Writers: Ed Brisson, Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Rod Reis
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Designer: Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
The Dawn of X, the newest resurgence of the X-Men titles, continues this week with the latest volume of New Mutants.
Spinning out of the recently wrapped House of X/Powers of X miniseries by X-Architect Jonathan Hickman, this new team is comprised of members from both the original New Mutants and its spiritual offshoot Generation X. It’s an inspired choice that honors both of the X-Men’s next generation classes while pushing them forward into a new direction. As is often the case with Marvel’s merry mutants, that direction happens to be in space.
Sending this new iteration of the classic team into the cosmos helps set New Mutants apart from all the other X-titles dominating the shelves. The story by Hickman and Ed Brisson delivers plenty of nice character moments, subtle humor, and cosmic action, which should appeal to a pretty wide audience. Both writers are well-versed at handling team dynamics and do an admirable job of juggling this title’s pretty large cast. Rahne Sinclair’s resurrection opens the story, leading to a strange, yet fascinating scene featuring Mondo and Cypher, two other mutants who happen to have died and come back. From there, the cast expands to include fan-favorites like Chamber and New Mutant mainstays Mirage and Magik, along with everyone’s second favorite team of space pirates, the Starjammers.
Art duties are handled by Rod Reis, whose work here is just gorgeous. From the vibrant scenes on Krakoa, to the recesses of space and beyond, Reis has a style all his own that suits the mostly light-hearted tone. Whether it’s intentional or not, he even manages to pay homage to famed New Mutants artist Bill Sienkiewicz, most notably during a sequence where Magik “Hulks out” so to speak.
Much like the other titles in the Dawn of X line, this is not the most new reader-friendly book on the stands. At least a rudimentary knowledge of the mutants’ new status quo is required to fully understand the issue’s opening scenes. The X-Men line in general is notorious for using caption boxes that provide character names and abilities, however, those are noticeably absent here. It may be beneficial to have a Marvel encyclopedia handy to know more about characters like Mondo, whose powers are only vaguely hinted at. Despite the lack of general accessibility, this is a highly entertaining first issue that should appeal to X-fans of any generation.