So, after two issues showing Armor trying to rescue Beak from bad guys in the middle of Nebraska, the series goes back to deep space after leaving the Armor story on a cliffhanger.
Well, I guess I better just roll with it.
Issue: New Mutants #5, January 2020
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Rod Reis
The Plot: A simple escort mission is anything but for the original New Mutants.
Commentary: OK, the New Mutants were asked to bring Deathbird back to the Shi’ar capital. Does that mean there will be some massive brawl between her and the heroes? No, she’s expecting the ride. She needs to mentor her niece to take over the Empire. Gladiator, current Magestor, wants her back. The New Mutants owe the Shi’ar, and Bobby for one would be glad to do it since he apparently thinks that allows him time to flirt with Deathbird (she seems uninterested because why would she be interested in him?).
All this from the fact the team went to bring Sam (and maybe his human wife Izzy) back to Krakoa.
However, it just so happens that other elements within the Empire don’t want Deathbird back because, well, she’s Deathbird. That means what amounts to a Black Ops Shi’ar team, beings who aren’t good enough for the Imperial Guard, are dispatched to deal with Deathbird and everyone with her. The issue takes time to give a brief description of the bunch, all done in a manner that suggests these are incredibly deadly beings…and the New Mutants end up making them look like chumps.
No, seriously, these guys aren’t much of a threat for most of the issue despite the description the text gives each and every one of them. Three full pages describing each one and their special powers, all of which make them sound incredibly formidable and deadly, and then they go down rather easily. Quite frankly, I love stuff like that.
As I see it, this series is more about the characters, at least when it’s focused on the original team, and how much of a bunch of screw-ups and oddballs they can be. Sam seems to be coming across as the responsible husband and father who, with his wife Izzy, is glad to see his old pal Bobby but also sees what an immature idiot he is. Meanwhile, the two members of the team who aren’t from the original team, namely Mondo and Chamber, take time to discuss how they feel about working with these other people who, for what should have been a very simple trip to Shi’ar space and back, ends up being something that has gotten the lot of them arrested and nearly killed a couple times so far, leading the pair to question whether they want to even go near the others for the rest of the trip.
The issue ends with another cliffhanger, but…yeah, looks like it’s going back to the other storyline next issue. That seems kinda nuts. Pick a story and follow it, people!
Better Call Saul “JMM”
Comic Review: Something Is Killing The Children Volume 3
Noteworthy Issues: Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 (April, 2023)