New Mutants: Lethal Legion #1
The New Mutants have faced some of the most cunning minds in the Marvel Universe – and survived. But when someone starts building a new Lethal Legion, will Krakoa's youngest class finally be outmatched? Featuring fan-favorites like Wolfsbane and Karma alongside explosive newcomers like Escapade, this is a series you can't miss! Everything leads to the Fall of X – don't sleep on the start.
Opening these pages as someone who loves these characters to pieces and cares for them in a profound connecting way (in the way the best characters connect with our insecurities, our lived experiences and trauma, across experiences and through complex relations to them) is a delight. This is so clearly written by someone who loves what made the first volume of New Mutants so special: discussions around friendship, adolescence, romance, trauma, growing up, and forming bonds with people like you, wrapped up in adventure-filled and absurd storylines, bring a laugh and a smile and tears in the same breath.
And the package is as amazing as the content cause Enid Balam’s pencils are delicate and heartwrenching as they represent the character’s emotions. At the same time, Elisabeth D’Amico’s inks give them an edge, sharp and cartoonish vibe that fits so much of the comic and brings again the greatest moments of New Mutants’ Bret Blevins era but with a more realistic, modern approach that puts this comic right in the correct light for the eyes of contemporary readers. The same effect is noticeable in Matt Milla’s colors, which bring some of the same feelings that Glynis Wein put into the original New Mutants but with an updated look, at the same mimicking the brightness, directedness, and nerve of that authentic feel and putting more nuance, shadowing and a taste for backgrounds. It’s beyond delightful to look at, and it’s filled with so much of what has made New Mutants a classic while at the same time introducing completely new dynamics and fresh characters.
And the key to these new characters and dynamics is how much Charlie Jane is putting into representation and perfecting the young characters’ personalities. As a queer, trans girl with ADHD, it brings me tears of joy to see where Charlie Jane is taking Escapade (lines like “Listening is harder than talking, which makes no sense“ or “Is this a date? It’s beginning to sound like a date” just.. broke me), and the work on Cerebella and slowly forging other relationships in the different generations of the New Mutants (I love Rahne’s mentorship to Morgan so much, and it fits both of them a lot as characters) leaves me wanting more, which coincidentally might be the only weak point of this comic: so far, the plot is very clear what the premise was promising, no more no less. And the great ability Charlie Jane is putting in character work clearly needs a plotline at its same level, which I’m eager to see unfold (and I’m not sure the miniseries format is the best way these slow-burn character dynamics can grow, but we’ll see!).
A heartwarming start to a promising adventure for new and old generations of New Mutants, bringing queerness front and center with adorable and relatable characters.
New Mutants: Lethal Legion #1 – Part Of A Bigger Story
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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