On August 26, Marvel Comics released Hellions #3. Writer Zeb Wells, artist Stephen Segovia, color artist David Curiel, and letterer VC’s Ariana Maher continues the story of Krakoa’s rejects as they try to find a place in the new mutant society and face the wrath of Madelyne Pryor.
Thus far, Hellions is proving to be one of the darker, borderline horrific titles among the many X-books.
Several elements make this issue enjoyable, among them the way this series has touched so far upon the X-Men’s deep history. Not only does the action take place in the orphanage where Scott and Alex were raised in a basement cloning facility fun by Mr. Sinister, but this issue touches on the history of Sinister’s Marauders and their history with Madelyne Pryor. We also find Alex and Madelyne’s complex romantic history rekindled.
Readers learn about Pryor’s plans for Krakoa, and they are horrifying, driven by her desire not to be forgotten, which if you know anything about her character’s history, she has been given the shit end of the stick many times by both characters in the X-stories and by the creators themselves.
Meanwhile, while Psylocke is triumphant in her battle with Wild Child to establish her alpha status, seeds are planted in a prose section of this issue that indicates readers should keep an eye on Psylocke.
Hellions continues to be one of the strongest X-titles in terms of art, which, coupled with the mature subject matter and developed fleshed out characters, keeps it from being a cartoony looking quip fest between interchangeable characters who are silly or scowl.
The art in this issue causes Madelyne’s instability to pop and captures the sense of unhinged mania that drives her.
There are also entirely grotesque moments, such as when Alex decides to cut open his mouth (which Madelyne had sealed shut) with a piece of glass. The blood, the rigid shape of the cut, and the parts of skin connecting top and bottom lip all sell grossness of the image, reinforced with a tinge of horrific sexuality as Madelyne kisses Alex’s bloody mouth hole. Maher’s letters complement this moment, using them to indicate Alex’s slurred speech due to the imperfect opening he has created to talk. One can almost hear wet slurping every time he speaks.
There are also some beautiful moments of subtle emotion, such as the sadness on Madelyne’s face and the tears streaming down Alex’s eyes as he agrees to allow Madelyne to kill him to send a message to his brother Scott for leaving Madelyne all those years ago.
Hellions #3 certainly requires some knowledge of the X-canon to fully appreciate, but the darkness of its story and its horror lands nicely. It will be interesting to see how Alex recovers from his encounter with Madelyne Pryor, and how the Hellions will be affected in future stories.
What did you think of Hellions #3? Tell us in the comments below!