“Krakoa is for all mutants.” That’s the promise of the X-men following their new status quo in House/Powers Of X. Almost every mutant is willing to compromise and co-exist in paradise, but what happens to the ones that don’t? Where do you put the villains? That answer finally arrives in the form of Hellions #1, written by Zeb Wells, with art by Stephen Segovia, colors by David Curiel, letters by Cory Petit, and designs by Tom Muller.
I admit I have a soft spot for Alex Summers. So often has he been mistreated at the hands of writers unsure what to do with him, or just poorly characterized. He’s a good person, I swear, but he’s been having a very rough time since his time in Uncanny Avengers. He needs a clean slate to erase the stigma associated with him these days, and I’m hopeful this will be the book to do it. It’s clear that some characters look at him through a warped lens however, less trusting and speaking to him like a child, despite his storied past with the X-men.
This looks troubling, absolutely. Is Havok heading down a dark path again? Perhaps, but more likely, is that he’s being controlled by something or someone. Cory Petit’s lettering here really leans into how unhinged Alex is at the moment. But more than that, the lettering is also indicative that there’s a shift in his character, that he’s doing something that is explicitly out-of-character. It’s a brilliant choice to get readers talking about the potential implications of this outburst of rage. It’s brutal as hell and gorgeous to look at to boot.
Raising Some Hell(ions)
Havok’s outburst puts him in some very interesting company as a result. Present here are: Nanny, Orphan-maker, Wild Child, Empath, and the poorly-named Scalphunter. They’ve all been gathered before the Quiet Council to determine what exactly should be done with them.
The price of paradise is that while not everyone may necessarily deserve it, Krakoa is their birthright. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but they really mean it when they say every mutant belongs on Krakoa, no exceptions. Does this mean they need to find a way to work into mutant society and defy what they are, or should mutant society bend for them to make it work? Hellions #1 would have you believe their nature is not to be defied or condemned.
The Anniversary Of The Mutant Massacre
If you’ve been an X-men fan for a good chunk of time, the odds are you’re familiar with the Mutant Massacre. Sinister’s Marauders at the time, sacked the tunnels of the Morlocks and butchered them, in one of the darkest moments of X-history.
Hellions #1 takes place on the anniversary of this horrible event. For too much of Dawn Of X thus far, we’ve skirted around the fact that there are actual villains on Krakoa. These are people who have committed astonishingly horrifying acts, on a grand scale even, just like the massacre. And yet, they sit around in paradise without having to pay the price for what they’ve done? Well, the time has come for characters to come to blows over it, courtesy of Callisto and the Morlocks confronting Scalphunter on the beach. There’s a catharsis here that feels great to see.
A Sinister Proposition
Who else but Sinister could give these monsters and freaks a purpose? Wells absolutely nails the voice for Sinister in a way you can’t help but be helplessly charmed by. Could you even blame the Quiet Council for listening to him? Of course not, you’d absolutely do the same. Hellions #1 posits that these chaotic mutants are a resource. Given the very specific circumstances, the team can flourish and accomplish things no one else on Krakoa would want to, or is capable of. Can Hellions keep coming up with missions that necessitate this team? That will be the real question going down the road.
The Art of Hellions #1
Dawn Of X has been littered with all sorts of heavy-duty artistic talent, and Hellions is no exception. Stephen Segovia kills these pages with a style that gels incredibly well with books like Marauders and Excalibur. Emotion absolutely seethes out of these pages, with tensions running so high among characters throughout the issue. I can feel the energy crackling when Wild Child leaps at the page, or when Beast fights Orphan-maker, and especially Havok busting loose.
David Curiel only enhances what Segovia is bringing to the table, bringing a sharpness and a flourish that makes Hellions #1 absolutely sing.
Should You Read Hellions #1?
I will admit, I was skeptical when this book was announced. Throwing together such an eclectic group of mutants seemingly randomly just didn’t quite hit for me. Here I sit now, with egg on my face, absolutely giddy with excitement at what this creative team has wrought. This is the series for the problem children of Krakoa. Sinister is at the helm with Psylocke playing babysitter, opening up about some incredibly fun character moments and dialogue. You can feel just how much fun Wells had cooking this up and I hope it continues to permeate the book as we go along.
Truly, this is one of the best debuts in the Dawn Of X overall, and a feather in the cap of everyone who made this book happen. This is really something special to behold. It’s fresh and exciting and delivers exactly what I would love to be seeing more of in the X-line. Plus, the last page is just to die for. I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come and I hope you are too.