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'Hellions' #18 ends the series on an emotional, interesting note
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Hellions’ #18 ends the series on an emotional, interesting note

Hellions ends the series just as it began: it’s emotional, it’s weird, and it’s delightful.

Since its launch, Hellions was both the underdog and sleeper hit of the X-Men relaunch. Now that the series has reached its conclusion, it’s safe to say that it’s the closest to perfect an X-Men series has been in the Krakoa era.

Hellions reaches this perfect note by being a book about a group of outcasts and unlikely allies who also operate as a family, and no issue makes this clearer than #18. When Orphan-Maker is brought in for judgment after killing humans, all the Hellions gather around and fight the Council on their determination. Since he broke one of the three laws, he’s sentenced to the pit.

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Kurt gives a nice speech which feels really in character for him. That’s the thing about Wells’ writing — he can write just about any X-character and do a great job. It makes him one of the most versatile writers in the office right now. There’s some great drama in these scenes, between the high emotion of the Hellions, the lawmaking process, and even the X-Men’s intervention.

When Orphan-Maker is sentenced to the pit, there’s a scene with Nanny that’s as weird as you expect from the two of them, but also oddly emotional. This is the exact moment of the comic where you once again have to applaud Zeb Wells for making you care about the strangest, most random group of characters an X-Men book has seen in years. Because my god, do you get attached to this group of misfits.

Plenty points of this comic feel less like an ending and more like a beginning. Madelyne’s resurrection, for starters, feels like the start of a whole new plot just waiting to unfold. There’s also brewing tensions with Sinister and the rest of the Council, as well as hints that Sinister’s dastardly deeds aren’t yet done — and he’s got his sights on some major players now.

Hellions #18

Marvel Comics

The only downside of this comic isn’t even Hellions‘ fault entirely — it’s Scott mentioning Jean. He says one of the complications about Madelyne’s resurrection is the person he’s “married” to and this is when I suddenly remember that Scott and Jean reconciled entirely and remarried off-panel, which is still incredibly odd and annoying. Aside from Jean and Scott being better apart (even with whatever open relationship deal is going on with Logan and Emma in the mix), it’s just a weird thing to do off-panel — I’ve literally never seen any comic book character remarry anyone off-panel. Was it a Krakoan wedding? What do those look like (since that would be worldbuilding of mutant culture)? Would that be legally binding if Krakoa were to crash down? Did they even get remarried or is this still their marriage from the first time around since they didn’t technically get divorced before Jean died (though you’d think the “till death do us part” clause nullified that)?

But that isn’t Hellions‘ fault so it’s not fair to knock this title for that.

However, it’s also where I remember that Jean Grey’s entire involvement with Madelyne Pryor has happened off-page. Jean was on the Council when the original vote to keep Madelyne dead was reached, and that’s probably the most interesting story Hellions never told. Reading Scott and Alex’s interaction here, I can’t help but think how interesting it would have been to see Jean there instead. Or since Scott was there, why not reference his own complicated history with his first wife instead of glossing over it? It seems like a lot of Madelyne’s history with these key members of the X-Men is kind of ignored here and that’s weird to me. Hopefully, whatever title touches on Madelyne’s future utilizes these relationships and ties as well.

Hellions has, for the most part, told Madelyne’s story entirely through Alex’s narrative — and that seems like a bit of a missed opportunity to tell Maddie’s story through her own terms more effectively.

The final pages of Hellions are a touching moment between Kwannon and Greycrow, the emotional backbone of this series. It ends the series on a hopeful note and quite frankly, a happy one. You’re happy to see these two finally at peace and you’re glad they’ve found each other. Kwannon and Greycrow are easily two of the characters who have benefitted the most from the Krakoan era and I’ll miss their bond for sure.

Hellions ends the series just as it began: it’s emotional, it’s weird, and it’s delightful. The writing hits the beats it needs to and the art is perfectly serviceable to get the job done.

'Hellions' #18 ends the series on an emotional, interesting note
‘Hellions’ #18 ends the series on an emotional, interesting note
Hellions #18
Hellions ends the series just as it began: it's emotional, it's weird, and it's delightful.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Ends the series on a great note
It's emotional, weird, and a total delight -- just as Hellions always has been
The character work is great here
The series ends on a note that feels like a new beginning, setting up many threads
Madelyne's plot has been almost entirely about Alex instead of her and her relationships to anyone else are just glossed over
9.5
Great

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