On the one hand, Nanny's newest orphan is taking a teensy little road trip. On the other, Tarn the Uncaring and his little church of bargain basement Cenobites are tearing the Hellions apart. Let's hope that whatever Sinister has cooked up in his lab will be enough to save their collective heinies before the giant fetus man destroys the universe.
Zeb Wells does many things beautifully, but his knack for dialogue elevates his writing far above most other contemporary authors currently serving this medium. Usually if a book has five good lines, five moments of clear characterization, humor or emotion, spread across the entirety of the book, I’m happy. Wells averages five of these moments per page. From throwaway lines which perfectly set the tone of the story (like the religious fanatic on page #1 who says that she has ‘blanketed the operation in prayer’ and is immediately dismissed) to one-liners which, incredibly, convey the summation of an entire relationship (when Psylock explains her betrayal to Greycrow and he responds, ‘Stop. You don’t even have to ask.’) every sentence is crafted to convey a wealth of atmosphere and raw character.
The story leaps from location to location, reveling in brutal details like a room full of dying Sinister clones, a cannibalistic monster-lump, test tubes, interdimensional portals, and the fury of a god. There’s never a pause. Reading this story was a bit like being trapped on a roller coaster after five dozen rides. But, like, in a good way.
If that wasn’t clear enough, I’ll say it plain; the pacing of this issue was incredibly impressive. Wells used deeply significant character moments as stepping stones to forward the plot, without allowing for any slacking — or even space to draw a breath. I read this issue at a glad gallop, pulse racing throughout, wondering when it would stop.
Half of that beautiful pacing comes down to the art. Rogé António fills each panel with interesting little details that enrich the environment of the story without distracting. His line work lends Krakoa a verisimilitude that I’ve not seen many artists match. Rain Beredo’s colors contribute a depth of tone and feeling that brings out the best in the art.
I’m having difficulty writing this review without adding too many spoilers. It’s a testament to the issue’s success that I feel a strong urge to run up to people and tell them what’s happened in it. I care about these imaginary people, this pretend world. I laugh at them, worry about them. I love these sympathetic, reprehensible characters and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next.
This issue is a brutal, hilarious, corpse-laden ride, punctuated with humor and surprising heart. I just can't wait to see what happens next!
Hellions #15: Revenge of the Fetus
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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