There are a lot of questions surrounding Hellions, even after reading Zeb Wells’ answers in this week’s X-Men Monday. For instance, is this a follow up to Fallen Angels? What’s the deal with this wacky team of killers? What does a team like this even do when you already have X-Force, the Marauders, and X-Men? We find that out and more in Wells and Stephen Segovia’s first issue in a tantalizingly exciting first issue.
This comic knocked my socks off and then some. So often with new teams featuring crazy lineups, the effect is a bit cheap as we see the characters interact and then get bored almost instantly. Not so here, especially since the book does a lot of work to establish each character and how dangerous they are. From recklessly sociopathic to downright crazy, Wells and Segovia do a great job establishing the untethered nature of the members. The team is introduced well via a critical action scene to start the book and a heavy dose of opinions from the quiet council. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but these two elements add a lot of weight to the book and help bring purpose to the team coming together at all.
As far as teams go, this book is quite fascinating. The book delivers on a strong message about the nature and mutant abilities of these characters and how best to proceed in a world where all mutants must be accepted. Wells hooks us into this via key data pages and a fantastic rendition of Mr. Sinister. Fans of Psylocke should also very much enjoy how she’s being used, and anyone doubting Fallen Angels‘ purpose should get some respite knowing that series did matter. It’s also quite clear Wells has a great handle on Marvel history and all the characters here, too. The Summers brothers, for instance, have a deep bond, and it’s interesting to see how that is played up. Other characters clearly have issues with each other and it’ll be interesting to see how the backstories of these characters are explored going forward.
The art by Segovia, with colors by David Curiel and letters by Cory Petit, is sharp as ever, giving the book a clean and dynamic feel in its action and its character drama. The art is at an event-level caliber in sharpness and dynamic storytelling. Character expressions work when it matters most and the attitude, craziness, and befuddlement comes through clearly when it needs to. This is a group of misfits and murderers and you gather that from the sociopathic nature of some characters and the reactions of those a little saner.
The only crime this book commits is that it wasn’t a Dawn of X book when the X-titles launched. This book is well written, well drawn, and unique when compared to the rest of the titles in the X-Men line. Do not pass on this book if you like a good surprise every few pages. Hellions is a macabre X-Men tale unveiling a menagerie of freak-show characters that work to deliver pure comic book delight.