When last we left our decrepit band of misfits, they were in the insipid clutches of the maniacal Arcade. While they struggle through their own greatest desires and fears, Arcade holds their boss-man captive in an effort to get his own clone farm. Hellions #11 resolves this plot for now, letting the series get ready for next month’s Hellfire Gala.
Rain Beredo (cover), David Curiel (colors), Ariana Maher (letters), Tom Muller (design), Stephen Segovia (art and cover), Zeb Wells (writer)
May 5, 2021
This review contains spoilers for Hellions #11.
As much as I’m loving the current X-Line, I do have to say that the skip months that have been built into the release schedules of the books in the first half of the year have really had a damaging effect on pacing of their storylines. In April, the skip month hit my two favorite books of the line, X-Factor and Hellions, and really took the wind out of their sails. At least in the case of X-Factor, the skip month came at the end of an arc, while for Hellions it came right in the middle of one, making us wait two months for the conclusion, and making it so the previous issue was much less fresh in our heads. While I know that the skip months are a way for Marvel to alleviate some stress on the retailers during this unprecedented pandemic, it’s still a bit of a burden for the story to shoulder.
Onto the story itself. Segovia, Curiel, Maher, and Wells are all still on top of their games here, delivering one of the surprisingly best books in the entire line. Arcade is absolutely devilish in this issue, and Segovia draws superbly punchable sneers on his stupid face. This is the issue that dives a bit deeper into his plan for a clone army. The data page is the exceptionally black humor that we’ve come to expect from Zeb Wells, and thoroughly establishes the kind of monster that Arcade is.
Hellions #11 also develops the interesting Kwannon and Greycrow romance, which is something I never ever expected, but is being done incredibly well. I especially love the character work that Wells has done to rehabilitate Greycrow, one of those characters I never actually expected to be salvaged. But that’s the beauty of this series: it provides depth and growth for characters who had never had that opportunity. Who knew coming into this that Nanny, Orphan Maker, and Greycrow would shoot to the top of people’s favorite character lists?
The theme of this arc was how strong this group is when they work together, and indeed it’s only by finding each other and working with one another that they are able to escape Arcade’s clutches. The one thing that does bug me is that the way Arcade was using Mastermind hinged on Mastermind not wanting his daughter killed, but his daughter is a mutant, and so would be part of the resurrection protocols. It was a rather meaningless threat that Mastermind should have called the bluff on.
With the Hellions back on Krakoa, Hellions #11 leaves us in a place to transition smoothly (or probably not smooth at all knowing this team) into next month’s Hellfire Gala (to which only Kwannon and Alex are invited).