“It is folly to create an Eden, if one has no use for snakes.”
Ever since the X-men became a country of mutants in House of X/Powers of X, I’ve been enjoying almost all of the current titles. Every book feels focused and meaningful in a way they never have before with Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia continuing that wave of excellence.
Hellions is the X-men’s Thunderbolts or Suicide Squad. The team is mostly psychotic mutants struggling to find their place in the new mutant society. The whole villains as good guys thing isn’t exactly new ground, but writer Zeb Wells keeps it fun exploring a range of characters I wasn’t all that familiar with.
I’ve been reading X-men for years and I had to look up several of Hellion’s cast. Some of them were in only a few issues of X-men stories more than a decade ago and this worried me at first. I thought I’d struggle to get invested in this cast of mutants. But Zeb Wells does an excellent job of creating chemistry between each Hellion and more importantly credible motivations that kept me turning pages.
Stephen Segovia’s art is awesome as well. The character expressions are wonderfully drawn, especially when it comes to the eyes. So many artists can draw epic battles but struggle to illuminate clear facial reactions. Not so here. Segovia’s panels are riveting for both the action and character moments.
Without spoiling anything, Mr. Sinister has some leftover lab work run amuck and sends Psychoke and the Hellions to wipe everything out. Naturally, things go awry and the Hellions end up way over their heads. It’s a fantastic roller coaster ride from beginning to end.
If I had a complaint, it’s that one of the characters is MIA for most of the story. He’s written out purely to keep the story’s tension alive and this irritated me. Zeb Wells could’ve easily introduced the character in a later issue or another story arc and no one would’ve been the wiser. This decision felt lazy in a story that was anything but.
It’s a minor complaint though in a comic that is by and large balls to walls fun. If you’ve been loving the X-men’s new direction, Hellions is yet another reason to celebrate.