Piece by piece the house that Sinister built continues to crumble as the lies that the Hellions have been built upon begin to rear their heads, one by one. One of the best titles of the X-Line continues to showcase why it has that distinction by presenting a beautiful ongoing character-focused storyline.
As all the wheels begin to come off the proverbial bus for the Hellions, the schemes and plans of a great number of individuals begin to unravel as other shadowy players reveal themselves.
Juggling multiple storylines that are all headed for a collision in the future is no small feat for many storytellers. It’s about finding that perfect spot where there are just enough balls, not too few and not too many, and they aren’t dropped. Right now, Zeb Wells has achieved that perfect spot with all the number of plots that are all being addressed and dealt with in this current arc.
What has long helped Hellions is not only the deft writing and the great art teams, but also the time that has been spent to make the reader care about these characters who are broken and, in many cases, have done terrible/villainous things in the past. Wells character work has been astounding, per usual, and it all becomes clearer here that this foundation was laid just so that now it can begin to be torn apart. From the beginning, a program that had Mister Sinister leading a powder keg of characters like this was doomed to failure, and a found family situation cannot last when everyone is carrying around a variety of deadly secrets.
There is a delicious sense of chaos that weaves its way through the issue as both Sinister and Tarn begin to see their plans fall apart and a very familiar third party makes their presence known. All through its time Hellions is one of the books that has had the most ties to a lot of what happens and has happened in the X-line since HOX-POX, and we see part of that here. Sinister was warned to cease all his cloning exploits and it’s long been clear that others on the council don’t trust him so there being a spy in the mix is one of those totally expected unexpected treats.
We’re still a few weeks out from Inferno and this series storyline still seems to have a few more issues to go, but some of the events here definitely feel like they will assuredly play some part in Inferno as the Krakoan system is challenged.
The bit of a rougher edge to Rogê Antônio’s art really works great in this arc and especially with a large amount of action, brutality, and destruction within this issue. Rain Beredo’s bright coloring as well as the great use of darker colors/shadows really meshes well with it, and together they help set a solid mood for what appears to be the crumbling of the Hellions as a whole. There are some panels where some of the faces are a bit rougher than the last issue, but it still works as the emotions or the intent of the pages is still very clear.
There are quite a number of really stand-out panels/pages that will stick with you after reading. From the grotesque nature of what happens when Amino Fetus eats, to the really well-done close-up panels of Greycrow disassembling himself to assemble a really big gun, to the final moments where one member loses control and unleashes utter devastation. The story is one that doesn’t hold back and the art takes that note and goes even harder to make sure this is a story with consequences that won’t be forgotten visually.
Any time that one see’s Ariana Maher’s name in the credits of a book, they know that they are in for a book that will have stupendous lettering work. The use of sentence case really works so well in this book because it makes it far easier to truly showcase the moments where there is a great emphasis because then full caps and bolds and strokes around the dialogue bubbles come into play. Same with the font size changes, to really make it clear that someone is yelling or just talking or whispering, rather than leaving it up to interpretation.
It’s worth repeating from the last review that Maher is just so on point with the SFX, finding the best ways to really integrate them into the panels. There are SFX all over the panels, most being kept to a smaller size and space to go with the idea of how we are surrounded by sounds all the time especially in an action-packed issue. Then just like the dialogue mentioned above, all stops are pulled out for the really big moments of SFX that just dominate the page to hammer home the emphasis of how big a moment this is.
Hellions #15 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.