Hellions #1 Review
Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Stephen Segovia
32 pages for $4.99
Solicit: BAD IS THE NEW GOOD!
When Krakoa opened their doors to all mutants and forgave all past crimes, they might have known they’d have to accept some of their worst foes into the fold… but they didn’t plan for what to do with them. Not to worry-Mister Sinister knows what to do with the troublemakers. Meet his new Hellions: Scalphunter, Wild Child, Empath, Nanny, Orphanmaker, Psylocke…and Havok?! Under Sinister’s direction, they are sure to become productive members of mutant society. Writer Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, NEW MUTANTS) and artist Stephen Segovia (WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY, SUPERIOR CARNAGE) bring you the team you’re going to hate to love!
When this book was announced, Matt and I wondered how the hell anything Marvel was pitching made any sense at all. But writer Zeb Wells, who got his start making funny comic book parody videos in the early 2000s, totally makes it work. This is a Who’s Who of characters that fascinated me when I read about them in the Marvel Universe Handbook (Update ‘89) as a kid. Wild Child is a bargain-basement Sabretooth clone from the pages of Alpha Flight that would have faded into complete obscurity if it wasn’t for the Age of Apocalypse. Scalphunter is a stoic killer that hasn’t been used effectively in almost 35 years. Nanny and Orphan Maker almost defy description. Wells takes each of these blank slates and gives them really compelling backstories, as told against the backdrop of the new Krakoan paradigm.
Alex “Havok” Summers, Marvel’s favorite red-headed stepchild is here, with something clearly wrong with his mind. I’m no fan of the company’s constant portrayal of Havok as incompetent or evil, but it’s obvious that what’s happening with him is part of the larger story, so I’m willing to go along for the ride. Add in some dubious insight from Mister Sinister and Psylocke, and a team mandate to be Krakoa’s “bull in a china shop,” and you get a refreshing twist on something like X-Force’s mutant kill squad of recent years.
The art by Segovia and color artist David Curiel is beautifully brutal. Segovia excels at dynamic action scenes as well as quieter moments, like the standoff between Scalphunter and a group of Morlocks on the anniversary of the Mutant Massacre. Curiel’s soft colors do a wonderful job setting or shifting the mood of a scene, such as during Havok’s unexpected heel turn (wrestling reference!).
Hellions #1 makes a strong case for a seemingly dodgy concept, thanks to the excellent work of a group of talented creators and a goofy cast of characters that you can’t help but root for.
Rating: BUY IT
You can hear this review and what Matt had to say about Hellions #1 on episode 566 of the show!