REVIEW: Hellions #5: Bad Bargains in Otherworld

So just HOW do the Hellions play into X of Swords? That’s a question that has been plaguing me since we found out exactly what the crossover is going to entail in X of Swords: Creation. Hellions #5 gives us an answer to how this band of misfit mutants plays into the sword tournament when none of them are participating.

Hellions #5

Carmen Carnero (artist), David Curiel (colors), Sunny Gho (cover), VC’s Ariana Maher (letters), Tom Muller (design), Stephen Segovia (cover), Zeb Wells (writer)
Marvel Comics
October 14, 2020

The Hellions walking through a gate, lead by Psylocke on the Hellions #5 cover

So the big question coming into this issue was why this book was in the crossover at all. After Creation and X-Factor set the stakes for the event, we had a clear cut idea of what was going to be happening, and it didn’t seem to involve any of this team. Psylocke is a sword fighter for sure, but she’s not one of the nine Krakoan mutants selected for the tournament. But it turns out that the council has other ideas for how to win this thing without losing anyone. Sinister suggests that via subterfuge they could send the Hellions in and steal the swords of Arakko, thus forcing a forfeit. Sinister’s ego gets in the way as he insults Polaris in front of Magneto, and gets tasked with being the field leader this time around.

Sinister arguing with Magneto in Hellions #5
Real stupid to insult Polaris in front of Magneto

And while their mission is incredibly dangerous now that we know the stakes of death in Otherworld, Zeb Wells does not let this stop him from producing one of the funniest books in the line. The issue is chock full of humor, both in running jokes and in subtle gags. One of the funniest bits is the introduction of Sinister’s secret clone farm, and his backup clones, one of whom he’s intending to send in his stead. They play Rock, Paper, Scissors for his cape, and even by the end of the issue, it’s not clear if the original or the clone won.

This brought up what I think could be a loophole in the broken resurrection protocols. If you were to put a clone through early to have them on standby, the original dying in Otherworld might not break the protocols. The only reason they don’t want to do something like that is the idea of individuality, but being as these are unique circumstances? I’d be willing to risk it. The problem of what to do with the extra after the tournament is something that is a problem for the future Council.

Since the Otherworld Gate was broken, the team has to go through Avalon (and we get a fantastic Tini Howard-written data page about Avalon – the Otherworld data pages are one of my absolute favorite things from the event). In doing so they have to barter with Avalon’s king, Jamie Braddock, and wind up with Princess Silkmane in exchange for Sinister’s plumage.

King Jamie in Hellions #5
The prettiest Jamie has ever looked

Empath has returned and is just as godawfully insufferable as ever. He agrees to save the team, but only if he can make “Greycrow” his pet. This is going to end poorly for him, but at the moment it’s the concession that Sinister has made.

Carmen Carnero is the guest artist for this issue, and she’s a wonderful fit for the book. Her facial expressions are extremely emotive, and her body language is spectacular. She makes everyone extremely pretty, even King Jamie.

The mission has not gone completely to pot yet, but I have a distinct feeling that it will. Things have a habit of spiraling out of control for this team already, and I feel like we’re definitely going to lose at least one of them on this trip, but as of Hellions #5, everything is going relatively smooth.


Cori McCreery

Cori McCreery

Cori is a life long comic nerd residing in Northern California. A life long Supergirl and DC Comics fan, she is the DC Comics Beat Reporter for Women Write About Comics.