Things really come to a head this week in Hellions #4 and it couldn’t come at a better time, with Madelyne Pryor on the verge of doing a very bad thing. In a decompressed, but wonderfully weird first story arc, Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia are playing with misfit mutants and we are all reaping the benefits. In the fourth issue, out this week, the story comes together nicely, not only wrapping up the first arc but setting up some major confrontations down the road.
This issue opens with Havok and Madelyn Pryor in the throes of passion as she appears to be opening a gate to Hell. Not a healthy place for a relationship to be. This sets up the impending danger so that we may cut back to the remaining team members — most of which have been maimed or worse, but are the last chance to stop Pryor. Wells and Segovia have done a good job setting up this final confrontation by taking some of the Hellions off the board so that others might rise up. We know Mr. Sinister is in charge, but by the end of this issue, it’s quite clear who the alpha members of this team are.
As characters attempt to avoid death by the hands of ex-Marauders, the chaotic and violent energy of the team gets to become a focal point. Similar to the excellently written first issue in the series, Wells makes a strong statement about how this team differs from your usual superhero outfit. Not only are they a bit bonkers, but they are totally aware of this and have to have a laugh because it’s just so crazy. That even includes Havok, who has quite an explosive moment in the issue that comes as a surprise since he always seems so strait-laced. This issue dispels that notion.
Segovia, with colors by David Curiel and letters by Ariana Maher, come together to create a sense of chaotic energy and weirdness. Nanny is by far one of the strangest mutants ever concocted and serves as a source of humor and matter-of-fact attitude. Similar to the weirdness of Nextwave, she brings to the team something you could only get in comics, and a lot of that energy comes from how she’s drawn. Other characters come off in strong, assertive ways, like Pyslocke’s determination or Pryor’s sultry yet conniving nature. Energy effects look great on Psylocke and might even change your mind about Havok. It’s just that cool.
Fans should not skip the data page and last scene, which altogether run five pages long. These scenes add a lot of weight to current fan-favorite mutants — there’s a key close up of Cyclops that’ll have you pondering for hours — and the future of the Hellions. In only four issues we’ve gotten a taste of each character and a general idea of what this team is all about, and I dare you not to want more when you put this book down. In fact, these pages save the book from falling prey to the decompression of the last two issues.
Hellions is the surprise contender in the X-Men line nobody saw coming, and coincidentally that’s exactly what this super-team is all about. Hellions #4 delivers on the decompressed previous two chapters, and makes for a promising first step for the next chapter. This series leans into the absurdity of its characters, somehow making the hot mess stick and making you want so much more.