New Mutants #1
By Ed Brisson, Jonathan Hickman, Rod Reis & VC’s Travis Lanham
The first issue of New Mutants continues is an exciting continuation, bringing together a team of Karma, Wolfsbane, Mondo, Cyher, Mirage, Sunspot, Chamber and Magik under the skilled, experienced hand of Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman, the talented art of Rod Reis and the reliable lettering of VC’s Travis Lanham.
The aesthetics of New Mutants are exciting and dynamic, with Reis’ artwork embracing the weirdness of Krakoa and making the book feel unlike anything else in the Marvel universe. The settings and locations – be it the exterior of the Starjammers spaceship or elsewhere, are drawn to perfection, and both Brisson and Hickman help get the best out of Reis in a first issue that looks absolutely terrific. The issue itself recaptures some of the swashbuckling magic that avoids the traditional superhero narrative, opting instead for some outer-space voyages of the group’s own that make the most out of an unlikely cast of characters. It’s wacky and risk-taking, and a bit overwhelming at first, with Corsair being brought back into the picture in an entertaining fashion. Cyclops’ father has always been a welcome inclusion and to see him as the guiding hand towards these characters works wonders.
New Mutants #1 is one of the more creative X-Men books on shelves at the moment, and it feels rare to have an X-Men book that’s as joyus and as entertaining as this one. It has echoes of Joss Whedon’s beloved Firefly and shows that there can be fun in bringing different tones to the X-Men and their creativity, and whilst new readers might be daunted at the initial prospect of seeing X-Men characters dare to tread outside their comfort zone, Hickman and Brisson relish in the prospect of having their own corner of the Marvel Universe to play with.
The space-set artwork echoes an older classic 80s visual style that fits perfectly in tune with the tone of the book, Rod Reis maximising his creativity to give a clear difference between outer space and Krakoa, bringing to life whatever setting he can and injecting life and creativity to it to make this issue feel alive. VC’s Travis Lanham brings some dynamic letters that help make the words bounce off the page, and everything comes together for a really consistent first issue that establishes New Mutants as a must-read title for fans of the X-Men universe.
The first science fiction story for Dawn of X couldn’t have come at a better time. It doesn’t shy away from embracing the wacky weirdness of the X-Men and its setting and does a nice balancing act between working in the ensemble. It’s often difficult for first issues to hit the ground running but New Mutants #1 has everything, finding plenty of room for good action sequences when it wants to. But these action scenes don’t feel forced and neither does anything here; Hickman and Brisson manage to find a way to incorporate everything together to give it a natural, feel-good feel that the X-Men books deserve.