Having launched just before everything went off the rails in the industry, Hellions was one of the more intriguing series for the newly relaunched X-Men line-up. The series brought together various troubled mutants into a version of their own Suicide Squad. Unlike that team of villains, this was a team of unrepentant monsters with a body count that piled high against mutants and humans. In Hellions #2 the dysfunctional team has been sent to deal with one of Mr. Sinister’s cloning labs housed in the basement of the orphanage where Havok grew up.
The first issue of Hellions was fantastic. It introduced us to the rogue gallery in a fairly common cinematic way. But, it did so with a wink and nod and an attempt to have some fun with it. It also threw in some philosophical debate as to whether these were individuals who could be rehabilitated at all. What would justice for each look like? Writer Zeb Wells shifts away from that a bit in Hellions #2. Instead of the bigger picture of restorative justice, the issue focuses more on how the team interacts and functions as a unit. The answer is not well at all.
What’s fascinating, and fantastic, about Hellions #2 is Wells ability to blend together so many different tones and aspects. There’s horror, comedy, social commentary, and of course action. Things go sideways on the mission from the initial meeting with local law enforcement to the horror awaiting the team within the orphanage. Wells nails the horror tone as the team meets their adversaries and we get even more information as to Mr. Sinister’s clone program’s past. The comic would have been top-notch just focused on the action with a horror spin but Wells adds in humor to it as well. This is a team of misfits and the inclusion of Orphan-Maker and Nanny deliver a one-two punch of laughs that are unexpected in two sequences, one extended to that perfect punchline.
A lot of the success of the comic is due to Stephen Segovia‘s art along with David Curiel‘s color and Cory Petit‘s lettering. The art style and coloring create a creepy and ominous tone but it also delivers the humor as well. You get the sense of horror the Hellions experience as they’re descended upon by their foes. You can see the unease as they’re confronted by what lies in the shadows. There’s also the visible physical pain as well as they get the crap beat out of them. You’ll also laugh as Nanny roles around on the ground unable to stand up. The art nails it in delivering the action but also delivers physical humor as well. The lettering is key to setting the tone as it changes with the foes invoking a “zombie-like” vibe. It’s a subtle but important aspect of the comic.
Hellions #2 is a fantastic issue. While it moves away from the weightier aspects set up in its debut, it entertains delivering a lot of action and some laughs. It’s been a long wait since the first issue but it’s been more than worth it.
Story: Zeb Wells Art: Stephen Segovia
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review