Monday, July 22, 2013

Cool Characters: The Hellions (Massachusetts Academy)

First appearance: The New Mutants #16 (June 1984)
The original group of Hellions was apprentices of the Hellfire Club and students of its White Queen Emma Frost. While attending classes at Frost's Massachusetts Academy, these young mutants secretly trained in the use of their powers in an underground complex beneath the school. They were longtime rivals of the Professor Charles Xavier's students, the New Mutants, and once held their own against the X-Men. The original Hellions were:
  • Catseye (Sharon Smith), an American girl who could transform her body into a purple feline or semi-feline state and shift her size between that of a house cat or a panther. This granted her razor sharp claws, enhanced senses and physical attributes, plus a prehensile tail. Catseye originally believed she was a cat with the ability to transform into a human.
  • Empath (Manuel de la Rocha); a handsome, yet cruel and arrogant young Spanish man with the ability to sense and manipulate the emotions of others. After a brief attempt at reforming, he is currently incarcerated in the X-Men's virtual reality prison on Utopia.
  • Jetstream (Haroum ibn Sallah al-Rashid), from Morocco, could generate bio-thermal energy that allowed him to propel himself through the air and move at superhuman speeds. Aided in flight by bionically-implanted jets that focus his energies and a cybernetic guidance system.
  • Roulette (Jennifer Stavros), an American girl from Atlantic City who could psionically influence probabilities, usually through colored disks of energy she generated and threw towards her targets: white disks for good luck, black disks for bad.
  • Tarot (Marie-Ange Colbert), from Lyon, France. She could psionically manifest the images on her tarot cards as physical constructs, and possessed a limited precognitive ability focused through her cards. She was resurrected by Christopher Aaronson, but returned to death after he was depowered by the events of "M-Day".
  • Thunderbird (James Proudstar), the younger brother of deceased X-Man John Proudstar (the original Thunderbird), who possessed similar superhuman physical attributes, senses, and healing ability. He reformed and has served on the several X-Men teams and is currently a member of the X-Men.
White Queen Emma Frost had another potential Hellion in Firestar (Angelica Jones), but kept the girl from joining the team on field missions while grooming her to be Frost's personal assassin. Firestar eventually learned of Frost's plans and left the Massachusetts Academy.
After suffering a severe trauma at the hands of the Beyonder, a number of the New Mutants were transferred to the Massachusetts Academy by Magneto (then headmaster of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters), due to their apparent need for psychic therapy from Emma Frost. While at the Academy, the transferred New Mutants - Cannonball, Wolfsbane, Karma, Cypher, Magik, and Magma - were inducted into the Hellions. However, they soon returned to Xavier's School after their recovery and the revelation that the White Queen had employed Empath to coerce Magneto into allowing the transfer. After an alliance between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club and Magneto's ascension to the Inner Circle as its White King, relations between the Hellions and New Mutants improved.

Magma, realizing she held feelings for Empath, eventually returned to the Hellions and the Massachusetts Academy; the two would later leave the team to travel to her home in Nova Roma. James Proudstar also left the Hellions, reemerging with Cable and the remnants of the New Mutants in X-Force.

Superstrong and durable Beef (Buford Wilson) and bioelectricity-projecting Bevatron (Fabian Marechal-Julbin) were later additions to the group, and were present when the Hellions unsuccessfully challenged the New Warriors over the allegiance of their former member, Firestar.
The original Hellions however came to an end when Trevor Fitzroy and a squadron of Sentinels attacked a Hellfire Club function; Jetstream and Beef were killed immediately, while Tarot, the rest of the Hellions and many guests, erroneously believed to be unnamed Hellions were captured and drained of their life energies by Fitzroy. Emma Frost's guilt over her students' deaths led to her eventual reform. These Hellions were some of the many deceased mutants resurrected via the Transmode Virus by Selene and Eli Bard during the "Necrosha" storyline running through New Mutants, X-Force and X-Men: Legacy. They survived and are once again acting as a team.

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