Comic Review – “HELLIONS” #1
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Cover Artist(s): Stephen Segovia
“It is folly to create an Eden, if one has no use for snakes.”
– Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler
As part of the new “Dawn of X” relaunch, all the X-Men titles, beginning with “House of X” and “Powers of X”, have been rebooted in the Marvel Universe, making way for a new era of mutant-centered stories with “X-Men”, “Excalibur”, “Marauders”, “X-Force”, “Wolverine” and now “Hellions”. With the “Dawn of X” relaunch, all X-Men titles now revolve around the new X-Men and their establishing of a mutant society on the island of Krakoa. Along with some old enemies, like Magneto and Apocalypse, who’ve become allies, the island-nation is governed by the Quiet Council consisting of Professor Xavier and Magneto, and X-Force serves as the CIA for the new nation, with Wolverine as the de facto leader.
With this latest release, Marvel’s ever-increasing list of X-Men titles grows. This newest team (and I use the term loosely) is comprised of the most undesirable mutants in the X-Men universe, just one step above the lowly Morlocks. Now that the island of Krakoa has become a utopia for all mutants (and I do mean ALL the mutants). Unfortunately that does include many of the misfit mutants, as well as some of the X-Men’s worst foes.
After a group of X-men led by Wolverine engages a group of criminals who are trafficking military-grade weapons to be sold to the Hellfire Cult, Havok and Nightcrawler are severely wounded by an explosion and Havoc almost kills one of them before he is stopped by Wolverine (of all people). Later on Krakoa, the Quiet Council, made up of Professor X, Magneto, Jean Grey, Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister, must decide exactly what to do with this latest batch of mutants in the Circle of Judgment. The mutants in question are of course Havoc and Wild Child (but without Sabretooth), along with a few other obscure characters, like Scalphunter, Orphan-Maker and Nanny. What begins is a 40-page diatribe on each mutant and what exactly they did wrong in their former lives, from murder, psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies, or just plain refusing to take their meds. After all is said and done, these mutant miscreants are sent on a mission led (or babysat) by Kwannon, aka Psylocke, to Mr. Sinister’s Orphanage, the State Home for Foundlings, to destroy his clone farm for some reason.
On the subject of Krakoa, this whole idea of a new utopia for mutants is undoubtedly doomed to fail. Much like the biblical references to Eden made by Nightcrawler (the most pious of the X-Men), the term utopia (which literally means “no place”) was coined by 16th century Sir Thomas More, who envisioned a “fictional” perfect society both personal, political, economic, and social. Although mutants in X-Men are considered to be Homo Sapiens Superior (especially by Magneto and Apocalypse) the realization that mutants are just as human and imperfect as, well, humans, and when imperfect humans attempt perfection, they fail.
While “Hellions” #1 sets up a new team of misfits, this first issue tries to set up a new storyline that has connections that go back to the 1980s, specifically referencing the events in the X-Men stories “Mutant Massacre” and “Inferno”. This also adds another layer to the already piled on and convoluted story of “Dawn of X”. While the X-Men has certainly been one of Marvel’s most popular franchises, over the years the continuing discontinuity of stories from the Chris Claremont era and beyond to the “Age of Apocalypse”. This latest “Dawn of X” was seen as a relaunch initiative, but not necessarily a reboot in the new status quo. Even the current continuity cannot ignore 50 years’ worth of stories in the X-Men’s long narrative. It will be interesting to see where this goes, particularly for fans of the 1980’s ‘X-Men’ and ‘X-Factor’ as this creative team of writer Zeb Wells (“Amazing Spider-Man”, “New Mutants”) and artist Stephen Segovia (Wolverine: Manifest Destiny”, “Superior Carnage), delves into one of the darkest times in X-Men history.
Written by Dave Whiteman, a Native Texan, Metalhead🤘, Writer, Star Woid, Funatic, and all-around Fanboy/Nerd/Geek! 👓