With The New Mutants feature film being delayed until February of next year, now is the best time for fans and newcomers alike to dive into the adventures of Charles Xavier’s second class of mutant warriors. The New Mutants: Dead Souls is a great jumping on point for new readers; the first issue was a fast paced and entertaining one featuring a stellar team with undeniable chemistry. That same playful chemistry ends up being the saving grace of this second issue, which would’ve been a dull adventure if not for the colorful characters and witty dialogue, especially from Boom Boom.
Although the New Mutants are all in their early to mid twenties by now, they still bicker, complain, and talk behind each others’ backs like a group of pre-teens. This may not sound ideal, but it makes for pretty funny, dynamic moments between Rictor, Wolfsbane, Boom Boom, Strong Guy, and Magik. Even in these comedic exchanges, writer Matthew Rosenberg manages to continually weave seeds of distrust among the newly formed team, as Rictor questions why they’re even a team in the first place.
Rosenberg also masterfully writes for younger audiences, and by that I mean for the dreaded m-words- millennials. Whereas other writers make cringe-worthy attempts at connecting with the budding generation by awkwardly interjecting “fam” and “lit” into conversations, Rosenberg speaks to them in a language serving as a mimosa soaked olive branch- brunch. Millenials, for whatever reason, are obsessed with brunch, so opening this comic while three-fifths of the team sit down for a Brooklyn brunch was a good-natured nod to a generation often condemned in media.
When Marvel first announced this limited series readers were told each issue would focus on a particular character and #2 seems to be Tabitha Smith aka Boom Boom’s moment in the spotlight. She has the funniest quips and manages to drunkenly defeat an ice giant in hilarious fashion after Magik whisks her off to battle in the middle of a booze soaked brunch. While each character certainly has some chuckle-worthy moments, it is clear that Tabitha is the comedic queen of these new mutants.
Her most hilarious moment comes courtesy of artist Adam Gorham, after she is teleported into a nasty space (I won’t spoil it!), forcing her to puke her way to sobriety. I’ve probably looked at that specific panel three times now and laughed each time. Aside from that moment, Gorham’s art is solid throughout the issue especially in regards to character close-ups and sprawling panels.
Unfortunately, being funny is the only insight readers will get into Boom Boom. Whereas last issue focused on Magik and really showed off her ability to lead while proving, without a doubt, that she was perfect to head up the new squad of Mutants this second issue provides nothing truly enlightening about Tabitha.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s still a hilarious character throughout this story, but it feels like a missed opportunity not to afford her any progression at all. It’s actually Magik, once again, who proves her worth by rapidly piecing together a plan to defeat the errant frost giant, albeit with the use of Boom Boom’s powers.Marvel’s marketing team shot this series in the foot with the promise of the team investigating paranormal threats, yet this issue features an even more mundane Marvel Universe threat than the last issue. There’s nothing “paranormal” about battling Frost Giants, Thor does that all the time. The story is still told neat and succinctly in 28 self-contained pages, however I wish the series took a more horror inspired turn like Marvel had hinted at.
Regardless of the ordinary plot, I still enjoyed the vast majority of this issue. Sure, I’d prefer these stories to take a turn for the bizarre, but The New Mutants #2 is still a laugh filled story worthy of your time thanks to the vibrant characters that fill the New Mutants roster.
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