March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: New Mutants #1 (November,2019)

The original New Mutants, plus two more, head into space to retrieve the missing member of the group. That turns out to be a bad idea.

With all the different X-books popping up all over, there should be room for one that, at least on the surface, appears to be a little bit on the humorous side.  That may or may not be where the new New Mutants series is headed, but it was the vibe this first issue gave off.

Issue:  New Mutants #1, November 2019

Writers:  Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman

Artist:  Rod Reis

The Plot:  As the original New Mutants gather on Krakoa, they realize one of their number is off in space and decide to go get him.

Commentary:  Now, personally, I was never much a “New Mutant” fan.  True, I did follow X-Force for a while when that series was new, but that’s not quite the same thing by a long shot.  Regardless, I do more or less know who the classic “New Mutants” are, and they’re setting up what looks like a school on Krakoa for the next generation of mutants who are bound to come along.  There’s Sunspot, Mirage, Karma, Magik, Cypher, and a newly-resurrected Wolfbane (wait, she was dead?) and newcomers from the Generation X book in the form of Mondo and Chamber.  Life on Krakoa is good, but as the group is all glad to see each other again, they realize something:  Sam “Canonball” Guthrie isn’t there.  He’s off in Shi’ar space raising a family with his former Avengers teammate Smasher, the first human to join the Shi’ar Imperial Guard.

Well, the X-Men do have some friends in space in the form of the Starjammers.  Perhaps they’d be able to give the New Mutants a lift at least to Shi’ar space and the young mutants can just go from there.

That plan is not without its problems.

See, it occurred to me as I read the book that I don’t recall a single instance where the Starjammers were assisting the X-Men and Cyclops or Havoc wasn’t involved in some way.  Has Corsair and his plucky band of space pirates ever had to deal with the New Mutants before?  My guess is they have not.  It sure doesn’t look like they have as the New Mutants seem to be doing their absolute best to make themselves as annoying to their hosts as possible.  Roberto seems to be the leader of the group, particularly since going to find Sam really does seem to be something he might suggest more than the others, and even if Illyanna can do teleportation, she couldn’t go quite that far.  On a long, largely uneventful trip through space, it was bound to happen that each of the Starjammers would find a reason to want those kids gone.  Granted, my favorite was Corsair’s romantic partner Hepzibah who just says she doesn’t like kids, but the point stands.  Through a series of misunderstandings or impetuous, childlike behavior, the New Mutants manage to annoy their hosts to the point that the Starjammers want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

That comes about when the Starjammers, who are of course space pirates, spin a lie about a space station the group is visiting in an attempt to pull a quick crime and leave without the superheroes doing anything.  Naturally, most of the New Mutants run off to fight oppression that isn’t there, leaving Sunspot of all people behind as the responsible one.  That doesn’t last, and the New Mutants are a bit stuck in space and in a lot of trouble, some of their own making, and some based on what the Starjammers did.

Is it all that funny? Not really laugh out loud stuff, but it was largely amusing.  Having an X-book that is generally lighter fare than the others strikes me as a good idea, and even if I am not a huge fan of these particular characters, they are off to a good start if nothing else.

Grade:  B+