Review: Hellions #1 (2020)

Sinister mood(s).

Written by Zeb Wells, Art by Stephen Segovia

Last year, Marvel released the Dawn of X a relaunch of the X-Men books. No longer are the X-Men being based out of Xavier's school for gifted youngsters, fighting their arch-nemesis Magneto and prejudice against their mutant status all in the name of equality. They are known to live on Krakoa, a living paradise the X-men turned into a mutant-nation where every mutant is welcome including their former enemies. Even if you agree with this new direction or not, there is no denying that the X-Men relaunch has been a success and the X-Men comics are back on top in terms of popularity. The newest series to launch is Hellions, which asks the question: what if the X-Men had their own Suicide Squad?

The basic plot of the issue is simple. After Havok, the brother of Cyclops snaps during a mission and almost kills a bunch of people, the Quiet Council discusses what to do with him and other unstable mutants like him. On the one hand, Krakoa promises a safe haven for all mutants, on the other hand, these mutants are a danger to themselves and everyone around them. Mr. Sinister is the one to propose a solution to this: put them on a team where they can be their unstable selves while Mr. Sinister will guide and try to rehabilitate them, though it is clear that he is using this opportunity to further his own, nefarious, goals.

While the basic plot might be a bit derivative and is filled with set-up, where it really signs is the writing and the artwork. The character work is superb, the character each have their own recognizable voice and Wells is capable of writing both tension-filled moments and exchanges and humorour moments without making the two clash. Mr. Sinister is especially a joy to read, his sass is dialled up to eleven yet he remains as threatening as ever. Segovia compliments beautifully. It is a blend of realism mixed in with bright and colourful colours and dynamic poses capable of supporting both the drama and humorous moments. Where the book falters is that there is quite a bit of exposition going on, maybe a bit too much and that the white info pages that break the pacing and aren't always that interesting to read though this is an issue present in the entire X-Men line.

Conclusion

While the basic concept, which is essentially Suicide Squad but with mutants, might not be a little derivative, this first issue of Hellions shows promise. Its good character work, art and its ability to balance its drama with humour makes it a worthy addition to the X-Men line up and has a promising future ahead.

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