NEW MUTANTS #1
As the kids settle into their new home, thoughts naturally turn to getting the whole group back together. Only problem is one of the central figures is not among them. So hitching a ride with those space pirate friends of theirs called the Starjammers they decide to head off to get Sam. While the Starjammers leave the kids to cool their jets and go on pirate business, they of course fail to heed the advice of their Uber driver and get involved in local affairs. Resulting in becoming stranded and at the mercy of the Shi’ar. It’s cool though, because Sunspot knows a good lawyer.
I have to start with what grabbed me right away from the opening of this book and that was the art. Each Dawn of X title has art that suits the book entirely. X-Force has the kinetic, chaotic and full on energy dynamic needed for that story and New Mutants has the fresh, open and honest emotion that is the perfect platform for the outlook of a teenager with the whole world (or universe) full of adventure in front of them.
The Sienkiewicz style art is such a bold and perfectly inspired way to kick off this series. It could so easily have been hokey and derivative, but instead it just dragged me right back to how I remember these characters back when they were at their best. This had the effect of easing me into this brave new world and ensuring I accept any changes I was in for. Stark changes are always so much more acceptable in comfortable surroundings don’t you feel? On the heels of War Children it not only made this reader feel instantly at home with these characters once again, who let’s face it haven’t really been themselves for such a long time now, but it was pitched just right with even the sound effects giving that old school New Mutant feel. That’s all that needs to be said about that.
How much better can it get? Well let‘s follow on with the characterisation. For me it was spot on right from the opening. As Rahne revels in the joy of being alive again and we follow Shan tentatively into the clearing to share her joy, we were all right there with her. And to top it off we have a mish-mash of Gen X, New Mutants and Young X-Men. It was like all the kids were coming home for the holidays. While some may say this isn’t truly NM without it just being the original kids (plus Sam) I have to think back to the X-Men and how many of them have adapted and changed over the years. Not all the Gen-X kids are ready to be X-Men, so it’s a perfect way to progress them. And who better to fit them in with other than those who fully understand their own frustration, those who have been there and suffered detention by Magneto. So why the hell not. In fact I feel the dynamic of not just two, but three different groups of x-kids riffing off each other will be a great proving ground for new interactions and battle team-ups.
The dynamic is already there between Doug and Mondo. Dust and Rockslide are briefly glimpsed hanging with the Hellions. Monet and the little Hollow twins are running around, which was a fun visual and I for one can’t wait to see more of them. Chamber as well needs to find a new friend in this group, and I’m all for him being a new Musketeer to join Sam and Berto in some future shenanigans. Then the mood switch is expertly handled as they discuss the wonders of coffee. And who knew Illyana was such a Caffiend? Funny as hell.
And then once we got them all away from Krakoa and on the search for Sam…. it just felt like the team were properly getting back together again and meshing well with the new recruits. As Roberto decides it’s up to him to save the day all the pieces felt like they were falling into place…this is primo Berto to me. The cool cocky kid who flirts with the girls confident he has it down, watching Magnum P.I. for inspiration. I also am so relieved he’s gone back to Sunspot and dropped that Citizen X thing. And as much as Berto is the ever confident playboy, Magik is also her true snarky and bristly self and let’s face it she stole the show, especially sparring with Raza.
And to top it off we get the Starjammers giving them a lift…sort of. And no sooner do the kids get involved and try to help than they fall foul of their own allies. Of course the kids hear about some local injustices going on and want to get involved. Distracting Berto who wants to keep on mission was perfect ploy for this dysfunctional troupe. And am I the only one who feels that egg the New Mutants and Starjammers were crossing swords over was actually the King Brood egg mentioned earlier?? This gave me total Firefly vibes too as they cut them loose. That’s cold. Really cold. And yet it was perfect!!! I hope this wasn’t just using them as the catalyst for the ongoing story and we see them again here. At first I was thinking “What would the headmasters have to say about just abandoning the future of mutantkind to face Shi’ar justice, all so they can get on with their next hussle”. But just as I began to think they were a being tad harsh….Hello? Space pirates!!
Speaking of shady, Krakoa is lulling everyone into a false sense of security…mark my words. Give it all that ‘Treebeard the Ent’ wisdom and compassion as much as you want, you are not going to fool me. The one time giant Venus Fly Trap who attracted mutants as sustenance is suddenly home for all the mutants? Really??? If you don’t believe me ask Logan. Over in X-Force he practically spelled out the dangers to Beast. Not forgetting that Krakoa had already spawned a son once upon a time as we saw Nightcrawler contend with him in Excalibur so long ago. But whatever is going on with him now I am loving it. And there is something very dark about his subverting Mondo too. In that brief moment I was just beginning to wonder what use he would be, especially remembering his original bait and switch in the past with Cordelia/Black Tom. But then he became quite central and important to the Shi’ar confrontation, so now I want him to stick around more than ever.
Overall I loved the start of this series and can’t wait for more. We have several different styles of art and story going on under the Dawn of X umbrella and these kids are perfectly suited to be in this role as space adventurers. And Shi’ar space will never be the same again.
Two generations of X-Kids working in tandem at last? This is everything to me!!!
New Mutants #1: Krakoa, Feast of Java
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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