Date read: 12.23.07
Read from: Digital collection
A four-issue side-series off of the most recent New X-Men storyline, featuring, obviously, the current crop of Hellions, Emma Frost’s protégés and the New X-Men’s bestest rivals within the Xavier Institute. Written by Nunzio deFilippis and Christina Weir, pencils by Clayton Henry.
At the end of the school year (and prior to the events of M-Day), Julian/Hellion brings his team members back to California with him to hang out at his family’s mansion. Unfortunately, after a typical Hellion-style scuffle at the airport, his parents cut him out of the family fortune. Spiteful and disgruntled, Julian digs deeper into his parents’ background, and ends up making a deal with the same figure who got his parents rich – the Kingmaker, who proceeds to grant the dearest wish of each of the Hellions. Sooraya/Dust is reunited with her mother at an Afghan refugee camp, Cessily/Mercury finds herself welcomed home again by suddenly loving parents, Santo/Rockslide becomes a wrestling star (dream big, boy), and so on. But after the trial period is up, The Kingmaker returns to extract payment…
This was a REALLY fun read, and made me realize how boring by comparison pretty much the entirety of the New Mutants series was, revolving as it did around petty disputes and page after page of overwritten adolescent moping. Not that Hellions was that much deeper or more novel, but let’s face it, rebellious teams are pretty much always more fun (even if their leader is a twit), and being limited in length, the series packed a lot more interest into a lot fewer pages. The writing was tight and featured equal helpings of action and character exposition; I’ve always been fond of Cessily and Sooraya in particular, so it was fun and occasionally genuinely affecting to see a bit into their pasts and family lives. Coloring was too shiny for my tastes, but the pencils and inks were strong and consistent. All in all, something that might actually have re-read value for me, unlike the rest of the pre-M-Day New Mutants/New X-Men: Academy X storyline. (No, I don’t know why I kept reading it, either. Of course as soon as most of the irritating characters had been dispensed with and Skottie Young started doing the art and I was getting genuinely interested in the series, it was cancelled.)