Wednesday, March 25, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: NEW MUTANTS #1

NEW MUTANTS No. 1 (2020)

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman
ART: Rod Reis
COLORS: Rod Reis
LETTERS: VC's Travis Lanham
EDITOR: Jordan D. White
EiC: Akria Yoshida a.k.a. “C.B. Cebulski”
COVER: Rod Reis
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Nick Bradshaw with Morry Hollowell; Stanley “Artgerm” Lau; Mark Bagley and John Dell with Israel Silva; Tom Muller
44pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (January 2020)

Rated T+

The X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby; New Mutants created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod

“The Sextant”

The X-Men are a Marvel Comics superhero team and franchise created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Jack Kirby.  The X-Men #1 (cover dated: September 1963) introduced readers to a professor and his students, all of whom had unique powers and abilities because they were “mutants.”

The New Mutants #1 (cover date:  March 1983) was the launch of the first ongoing spin-off series of the X-Men.  The New Mutants was a group of teenage mutants who were both students at Xavier's School for Gifted Children and superheroes-in-training.  The original team of New Mutants first appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants (cover date:  December 1982).

This past summer (2019), writer Jonathan Hickman revamped, rebooted, and re-imagined the X-Men comic book franchise via a pair of six-issue comic book miniseries, House of X and Powers of X (pronounced “Powers of Ten”).  October 2019 welcomed “Dawn of X,” the launch of six new X-Men titles.  The new series were Excalibur, Fallen Angels, Marauders, X-Force, X-Men and the subject of this review, New Mutants.

New Mutants 2020 is written by Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman; drawn and colored by Rod Reis; and lettered by Travis Lanham.  This relaunch of the New Mutants goes in a science fiction direction and features classic New Mutants and new characters on an adventure in the deep reaches of space.

As New Mutants #1 (“The Sextant”) opens, Professor X and Storm welcome Rahne Sinclair, the mutant codenamed “Wolfsbane,” back into the world... into their new world:  Krakoa, the living island and mutant nation-state.  Rahne is reunited with a mixture of familiar New Mutants teammates (Sunspot, Mirage, Karma, Magik, and Cypher) and some new friends (Chamber and Mondo) for a new kind of adventure.

One original family member is missing, Sam Guthrie a.k.a. “Cannonball,” who is with his family in the outer space territory of the Shi'ar Empire.  Well, these New Mutants want their teammate back, so fortunately (or unfortunately) they are going to get a ride to somewhere near Shi'ar space aboard the space ship, “The Starjammer.”  However, its crew of pirates, “The Starjammers,” especially their captain, Corsair, is an unsavory group.  And a mission in space alongside the Starjammers is often bad news... the fact of which these young mutants seem oblivious.

What writers Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman offer in New Mutants #1 could develop into something quite entertaining.  Still, much of this first issue made me say, “meh.”

On the other hand, the art and coloring by Rod Reis, which recalls the work of classic New Mutants artist, Bill Sienkiewicz, made me want to keep reading.  It is beautiful enough to encourage me to come back for more... maybe.

I can say that the ending of New Mutants #1 is a good cliffhanger, so I raised my final grade from the grade (a “C”) that I was originally going to give this issue.

5.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and  syndication rights and fees.


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