Zeb Wells Masterminds ‘Hellions #9’ + Finding The Fun In Dan Slott’s ‘Fantastic Four’

I spend a lot of time reading comics, but there’s just not enough time in the day/week/year to keep up with everything. I do my best though, and over the past week I read some great Marvel books.

Hellions #9 marked the return of the powerful Mastermind, the former member of the Hellfire Club, and who is currently nestled in New York City, working with another classic X-villain (no spoilers, but you could see it coming just before the final panels hits). Writer Zeb Wells is clearly having a great time writing all the members of the team, with a special focus Mister Sinister, who is a lynch pin to the ongoing stories throughout the book and in Hellions #9 is the butt of one of the funniest moments in any recent X-title.

As well, I’m genuinely impressed how Wells has written characters that were maybe a little difficult to take seriously back in the 90s (I’m looking at Nanny and Orphan Maker, specifically) and actually made them compelling and quite brutal. Since it began, Hellions has been one of my favourite titles since it launched, as its consistently entertaining.

Fantastic Four

There are other big stories going through various books right now, including the Enter The Phoenix tale currently running in the Avengers along with the massive (in both scope and entertainment) King In Black crossover, and which I know I’ll look at as they continue. Meanwhile, I wanted to also call your attention to the big Fantastic Four sale currently running over at ComiXology, which is how I read all my books. Specifically, right now you can get all of Dan Slott’s collected FF titles on sale; while I had a few already in my collection, I made sure to play catch up this week.

Slott, as you likely you know, had a decade run on The Amazing Spider-Man that was always fun and often controversial. He also created, alongside Michael and Laura Allred, arguably the greatest Silver Surfer series of all time. Over the last few years, he’s turned his pen to the Fantastic Four, and has been doing a solid job of melding that title’s core themes of family and exploration. In my estimation, one of Dan Slott’s greatest skills as a writer is how his genuine love of the characters and comics come through in his tales. I don’t think I’d ever want to read Slott do something too dark; I don’t see him as that sort of storyteller – even when he’s putting the FF or Spider-Man or the Surfer through the ringer, they (usually) always come back to the light.

I don’t know Dan Slott (we met once at a comic book convention), but I follow his socials, and he exudes joy when he mentions the job he has. That joy is ever-present in his ongoing Fantastic Four work, and if you haven’t read any of it, now is the perfect time to take a (digital) taste.

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