Three down X-Books down and three to go in this Dawn of X era and so far they’ve all been pretty great! Will New Mutants kill the winning streak? Probably not but we want to talk about the book anyway so let’s dig into issue one!
The book opens with Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane looking back on the day she was resurrected and taking in the beauty that is her new life on Krakoa. If you’re an avid X-fan you may remember that Rahne died in the pages of Matthew Rosenberg’s Uncanny X-Men run not too long ago. It's a small moment akin to the flashback of Professor X giving Cyclops his ruby-quartz classes from X-Men #1, and it’s lovely.
The story proper begins with an experiment between Mondo and Cypher to test Mondo’s abilities in relations to Krakoa. Not gonna lie, it gets a bit weird… Mondo’s power is to absorb the properties of the material he touches meaning on this episode of Mutant Jackass, we’re going to see what happens when one mutant absorbs another mutant into themselves. This goes awry in unexpected ways as Mondo becomes an extension of Krakoa but it’s more like Krakoa controlling his body like a puppet. After Krakoa exits Mondo’s body (did I just say something weird?) all parties agree that it was a bad idea and to never attempt anything like that again.
Next we see Sunspot and Mirage (Moonstar?) talking about all the X-Men history leading to the birth of Krakoa and the Dawn of X. They discuss the previous generation of mutants from Apocalypse to Xavier and the X-Men to where they’re at now: the mutant sextant or the sixth generation of mutants who are being taught new things in a bold new era. This discussion of all things mutant between Robert and Dani continues as they meet up with Magik and Chamber who introduce them to Krakoa and Fauna’s newly created coffee supply. It’s so good Illyana has fallen in love with it and is willing to cut someone for it. They are quickly joined by Karma, Wolfsbane, Cypher and Mondo, all of whom partake in the new Krakoan Starbucks except for Mondo because he had the pleasure of seeing how the proverbial sausage was made.
All this seems like perfection; a group of friends enjoying life with each other without being hunted by a bunch of racist humans. The only thing that’s missing is one key member of the New Mutants: Cannonball a.k.a Sam Guthrie and he’s in space. What’s a bunch of mutants to do? Well, fortunately for them, Cyclops’ dad Corsair is a space pirate who has a Krakoan flower portal on his ship, and now Shi’ar space doesn’t seem that far away. The Starjammers are happy to take the New Mutants into Shi’ar space for the right price but to get to the Shi’ar home world destination, they’re on their own.
I say happy, but the New Mutants make themselves a little too “at home” for the Starjammers liking. Mondo and Cypher destroy Ch’od’s fruit trees that only ripen every ten years and Illyana cuts off Raza’s cybernetic arm in a fit of rage during their sparing exercise. Hepzibah just hates children.
As the Starjammers make a pit stop for some pirating at a space station at the edge of Shi’ar space Corsair sets some ground rules for the New Mutants: don’t leave the ship. Naturally the New Mutants except for Sunspot ignore that and decide to teleport to the station to check it out. Sunspot decides to stay on the ship and drink the Kentucky Bourbon he won off Corsair in a bet.
As it turns out Corsair lied about what they were actually doing to make sure the New Mutants didn’t screw up anything while they stole a King Egg from the station. The Starjammers ditch the New Mutants, though to their defense, they are pirates, so it’s kinda what they do. Plus they all have their reasons for ditching the New Mutants: Ch’od’s ruined fruit, Raza’s severed robo-arm, Hepzibah simply hates them, and Roberto drank Corsair’s whiskey. Sunspot reminds him that he won it in a bet, to which Corsair responds by kicking him off the ship.
Roberto rejoins his friends just in time for them to surrender to the Shi’ar and get sent to jail but Sunspot has the name of a really good space lawyer, whose flyer we get to see, ending the issue.
Confession time: I’ve never read a proper New Mutants book before picking up this issue. Sure, I knew who they were, I’ve seen them in the pages of other books, and I’m even a casual fan of a few of the characters (Magik and Moonstar), but I had never actually read a comic with the title New Mutants until today!
I found this iteration of the series to be quite entertaining. It was nice to have a quirky, calm but at the same time explosively funny book among some of the more serious Dawn of X titles. This is not to say that the rest of the X-books aren’t comedic or have light-hearted moments. New Mutants is more kind-hearted, warm and 100% more wholesome than any of the other current X-books. The comradery and relationships of the team, the humorous banter between the mutants and others and the easy going pace of the book make it all great! Jonathan Hickman and Ed Brisson do a fantastic job of crafting a calm and collective story, while also being fun and energetic. Speaking of fantastic, Rod Reis’ art… Oh my god Rod Reis’ art… It’s beyond fantastic! I’m glad they picked him to do this book because he is such a good fit. Rod, don't think we didn't notice your homage to past New Mutants artist, the legendary Bill Sienkiewicz, during the fencing match between Magik and Raza. Incredible!!
I will say that plot wise, this book doesn’t seem to be affecting the main X-Men story but this is just the first issue so we’ll see what happens in the issues to come. I’m definitely looking forward to more New Mutants!
Verdict: 8/10 Shi’ar Shock Troopers
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