What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about New Mutants #9! It took nine issues, but here we are with the issue where both halves of this story finally cross paths now that the New Mutants have made their way back to Earth. So of course the anticipation for this issue was what comes next. Obviously the intention isn’t to send them back over to space, so they must have some new purpose moving forward.
At the start of this issue they wasted little time showing what we have to look forward to from the New Mutants. If the other half of the team was spending their time rescuing mutants around the world, it only made sense that that is what they would keep doing. Their destination this time around was interesting because it seems as though places like Russia are a hotspot for trouble that the Krakoans find with humans who want to deny freedom to mutants. It was easy to overlook this when it came to the mutant who was in need of help. In most cases the situation is that the mutants are being kept from escaping, or there is a gateway they are being blocked off from. In this case, it was a simple case of a mutant with a dangerous power spiraling out of control. I couldn’t argue with this since there is nothing to lose from reminding us all that this is still a world where first activations are never that smooth. You can lose control just because, and it takes mutant help to fix a mutant situation.
Speaking of mutant problems and solutions, this brings us to the challenge that was saving this mutant. All that we knew to brace ourselves for was a situation where reality itself was being twisted. We run into more than enough mutants with that kind of power to know that the solution is never one that comes easily. It didn’t either when this issue for the most part was used to set the stakes in saving this mutant before things got too far out of hand. They gave us just enough to create anticipation for the net issue knowing that it is going to take a specific person to save the day.
If there was one concern I had, it was probably still the fact that Mondo and Chamber are part of the team. You get that they are there to emphasize the difference between this being a team and more of a family/group that has been through the trenches together, but what is the endgame for these two? I get where Mondo fits in considering how his powers are valued on Krakoa, but they’re going to have to try hard to sell us on Chamber’s involvement.
Aside from this, it was good to know that what happened with Beak and Angel’s family wasn’t something which fell under the radar. It mattered that there was room to address why what happened then was problematic from an outside point of view.
The only downside to this issue was the fact that there was a new art team to get accustomed to. I enjoyed both art teams that we had for both of the other stories. This one off the bat was going to be an adjustment because the pencil work wasn’t as distinct or smooth like what we got before. This is not to say that the pencils were bad, but there was definitely some room for improvement. Maybe it is because this is the first issue they are handling for New Mutants, but for the X-Books, there is a certain expectation that now comes with the visual quality of the books. That said, the colors were solid. It made a difference having a colorist who knew how to add some energy to the story. This is a team with flashy powers, and the mutant they were saving had powers on a cosmic scale. That cosmic array of colors, and even the gradients were on point which helped to overlook some of what could be better.
Overall, New Mutants #9 was a good point in the story for this creative team to give these mutants their purpose. Saving mutants in need worldwide will always be a priority, but there should be teams like this who go the extra mile to be on top of that more than anything else.