Today sees the opening of the Hellfire Gala – the X-Men crossover event that is a) just a big party b) a major diplomatic event for Krakoa and c) something really big is going down. It is the place where the new X-Men team is announced, but also something else is to be announced at midnight. And no one knows what. Marvel Comics publish three Hellfire Gala books today, Marauders #21 (a "red" book so the only one you actually need to pick up to follow the event), X-Force, and Hellions. And some of them have some time codes through the evening…
So the Krakoan gates open at 7pm and the guests arrive fashionably late. At 7.29 Mister Sinister suits up.
And at 7.40 we have the arrival of the Fantastic Four and Captain Marvel…
Marauders #20 doesn't give timestamps, but we see the arrival of the same characters, the Avengers through the gates
And the Fantastic Four by their own ship. Mighjt the Fantastic Four of more of a reason to distrust Krakoa? Well, yes, yes they might,
Although not every arrival matches up.
Iron Man arrived in Hellions under his own steam, with a very aggressive attitude towards Quentin Quire, in X-Force.
While he also arrives doing the superhero landing he trademarked instead, in Marauders.
In Hellions, the psi-dampener and Krakoan flower conversation is switched around.
And Iron Man is more accommodating, offering to buy drinks.
But in X-Force's he's just a lot more aggressive with Quentin Quire. Understandable, of course.
But it does make for a weird disconnect. Mister Fantastic says something to Professor Xavier that will not be revealed now…
But we also get a performance from Rhapsody, Jean Grey and the Stepford Cuckoos. A musical performance, the very nature of playing that is telepathically shared.
Might this instant empathy be a handy diplomatic tool? Because the Beast has another plan over in X-Force.
Using the flora of Krakoa to do something rather naughty.
An hour later, Wolverine is patrolling the Krakoan borders looking for uninvited guests…
While the uninvited Hellions gatecrash the party. It will naturally not go well.
But between the inevitable drunken brawl that follows, something else happens. Before the fireworks, there are clearly fireworks of a different kind. Emma Frost's remarks have been made and they have had quite the impact.
What did Emma Frost say? Was this clearly the point of the Hellfire Gala? The back-up strip is a reprint of an earlier Hellfire Gala from the Classic X-Men days by Chris Claremont and John Bolton featuring the death of Lourdes, expected to be revived. That did not happen in this issue. But could the idea be that resurrection is being extended from mutants to the rest of humanity? That would have an impact… more Hellfire Gala to come.
MARAUDERS #21 GALA
(W) Gerry Duggan, Chris Claremont (A) Matteo Lolli, John Bolton (CA) Russell Dauterman
WELCOME TO THE HELLFIRE GALA! The Hellfire Trading Company has put together the biggest event of the season – the very first HELLFIRE GALA! Everyone will be there – all your favorite mutants, their closest allies…even their worst enemies – for a night of dinner, drinks, diplomacy and deceit. Fireworks to follow. Plus: From the archives, a classic X-Men tale with our very first look at a Hellfire Gala by Chris Claremont and John Bolton! 48 PGS./Rated T+In Shops: Jun 02, 2021 SRP: $4.99
HELLIONS #12 GALA
(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
WHO INVITED THE HELLIONS TO THE HELLFIRE GALA? Who thought it was a good idea to invite the antisocial HELLIONS to the fanciest bash of the year? Oh, no one? They weren't invited but they showed up anyway? Yeah, that sounds about right. 32 PGS./Parental AdvisoryIn Shops: Jun 02, 2021 SRP: $3.99
X-FORCE #20 GALA
(W) Ben Percy (A/CA) Joshua Cassara
INVITE-ONLY TO THE HELLFIRE GALA! It's party time, but somebody's got to work it. And when invited guests (and a few crashers) prove to be planted antagonistic agents, X-FORCE will need to get their hands dirty and keep this all under wraps…before anyone catches wind! 32 PGS./Parental AdvisoryIn Shops: Jun 02, 2021 SRP: $3.99