The new Hellfire Club attacks the Museum of Mutant History’s opening ceremony and defeats the sub-team of X-Men in attendance. The only mutant to avoid a faceful of metal ‘kitty’ is fire and ice-thrower Idie. Young and inexperienced, she’s told by an online Wolverine to get out, sharpish. Cyclops, on the other hand, pumps her for information and advises her to ‘do what you feel you have to’. Which is rather contemptible, in Logan’s eyes. Scott would say he’s giving her a chance to do what’s right the same way he did when he was Idie’s age.
I was convinced Idie would die, her loss sparking the X-Men’s split into one faction under Scott, and one under Logan. But while the incident will no doubt be a factor in the affair, Idie lives to see another day.
Which is fine by me. I like her powers, I like her look, and heaven knows, the X-Men need some new blood on this issue’s showing. For the vastly experienced heroes – Colossus, Magneto, Iceman, Emma Frost and Namor – are taken down by a bunch of kids. Smart, vicious, well-equipped kids, but the new Hellfire Club are kids nonetheless. And it’s not as if the Hellfire Club – actually, let’s call ’em the Hellfire Creche – has the advantage of the good guys being reluctant to hit them … they’re all fine with the prospect.
But if I’m to continue with this otherwise well-thought-out story, I’m going to have to just accept. And I do want to continue, as the philosophical row brewing between Logan and Scott is played out via compelling action and character sequences. Plus, writer Jason Aaron comes up with terrific incidental moments such as this. Idie’s incredulity is entirely understandable, given the X-Men she knows (click on image to enlarge).
Daniel Acuña’s attractive art is less stiff than I’ve seen from him, and effective at getting the story across. The end confrontation between Scott and Logan, set against a background of flame and leading to a fine cliffhanger, is very nice indeed. I like that Acuña draws the Hellfire Creche masks just a teensy bit too large on the kids, emphasising that they’re likely not as ready for the big leagues as they think, while making them appear awfully creepy (to me – I’m neither a Mutant Master of Magnetism nor an Avenging Son of Atlantis).
I think Acuña slipped Brian Bendis into a panel … but I could be wrong.
Acuña’s cover is a keeper, I love the way the light strikes the heroes. And never has Iceman looked so much like he’s just popped out of the freezer cabinet. It’s fine work on one of the X-Men’s better event comics.