Hellions #2

Issue Date: 
September 2020
Story Title: 
Blood Work

Zeb Wells (writer), Stephen Segovia (artist), David Curiel (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Corey Petit (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Stephen Segovia & Rain Beredo (cover artists), Butch Guice & Rachelle Rosenberg (variant cover artists), Nick Russell (production) Jonathan Hickaman (Head of X), Annalise Bisa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke, Havok, Scalphunter, Nanny, Orphan Maker, Wild Child and Empath arrive at the State Home for Foundlings in Nebraska, Mr Sinister's old lab and orphanage where Havok spent some time. After being questioned by local police officers, the mutants are allowed to make their way inside, where they find the facility in disarray. Nanny is quite affected by being in the orphanage, and Empath uses his power to heighten Nanny's own emotions, making her latch on to Scalphunter and try to protect him. Psylocke realizes what Empath is doing and orders him to stop. He does, and Scalphunter shoots him point-blank in his head. The others continue on through the facility, with Havok confiding to Psylocke that he doesn't think he should be with this group, by Psylocke informs him in the Quiet Council thinks otherwise. The group arrives in the clone farm laboratory, and after Nanny apologizes to Scalphunter for her reaction earlier, Scalphunter sets about rigging explosives to destroy the clone farm. A moment later, several of Scalphunter's former teammates in the original Marauders – Arclight, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Prism, Scrambler and Riptide – drop from the ceiling. Scalphunter tries to talk to his former teammates, who appear decayed and broken, before Madelyne Pryor reveals her presence. Havok is agitated at her being here, before Madelyne orders the Marauders to attack. A battle follows, with Scrambler taking out Nanny, angering Orphan Maker, who attacks Blockbuster, while Havok's powers prove ineffective against Prism – until Madelyne seemingly kills Prism by shattering him, she then uses her powers to make Havok's mouth vanish. Orphan Maker sets his target on Scrambler, before Scrambler and Blockbuster team up on him and take him out. Psylocke sees Havok leave the lab with Madelyne, while Scalphunter tries not to hurt his old lover, Arclight. She pleads for him to save them, but it is a trick to distract him, as Harpoon appears behind Scalphunter and skewers him with one of his harpoons. The Marauders begin to leave, taking Nanny, Scalphunter and Orphan Maker witrh them, while Psylocke tends to her wounds, she notices Wild Child lurking in the shadows, he leaps out and attacks her.

Full Summary: 

Omaha, Nebraska, specifically, the State Home for Foundlings, where a police cordon surrounds the old building, and several officers are stationed within the cordon. 'Waiting on a bunch of muties. Can't believe it' one of them mutters. 'They're not called muties anymore, Carl' one of the others remarks. 'Steve's right... they're muties with diplomatic immunity' the Sheriff declares, telling Steve and Carl that they need to see the mutants get where they're going, and then see that they go back again. Carl alerts the Sheriff to the arrival of a rather unlikely group of mutants, motioning to where Kwannon a.k.a. Psylocke is leading Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok, John Greycrow a.k.a. Scalphunter, Kyle Gibney a.k.a. Wild Child, Manuel de la Rocha a.k.a. Empath and the mysterious Nanny and Orphan Maker towards the State Home for Foundlings.

Psylocke informs Sheriff Briggs that they are here to demolish the State Home for Foundlings. 'That's what the governor told us' Sheriff Briggs replies, adding that this is still his county, so they will be doing the work under his supervision – X-Men or not. Hands on hips, Psylocke explains that these are not X-Men, they are dangerous mutants, cleared for demolition and therapeutic missions only – and they don't work well with others. Wild Child readies his claws as he stands over the police dog, who grows at him. 'Sorry about Jenny. One sec -' one of the officers begins, while Wild Child growls at the dog, the officer shouts 'HEEL!' to which Wild Child looks surprised, and asks 'You're the alpha?' The officer is confused by this comment, 'What?' he asks, before Wild Child suddenly lunges at him, although the officer steps back, 'Holy $#%&!' he exclaims, as Wild Child's claws narrowly miss his throat.

'Down' Scalphunter remarks as he shoves Wild Child to the ground. 'What the hell?' the Sheriff asks, reaching for his gun, before Psylocke explains to him that Wild Child is sensitive to lupine pack dynamics, and that the dog was a mistake. 'You see why we should probably be left alone. It's a safety thing' Havok points out. The Sheriff frowns and tells Havok and Psylocke to get their job done and leave. '... almost killed me' Carl mutters, clutching his throat, but Steve tells him that Wild Child was just playing, as none of them are allowed to kill humans anymore – there is a law. 'Yeahh, that's what this group's good at. Following rules' Empath grins as he walks past the officers.

'What a hellhole' Scalphunter mutters as the group enter the old, run-down building, and find their way to a room where several old beds, some upturned furniture, old papers and toys are scattered about. 'You have no idea' Havok replies, while Nanny looks around and utters 'The pleading cries of children went unanswered here. Your Nanny can feel it. It's horrible... it's...' she begins, before turning to Scalphunter, and wrapping her arms around one of his legs, telling him that it is okay, that she will protect him. 'Nanny's here now!' she exclaims. 'The hell?' Scalphunter asks, trying to shake Nanny off of him. 'Nanny?' Orphan Maker asks, looking down at his guardian. 'That's enough of that' Scalphunter declares, putting a hand over one of Nanny's eyes and trying to push her away. 'Don't cry my sweet boy! Are you hungry? Nanny will take care of you!' Nanny assures him.

'COME TO NANNY!' Nanny shrieks, telling Scalphunter that she knows he is hungry. 'Get – get off! Get her off me!' Scalphunter! Shouts. Psylocke frowns and looks at Empath, she instructs him to quit it. 'Haha. Fine' Empath mutters as he ends his manipulation. 'Some of a &!%#$' Scalphunter snaps, turning around and aiming a hun at Empath's head, but Empath tells him to relax, and explains that Nanny was already acting weird, so he just gave her a little push. Empath laughs some more, before Scalphunter opens fire, point blank range, direct at Empath's head. 'Come the %$!& on!' Havok shouts as Empath falls to the ground, blood spilling from his head. 'Warned him' Scalphunter reminds everyone. Psylocke sigh and rubs her head, remarking that she will have to fill out a report, before telling everyone to move on.

Shortly, Psylocke leads the way down into a lower level of the facility, with Havok and Scalphunter following her through some demolished floorboards. Havok tells Psylocke that with the public execution back there, he is thinking he isn't the best fit for this team, but Psylocke reminds him that the Quiet Council disagrees. 'I think they'd disagree with what happened back there, too' Havok adds. 'Perhaps. But they know the damage you all carry' Psylocke remarks, adding that vanquishing demons is messy work. Havok assures that he doesn't have demons, and points out that he is in the orphanage that he and Scott were sent to as kids – where Mr Sinister had them separated – and he is fine. 'I'm telepathic, Alex. Your mind screams at me. Just like the rest of them' Kwannon replies. 'None of us are fine' she adds. Havok passes a mirror on the wall, and sees a demonic reflection of himself looking back, laughing, while a strange woman wraps her arms around him.

'Look alive!' Psylocke suddenly calls out as the group reaches a lab. 'Mr Sinister's clone farm' Psylocke explains. 'Not for long' Scalphunter declares as he starts to dismantle the cloning equipment. Nanny goes over to Scalphunter and tells him that she understands this is where he was born and reborn to do the bidding of Sinister. 'I'm sure you must be -' she begins, but Scalphunter glances at her and states that he isn't here to talk about his feelings. 'Yes, of course' Nanny replies, before apologizing for trying to nurse him back there. 'Dammit, I did not know that's what was going on. Why did you have to -' Scalphunter begins, before deciding it isn't worth discussing, and asks Nanny to give him some room so he can rig the explosives. 'You hear that, too?' Scalphunter asks Wild Child as a dripping noise can be heard. Wild Child blocks his ears, and Psylocke remarks that something is wrong, before some blood spills from above onto Havok's shoulder. 'That wasn't there' Havok utters. 'What?' Psylocke asks him. 'Them!' Havok calls out, motioning to Sinister's Marauders – Arclight, Riptide, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Scrambler and Prism – who hang from the ceiling, blood trickling down their unmoving bodies.

At that moment, someone conjures some sort of spell, and the original Marauders drop to the floor in a bloody heap. 'Is...is it them?' Havok asks, wide-eyed. 'What's left of them' Scalphunter remarks about his former teammates. 'The Marauders' Scalphunter exclaims, as his former teammates begin to stand up, their bodies almost zombie-fied. Scalphunter looks at his former teammates and tells them to stand down, that they don't have to protect this place anymore. He informs them that he has found them a new home. 'We can get you...all cleaned up' Scalphunter utters as he looks at Arclight, at one time the two were romantically involved. 'Jhaann?' Arclight asks. 'The $#%& happened to you, Arclight?' Scalphunter asks. Arclight puts a finger to her lips and tells Scalphunter to shush. 'Kween' she adds, pointing into the shadows. 'Chssshhheee yyoor kween' Arclight mutters as a figure steps from the shadows – Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen!

'Do you know that you are unloved? Do you know that you are despised? For surely those who sent you... knew what I would do with you' Madelyne grins wickedly, her eyes flashing yellow. 'Madelyne? MADELYNE!!!' Havok shouts, but Psylocke tells him to calm himself. Havok asks Madelyne when she came back, to which she replies 'Years ago, Alex. And no one cared'. Madelyne raises a hand and points at Havok and the others, before calling the Marauders her slaves, and instructing them to take the intruders. Prism and Riptide are the first to rush into action, straight towards Havok and Psylocke, who exclaims 'We've got Prism and Riptide! The rest of you... fan out. Keep moving!'

Havok fires a surge of energy towards Prism, but it just deflects off of him, while Psylocke dodges Riptide's attack. Nanny finds herself under attack when Scramble puts his hands on her egg-shaped suit of armor, which causes Nanny to somehow become disabled, 'What did you do to my suit, you bad boy!?' she calls out, as Orphan Maker shoots his weapon at Blockbuster, knocking him backwards, before Nanny begins to roll across the floor, 'I can't move! I hope you like pants-down spankings, you little monster!' Nanny threatens Scrambler. Blockbuster then brings Nanny to a stop by slamming his fists into her. 'HEY!' Orphan Maker shouts. 'That's my Nanny, you butt-horn!' Orphan Maker declares as he picks Blockbuster up and hurls him across the room, slamming him into a wall.

'Dammit! Prism's refracting my $#%&! Somebody switch with me!' Havok calls out as Prism moves closer and closer to him, Havok's power unable to stop him. 'Die now' Prism utters, before his form is suddenly shattered by a fist that is shoved into his chest, glowing with energy. 'Heel, slave. You stand between me and my lover!' Madelyne utters as Prism's remains drop to the ground. A piece of Prism's body has lodged itself in Madelyn's face, cutting her skin open and causing her cheek to bleed. 'Madelyne... you're bleeding...' Havok utters. 'Shhhhhh' Madelyne tells him as she puts a hand on Havok's face and uses her powers to make his mouth seal up. 'You will too' Madelyne then warns Havok.

Nanny is face-down on the floor and her arms flail about as she announces that she has been immobilized, that she cannot move. 'Yesss... Shcrambler shcrambledd... shcramble shcramble...' Scrambler mutters incoherently. 'If I'm hearing correctly, Nanny's been scrambled!' Nanny cries out. 'Leave her alone, pizza-face!' Orphan Maker warns Scrambler as he rushes over and pushes Scrambler up against a wall. 'Who's that? What's going on?' Nanny asks, unable to see anything. Unfortunately, Orphan Maker finds himself at the mercy of Scrambler's power, as Scrambler disables Orphan Maker's own armor. 'Nanny! Help me, I can't move!' Orphan Maker calls out, as Scramble continues to disrupt him. 'Oh, no. Is he scrambling again?' Nanny asks, while Blockbuster makes his way back over, and slams a fist into Oprhan Maker, knocking him over. 'Will someone roll me over so I can see what's going on!' Nanny cries out.

While Psylocke finally lands a punch against Riptide's face, she notices Havok walking away with Madelyne. 'Where are you – Alex!' Psylocke calls out, while Riptide hurls several sharp blades at her, one of which lodges in her arm. 'Bye babeay hahaha' Riptide laughs. Scalphunter fires some blasts at Arclight, one of them strike her leg as he tells her to stay back. Arclight's appearnce seems to revert to normal as she calls out 'John, please stop. The queen. She's gone. There isn't much time. Save us, John...' she pleads, before Harpoon appears behind him and shoves one of his deadly weapons through Scalphunter's lower back. 'Idiot' Harpoon mutters. Arclight's appearance returns to the zombie-like state and she laughs hysterically, as Harpoon lets Scalphunter drop to the floor. 'Come, Riptide. We have enough to feast' Arclight tells her teammate, as the Marauders begin to leave the clone farm laboratory.

Psylocke pulls the blade from her body and watches the Marauders leave, taking Nanny, Orphan Maker and Scalphunter with them, before looking to the shadows and calling out 'I can hear you breathing...' Wild Child emerges from the shadows, glaring at Psylocke, he tells her that he can smell her blood, that she is injured, too weak to lead. 'We have to do this now?' Psylocke asks, annoyed. 'Yessss....' Wild Child responds, before lunging at Psylocke, slicing her across her chest and drawing blood as she falls backwards, with him looming over her....

Characters Involved: 

Havok, Psylocke II/Kwannon
Empath, Nanny, Orphan Maker, Scalphunter, Wild Child

Arclight, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Prism, Riptide, Scrambler (all Sinister's Marauders)
Goblin Queen

Sheriff Briggs, Carl, Steve and Jenny the dog

Story Notes: 

Mr. Sinister appears on the cover to this issue, but not in the issue itself.

This issue includes a text-only page by an unknown author discussing the problems of bringing the original Marauders in their current state to Krakoa, noting that they are clones of clones of clones of clones, and whether or not they should be returned to their best selves.

Written By: