then say, ‘Inferno IGNITE!'”
We all know where this is going.
A MASSIVE-VERSE DEBUT
Regular readers of the Massive-Verse will recall Inferno Girl Red from last year’s Supermassive crossover, wherein she (at some point in her future, it seems) interacted with Radiant Black and Rogue Sun while lost in the multiverse, which may or may not be a spoiler for what’s to come in the next two volumes of her book. That said, this is clearly her origin story, full of questions about her heroic legacy, what happened with her mother’s Apex City exploits, and what role Doctor Cairo plays in the whole story. The real star here is the art of Erica D’Urso, bursting with life and expression. Every character feels like a whole person, and the action sequences are really impressive. Cássia’s fight with something that looks like a flaming skeletal ghost-horse is just brilliant, ending with her mother’s arrival to once again help her understand and use her new powers. Of course, the last page is the most unexpected one, with the last thing I expected our hero to say in her new, dangerous circumstances.
BOTTOM LINE: ATTRACTIVE ART, LIKEABLE CAST
Much like Radiant Black and Rogue Sun, Inferno Girl Red: Book One #1 provides a familiar grounding for a superhero story (especially for the tokusatsu fans in the audience), but takes unexpected turns throughout, and the art is both nuanced and beautiful, with equally beautiful coloring by Igor Monti adding up to a well-deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. The story features enough potential that I hope that this three-issue miniseries isn’t the last we see of Inferno Girl Red.
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INFERNO GIRL RED: BOOK ONE #1
Visually impressive and unique, building its story carefully until the unexpected ending. Well done.