I decided to try and use my Marvel Unlimited Plus membership again for this column about an issue of New Mutants. I thought back to my (early) teenage years and the comics that I loved then. I already mentioned how important the mid-1980s were in comics, so I went to that era for this week's Review of Old Comics. Legion has gone from his first appearance to a minor supporting character in the X-Men titles, to the catalyst for a major X-Men event. From there he's gotten his own comic book series and a Fox television series now in its second season. Legion has become an important character, especially as an entry point for new readers drawn in by the television show. Legion first appeared in New Mutants #25, but his story first started in the very next issue. This is why we're reviewing New Mutants #26.
Before I start reviewing this latest New Mutants series, I want to make one thing clear. I always want to review any comic written by Matt Rosenberg. Since We Can Never Go Home, he's been one of my favorite writers.
Occasionally, I just trip across a cover while browsing the Internet, and I remember it vaguely from my childhood. Magik, the Storm and Illyana Rasputin mini-series from 1984, fills in the space between panels of Uncanny X-Men #160. In that issue, the X-Men, and Colossus's little sister Illyana are transported to the other-dimensional domain of Belasco, a one-armed sorcerer that had previously faced off against Ka-Zar and Shanna, the She-Devil. Near the end, as the X-Men are escaping, Belasco takes Illyana from their grasp. For a brief second, Kitty Pryde loses her grip on Illyana, but regains it, only to pull her through after she's been in Belasco's realm for several years. Later on, Illyana would exhibit mutant abilities to travel through space and time using "discs" similar to those that randomly appeared in Belasco's realm. She also began using magical abilities and summoning a "soul-sword" that went from looking like a lightsaber to a traditional, albeit glowing sword. This series explained what happened in that span of time.
It's time for another edition of me reviewing old comics, this time with the first appearance of the New Mutants. I know that the last Marvel comic I reviewed three weeks ago was another New Mutants comic, but I have a fondness for the concept that Xavier's School should have actual students at it. In 1982, Marvel felt the same way, introducing five new youngsters to become students of Charles Xavier, even wearing the original X-Men uniforms that Kitty Pryde had eschewed in the pages of Uncanny X-Men.
New Mutants #98 marks a departure from me in writing these reviews. My golden rule in writing any review is not to write a negative review. I also try not to go into a comic that I actually haven't read with no pre-conceived notions. That's usually hard for me to do, but given that this book features a character that I don't really care for, although his movie was really good and an artist that I consider one of the worst artists of my generation. It's hard not going into this comic with the expectation that it will be bad.
Between now and Christmas, every day we’ll highlight a suggestion for gift giving. All of these suggestions will be comics-themed, and every day will see one featured. For Day Seven, I’m going to a series of issues that blew fans away for how much of an artistic departure it was for a Marvel title, and
New Mutants #18 August 1984 New Mutants #18 was the beginning of a new artist on the Mutant books, Bill Sienkiewicz, who had made a mark on Moon Knight and a few other books. This was a real turn, as Marvel's style was far from artsy, and the comics industry was still recovering from the heavy influence of Neal Adams. Sienkiewicz had developed a style that was based on Illustration and it showed in page layouts that, looking back, set the stage for the modern age manner of irregular panel shapes, overlapping images, and borderless panels. I remember as a twelve-thirteen year-old young artist being blown away by this new style to my comics, and was instantly drawn to it. For Christmas of 1984, I actually copied a panel from this comic and used mixed media to make a Christmas present. SYNOPSIS: We open on New Mutant team leader Dani Moonstar having a terrible nightmare of the Demon Bear that killed her parents. We then see the X-Mansion under attack by the military as a young, red-haired girl uses her powers to shield herself as she makes her way to Professor X trying to reason with the troops telepathically only to be killed. It's revealed that these are the memories of a young woman from the future, the girl from the before, just older, and looking much more ragged. The New Mutants, except Dani and Illyana Rasputin training in the Danger Room, and proving successful, even with some difficulty. Illyana answers the front door to find the red-haired young woman who runs off in tears since she remembers seeing Illyana die.