New Mutants #1 is another new X-Men franchise spinning out of House of X/Powers of X. This title is being penned by Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman. I have no idea how much Hickman is responsible for this story. I am guessing that Hickman helped with the plotting and Brisson handled the script. At any rate, I have high hopes for New Mutants #1. Let’s go ahead and hit this review!
Words: Ed Brisson & Jonathan Hickman
Art: Rod Reis
Colors: Rod Reis
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin on Krakoa. We see Rahne sitting in the forest enjoying the nature around her. We flashback to Rahne being brought back to life via the Resurrection Program that was unveiled in House of X #5.
We hop back to Rahne smiling and enjoying the natural beauty of Krakoa. Shan walks onto the scene. Shan asks how Rahne is doing with being resurrected. Shan says that they can talk about if Rahne wants to do so. Rahne says that there is no need to talk. Rahne says that she is all good.
Douglas then looks at the Krakoa tree with the face on it. Douglas asks Krakoa to try and communicate through Mondo. Suddenly, Krakoa’s chest appears on Mondo’s belly. Douglas mentions how creepy this is. Douglas asks if Krakoa has taken over Mondo completely or not. We then see Mondo in black nothingness indicating that Krakoa has completely taken over Mondo’s consciousness.
Douglas asks Krakoa if they should figure out how Krakoa is connecting to Mondo. Krakoa responds that this is a bad thing and that he does not like it very much and that it is now over. Krakoa’s face disappears from Mondo’s belly. Mondo regains consciousness. Mondo freaks out over what happens and threatens to punch Douglas if Douglas suggests doing this again. Douglas agrees.
We zip over to the Akademos Habitat where the Sextant is located. Sunspot and Dani Moonstone are talking about how Apocalypse was the first mutant. That Xavier and Magneto are the elders of a more modern time. That the first wide-scale emergence of mutants were the original members of the X-Men. Then the mutant population exploded exponentially. Now there are enough mutants to build their own society.
Sunspot then tells Dani that she is an amazing woman and that she deserved better. Dani replies that Roberto is all man. Roberto says that he is all mutant. That you cannot stick Roberto into a people farm and expect to get an accountant on the other side.
Sunspot says that they are now in the 6th generation of Homo Superior. A mutant sextant. Dani and Roberto then enter a home. Inside are Magik and Chamber who have just finished making a special coffee. Chamber says that Monet and Synch got Fauna to create some special coffee beans that would grow in Krakoa.
Roberto asks for a cup. Magik refuses to share her coffee because she loves it so much. Chamber pours coffee for Roberto and Dani. Rahne and Shan then arrive in the house. (It warms the heart to see the New Mutants together and in costumes reminiscent of their iconic black and gold outfits.)
Chamber pours Rahne and Shan some coffee. Then Douglas and Mondo enter the house. Chamber gives them coffee, too. Mondo declines the coffee saying that he saw how Fauna created those coffee beans.
Dani says it is fun having them all together. Roberto says that it is almost perfect. Dani then says that Roberto is about to say that the only thing that would make this perfect would be having Sam Guthrie here with them. Roberto says that Sam should be here. Dani says that the only problem is that Sam is with his family off in Shi’ar space.
Sunspot says that Dani is correct. Sunspot then asks Dani if she is up for a ride.
We cut to the Starjammer space ship. We see that the New Mutants have hitched a ride with Corsair and the Starjammers. Corsair says that they will get the New Mutants to Shi’ar space, but the New Mutants will have to get to the Shi’ar homeward of Chandilar on their own. Roberto says that he has a pocket full of money and a big smile. That they can get the rest of the way there on their own.
We shift to Mondo and Douglas in the garden in the Starjammer. Douglas is holding a Krakoan flower in a small flower pot. They walk over to the Krakoan gateway in the garden. Suddenly, Ch’od appears on the scene. Ch’od says that Douglas’s Krakoan flower is trying to talk to the Krakoan gate. Ch’od also says that Douglas’ Krakoan flower and the Krakoan gate want to terraform. This is causing all of the other plants in the Starjammer’s garden to die.
Douglas then has Mondo open his belly. Douglas places the Krakoan flower in Mondo’s belly. Mondo then closes up his belly. Ch’od says that Douglas’ plan worked. That the communication between the flower and the Krakoan gate has been halted and the plants are no longer being damaged.
We cut to Magik and Raza sparring with each other. Corsair tells Roberto that he has seen Raza take down people with just morning breath and a spoon. Corsair and Roberto have a bet on who will win the sparring match. The prize is a bottle of Kentucky bourbon. (Ahhh..my favorite booze in the world.) Raza manages to break Magick’s nose. Magic then cuts off Raza’s mechanical arm. Since Magik won the sparring match Corsair owes Roberto a bottle of bourbon. Roberto asks Corsair if he knows what is good for morning breath. Roberto then says, “Bourbon.”
We then cut to the Starjammer arriving at Benevolence. Corsair tells Roberto that they are making a quick pitstop here. Corsair says that Benevolence is no place for kids and that the Starjammers have a reputation.
We then get a two-page informational insert. The first page is a wanted poster for the Starjammers. We then see the bounties placed on the heads of the various Starhammers. The bounty for Corsair is the largest bounty. In second place is Raza. Ch’od and Hepzibah are in third place with the same bounty. Sikorsy is in fifth place. Cr’reee is last with the smallest bounty.
We then get a one-page informational insert about Benevolence. Benevolence is a transit station that has been converted into a temporary repository for exotic material considered too dangerous for inner system storage.
That the Shi’ar want to convert Benevolence to a populated habitat once the shift in Brood spawning grounds sorts out. However, that plan is looking less and less likely due to the collapse of several stars that have altered normal migration patterns.
Benevolence is only manned by a single Shi’ar light brigade. There are automatic docking and refueling nodes available for all vessels with proper Shi’ar identification codes.
Then there is a warning about the King Egg. That it should never be removed from its containment shield. And that the King Egg should never be introduced to an alien biome. Doing so could trigger Superguardian protocols. (That’s not good. And I am having a feeling that something like this is going to happen with the Krakoan biome on the Starjammer.)
We hop back to Corsair talking to the New Mutants. Corsair says that he and the Starjammers will be boarding the Benevolence and that the New Mutants must stay on the ship. The New Mutants are tired of being cooped up on the ship and want to go to the Benevolence and check it out. Corsair asks the New Mutants what is the worst thing they can imagine. Rahne says judgey fundamentalists. Chamber says people with four arms. Corsair replies that he has bad news. That the Benevolence is under the control of the Nuwabi’ka. They are a nasty fundamentalist religious group. They are run by a leader with four arms. They hate sinners and think that nearly everyone is a sinner. They torture sinners in the most gruesome ways. Therefore, Corsair wants the New Mutants to stay on the ship. Corsair then leaves.
Roberto asks the New Mutants if they would like to have some Kentucky Bourbon. Roberto exits the room to get the bourbon. The New Mutants then decide that if there are people being oppressed by the Nuwabi’ka then they should go aboard the Benevolence and rescue them. Magik is able to track the Starjammers’ location on the Benevolence and then transports the New Mutants to that location.
Roberto then enters the room with the bourbon and sees the empty room and comments that he should have seen this coming.
We cut to the New Mutants teleporting into a room. In the middle of the room is a multi-colored egg. Rahne picks up the egg. Suddenly, the Starjammers enter the room. Corsair tells Rahne to put down the egg and step away from the containment unit.
Dani says that the Benevolence is not at all what Corsair told them it was. Raza takes the egg and places it into a container. Corsair says that there are no religious uprisings in the Shi’ar Empire. That the Shi’ar Empire is an intergalactic monoculture. Corsair says that the Benevolence is a containment facility for exotic matter.
Suddenly, the Shi’ar light brigade appears on the scene and start shooting at our heroes. Magik gets blasted and is knocked unconscious. The Shi’ar guards cut the New Mutants off from the Starjammers. Corsair orders the Starjammers to forget the New Mutants. That they have to be in Pshor Prime in days. That the New Mutants can save themselves. (Well, to be fair, Corsair did specifically tell the New Mutants earlier in the issue that the Starjammers are pirates. What do you expect from pirates?)
Chamber then unloads his powers and takes down some of the Shi’ar guards. We cut to the Starjammers arriving back on their ship. Roberto asks where are the New Mutants. Corsair tells Roberto that the New Mutants are trapped by the Shi’ar. Roberto says that they have to rescue the New Mutants. Corsair disagrees and says that they need to get out of here now.
Roberto asks what the New Mutants did to the Starjammers to deserve this treatment. Ch’od replies that they ruined his plants. Raza says that they cut off his robotic arm. Hepzibah says that she does not like children. Corsair says that Roberto stole his bourbon. Roberto smiles and says that Corsair lost the bourbon fair and square. Corsair then says that now Roberto has lost a ride.
Corsair walks Roberto to the exit of the space ship. Corsair says that he only promised to take the New Mutants to Shi’ar space. And this is Shi’ar space and where the New Mutants will get off his ship. The Starjammers blast off and leave Benevolence.
Roberto drinks his bourbon and watches the Starjammers leave. Roberto asks if this is where he saves the day. Roberto smiles to the reader and says that it feels like that.
We cut to the New Mutants surrounded by the Shi’ar guards. Magik and Chamber are on the ground unconscious. The Shi’ar guards surround the remaining New Mutants. Roberto says that they surrender. Dani says that this is a disaster. Roberto tells Dani not to worry. That he has the number of a really good space lawyer.
We get a one-page informational insert of a space lawyer. End of issue.
The Good: New Mutants #1 is an excellent read! This was such a fun and enjoyable read from start to finish. Brisson and Hickman deliver an issue that is well crafted and intelligently written. Brisson and Hickman deliver a successful debut issue that checks most of the boxes for what a debut issue of a new title must accomplish.
I love that Brisson and Hickman waste zero time in assembling the entire roster for the New Mutants. There is rarely a need for a writer to drag their feet and not assemble the entire roster of the team until the very end of the opening story arc. Especially when the writer is dealing with a team of well-established characters.
Brisson and Hickman give a nice introduction to each of the New Mutants and gives the reader a good sense of each character’s personality and role on the team. This approach to introducing the reader to each member of the New Mutants also makes New Mutants #1 pretty new reader-friendly. Yet, New Mutants #1 is also appealing to long-time readers, too.
How do Brisson and Hickman do this? Instead of using exposition dumps to explain each of the members of the New Mutants, Brisson and Hickman shows, rather than tells, the reader the different personalities of the New Mutants. This makes the story more enjoyable for long-time readers and new readers. In the course of the story, the new reader gets the sense that Roberto is a rakish character with confidence that borders on arrogance. That Magik is a hothead brawler. That Dani is thoughtful and kind. That Douglas is the brains of the group. That Mondo is heavily connected to nature. Brisson and Hickman do their very best to try and get across as many characters as possible within the restraints of the page limit of a single issue.
Brisson and Hickman convey the mission statement of New Mutants. This is going to be a character-driven title featuring a superhero team that is a family. This helps to give the New Mutants a unique vibe that helps set it apart from all of the other superhero team titles already on the market.
To be sure, New Mutants #1 is a character-driven issue. The strength of this issue is the incredible character work and dialogue. Brisson whips up some incredibly well-crafted dialogue. All of the characters possess a unique external voice. Brisson tries to cram in as much character work as humanly possible in New Mutants #1. The characters all feel like real people with well-developed personalities.
This leads us to another clear strength of New Mutants #1: chemistry. There is phenomenal chemistry between the members of the New Mutants. Hell, there is great chemistry between Corsair and Roberto. The interaction between the various characters feels so smooth and natural. It helps bring the story to life in vivid fashion and makes it feel so real.
Brisson and Hickman are blessed with an amazing roster of characters. I love all of the New Mutants. Brisson and Hickman portray an impressive feel for the various members of the New Mutants and their history. I love the decision to write the New Mutants as a family like the Fantastic Four rather than as a superhero team like just about every other team title on the market.
While I enjoyed how Brisson and Hickman wrote all of the various members of the New Mutants, I must admit that Roberto was the star of New Mutants #1. Brisson and Hickman just killed it with their version of Roberto. I have always like Roberto’s character. But, Brisson and Hickman make me love Roberto’s character even more than ever. Roberto is so incredibly charismatic and captivating. It is hard for the reader to not immediately be attracted to Roberto’s character.
Brisson and Hickman also deliver incredibly well-timed humor. All of the humorous dialogue is appropriate for the character delivering the lines and for the situation at that moment. Roberto, in particular, had me cracking up. All of Roberto’s humorous lines were so well played and worked with every scene.
I know that not much happens in New Mutants #1. This is not a plot-driven issue. And I know that this is a dialogue-heavy issue. and it is dialogue-heavy. But, New Mutants #1 is so masterfully written that the reader is completely entertained. Plus, there is just enough well-timed action to keep New Mutants #1 a lively read.
Brisson and Hickman open New Mutants #1 with a great three-page scene unveiling the return of Rahne Sinclair. I am thrilled that Rahne is back and better than ever. Rahne really got the short end of the stick over in Matthew Rosenberg’s Uncanny X-Men, in particular, her terrible death in Uncanny X-Men #16 and the horrid follow-up in Uncanny X-Men #17.
Luckily, Brisson and Hickman wash away the stain of Rosenbery off of Rahne’s character. The Resurrection Program from House of X #5 continues to be a wonderful plot device allowing Hickman to reshape the X-Men franchise however he desires. At any rate, I loved this scene because we got the return of a classic New Mutant.
Next is a three-page scene with Douglas, Mondo, and Krakoa. This scene was a wonderful scene that was equal parts creepy and cool. I dig the unexpected interaction between Krakoa and Douglas. I like that Krakoa stated that this was wrong and immediately terminated the conversation. This scene does a good job of furthering the mystery surrounding Krakoa and how it operates and exists. This scene also shows new readers the strong connection Mondo has to nature. This scene also shows new readers that Douglas is a science-based character that often misses out on obvious social context clues.
Next is the fabulous five-page scene of the New Mutants hanging out together as a family. This scene is powered by excellent chemistry between these characters. This scene shows that Brisson and Hickman have a good feel for the personalities of the New Mutants and also that the writers truly love these characters. This scene was a warm hug for long-time fans of the New Mutants.
We then get a four-page scene on the Starjammer’s space ship and in their garden. This was the first plot-driven scene where we get introduced to the threat that the Krakoan flower presents to the plants in the garden. This was probably the weakest scene in this issue.
Next is a three-page scene with Raza and Magik sparring. This scene provided New Mutants #1 with some much-needed action in an issue that had zero action up to this point. This scene was designed not just to inject some action into the story, but to also give the reader a feel for Magik’s character and Roberto’s character.
We then get the one-page scene of the Starjammers arriving at Benevolence. We then get a one-page informational insert about the Stajammers and the bounties on their heads. We then get a one-page informational page about Benevolence. The informational insert about the Starjammers was cool. I liked being able to see the different amounts for the bounties for the individual members of the Starjammers. This helped to show new readers which members of the Starjammers are the most dangerous and important.
The one page about the Benevolence was a great way to introduce plenty of plot development and additional background information without breaking the flow of the story. This page also introduced the King Egg which is sure to be a problem at some point down the road on this title. This was a great way to plant the seed for a future plotline.
Next is a two page on Starjammer ship of Corsair explaining why the New Mutants cannot join the Starjammers on their mission on the Benevolence. Brisson and Hickman deliver some quality humor with the way that Corsair makes up a story that encompasses the New Mutants’ greatest dislikes. And poor Roberto, with a bottle of bourbon in his hand, showing up to an empty room was a great moment.
We then get the five pages on the Benevolence. This scene presents the reader with the only other action in this issue outside of the Magik/Raza sparring match. This scene also introduces the reader to the King Egg that we read about in the earlier informational page about the Benevolence. This was a highly entertaining scene that helped to end New Mutants #1 on a strong note.
Next is a quick four-page final scene. Here Brisson and Hickman have our heroes stranded on the Benevolence and defeated and surrounded by Shi’ar soldiers. This is an excellent hook ending that has our team in serious peril. This succeeds in making the reader want to come back for more.
This scene also does a great job with Corsair’s character. I love that Brisson and Hickman do not run from Corsair’s morally ambiguous roots. Yes, Corsair is Cyclops and Havok’s father. But, Corsair is also a pirate. I am glad that Brisson and Hickman keep Corsair as a character that is neither good nor bad. Corsair simply does what he always does which is whatever is best for him and his team. This was really some great character work on Corsair. I have always liked Corsair, but Brisson and Hickman really got me even more interested in Corsair’s character.
Brisson and Hickman end New Mutants #1 with an awesome one-page informational insert about a space lawyer. This was such a great touch. I am looking forward to seeing the New Mutants’ space lawyer in action!
The Bad: I am not a fan of Rod Reis’ style of art. There is no doubt that Reis is talented. I just dislike the complete lack of details in the panels. I am not a fan of the way that Reis draws the characters’ faces. I also have never liked this style of inking.
Overall: New Mutants #1 was a great read. Brisson and Hickman deliver a wonderfully crafted story that captivates the reader’s attention from the start. If you are a fan of character-driven comics then you should definitely give New Mutants #1 a try.
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