New Mutants #25
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Leandro Fernandez
Alright, so I know after Second Coming I said I’d be hopping on to the New Mutants bandwagon fulltime, and yes, I totally lasted one issue before I forgot about it altogether. This time is different, this time Dan and Andy are selling this book to me. They never steer me wrong, never have, most likely never will. They made Marvel’s cosmic line into a must read line of books, they wrote Legion Lost. Hell, they created the Resurrection Man, these guys deserve credit. Now, however, they jump into undiscovered territory, as they lend their unique touch to the land of X, and what better place to jump right into the fray then New Mutants?
The issue picks up in the aftermath of “The Fall of the New Mutants”, Zeb Wells final arc on the title before it got swept into the Age of X. I didn’t really read that arc, but I know the gist of it is that the team went to Limbo and fought the now grown up Inferno babies and a team of soldiers. I need to read it, I’ll be honest, but hey, this issue opens up with a team made up of some New Mutants teaming up with some of the A-list X-Men to go and fight a Nimrod possessed car factory. First thought? This is awesome. Second thought? Doug and Dani could easily grow into my favorite characters after just a handful of pages. Despite the team being headed up by Wolverine, Colossus, and Shadowcat it remains relatively clear who is in charge….the still powerless Dani Moonstar. Still powerless, still badass, and barking orders louder than Wolverine. It quickly boils down to Doug, who’s quirky nature and the fact that he just sort of ignores the fight to look at things and make observations, to bring the fight to an end by noticing what everyone there has in common.
Apparently Illyana did a bad bad thing in Limbo, something with Elder Gods of evil and how she had to destroy them. Scott is pissed because she dragged people into it without asking, and it was reckless and…you know what, I side with Scott here. Illyana may have destroyed the Gods of Limbo and done all kinds of good, but it sets a precedent for a pattern of behavior that will never lead anywhere good. Illyana is the ultimate broken toy, and she accepts it; her soul is broken pieces, she’s a Belasco created clone of herself, and despite cutting out some of her Limbo baggage…there will always be Limbo baggage. She surrenders herself to Scott’s decisions without argument, which is impressive as this being the X-Men I would have expected a table to get thrown at the very least. Especially when you get the splash page of everyone Scott brought in to make sure things were taken care of.
From there we’re given a look at what the team dynamic will be going forward, at least in the short term. Xi’an is on hiatus as she attempts to connect and help the Limbo Baby that they brought back with them, the beign called Face. Dani, meanwhile, assumes control as Sam has been shaken a bit too hard by recent events (both Limbo and Age of X) and needs time to heal not just his body, but his mind. However, I would completely disagree with the sentiments that he was the leader they needed growing up, and not the one they need as adults. Sam is a great leader and has proven it time and time again, not just as a New Mutant but in X-Force, with the X-Men, hell, he may as well have been the second in command in Age of X. Hopefully his “I’m not the leader” will pass, as the dynamic of him and Dani leading together seems far more interesting. The new job of the team, however, is to tie up the loose ends that keep getting left behind as they move from mission to mission.
Leandro Fernandez provides the art for this issue and does a nice job. The action early on in the issue is clear and the characters distinct, and this carries over to when he does his talking heads scenes. There are times when Illyana looks a far bit older than she should, but other than that I’d say he’s aces on faces. It’s not an overly flashy title, but that works, and hey, after far too long of seeing Greg Land draw characters in an X costume, I think I’m at a point now where every artist I see try and leave an impact makes me warm up to them immediately. I mean, Fernandez actually drew this issue, he didn’t trace it! In fact, I’ll go ahead and lobby my own complain for the art in this issue. A character we haven’t seen in a while shows up on the last page, and it just doesn’t look right to me at all. Maybe I should blame the colorist, but he just doesn’t look like him.
It’s a new day for the New Mutants, and we’ve got one of my favorite creative teams tackling it. The first issue was more about setting up the pieces on the board so that the game could start, but they do a nice job with it. There’s some nice characterization, a wrap of old plots, seeds planted for new ones, and given how the issue ends….I really hope that some of their ‘Unfinished Business’ winds up staying around for a while. This book shows promise and potential, and is incredibly enjoyable even if you didn’t read what Zeb Wells did on the series before the Age of X. I’d highly recommend it.
Tags: Age of X, andy lanning, dan abnett, DnA, New Mutants, Reviews, X-Men