Comic Vine Review


Wolverine & the X-Men #16 - The Fires of Hell A-Glowing


Find out what happens when kids take over the Hellfire Club.

The Good

First let me start off by saying that there are plenty of good things about this issue. There's a ton of great interaction between Kade Kilgore, Scott Summers and Emma Frost. I loved the moments where Scott is in mid discussion and is in a state of absolute disbelief. I thought it was great. There is a lot of great dialogue and humor in this issue as well, even beyond what we saw in that scene. It opens up introducing the reader to Kade Kilgor, who is the young eleven year-old CEO of Kilgore Arms and the current leader of the Hellfire Club's inner circle.

Writer Jason Aaron breaks the character down bit by bit, giving the reader an analysis of who he is as well as where he's come from; but we don't get a reason that explains his actions. At least not really. The best we get is that he was bored and needed more stimuli.

The structure of the issue is good, we get a lot of information about how Kilgore went about preparing himself for his role as leader of the Hellfire Club. You get a sense of how ambitious the young boy really is and that he is motivated by his hunger for power.

The Bad

I think a lot of thought went into Kade Kilgore's backstory, but I simply did not enjoy it. I think my big problem is taking an eleven year-old child seriously as a villain in a book like WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN. I can understand there being a school for "gifted youngsters" who have super-powers. It's not that that's easier to relate to, it's just that it's easier to get your head around the idea that these kids are still in school and are learning; their still struggling with coming into their own as adolescents. Still going through that weird "awkward stage" of their lives. That I can understand. But I am supposed to believe that an 8-year old boy decided to become evil, had a vendetta against superheroes and figured he could be the next leader of the Hellfire Club? That's not really a story I can wrap my head around. I understand the novelty behind this idea that it would be cool to have kids fighting other kids, but this just seems too much. It's silly to call a superhero book "far-fetched," but that's exactly how this feels. For whatever reason the whole concept is just too unbelievable, and therefore I find I simply cannot enjoy it. Not to mention the fact that this kid (who is supposed to be extremely intelligent) hangs around with a bunch of kids who are kind of dumb (and equally annoying), I just don't understand the appeal.

The Verdict

I normally love this series and I admit there was a lot that I enjoyed about this issue. There was some great dialogue and beautiful art by Chris Bachalo. However, I can't say that I enjoyed the concept. I really didn't like that we spent an entire issue on a villain character (current leader of the Hellfire Club) that is just, well, not that interesting. I can't relate with this idea that an 11-year old is walking around outsmarting adults and getting masked world leaders to eat right out of his hand. It's just not an entertaining idea in my opinion and not something I can really wrap my head around. As far as the structure and organization of this book I felt that Aaron was on point. I think he did a fantastic job constructing the issue, I just really didn't enjoy this story.