New Mutants #1 Review
Writers: Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Rod Reis
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
After a decade since their last full series (there was a mini-series recently), the New Mutants team returns! While the main X-Men book stars as Hickman’s baby, the new New Mutants series, much like the team itself, serves as Hickman’s rebellious step child.
Since the team lived on the back burner for the better part of a decade, let us jump back a few decades to the teams creation. During the epic Claremont run on X-Men, Professor Charles Xavier believed his X-men murdered by the Brood, ugly alien monsters. Xavier closed the school down, but in Marvel Comics Graphic Novel #4, Moira Mactaggert and Reed Richards send him mutants who need help, and if it isn’t him, its Magneto or the Hellfire Club, guaranteeing future super villains. After an adventurous graphic novel, Charles ends up with a new batch of students. He refuses to make these students X-men though. Unfortunately, the world sees weapons, not kids, and the team learns the way of the X-men regardless.
Of the original batch, four New Mutants return to the team. After a controversial death, Wolfsbane, returns from the grave as one of the reborn. Wolfsbane switches from human to wolf to “werewolf” as her ability. Karma rejoins the team, capable of possessing other people. Mirage creates illusions based people’s worst fears and greatest desires; she also served as a valkyrie. Finally, of the original five, Sunspot, after a stint leading the AIM and the US Avengers, sports solar super strength.
The other four members comprise of newer mutants. Cypher, translator for Krakoa, learns all languages, terrestrial, celestial, and computer. Chamber blasts energy from his always covered mouth. Mondo absorbs properties of material by digesting them and travels through dirt. Saving the most famous for last, Magik creates portals bypassing through limbo and carries a big sword. The original New Mutants decide they need their original fifth, Cannonball, who lives in Shi’ar space with this family. The fact he may be happy means nothing, it seems. The whole team leaves with space pirates, the Starjammers, to fetch Cannonball. Sunspot assures the team his space lawyer can fix any problem they get into while in space. Things inevitably go horribly wrong. Never hire space pirates.
The writing by Brisson and Hickman lack the high sci fi concepts of the X-Men title. Instead the team delivers a fun romp, full of humor and shenanigans. The team hardly qualifies as heroes so far, because they create the problems. Still, their hearts serve as their moral compasses, and they fight for the little guy and each other.
The inclusion of two particular characters sparked me great joy. Wolfsbane, resurrected after her controversial death in Uncanny X-Men, shrugs off shuffling off her mortal coil with ease. Her character often falls to the way side outside of New Mutants so seeing her again delights.
The real surprise member of the team is Mondo, who is a deep cut from the 90s. While Mondo does appear in the Fox TV Movie, Generation X, (Warning: this movie may cause overdose of 90s Fox), Mondo hardly shows up in the Marvel Universe. I tried looking him up on Marvel Unlimited, and he doesn’t even get an entry out of the hundreds of characters. E brings the best jokes in the book though, serving as a sensitive but ridiculous character. The art by Reis paints a magical surreal world. Cosmic and beautiful, the book stands out on its own in this generation of X-books.
Verdict: Buy! Marvel delivers another masterful first issue for the mutants. The mutants return with a vengeance.