Character Rehab - Hellion Edition

Hellion was among the most focused on and popular of the recent crop of X-kids, but while someone like Pixie's popularity seems to have held steady, his seems to have gone downhill since the days of Academy X and New X-Men. Since his getting "disarmed" in the defense of Utopia he has been floating in limbo with only sporadic cameos, mostly in relation to X-23.

What direction would you take him to re-ignite the interest in the character?

34 Comments
34 Comments
Posted by dangallant984

@Brazen_Intellect: he seems like he's had his spirit broken for quite a while now. With that in mind, I think it might be interesting to see him in some kind of leadership role to some of the more troublesome students at the school, like Quire or Oya or those guys, give him something to fight for again, like he had with his old squad.

Edited by judasnixon

When Hellion lost his hands in Second Coming I thought oh man they're going to make Hellion a total bad ass. Boy was I wrong. Wolverine and the X-Men was the worse thing that could of happen to Hellion. I wish he would leave that stupid school, and join Cyclops's team. I don't care if it makes sense or not.  I would love if they incorporate his powers with his robot hands some more. How cool would hellion look if he had like twenty weaponized cybernetic hands floating around him.

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Posted by Brazen_Intellect

@dangallant984 said:

@Brazen_Intellect: he seems like he's had his spirit broken for quite a while now. With that in mind, I think it might be interesting to see him in some kind of leadership role to some of the more troublesome students at the school, like Quire or Oya or those guys, give him something to fight for again, like he had with his old squad.

Maybe as a long term direction, but he is so far from being able to control his own temper and issues there is a lot of work to do first. He was a squad leader on pretty much arrogance alone, he was one of the few that did not just bow and scrape when one of the senior X-Men told him what to do.

I could see him under the right circumstances possibly falling in with either Cyclops or Cable temporarily as a way for him to vent his frustrations, but they need to develop him along ways from where he is now before you can even suggest him for any kind of leadership position.

Posted by Brazen_Intellect

@judasnixon said:

When Hellion lost his hands in Second Coming I thought oh man they're going to make Hellion a total bad ass. Boy was I wrong. Wolverine and the X-Men was the worse thing that could of happen to Hellion. I wish he would leave that stupid school, and join Cyclops's team. I don't care if it makes sense or not. I would love if they incorporate his powers with his robot hands some more. How cool would hellion look if he had like twenty weaponized cybernetic hands floating around him.

I also thought they were going to push him in a darker and more anti-hero direction, but he went to the Jean Grey School of Silliness and got lost in the zany fun.

Not really feeling the weaponized hands part, his increased teke ability is more than enough. he is far more in need of a personaility and direction upgrade than a power one IMO.

Posted by dangallant984

@Brazen_Intellect said:

Maybe as a long term direction, but he is so far from being able to control his own temper and issues there is a lot of work to do first. He was a squad leader on pretty much arrogance alone, he was one of the few that did not just bow and scrape when one of the senior X-Men told him what to do.

I could see him under the right circumstances possibly falling in with either Cyclops or Cable temporarily as a way for him to vent his frustrations, but they need to develop him along ways from where he is now before you can even suggest him for any kind of leadership position.

oh, I agree, that's why I suggested him for a squad that's technically not active. At it's core, the theory behind Wolverine's troublemaker squad seems to be that they're meant to develop a camaraderie to save each other from themselves; Hellion just seems like such a perfect candidate for that. Having some younger, more troubled students that he's responsible for could just be the incentive he needs to distract him from (and eventually transcend) his own bitterness.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

Current writers don't want to use any character with potential, they'd rather retread the same bullsh*t over and over, or casually destroy a character because they can't think of a story themselves.

The last thing Hellion did of merit was get his hands cut off and be wallpaper in X-23.

Never mind that he should be a member of the X-Men under tutelage from Cyclops (not ruined Cyclops, the real one who has been replaced by a space phantom) and Emma. But nah, why do that? That might mean coming up with a story that requires thought.

Posted by dangallant984

@Brazen_Intellect said:

Hellion was among the most focused on and popular of the recent crop of X-kids, but while someone like Pixie's popularity seems to have held steady, his seems to have gone downhill since the days of Academy X and New X-Men. Since his getting "disarmed" in the defense of Utopia he has been floating in limbo with only sporadic cameos, mostly in relation to X-23.

What direction would you take him to re-ignite the interest in the character?

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

Current writers don't want to use any character with potential, they'd rather retread the same bullsh*t over and over, or casually destroy a character because they can't think of a story themselves.

The last thing Hellion did of merit was get his hands cut off and be wallpaper in X-23.

Never mind that he should be a member of the X-Men under tutelage from Cyclops (not ruined Cyclops, the real one who has been replaced by a space phantom) and Emma. But nah, why do that? That might mean coming up with a story that requires thought.

so.. is that your suggestion?

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

I think this may be a lost cause. Inflicting traumatic injuries on a character just to give them angst before the readers can actually care about them is a really hard thing to care about. I actually liked the character before that rampant brutality affected him and the artificial hands make him look even more like a knock-off Cable.

Edited by DarkxSeraph

I actually made a post about this very thing on the Hellion forum, here: http://www.comicvine.com/hellion/29-40454/reconstructing-hellion/92-745548/#14

(Apologies for not using the link function, etc--old browser at work doesn't support the CV interface)

Posted by dangallant984

@PhoenixoftheTides said:

I think this may be a lost cause. Inflicting traumatic injuries on a character just to give them angst before the readers can actually care about them is a really hard thing to care about. I actually liked the character before that rampant brutality affected him and the artificial hands make him look even more like a knock-off Cable.

I sort of agree with you, but, because I actually liked him before, I would consider it pretty lazy if a writer were to take this attitude. It's kinda like you didn't have a suggestion at all.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

Sofia needs to come back, and then everything'll be just right. He'll know what to do when his one and only love returns from serving breakfast at Al's Diner.

"Beautiful"
Posted by DarkxSeraph

Meh. I don't think Hellion and Sophia will get back together. The girl flat out left without even saying goodbye after Decimation. I honestly preferred him with Laura. But, to be honest... the way Laura ditched him wasn't any better. In the slightest.

She walked away from him when he needed her the most without anything other than a simple "Goodbye, Julian."

Posted by dangallant984

@AgeofHurricane said:

Sofia needs to come back, and then everything'll be just right. He'll know what to do when his one and only love returns from serving breakfast at Al's Diner.

"Beautiful"

Wind dancer? you're makin' me cry..

from laughing so hard..

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@dangallant984: LOL saw what you did there.

But why ?

Posted by dangallant984

@AgeofHurricane: I've just never understood the appeal of Wind dancer at all.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@dangallant984: I think one would only appreciate the character if they've got a special place in their heart for all forms of the X-Men's younger generation and not just focused on the oldies. You don't really come across as someone who's adequately cognizant with that side of the X-Lore, but i'm probably wrong in assuming, still.

Posted by dangallant984

@AgeofHurricane said:

@dangallant984: I think one would only appreciate the character if they've got a special place in their heart for all forms of the X-Men's younger generation and not just focused on the oldies. You don't really come across as someone who's adequately cognizant with that side of the X-Lore, but i'm probably wrong in assuming, still.

I'm pretty sure I've read every comic she's appeared in, if that's what you mean.

but I guess every generation of new characters included at least a few I have never had any interest in: Polaris, Magma, Dazzler, Husk, Mondo, Maggot.. the squad generation seemed to have the most, probably because there were so many of them, but I guess it also introduced the most that I ended up liking; Wind dancer, however, I just never saw the appeal of.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@dangallant984: Yeah, and to each his own. But i loved her. She was perfect for Julian, Julian was lost until Sofia flew along into his life, then she flew out for justifiable reasons, and he was further lost when that clone came in and took him for an emotional loop.

Posted by DarkxSeraph
"Yeah, and to each his own. But i loved her. She was perfect for Julian, Julian was lost until Sofia flew along into his life, then she flew out for justifiable reasons, and he was further lost when that clone came in and took him for an emotional loop."

I really have to disagree with this. As a large Hellion fan, yeah, Sofia grounded him a bit. Then she ditched him. His relationship with Laura further took him away from an aimless jerk and was very beneficial to him on a development level.

The turn the relationship took was extremely ridiculous at the end, I agree, but that also stems from the way he was written to that point since the loss of his hands.

If Sofia was so perfect for Julian, she wouldn't have just ditched him after the Decimation without so much as a goodbye.
Posted by dangallant984

@DarkxSeraph: ooh.. good point!

Posted by DurararaFTW

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@dangallant984 said:

@Brazen_Intellect: he seems like he's had his spirit broken for quite a while now. With that in mind, I think it might be interesting to see him in some kind of leadership role to some of the more troublesome students at the school, like Quire or Oya or those guys, give him something to fight for again, like he had with his old squad.

Maybe as a long term direction, but he is so far from being able to control his own temper and issues there is a lot of work to do first. He was a squad leader on pretty much arrogance alone, he was one of the few that did not just bow and scrape when one of the senior X-Men told him what to do.

I could see him under the right circumstances possibly falling in with either Cyclops or Cable temporarily as a way for him to vent his frustrations, but they need to develop him along ways from where he is now before you can even suggest him for any kind of leadership position.

I'd disagree with this.In Academy X he was pretty much the most competent leader among the students to contrast what a mess Sofia's team was. But it didn't make him less of jerk, it fueled his douchebaggery if anything so I don't think it's what he needs right now.

Edited by AgeofHurricane

There's a good reason as to why she ditched him. Partly because of the current creative team at the time callously shoving her out of the picture just to make way for that demented clone, but i think the subtext (though, this was quite obvious) is that she felt betrayed by what Julian said to David. I think as much as she tried not to show it, she was probably in some ways just as big-headed as he was, constantly calling her beautiful and making her feel like a Queen, like the most important woman on Earth, she snubbed it off on the exterior, but on the interior it may have made her as arrogant as himself.

They complimented each other in terms of personalities, imo. She left because Julian making such a typical and demeaning remark to one of her good/best friends showed that he had not changed one bit from whence they first met, he was still the same. Kyle and Yost's fault for that, selfishly regressing him in terms of char. dev.so they could develop him in his own eye, regardless of if it was good.

There were a few things in that series post m-day that seemed downright ooc.

Posted by Brazen_Intellect

@DurararaFTW said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@dangallant984 said:

@Brazen_Intellect: he seems like he's had his spirit broken for quite a while now. With that in mind, I think it might be interesting to see him in some kind of leadership role to some of the more troublesome students at the school, like Quire or Oya or those guys, give him something to fight for again, like he had with his old squad.

Maybe as a long term direction, but he is so far from being able to control his own temper and issues there is a lot of work to do first. He was a squad leader on pretty much arrogance alone, he was one of the few that did not just bow and scrape when one of the senior X-Men told him what to do.

I could see him under the right circumstances possibly falling in with either Cyclops or Cable temporarily as a way for him to vent his frustrations, but they need to develop him along ways from where he is now before you can even suggest him for any kind of leadership position.

I'd disagree with this.In Academy X he was pretty much the most competent leader among the students to contrast what a mess Sofia's team was. But it didn't make him less of jerk, it fueled his douchebaggery if anything so I don't think it's what he needs right now.

Being the best leader of the x-kids is like being the smartest kid riding the short bus, its a lot less impressive than it sounds. I'm not saying he does not have potential, but his time leading the squad does not sell me on him by far. What he needs more than anything at this point is a writer who wants to use him as something more than just an arrogant prick on standby

Edited by PhoenixoftheTides

@dangallant984 said:

@PhoenixoftheTides said:

I think this may be a lost cause. Inflicting traumatic injuries on a character just to give them angst before the readers can actually care about them is a really hard thing to care about. I actually liked the character before that rampant brutality affected him and the artificial hands make him look even more like a knock-off Cable.

I sort of agree with you, but, because I actually liked him before, I would consider it pretty lazy if a writer were to take this attitude. It's kinda like you didn't have a suggestion at all.

I really don't. I liked the character before because of his rather negative personality (rare to find in superhero books), but I really think they gave him too much to deal with before establishing him. If I were to offer a suggestion, it would be that he learn how to telekinetically manipulate his genes and re-create his hands. Then go back to him being spoiled and arrogant and act as a reason for Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde to collaborate on his training. Personally, I'd like to see him meet Vance Astrovik and maybe look up to him as some sort of older brother figure.

I think it is possible to screw up a characters' introduction so badly that it takes years for them to recover. Look at Karma for example: she was written out so early in the New Mutants series that most people forget she was on the team and she spent most of her time in comic book limbo. It took 15-20 years for her to be used again (the Gamesmaster storyline was her official return to action and she went back to obscurity afterwards) and a bit longer than that to become relevant.

Posted by DurararaFTW

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@DurararaFTW said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@dangallant984 said:

@Brazen_Intellect: he seems like he's had his spirit broken for quite a while now. With that in mind, I think it might be interesting to see him in some kind of leadership role to some of the more troublesome students at the school, like Quire or Oya or those guys, give him something to fight for again, like he had with his old squad.

Maybe as a long term direction, but he is so far from being able to control his own temper and issues there is a lot of work to do first. He was a squad leader on pretty much arrogance alone, he was one of the few that did not just bow and scrape when one of the senior X-Men told him what to do.

I could see him under the right circumstances possibly falling in with either Cyclops or Cable temporarily as a way for him to vent his frustrations, but they need to develop him along ways from where he is now before you can even suggest him for any kind of leadership position.

I'd disagree with this.In Academy X he was pretty much the most competent leader among the students to contrast what a mess Sofia's team was. But it didn't make him less of jerk, it fueled his douchebaggery if anything so I don't think it's what he needs right now.

Being the best leader of the x-kids is like being the smartest kid riding the short bus, its a lot less impressive than it sounds. I'm not saying he does not have potential, but his time leading the squad does not sell me on him by far. What he needs more than anything at this point is a writer who wants to use him as something more than just an arrogant prick on standby

How it sounds is not what I'm talking about. The actual panels showed him doing more then just "lead by arrogance" alone as you describe.

Posted by DarkxSeraph

Demented clone.

Someone has some Laura-Hate.

Regardless, being with Laura in that respect grew him more as a person than Sofia ever really did, imo. It was when they decided to take his hands and turn him into some jerk-bag that he started going down hill. They used him as the students' story punching bag. From being abandoned by person after person (and the x-men proper) to losing his hands, to killing someone, to getting affection from laura one writing, then just out of nowhere being dumped like a bad habit the next... to taking QQ's place as class bully for no reason...

And let's not forget being turned into a stalker.

That was just horrible and pathetic characterization at best--Liu and the others who (forwhateverreason) that started him down that path are to blame.

Posted by DarkxSeraph

Regardless, though, AgeofHurricane--if Sofia was his true love and soul mate, etc, or whatever, those few comments should have provoked discussion instead of 'well, F-you... I'm gonna leave and not even tell you. Not even a text message break up.'

Posted by dangallant984

@PhoenixoftheTides said:

@dangallant984 said:

I sort of agree with you, but, because I actually liked him before, I would consider it pretty lazy if a writer were to take this attitude. It's kinda like you didn't have a suggestion at all.

I really don't. I liked the character before because of his rather negative personality (rare to find in superhero books), but I really think they gave him too much to deal with before establishing him. If I were to offer a suggestion, it would be that he learn how to telekinetically manipulate his genes and re-create his hands. Then go back to him being spoiled and arrogant and act as a reason for Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde to collaborate on his training. Personally, I'd like to see him meet Vance Astrovik and maybe look up to him as some sort of older brother figure.

I think it is possible to screw up a characters' introduction so badly that it takes years for them to recover. Look at Karma for example: she was written out so early in the New Mutants series that most people forget she was on the team and she spent most of her time in comic book limbo. It took 15-20 years for her to be used again (the Gamesmaster storyline was her official return to action and she went back to obscurity afterwards) and a bit longer than that to become relevant.

I've always thought it was weird, given that he's a mutant and a teacher in AA, that they never had Vance interact with the school. But they've already got a pretty big faculty, I guess. What about Rachel Grey in that role? I'd like to see more of her anyway.

And, yeah, Karma's the character I most use as an example of what you're talking about too, but I guess Claremont had a lot of cool characters to work with at the time, so it's not all that surprising he didn't know what to do with all of them.

Posted by unicornpuncher

I think it would be good if he got on board with the astonishing crew. I think he and chamber would have alot on common.

Edited by lykopis

Lots of interesting points made and plausible ideas as well. While there seems to be a real black and white approach to Julian (hate/love rather than in between) from comic fans, I found Julian incredibly interesting when first introduced -- the whole teenage dynamic in the school was well done and I especially enjoyed Emma Frost's interaction with all of them.

I detested Julian's treatment of Laura when first she arrived but the effort put into his character was organic -- spurts of arrogance, spurts of kindness, spurts of valor and spurts of someone who ultimately does the right thing although not always in the right way. I think Julian was better suited for an X-Force type team - Cable might be a hard mesh but then again, maybe that's what Julian needs -- some boundaries set and enforced by someone whom he could respect with greater powers than his arguably immense one.

Julian should have progressed past being a student - doesn't make any sense to me why he hasn't. While mentoring might not be feasible considering how his character is being presented now, a one shot focusing on him might reverse or at least halt the damage done. No Sofia or Laura, no cheesy Cuckoo triple dating, just no romance at all. Something needs to happen which will take him from boy to man.

Thinking outside the box -- it would be great to see Hellion possibly take on a group of mutants which have been altered in some way -- their physical bodies malformed in such a way that causes difficulty, taking what some would see as a negative mutant power into a positive. Gambit had his ragtag group of misfits - maybe Julian can be part of such a group - belligerent and bitter but place into a situation where the old Julian comes to the surface and he is once again someone to be contended with. Emma identified him as someone destined for greatness -- let's get the ball rolling then.

Posted by AgeofHurricane

@DarkxSeraph: Oh i don't "hate" X-23, lol. That was just a...figure of speech. I like her, loved her series up until Liu decided to bring the FF in, and hated it until Jubilee came back. But yeah, Laura may have helped his character, but the way i see it, she's just as toxic to his development as Scott is for Emma, who'll never leave his shadow, but that's another story. You've stated the bad things to happen to him just to help fan-wank Laura, so yeah.

I did like that Reconstruction story my Carey in XML. That was nice.

But in regards to Sofia, it was bad writing. The writers wanted her out of the picture and so they took her out by force, without a word. Not even mentioning her after she departed, that wasn't her fault, it was theirs. I got that image of the two of them kissing from her own dream, so she still loved him, or liked a lot even if life changed for her. But she brought out the best in him, he even said that himself, no one else had ever done that.

And OT, but i'd like Surge, Hellion, Prodigy and Dust (just the four of them because this quad alone has enough history/chemistry to make a a great mini) to leave for a while and search for Josh.

Posted by DarkxSeraph

AgeofHurricane: " You've stated the bad things to happen to him just to help fan-wank Laura, so yeah."

Laura's getting her own form of character assassination over in Avengers Academy, from what it seems, so she could use a nice nostalgic moment now and again.

Honestly, I hated the character when she was introduced--back when she fought Logan wearing the Imperial Guard uniform. I thought she was a joke.

When New X-Men came around, I started to warm up to her, and to be honest, aside from the general team dynamic of the squads, and then the New X-Men series after Academy X, I read the book to see what was up between her and Julian (who I also didn't like at first).

Laura's actually one of my favorite young characters, to be truthful.

There is prime opportunity for Julian to leave X's 'shadow,' now to be honest--if only writers would take him there. They probably won't, but that's just how it is.

I hated Liu's characterization of Julian in the Babysitting issues. It was sad and pathetic. It was seeing parts of him, but those parts were covered in the way Liu defacated all over him--probably in some effort to separate Laura even more from the school--yet, she adds in Jubilation and Gambit. Huh. Sure. Interesting.

Personally, I'd LOVE to see Julian let Laura verbally have it for abandoning him when he needed her the most--which is exactly what she did. After that, put them at square one and see what happens.

Would I like to see them together again? Sure. But only if it works. And for that to happen, some talks need to be had about exactly what she did, and let it grow from there.

As for Sofia--I don't think they would work again. Maybe, at that time when she was with him, she did bring out the best in him. Then she ditched. Writers or not, it still has to be dealt with (like the BS Liu pulled). And, after that, I don't see him accepting her back, or her him after what he has done.

Posted by DurararaFTW

@DarkxSeraph said:

AgeofHurricane: " You've stated the bad things to happen to him just to help fan-wank Laura, so yeah."

Laura's getting her own form of character assassination over in Avengers Academy, from what it seems, so she could use a nice nostalgic moment now and again.

Honestly, I hated the character when she was introduced--back when she fought Logan wearing the Imperial Guard uniform. I thought she was a joke.

When New X-Men came around, I started to warm up to her, and to be honest, aside from the general team dynamic of the squads, and then the New X-Men series after Academy X, I read the book to see what was up between her and Julian (who I also didn't like at first).

Laura's actually one of my favorite young characters, to be truthful.

There is prime opportunity for Julian to leave X's 'shadow,' now to be honest--if only writers would take him there. They probably won't, but that's just how it is.

I hated Liu's characterization of Julian in the Babysitting issues. It was sad and pathetic. It was seeing parts of him, but those parts were covered in the way Liu defacated all over him--probably in some effort to separate Laura even more from the school--yet, she adds in Jubilation and Gambit. Huh. Sure. Interesting.

Personally, I'd LOVE to see Julian let Laura verbally have it for abandoning him when he needed her the most--which is exactly what she did. After that, put them at square one and see what happens. Would I like to see them together again? Sure. But only if it works. And for that to happen, some talks need to be had about exactly what she did, and let it grow from there. As for Sofia--I don't think they would work again. Maybe, at that time when she was with him, she did bring out the best in him. Then she ditched. Writers or not, it still has to be dealt with (like the BS Liu pulled). And, after that, I don't see him accepting her back, or her him after what he has done.

Yeah, at this point I want to see Hellion get himself right by himself, then he can trade his welldeserved abandonment issues for welldeserved trust issues.

Posted by DarkxSeraph

Actually talking about the relationship stuff one Laura's forums right now. *laughs*