Review: New Mutants #25

Published on May 16th, 2011

New Mutants, it’s one of those books that’s gone through dozens of changes since it started in the early 1980’s. Over time, the book evolved, we got some new characters and everyone sort of grew up and the book became X-Force because the New Mutants weren’t so new anymore. They’ve tried filling the spot with books like New X-Men and Young X-Men, but after a while it became apparent that people wanted the original New Mutants line-up. So, they brought it back and surprisingly, it was really good. I think that Zeb Wells did a fantastic job of giving these characters a mission and making them relevant in the crazy X-Men/Utopia world. Now that Wells’ run is over and The New Mutants went through Age of X, what do they do now?

newmutants25With issue #25, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are writing the book with Leandro Fernandez doing the artwork. Above the title on the front cover it clearly states, “New Direction.” You see this kind of thing a lot and normally it doesn’t really mean anything, but not in this case.

The book starts off with Wolverine, Colossus, and Kitty Pryde leading the active members of the New Mutants into a battle against Nimrod. Well, a piece of Nimrod that was left over from Second Coming and has taken over a car factory and started to rebuild itself with the components available. What’s great about this scene is that it’s supposed to be Wolverine leading this team, but Dani is instinctively taking command and even Wolverine admits that she knows what she’s doing. Dani does such a good job leading, that when she returns to Utopia she finds out that Cyclops has decided to make her the new team leader while Cannonball is taking some time off to heal and get his head back together after the events of the last couple of story-lines.

We then get the “New Direction” that was promised to us on the cover. To me it actually seems somewhat similar to what Cyclops’ X-Force team was supposed to be. Although, instead of strictly being around to stop and neutralize threats before they become a problem, the New Mutants’ job is to tie up the X-Men’s loose ends. On a personal note, I think this is a great idea. For years, the X-Men just seem to go from one huge event to the next and there always seems to be something just left up in the air that ends up biting them on the ass somewhere down the road, or it’s just forgotten about.

This was one of those X-Men books that made me like Cyclops as a leader. There’s one scene in particular where Cyclops confronts Illyana about how she pretty much used the X-Men to fulfill her own personal mission. It was one of those things where Cyclops had to make the tough call. He may not have made the popular decision, but it’s the one he felt was right.

It’s amazing how with just one issue this creative team has made me fall in love with this book all over again. It’s nice to have an X-Men book with a set cast of characters and what’s even better is that these are mostly characters that we don’t see a lot of. And it’s obvious to see that the writers have the understanding of the character’s personalities and their history that is needed to write them the way they should be.

Ken Zeider