It’s been a couple of months since the last time we touched base with our favorite characters in New Mutants, so let’s re-cap: One of my personal favorite X-Men, Boom-Boom, essentially hijacked the team while Magik was off bickering with Cyclops to go save a mutant teenager with the ability to form an orb of dreams and nightmares around her body. This teenager’s power manifested in the country of Carnelia, which has been openly hostile toward mutants.
One of the beautiful points that is clear in this issue of New Mutants is that there are four clearly distinguished team leaders: Magik, Karma, Mirage and Boom-Boom. While their styles of leading are different, they are able to come together as a team to tackle a very dangerous situation – and no, I don’t mean the child manifesting her worst nightmares around her.
Similar to the vibe of Excalibur, this issue of New Mutants follows themes of military and fascist leaders utilizing their political power against mutants. The president of Carnelia orders the soldiers and cops to arrest the mutants, spinning the situation into a toxic story in which the New Mutants have brought in this nightmare-casting girl to attack their country. Moments later, the military have surrounded the team, guns pointed, and ready to shoot.
“Arrest them!” the President of Carnelia shouts.
“What are they shouting about?” Wolfsbane asks.
“I’ll give you three guesses,” Boom-Boom responds.
But they both know the answer. It’s a fight they have been in hundreds of times before, just for being mutants. I don’t know if this was intentionally written this way to reflect the current political climate both nationally and worldwide, or if the parallels of the X-Men universe to the real world continue to be eternally relevant. Either way, Ed Brisson nails it.
Flaviano also brings this issue to life with psychedelic illustrations as the New Mutants enter the orb surrounding this teenager creating nightmares. A good comparison to this scene is from season 3 of Stranger Things when Eleven enters the mind of Billy Hargrove, only to be pulled into a smog whirlwind of awful memories. In this case, Armor holds together a team of Cypher, Mondo and Wildside with her protection bubble until Armor is consumed by her own nightmares. It’s superbly illustrated and a powerful scene.
This is a beautifully crafted issue of New Mutants, and once again Ed Brisson and Flaviano prove to be a powerful creative team.
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