Of all the X-Books we know of so far to represent the Dawn of X, New Mutants is probably the only one I really had reservations about, and it has been a long running problem from my perspective. In every new generation of the X-Men, there is always a New Mutants team. Not only this, but the almost exact same iteration of that team. They are almost that team like the Teen Titans who they don’t know what to do with. Sunspot and Magik moved on to great things, but here they are back to this again. Not the badass sorcerer, or the Avenger/AIM owner. Right now I needed to see that they were willing to get a bit bold, because that is the only way I could justify moving on to an issue #2.
As with most of these new #1s, it’s important to acknowledge how welcoming these books can be for new readers. In other words, the reader who may or may not have read House of X and Powers of X. I would always recommend readers to follow those books, though if they did not, these books have to be willing to accommodate for the set-up they did not receive. In the case of New Mutants #1, I would say the ease of access was solid. You’re of course going to have some questions about the way Krakoa works, but for the most part you are only worrying about this team and the way they have settled into this new world.
Now the best thing that this book had going for it off the bat is that Krakoa brings about a different perspective for this team of mutants. Like with some of the other books to debut, it was engaging to see what everyone thinks of this new haven. It was definitely the first time where it seemed like everyone was onboard with it. In the case of the New Mutants, this was also the first time where we started off with a team already established and simply enjoying the opportunity to soak everything around them in. Where things got very interesting was the way they addressed Wolfsbane’s return. The time they spent on her was worth it for the fact that it takes a lot for her to be able to be at peace with who she is and the idea of being a mutant. To see how her state of mind changed was a breath of fresh air in contrast to the many things which once plagued her mind. With that said, when it came to the cast, the use of Chamber and Mondo was welcomed. Both are mutants you either don’t see too often or rarely. Their dynamic with the rest of the team worked very well because they connected with others as if they had been there the whole time.
From there, the big thing for me was understanding how this team that has gone from different countries, planes, even hell, jumps into a space adventure alongside the Starjammers. It was both daring and fun because any sort of adventure with the Starjammers is going to be risky. They break the rules, they have a reputation, not to mention a hefty bounty on their heads. It was a good refresher to also see how they spend their time when they aren’t up to trouble.
At times like this, I do love to be proven wrong. This creative team did something that is usually challenging for the New Mutants. They made this book entertaining. They’re up to their own shenanigans, they embrace playing hero, and best of all they have some fun with it. For once they are in their element with nothing to worry about except for what’s in front of them.
One of the big selling points for this book was definitely the fact that Rod Reis is the artist for both the cover and interiors. His art style was perfect for a book like this, and honestly I had my doubts about the kind of quality we were going to receive. As I said before, this isn’t a book that I thought they were going to make so standout from the others which came before it. Like any of the other X-Books, Reis is able to brilliantly capture the beauty of Krakoa. It was impressive that he didn’t even have to be like other artists who are highly detailed in their pencils and pen stroke. His style is more painted over, and there was nothing wrong for that because every color and stroke blended together perfectly to give you an immersive rendering. As colorist as well, his pallet was beautiful. A lot of the more exotic colors were more his own and popped with boldness. By the end of the issue, it was good to still see that Tom Muller was out there maintaining the consistency of the research pages. No matter how different these books will be from one another, it is appreciated that this is shared by all of them for the sake of solidarity as Dawn of X books.
And here I thought that Marauders was going to be the only fun book out of these Dawn of X books. New Mutants #1 is a welcomed surprise for what can come of these young mutants taking on the cosmic world. This may not be another mutant team fighting for the sake of Krakoa or helping to maintain their place on the totem-pole, but this issue proves that they don’t have to be. The best takeaway is knowing that some of these books can stand on their own, and still take risks.