The Hellions try to escape the clutches of Madelyne Pryor and the Quiet Council makes a controversial decision.

Review: HELLIONS #4 – A Real Girl

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Marvel Comics releases Hellions #4 on September 16. Writer Zeb Wells, artist Stephen Segovia, colorist David Curiel, and letterer VC’s Ariana Maher bring the mission in Sinister’s old cloning lab to a close and demonstrates that some wounds may be too deep to heal.

spoilers ahead

Congratulations to the creative team for this issue! They took Madelyne Pryor, a terrifying villain with a horrifying plan for Krakoa, and by the end of the issue, made me feel sorry for her. Madelyne’s character history has been one of tragedy, being constantly hurt, forgotten, and left behind, always being in the shadow of Jean Grey.

Madelyne’s story is made even more tragic in the end when the Quiet Council refuses to grant her resurrection. Scott’s revelation that the council doesn’t want to resurrect a clone of Jean (the implication being that she isn’t a unique person) makes Madelyne’s last words all the more tragic.

Segovia’s art humanizes Madelyne as Maher’s letters convey the tragic sadness of Madelyne’s existence.

When Scott informs Alex of the council’s decision, Alex asks Scott what HE wants, and all he can do is stare.

Segovia and Curiel are able to capture the unease in Cyclops’s face. He was, after all, the one who first abandoned Madelyne for the “real” Jean Grey. This image does a good job conveying the complexity of Scott’s feelings, even his behind the deep red of his glasses.

This issue is, in many ways, a tribute to all the people that Mr. Sinister has hurt: Scott, Alex, Madelyne, Greycrow, and the original Marauders.

All is not lost though. As he watches (and takes pleasure in) Alex and Scott’s painful conversation, Sinister is approached by Nanny, who informs him that a reckoning is coming. That, and Beast’s ominous note about Psylocke from last issue, along with Alex’s disagreement with the Quiet Council’s decision, may indicate that the Hellions are on a collision course with Krakoa’s rules.

What did you think of Hellions #4? Tell us in the comments below!

Matthew Brake
Matthew Brake is the series editor for the book series Theology and Pop Culture from Lexington Books. He is also the co-editor of the forthcoming Religion and Comics series from Claremont Press. He holds degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy from George Mason University. He also writes for Sequart and the Blackwell Popular Culture and Philosophy blog.


  1. Hi! I found this issue incredibly disturbing, especially given the fact that the woman presently calling herself “Jean Grey” is a clone of the “real” Jean. The difference between “Jean” and “Madelyne” (both product of Sinister’s technology), at a physiological level, is non-existent. Yet one gets to continue to exist while the other -who clearly had become a separate human being by virtue of her unique and tragic life experiences – is left, once again, to rot. The treatment of Madelyne Pryor by all of the characters in the X-Men – but especially Scott – is truly reprehensible. In the present situation, where the X-Men are more unlikable and, quite frankly, evil than they have ever been, it is that much easier to feel that Madelyne deserves her retribution against these truly horrible people.

    • Yeah. I agree with you about Madelyne’s treatment. She is clearly her own person. The longer Krakoa goes on, the longer I’m sure we’ll see cracks in this “mutant utopia” emerge. And yeah, given the mutant nation’s treatment of her, all of a sudden her anger makes more sense.

      I’m not sure “evil” is necessarily the right word. Some of their actions make sense as a group of people who have been historically persecuted and now have the option of now taking crap from folks anymore. That said, Scott’s treatment of Madelyne has historically been awful. Beast is going full on fascist (so yeah, I’ll give you evil there). The incorporation of their enemies into their governance (the various mutant factions) has not been without consequences (like the crucible). I’m sure there’s some nuanced Op-Ed waiting to be written…

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