Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Mutants #25

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Company: Marvel Comics

To tell the truth, the New Mutants have had a rocky couple of years.  As a kid, I remember reading some of the classic issues by Claremont (Demon Bear!) that my brother had and I instantly fell in love with the group.  They were cool and young and relatable.  When Zeb Wells started the series back up, gathering many of the original players, there was the potential for great things.  And while I don't think the heights that could have been reached were, seeing them square off against a crazy Legion and reconnect with Illyana brought the nostalgic factor full force and it ended up being pretty solid.  That said, since that opening arc, the title has been bogged down in
Constant Crossover Hell: Necrosha, Siege, Second Coming and more recently Age of X.  It really seemed as if they couldn't get a breather from all of the hubbub and do something on their own.

And then I heard tell of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning taking over as the writers of the book, which brought a hearty HUZZAH! from my lips.  If there was anyone that could inject some life into this book and bring it back from from the hibernation that it has been in, it was them.  Did they accomplish said feat?

I think they did.

This issue is very continuity heavy in that they deal with fallout from Age of X and the big No Nos that Illyana had recently committed.  The good thing is that DnA address the continuity in such a way that if you haven't been reading the book previous to this specific issue, you aren't lost or confused about what is going on.  Everything you need to know, they tell you.  They also are able to introduce all of the major players of the team and give them each a moment in the spotlight, letting readers get a better handle on who is who and what actually motivates them.  I especially loved the opening of the issue, where the team is on mission trying to recover a piece of Nimrod technology that is trying to rebuild itself.  It's clever and the action is well done.

The only particular gripe that I found was how the Illyana situation is handled and how the other X-Men treat her.  Sure she's a power house and potentially dangerous, but these characters have known her for a long time now and I would imagine call her a friend in some regard.  I get why it was done, it just felt a little strange.  Still, it's a minor gripe and really, the conversation between her and Cyclops is a very cool verbal sparring match that is a tense moment.

Overall, the art handled by Fernandez is fine.  There are a few instances where big things could have been made to feel that much bigger with a cleaner panel layout though.  However, he's able to capture facial expressions (a big thing for me with artists), which allows subtleties in scenes where characters are interacting and his inks add a level of depth to the book that if not there, would have been missed.

In the end, DnA's ability to bring characters to the forefront is what makes the big difference.  It's an entertaining beginning to what I hope to be a run that reinvigorates the franchise and elevates it back to where it can and should be.

No comments:

Post a Comment