Do you remember how awesome the Inferno storyline was back in the late 80s? I sure do. I loved the demonic turn that X-Men, X-Factor, and the New Mutants took. As an 80s horror kid, it absolutely scratched that itch in mainstream comics. My favourite character through it all? Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen.
Madelyne Pryor got a seriously raw deal in the X-Men. She was dumped by her husband, Cyclops, when his resurrected love Jean Grey returned. Maddie was left with their newborn son Nathan, who as you likely know became the one and only Cable. Luckily for Maddie, the X-Men took her in, and she even appeared to find new love. It came in the form of Scott Summers’ temperamental brother, Alex aka Havoc, so you knew it wasn’t going to end well. And it didn’t. Throughout Inferno, Madelyne Pryor discovered she was actually a clone of Jean Grey, manufactured by Mister Sinister, and in a battle with her former friends and family, wound up dying. Back then, I found the character and the story genuinely tragic. To this day, I often wonder how Chris Claremont wanted his readers to perceive Maddie. While she became the villain of Inferno for the most part, she had been mistreated by so many men around her, it’s hard not to see her anger and desire for vengeance entirely justified.
30 years later, part of that story was revisited in the new series Hellions, which features some of the main players of Inferno.
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Stephen Segovia
In Hellions, Mister Sinister has put together a few of the more problematic mutants in Krakoa; managed by Psylocke, this team (featuring Havok, Nanny and Orphan-Maker, Wild Child, Empath and Greycrow) and sent into situations where they can unleash their killer instincts as rehabilitation for their past crimes. In this first arc, the team is sent out to destroy Sinister’s old cloning lab, where they run into Madelyne Pryor, who is lording over classic clones of the original Marauders members. You see, Maddie is pissed off that she wasn’t invited to be part of Krakoa. She’s a mutant, after all.
Or is she?
It’s this idea of who and want Madelyne Pryor is that really worked for me in Hellions #4. She views herself as a mutant and deserving of citizenship. But how does the governing body of Krakoa see her? Even before that question is ultimately answered, we see the old sparks between Maddie and Havoc appear once more. For me, it was both nostalgic and fodder for some great potential future storylines.
Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia did a solid job with this issue and their entire first arc of Hellions. They got to play with some lesser X-Men characters and nailed them all. I’m eager to see where they and their team of mutants go next. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll see Madelyne Pryor finally get some much needed justic.