“Nightcrawler’s Inferno,” X-Men Annual #4 (1980)

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“Dr. Strange, Storm, Colossus and Wolverine wake up next to Nightcrawler, all of them lying in front of a massive door with a verse of Dante’s Inferno inscribed on it: ‘Abandon every hope, ye that enter.’ Dr. Strange leads them through the door to help preserve Nightcrawler’s soul, and warns them that the march to Margali will be long and hard. They are picked up at the shore of the noxious River Acheron by Charon, the boatman. He transports them to the chamber of Minos the demon, who taunts the X-Men. A giant tentacle swings around and grabs Nightcrawler, flinging him far out into the distance. Storm gives chase and catches up to him, floating over the second circle of Hell, where many lost souls spend eternity. A cadre of harpies fly down, and though Storm valiantly fights back, they stab her in the back with a spear, sending her hurtling down into a whirlpool.

“Nightcrawler teleports back to Minos’ chamber, unaware that Storm is missing. Minos chortles that Storm has been sent to her appropriate circle of Hell, and they must go save her to get her back. Dr. Strange senses still no presence of evil, but an abiding hatred that Margoli–master of this reality–has for Nightcrawler. They set out to help Storm and are attacked by Cerberus, the three-headed dog. They fight him off, but continue their march forward to a great wall guarded by demons. They try to gain the top of the wall, but they are knocked back. Colossus puts himself through the ultimate test of his strength to pry the flaming wall open so they can walk through. There, they find themselves at the precipice of Malabolge [sic], the eighth circle of hell, where Storm’s soul is held captive. In a writhing pit of human flesh and giant reptiles, they spot what they think is Storm. But it is really a demon clad in her costume. Wolverine’s senses sniff out the real storm, stuck in the form of a reptile. Storm is able to change back to her real self, but is very disturbed from the experience!

“Their next move is to the ninth circle of hell, to face Satan himself. A bolt of black lightning flashes down to Nightcrawler, encasing him in ice.”   —Marvel Masterworks