Since its start, Hellions has been one of the most unique and interesting series of the Krakoa era of X-Men. Issue #16 is another strong entry, cementing this as one of the strongest runs in the line right now.
Hellions has always felt like a series with clear direction and in reading issue #16, one gets the sense that things actually are wrapping up. Sure, it’s never fun to see a good series end, but it’s worthwhile when the run gets a proper ending — and Hellions #16 is certainly setting up just that for the series.
Make no mistake, it’s quite a feat what Wells has managed to do with this run, making people care about characters they either had only apathy or disdain for before. Hellions has a sense of beautiful tragedy to it, making us not only care for these outcasts but empathize with them and crave more of their interactions.
Kwannon and Greycrow are certainly the emotional center of this story, both as a duo and as individuals. Kwannon’s scenes with Scott do a lot for her character, showcasing the turmoil in her heart. Greycrow’s scenes show us his sense of justifiable vengeance, how he wants to do right by Kwannon no matter the cost to him. It’s some really good stuff for the two of them and the way Wells has made such an intriguing narrative for the two of them has constantly been one of the highlights of Hellions.
Seeing the X-Men team pop up on Krakoa to handle this predicament is also really good for the narrative as a whole. It makes Krakoa feel more connected and it makes sense for the big superhero team to involve themselves in something as big as this. Seeing Scott and Emma interact like that felt like it was right out of the Utopia years, where the two of them would keep their secrets from everyone else because they know what’s best for their kind. Wells has actually made quite the compelling case for him as an Emma Frost writer throughout Hellions.
Emma and Manuel’s scenes are oddly heartwarming and tragic. Seeing Emma with any of the original Hellions is always a treat, all things considered, but her little deal with Manuel was one of Hellions‘ best surprises. It’s again, a testament to Wells’ ability to write these characters that I actually feel bad for Empath in these scenes, who seems hurt by the Hellions’ distrust in him. Segovia’s pencils really shine in these sequences as the way he draws their facial expressions so full of regret and sadness just perfectly hits the mark.
Hellions has always been wonderful at capturing these emotional moments between characters so subtley. Alex’s narrative also gets a lot of momentum in a great way — and yes, the Maddie plot is finally moving forwards, thanks to Emma Frost. It makes sense that Hellions as a story will not only end with the Madelyne plot reaching fulfillment but with the team disbanding. It’s bittersweet, but Wells knows exactly what he’s doing here.
Even Nanny and Orphanmaker get their fair share of development here — and who could have ever thought these two characters would get an arc before this title? The idea that Orphanmaker must finally “grow up” and Nanny is cutting the strings off him is actually really interesting stuff for the two of them — and once again, it’s a great example of how Wells is ending this story on his own terms.
Hellions #16 hits the emotional beats where it needs to and begins to wrap up the series on a holistic note. It’s sad to see the book go, but it’s clear Wells is doing this on his own terms, giving the series a chance to reach its natural conclusion. After all, isn’t that the best way to end a story? Segovia’s pencils capture the emotional intensity of these scenes perfectly, proving why this series is just as much his as Wells’.
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