Zeb Wells Aims to Rehabilitate Krakoa’s Ne’er-Do-Wells in Hellions

When he established the island nation of Krakoa, X-Men founder Charles Xavier solved a major problem for mutants, but he also created a new one. That’s because all mutants are welcome on Krakoa even the misanthropes, ne’er-do-wells and killers. How do you reform this troubled class of mutants? And why would anyone allow Mister Sinister to be in charge of such a reform program?

Readers will start to get the answers to those questions and more this March when writer Zeb Wells and artist Stephen Segovia kick off Hellions; a new ongoing series that finds Mister Sinister tasking mutant troublemakers like Empath, Havok, Psylocke and Scalphunter with a series of “therapeutic” missions. CBR spoke with Wells about his cast, the missions they’ll embark on and the initial enemies they’ll face.

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CBR: One of the most interesting characters in Hellions is your team leader, Mister Sinister. What can you tell us about your take on Sinister? What is he after in this book?

Zeb Wells: I love the fantabulous version that Kieron Gillen and Jonathan Hickman have been writing, with the malicious undertones Bryan Hill added in the excellent Fallen Angels series. Sinister is after the same thing he always is! Control. What he’s trying to control is one of the central mysteries of the book.

Sinister’s Hellions include two former assassins, Scalphunter and Wild Child. Are they on this team because of their skills with murder?

They’re on the team because they don’t fit in anywhere else. No mutants want to work with them, or be around them for any reason. There’s too much history and bad blood there.

At first glance, Nanny and Orphan Maker seem like a strange fit for this group. What made you want to include them in the book?

They’re so creepy and weird! What a dysfunctional relationship. I love it.

You also have two heroes who have pasts as villains after having their minds altered; Psylocke and Havok. What’s it like for them to be part of this group?

Psylocke is the babysitter, and Havok is there against his will because of an unfortunate outburst that suggested he might not be completely healed from the AXIS storyline. He’s on the team while he gets his head together.

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Rounding out the team, is Empath, the only member of previous incarnations of the Hellions. He’s got the mutant power to control and manipulate emotions. What’s your sense of how that power has affected his personality?

He never had to face emotional consequences for his behavior when he was younger. He could make people react however he wanted them to. So he never got good data from the world. He’s completely warped.

What types of missions will the Hellions embark on? And will Krakoa and the rest of the world be aware of their activities?

They’ll be missions where the chances of human casualties are very low, and where violence and over-reaction is a good thing. Therapeutic missions for troubled mutants.

What can you tell us about the Hellions’ initial adventure?

They’re sent to Mr. Sinister’s State Home for Foundlings on a demo mission. The State Home for Foundlings has different ideas.

Stephen Segovia has a history with antiheroes. How important was it to have an artist with a knack for bringing these types of characters to life on Hellions?

I’ve been a fan of Stephen’s stuff for so long. His sense of design is impeccable, and his staging is top-of-class. I can’t wait for everyone to see the pages that have been coming in.

Finally, who are some of the characters the Hellions will run into and afoul of in their initial arc?

Hope you like Goblin Queens.

We all love these characters and are having a blast letting them loose on Krakoa. What does a utopian mutant society do with their troubled population? Is there hope for rehabilitation? These issues have been so fun to explore.

Hellions #1 releases March 25 from Marvel Comics.

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