NEW MUTANTS #2
As interplanetary defendants the New Mutants come a cropper and are forced into servitude. Luckily their parole officer is an old friend and ally, who ensures they won’t spend their time in orange jumpsuits. Not so luckily their first outing in community service is the retrieval of a very dangerous individual, who may make them wish they’d stayed in clink, except for Bobby. Bobby seems a little too happy with this turn of events.
Art: From the hilariously fun cover to the Sienkiewicz-like perfection my love for this title continues. And although to some it may all look sketchy I find it reassuring. Reis, Muller and Lanham each ensure the strong original style is prevalent, yet still manage in their own way to add their own flavour. Even small details like Doug’s techno-organic arm, Illyana depicted in flashback with tail and horn embellishments are a great touch. Not to mention the shot of the Starjammer and the old style background grading throughout the issue which matches perfectly with the theme. The expressions on everyone’s faces feel reflective of the situation and the warm look on Rahne’s face in particular as she hugs Sam so hard he might burst is as genuine as it comes. Travis on the lettering is also a great touch which just makes the pages pop. It’s basically a character in it’s own right and makes every scene come alive. Especially as Izzy puts one on Berto and here also bringing us back to the pairing that we all care about the most in this reunion.
And much like last issue the panel layout works wonders again. Particularly during the card game as the kids take some down time, it all has so much joy in it. And from the reunion to the introduction of the Shi’ar element and Cal’syee, it flowed naturally and drew me in throughout. I had worried with the “I’m out of order, you’re out of order” gag that this would be all about the trial, but thankfully that was a minimal part and the settings were far more diverse. Moreover I love the stark difference between the traditional looking courtroom and the sterile closed confines of the ship as the team cool their jets. And who else would you watch on an interplanetary media show than….Lila? Another perfect addition to the story, even if only incidental.
Writing: Unlike the appearance of Deathbird. As cliffhanger endings and character reveals go that was pretty spectacular. Much like the end of Uncanny X-Men #274 (coincidentally in a story with Lila and the Starjammers) Deathbird showing up is an image that never ceases to get a reaction. This will surely put the raptor amongst the chickens and I am so glad she is the one who will mentor the future hope of the Shi’ar Empire. And there is so much more to be thankful for as the inclusion of Xandra for me was also a key moment. I had loved her introduction in Mr & Mrs X so to see her not being shelved has set my mind at ease that one day Xavier will meet her and that writers other than Kelly have utilised her.Characterisation: With Brisson seemingly left out of this issue I have to say Hickman really managed to get things right on his own. Which is no mean feat given it’s a common held opinion among fans that characterisation is not his forte. Touches like Bobby’s vanity, Dani discussing the Demon Bear, Illyana mentioning her lack of formal education, right down to little details such as Sunspot mentioning his X-Corps holdings and remembering the past mistakes with legally binding contracts all felt genuine and revealed the guy knows and holds true to their past, while bringing them into a new era all his own.
And the distance from Krakoa seems to have improved the kids characterisation too. And then there is Bobby and Sam discussing the kudos of Doug, also a progressive step in terms of characterisation. This is hinting what we all knew would happen, Sam is doubtful about the goings on back home. Speaking of which these two are returning to their true Bromance, even more so than the old days. I haven’t seen them as pally since Hickman’s run on Avengers, so it is heartening to see a return to the norm. And this is almost reaching the Raj/Howard Big Bang stage of ersatz homo-dependency, which makes it even more fun when Smasher has her say. Though I’d like to see her interact more positively going forward, perhaps having their back when things get dicey. And it is noticeable how the non New Mutant members of this combo are feeling a little left out too.
I would also like to have seen Paige tag along to meet her brother and make the two boys look less awkward, but I’ll take what I can get I guess. Still no full name for Mondo other than Mondo and I’m finding it a little odd he relates so well to Jono as this was never a partnership that really occurred before. But I imagine as both the outsiders of this group it is natural they gravitate toward one another. As a competitor for the buddy team of Sam and Berto this could be the one to watch. As a warm up this issue is a vast improvement on the last and things will most surely liven up now. I was thrilled to see Rahne switched the egg out at the last minute…Mondo being used as storage seems to be a theme now. I’ll be interested to see how this story breaks into the X-Men Brood saga to come. I seem to remember making a point about that egg and knew it had a bigger part to play, so though it’s in a galaxy far far away and so removed from the current drama, it will I’m sure have a big impact in the near future!!
This one surprises me in terms of how well characterised and drawn it is. One of the more upbeat and genuine of the Dawn of X titles, true to the ethos of the namesake as well as perfectly in keeping with the new era. Oh and just one request...more Lila please??
New Mutants #2: The Bird Is The Word
- Writing - 8.8/108.8/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
User Review( vote)