Spoilers below for Hellions #6!
The most dysfunctional X-Men team of all has taken loss after loss and their biggest defeat yet might just seal the fate of mutantkind. The Hellions were rejected from giant X-Men crossover X of Swords, being one of the only two teams left out. (X-Factor didn’t even release an issue this month.) Instead of billing in the event’s title fights, the Hellions snuck off to perform a secret mission in the heart of enemy territory. But what they found there in Hellions #6 was much grosser and more dangerous than any of them expected, to the point that it put the entire mutant race in jeopardy.
Hellions #6 is written by Zeb Wells with art by Carmen Carnero and color from David Curiel, along with lettering by Ariana Maher. The team consists of the mutant nation of Krakoa’s most “unstable” mutants, which mainly happen to be mad gene scientist Mister Sinister and people he’s traumatized in some way. The team’s latest outing is a trip to Arakko, the demon-occupied home of X of Swords‘ villains, to steal their swords and take them out of the fight. This plan had a lot of issues, the biggest being that it was a suicide mission in Amenth’s Otherworld, a place where “suicide mission” means something because the X-Men can die for real in Otherworld.
The issue opens as the team limps into Arakko, already tired and mutilated from the journey there. They find out that Arakko is defended by an enemy they’ve never met before: Arakko’s Vile School mutants. The “Vile Schools” develop mutants that serve their demonic masters’ will, suppressing the powers of Arakko’s prisoners and monitoring their thoughts. Vile School scientist Tarn the Uncaring is a “genomic mage” who leads a team he calls the Locus Vile, a grotesque parody of the X-Men made of tumor-ridden monster mutants that wear steel masks.
Thanks to Tarn’s telepathy, the Locus Vile has several revelations for the Hellions: the swords left Arakko long before the Hellions arrived, but Sinister’s goal wasn’t really to steal them, just to collect gene samples of the Vile Schools’ work for his own cloning lab. The “sin-blooded” Locus Vile then wipe the floor with the Hellions: the tumor-composed Mudgear the Recanter kills the Hellions’ Nanny instantly, Mother Rapture’s alien “blade fish” slice Greyhawk apart, spinal assassin Sick Bird kills Wild Child, and the voracious Hex Butcher slashes Havok’s hands off.
The hungry, infantile Amino Fetus rips Orphan-Maker in half and tries to eat him, and because Amino Fetus is strictly prohibited from eating for unknown reasons, this throws Locus Vile into a panic. The distraction is enough for Sinister to send the surviving team members off with the Vile School gene samples he drew during the battle, but Sinister himself is captured by Tarn, who quickly begins to psychically vivisect the mutant villain.
This is where the problem begins for Earth’s mutants. Mister Sinister’s job for Krakoa is to catalog the genetic data of every mutant on the planet so that they can be revived when they die. Tarn now has control over a Mister Sinister, and since Sinister’s scheme wiped the Hellions’ minds to hide his subterfuge, he’s accidentally ensured nobody knows he’s there. The Vile School can now access those genes and create an army of twisted, demon-worshipping X-Men clones at will. Professor Xavier has a lot to regret about letting Sinister onto the team.
Hellions #6 is available now.