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Havok, Orphan-Maker, Nanny, Wild Child, Psylocke, Empath, and Greycrow walk towards the camera like badasses on the cover of Hellions #6, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Steven Segovia, Sunny Gho/Marvel Comics

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The X-Men have their own Suicide Squad now

And Mister Sinister is Amanda Waller

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The Hellions have been a strange team from the beginning, a collection of mutants who don’t play well with others eliminating dangerous threats so out of the way that it doesn’t matter how much collateral damage they cause. Now, thanks to X of Swords, they’ve evolved into their true form: the Suicide Squad of the X-Men.

The only thing that’s been standing in the way of the X-folks and their own Dirty Dozen is the fact that mutants don’t die. But Xavier and company recently discovered that the cross-dimensional nature of Otherworld disrupts the mutant resurrection process, causing anyone who dies on Otherworld to be resurrected as a different version of themselves forever. Unfortunately, Otherworld is exactly where 10 mutants have to go to sword fight 10 opponents to keep an army of monsters from invading Earth.

And so the Hellions have been dispatched to Otherworld to try to mess with the enemy combatants before the tournament can begin, and some of them are probably not coming back. Or at least not coming back the same. It’s a classic Suicide Squad-style yarn, but with Psylocke, Havok, and Mister Sinister in charge.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. If you missed the last one, read this.

Hellions #5

Hellions #5, Marvel Comics (2020). Zeb Wells, Carmen Carnero/Marvel Comics

Mister Sinister got really mad that he was being forced into the field so he unthawed a copy of himself from his illicit clone farm. But the copy didn’t want to go either so ... they rock-paper-scissors-ed for it. Who won? We don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.

Rorschach #1

A recording made by attendees of a seance — including Otto Binder and a man asking for Mark Van Doren plays over images of a character getting into his car in a parking lot in Rorschach #1, DC Comics (2020). Image: Tom King, Jorge Fornés/DC Comics

Tom King and Jorge Fornés’ Rorschach kicked off this week, and among many other things, King is returning to his interest in the tragic lives of classic comics creators. The mystery man who may or may not be Rorschach seems a likely analogue for Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, whose body went undiscovered in his apartment for days after his death in 2018. Otto Binder, also name dropped above, co-created Supergirl and much of the Shazam family, before dying at the age of 63 after much family tragedy. In the seance recording, he seems to be trying to contact his daughter, who was struck by a car and killed when she was 14.

Dracula, Motherf**ker!

Dracula, a nearly formless and many eyed figure in a robe, brings his fangs to the neck of Quincy Harker, in Dracula, Motherf**ker!, Image Comics (2020). Image: Alex de Campi, Erica Henderson/Image Comics

In happier comics artist news, Dracula, Motherf**ker! is a beautiful book. This particular page spread made me say “Holy shit. Holy shit,” out loud alone in my apartment.

Cable #5

Five swords down, five to go, before the X-Men battle it out in Otherworld.

The Magic Fish

In yellow panels of the past, Tiến’s mother remembers sailing away from her home in Vietnam, in blue panels of the fairy tale story she’s reading, the bald and bearded face of the King of the Mists rises from the waves of the sea, in red panels of the present, Tiến asks “Hey... mom? are you feeling OK?” in The Magic Fish, Random House Graphic (2020). Image: Trung Le Nguyen/Random House

The Magic Fish has been billed as a story about a young, queer, first generation immigrant kid who uses fairy tales to breach the language barrier between himself and his parents, in order to come out to them. But Trung Le Nguyen’s debut graphic novel is about even more than that, focusing just as much on the inner life of young Tiến’s mother, as she comes to terms with leaving her family behind in Vietnam. Nguyen brilliantly interweaves all of this with original, yet familiar, fairy tales, and uses distinct coloring to separate past, present, and fantasy. It’s a truly remarkable and beautiful book.

Commanders in Crisis #1

The heroes of Crisis Command, a group of interdimensional guardians made up of the first [marginalized identity] president of their respective Americas, in Commanders in Crisis #1, Image Comics (2020). Image: Steve Orlando, Davide Tinto/Image Comics

Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto challenged themselves to write an original superhero crossover comic — a Crisis on Infinite Earths that kicks off with a whole cast of never before seen superheroes. The hook, for me, is that they’re all the President of the United States from their various realities, because that’s bonkers.


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