Hellions #13

Issue Date: 
September 2021
Story Title: 
Don't Look Back, part I: Weary Travelers

Zeb Wells (writer), Roge Antonio (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Ariana Maher (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Stephen Segovia & Rain Beredo (cover artists), Russell Dauterman (variant cover artist), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Mark Basso (editor), Jordan D White (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Dr Murch of the Right and several other Right scientists examine the facility which the Hellions recently destroyed. With them are the Right's mysterious ZETA team. Dr Murch also learns that a self-replicating mutant AI had been created. That AI is a strange baby who grins like the Right armor, and is being cared for by Nanny in her ship on Krakoa. Kwannon watches Greycrow, Wild Child and Empath interact, before telling Greycrow that they all seem to be getting on better. Kwannon cryptically refers to some deal she made and warns Greycrow to stay away from her. Nanny is shocked when she finds Orphan Maker playing with the Right baby and calls him a stupid boy and warns him that he knows what happens to bad boys. Greycrow finds Orphan Maker crying and tries to cheer him up by offering to clean guns with him. During this time, they seem to bond well, before Havok appears and pretends he didn't see them at the Hellfire Gala. Mr Sinister and Mastermind briefly discuss their recent team-up at Murderworld, before Sinister is shocked to find his clone that he sent to Amenth has returned. The clone's face is covered in scars and he is not happy about what happened to him when he was sent to Amenth. They fight, and Sinsiter triggers his private alarm, alerting his Hellions to the danger. The Sinister clone isn't interested in the work that Sinister has managed to achieve based on the DNA that was retrieved from Amenth, and the Hellions soon arrive, where they learn about the clone that was sent to Amenth with them – and Greycrow discovers Kwannon knew this all along. The clone then reveals that he was sent back here by his new master, Tarn, and he isn't alone – the rest of the Locus Vile are with him. The other strange mutants appear and surround the Hellions, some of whom they previously kiled, and the clone announces that he has arranged a rematch!

Full Summary: 

Arizona, where an elderly bald man wearing goggles over his eyes looks down at the remains of a grinning Right robot. 'Note: Krakoan virus infected unit's command core. Inverted pneumatic values. Titanium musculature pulled itself apart. End note' the man remarks, before adding 'That was some $#%&*!$ mutant code'. 'Dr Murch!' a man wearing glasses exclaims as he rushes over, carrying a small green object. 'We found something!' he calls out, while another man in a white lab coat walks towards them. 'That sentence means nothing. Are you speaking to convey meaning or because you like attention?' Dr Murch asks, glancing back at the other man, before adding 'Note: Dr Meyer is a pleb. End note'. The third man tells Dr Murch that it is a redundant command core from one of the Smileys. 'They don't have redundant cores' Dr Murch snaps. 'These did. We think they were self-generated' the third man explains. 'So... the Hodge Code led to emergent systems. “Evolution” if that wasn't a dirty word. Or as De Meyer would say, “Something happened”' Dr Murch remarks. 'Come on...' Dr Meyer mutters.

The third scientist then tells Dr Murch that is not all, as they scanned the drive. 'It happened. Er – sorry, I mean: They produced a neonate' he explains. 'My God. Our AI program somehow produced a mutant' Dr Murch gasps. He looks at the object Dr Meyer is holding and realizes that the AI program put the mutant behind a walled-off garden to protect them from it. 'ZETA team?' he then remarks, pulling his goggles up. Dr Meyer nervously tugs at his collar as he remarks 'Are you asking me?' Before telling Dr Murch 'No. Of course not. ZETA team shouldn't be used  for anything ever. They're psychopaths'. But Dr Murch points at his goggles and reveals that he was using his apparatus to call them over, and that they arrived five minutes ago. '$#%&' Dr Meyer utters as four soldiers wearing green paint over their face, complete with a yellow smile over the green paint, appear behind Dr Meyer, and one of them lifts him up off the ground. 'What?' the ZETA team member asks. 'A self-replicating mutant AI' Dr Murch announces. 'Where?' the ZETA team member holding Dr Meyer enquires, which causes Dr Murch to smile.

Krakoa, where Nanny's ship is stationed in a clearing within a forest. Inside her ship, Nanny holds the Right baby in her lap. 'Aren't you a greedy little piggy!' Nanny exclaims as the strange green baby nurses on some sort of bottle. 'Can you say “oink oink”?' Nanny asks. The baby looks up at Nanny and utters 'Mew mew'. Nanny tosses the bottle aside and tells the baby that it sounds like it is saying “Mommy” and tells it that is enough of the bottle. 'Mew mew' the baby utters again. 'No, I'm your Nanny. Nah. Nee' Nanny tells the baby. 'Mew mew' the baby grins. Nanny gets up from her chair and holds the baby, 'You're lucky you're a cute one' Nanny tells it, and adds that it has time to learn – all the time in the world. 'You're safe here' Nanny tells the baby, who hugs Nanny back and replies 'Mew mew'.

Elsewhere on Krakoa, inside Purgatory, where Kwannon a.k.a. Psylocke leans against a wall and looks into a room where her Hellions teammates are gathered – John Greycrow, Kyle Gibney a.k.a. Wild Child and Manuel de la Rocha a.k.a. Empath are sitting around a table. 'I did not' Empath snaps. 'That's what Greycrow told me' Wild Child remarks. 'I don't like it either, but fact is, you died saving us from Cameron Hodge' Greycrow confirms. 'Could even say you gave your life for the team' he adds. 'Bull$#%&! That's disgusting!' a furious Empath exclaims, a look of horror on his face. Wild Child bursts into laughter, while Greycrow smiles. 'There's no way I did it on purpose' Empath replies, before asking them if they told anyone else. Greycrown looks sheepish, while Kwannon turns and starts to walk away. 'Did you?' Emapth shouts. 'You kidding? I wish I didn't know' Greycrow tells him, before he gets up from the table. 'Whew' Empath mutters, while Greycrow excuses himself and rushes after Kwannon.

Kwannon glances back as Greycrow calls out to her, and comments that they all seem to be getting on better since they rescued Sinister from Arcade. 'Guess we are' Greycrow agrees. He explains that it felt good to have a win. 'That's the point of all this, right?' he asks, before  telling Kwannon that she should be happy. 'You led us -' he begins, but Kwannon tells him to stop. 'You have no idea what I did' she utters, before warning John to stay away from her. A wide-eyed, shocked Greycrow, watches Kwannon walk away from him.

Back at her ship, Nanny enters carrying a stuffed toy. 'I have a surprise for you, my child' she calls out. 'MEW MEW!' a voice can be heard. Nanny looks up and drops the toy, as she sees Orphan Maker standing before her, holding the Right baby up in his arms. 'PETER? Put him down!' Nanny orders. 'I – I found him like this. I wasn't trying to -' Peter starts to explain, before Nanny snatches the baby from Orphan Maker's arms and calls him a liar, as she reminds him that she told him not to come here. 'You shouldn't have ever seen him, you stupid boy! STUPID, STUPID BOY!' Nanny scolds Peter, who steps back from her in surprise. As Nanny places the baby back in its crib, Orphan Maker drops to his knees. 'Okay, Nanny!' he exclaims. 'NO, IT'S NOT OKAY!' Nanny snaps back at Peter, warning him to keep his mouth shut about this. 'I won't say anything! I'm a good boy!' Orphan Maker tells her. Nanny turns around points a finger at Orphan Maker as she snarls 'Don't tell me what you are! You've been very, VERY BAD! You know what happens to bad boys, don't you...' her voice trails off.

Later, Greycrow is walking down a corridor when he hears some strange sobbing noises coming from one of the rooms. He opens the door, 'The hell?' he asks as sees Orphan Maker sitting on a bench in the room, his armored face resting in his hands  as he cries. 'NANNY HATES ME!' Orphan Maker cries out. 'She said I can't go in her special room 'cuz I'm too old to watch her change, but I went in anyway and say something...and I can't tell you what!' Orphan Maker reveals to Greycrow. 'That's...fine by me, really' Greycrow tells Orphan Maker as he sits on the bench next to him. There is silence, before Greycrow asks Orphan Maker if he wants to clean guns. 'YEAH!' Orphan Maker exclaims happily. 

In Bar Sinister, Mr Sinister is looking at several monitor screens, while a holographic transmission of Mastermind appears nearby. 'I'm leaving. The payload is incubating and will be mature within hours' Mastermind reports. 'It's a glorious day, Jason. Do your loins ache? Or is it just me as I've GIVEN BIRTH TO A NEW AGE?' Sinister declares. Mastermind looks unimpressed as he replies 'You're all smiles, Sinister, but the last month has been hell for me. I didn't plan to summer at Murderworld seeing to the completion of a cloning facility. Not to mention the strain of convincing Arcade and his men that the Avengers were planning a raid so they'd abandon the facility to us. And with my new role at X-Corp, I now have much to lose'. Mastermind then tells Sinister that he hopes he hasn't forgotten about his payment. 'Oh, it's all I think about. Goodbye now' Sinister replies. 'Essex! I won't be -' Mastermind exclaims, before the holographic transmission begins to go crazy. 'Apologies, Jason. But it's high time for a celebratory feast!' Sinister declares. He walks past several red crystal-like tanks holding clones of himself as he announces 'And Mr Sinister dines alone'.

'Not tonight' a voice calls out, and Sinister is horrified to see one of his clones sitting at the other end of a long dining table. Wine has been spilled on the table, and several empty plates are scattered about. 'I started without you. I hope you don't mind' the clone remarks, adding 'But then again, you weren't all that hot to wait for me'. 'You survived Amenth?' the shocked Sinister utters, before asking his clone what happened to his face. The clone points at the stitches around his face as he replies 'Tarn happened. Tarn the Uncaring. This was the price I paid to bring you the genes of monsters'. Sinister goes over to the clone and tries to shush him, telling him that it is okay, and that he is home now. 'Let's get you into that incinerator so we can both forget this ever happened' Sinister suggests. '$#%& your incinerator!' the clone snaps as he stands up. 'It should have been you that traveled to Amenth! I won the noble contest!' the clone exclaims. 'Yes. You won the right to travel to Amenth' Sinister explains. 'You changed the rules!' the clone snaps. 'I let you keep the cape, didn't I?' Sinister asks, pointing out that the first thing the clone did was lose it. 

'You have no idea the pain I suffered for our work. And I know the value of the stock I brought you. I know it by the scars on my face!' the clone exclaims, waving finger in Sinister's face. 'And now you know this: I will savor the fruit of my labor or I will have your head' he adds. 'Sure I can't interest you in the incinerator?' Sinister scowls. The clone responds by punching Sinister across the room. 'So it's come to this. A fair fight. I wouldn't have it any other way' Sinister responds while touching a button hidden on the wall.

In the armory: 'Wow, Mr Crow. How'd you get so fast?' Orphan Maker asks as he watches Greycrow clean one of the guns, several other guns scattered about on a table in front of them. 'Dad taught me' Greycrow replies. 'Fun!' Orphan Maker exclaims. 'Sometimes I'd miss a bolt. Or get grease on my pants. Then not so fun' Greycrow reveals, closing his eyes. Orphan Maker tells Greycrow that he never met his dad, but that Nanny says that is a good thing. 'But I don't know... having a dad woulda been cool'. 'Maybe... maybe not' Greycrow tells his younger companion. At that moment, Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok enters the armory. 'Good morning. I see you're cleaning your...murder things' Havok points out. Greycrow tells Alex that he missed him at the party. 'We saw you, but you were trying pretty hard not to see us' Greycrow points out. 'Oh, were you guys there?' Havok asks, glancing away. 'I mean, I heard you were there? There was a fight or something? Look, I had to -' Havok begins, before an alarm sounds and a red light begins to flash. 'Oh, thank God' Havok mutters. Kwannon and Wild Child appear in the doorway and Kwannon reports that it is Sinister's priority alarm. 'Move!' she shouts.

Back in Bar Sinister, the clone hurls Sinister into the table, sending bottles of wine and plates smashing to the ground. 'Did you think I'd disappear? Go quietly into oblivion? Just to hide your schemes?' the clone asks as he stands over Sinister. 'How dare you? I covered for you! King Jamie showed up on my doorstep waving our cape around! Claiming I was in his debt. And I had to pretend that was completely normal! HOW DO YOU THINK THAT MADE ME FEEL?' Sinister shouts. The clone reaches for a sharp knife that has fallen to the floor and replies 'Oh, yes! What an equally terrible experience...BUT FOR THE UNENDING MONTHS OF TORTURE' the clone retorts. The clone puts the knife to Sinister's face, grabbing his long hair with his other hand. 'And the scars of course. You have substantially fewer scars. But we'll fix that' the clone declares. 'Wait, you fool! Wait! Don't you want to taste the treasure you suffered for?' Sinister asks. 'Don't you want to see what we could become?' Sinister calls out, while the clone presses the tip of the blade into Sinister's cheek, drawing blood. 'Uh, guys...what exactly is happening here?' Havok calls out as he, Kwannon, Greycrow, Empath, Wild Child, Nanny and Orphan Maker arrive. Several of them look around at the strange surroundings and see the crystals containing other Sinister bodies. The clone turns to the Hellions and tells them to rejoice, as their leader has returned from certain death. 'I know my approval is like a drug to you, so let me say this. I see you. You survived to bring the payload home and I am very, very proud of you' he smiles. 'Survived what?' Greycrow asks. 'What is he talking about?' Empath wonders.

'They don't remember me? But when they returned from Amenth, didn't they discover there were two of us?' the clone asks, before turning to Sinister and uttering 'Oh. Oh, you didn't. Sinister stands up, while Greycrow asks 'Didn't what?' and Kwannon hangs her head, 'Essex...' she whispers. Sinister steps towards the Hellions and tells them that he sent them to Otherworld with a clone and they all died, and he hates that. 'But how is it this mad clone survived? What betrayal allowed him to escape?' Sinister asks. 'Escape? Ha! I never escaped. No one ever escapes' the clone replies as he picks up Sinister's cape which had fallen to the table. 'What?' Sinister asks, turning to the clone, who has put the cape on and announces that he is here at the pleasure of his master. 'Sent to prepare the way for Tarn' the clone states.

'GOR GOR' a voice calls out as a large figure begins to emerge from the shadows. 'Sent with his children!' the clone grins. 'The Locus Vile'. Wild Child sniffs the air, 'Do you -' he begins, to which Nanny tells him 'Yes. Amenth stirs'. A hissing sound can be heard from the shadows as the clone tells Sinister 'You stole from them. And they want their $#%& back'. 'What the ^&%!' Greycrow asks as the Locus Vile all emerge from the shadows and start to surround the Hellions. 'Praise Tarn' they all call out. Sinister watches in shock, while the clone grins. 'You' the Hex Butcher declares, pointing at Havok. 'Me?' Havok asks, wide-eyed. 'I ate your hands and choked on them' Hex Butcher reveals, adding that they were small, bitter things. 'Uh... sorry?' Havok replies, and as the Locus Vile continue to close in around the Hellions, the Sinister clone tells them that they should be thanking him – as he has arranged a rematch!

Characters Involved: 

Havok, Kwannon, Mr Sinister, Empath, Greycrow, Nanny, Orphan Maker, Wild Child (all Hellions)


Sinister clone

Right baby




Dr Meyer, Dr Murch and unnamed Right scientist

Unnamed ZETA team


Amino Fetus, Hex Butcher, Mother Rapture, Mudgear the Recanter, Sick Bird (all Locus Vile)


Story Notes: 

The Hellions' encounter with the Right took place in Hellions #7-8.

The Hellions rescued Sinister from Arcade in Hellions #11.

Nanny told Orphan Maker he was too old to watch her change in Hellions #9.

This issue includes a text-only report summarising the deaths of the Nanny, Orphan Maker and Wild Child on Otherworld, and the deaths of Kwannon, Havok, Greycrow and Empath on Krakoa, and Mr Sinister's refusal to discuss the situation with the Quiet Council.

Mastermind joined the X-Corp Board in X-Corp #2.

The clone traveled to Amenth during the “X of Swords” event and lost Sinister's cape in a trade to Jamie Braddock.

Havok desperately tried to avoid the other Hellions at the Hellfire Gala, as seen in Hellions #12.

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