Hellions #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Zeb Wells, art by Stephan Segovia, colors by David Curiel and letters by Corey Petit. In this debut issue we see that with mutants flocking to Krakoa, there were bound to be some that don’t play well with others. These mutants, due to the nature of their mutations or their life experiences, have not been able to integrate into society easily. Rather than implement the long tried practices of imprisonment or medication, Mr. Sinister proposes a different solution: Leading them as a team. In Hellions, this team will go on missions with no chance of civilian contact, and that might allow them to work through some of their aggression. This allows them to give back to society in a constructive way, I mean, it’s not like Mr. Sinister would ever harbor a secret agenda…
With Hellions #1 marking my first foray into the post-Hickman X-Men universe, there is a lot to take in. While there is a bit of disorientation, the book does a good job of letting the story get the reader familiarized with how life on Krakoa runs. From the chamber of the ruling Quiet Council, Wells introduces the reader to the newest team of mutants. As each character is introduced we see a brief backstory explaining why they have found themselves brought there.
Some mutants are there because their mutation has made it so that they struggle to adequately adapt to their new surroundings, while others have past actions that make it so many of the other residents may find it difficult to cohabitate with them. However, in every case, the council sees problems arising from just letting them live on Krakoa. That said, the Quiet Council loathes the use of human practices of medication or imprisonment for disruptions of the peace. Instead, they decide to let Mr. Sinister try to help them through life-threatening missions. So long as they are not a threat to the public, violence is a reasonable solution to the mission, and that there be therapeutic value in their violence.
Hellions #1 puts me in an awkward place with this concept. While I’m not for the overuse of meds or incarceration to handle those who struggle to fit into society, sending such individuals into harm’s way, under the tender hand of Mr. Sinister no less, seems like a terrible, and frankly inhumane, answer to their situation. But, with all this playing out through Hellions #1, Wells does a good job of giving the deliberations their proper weight.
The decision by the Quiet Council to make the team, whether one agrees with them or not, are not made lightly. There is a lot of earnestness in the pages from characters on both sides of the discussion. This is particularly true of Cyclops. Whose concern for his brother being forced to participate in this new endeavor is palpable. While the concept, in general, doesn’t sit well with me, Wells has established enough interest in the various characters and themes to make me want to see where this tale is going. I don’t feel comfortable condemning this story at this point and I need to see where it leads to first.
The artistic presentation in Hellions #1 is excellent. Segovia’s art puts the reader in the thick of every moment. Never shying away from the close-up shots. This creates a very tight and tense atmosphere, to the point that I felt mildly uncomfortable in some moments – and not in a bad way. I felt as if I were in the story itself. As character discussions go back and forth, the angles are chosen, and the sequence they are presented in made it feel like it was all around me. Like I was turning my head back forth to keep up with it all.
The art in Hellions #1 is lent further weight to it through Curiel’s colors. The scenes are draped in darker tones that bring the moments a feeling of foreboding. This is especially true of the scenes within the council chamber itself.
When all is said and done I can not deny the quality of the creative team’s work on Hellions #1. The writing it emotional and deep, just as the art is superbly executed to match it. It’s just the main theme that worries me. Grouping together individuals based on their being viewed as potential “problem” and sending them into deadly peril seems like the sort of concept the bad guys would do. It’s almost like the X-Men have decided to Suicide Squad those they don’t know what to do with and I just don’t know how I feel about that.
Hellions #1 is available March 25th wherever comics are sold.
I can not deny the quality of the creative teams work on this project. The writing it emotional and deep, just as the art is superbly executed to match it. It’s just the main theme that worries me.