The new age of the HELLFIRE CLUB has come to an end. With this story arc, we wrap up several plot lines that have plagued this book for over ten issues. And for once, it seems that all of these lines were tied up well more or less. What transpired during this “Hellfire Saga?” How did it all end? What does it mean for the future of the Jean Grey School? I’ll tell you, as we discuss Wolverine and the X-Men #35!
The Hellfire Saga began with issues number 30 and 31. In those issues, we are introduced to the HELLFIRE ACADEMY, a school designed to train young mutants to become killers and criminals, tailor made to serve the Hellfire Club. The Hellfire Club had contracted both A and D list super villains ranging from Mystique to Lady Mojo.
A little backstory…The Hellfire Club, in history, is a group of the social elite, gathered together simply because they are better than everyone else. The same is true for the club in the Marvel Universe; however, the Marvel Hellfire club’s inner circle holds more devious goals in mind for the world, with the head positions of power held by mutants such as Sebastian Shaw, the Black King, and Emma Frost, the White Queen.
The Club faces off against the X-Men on several occasions, thus marking them as bitter enemies. Over time, the Club has been broken apart and reformed time and again, and the most recent incarnation of the Club took a significantly different approach. While the inner circle was still made up of social elitists, it was in fact made up of the CHILDREN of Hellfire Club members. Thus, the new inner circle of Hellfire was comprised of 12 year old children.
This iteration of the Hellfire club, raised in an age where mutants are being feared more than ever, decide to cash in on this fear. The club begins producing their own sentinel designs and selling them en mass to any government or extremist group who will pay for them.
This group of children also decides to quickly make enemies out of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, which is a very big mistake, as they now pit themselves against the full force of Wolverine and his team of X-Men. They make even more enemies when they begin to directly target several students of the Jean Grey School in an attempt to turn them over and have them join the Hellfire Club. This plan finally begins to take shape as we enter Wolverine and the X-Men’s most recent story arc, THE HELLFIRE SAGA.
This story arc honestly seemed to drag over the course of its 5 issues. While it is made obvious that they need this time to develop the characters of the students inside of the Hellfire Academy, it seems more like the writers are biding their time. There are several cuts to Wolverine’s group of X-Men as they search the globe for the Hellfire Club’s connections in a desperate search to rescue their “kidnapped” students.
The “kidnapped” students are actually attending the Hellfire Academy in an attempt to learn more about the Hellfire Club, and in the case Idie Okonkwo, she wants to find out who attempted to murder her best friend Broo. Broo was shot in the head by the leader of the Hellfire Club, Kade Kilgore, thus leaving him severely brain damaged and reduced to no more than a drooling beast.
Because of this, Idie sought revenge and infiltrated the school, going even so far as to trick Kade into believing she would become his Black Queen (an actual position in the Hellfire Club, not based upon her race). When she finds out what she needs she attempts to kill Kade and escape the school alongside fellow infiltrator, Kid Omega.
Once Wolverine and the Jean Grey School teachers (his X-Men) arrive at the Hellfire Academy, they make short work of the Inner Circle and force half of them to retreat after capturing the other half.
Altogether, the ending to this saga wraps up the ongoing plots in Wolverine and the X-Men quite nicely, but leaves one question remaining with its final page. While I shall not spoil it for those of you who have not read this title, I will say this: a longtime favorite X-Men is digging himself out from his grave. For those who HAVE read this title, they can understand my head-scratching confusion as to how this particular character can be brought back.
All in all, this storyline was an enjoyable one. There was plenty of humor laced throughout, thus enforcing my recommendation of this title being for ALL AGES. The action was entertaining and the story helped drive the action and make the reader feel these battles had a great significance. As I stated before, my main gripe is in how the story seemed to drag at times. I feel this COULD have been a 4 issue story arc instead of 5.
My OTHER main gripe comes in the use of Idie and Kade. Kade Kilgore is a 12 year old genius millionaire, and Idie is 14 years old. While I completely believe that at both ages these children would have an interest in sexuality, the fact that Idie was drawn in a Hellfire thong and corset is somewhat disturbing.
-Leaves everyone the reader cares for with a happy ending.
-The comedy is excellent.
-Artwork is par of the course for this title, meaning it is of a spectacular quality.
-Took too many issues to tell the story, dragging it out slightly.
-Idie in Jean Grey’s Hellfire corset and thong…